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Old October 15th, 2005, 09:02 PM   #1
Damocles
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Default Viper versus;

Discussion;

How could the Viper stack up in a dogfight;
Against a Starfury.
Against a Raider.
Against an X wing.
Against A TIE.fighter.

First images and rough computed dimensions based on
-a 1.8 meter pilot..
-440 kg mass per gross volume space occupied dimensionally the foghter L*W*D(the automobile steel standard).

Viper Mark II;


Length 10 meters
Width 2.5 meters
Depth 2.5 meters

27,500 kilograms dry

Starfury;


Length 10 meters
Width 17.5 meters
Depth 9 meters

693,000 kilograms dry

Cylon Raider;


Length 20 meters
Width 25 meters
Depth 5 meters

1,100,000 kilograms dry

X Wing;


Length 10 meters
Width 7.5 meters
Depth 2,5 meters

82,500 kilograms dry

TIE Fighter;


Length 12 meters
Width 12 meters
Depth 15 meters

950,400 kilograms dry.

Motion on film shows that the fighters all exhibit similar delta vees of ten lengths per second for short; 5 lengths per second for long.

So;

a. Viper 100 meters per second.
b. Starfury 100 meters per second.
c. Raider 125 meters per second.
d. X Wing 100 meters per second
e. TIE fighter 120 meters per second.

Evidence of gunpower;
a. Viper guns shatter 1,100,000 kilogram Cylon Raiders into small fragments.

It takes roughly 8*10^6 joules to vaporize one kilogram of steel.
Roughly it takes 8.8*10^12 joules to vaporize a Raider.
The Raider for purposes of this exercise has shown similar weapon hardpoint damage against capital ships; so rough equivalence to a Viper's firepower is extrapolated.

b. Starfuries like this;

Thunderbolt

Length 25 meters
Width 17.5 meters
Depth 9 meters

1,732,500 kilograms dry.

Estimated 250 meters per second(It was able to chase down that Vorlon fighter)




killed this;

http://www.starshipmodeler.com/b5/vf_rs.jpg

http://www.starshipmodeler.com/b5/vf_tp.jpg

http://www.starshipmodeler.com/b5/vf_ft.jpg

http://www.starshipmodeler.com/b5/vf_bk.jpg

The Vorlon fighter folded is;

Length 25 meters
Width 10 meters
depth 10 meters

Vorlon fighter 250 meters per second.

F. Vorlon Fighter dry weight is 1,100,000 kilograms.

So the Thunderbolt Starfury apparently is at the low end capable of 8.8*10^12 joules in gunpower and is comparable to a Viper. Its firepower(the Thunderbolt's was comparable to the Aurora's(the example seen above.)

Now let's look at those Lucas wonders.

The X Wing never shows particle beam firepower on film beyond that needed to fragment a TIE fighter. For these purposes, therefore 1/2 vaporization is the rule we follow. The X Wing is capable of pumping out roughly 3.4*10^12 joules from its guns under these assumptions.

The TIE fighter for its part shows the same kind of effect against X Wings. So using the same rule of 1/2 vaporization the fighter's paltry guns put out 3.3*10^11 joules or less than 1/10 the firepower to fragment an X Wing..

That fits with the dogfighting seen in SW/ANH

Now people will argue that some of the fighters have shields and so forth.

I base my estimates on observed fighter weapon impacts and assume 1x steel built to automobile specifications to gauge performance benchmarks..

Of course, I would like to argue a special case for the Vorlon being toughest target to kill, but I won't. I'll stick to the 1x steel equivalent rule.

Comments?
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Old October 15th, 2005, 10:28 PM   #2
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Default Masses Seem High

Some of the masses seem high. For example, the TIE fighter seems pretty small for the mass you gave. Did you measure just the command pod or do the dimensions include the solar array?

Steel may not be a good standard. There may be composite materials.

Consider the F-14:

Wing span: 20 m (wings forward) 12 m (wings swept)
Length: 19 m
Height: 5 m
Dry weight: 17830 kg

or the Boeing 747 which weighs in at 289000 kg
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Old October 15th, 2005, 10:37 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _No_Name_
Some of the masses seem high. For example, the TIE fighter seems pretty small for the mass you gave. Did you measure just the command pod or do the dimensions include the solar array?

Steel may not be a good standard. There may be composite materials.

Consider the F-14:

Wing span: 20 m (wings forward) 12 m (wings swept)
Length: 19 m
Height: 5 m
Dry weight: 17830 kg

or the Boeing 747 which weighs in at 289000 kg
The densities are consistent within the rule. Dimensions were based on the 1. 8 meter pilot as positioned in the cockpit.

Composites of the carbon nanotube variety may be light but all of these fighters are basically ROCKETS. They will be densely massive with motors, avionics, and fuel with mimimal; space for the pilot(s). With the exception of the silly X Wing, those wings and the surface area on the fighters are primarily radiators with the aerodynamic function being of necessity secondary.

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Old October 15th, 2005, 11:29 PM   #4
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I would LOVE to see a comparison of cap-ships....This is giving me ideas...Keep 'em coming, please!
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Old October 17th, 2005, 04:54 PM   #5
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The Starfury and the TIE are only usable in space and don't have atmospheric capabilities. Whilst the others are usable in both situations, only the Thunderbolt seems to have effective control surfaces, so that would probobly prove desicive in atmosphere.
Since drag/resistance is negligable in space, and weight/size also really doesn't matter (apart from soaking up the destructive force of the weapons), the control surfaces on the Starfury would be useless, as would the X-wing's whole 'open wings' to attack, 'close wings' to go faster thing.
The Viper seems to be the fastest, managing light speed or near light speed with conventional thrust, but having engines that seem to make it more like a Jet Fighter with reverse.
The Raider is in the same league, but not as fast, and without the same level of reverse thrust that the Viper enjoys.
The X-Wing IMHO would be V slow comapered to the Viper/Raider, as it's only marginally faster than the TIE is, in SW, but with FTL star-drive (non combat), it also seems to only have forward thrust (perhaps reverse of some limited type like the Raider).
The TIE would be a slow boy with it's twin ION engines as we understand them providing the kind of constant gentle push that would be of more use to deep space probes than fighters, so even if you imagine them as prodiving the kind of thrust a modern military Jet has (which is a stretch) they are a candle against the blow-lamp of the Viper or Raider. It doesn't seem to have any thrust nozzels apart from the two little ones at the rear so even with vectored thrust, it's not got reverse.
The Starfury would be slow compared to the top two (possibly about the same as an X-Wing), but with so many thrust nozzles, it would be very nimble. As for the weapons, you can only assume that all would have weapons that would easily destroy a fighter, and even the light shields of the Viper, X-wing, or Advanced Raider, would only protect them from a glancing blow/single hit. All seem to have energy weapons except for perhaps the Starfury which seems to fire some kind of explosive projectile (correct me if I'm wrong) So with that in mind, the Starfury might find that the fastest ships were simply too fast to hit, and were to fast to chase.
The TIE looks great but I think is not really practicle when you start to break it down. I think it would be left for dead by the BSG fighters, and would be outmanouvered by the Starfury.

SO! My Death by degrees list is:
In Space.
Viper (way ahead)
Raider
(big gap)
X-Wing/Starfury/Thunderbolt
TIE

In Atmosphere.
Thunderbolt
Viper/Raider (Raider gets some points for having more drag)
X-wing


In space, it would be like the minefield in the Nova-matagon (journey to Carrillon). The Vipers would be coming soooooo fast that the others would appear to be almost stationary, and they'd simply blow them to Frack with Laser Torpedos.
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Old October 17th, 2005, 07:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Centurian Draco
The Starfury and the TIE are only usable in space and don't have atmospheric capabilities. Whilst the others are usable in both situations, only the Thunderbolt seems to have effective control surfaces, so that would probobly prove desicive in atmosphere.
Have you forgotten inertia is directly proportional to mass?

Quote:
Since drag/resistance is negligable in space, and weight/size also really doesn't matter (apart from soaking up the destructive force of the weapons), the control surfaces on the Starfury would be useless, as would the X-wing's whole 'open wings' to attack, 'close wings' to go faster thing.
What control surfaces on the Starfury(Aurora model)? It is a pure rocket.

Quote:
The Viper seems to be the fastest, managing light speed or near light speed with conventional thrust, but having engines that seem to make it more like a Jet Fighter with reverse.
I have seen reverse thrust used on the Viper on screen, but where is this enormous delta vee? Even with turbo, the rate of advance has averaged ten lengths per second in port starboard aspect as seen on screen. So what is the citation?

Quote:
The Raider is in the same league, but not as fast, and without the same level of reverse thrust that the Viper enjoys.

I have never seen the Raider reverse on screen, ever.
Quote:
The X-Wing IMHO would be V slow comapered to the Viper/Raider, as it's only marginally faster than the TIE is, in SW, but with FTL star-drive (non combat), it also seems to only have forward thrust (perhaps reverse of some limited type like the Raider).
The X Wing's hyperdrive gives it an enormouse maneuver advantage as it can FTL skip attack.

Quote:
The TIE would be a slow boy with it's twin ION engines as we understand them providing the kind of constant gentle push that would be of more use to deep space probes than fighters, so even if you imagine them as prodiving the kind of thrust a modern military Jet has (which is a stretch) they are a candle against the blow-lamp of the Viper or Raider. It doesn't seem to have any thrust nozzels apart from the two little ones at the rear so even with vectored thrust, it's not got reverse.
Despite the idiotic Lucas' science claims(ION engines?) the onscreen evidence shows the TIE to be a fair match as a rocket against the X Wing; if, like the X Wing unmaneuverable. It is faster as it is seen to overtake X Wings it pursues. This fits in nicely with its observed rate of advance as measured against a time count.

Quote:
The Starfury would be slow compared to the top two (possibly about the same as an X-Wing), but with so many thrust nozzles, it would be very nimble.
The rate of advance for the Fury is as previously posted. Have you noticed something about television and film? The motion speed is set by the camera object track speed? Too fast a rate of advance in a static shot and the image filmed is blurred. This shouldn't be a problem with CGI but the CGI crowd has to contend with scan line image refreshing as opposed to the frames film exposed per second that the film bunch has to contend with optically when they film models so they have theior own built in blur effect. In either method you get a streak effect if the rate of advance for your image in a static shot exceeds the refresh rate. So you get slow explosion effects, people running across screen at half speed(TV) and unless you match tracking motion with the image you get blur effects. That partially explains why all those spaceships look so SLOW on film.

That is why all these fighters seem to move between five and ten lengths per second rate of advance.

Quote:
As for the weapons, you can only assume that all would have weapons that would easily destroy a fighter, and even the light shields of the Viper, X-wing, or Advanced Raider, would only protect them from a glancing blow/single hit. All seem to have energy weapons except for perhaps the Starfury which seems to fire some kind of explosive projectile (correct me if I'm wrong) So with that in mind, the Starfury might find that the fastest ships were simply too fast to hit, and were to fast to chase.
Again what onscreen evidence suggests this slow rate of advance for the Fury?

As to the Fury's weapons, this is an explanation for how particle bolters work on a Viper. I assure you that the Fury could carry the same;

http://forums.colonialfleets.com/showthread.php?t=12061

Quote:
The TIE looks great but I think is not really practicle when you start to break it down. I think it would be left for dead by the BSG fighters, and would be outmanouvered by the Starfury.
The TIE actually is a more realistic design than the X-Wing. Where it fails is putting its rockets off the centerline of thrust mass and putting those idiotic solar panels(I consider the panels to be heat radiators) in a position where the panels obscure pilot vision.(Though in a true space fighter I would use a transparent bubble canopy of at least 240 degrees forward globular view or put the pilot in an armored capsule and have TV inputs that gave the pilot a clear unobstructed view of the battle space around him in all aspects, showing him all targets either on a kind of super radar screen or as an actual picture of the situation(ANALOG).

In such a context, those idiotic TIE radiators should have been mounted as wraparound panels on the tail of a tadpole shaped fighter. The sphere head would carry the pilot the guns and the life support/control. That spine tail would carry the reactor, the heat radiators, chaff pods, RCS(The thing is a ROCKET!), the ION engines and the fuel. Matte black it would be hard to see and hard toi hit in that configuration. But nobody knows the first thing about engineering when it comes to designing "cool" spacecraft.

Quote:
SO! My Death by degrees list is:
In Space.
Viper (way ahead)
Raider
(big gap)
X-Wing/Starfury/Thunderbolt
TIE
Fury(has the maneuver edge as well as the speed equality, plus better pilots and harder hitting weapons)
Viper and Raider closer than you think.

X-Wing has its own unique advantage in its hyperdrive.
TIE-incompetently designed and poorly armed.

Quote:
In Atmosphere.
Thunderbolt
Viper/Raider (Raider gets some points for having more drag)
X-wing
The X-Wing has shown atmospheric flight though I suspect like the Thunderbolt it is a dog in air combat.

The Thunderbolt is still essentially a rocket with stub wings. It is a pig in an atmosphere of little use except as a bomber.(as seen on film). In an air to air the Viper will eat it alive. The Raider likewise would, air to air, give the Thunderbolt a hard time!

Quote:
In space, it would be like the minefield in the Nova-matagon (journey to Carrillon). The Vipers would be coming soooooo fast that the others would appear to be almost stationary, and they'd simply blow them to Frack with Laser Torpedos.
This must be a book reference for the screen evidence does not support this observation.

ADDENDUM; Laser torpedoes? That is physically impossible. You might have a plasma encased missile misnamed as a "laser torpedo" but that is essence an unguided rocket or mine and should be so described.

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Old October 17th, 2005, 07:57 PM   #7
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Hi Dam

We're talking about dog fights in Zero G, in the vacuum of space right?

The Starfury has control surfaces in the form of long fins either side of the exhaust nozzels.

It really depends on which filming liberties you choose to go with, and which you ignore. Clearly, if you guage the relative speeds of these imaginary objects by the rate at which they pass stationary objects on screen, you will end up figuring the optimum speed for on-screen dog-fights.

It looks to me like the Viper's engines although looking like Jets, can deliver thrust forward or backward almost instantly, which is how they go from forwards to reverse in an instant. What look like 'air' intakes on the front of the engnes, must in fact be exhausts for the reverse thrust. Or at least serve that purpose as well. OK, you could argue that the Viper could use the Air-intakes in atmospheric flight, but if they don't need orygen to burn in space, why use it in atmosphere?
The Raider engines also have 'intakes' so I assume it's a similar principal.
I do however think the Viper would share some of the flight characteristics of a super fast Jet (but with reverse). Obviously, I'm assuming that these ships have artificial gravity fields overcomming inertia to stop the pilots being squished!

The X-wings FTL is totally different from the Vipers uber-speed. The X-wing can plot and make 'jumps' but the Viper's Turbo can deliver short bursts of power that can take the ship to almost light speed (allegedly). Clearly both ships have limited shielding to stop speck of cosmic dust punching through them at this sort of speed, and inertia fields to preserve the pilots etc.
I guage the X-Wing's speed as slightly faster than a TIE (which is the accepted case I beleive) So seeing as the TIE is ION driven, and with ION drives being more constant accelleration over prolonged periods rather than short bursts of speed, I assume that the system is somehow set up to be more like a fighter should be with some of the ION drives advantages somehow being sacrificed for accelleration. Even if you accept this, and ignore the daft solar panels, the TIE would not be 'Viper-fast'. Nor anywhere near it. IMHO.

I'm not aguing your POV on this, I'm just saying it all depends on which parts of the dodgy science you 'nit-pick' and which bits you can swallow.
Way I see it, the Viper would rock the world of Star Wars! (and B5)
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Old October 17th, 2005, 10:44 PM   #8
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I believe the logic I used as a child is still airtight even today. The viper has a button clearly marked on it's stick TURBO. The x-wing has no such button. Need I say more?
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Old October 18th, 2005, 03:29 AM   #9
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Is this a poll? I vote Viper.
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Old October 18th, 2005, 08:20 AM   #10
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I dunno, in the coolness factor, its a dead toss up the Viper or the Thunderbolt (Even the name is cool for both) but as far as fighting, Im not sure, cus I dont understand any of that science stuff (There was not blond translation) so Im gonna have to go by the cool factor, and that would put the Tie dead last, it just looks dumb, the Raider next, it looks like my Jeeps hub cap, then Id go with the Fury, then my two cool babys. Have we considered anything from Wing Commander? Just curious.

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Old October 18th, 2005, 01:40 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tabitha
I dunno, in the coolness factor, its a dead toss up the Viper or the Thunderbolt (Even the name is cool for both) but as far as fighting, Im not sure, cus I dont understand any of that science stuff (There was not blond translation) so Im gonna have to go by the cool factor, and that would put the Tie dead last, it just looks dumb, the Raider next, it looks like my Jeeps hub cap, then Id go with the Fury, then my two cool babys. Have we considered anything from Wing Commander? Just curious.

tabbi
Thsi is from the movie?

The Terran Confederation and the Kilrathi (Hegemon?) look to be somwhere behind the Imperials in fighter weapon capacity and competence., Their fighters use bullets and missiles. Said missiles are fission warheaded in the single kiloton yield(as seen in the movie.) I observed the pilots to be Imperial in quality(pedestrian) and nothing special.

Their technology is definitely wrong looking. It reminds me of being something as the inspiration of a certain incompetent Berman alumnus' inferior treatment of a famous science fiction subject.

As an example why do the Confed fighters have stub wings that are obviously intended to be aerodynamic?

Frank
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