2,639 COMMENTS :

  1. By Lou Schirmer on

    With many Union aircraft being shot up, crashing or otherwise too damaged to fly, there might be some W/G engines lying around in decent shape in Grik City.
    I can see some enterprising soul either remembering trucks or having mentioned them to a cat, & have one of them start thinking.
    You could mount a W/G engine on a wagon, build a chain & sprocket drive to the rear wheels, add a steering wheel, a gas can no one wants & presto! A Jeep!
    After some excitement, they may have to add suspension of some sort & radically upgrade the breaks, but I could see it catching on as a quick way to get around the Grik City area, harbor & air field.

    Reply
    1. By Justin on

      150 horsepower seems a bit overkill for a Willys.

      Maybe a halftrack? It’s also less likely to get stuck in bad terrain.

      Reply
      1. By Steve Moore on

        A half-track would make more sense in terms of providing more development of tracked vehicles, also to develop prime movers for artillery or cargo. Or, cut the W/G in two and make a smaller engine for a ‘mule’ style vehicle.

        Regardless, the bulk of the army still moves on its feet; not too many places to deploy mech infantry or armored cav, unless you have the space for flanking maneuvers a la Rommel or Schwartzkopf.

        Still think next thing should be railroads, since there exists the need to move quickly along the eastern and western Republic coasts, and a vehicular road network will take a lot of time. If you keep your railroad in your rear, or at least in territory you control, shipments should be pretty dependable.

        Reply
        1. By Justin on

          //Or, cut the W/G in two and make a smaller engine for a ‘mule’ style vehicle.//

          Depends on how you cut it – cutting a Marine in half doesn’t exactly make a smaller Marine.

          (“Try cutting off the head, he doesn’t need it!”

          “Shut your ass up, Navy!”)

          //Regardless, the bulk of the army still moves on its feet; not too many places to deploy mech infantry or armored cav, unless you have the space for flanking maneuvers a la Rommel or Schwarzkopf.//

          It doesn’t necessarily have to be for breakthroughs – the Union/Republic can use them just to move artillery/equipment/personnel from the rear to the front (and vice versa for casualties).

          The problem so far is the Air Force taking all the engines and the Tank Corps getting whatever’s left – if there’s functioning salvage lying around the combat zone, that equation changes.

          Reply
          1. By Willliam Curry on

            MARINE stands for “muscles are required, intelligence not essential” or “My ass rides in Navy Equipment”
            Steam power works fine for prime movers for things like artillery and towing trailers full of supplies and fuel. There were used in the Great war. Think steam powered farm tractor as was used in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They also serve as portable power station as they could drive generators, saw mills, and other machinery with PTO’s or belts.

          2. By donald johnson on

            //cutting a Marine in half doesn’t exactly make a smaller Marine.//
            no it makes 2 air farce dudes :-)

        2. By Steve White on

          We’ve talked about rail — narrow-gauge rail in Borno makes a lot of sense to move ore and coal to Baalkpan and the other industrial sites. Rail at dockside makes sense to help move goods to and from the ships, and to move cranes into position, etc.

          As to vehicles: Dwight Eisenhower always said that one of the keys to winning the war in Europe was the Dodge 2 1/2 ton, 6 wheel, 6 wheel-drive truck. I wouldn’t expect that here, but a 150 hp engine could pull quite a hauler vehicle for supplies, artillery, etc.

          Reply
          1. By Justin on

            //We’ve talked about rail — narrow-gauge rail in Borno makes a lot of sense to move ore and coal to Baalkpan and the other industrial sites. Rail at dockside makes sense to help move goods to and from the ships, and to move cranes into position, etc.//

            Problem there is that Baalkpan (and other Alliance territories) already has water-based trade – therefore, little to no land clearance.
            Chopping undergrowth and building rail to, let’s say, the oil fields, doesn’t seem to be effective short-term when they can just send it downriver by boat; maybe consider it once the Grik are gone.

            Perhaps an inter-urban? It can move passengers and freight around the city.

            //I wouldn’t expect that here, but a 150 hp engine could pull quite a hauler vehicle for supplies, artillery, etc.//

            Field conditions have gotten a bit messy before (mud, undergrowth, etc), so again, maybe tracked or halftracked vehicles instead of wheeled ones. The SdKfz 10 or M2 Carrier comes to mind.

            Failing that, they could try a motorcycle halftrack like the SdKfz 2 – you don’t even need a W/G for that one!

    2. By Lou Schirmer on

      Guys, I’m not talking about equipping a land campaign, just some enterprising cat using surplus stuff he “acquired” to build something he heard the humans talking about. It’s not an actual Jeep, I just called it that as something simple & easy to build & work on. Just a cargo wagon with an engine & some mods to run around Grik City, maybe carry big wigs around (the official reason if asked). After making it more comfortable & safe, of course.
      I’ll bet Silva would take the ball & run when he caught wind of it. Pretty soon there’d be drag races at the air field, maybe road courses at the edge of town & on the beaches like they used to do at Daytona. Gambling on the races (with Silva getting a piece of the action natch), shops setting up to build more & modify them for more speed, safety, comfort etc..
      Might be a way for them to get more power out of the W/G engine, the way racing did in this world. Reddy or someone would have to step in eventually to keep too many engines from being “damaged” & “unfit for flight”, but it would be a good morale builder & entertainment for the troops as well as a way for some to blow off steam & decompress from combat.
      I never meant it to be a new production military transport, just something thrown together for fun.

      Reply
      1. By Lou Schirmer on

        Or if there’s a Cajun cat around, they may come up with the airboat to get around the rivers, swamps & bayous. The boat would need to be decent sized to take the W/G engine, so it could carry a bit of cargo where normal boats couldn’t. You could even put a .30 cal in it with some of Chack’s Raider’s for riverine operations, say spoiling ops & recon up the Zambezi. Muffle the engine & take3-4 boats to have an effective strike force, or 1-2 for recon missions.

        Reply
        1. By Lou Schirmer on

          For that matter, you might be able to mount a 3″ or 4″ mortar in one. Sneak in on raids with oars or poles & when ready, mortar the enemy camp all to hell. If you’re really feeling froggy, tow some barges stuffed with rockets behind the airboats & REALLY make a statement when you open fire.

          Reply
          1. By donald johnson on

            nothing like a few Stalin’s organs to really wake up the opposition

          2. By Steve Moore on

            Quick way to get ashore on a foreign shore… like Zanzibar.

          3. By Lou Schirmer on

            Not a bad idea, airboat landing craft.

        2. By Steve White on

          A 150 hp engine would power a Higgins boat.

          Reply
  2. By Julian Ceres on

    How would a St. Louis Protected cruiser fair against the ships from the destroyer men universe and if so then what would it go against to make said encounter a fair one?

    Reply
  3. By Joe Thorsky on

    Lou
    Speaking of “forin” pilots and fly-by-night airlines (Cargo)
    Experience is a harsh mistress especially when put to pen and
    paper. So, here I go.

    Height Restrictions
     
    Scandinavian pilots sure are a crazy lot,
    They play, they drink, they boast, they sing,
    They’re really into that “love” flying thing.
     
    As the human cargo, you know you’ve taken quite the chance,
    To get that one flighty pilot who just by fate and happenstance,
    Fits nicely into the captain’s chair without any hesitation, care or doubt,
    As long as he can just take that dashboard instrument (IFR) route.
     
    He needs a book that’s extremely heavy, thick and high,
    If he ever wants to view, and reach that wide open air and sky,
    From ground to heaven there’s no catapult, towline or hook,
    As long as he can sit on that oversized telephone book.
     
    So, in a frenzied rush to put all postponed affairs to right,
    You gladly max out on the individual insurance of flight,
    You’ll need no food, no sleep, no pills nor drugs
    When on journey’s end you gladly drink from his proffered flask of glug.
      
    Inquiry
     
    When NTSB investigators arrive on scene to clean up an air crash disaster mess,
    Runes, black box secrets, slide rules, Ouija boards and computer simulations all are used to make the governments’ official educated guess,
    The question of How is carefully depicted, identified, catalogued and put on for public display,
    Leaving only the Why and Because explanation and answer to be postponed, put off, deferred and reconsidered for another day.
     
     

    Reply
    1. By Lou Schirmer on

      I usually need a Ouija board to understand your posts Joe, but I got this one loud-n-clear Kemoswabee!

      Reply
  4. By Julian Ceres on

    The way that the HE 100 cools its engine is by using the airflow of the wings and allowing the air to help cool its engine along with some other liquid cooling systems to go along as well. Also, the HE 100 is made mostly of wood and aluminum which allows it to take full advantage of its maybach 1000 horsepower engine and high cooling efficency.

    P.S. Aftee landing, unless you want to get third degree burns while exiting the plane, then NEVER TOUCH THE WINGS AFTER FLYING THE PLANE!!!

    Reply
    1. By Lou Schirmer on

      Maybach engines powered tanks for the Reich, Daimler was the engine they wanted for it at over 1,500hp (some versions over 2,000hp), but the Me 109s & 110s were using all they could produce.

      The evaporative cooling system on it was way too complex for a combat aircraft. 22 pumps, the liquid was cooled in the body & inboard wings with a radiator also & the vapor was run through the outboard wings. If they’d gone with a normal cooling system & had engines available, it would have been a vicious fighter to deal with. As you say, Hot Wings anyone?

      Reply
    2. By Steve Moore on

      Well, they could have always transferred it to the Canteen Corps, flying in wherever brats and potato pancakes needed to be cooked…. sling the beer barrels under the wings to keep them cool.

      Reply
  5. By Julian Ceres on

    *Rolls out a He 100* “That’s cute, Race my He 100 and then we’ll decide who’s really the fastest here.” Btw the Henkiel 100 can do 700 kph in a straight line at 4,000ft.

    Reply
    1. By Lou Schirmer on

      Very nice plane & fast, but I think the cooling system & lack of enough good engines is what killed it. Probably a good thing for our guys over there.

      Reply
    1. By Justin on

      Well, she’s not going to win any fashion awards, but with stats like those, she doesn’t need to.

      Quick, somebody think of a Silva-ism! “Pipe-ning?” “Light wing?”

      Reply
        1. By Joe Thorsky on

          Lou-Justin

          Howse about Splitfire, Katerwauler I, Katerwhaler II as
          plane designations?

          Reply
          1. By Lou Schirmer on

            I like Splitfire, so many ways to take it the wrong way.

      1. By Lou Schirmer on

        Got to thinking about your comment on the stats & believe I was a bit optimistic on the B model (read that as greedy). Drag goes up on an increasing curve the faster you go, kind of like ships needing to double the horse power for a one quarter increase in speed. So I cut the top end a bit. For the next speed level increase they’re going to need retractable landing gear… & more horsepower.

        Reply
        1. By donald johnson on

          drag goes up by the square law. to double the speed you need 4 times the horsepower

          Reply
          1. By donald johnson on

            this means that with 2 engines inline and no extra drag the plane should be capable of being 1.41 times as fast as a one engine version. the twin booms will cause some engine drag so i would think it would be 1.3 times as fast as a single engine with same area cross basic section.

          2. By Lou Schirmer on

            Wow! 331 mph sounds good to me, but there are other factors coming into play also. It’s made of plywood which jacks the weight up. We have to slightly more than double the engine & prop weight (variable pitch mechanism adds a bit). The tail booms, as you noted, add frontal area drag along with the twin vertical stabilizers & the ventral fin also. More is added by the larger horizontal stabilizer. Then the gun & ammo weight add up (double on the A model, more on the B, a lot more if we add the 25mm cannon & ammo). Add some more weight for the pilot breathing system & enclosed cockpit. We get some drag reduction with the enclosed cockpit & faired main gear. Even reducing your multiplier to 1.2 gives us 306 mph, in line with my greedy estimate for the B model(proud of myself, back patting in progress). That’s going by the P-1Cs speed rating on 325 hp. Both models may perform better than the design study estimates. I may have to change the specs in the study.

          3. By Steve Moore on

            Guess we’ll be seeing Lou at Oshkosh in a few years!

          4. By Lou Schirmer on

            OK I’ll need some bamboo, flashie scale glue, four .50 cal machine guns & someone who knows how to build a plane from butt scratch.

          5. By donald johnson on

            I do not think the bamboo I have in my yard is good enough. Too soft and flexible also the panda’s would complain about losing their dinner.

      2. By Lou Schirmer on

        Maybe:
        Two-Flashie?
        Twisted-Kitty?
        Two-Fer-One?
        Boom-Town?
        Shave-Tail?
        Actually these would be good names for pilots to call their planes.

        Reply
      1. By Steve Moore on

        nice. Looks like you increased the length of the vertical stabilizer to help with one-engine emergencies?

        The Lighting looks terrific, although Silva would probably call it something like the one-two punch or double trouble.

        Reply
        1. By Lou Schirmer on

          Thanks. If you mean the vertical stabilizer on the P6B-B, no, it’s not longer. The wing being farther back may make it look that way. Now you mention it though, that might be one of the things they have to tweak if it ever flies.

          We’ve got some Silva-isms already with Justin chiming in with:
          //Quick, somebody think of a Silva-ism! “Pipe-ning?” “Light wing?”//

          I added my two bits with Whirly-Boom & Fork-Screw.

          Reply
          1. By Steve Moore on

            Yeah, Silva better watch the ‘double’ entendre… Since Dornier did the tandem thing with a lot of their flying boats, it’s not an unreasonable idea to pop into Mallory’s mind. Especially if Walbert comes over to the good-guy side, he obviously has a multi-engine rating since he’s flying Auntie Ju…

          2. By Steve Moore on

            Looking at the design again, I thought of something… since taxiing on a carrier deck is going to be limited, don’t think it would be a problem there, but on a land base, would Cats be able to see over the engine cowl for extended taxiways? Some Alitalia pilot ran into a service truck today, and they’ve got better views… Maybe adjustable seats?

          3. By Lou Schirmer on

            All tail draggers have a limited forward view. To keep safe they do what’s called S-turns while taxiing, this helps them see what’s in front of them. You can see the war birds doing this at air shows. Alternately, sometimes they had a ground crewman/cat standing on the wing next to the pilot telling them where to go & letting them know if they’re about to hit something. Most pilots are also taught to do S-turns or clearing turns during steep climbs where forward visibility is limited by the high deck angle.

          4. By Lou Schirmer on

            Alitalia pilots were notorious in my day as hot dog pilots. Most were ex-military fighter jocks. They climb like bats out of a hot spot & where most descents are supposed to be gentle for passenger comfort, these guys would be almost over the airport before tipping one wing & dropping like a rock. Successful landings were accompanied by cheers & clapping from the passengers grateful to be alive. I guess the pilots took that as encouragement.
            Many foreign air lines & ground crews aren’t as attentive as they’re supposed to be, especially third world airlines & airports. My parents worked in Libya in the 1970s & the “terminal” still had bullet holes in it. In Indonesia in the late 60s there was an incident when the pilot taxied out for take off & pulled the gear up instead of lowering the flaps (flight cancelled due to technical difficulties). Another one was a DC-3 had the power cart too close to the engines & when they started the prop ripped up the cart before disintegrating noisily (flight cancelled due to technical difficulties). Good times. :)

          5. By donald johnson on

            A potential fix on the tail drager taxiing problem could be an adjustable wheel height on tail wheel. down on landing and takeoff but up on taxiing. this could be a ground crew adjustment.

      2. By donald johnson on

        is there a good reason it is a pusher instead of a puller. in a water landing or takeoff water splashing the props can cause more damage in a pusher a.s it having more time ti splash up to the hight or the props

        Reply
        1. By Lou Schirmer on

          It’s still a pusher due to the hand propping requirement on the W/G engine. If they’re away from the launching ship, the observer is the starting system.

          Reply
          1. By donald johnson on

            and how is the observer supposed to start is when floating? a small boat or raft will not do. It really needs an inertial starter or similar that can be cranked from inside the cockpit.

          2. By Lou Schirmer on

            True, they need an inertial starter for it & fairly easy to design & since it’s a fairly small engine also fairly light.
            The starter has to reach to each side & pull the prop down & towards them. They’re counter rotating, turning inboard on each side. It’s the same engine essentially, they need to change the cam, the timing & the prop to make it counter rotate.

      3. By Steve White on

        The cat in the rear seat is going to be deaf from the noise of two engines.

        Reply
        1. By Lou Schirmer on

          He/she can duck behind the Plexiglas after starting & the actual engines are a bit farther away from the observer than on the Nancy.

          Reply
          1. By Steve Moore on

            They still have a supply of plexiglass? Left on board the Santa Catalina? I wouldn’t want to be that observer either…

          2. By Lou Schirmer on

            They’ve got glass at least since there’s windshields on all the aircraft. Plexi was in commercial use in the late 1930s for aircraft use among other things. Courtney or someone may know how to make it. Bulletproof glass had been around for 20 years or so, so someone may also know how to make that, although it was usually only used for the front windshield of fighters since it was a bit heavy.

    2. By donald johnson on

      Just noticed how close the rear prop is to the ground. I hope that there is not a lot of shock depression on landing or you are going to lose a lot of props and cranks on rear engine unless you stop and feather in a position where prop is not vertical while landing. Stopping an engine while landing is nor a good thing under normal operation in my estimation.

      Reply
      1. By Lou Schirmer on

        That’s one of the two reasons I put the ventral fin in front of the rear engine. If a hard landing is made & the main gear struts depress too far, the fin & replaceable skid plate will hopefully keep the prop from hitting. It’s also so I could mount the arresting hook low enough to engage the arresting cables.

        Reply
    3. By Steve White on

      I’m certainly no aircraft designer but some questions —

      — first, how will this aircraft handle? I worry that an in-line push/pull airframe won’t turn well. In an aircraft projected to be an air defense fighter, nimble is a high priority.

      — second, I worry that it’s over-gunned for the airframe. The Alliance still isn’t turning out a lot of .30 cal machine guns. Putting two on the airframe rather than four, and leaving space to upgrade to a .50 cal, makes sense as you can spread the number of guns to more airframes. The weight will be less as well, and that (to me) seems important — you’ve got a lot of weight out towards the tips of the wings and that may impair maneuverability.

      — third, I think the range is optimistic. Two gas guzzling engines in that frame, and not a lot of room for fuel if one respects CG.

      I like the idea, and clearly the Alliance needs a new airframe that is within the means of production.

      Reply
      1. By Lou Schirmer on

        First – I agree, handling in a fighter is a priority. It should turn quite well. One advantage with using radials is they are shorter & allow for a more compact airframe. I also increased the wing area considerably to keep the wing loading down which also contributes to good turning radius.

        Second – This is a design study & not in production yet, so by the time it is (maybe), the .30 cal MGs should be available in numbers. As far as outboard weight goes, the P-38 of our world had two big engines in about the same spot & turned very nicely. Roll rate might be affected, but I increased the size of the ailerons also. Aircraft maneuverability is more of an aerodynamic balancing act than a strictly weight issue. If it’s rigged & balanced correctly, it will maneuver well. Look at the P-47, basically a flying tank & yet it had good handling & did quite well in combat.

        Third – Yes the range is a bit high, but there is room in the fuselage for couple of large fuel tanks since there are no superchargers (yet). Also they can shut down one of the engines in flight to extend the range & with a higher cruise speed to start with, they should be able to get that range out of them. Plus, at high altitude you burn less fuel (less air for the engines, leaner mixtures, less air resistance etc.).

        Reply
        1. By Steve Moore on

          Speaking of wing area, Lou and Donald, just curious, if maneuverability were not a problem (say a long-range recon version landplane to be based in St Francis or San Diego), how much wider a wing would the spars support? They’re going to have to have something to recon the unknown spaces further east, sort of their low-altitude version of a U-2. Not much water to land on, so no sense using a seaplane. Use the fuselage and gear from an existing design but fit longer wings for more lift/less loading. Or would air turbulence be a problem? SteveM is also not an engineer…

          Reply
          1. By Lou Schirmer on

            That I’m not sure of structurally. It depends on a lot of things, like what the spar strength is, number of spars, whether you’re just lengthening the wing or changing the whole thing. If you’re just lengthening an existing wing, I wouldn’t go for more than about a 15-20% increase in wing span without extensive testing or strengthening. A better way IMO would be to design a new wing for the application. Long range aircraft usually have long narrow wings & they’re built to flex a bit as well.
            As far as wing loading goes, that’s a function of wing area (area divided by the planes weight). You can have a long narrow wing with the same wing loading as one with a short, wide chord wing. Low wing loading is good for range, turns & rate of climb, but is more sensitive to turbulence (you bounce around a lot). High wing loading (smaller wings) is good for speed & is less sensitive to turbulence.
            Power loading is horsepower divided by the weight of the plane. The lower the power load (higher HP per weight) the better the performance in takeoff, climb, top speed & turns, but high power often reduces range.

            Actually, the P-2 design would be an ideal candidate for a long range recon platform. You could lengthen the fuselage to make room for an observer & more fuel & replace the outer wings with longer, narrow chord wings with the guns replaced with more fuel tanks. It would have a reasonable turn of speed & with one engine shut down for cruise, lots of range. As a bonus, with the longer wing & no guns, takeoff & landing speeds would be cut substantially.

          2. By donald johnson on

            Longer narrower wings for a recon craft with internal wing tanks to keep it out of the cockpit leaving pilot and observer with more room and also helping improve the balance of the craft. If wings for a glider with a 20 to one glide ratio can be developed then the fuel requirements will be greatly lowered.
            An enclosed cockpit or oxygen masks will improve altitude performance. I feel that masks could get them up to 25k feet without to much problem. this will allow much higher operation so greater visual range is obtained if no clouds are slowing things down.

    4. By Steve Moore on

      Lou, your comment on a possible ‘RP-2’airframe made me think, this could be like the Mosquito or Beaufighter, a multi-purpose roleplayer. If they ever develop aerial mines (for dropping in the Zambezi) or 5″ HVAR, this could be just the plane to match with the speed needed for those missions.

      Use the lengthened fuselage for a scout bomber as well as a recon bird?

      Must have missed the TB#2, nice view of the possibilities of the aft deck.

      Reply
      1. By Justin on

        Mallory et all can only stretch the PB airframe so far – it’s a scout first, bomber second. Best to drag the Beaufort out of the jungle and use that to create a multirole instead.

        Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *