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Thread: No air aerodynamics...

  1. #1
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    BAD TV?
    Has anyone noticed whenever a Sci-fi movie has neat looking spacecraft they tend to move aerodynamically while in space?( i.e. Battlestar galactica fighters or all star wars fighters). Seems there should be no need to roll (bank) over and swoop(swoop?) to change direction...Although it would allow any velocity change g forces to be applied towards the pilots feet and seat. Movie mistake? Anthropomorphic bias (head= up, feet=down) Or like I always say to my wife... Dn't be concerned; It's just a movie...[img]/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif[/img]

  2. #2
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    I love the fighters in Babylon 5. The pilots lay flat on acceleration couches and the ships maneuvered in a more believable micro-gravity way, with veniers instead of banking and such.

  3. #3
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    On 2002-11-24 14:08, david bowman wrote:
    Although it would allow any velocity change g forces to be applied towards the pilots feet and seat.
    You're probably right about the banking being a movie mistake, but you do make a point there. I did this flight test once where the pilot made a turn using his rudder only and I can tell you it's really uncomfortable. I have to add that the 2G turns we made with banking weren't that comfortable either [img]/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif[/img].

  4. #4
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    You also have to remember that even in the future when we might develop fighters for use in space, that the pilots would most likely be jet pilots retrained. Plus, if you had the RCS thrusters in the nose of the fighter, when you pulled back it would push you upwards and vice-versa. As for rolling and banking.. It would be better to roll the fighter onto its side and then pull up so the G-forces are directed downward along your back rather than slamming you against the side of the cockpit.

    One thing that does bug me in most movies/TV shows is that ships seem to be under constant acceleration, even when they turn. BattleStar Gallactica (sp?) was horrible for this. Star Wars has some of the same degree of wrongness also, just not as much. -Colt

  5. #5
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    I agree with what's been said about SciFi spacecraft "flying" like aircraft. George Lucas stated he was specifically inspired by the dogfight sequences in WWI flying movies, (like "Wings" for example.)

    Yes, it's cool how some of the Babylon 5 fighters twist around and suddenly change direction. Some of the robotic craft on the show do that. (No need to worry about living beings getting squished inside.) It was stated in one of the episodes that some of the fighters (like the "Raider's" flying wing spacecraft,) are designed for both atmospheric and space flight. They kind of fly like Star Wars ships too.

    The Babylon 5 art director also chose some pretty nebulae as backgrounds that came from Hubble Space Telescope images that were in turn processed in colors close to how the human eye would see them up close. (Though I suppose one would have to also be at the same angle of view as seen from Earth to recognize the nebula!) [img]/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif[/img]

  6. #6
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    Phil and I actually hashed through this one some time ago in emails that I wish I still had since there was some good discussion.
    My contention was/is this argument should boil down more to the design of the fighters more so than how they are used. B5 had it pretty close but remember the X-wing and the Viper are both transatmospheric craft and need to work in both environments. So if you don't want to splatter the pilot with high lateral G loads (just about the worst way to G-load the human body) go ahead and don't bank.
    Form follows function, the Star Fury acceleration couch won't cut it in an atmosphere and a 1g environment where the other two can operate and the pilot will need to be seated upright. So again, in space, so as to not kill the pilot, the craft should best bank.
    I can attest to the lateral G loads being uncomfortable since during my pilot training we did some basic rudder only manuvers and if you did them full deflection right to full deflection left and back etc, things got uncomfy in a hurry.

  7. #7
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    ^Yeah, it would probably be best to just keep the flight controls the same for an aerospacecraft. -Colt

  8. #8
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    On 2002-11-24 16:21, Colt wrote:
    One thing that does bug me in most movies/TV shows is that ships seem to be under constant acceleration, even when they turn. BattleStar Gallactica (sp?) was horrible for this. Star Wars has some of the same degree of wrongness also, just not as much. -Colt
    In the Star Trek universe, it always seems that objects in space always coast to a stop if they are not under propulsion. Unless it fits the plot to have them coast, but that happens only rarely.


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