Ship Design Philosophy

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Sun Nov 15, 2020 3:08 pm

Inspiration: Space Engineers - Missile Destroyer 5k Range

Type.S101 Missile Destroyer


1. One assumes large torpedo bay.

2. Top down or down the throat or up the skirt, the actual concept is being able to target the most vulnerable and/or unprotected area of the spaceship.

3. I guess should do some research into what constitute a decoy in Traveller.

4. Makes sense, as any ship two kay tonnes and above has got to fear torpedoes.

5. Commerce raiders would launch highly destructive torpedoes against largish freighters, who are unlikely to have the speed to evade it, the defensive systems to shoot it down, nor the mass to be able to absorb the damage.

6. Seems to be a case why you keep freighters below two thousand tonnes.

7. Of course, at this point, you have fighter bombers to strafe them, or the guns roll out to put a couple of holes in them, because it would be cheaper than missiles.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Mon Nov 16, 2020 6:51 pm

Inspiration: Revelation Assault Carrier - Space Engineers

Okay, it's the Revelation, so there is not much new stuff to talk about. Except there is!

You see, this is not just a retrofitted version of the ship. This is a completely new build
that uses the old exterior design. The inside and layout has changed completely.

But it keeps all the stuff you liked from the old ship.

To control the ship, you will need to use the remote control block either from the seat on
the bridge or from the seat in the CORE room.

The engines are still tiltable and can still be operated while moving. They are a new
configuration that gives more power at the same space requirement. That meant that I had
a lot more mass to play with when building the ship.
As you might expect, that lead to the ship being considerably heavier, than the old one. ... XA&index=2


1. Holographic doors?

2. Landing gear, wheels.

3. Escape pods; Titanic lifeboats.

4. Shielding; a fleet carrier probably attracts an inordinate amount of ordnance.

5. Assault carrier probably needs more armour.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Tue Nov 17, 2020 10:40 pm

Inspiration: Space Engineers - Hatrius Hybrid Battleship

The main weaponry includes 26 rocket launchers (6 front, 20 broadside : 10 starboard, 10 portside), 18 missile turrets massed on the heavily armored top and 1 long range gravity cannon in the bow.

The battleship is able to execute long range operations, due to its good freight and hydrogen capacity, its 11 jump drives and its small hangar.
Also able to fly in almost all environments from space to alien planet, but with a preference for low gravity ones due to its weight.


1. First off, you probably could use reaction rockets, especially distributed, to hover in atmosphere, but that's pretty much a waste of fuel.

2. Mass driver bay.

3. External stairs, probably helps with maintenance.

4. I think there's an internal remote laser gun, an unpleasant surprise for boarders.

5. I'm a little sceptical on the placement for the hangars, but note that the hull is bulged in the centre, specifically to accommodate them.

6. Less battleship, more light bombardment or missile cruiser.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Wed Nov 18, 2020 11:27 pm

Inspiration: Space Engineers TC505 Makara Class Pleasure Cruise-liner





- Automated Sales Agent


1. Aesthetics failure.

2. Docking commonality.

3. Parachutes?

4. Sensors could require hardpoints.

5. Atmospheric floating, not flight.

6. Food court.

7. Spa.

8. Disability access?

9. Maintenance lift.

10. Coffee vending machine.

11. Frozen watch, easily accessible.

12. Close structure configuration.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Thu Nov 19, 2020 11:14 pm

Inspiration: Inside ILM: Creating the Razor Crest

Join us as we journey behind the scenes of the Emmy™ Award-winning visual effects behind the first season of The Mandalorian. We’ll pull back the curtain on one of our favorite bounty hunter’s ship, the infamous Razor Crest and look at the distinctive former military ship from its initial concept design in Doug Chiang’s Lucasfilm art department through to ILM artists building the ship in the digital realm and as a practical miniature for filming. We’ll also look at the parallel development of the custom motion control camera system created by ILM Visual Effects Supervisor, John Knoll to allow for the first motion control shots to film at ILM in 15 years. We hope you enjoy this look ‘Inside ILM’.


Problem is, smallcraft aren't large enough by themselves for stable transitions, and you're still stuck with a ten tonne jump drive.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Sat Nov 21, 2020 4:07 am

Communications: Sound-powered telephone

Modern emergency telephone powered by sound alone
A sound-powered telephone is a communication device that allows users to talk to each other with the use of a handset, similar to a conventional telephone, but without the use of external power. This technology has been used since at least 1944[1] for both routine and emergency communication on ships to allow communication between key locations on a vessel if power is unavailable.[2] A sound-powered phone circuit can have two or more stations on the same circuit. The circuit is always live, thus a user begins speaking rather than dialing another station. Sound-powered telephones are not normally connected to a telephone exchange.

The microphone transducer converts sound pressure from a user's voice into an electric current, which is then converted back to sound by a transducer at the receiver nodes. The most significant distinction between ordinary telephones and sound-powered telephones is in the operation of the microphone. Since the microphones used in most telephones are designed to modulate a supplied electric current they cannot be used in sound-powered transducers. Most sound-powered telephones use a dynamic microphone. A common approach to transducer design is the balanced armature design because of its efficiency. The number of simultaneous listeners is limited because there is no amplification of the signal.

A sound-powered telephone circuit can be as simple as two handsets connected together with a pair of wires, which is defined as the "talk" portion of the circuit. Talk circuits can be realized over a pair of wires that are 50 km (30 miles) long. More complex circuits include magnetos, selector switches and bells to allow one user to select and call another, which is defined as the "calling" portion of the circuit. The voice communication ("talk") circuit is completely separate from the "call" circuit, allowing communication to take place without external power.

Sound-powered telephones are widely used on ships. A typical example on a U.S. Navy ship is the "JL" circuit which is used by the lookouts to report visual contacts to the pilot house and the Combat Information Center (CIC). In this case there would be five stations on the circuit (stern lookout, port lookout, starboard lookout, pilot house and CIC).

U.S. Coast Guard Regulations require this emergency communication capability in most vessels today and dictate where phones should be located. A dial telephone system with a battery backup will not meet the USCG Regulations as they currently exist.

Other uses for sound-powered telephone technology today include emergency communications systems for high-rise buildings, draw bridges, ski lifts, and temporary locations where reliable communication is necessary. These types of systems allow for two or more parties to be able to talk to one another in areas that experience loss-of-power or when radio communication is hampered by RF signal losses and/or limitations.

Ski lifts use sound-powered phones extensively. Because there are only two handsets (rarely three, where there is a mid station), sound-powered phones are ideal. They are used to confirm actions of the lift with the other operator, and abnormal operation of the lift machinery.

Many different types of equipment have attempted to replace sound-powered telephones on ships. Due to the rugged, reliable and power-free nature of this equipment, it remains in use on all US military vessels, commercial vessels and work boats.

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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Mon Nov 23, 2020 10:28 pm

Spaceships: Hulls, Registration, Crewing, and Why no US Flags on SuperYachts?

Since the 1920s there have not been any Yachts over 300GT registered in the US. Why is this? Also why are most SuperYachts registered in a British commonwealth country, such as the most popular, Cayman Islands? All will be disclosed in this video.


Well, flagging is probably more of an issue in the Confederation, since the preference is for a political entity which would bestow some form of advantage, whether in costs, regulations, or treatment by other jurisdictions.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Wed Nov 25, 2020 12:23 am

Spaceships: Hulls and Celera 500L | Egg with wings or a revolution in aviation

The Celera 500L is a single-engine piston aircraft that is being built by Otto Aviation and is undergoing prototype testing. The aircraft is very unusual: its fuselage has a simple bullet-like shape, the wing is straight and very thin, and the propeller is located in the tail behind the empennage. All these unusual design solutions pursue special goals of the creators, among which are outstanding flight and economic characteristics of the aircraft. So outstanding that, if successful, the Celera can turn our understanding of air travel upside down. ... kyshipsEng


1. Egg or teardrop?

2. Flying submarine.

3. The Celera 500L is designed to have 59% less drag than conventional aircraft of a similar size. In laminar flow, the air flows smoothly across a surface and the streamlines move parallel to each other. A laminar-flow boundary layer is very thin - possibly only .02 inches thick. As you move up and away from a surface, the airflow's speed smoothly increases in a laminar flow boundary layer until it reaches free-stream speed. A laminar-flow boundary layer minimizes skin-friction drag, so engineers often optimize long, flat surfaces (like your wings) to preserve laminar flow. Any disturbances along the surface, even microscopic ones, can turn a laminar flow layer turbulent.

4. Eddies in the space-time continuum.

5. Gravitic motors don't create turbulence, as far as I know.

6. Glass cockpit.

7. Optimum for streamlined smallcraft connectors.

8. Or sufficient anti gravity buoyancy to neutralize local gravity, plus or minus, with secondary propulsion unit, whether jet or propeller; though this option probably more for grav vehicles, with an air/raft, the equivalent of an outboard motor.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Wed Nov 25, 2020 7:50 pm

Spaceships: Hulls and Airbus Launches New Concept Aircraft

Airbus has launched a new concept aircraft titled 'ZEROe'. The world's first zero emission aircraft for the future. Today I take a look at the jet! ... 7sAviation


1. Hydrogen fueled.

2. Two conventional cylinders, and a lifting body.

3. You have to wonder if you can incorporate a propeller in a futuristic hull form, comparative to available gravitic motors, the price difference wouldn't be worth it; unless speed and altitude weren't really an issue, and it would be more for a more leisurely speed like sight seeing, or manoeuvring to keep a floating object anchored.

5. Hybrid ram/scramjet compromise; and as usual, likely gravitic motors are relatively cheaper.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Thu Nov 26, 2020 10:07 pm

Spaceships: Armament and Missile Barbettes

1. On reflection, you could take two firmpoints and install a missile barbette for smallcrafts.

2. The benefit is that for five tonnes you have five launchers, and if only eight reloads, instead of twenty five for a hardpointed one.

3. However, this certainly would beat two missile launchers that by default could either be turret mounted for two tonnes, or for free fixedly mounted.

4. Next up would be a fifty tonne small bay, that has twelve launchers and one hundred forty four reloads, but would require an actual hardpoint, only available to hundred tonne plus hulls.

5. More or less equaled in three thirty five tonne smallcraft with fifteen launchers, and twenty four reloads, with another ten tonnes allocated for the remaining one hundred twenty reloads.

6. That's a total of twenty five tonnes, with an estimated three tonnes per barbette to be considered waste space.

7. Thus, this would be a fighter bomber.

8. Cost's the same at twelve megabux.

9. Small missiles bays have an energy requirement of five points, while missile barbettes have none.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Fri Nov 27, 2020 10:23 pm

Spaceships: Armament and Torpedo Barbettes

1. Something seemed off, so I had a closer look at available torpedo based weapon systems.

2. Basically speaking, a five tonne barbette had the same rate of fire as a fifty tonne small bay, being three each.

3. However, there seem to be two descriptive words involved with ordnance based weapon systems.

4. Hold, and launch.

5. With barbettes, only holding is mentioned, whether two for a firmpointed one, or three for a hard pointed one.

6. To be fair, there's about four tonnes of wasted space where launch cradles can easily fit in.

7. You can infer that rate of fire could be one, two or three torpedoes per turn.

8. However, a rate of fire of three per round would make a small torpedo bay redundant.

9. Thirty reloads equals ten tonnes, plus a barbette, totals fifteen tonnes.

10. Also, you can swing that barbette around, and deliver Parthian shots.

11. Interestingly enough, they cost the same and need the same amount of power.

12. However, barbettes are available two technological levels earlier.

13. How does this impact the Harrier fixedly mounted double launch cradles: going by the language and illustration, they can be launched in the same round.

14. In conclusion, torpedo barbette rate of fire is unclear.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Sat Nov 28, 2020 1:14 pm

Planetary Defence: Hulls and Deep Site Meson Weapon Systems

1. I'm kinda inclined to believe that it's a triple hulled sphere.

2. The two extra hulls are required to move the meson gun on two axis required to aim at any particular target.

3. In theory, you could just hollow out a cave and use the hamster cage mechanism, again multiplied by two, but the fundamental rule in High Guard to prevent multiple instances of spinal mounts in the same hull assumes that spinal mounts have to be anchored in the hull, to compensate for recoil.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Sun Nov 29, 2020 12:17 pm

Spaceships: Engineering and Superconductors: Material raises hope of energy revolution

By Paul Rincon
Science editor, BBC News website

Scientists have found the first material that displays a much sought-after property at room temperature.

It is superconducting, which means electrical current flows through it with perfect efficiency - with no energy wasted as heat.

At the moment, a lot of the energy we produce is lost as heat because of electrical resistance.

So room temperature "superconducting" materials could revolutionise the electrical grid.

Until this point, achieving superconductivity has required cooling materials to very low temperatures. When the property was discovered in 1911, it was found only at close to the temperature known as absolute zero (-273.15C).

Since then, physicists have found materials that superconduct at higher - but still very cold - temperatures.

The team behind this latest discovery says it's a major advance in a search that has already gone on for a century.

"Because of the limits of low temperature, materials with such extraordinary properties have not quite transformed the world in the way that many might have imagined," said Dr Ranga Dias, from the University of Rochester, in New York State.

"However, our discovery will break down these barriers and open the door to many potential applications."

Dr Dias added that room temperature superconductors "can definitely change the world as we know it".

In the US, electrical grids lose more than 5% of their energy through the process of transmission. So tackling this loss could potentially save billions of dollars and have an effect on the climate.

The scientists observed the superconducting behaviour in a carbonaceous sulphur hydride compound at a temperature of 15C.

However, the property only appeared at extremely high pressures of 267 billion pascals - about a million times higher than typical tyre pressure. This obviously limits its practical usefulness.

So Dr Dias says the next goal will be to find ways to create room temperature superconductors at lower pressures, so they will be economical to produce in greater volume.

These materials could have many other applications. These include a new way to propel levitated trains - like the Maglev trains that "float" above the track in Japan and Shanghai, China. Magnetic levitation is a feature of some superconducting materials.

Another application would be faster, more efficient electronics.

"With this kind of technology, you can take society into a superconducting society where you'll never need things like batteries again," said co-author Ashkan Salamat of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

The results are published in the prestigious journal Nature.

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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Mon Nov 30, 2020 10:15 pm

Spaceships: Accommodations and The Aircraft Seats Of Tomorrow - Private Cabins, Bunk Beds And Standing Seats!

What will an aircraft cabin look like in the future? A utopian experience with onboard spas and golf, or perhaps a utilitarian nightmare with triple stacked bunk beds and standing saddle seats. Let's count down the best new cabin ideas and what it will be like to fly on tomorrow's aircraft.
Aircraft cabins have come a long way. Back in the golden age of aviation, there was not even classes and many people sat with the equivalent of a business class seat today. Over time new classes developed and luxury was given to more premium passengers while the economy cabin was more dense and packed. However, it doesn't always have to be that way, and aircraft designers are looking at ways to bring back some of the golden age splendor to plane cabins today.

Starting off our list today is an aircraft cabin design from Airbus themselves for the close year of 2030. Integrating augmented reality throughout the cabin sees Airbus creating an environment that is designed specifically for flexible seating and sleeping configuration. It will have things like an inflight lounge with transformable modules with the cabin layout changing depending on who has booked what seats. Airbus has also featured a "interactive zone". The virtual pop up projections in this area can transform you to whichever social scene you want to be in, from holographic gaming to virtual changing rooms for active shoppers. You might even be able to work out, although without showers on board it might be very smelly indeed.

Many future cabin concepts are removing windows as they are weak when it comes to aircraft design. Not only do they add more drag to the plane increasing fuel burn, but as soon as an airline perfects virtual windows that are infinity bigger than real ones, or they allow passengers to change the view on a dime.

But what about low-cost carriers like Ryanair and easyJet who want as many passengers as possible. Introducing the monstrosity Delft University of Technology's collapsing bed concept. In-seat mode, the beds collapse into a bench that can sit three passengers, then after take-off, they can deploy into a triple stacked bunk.They also came up with an alternative bed along with the wall design, that can replace those boring window seats with triple decked lie-flat beds in economy.

For that, we have the Chaise Longue design with passengers suspended on swinging chairs above one another. This design doubles the number of passengers onboard with double seats per row above one another. The seat will able to rock back and forth depending on if you want to sit or lie down.

We can't leave these crazy designs without mentioning the standing seat design from Aviointeriors Skyrider. These saddle based standing seats only have 23 inches (58 cm) between rows and would allow operators for short-haul flights to turn planes into flying buses.

Then there is the question of the cargo cabin. On ultra long haul flights like London to Sydney, do aircraft need to use an entire cargo deck for cargo? Why not use the third deck for private cabins, spas, business meeting rooms or perhaps even an onboard gym. The Earth Bay’s cargo hold conversion sees it transformed with large windows and relaxed common spaces.

So far Airbus has pitched the concept for its Airbus A350 aircraft to Qantas, but we have yet to see if the Australian airline will bring it to the market. Other concepts that didn't make the list include the collins aerospace cabin crew jump seat, allowing flight attendants to rest in a zero-g experience.

Then there is the Heinkel Group’s reversible commuter seats that allow groups to chat together - which is very similar to the Q-suite design from Qatar.

British Firm PriestmanGoode has imagined future scenarios and taken into account new passenger behaviors driven by the global crisis. Coming up with a design called the PureSkies that can be implemented within a few years and will meet user and airline requirements for many years ahead.These concepts feature a completely redesigned economy cabin with staggered seats that are separated from one another - so that passengers can travel alone, as a couple or as a group. They have placed a divider between each row to give that sense of privacy and protection.

As inflight entertainment is a major touchpoint, it has been removed in favor for a passenger's own device. But the real experience is in the pure skies business class cabin. Featuring something that looks like a massage day spa, each seat is seperated by a curtain and kept away from the hustle and bustle of the cabin. The seats have a minimal split line with no cracks and is created from antimicrobial materials. Passengers will have control over lights, temperature and have a personalized wardrobe for storage.

Cozy indeed. In fact, this plane design is so hygienic that before boarding, the aircraft fills with fogging disinfectant and has ultraviolet lights, sterilizing a good chunk of the environment. ... dExplained


1. Adjustable and movable seats

2. Automated service.

3. Glass cabins.

4. Collapsing bed bench concept: resembles Japanese capsule hotels.

5. Swinging chairs.

6. Standing seats: switch off gravity under acceleration and they become beds.

7. Common areas.

8. Jump seats.

9. Commuter seats; if there's a crash, the ones facing backwards are more likely to survive.

10. Staggered seats.

11. Bring your own television.

12. Hygienic upgrades.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Tue Dec 01, 2020 10:20 pm

Spaceships: Accommodations and What Happened To UPS’ Passenger Services?

Did you know that, at one time, UPS once ran a passenger airline? What was it like, and what happened? Let’s explore. ... mpleFlying


You outfit the free trader for cargo service, and if the hold isn't completed filled up, set up some dividers to carve out the rest of the space for staterooms.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Thu Dec 03, 2020 8:57 am

Spaceships: (De)Automation

1. I have commented before, but I thought it might be able to refine the analysis a bit more.

2. First off, forget crew intensive, because right out of the blocks you incur a minus four penalty to all activities, which even a forty percent discount can't compensate for.

3. You can work with a forty percent inefficiency, at a twenty percent discount, especially as it only kicks in after a week.

4. You can get around that by doubling the size of the crew, and giving the other a week off to rest, or at least, crewmembers with the most critical role/rolls aboard ship.

5. The humourous aspect is trying to figure out how this applies to something that you reasonable expect requires a single crewmember, like an astrogator..

6. Let's say a watch is either eight or twelve hours per day, twelve hours divided by one point four equals eight hours thirty four minutes, after which fatigue sets in, for eight hours you can work for five hours forty two minutes; keep calculations within those limitations, and there should be no issues.

7. For engineering, this could be applied to how much equipment someone can supervise, moving down from the default thirty five tonnes, to twenty five tonnes.

8. For human pilots, this translates to maximum time in the cockpit from sixteen hours to eleven hours twenty five minutes.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Fri Dec 04, 2020 7:15 pm

Spaceships: Economies and Why are Billions of Dollars Worth of Ships Being Intentionally Destroyed?

This is the Carnival Imagination, a luxury cruise liner worth hundreds of millions of dollars, which just 10 short months ago was touring passengers in extreme comfort to exotic destinations all over the world.

This ship is sailing dead ahead to its final port of call, where it has been sold for scrap alongside dozens of other ships that have become the latest victims of the global pandemic.

The Chittagong ship breaking yard in Bangladesh is the largest of its kind in the world, and in the past few months even its abundant shores have become inundated with pleasure cruises and industrial cargo ships alike that all could have otherwise sailed the oceans for many more decades.

These are all very troubling signs for the unsung heroes of our modern global economy, the merchant marine fleet. Every year trillions of dollars worth of cargo is transported on ships like these and losing this fleet could turn into a huge barrier to global trade.

But what is really going on here?

Why would profit-motivated companies destroy billions of dollars worth of productive assets? Sure times are tough, tourism and trade have declined massively but this hardly looks like a reasonable response right?

I don’t burn down my house if a video gets less than 10,000 likes, so why would companies in such a competitive industry do something equally as self-destructive?

Well as always it has to do with economics (go figure) and to understand this bizarre behavior we need to understand a few key areas.

What are the economics behind the merchant marine fleet?

How do these factors make it financially viable to destroy ships?

what does this mean for the future of international trade?

And what does this all have to do with Chinese bridge building?


1. Forty years

2. Automation

3. Volume

4. Infrastructure to facilitate transportation

5. Doubt you can speculate on hydrogen

6. Opportunity cost: bridges for an anti gravitated civilization

7. Scrap price
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Sat Dec 05, 2020 7:11 pm

Spacecraft: Space balloon company raises funds, will conduct first test flight next year

No ticket price has been revealed, but it likely will be on the order of $125,000.
ERIC BERGER - 12/2/2020, 3:00 PM

A company that plans to send passengers to the edge of space in a pressurized vehicle beneath a large balloon said Wednesday it is on track to fly a demonstration mission next year and has raised the funds needed to accomplish the feat.

Space Perspective, which is based at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, announced that it has raised $7 million in seed funding in a round of funding led by Prime Movers Lab. This funding will help the company conduct an uncrewed test flight in 2021 and continue additional development work on its pressurized Spaceship Neptune vehicle.

Inside this Neptune craft, a pilot and eight passengers will spend about two hours ascending to 30km, above 99 percent of the atmosphere. From this vantage point, beneath a balloon with the diameter of a US football field, the passengers would spend about two hours experiencing the view and "Earth overview" effect. Neptune would then take about two hours descending back to Earth. Envisioned to be nearly 5 meters across, the reusable Neptune is designed to fly as much as once per week. Only the parachute is discarded after each flight. ... next-year/


The issue is less the capability, since you could get an early prototype of gravitational motors; it's more to do that attaching a balloon to such a vehicle or even a communications satellite would be a helluvalot cheaper to reach thirty kilometres in altitude.

I still haven't figured out exactly as to how the parachute comes into play here, unless they pop the balloon and the parachute is used to slow the descent, in which case, I'd use it only as a communications and reconnaissance relay.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Tue Dec 08, 2020 12:29 am

Spaceships: Cockpitting and XP-79 – The Flying Chainsaw

During World War 2, the race for being the most technologically innovative country was more important than ever, particularly in aviation. As entirely new air forces were built from the ground up, almost a million aircraft were produced worldwide for warfare.

And even though the United States joined the war later than most of the other technologically advanced countries, they didn't want to be left behind. To keep up with wild new technologies such as jet-power and flying wings, they wanted to design something that had never been seen before. The XP-79 was, at a time, thought to be the answer.

The XP-79 was the first jet-powered aircraft of the United States. Its purpose was to attack enemy bombers at unusually high speeds by ramming into them, without suffering any damage itself.

Its unique shape and strong magnesium-covered armor would allow it to slice off the tails and wings from enemy aircraft. It was nicknamed "The Flying Chainsaw."


Pulling into a loop at 410 knots, “half way up I glanced at the g-meter and saw the maximum-reading needle at 6g with no sign of a blackout,” wrote Royal Air Force test pilot C.M. Lambert in the March 30, 1956 issue of Flight magazine. Lambert had been flying a specially modified Gloster Meteor fighter—while lying on his stomach.

The idea that the body could handle higher G forces lying prone than sitting upright had been around for some time. At the end of World War II, the Luftwaffe had the Henschel Hs 132 bomber/interceptor ready for testing, but it was captured by Soviet forces in May 1945. In September of that year, the United States lost its first prone-piloted jet interceptor, the Northrop XP-79B, on its maiden flight (see “Loser X-Planes,” Aug. 2011). The Soviet Union experimented further in the late 1940s, but it was the RAF’s Institute of Aviation Medicine that researched the only practical prone-flying testbed.

The RAF initially modified an R.S.3 Desford twin-piston-engine trainer for prone flying. Renamed the R.S.4 Bobsleigh, it first flew in June 1951. Because there was no room in the modified cockpit for rudder pedals, all three axes of flight had to be controlled by the stick, which proved much too difficult, leading to development of the Gloster Meteor test machine.

Meteor WK935 was given almost eight feet of stretched nose while keeping the traditional cockpit for a backup pilot. The primary pilot would lie on his stomach on a couch inclined 30 degrees, with his chin on a rest. Legs were bent upward at the knees, and feet were clamped to rudder pedals. Arms rested on padded side rests, where stick and throttle were at hand.

Lambert later recalled being strapped in for the first time: “A few seconds in the trussed chicken state…I could now neither extract my arms from the side channels nor raise my head significantly off the chin rest. Neither could I turn my head sideways,” he wrote in the August 1979 issue of Aeroplane Monthly. He was relieved he never had to bail out. “You can’t eject in any direction lying down,” he wrote. “The only way out of the prone Meteor was to slip feet-first off the rear end of the couch and through the floor.”

The modified Meteor arrived at the Institute of Aviation Medicine in August 1954. Several RAF and industry pilots made test flights, covering all flight phases over 11 months.

Because pilots were unable to see the wingtips, taxiing was a challenge. “One does get a very intimate view of the tarmac,” recalled Lambert in the 1956 issue of Flight. During a loop, “I was able to make use of the floor window for the first and only time,” he wrote. “I could see the horizon and adjust the climb.

“Finally I rolled over and held the aircraft inverted for some seconds. My weight was taken on the straps, at shoulder, waist and thigh and I began to feel a trifle unpleasantly divorced from the machine. It suggested a smoother version of the Cossack trick of riding under the belly of a horse.”

Flying straight and level, “a feeling of complete relaxation could be achieved,” the IAM’s 1955 final report read. High speed in turbulence, however, was unnerving. “There was a tendency to pound up and down on the couch making breathing difficult. It was impossible to keep the head still, and the chin was continually banged on the chin rest, making navigation difficult.”

Overall, prone piloting did improve G tolerance, but the big drawback for fighter jocks was that their ability to look around and back was restricted. By the mid-1950s, anti-G suits had advanced sufficiently that the prone-pilot idea could be scrapped. The homely testbed, with its long snout and twin bubble canopies, is on display at RAF Museum Cosford in England. ... -42174896/


Might be an option for a one tonne small single cockpit, with the default minus one penalty to flight operations.

Why would we need a smaller cockpit? Reasons.

The prone position of the pilot in high-speed airplanes has certain advantages
(higher g-tolerance of the pilot, reduction of drag due to decrease of frontal
area, improved instrument visibility) and drawbacks (narrowing of field of
vision, decrease of visual acuity, aggravation of claustrophobic tendencies,
discomfort encountered in this abnormal position). A nylon bed designed in
1948 by the Aero Medical Laboratory was tested for 8 to 12 hours without
apparent signs of discomfort. Three-dimensional hand control (i.e. operation
of all the control surfaces by band motions only) likewise gave good test
results. Restriction of vision (up to 350) was one of the major complaints
raised by the test pilots. --The paper concludes with a brief discussion of
flight tests at accelerations of less than 1 g, as would be encountered in
space flight. The prone pilot was instrumented for recording of heart rate
and electrocardiagram. He was asked to shake his head and to nod during the
runs at zero g. There were no ill effects following these movements, but
after the subgravity flight there was frequent vertigo. Coordination was
Lnot impaired, although there was tendency to overreach.


A study of visual problems related to prone position in flight is outlined,
undertaken by the School of Aviation Medicine at Randolph Field, Texas
(Project 21-24=011). Subjects were instructed to sight a target for the
duration of one hour from a prone-position bed, with their heads fixed at
15, 20, 25, and 300 angles. A tendency of the eyes to deviate to a measurable
degree when the head was elevated 150, was observed, accompanied by a sensation of discomfort. Some subjects experience double or blurred vision, a
disturbance which was alleviated by looking downward. A second group of
subjects was tested to determine the range of side vision during elevation
of the eyes. Lateral vision at elevated angles was limited due to the obstruetive effect of the nose or eyebrows. The advisability of optical aids (mirrors, prisms, etc.) to substitute for elevated gaze is pointed out. For
effective vision, pilots should limit their gaze to 200.


Aviators were exposed to period of essentially zero gravity of 15 to 25
seconds duration (in a jet plane which was pulled up vertically and moved in
a ballistic trajectory, with the power cut off). As long as the subjects
were held in place by safety belts and could see tioir surroundings, they
did not lose their orientation. Coordination of movements was almost unimpaired. In the pull-out maneuver (3-4 g), head motions frequently resulted
in vertigo. --In another series of test, subjects in supine positions were
exposed to prolonged accelerations on a centrifuge, eimulating the take-off
of a space rocket. Accelerations ranging between 3 g for 9 minutes 31
seconds and 10 g for 2 minutes 6 seconds were tolerated, some with transitory
substernal or epigastric discomfort and shortness of breath. An acceleration
of 8 g is considered most appropriate from both the physiological and mechanical standpoints.
Warlord Mongoose
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Tue Dec 08, 2020 10:13 pm

Spaceships: Cockpitting

1. Something just occurred to me.

2. Double cockpit are two and a half tonnes, meaning that cockpit expansion is one tonne extra and costs another ten kay starbux.

3. This could go on ad infinitum.

4. Probably only worth it if used for a specific technical function, or as a weapon station.

5. Next question is if the cockpit, or any variation thereof, can be turned into a specialized sub command centre.

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