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Is This A Nerf To Scifi Missiles In Space?


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7 hours ago, wumpus said:

But it wasn't anything like a dogfight.  That would make sense only for ages that you would launch tiny boats from a main ship.  Only case I can think of that happening is whale hunting.  So maybe zerglings or pirates?  But I'm blanking on why pirates would want small attack boats.

Well, look at actual dogfighting in history. It had its heyday over the skies of Europe during World War I, with nearly equal amounts of excitement during World War II, and a fair degree of action during the Korean and Vietnam era.

By the time the Top Gun era rolled around and the Teen Series fighters debuted, the age of true dogfighting was nearly at an end. Today, the Su-57 and F-22 can achieve truly astounding feats of maneuverability, and yet stealth and weapons integration make these abilities superfluous. A fifth-generation fighter can shoot virtually anything else out of the sky before it’s even spotted on radar.

So what created the age of dogfighting, and what ended it? What did aerial combat in the world wars have that air encounters today lack?

The dogfights over Europe, particularly during World War II, evolved in connection with aerial bombing campaigns. The campaigns did not focus on particularly strategic targets; instead, the goal of the bombing was to destroy industry and slowly extinguish the enemy’s will and capacity to fight. Bombers were slow and heavy, so even when they bristled with defense weaponry they were easy targets for nimble interceptors. And the bombers in turn were targeting ground targets because neither side had developed sufficiently accurate cruise missiles or ballistic missiles. Dogfights arose not because of point defense but because fighters escorting bombers clashed with the fighters attempting to stop the bombers. Dogfights were characterized by relatively low closing  speeds, saturated skies, localized targets, and (of course) no guided missiles. Finally, air combat was generally symmetric.

In contrast, air combat today is characterized by extremely high closing speeds and the absolute dominance of guided missiles. Thanks to carrier groups and in-air refueling, heavy low-flying bombers are wholly obsolete; ground attack is carried out either by high-altitude stealth bombers or by small fighter-bombers. Targets are wholly strategic. And it is rare or nonexistent that air combat sees anything remotely approaching air symmetry; it is almost always one side carrying out precision strikes with asymmetric resistance.

In order to get dogfights in space, we’d need to come up with a situation that looks more like the first situation than the second situation. Rather than trying to replicate this in Earth orbit, which is a losing battle, let’s try something more interesting: the Jovian moons. Instead of warring countries on adjacent continents, you have warring countries on adjacent moons.

So how do we get fighters and bombers? One option is to follow the same tack as WWII and ignore strategic targets. The Jovian moons have no atmospheres, so let’s say that the surfaces of each moon have tremendous laser-based defensive capabilities which obviate any direct attacks on the surface. Thus, like WWII, the goal is not to cut the head off the enemy but cripple their capacity to fight. We already know how to do that in a space context: Kessler Syndrome. If you can enter LEO, dump a bunch of nails and chaff and other junk, and then leave, you can cut off your enemy’s ability to launch. Cut off the shipping lanes and your enemy is dead in the water.

So your target is low orbit over enemy moons. Your “bombers” need large payload and large dV reserves in order to insert into orbit and drop their Kessler bombs and get back home. Your fighters defend (or intercept) the bombers.

Seems like it could work. 

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11 hours ago, sevenperforce said:

Makes perfect sense.

I will note for what it’s worth that the word you’re looking for is “ordnance” not “ordinance”. The former means artillery or other ranged weaponry; the latter means a law or regulation.

i stopped spelling things correctly when i lost faith in educational institutions. 

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I think there are a few issues with this analysis.

4 hours ago, sevenperforce said:

Well, look at actual dogfighting in history. It had its heyday over the skies of Europe during World War I, with nearly equal amounts of excitement during World War II, and a fair degree of action during the Korean and Vietnam era.

Depending on one’s definition of “dogfight” it retained its primacy well into the late 60s. Even use of WVRAAMs like the AIM-9 or R-3 would be characterized as “dogfighting” by some, because to actually achieve a kill they require closing to very close distance (within 2-3km I think for the R-3, for example). They also required a rear-aspect lock to fire.

It only appeared to have lost primacy post-Korea because of the circumstances of history. I will go into this more later.

4 hours ago, sevenperforce said:

The dogfights over Europe, particularly during World War II, evolved in connection with aerial bombing campaigns. The campaigns did not focus on particularly strategic targets; instead, the goal of the bombing was to destroy industry and slowly extinguish the enemy’s will and capacity to fight. Bombers were slow and heavy, so even when they bristled with defense weaponry they were easy targets for nimble interceptors. And the bombers in turn were targeting ground targets because neither side had developed sufficiently accurate cruise missiles or ballistic missiles. Dogfights arose not because of point defense but because fighters escorting bombers clashed with the fighters attempting to stop the bombers. Dogfights were characterized by relatively low closing  speeds, saturated skies, localized targets, and (of course) no guided missiles. Finally, air combat was generally symmetric.

A couple nitpicks unrelated to the wider discussion- “Industry” is a strategic target, the problem with bomber survivability wasn’t the performance of fighters so much as it was that shooting down a diving aircraft with an iron sight/Mk 1 eyeball as fire control is extremely difficult, bombers bombed ground targets because that’s what bombers do, cruise missiles and ballistic missiles were laughed off as silly flights of fancy, so bombers were not substitutes for missiles, dogfights arose as reconnaissance aircraft encountering each other were fitted with guns to shoot at each other during WWI, like bumping into a mean guy in a bar you were avoiding and getting into a fight *but in the air*, rather than any real tactical considerations, dogfights did not necessarily require saturated skies, if a battle was taking place in a field in France in WWI, two recon planes would fly towards that battle, notice and each other, and a dogfight would start- dogfighting is merely aircraft engaging each other in close range, it does not require certain circumstances, air combat is still symmetric, it’s just that the wars where we would see that haven’t broken out yet. Example- even in the 80s when air combat was supposedly asymmetric over Libya, if war had broken out in Europe we would suddenly see absurdly symmetrical air combat in those skies between NATO and the WP (the skies of Central Europe was nicknamed by planners in the West “meat grinder”).

4 hours ago, sevenperforce said:

In contrast, air combat today is characterized by extremely high closing speeds and the absolute dominance of guided missiles. Thanks to carrier groups and in-air refueling, heavy low-flying bombers are wholly obsolete; ground attack is carried out either by high-altitude stealth bombers or by small fighter-bombers. Targets are wholly strategic. And it is rare or nonexistent that air combat sees anything remotely approaching air symmetry; it is almost always one side carrying out precision strikes with asymmetric resistance.

Some more nitpicks- because aircraft don’t usually push themselves to supersonic speeds except in emergencies in order to preserve the airframe, closing speeds are actually somewhat similar to the Korean War- subsonic/transonic, close to the sound barrier but not quite there, heavy low flying bombers is a bit of misnomer as the B-2 is heavy and flies at altitudes not unlike that of the B-52, “ground attack” as you appear to be characterizing it is carried out by fighter bombers as well as heavy bombers like the B-1, B-2, and B-52, or Tu-22 and Tu-95, targets are not really “strategic”, an example is in how conflicts against insurgents the militants don’t have any strategic rear zone at all (although they do exist in other situations of course), and again, this symmetry is only present in history, and does not reflect the actual situation. If a great power war were to break out we would suddenly see symmetric air combat, even in “that current event”, both sides air forces are up and doing stuff despite the conflict having lasted awhile based on standards set in the 90s and 2000s.

4 hours ago, sevenperforce said:

In order to get dogfights in space, we’d need to come up with a situation that looks more like the first situation than the second situation. Rather than trying to replicate this in Earth orbit, which is a losing battle, let’s try something more interesting: the Jovian moons. Instead of warring countries on adjacent continents, you have warring countries on adjacent moons.

So how do we get fighters and bombers? One option is to follow the same tack as WWII and ignore strategic targets. The Jovian moons have no atmospheres, so let’s say that the surfaces of each moon have tremendous laser-based defensive capabilities which obviate any direct attacks on the surface. Thus, like WWII, the goal is not to cut the head off the enemy but cripple their capacity to fight. We already know how to do that in a space context: Kessler Syndrome. If you can enter LEO, dump a bunch of nails and chaff and other junk, and then leave, you can cut off your enemy’s ability to launch. Cut off the shipping lanes and your enemy is dead in the water.

So your target is low orbit over enemy moons. Your “bombers” need large payload and large dV reserves in order to insert into orbit and drop their Kessler bombs and get back home. Your fighters defend (or intercept) the bombers.

This still wouldn’t really lead to “dogfights”. There is nothing stopping these fighters from being missile trucks and the bombers from using standoff missiles, or just using missiles to begin with.

In my personal opinion, the best solution is to just make something up. It doesn’t even have to make sense.

This is where the “circumstances of history” that I mentioned at the top come in. Korea did not not see much dogfighting in comparison to WWII because dogfights had lost their primacy, it was because the frontline rapidly devolved into a motionless stalemate that did not require mechanized assaults with air support. On the other hand, Vietnam saw dogfighting because military planners of the 1950s vastly overestimated the efficacy of air-to-air missiles, while the North Vietnamese were forced to use gun fighters because the Soviets were late to develop and field air-to-air missiles in large numbers.

The obsession that I see sci-fi readers and writers have with realism or logic across the internet is rather curious. As the mediums sci-fi is produced in are art, those who produce it tend to be artists. Art has its constraints, and either for creative purposes or because of the limitations of the medium, complete realism isn’t possible. Often times things don’t make sense at all.

Even if the concepts were something that could come about some day, the first sci-fi writers did not expect their ideas to actually come to fruition in the exact manner they dreamed up. They were constricted by the technology of their time (insert that Iron Man 2 meme). So when humanity was close to powered flight and shortly after they achieved it, authors dreamed of battleships operating in the air, having line of battle engagements, because all they knew of was naval combat. George Lucas and others imagined space dogfights because actual ASAT warfare was a fringe investment no one really cared about, and all he knew was WWII (although it was a deliberate homage as well, I.e. for those “creative purposes” I mentioned).

Realistic space warfare would likely not have dogfights at all, just as air combat didn’t have flying battleships. It would just be missiles hitting targets in space or launching ballistic or gliding RVs at surface targets. Not much tactics at all beyond grouping in large numbers and use of formations. Even then, because of how targeting works- just see the enemy and fire- there wouldn’t be much room for tactics, flying in numbers would be more akin to a ballistic missile salvo than a squadron of fighter planes.

Any attempt at “realism”, not just with dogfights but to a certain extent at all, is likely futile. So instead of spending hours creating a logic that is likely flawed, just make it up*. Maybe the complex communication system for control of drones turned out to be hackable so they needed pilots. Maybe the state-entity has a super lazy work culture so missiles have tons of defects, forcing craft into close range gun fights. Or maybe no one thought of using missiles in space, thinking guns would be more efficient (they can’t be chaffed/seduced and avoided and don’t cost as much). Regardless of whatever “would actually happen”, as long as it is coherent in some manner it should be fine.

*message meant for any one trying to figure this out. I recognize you are not the one who was first in search of an answer.

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Posted (edited)
On 7/2/2022 at 9:23 AM, SunlitZelkova said:

As the mediums sci-fi is produced in are art, those who produce it tend to be artists. Art has its constraints, and either for creative purposes or because of the limitations of the medium, complete realism isn’t possible.

In my experience, sci-fi tends to be a big grey area in that regard (another reason I love it). Some sci-fi writers have solid - and rather impressive - STEM backgrounds, others are so-called 'soft' scientists, others have an arts background. Lots of perspectives feeding into a huge range of story types from near-future, hard sci-fi all the way out to pure space opera and stories where it helps to remember that the 'science' in the story might be psychology or ecology.

I was at a writing workshop though and one of the people there (apologies - I forget her name) made the interesting point that she'd found it was  possible to know too much about a subject to write interesting fiction about it.  Essentially, because you know - often in great detail - how something actually works, it's more difficult to get into the mindset of 'ahhh - but what if it worked like this instead?'

I'm not the first to make this point by any means but arguing about realism suffers from a similar problem. If I read a story where I don't know much about the science in question but it seems to be consistent with what I do know, then I'm likely to give it a pass on the realism front. And the opposite applies if I'm reading a story based on a science that I do know a reasonable amount about.  

Whether I care enough about the lack of realism to stop me enjoying the story is another matter entirely.

 

Edited by KSK
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i find its often more important that sci-fi be consistent. give the universe a set of rules to follow right away, and then stick to them like glue. they should make sense in the context of the universe in which they exist. if they align closely to irl physics, thats good too. but i dont think its required to make a good story. just remember that your audience tends to be nerds, and they will find every plothole you commit to paper or screen. 

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, Spacescifi said:

I cannot enjoy Star Wars at all ever since I have been on KSP forums.

 

It really pains me to say this.... but EVEN Star Trek has had more realism than Star Wars lol.

star trek is a good example of setting the rules and sticking to them. there are even subtle starship design rules which have added a lot to the franchise and are responsible for some of the most beautiful spaceships ever made (heres looking at you d'deridex). of course more recent iterations of trek tend to ignore those rules or fail to interpret them correctly. magic mushroom drive being the most egregious sin. i think this was done so they could have faster ships than star wars, however the reason star wars has the fastest ships, is because no one bothered to figure out how long transit times should be. instead of having a rule of thumb (which star trek did) ships went as fast as the plot required.  id rather sci-fi acknowledge that space is big and treat it accordingly.

Edited by Nuke
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I find it very silly to fret over the realism of Star Wars when people can move objects with their minds in it.

53 minutes ago, Nuke said:

star trek is a good example of setting the rules and sticking to them. there are even subtle starship design rules which have added a lot to the franchise and are responsible for some of the most beautiful spaceships ever made (heres looking at you d'deridex). of course more recent iterations of trek tend to ignore those rules or fail to interpret them correctly. magic mushroom drive being the most egregious sin. i think this was done so they could have faster ships than star wars, however the reason star wars has the fastest ships, is because no one bothered to figure out how long transit times should be. instead of having a rule of thumb (which star trek did) ships went as fast as the plot required.  id rather sci-fi acknowledge that space is big and treat it accordingly.

In comparison to other sci-fi though, Star Wars always had very fluid physics (and decision making for that matter) to move the plot in a certain way. 

I think Scott Manley’s categorization of it is best- it isn’t sci-fi, it’s fantasy with science elements.

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3 hours ago, SunlitZelkova said:

In comparison to other sci-fi though, Star Wars always had very fluid physics (and decision making for that matter) to move the plot in a certain way. 

I think Scott Manley’s categorization of it is best- it isn’t sci-fi, it’s fantasy with science elements.

A lot of the scenes in Star Wars make more sense if you assume the ships are not actually ever in orbit but have the same "float against gravity" tech that all the ground vehicles have. So getting to space is simply a matter of flying up there, since gravity itself is canceled out without a need for even using energy. There's no artificial gravity in the spaceships; they're just standing under normal gravity.

That's not even physics-breaking.

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On 7/2/2022 at 2:23 AM, SunlitZelkova said:

Some more nitpicks- because aircraft don’t usually push themselves to supersonic speeds except in emergencies in order to preserve the airframe,

Not true for BVR combat with fox-3s, in particular. High alt, high mach, every bit of speed to add to the range/energy of the missile, then crank, and again high speed since the missiles the other guy shot at you lose energy with time/distance, and if they have to turn at all. Recommit, repeat.

I'd also say the heyday of the dogfight had to be WW2, just because of sheer numbers of such combats compared to ww1.

 

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, SunlitZelkova said:

I find it very silly to fret over the realism of Star Wars when people can move objects with their minds in it.

In comparison to other sci-fi though, Star Wars always had very fluid physics (and decision making for that matter) to move the plot in a certain way. 

I think Scott Manley’s categorization of it is best- it isn’t sci-fi, it’s fantasy with science elements.

I disagree with Mr.  Manley there - I'd say its more like fantasy with technological elements. The science is pretty thin to non-existent.

But on the whole, I'm not really a big fan of trying to pigeonhole particular scifi works into particular subgenres, especially when the conversation turns that bit snooty. "Oh that's not science fiction. That's space opera. Or space fantasy. Or whatever."  That's not happening on this thread btw, so I'm not casting aspersions on anyone here. :) But I've seen it happen more than once elsewhere.

People - including some of its founding writers - have been trying to find a good definition of science-fiction ever since it became a genre in its own right. Me, I go with the approach that a certain senator did with a markedly different genre - I don't know what science fiction is, but I know it when I see it. 

 

Edited by KSK
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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, KSK said:

I disagree with Mr.  Manley there - I'd say its more like fantasy with technological elements. The science is pretty thin to non-existent.

At some point I watched the Death Star attack, and timed the liftoff from their base, to when they were closing on the Death Star—they were counting down minutes to it clearing the planet to have a clear shot.

Whatever distance you want to put the planet/moon combo, the X and Y wings were traveling at extremely high velocity. They had 15 minutes until it was able to fire, and all the fighting takes place after they close that distance, several minutes worth. So they travel some minimal planet-moon distance—including in the atmosphere leaving—in at most 5-10 minutes, a bare minimum of a couple hundred km/s.

That makes a ~10t X-wing hitting something like a ~50kt nuke.

Edited by tater
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5 hours ago, tater said:

Not true for BVR combat with fox-3s, in particular. High alt, high mach, every bit of speed to add to the range/energy of the missile, then crank, and again high speed since the missiles the other guy shot at you lose energy with time/distance, and if they have to turn at all. Recommit, repeat.

Okay, but BVR combat is not dogfighting.

During dogfighting over Vietnam, F-4s would go supersonic to disengage, but apparently most dogfights took place at Korean War (subsonic/transonic) speeds. This was against MiG-19s and MiG-21s for the most part.

I’ve been reading around and find some conflicting testimonies surrounding this though. Some claim they did it all the time, some claim practically never.

5 hours ago, tater said:

I'd also say the heyday of the dogfight had to be WW2, just because of sheer numbers of such combats compared to ww1.

It can change depending on the definition of “heyday” though.

Dogfighting, as part of achieving air superiority, was vital in winning WWII, so if “strategic usefulness” is the definition of “heyday”, WWII was it’s heyday.

Air-to-air missiles weren’t operational during the Korean War, so dogfighting remained the main form of air combat. If the definition of “heyday” is “was it the primary form of air combat regardless of its impact on the war/if there was a war at all” then the early 60s would be “the heyday”, because the majority of Soviet fighters lacked missile armament and would have ended up dogfighting with guns if WWIII had broken out.

6 hours ago, sevenperforce said:

A lot of the scenes in Star Wars make more sense if you assume the ships are not actually ever in orbit but have the same "float against gravity" tech that all the ground vehicles have. So getting to space is simply a matter of flying up there, since gravity itself is canceled out without a need for even using energy. There's no artificial gravity in the spaceships; they're just standing under normal gravity.

That's not even physics-breaking.

This would only apply to the original six movies, because in The Clone Wars animated series (which became canon during the Lucas era prior to Disney), there are some moments where gravity gets turned on and off. EU/Legends content could be affected as well.

That’s a neat thought though. One idea I had was that their engines are so powerful they don’t actually enter orbit, just move to random points in space. This is why the Invisible Hand immediately starts falling to Coruscant instead of just drifting upon losing its engines as seen in Episode III, and why they happened to be exactly above the airfield near the Senate- because they were hovering above it the whole time.

That idea still probably has a lot of holes though, and isn’t intended to be a realistic explanation/analyzation of physics, just trying to make some sense of how the craft move.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, SunlitZelkova said:

During dogfighting over Vietnam, F-4s would go supersonic to disengage, but apparently most dogfights took place at Korean War (subsonic/transonic) speeds. This was against MiG-19s and MiG-21s for the most part.

Yeah, corner speed for a Viper is like 350? (max rate).

Modern guns fights are not much of a thing, and if anyone has high aspect fox 2s? LOL. Any extension is death, so they merge, get in close, and go down the toilet bowl to the deck, and the guy with better rate kills the other in most cases assuming equal energy management, and no pals around to help.

Edited by tater
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4 hours ago, SunlitZelkova said:

This would only apply to the original six movies, because in The Clone Wars animated series (which became canon during the Lucas era prior to Disney), there are some moments where gravity gets turned on and off. EU/Legends content could be affected as well.

Ah, I must have missed those bits.

4 hours ago, SunlitZelkova said:

That’s a neat thought though. One idea I had was that their engines are so powerful they don’t actually enter orbit, just move to random points in space. This is why the Invisible Hand immediately starts falling to Coruscant instead of just drifting upon losing its engines as seen in Episode III, and why they happened to be exactly above the airfield near the Senate- because they were hovering above it the whole time.

That idea still probably has a lot of holes though, and isn’t intended to be a realistic explanation/analyzation of physics, just trying to make some sense of how the craft move.

Yeah, it was the fall of the Invisible Hand which made me think about this, originally. If it was in orbit, it would have stayed in orbit; losing engines makes it derelict but it doesn't make it deorbit. Of course the landing itself was questionable; no amount of body lift would have allowed for a transition to level flight, so perhaps some of the auxiliary engines were still functioning enough to counteract some gravity?

This really fits the subsequent scenes in Rogue One and The Last Jedi, particularly that goshawful bombing run in TLJ. Every disabled ship begins to plummet straight down toward the surface the moment that it loses power. And when the bombs themselves finally drop, they do so under the obvious and apparent force of gravity. At the battle of Scarif in Rogue One, the ships drop as soon as they lose power, and the hammerhead cruiser that is used to push one star destroyer into another causes both to fall into the shield generator.

The reason I don't think the in-universe answer is "their engines are so powerful they can actually just hover" is that we never see any downward-facing engines. In addition, ground vehicles are shown hovering even when the engines are idled. All of the bikes, groundspeeders, transports -- everything is able to zip along parallel to the ground without any continual use of energy. It's as if vehicles have some sort of invisible forcefield that allows them to repel the ground "at rest" without needing to burn any propellant or expend any energy to resist gravity. And like I said above, that's not physically impossible. A magnet doesn't expend any energy to stick to a refrigerator. In a sense, even the table where my laptop is currently sitting is providing separation between my laptop and the ground without expending energy.

There's no physical reason why you can't have an engine or mechanism which can push or pull an object at a distance. It violates neither conservation of energy nor conservation of momentum. You need energy to make changes to the magnitude of the push or pull force, but you don't need to consume energy to maintain it. 

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There is a significant waste of effort in thia thread. Before something like the early 2010s SW had semi-official numbers and physics explanations intended to fit the action on screen. Yes, this included the X-Wing being able to pull off 1600 G, turbolaser blast power in the megatons, and the ubiquitous use of repulsors for both hovering and maneuvering. This was of significant importance in the old "Trek vs SW" flame wars. These statistics seemed to vanish some time before the Great Disney Reset, and I can appreciate why.

On 7/4/2022 at 8:40 PM, sevenperforce said:

This really fits the subsequent scenes in Rogue One and The Last Jedi, particularly that goshawful bombing run in TLJ. Every disabled ship begins to plummet straight down toward the surface the moment that it loses power. And when the bombs themselves finally drop, they do so under the obvious and apparent force of gravity.

But not towards the nearby planet.

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2 hours ago, DDE said:
On 7/4/2022 at 1:40 PM, sevenperforce said:

This really fits the subsequent scenes in Rogue One and The Last Jedi, particularly that goshawful bombing run in TLJ. Every disabled ship begins to plummet straight down toward the surface the moment that it loses power. And when the bombs themselves finally drop, they do so under the obvious and apparent force of gravity.

But not towards the nearby planet.

Directly towards the nearby planet. The whole battle is taking place directly above the curve of a planet and all the ships have their "down" oriented planetward.

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On 7/3/2022 at 9:49 PM, sevenperforce said:

A lot of the scenes in Star Wars make more sense if you assume the ships are not actually ever in orbit but have the same "float against gravity" tech that all the ground vehicles have. So getting to space is simply a matter of flying up there, since gravity itself is canceled out without a need for even using energy. There's no artificial gravity in the spaceships; they're just standing under normal gravity.

That's not even physics-breaking.

usually for these kind of quandaries i have to ask, why would you want to do it that way? anti-gravity in star wars is just so ubiquitous that i think in this case "why wouldn't you want to do it that way?" seems more appropriate. though hovering a star destroyer over a planet like that is not going to be free. it might be negligible, it might be in the ship's capabilities. but you still have to move your ship into position and you still have to slow down. but when your moff wants to put up a show of force, so to speak, over that one city on a planet with presumably other cities on it. they can hang it directly over whatever else they want to have in frame.  i think directors like to have people on the ground see the ships in space above them, even though its completely wrong. so when the show with the bucks does it, everyone goes "cool", and the ones who can rush to copy it. i feel like we should force these directors to film the iss from the ground before they are allowed to do it in movies. now its just going to be yet another trope posing as a stand in for proper world building and a substitute for abstract though.

i felt this was out of place even when they did it to the heighliner in dune, even though the universe has anti grav tech, and who are you to tell a steersman how to park his heighliner. but its wrong later on when the harkonnen use it to launch their landing craft. last thing you want to do is launch an attack from a ship pinned in one spot by a suspensor network. the guild is totally in on the whole invasion of arrakis thing (as per book) and can park their heighliner on a more appropriate trajectory where you can do a faster re-entry in less time. dune really isn't about the space stuff so i can let this slide. 

i have the same thing about inertial dampeners in star trek. just because you have them, why wouldnt you orient your decks rocket style? that gives you a backup for when the inertial dampeners break and you dont have to waste a ton of power on gravity plating at various levels of impulse power. 

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On 7/1/2022 at 10:45 PM, sevenperforce said:

Well, look at actual dogfighting in history. It had its heyday over the skies of Europe during World War I, with nearly equal amounts of excitement during World War II, and a fair degree of action during the Korean and Vietnam era.

By the time the Top Gun era rolled around and the Teen Series fighters debuted, the age of true dogfighting was nearly at an end. Today, the Su-57 and F-22 can achieve truly astounding feats of maneuverability, and yet stealth and weapons integration make these abilities superfluous. A fifth-generation fighter can shoot virtually anything else out of the sky before it’s even spotted on radar.

So what created the age of dogfighting, and what ended it? What did aerial combat in the world wars have that air encounters today lack?

The point is that naval dogfights occur when large capital ships launch tiny "fighter" craft to do battle.  On Earth, that is done because the large capital ships are trapped on a 2d ocean, but the tiny fighters can fly in 3d airspace, often with great speed advantages.

In space, it isn't clear what advantage a fully 3d space fighter has over the fully 3d capital ship that launched it.  That is why I limited my examples to sea vessels launching other sea vessels (whaling ships).

If fighters are launched in space, I'd assume that they'd be unmanned (if only for the acceleration benefits).  That might be sufficient reason to launch them vs. crewed capital ships.  I'm not sure another generation of manned fighter aircraft will be built on Earth for that matter.

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