Author Topic: Space Fighters  (Read 12601 times)

Offline GTX_Admin

  • Evil Administrator bent on taking over the Universe!
  • Administrator - Yep, I'm the one to blame for this place.
  • Whiffing Demi-God!
    • Beyond the Sprues
Space Fighters
« on: July 02, 2012, 02:41:01 AM »
Hi folks,

I was looking at this picture (see below) and wondered if we could set up an arms race for space fighters.  E.g.  Take F-102/F-104/F-106/Avro Arrow/MiG/Su...etc and whack on top of whopping booster to create ultimate interceptor/crude space fighter.



BTW, the picture actually shows a design proposal for a scaled-down, piloted three-stage space ship.

From the book "Worlds in Space"
by Martin Caidin
illustration by Fred L. Wolff
(1954)
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

Offline Weaver

  • Skyhawk stealer and violator of Panthers, with designs on a Cougar and a Tiger too
  • Chaos Engineer & Evangelistic Agnostic
Re: Space Fighters
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2012, 03:50:21 AM »
Okay, let's see......

Most of the booster kits are 1/144th scale, so take a 1/100th F-105 (there was one in the Ben Hobby/Tamiya range, but it's not been re-released yet), replace the wings & intakes with 1/72nd Starfighter wings, fit a smaller cockpit canopy, then put a pod on each wingtip. The idea is that the original jet nozzle is now a rocket motor for space flight, and the tip pods conceal small jet engines for cruise-to-landing, with jettisonable nose and tail cones. the overall configuration is a bit like a scaled-up Sud-Est Trident.

Any British equivalent would be hamstrung by the unsuitability of Britain as a launch site (too far north), so we'd probably go for air-launch, with something like an uber-Vulcan carrying a fighter derived from an SR.177 or Avro 720 with a tandem boost pack.

Make the date late enough, and you can use Concorde as a basis for the carrier instead. Here's a quick'n'dirty (but expensive) way to make the carrier: start with two 1/144th Concordes and one 1/72nd one. Graft the two 1/144th fuselages together nose to tip, fit the 1/72nd wings, then put all eight 1/144th engines under them. Blank all the windows off because it's just a flying fuel tank. Now add the space fighter of your choice.....
« Last Edit: July 02, 2012, 05:17:14 AM by Weaver »
"I have described nothing but what I saw myself, or learned from others" - Thucydides

"I've jazzed mine up a bit" - Spike Milligan

"I'm a general specialist," - Harry Purvis in Tales from the White Hart by Arthur C. Clarke

Twitter: @hws5mp
Minds.com: @HaroldWeaverSmith

Offline RussC

  • Our own personal dragon trainer...with a flying wing fetish
  • Resident Painter
Re: Space Fighters
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2012, 03:52:12 AM »
Have seen these before, Caidin made a series of space books, many with illustrations by my favorite artist Chesley Bonestell. Some of those space fighters actually launching from underground silos, others taking off from above ground bases right on the Manhattan waterfront.

Offline GTX_Admin

  • Evil Administrator bent on taking over the Universe!
  • Administrator - Yep, I'm the one to blame for this place.
  • Whiffing Demi-God!
    • Beyond the Sprues
Re: Space Fighters
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2012, 04:19:06 AM »
A different take on this...

All hail the God of Frustration!!!

Offline raafif

  • Is formally accused of doing nasty things to DC-3s...and officially our first whiffing zombie
  • Whiffing Insane
Re: Space Fighters
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2012, 06:57:12 AM »
you mean like my Booster-Lightning ?



        not as silly as Spitfires in Space  (Dr Who's lost all cred in my world)

Offline Weaver

  • Skyhawk stealer and violator of Panthers, with designs on a Cougar and a Tiger too
  • Chaos Engineer & Evangelistic Agnostic
Re: Space Fighters
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2012, 08:04:15 AM »
How about marrying that Von-Braun-esque conical booster to a Barnes-Wallis Swallow-style vehicle? The wings could sit down the sides of the booster for take off, sweep forward in orbit to put the reaction controls on their tips as far as possible from the CofG, sweep back again for re-entry, then forward again for landing.
"I have described nothing but what I saw myself, or learned from others" - Thucydides

"I've jazzed mine up a bit" - Spike Milligan

"I'm a general specialist," - Harry Purvis in Tales from the White Hart by Arthur C. Clarke

Twitter: @hws5mp
Minds.com: @HaroldWeaverSmith

Offline upnorth

  • Distorting a reality near you.
  • Reinvented Austria and the Stuka....Now what?
Re: Space Fighters
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2012, 04:45:44 PM »


Any British equivalent would be hamstrung by the unsuitability of Britain as a launch site (too far north)....


Not at all!

Britain would have any one of a number of former colonies in closer geographic proximity to the equator to strike a deal with for setting up a launch site. It would be no different than France shooting their Arianne rockets from Guyana.

India or Malaysia would be perfect places inside the Commonwealth to set up such a launch site. Both are quite close to the equator and both are quite industrialized nations with technically skilled work forces. Not only would you have a good location, you'd also have a good local labour pool to hire from as well to save you from bringing in too many staff directly from Britain.

Definitely doable for Britain

Pickled Wings, A Blog for Preserved Aircraft:
http://pickledwings.wordpress.com/

Beyond Prague, Traveling the Rest of the Czech Republic:
http://beyondprague.wordpress.com/

Offline GTX_Admin

  • Evil Administrator bent on taking over the Universe!
  • Administrator - Yep, I'm the one to blame for this place.
  • Whiffing Demi-God!
    • Beyond the Sprues
Re: Space Fighters
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2012, 05:01:41 PM »
One could also go for a polar orbit.
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

Offline AGRA

  • Took the opportunity to tease us with a RAAF F-82
Re: Space Fighters
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2012, 05:05:57 PM »
What about Ascension Island, is very close to the Equator, highly secure, all British and has the most perfect name for a space launching station.

Offline upnorth

  • Distorting a reality near you.
  • Reinvented Austria and the Stuka....Now what?
Re: Space Fighters
« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2012, 06:40:23 PM »
What about Ascension Island, is very close to the Equator, highly secure, all British and has the most perfect name for a space launching station.

Geographically and security wise, it would be very attractive. However, from a logistical and manpower perspective it would get very expensive very quickly.

Everything would have to come in by ship or plane, including much of the food and basic living essentials.

Bringing in the program specific gear by out-sized cargo plane or ship is one thing, doing the same for all the food and basic living staples for a large staff is quite another.

Would it not be better to set up in a place that has enough local industry so that you didn't need to waste valuable cargo space on a ship or plane with toilet paper, soap and whatnot? If you set up where there was a local producer of such basics, you could just use land based transport means to get it to the facility.

Security is great, but save it for the things that really need it. Who's going to hold up a truck full of locally produced toilet paper, toothpaste or other such basic consumables?
Pickled Wings, A Blog for Preserved Aircraft:
http://pickledwings.wordpress.com/

Beyond Prague, Traveling the Rest of the Czech Republic:
http://beyondprague.wordpress.com/

Offline AGRA

  • Took the opportunity to tease us with a RAAF F-82
Re: Space Fighters
« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2012, 07:52:09 PM »
Security is great, but save it for the things that really need it. Who's going to hold up a truck full of locally produced toilet paper, toothpaste or other such basic consumables?

They donít exactly produce toilet paper and the like in Guyana nor back in the original days in the Kazakh steppe or swamp lands of Florida or deserts of Woomera. Space launching sites tend to require very specific logistics that arenít available locally anywhere. And the manning needs are pretty low so the consumables are easily shipped in even at the most remote of locations.

Further the idea that the UK would launch military rockets from post-independence India or Malaysia is frankly ludicrous. Neither nation has the kind of close relationship with the UK to allow such access nor would be trusted by the UK with national territorial control over such an important facility as launching for space weapons.

Offline upnorth

  • Distorting a reality near you.
  • Reinvented Austria and the Stuka....Now what?
Re: Space Fighters
« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2012, 07:58:27 PM »
OK, fair points.

Getting beyond arguments of location, economics and labour; I think the size of the actual vehicle has to be considered.

Size that works as a fighter in the atmosphere, may be woefully unsuited for the same job outside the atmosphere. Crew sustainability will be critical as will strength of the frame to survive multiple launches and recoveries through the atmosphere.

I think size will be important on both fronts as it will allow more life support measures for the crew and give designers more room to work in strengthening structures without sacrificing space for fuel and propulsion.

To illustrate my point; the Tupolev Tu-22 Blinder and Tu-128 Fiddler aircraft could both likely be strapped to the side of an Energiya for launch. Both are quite sizable designs that could accommodate a respectable amount of life support for the crew, space for decent fuel and propulsion once separated from the booster as well as good weapons loads.

The Blinder is a bit bigger than the Buran shuttle and the Fiddler a bit smaller, but if I look at the size relationship of the Buran to the Energiya, I see no reason why either Tupolev design couldn't be fitted to the Energiya too.

The Blinder already has those two big engine pods which could be used to house rocket engines. It also comes with the option for all internal carriage of weapons or a large one semi-recessed.

You could use the Blinder and Fiddler as a short and long range interceptor combination.

Following on the "Bigger is better" idea, some other aircraft I can see as having space fighter potential are:

European
Mirage IV
TSR.2
Javelin

American
A-12/SR-71
B-58 hustler
F-111

Soviet/Russian
Tu-22 Blinder
Tu-128 Fiddler

Other
Avro Arrow

I would think smaller size machines would be best based on space stations with the intent of keeping them close to the base and not taking them back and forth through the atmosphere.
Pickled Wings, A Blog for Preserved Aircraft:
http://pickledwings.wordpress.com/

Beyond Prague, Traveling the Rest of the Czech Republic:
http://beyondprague.wordpress.com/

Online Jeffry Fontaine

  • Unaffiliated Independent Subversive...and the last person to go for a trip on a Mexicana dH Comet 4
  • Global Moderator
  • His stash is able to be seen from space...
    • SketchUp 3D Warehouse - My Digital Models
Re: Space Fighters
« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2012, 02:38:34 AM »
"Every day we hear about new studies 'revealing' what should have been obvious to sentient beings for generations; 'Research shows wolverines don't like to be teased" -- Jonah Goldberg

Offline Weaver

  • Skyhawk stealer and violator of Panthers, with designs on a Cougar and a Tiger too
  • Chaos Engineer & Evangelistic Agnostic
Re: Space Fighters
« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2012, 08:41:35 AM »
Re British space launches, it's not just a matter of being near the equator: you also need a large expanse of somewhere uncontrovertial to the east of you in which to drop the occasional mis-fires. Florida is perfect for the Yanks because it gives them all of the Atlantic to crash in, while Sibera provides the Russians with the same facility. Try the same thing from Britain and it comes down in highly-populated Western Europe, killing hundreds, if your lucky. If you're unlucky, it comes down in Eastern Euope and starts WWIII..... :o

Somewhere in the Carribean would probably be best, but how much of a tourist paradise are you willing to concrete over to make a launch facility? I still think it would be best to use an airfield in that area as a base for an air-launched orbiter.
"I have described nothing but what I saw myself, or learned from others" - Thucydides

"I've jazzed mine up a bit" - Spike Milligan

"I'm a general specialist," - Harry Purvis in Tales from the White Hart by Arthur C. Clarke

Twitter: @hws5mp
Minds.com: @HaroldWeaverSmith

Offline GTX_Admin

  • Evil Administrator bent on taking over the Universe!
  • Administrator - Yep, I'm the one to blame for this place.
  • Whiffing Demi-God!
    • Beyond the Sprues
Re: Space Fighters
« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2012, 10:20:46 AM »
Launch Westward like Iarael does.  It means less payload but does solve the problem.
All hail the God of Frustration!!!