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Author Topic: Battle Zep issues.  (Read 714 times)
Damnd of Hell
Gunner
**
United States United States



« on: March 20, 2014, 02:51:21 am »

Okay, I'm working on a screenplay, and already have a question on the Thread Steam Realm Prostiution, and got lots of great ideas so , now I need some help here.   I have a Battle Zep that's a heavy bomber, but like the AC130 Spectre gun ship, I have six 105, (maybe up size to .155mm) howitzers at the bow of the ship.   Does anyone see anything wrong with this?  All suggestions helpful.
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Your Hell, is my paradise.
George Salt
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2014, 08:34:46 am »

Depends on the flavour of your handwavium..  but I have a mental image of a Zeppelin hanging in the air, bow down and stern up..
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Keith_Beef
Snr. Officer
****
France France


« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2014, 08:45:43 am »

By "howitzer", I think you just mean a short-barrelled gun. A howitzer is a field piece for firing small shells at steep trajectories.

Before getting into writing the description of the airship and its armament, I'd plan out the scenes where this ship is going to be active, and then make its design fit that role within the limits of your universe's physics and technology.

Do your airships have gas inside their envelopes? If so, is this gas flammable or explosive, or inert? Are the envelopes armoured? Or is the gas some kind of "æther repelling" substance?

What kind of propellant is used for your shells? Is it capable of projecting shells at supersonic speeds?

What will be battle tactics? You mention the AC130; "All of the weaponry aboard is mounted to fire from the left (port) side of the non-pressurised aircraft. During an attack the gunship performs a pylon turn, flying in a large circle around the target, allowing it to fire at it far longer than a conventional attack aircraft." says The Font of All Knowledge. IS that what your "battle Zep" will do? Circle around a ground target and bombarding it? That allows you to use familiar naval terms such as "broadside" and also would allow the weight of the guns to be distributed between bow and stern.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2014, 08:57:48 am by Keith_Beef » Logged

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Keith
Fairley B. Strange
Zeppelin Overlord
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Australia Australia


Relax, I've done much dumber things and survived..


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« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2014, 10:17:14 am »

Depends on the flavour of your handwavium..  but I have a mental image of a Zeppelin hanging in the air, bow down and stern up..


My exact mental-image.
Not to mention, the recoil, blast shock at the muzzles, elbowroom for the gun-crews to heft 105 or 155mm shells plus propellant charges, ramming the breeches all while gyrating through the turbulence...

Here's a sample - read the specs, and this is just the projectile, there's an equally sized chunk of flammable propellant to be rammed in behind it.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/M107_projectile

And how sturdy is your envelope of gas? Solid enough to have this little breeze just outside?

http://media.defenceindustrydaily.com/images/ORD_M777_Howitzer_Firing_lg.jpg
« Last Edit: March 20, 2014, 10:25:05 am by Fairley B. Strange » Logged

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RJBowman
Zeppelin Captain
*****


« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2014, 04:52:28 pm »

So you are screanplay a novel about whores and airships.
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GCCC
Zeppelin Admiral
******
United States United States


« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2014, 07:18:10 pm »

I'll watch that movie...
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RJBowman
Zeppelin Captain
*****


« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2014, 07:58:59 pm »

It could be the first mega-budget Hollywood steampunk porno film.
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Damnd of Hell
Gunner
**
United States United States



« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2014, 12:46:14 am »

Well the porn wouldn't be there, but I am shooting for an 'R' rating. 
.
I did several years of research, one of the classes of lifting gas used, but rejected, was Neon, Methane, and Argon.  So, since this is a unique world, I'm going to be using a blend of them.  The Howitzers, I'm going to stay with 105 mm.  I use to be a forward observer, (13f) so, this caliber would be not as hazardous to the crew; both projectile and charge in a shell.   They'll be movable as all  howitzers, and I have six guns under the bow.    A large bomb bay underneath as well.  For propulsion I'm using alcohol mixture for internal combustion engines; (if it wasn't for Rockefeller and standard oil owning the u.s. congress, we'd not be using gas and oil.)

The arraignment of the guns, would be that it could be level or shallow turn in either direction.
.
And you should see what I have for the Cyber Realm war craft.     It's called the Rapture, a tilt rotor, attack vtol aircraft;  Two side by side Vulcan cannons, chain gun in the movable chin, six hell fire missiles and six sidewinder missiles in an internal bay.  Counter measures that make it withstand a direct hit from microwave and infra sound weapons, and bullet resistant to up to fifty caliber.
.
In the Diesel Realm, we got the War Horse, a turbo prop P51 mustang, and sheet Lightning.  A turbo prop twin engine p38 used as a close recon aircraft.    And lots more toys on the horizon. Cheesy
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pakled05
Officer
***
United States United States



« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2014, 05:50:26 am »

Sounds intriguing; the only thing you might have to take into effect besides the weight would be the recoil...Wink But seriously, there's always something that could be done; bombs, dropped rockets (flames and gasbags don't mix).

There was a large-caliber Gatling gun used in the 19th Century (saw it in a book once; fired 1" shells. It was used in a war in South America, they showed the result of it's handiwork; the ship looked like a floating colander)

Also, there was (kid you not) a dynamite gun, used by the US in the Spanish American war. Never caught on, but I just like the sound of it.

Then there's all sorts of aetherial, an hopefully non-flammable rayguns. Just a thought.
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RJBowman
Zeppelin Captain
*****


« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2014, 10:29:40 pm »

Also, there was (kid you not) a dynamite gun, used by the US in the Spanish American war. Never caught on, but I just like the sound of it.

There was also (kid you not) a dynamite arrow fired with a bow; tested in Hazard County Kentucky in the late 1970's and early '80's. I forget which armed forces division it was, but they used a Confederate flag insignia for their vehicles.
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Narsil
Immortal
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United Kingdom United Kingdom



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« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2014, 10:44:41 pm »

When high explosive shells were first being developed there was a certain amount of work done on steam and compressed air cannons as it was difficult to make reliable fuses which wouldn't prematurely detonate under the shock of firing with a conventional propellant. An antisubmarine mortar, called the Holman Projector, designed along similar lines was developed in WWII for cheaply arming merchant ships, which had ready access to high pressure steam.

In fact for a steam tech airship in a close air support role it migt well be worth looking at WWII anti submarine weapons in general eg http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-submarine_mortar

My concern with using something like a AC130 Spectre as a model for a SP vessel is that it's so reliant on very high techs sensors and fire control computers which seem a bit against the spirit of SP in a way that a bit of handwavium in the lift mechanism isn't.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2014, 10:47:00 pm by Narsil » Logged







A man of eighty has outlived probably three new schools of painting, two of architecture and poetry and a hundred in dress.
Lord Byron
Damnd of Hell
Gunner
**
United States United States



« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2014, 01:04:24 am »

Thank you all, I'm taking it all under advisement.   From what I remember, the 105 had a good x y adjustment, and the recoil wasn't that bad; if I add a series of struts to help dampen the recoil it should work.

I only used the spectre as a reference that it can be done without ripping the aircraft apart. Cheesy  .  I'm using a sonar though, since this is a bit of a H. G. Wellian world so there's a technological element, like the Baggage system, and fluoroscopes for use in the cantankerous doctor's office of the coroner.
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Narsil
Immortal
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United Kingdom United Kingdom



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« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2014, 02:44:59 am »


I think that one of the big things in selling fictional technology to a reader is that it all makes sense together as a package, you don't have to prove that it's 100% possible it should be credible within it's own context.

For example I can totally buy a floating battleship but as soon as you go down the airship route you're anchoring yourself to a particular level of technology. If you have sophisticated microprocessors or anything which would seem to depend on them I start to think, why not just have jet aircraft.

Certainly the British 105 guns are air portable and can be towed by light trucks, so I don't see any serious problem with mounting them in a sufficiently large airship. I'm not at all familiar with the way they are used. Form the context you suggest I would imagine that they are used more in direct fire role as in tank main armament than as indirect field artillery for which the problems of aiming with any degree of accuracy would seem considerable without a fair degree of computing power and modern sensors. I'm sure your experience as a FO will have given you a very good idea of the complexities of directing indirect fire even when both the target and the gun position are both stationary. From the wikipedia entry I gather that the AC130 makes use of a ground based radar beacon as a reference point.

It may also be worth looking at the the fire control systems used in warships, I believe that this is one area where mechanical computing persisted for a long time and are some of the most sophisticated mechanical computers ever built.

In fact the idea of an armoured airship with a big and bulky clockwork fire control room with things like synchronised telegraphs to gun positions id quite compelling.
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MWBailey
Rogue Ætherlord
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United States United States


"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2014, 03:28:14 am »

Also, there was (kid you not) a dynamite gun, used by the US in the Spanish American war. Never caught on, but I just like the sound of it.

There was also (kid you not) a dynamite arrow fired with a bow; tested in Hazard County Kentucky in the late 1970's and early '80's. I forget which armed forces division it was, but they used a Confederate flag insignia for their vehicles.



A big orange tank, wasn't it? powered by MoPar tech, I believe.
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""quid statis aspicientes in infernum"
pakled05
Officer
***
United States United States



« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2014, 06:28:27 am »

...and over the Southern landscapes are numerous graves, titled, "hey y'all, watch this...Wink"

The Iowa (is that right?) battleship class had mechanical computers (maybe electromechanical, I just remember a blurb in a mag once) that were so accurate, that when the ships were recommissioned in the 80s, the PCs of the era were no improvement, and the previous system was still used.

The original Babbage machine was used to compute mathematical tables, so it's a candidate. Hollerith punchcard readers were around in the late 19th century (they finished the...1890 census, I beleived), so that's another avenue.

I should get a life...Wink
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W. S. Marble
Snr. Officer
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« Reply #15 on: March 22, 2014, 05:53:50 pm »


I think that one of the big things in selling fictional technology to a reader is that it all makes sense together as a package, you don't have to prove that it's 100% possible it should be credible within it's own context.

For example I can totally buy a floating battleship but as soon as you go down the airship route you're anchoring yourself to a particular level of technology. If you have sophisticated microprocessors or anything which would seem to depend on them I start to think, why not just have jet aircraft.

Certainly the British 105 guns are air portable and can be towed by light trucks, so I don't see any serious problem with mounting them in a sufficiently large airship. I'm not at all familiar with the way they are used. Form the context you suggest I would imagine that they are used more in direct fire role as in tank main armament than as indirect field artillery for which the problems of aiming with any degree of accuracy would seem considerable without a fair degree of computing power and modern sensors. I'm sure your experience as a FO will have given you a very good idea of the complexities of directing indirect fire even when both the target and the gun position are both stationary. From the wikipedia entry I gather that the AC130 makes use of a ground based radar beacon as a reference point.

It may also be worth looking at the the fire control systems used in warships, I believe that this is one area where mechanical computing persisted for a long time and are some of the most sophisticated mechanical computers ever built.

In fact the idea of an armoured airship with a big and bulky clockwork fire control room with things like synchronised telegraphs to gun positions id quite compelling.

Very do-able.  One thing to consider is that it is not the weight of the 105mm, but rather its recoil.  The truck-towed piece relies on its spades against the ground.  An airship would need a recoil system, similar to a giant shock absorber or perhaps a slightly elastic pulley arrangement to prevent damage to the rigid frame.  Which should also, of course, add even better imagery to the overall image of the weapons system in such a setting
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Peter Brassbeard
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United States United States



« Reply #16 on: March 22, 2014, 06:31:37 pm »

If you're thinking of mechanical computers for artillery control, consider the Norden Bombsight, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norden_bombsight
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Damnd of Hell
Gunner
**
United States United States



« Reply #17 on: March 22, 2014, 10:39:36 pm »

Oh yes the Nordin or, a similar looking appearing one will be used.  I have it being used in a scene in Episode II.  But, using the H. G. Wellian persona, I'm also going to have an experimental sonar system to be used in zero conditions.
.
One of the issues I'm looking up is that the Villains are using stolen technology from the cyber realm.  I have a ground based Microwave weapon that was hijacked and used, wiping out the town and Peace Makers assigned to that town.  I studied the microwave weapons system and one of the things I came up with as way to neutralize the beam. So, I got the Zep being sent to the Cyber Realm ( Great Lakes Confederation) to be retrofitted with this countermeasure device.  Long sound absorbing and dissipating panels that would be attached to the outer skin.

Even though this is Victorian era pomp and culture, I do have them using Kevlar and Titanium type of composites.  Which could be weaved and forged in the industries of this era.
.
Please keep the ideas coming in.  Cheesy
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