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View Full Version : Imperial aicraft are VTOL?



Krieg Marshall
02-05-2009, 01:23
I think the title of the thread is enough explicit. But the question stand still and concern essentially the athmospheric aicraft, like Thunderbolt, Lightening, Marauders (the two versions).

From the IA1 book, the diagramm of the lightening shows the gear. That's not the case for the Marauders and the Thunderbolt.

If anyone is able to give information about this, I'll be greatfull.

Yarick Zan
02-05-2009, 01:42
I don't think they are VTOL. I could be wrong though. In the book Double Eagle I think they can be used as VSTOL (very short take off landing) if they use a RATO or JATO (Rocket Assisted Take Off and Jet Assisted Take off)

Sort of like this B-47B

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/81/Boeing_B-47B_rocket-assisted_take_off_on_April_15%2C_1954_061024-F-1234S-011.jpg

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CATO_(aviation)

Eldartank
02-05-2009, 03:00
I'm not sure I totally agree with Yarick (no offense meant). I've seen pics of several Imperial craft, and their landing gear is all skids, no wheels. If not v/tol, they at least have some kind of limited antigrav ability, at least enough to hover a bit above the ground long enough to build up speed and lift to take off.

Omniassiah
02-05-2009, 04:33
Best opinion of them is that they are V/STOLs like Harriers, while they can take off and land vertically doing so reduces the amount of ordinance they can carry so it most cases they use rocket assisted take off ramps to increase the the carrying capacity.

orangesm
02-05-2009, 04:54
I would say a combo of what Eldartank and Yarick have in mind.

1. No Aircraft model/diagram/etc yet seen out of GW/FW/etc suggest the presence of wheels on the aircraft. (Orks land via a controlled crash and are loaded up on to a 'wagon' for takeoff).

2. Imperial anti-gravity technology is advanced to the point that Space Marines utilize it in a lightly armored scout vehicle at high speeds.

3. V/STOL capability has some logistical advantages that would make it very useful in a campaign. The Marauder model has noticeably down angled thrusters to assist in STOL operations, but no apparent landing gear.

So the idea is; Imperial Combat Aircraft incorporate a basic anti-gravity device as their landing gear and the vast majority have a V/STOL capability (likely to operate out of some kind of standardized air field or ship hangar!).

Voleron
02-05-2009, 05:33
Dan Abnett's book Double Eagle lists the vast majority of Imperial aircraft having a "Vectored Thrust" system, which is apparently used for both takeoff, landing, and physics-defying manoeuvres.

It's probably, in essence, a very advanced, very fancy Harrier system that can direct thrust in more directions than simply "Behind" and "Below".

Krieg Marshall
02-05-2009, 08:20
So they don't need takeoof/ landing ways? I ask this one essentially for terrain modelling.

Hellebore
02-05-2009, 08:25
The thunderhawk MUST have something like this, it has nothing but skids and Rocket engines.

Hellebore

Krieg Marshall
02-05-2009, 08:33
Guess so, but when I created this plog I was more concerned about navy aircraft rather than astartes. Those guys alaways the fancy toys anyway:D.

fattdex
02-05-2009, 08:35
Yes they are all VTOL, even Marauders. Vectored thrus nozzles, only landing skids, think there's something about it in the Aeronautica Imperialis books.

old guard
02-05-2009, 08:41
Dont forget, mentioned in both Double Eagle and in the first Imperial armour the launch rail/catapults (diagram shown in IA1 for the lightning and refferred to in the chapter of Dan Abnett's book where the Phantine are deployed to the 'jungle')

Kiras of the flame
02-05-2009, 09:06
The whole VTOL thing is to make things all Futuristic looking while giving it that WW2 style that the Imperial Guard tend to develop... (marauder bombers are a good example...)

Krieg Marshall
02-05-2009, 10:25
So, if I want to model a ground navy advanced base I don't need a runway? T'hat's quiet cool, I've just had do model round landing pads.

RCgothic
02-05-2009, 12:26
Pretty much.

I don't think vectored thrust cuts mustard with respect to the models VTOL capability. The Marauder has some angled vents, but they'd push it forwards as well. The Lightning and Thunderbolt don't appear to have nozzels capable of vertical thrust.

I figure they must have some sort of limited anti-grav capabilities.

Evilhomer
02-05-2009, 12:36
This may be of use.

http://www.forgeworld.co.uk/aiairebase.htm

It appears they don't need a runway. Better pics can be seen in forgeworlds modelling book (which is immense).

Murrithius
03-05-2009, 13:39
The 40k scale thunderbolt has thrust vectoring nozzles on the bottom of the engine bays (they even come separately so you can have them at any angle desired). This suggests they are VTOL capable.

Brother Siccarius
03-05-2009, 15:31
The thunderhawk MUST have something like this, it has nothing but skids and Rocket engines.

Hellebore
It could still be a VSTOL system (Which actually stands for Vertical/Short Take off and Landing) as it's still capable of doing a short take off with it's main engine while on smooth or nonsolid ground (Such as ice or water).

The whole VTOL thing is to make things all Futuristic looking while giving it that WW2 style that the Imperial Guard tend to develop... (marauder bombers are a good example...)

Actually, that boxy look means that it has to be very advanced to fly it. The non-aerodynamic structure means that there has to be a fly-by-wire system controlling it. World War style aircraft were almost entirely cylindrical or rounded in shape because it's easier to fly, and more aerodynamic. Without some automated guidance system that thunderhawk (Or Marauder, or Valkyrie) flies like an epileptic monkey being shot out of an off-center catapult at a laser Pink Floyd show.



I think the Valkyrie proves that it has some VTOL capabilities in the picture of it in the Guard Codex.

Mosedeke
03-05-2009, 16:10
I always figured that the Valkyrie did the same job as a modern Blackhawk, so just based off of that was required to have VTOL and hovering capabilities.

And to derive fluff from the rules (which is probably very bad form), the Valkyrie in game doesn't have any restrictions like "must move at least combat speed each turn," meaning it's allowed to happily hover anywhere it feels like for as long as it wants.

Tastyfish
03-05-2009, 16:31
Pretty much.

I don't think vectored thrust cuts mustard with respect to the models VTOL capability. The Marauder has some angled vents, but they'd push it forwards as well. The Lightning and Thunderbolt don't appear to have nozzels capable of vertical thrust.

I figure they must have some sort of limited anti-grav capabilities.

Or the pads do. From the sound of the rules for the skyshield pads (you can deploy from a vehicle regardless of how fast its moved) presumably the pad has its own antigrav systems that it uses to 'catch' the aircraft and slow it down faster than wheels and brakes would allow. Course the aircraft might have their own antigrav on top of this (particular since they can operate in space)

FashaTheDog
03-05-2009, 16:52
If you do build an airfield Kreig Marshall, a land strip would still be a good idea to include as damaged aircraft still need a place for controlled crashes. There are multiple instances in Double Eagle where the Imperial aircraft cannot land normally due to damage or fuel and crash land on the tarmac.

orangesm
03-05-2009, 19:02
Or the pads do. From the sound of the rules for the skyshield pads (you can deploy from a vehicle regardless of how fast its moved) presumably the pad has its own antigrav systems that it uses to 'catch' the aircraft and slow it down faster than wheels and brakes would allow.
High-Tech Aircraft Carrier Technology!

This could be an incredibly deep rabbit hole.

Krieg Marshall
03-05-2009, 19:14
If you do build an airfield Kreig Marshall, a land strip would still be a good idea to include as damaged aircraft still need a place for controlled crashes. There are multiple instances in Double Eagle where the Imperial aircraft cannot land normally due to damage or fuel and crash land on the tarmac.

This is something I should figure out...The question is tarmac or not tarmac? I'm very interested by the double eagle novel where could I get one, beacuse in this country they don't sell black library novels.

Decius
03-05-2009, 19:44
It seems to me that you'll need a landing pad and tarmac. If you're limited for space though, at least a tarmac. You can VTOL onto a tarmac but you can't land conventionally on a landing pad. Plus a tarmac has that "this is obviously an airbase" quality to it.

And if anyone says to you "Imperial craft are all VTOL you don't need a tarmac you noob!", you now know logical explanations that probably won't work on such an idiot.

orangesm
03-05-2009, 19:52
It seems to me that you'll need a landing pad and tarmac. If you're limited for space though, at least a tarmac. You can VTOL onto a tarmac but you can't land conventionally on a landing pad. Plus a tarmac has that "this is obviously an airbase" quality to it.

And if anyone says to you "Imperial craft are all VTOL you don't need a tarmac you noob!", you now know logical explanations that probably won't work on such an idiot.

Well Double Eagle mentions some non-IN aircraft that may actually use a tarmac - the Cub if I remember right. There are plenty of vehicles that we never see in 40k, Epic, etc that exist in the 40k universe and just don't make an appearance because they aren't very common. On some worlds the PDF is mostly airborne, but may not be able to manufacture the complex anti-gravity technology required to maintain the IN's state of the art aerospace craft. Instead they rely on more classical designs that they can manufacture, maintain, and replicate.

MacVurrich
03-05-2009, 20:01
Harriers are VTOL yet on the Carriers they have Ski Jumps
this is to allow a bigger payload than they would carry if they took of via VTOL
Same with the GR5 using the Germany Autobhan to take off and land via VTOL as the STOL aspect would allow a greater bomb load, 40K fighters would most likely use this apect to carry great loads than if the took off straight up, it also has the added benefit of using less fuel

keatsmeister
06-05-2009, 10:34
If you get a chance, check out the landing sequences for Vipers in the Battlestar Galactica remake - those craft have skids too. You don't necessarily need a runway, just a decent run in clear of tall terrain to the landing pad.

Lothlanathorian
06-05-2009, 11:13
Yeah, but since when has a landing in BSG looked like anything other than a controlled crash lol?


But, since we are also positing interesting situations here (I watch too much Fringe, damn it), Vipers are also capable of operating intra-atmosphere, so how would they land with gravity working against them at those speeds?

electricwolf
06-05-2009, 14:56
Looking at these aircraft and the Valykrie i see a problem with all of them when it comes to VTOL. They all have no way to re-direct the thrust for vertical take-off.

The Harrier jump jet has the ability to re-direct the thrust of the aircraft by changing the direction of the thrust exhaust so that it's directed down instead of towards the back.

I don't see any of the imperial guard aircraft having the ability to re-direct the thrust. All of the aircraft just seem to skid down for landings and use the skids for take-off but i think all of them would need some kind of runway.

Idaan
06-05-2009, 15:09
But, since we are also positing interesting situations here (I watch too much Fringe, damn it), Vipers are also capable of operating intra-atmosphere, so how would they land with gravity working against them at those speeds?
The controled crashes are combat landings, where time matters because the Battlestar is about to close the hangarbays and make an FTL jump. When landing planetside they'd just use thrusters to manoeuvre into position, like during the non-combat landings shown.

AlexCage
06-05-2009, 15:29
Looking at these aircraft and the Valykrie i see a problem with all of them when it comes to VTOL. They all have no way to re-direct the thrust for vertical take-off.

The Harrier jump jet has the ability to re-direct the thrust of the aircraft by changing the direction of the thrust exhaust so that it's directed down instead of towards the back.

I don't see any of the imperial guard aircraft having the ability to re-direct the thrust. All of the aircraft just seem to skid down for landings and use the skids for take-off but i think all of them would need some kind of runway.


Actually, the Valkyrie/Vulture has dedicated thrusters in the wings for VTOL.

The Lightning has the ability to angle its primary thruster (Though just looking at the model it doesn't appear to have very good range). And the Marauder has downward facing thrusters as well (on the hull, just inside from the primary engines).

The Thunderbolt is the only one I'm not sure on. But in the fluff they definitely perform V/STOL take offs. I just don't remember them ever doing it to land...

RCgothic
06-05-2009, 15:34
I own both a marauder destroyer and a lightning.

The lightning clearly does not have vertical thrust capability.
The destroyer has diagonal thurst capability, and would not be able to hover vertically.

From the design of the landing pads, they must have Vertical Take Off and Landing capabilities. As this is clearly not acheived through thrust, they must have Antigrav tech.

Elessar
06-05-2009, 16:09
I'm looking at my copy of Double Eagle now, and the Thunderbolt is definitely capable of VTOL for both takeoff and landing. They use a vectored thrust system for a lot of their maneuvers. This is more of a Navy thing, not PDF, which is why they struggled so much against Chaos in the book, who also use vectored thrust.

One of the pilots mentions that the Commander, Jagdea, likes to go directly from hover to forward, as compared to the second in command, who likes to gradually go from hover to forward. Also, when the regiment is posted to a small base, it does mention, on page 244 "Umbra One, Two and Eight followed the shine down and settled perfectly on their mats." which shows that they don't necessarily need a runway for landing. In this case, a runway would have been very bad, as they were trying to keep the base concealed from the Chaos fliers.

Hope that helps in some way shape or form.

electricwolf
06-05-2009, 16:47
Elessar, one thing that i have found is that the novels don't always match what the equipment can actually do. The writers use how they think the equipment works rather than how it actually works.

The things they also don't account for is that anything going VTOL uses a heck of alot more fuel than a standard take off and the heat generated by the engines is tremendous.

If you really want to do WYSIWYG then the models can't do VTOL because it's not shown on the model.

RCgothic
06-05-2009, 16:51
Antigav. Easy solution.

Firaxin
06-05-2009, 18:45
There's a new Skyshield Landing Platform terrain kit being released for Planetstrike.

Including pics:
http://warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=188917

Elessar
06-05-2009, 18:51
The things they also don't account for is that anything going VTOL uses a heck of alot more fuel than a standard take off and the heat generated by the engines is tremendous.

I will point out here that this is also mentioned in the novel. One of the pilots, I believe Marquall, for those that have read the book, mentions during a VTOL take off that it does reduce the operational range of the Thunderbolt. That's why it can also, and does, take off by conventional means. However, in the case of the hidden base that they use in Double Eagle, VTOL allows them to set up a base without a runway, that will remain hidden.

For the purposes of this post, I am of the opinion that it would be perfectly legitimate to model a Navy airbase without a runway, especially when backed up by both fluff and models, as we saw earlier with the Aeronautica Imperialis airbase.

THUNDERBOLT
06-05-2009, 19:14
also it's possible that the aircraft posses a system similar to the real world f-35 were the engine exhaust itself literally rotates through 90 degrees to point at the ground for v/tol therefore removing the need for harrier like system it also explains how they retain an afterburner system

keatsmeister
07-05-2009, 02:45
Elessar, one thing that i have found is that the novels don't always match what the equipment can actually do. The writers use how they think the equipment works rather than how it actually works.

They also use whatever devices they need to to dramatise events and move the action forward. If they decide VTOL is what they need, then the craft in question will have VTOL in that particular event stream

Emperor's Grace
07-05-2009, 22:21
My votes for limited antigrav. Even if it just negates some of the weight to reduce skid friction.

IIRC, didn't the original vipers just slow down and sink to the ground like an x-wing when landing normally? Both just cry antigrav to me.

Sai-Lauren
08-05-2009, 15:31
Or the pads do. From the sound of the rules for the skyshield pads (you can deploy from a vehicle regardless of how fast its moved) presumably the pad has its own antigrav systems that it uses to 'catch' the aircraft and slow it down faster than wheels and brakes would allow. Course the aircraft might have their own antigrav on top of this (particular since they can operate in space)

Problem there is that they become a high-priority target for the enemy - take them out and you severely limit the enemies air power (see also Black Buck, and the Luftwaffe's airfield raids of the Battle Of Britain).

In a similar line, on board A-G would be the easiest point of failure, if it gets damaged, then the aircraft landing would write it off, even if the AG damage was easily repairable. (Star Trek may have tractor beams that can catch a shuttlecraft and land it safely, but this ain't Star Trek ;)).

My personal feeling would be that there's a combination of maglev catapult launch ramps, A-G, thrust vectoring and replacing the landing skids with wheels whenever they're deployed dirtside - it's just a co-incidence that all the ones we've ever seen are those that are deployed from orbiting carriers, where the generated grvity fields can be turned off on the flight decks as required... ;)

The reality is of course that the designers went with what looks cool, having watched Star Wars, Aliens, Starship Troopers etc far too many times to be healthy, rather than spending some time thinking about what it's supposed to do and designing something accordingly (e.g., my personal favourite design foul-up, how do Thunderhawks get down from orbit without cooking off all their ammo and underwing stores, when they don't have any rules for shields? ;))

I actually asked Tim Adcock that question at a Salute a few years back when he was sculpting a thus-far unreleased variant with a dorsal MLRS - he didn't have an answer. :D



Antigav. Easy solution.

What's Mr Thorpe ever done to you? :D

catbarf
08-05-2009, 19:46
Elessar, one thing that i have found is that the novels don't always match what the equipment can actually do. The writers use how they think the equipment works rather than how it actually works.

The things they also don't account for is that anything going VTOL uses a heck of alot more fuel than a standard take off and the heat generated by the engines is tremendous.

If you really want to do WYSIWYG then the models can't do VTOL because it's not shown on the model.

What it can 'actually' do? How it 'actually' works?

It's fiction. They're the writers. They can do whatever they damn well please and it'll be canon by the simple virtue of not contradicting the game. Or how else are you going to determine what it can 'actually' do?