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> [RL]Neat Navy drone, Because they get all the fun toys
nezumi
post Feb 24 2006, 04:47 PM
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http://www.popsci.com/popsci/aviationspace...ecbccdrcrd.html

QUOTE

Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works, famed for the U-2 and Blackbird spy planes that flew higher than anything else in the world in their day, is trying for a different altitude record: an airplane that starts and ends its mission 150 feet underwater. The Cormorant, a stealthy, jet-powered, autonomous aircraft that could be outfitted with either short-range weapons or surveillance equipment, is designed to launch out of the Trident missile tubes in some of the U.S. Navy’s gigantic Cold War–era Ohio-class submarines. These formerly nuke-toting subs have become less useful in a military climate evolved to favor surgical strikes over nuclear stalemates, but the Cormorant could use their now-vacant tubes to provide another unmanned option for spying on or destroying targets near the coast.

This is no easy task. The tubes are as long as a semi trailer but about seven feet wide—not exactly airplane-shaped. The Cormorant has to be strong enough to withstand the pressure 150 feet underwater—enough to cave in hatches on a normal aircraft—but light enough to fly. Another challenge: Subs survive by stealth, and an airplane flying back to the boat could give its position away.

The Skunk Works’s answer is a four-ton airplane with gull wings that hinge around its body to fit inside the missile tube. The craft is made of titanium to resist corrosion, and any empty spaces are filled with plastic foam to resist crushing. The rest of the body is pressurized with inert gas. Inflatable seals keep the weapon-bay doors, engine inlet and exhaust covers watertight.

The Cormorant does not shoot out of its tube like a missile. Instead an arm-like docking “saddle” guides the craft out, sending it floating to the surface while the sub slips away. As the drone pops out of the water, the rocket boosters fire and the Cormorant takes off. After completing its mission, the plane flies to the rendezvous coordinates it receives from the sub and lands in the sea. The sub then launches a robotic underwater vehicle to fetch the floating drone.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) is funding tests of some of the Cormorant’s unique systems, including a splashdown model and an underwater-recovery vehicle. The tests should be completed by September, after which Darpa will decide whether it will fund a flying prototype.


I like that the pictures look like they're from a video game.
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Moon-Hawk
post Feb 24 2006, 04:50 PM
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That's pretty cool.
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stevebugge
post Feb 24 2006, 05:40 PM
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Here's another. This one has been in development for a while.

http://www.boeing.com/defense-space/milita...x-45/index.html
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Platinum
post Feb 24 2006, 06:02 PM
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QUOTE
The tests should be completed by September, after which Darpa will decide whether it will fund a flying prototype.


Still highly speculative and in development. I would not expect to see these before 2015. They look like they are from a video game, because they are rendered, there is no full prototype yet.
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stevebugge
post Feb 24 2006, 06:08 PM
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QUOTE (Platinum)
QUOTE
The tests should be completed by September, after which Darpa will decide whether it will fund a flying prototype.


Still highly speculative and in development. I would not expect to see these before 2015.

If at all.

At this stage it just has approval for further R&D, to be purchased and deployed still requires convincing someone in one of the branches to put in a future budget request to put before Congress. There are tons of military weapons development programs that have gone through the (mostly)working prototype stage, or even the fully developed system stage, only to be stalled, reduced, or cut outright once developed and presented for budgeting. The F-22 Air Superiority Fighter and the V-22 Tilt-rotor aircraft are two of the better known ones.
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Kyoto Kid
post Feb 24 2006, 09:47 PM
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QUOTE (stevebugge)
Here's another.  This one has been in development for a while.

http://www.boeing.com/defense-space/milita...x-45/index.html

ooohhh...nice...

My Rigger Josie wants one.

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FlakJacket
post Feb 24 2006, 11:10 PM
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Reminds me of the tailsitter drone the air force is working on that's based on the old Convair XFY Pogo plane. It's large and powerful enough to carry a passenger so they're appartently looking at it for things like pilot rescue where you simply programme it to fly over the the downed pilot, it lands and they get in, and then it flies itself back again. Can't for the life of me remember what it was called though. Something odd, to match the thing's looks IIRC.
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Vagabond
post Feb 26 2006, 12:16 AM
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Won't be too long before they're looking for Sarah Conner.
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Kyoto Kid
post Feb 26 2006, 02:38 AM
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Actually, kind of remids me of the "Peacemaker" drone by Luckup Industries from the movie Deal of the Century.
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Kagetenshi
post Feb 26 2006, 06:35 AM
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Looks straight out of Descent 3.

~J
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SL James
post Feb 26 2006, 11:08 AM
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The X-45 reminds me why I hate the drone rules sometimes in SR. If I was to picture the Wandjina, it'd be about the same size, and not small enough to stow fully-loaded with missiles, guns and ammo in the back of a step van with room to spare.
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ShadowDragon8685
post Feb 27 2006, 02:29 PM
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QUOTE (SL James @ Feb 26 2006, 07:08 AM)
The X-45 reminds me why I hate the drone rules sometimes in SR. If I was to picture the Wandjina, it'd be about the same size, and not small enough to stow fully-loaded with missiles, guns and ammo in the back of a step van with room to spare.

While that may be very realistic, it does not make for good gaming.

Seeing as how a step van is probably about the biggest vehicle that urban Shadowrunners are going to find practical and/or affordable, and what's the point in having cool toys in the game if the only person who's ever going to get to play with them is the DM?

That's the same reason I stopped playing the Iron Kingdoms Role-Playing Game.

Sure, it's CALLED Full Metal Fantasy, and the front cover of their player's guide features two adenturers and their FIFTY-TON WARMACHINE™ walking down the street about to raise hell, but no DM I've ever played with has even let me craft so much as a mechanikal pocketwatch, let alone get my hands on a Warjack.

And I decided that if the single defining characteristic of the setting, IE Warjacks, was out of the running, frankly I'd rather play a game where I CAN get my hands on cool toys. So I tried to find a Shadowrun DM. :)

It didn't work, but hey... The one run I got to play with a competent DM (Food Fight) was better than all the awkward "trying to get along despite the fact that this setting mixes the worst of D&D", IE magic and monsters, with the worst of Shadowrun, IE the fact that your characters are ultimately puny and pathetic, and introduces some very fun fuck-ups of it's own, namely the fact that you get punished for using spells from the Necromancy school, and even some spells that AREN'T, but sound like it in the flavor text, get punished for healing people, and getting raised from the dead is nearly impossible.

Sorry. I don't play D&D to play Shadowrun, only with incredibly suckier guns, and Lone Star being everywhere.
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tisoz
post Feb 27 2006, 02:42 PM
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QUOTE (ShadowDragon8685)
what's the point in having cool toys in the game if the only person who's ever going to get to play with them is the DM?

This is a major draw for GMing. ;)
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Lagomorph
post Feb 27 2006, 06:26 PM
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I played ICE RoleMaster once, but quit after I got critically hit in the groin 3 times, and broke 3 swords all in one combat. This wasn't even a GM call, they have a critical hit location table, and a weapon breaking table.
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Adarael
post Feb 27 2006, 07:28 PM
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QUOTE
...but no DM I've ever played with has even let me craft so much as a mechanikal pocketwatch, let alone get my hands on a Warjack.


That's a failing in the game style by the GM, not an inherent failing in the system. One of the very first things I did in IK was craft a pocketwatch. Hell, my second character was an arcane mechanic, and he was well on his way to creating a hovering sentry drone/bodyguard.

It's very possible to have 'jacks in IK. Your GM just has to account for the fact that in IK (unlike normal D&D) nonmagical/semi-magical equipment is MUCH more of an equalizer than most people expect.

Hell, we cleared a Thamarite temple using hand grenades I'd made. It was glorious.
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PBTHHHHT
post Feb 27 2006, 07:50 PM
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QUOTE (ShadowDragon8685)
That's the same reason I stopped playing the Iron Kingdoms Role-Playing Game.

As Adareal said, you should find a different GM. My friend who runs IK down in Atlanta has the group running around with a warjack. So it's more of YMMV kind of thing and not any problem with the system itself.
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SL James
post Feb 27 2006, 07:51 PM
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You're right. I see no problem with being able to launch a turbine-engine UCAV that can take out armored vehicles and engage in air-to-air combat with helos non-fighter aircraft (or fighters with less skilled pilots) out of the back of a van at top speed while the rigger sitting with his back to the engine's burners just sits there. The fact that it was a decker with no appreciable reason to have such a drone (and this was after we had a little discussion about why a stealth infiltration decker would have more weapons than the Marine Corps) had nothing to do with it.

It wasn't the drone. It wasn't even that it has a couple thousand rounds of AV ammunition in it (along with the four pop-up turrets in the van loaded with another thousand rounds of AV ammunition), or that it has literally more armor than an APC. It was the fact that he could fire the thing out of the back of his van at top speed without even noticing that a jet engine just launched out of the backseat with the engines pointed straight at him.

I'm such an unconscionable bastard for enforcing a modicum of realism, especially when your own comment is a nonsequitur and, as you can imagine by the above, irrelevant to my own issues with the rule. Your availability problems are not my consistency and logic problems with the mental abortion of a book that is Rigger 3.
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Kagetenshi
post Feb 27 2006, 08:40 PM
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When you're done ranting about Rigger 3, you may want to try reading it. The Wandjina is STOL. That means when loaded properly (not exceeding its Load limit), it needs a runway 250 meters long to take off and 500 meters long to land. If the van is that long, you've got other problems.

Drone racks are another problem altogether. The idea is a good one, but the implementation is overly broad. That being said, they are a different matter altogether from "launching out the back".

The major issue here is that the formula for determining how much space a vehicle takes in CF works beautifully for Body 1 and 2 drones, and breaks horrifically for Body 0 and 3+ drones. While I am generally a defender of Rigger 3 as a book, I have no defense for that formula, nor do I believe there is one. The Wandjina does indeed fall in the ugly part of the formula at Body 3, an object nominally the size of a car fitting into 13 cubes a half a meter to a side fully assembled.

~J
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Moon-Hawk
post Feb 27 2006, 08:44 PM
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So, what would be a better formula?
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Kagetenshi
post Feb 27 2006, 08:48 PM
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I'm not sure. As much as I prefer to do things formulaically, so that they can be derived from first principles, a chart might be the solution here—at least at first. I'll play around with the numbers and see if I can't get them to dance.

~J
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Kagetenshi
post Feb 27 2006, 09:09 PM
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I haven't gone through all values, but Body^3 seems to give acceptable values for the low range and Body 10 craft—1^3 is less than (1+1.5)*1, which is acceptable for breadbox-sized drones, 2^3 is only slightly more than (2+1.5)*2, and 10^3 gives a value of 1,000 CF, which is about 125 cubic meters. This is on the large side for Main Battle Tanks, but dramatically small for "long-haul or heavy-cargo airliners"—since these two are in the same category, it will be impossible to accommodate both.

Unfortunately, it is still possible for a Medium Transport to contain another identical Medium Transport under this system (three of them, in fact). At least it can only contain one Body 7 fighter jet rather than six.

Back to the drawing board, I guess.

~J
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ShadowDragon8685
post Feb 28 2006, 12:45 PM
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QUOTE (Adarael @ Feb 27 2006, 03:28 PM)
QUOTE
...but no DM I've ever played with has even let me craft so much as a mechanikal pocketwatch, let alone get my hands on a Warjack.


That's a failing in the game style by the GM, not an inherent failing in the system. One of the very first things I did in IK was craft a pocketwatch. Hell, my second character was an arcane mechanic, and he was well on his way to creating a hovering sentry drone/bodyguard.

It's very possible to have 'jacks in IK. Your GM just has to account for the fact that in IK (unlike normal D&D) nonmagical/semi-magical equipment is MUCH more of an equalizer than most people expect.

Hell, we cleared a Thamarite temple using hand grenades I'd made. It was glorious.

.... Were they blessed by a Morrowan priest?


B'cause, you know, then they'd be Holy Hand Grenades....

*dodges the incoming rain of sorcerers named Tim,*


:)


No seriously.... Do you guys play online, by any chance? Mayhap recruiting?
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