Stars Wars Spaceships Were Not Designed for Air Travel

FrgMstr

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More proof that science fiction is fictitious. Whodathunkit? Fun to see though. And to be the Devil's advocate on the subject, we do get to see these spacecraft maneuvering in the atmosphere many times in the films. Thanks Glinty McFlugEnchuck.

Check out the video.

I was curious how Star Wars ships would fare in a virtual wind tunnel! The results were super interesting!
 
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BettiePage

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Why is the X wing not in X config? wings are always closed together... would be interesting to see a starfury from B5 go thru this... since they can supposedly work in an atmosphere.
 

gwarren007

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We are told space is a vacuum, and they are doing wind tunnel testing?


professor.jpg
 

Neapolitan6th

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I'd love to see the aerodynamics of a B2. I guess those use fly by wire systems to keep them in the air.
 

-=SOF=-WID99

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there is no wind in space ..only gravity exists ..how have we solved that issue
?
you need must less thrust once you beat the gravity of earth .... you have ZERO gravity .. in space ..hence you need less thrust ..till you encounter another place that has gravity ..again there is no wind in space ..only gravity

how else did we send things to pluto and mars and jupiter that fly at thousands of MPH .. voyager for an example..and .... that's science FACT

and please don't tell me this passed the same wind tunnel effect
https://voyager.jpl.nasa.gov/mission/status/
 
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[Spectre]

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I'd love to see the aerodynamics of a B2. I guess those use fly by wire systems to keep them in the air.

Well, yes. All modern military fighters and bombers in the west use fly by wire to "keep them in the air" but that isn't necessarily due to drag it is due to other control issues. Being a flying wing, the B2 is supposedly rather difficult to get it to put itself back on the ground because it floats badly on landing (ground effect).
 

Nobu

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Well, yes. All modern military fighters and bombers in the west use fly by wire to "keep them in the air" but that isn't necessarily due to drag it is due to other control issues. Being a flying wing, the B2 is supposedly rather difficult to get it to put itself back on the ground because it floats badly on landing (ground effect).
Yeah, modern fighters are unstable by design, and use software to assist in keeping everything from going pear-shaped.
 

cjcox

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True story: When I was in Jr. High and High School I did a lot of model rocketry. Every now and then I'd buy the "stupid" rocket. In this case the X-Wing fighter. Which was a pretty good replica of it with the little wing projections etc and a rocket shoved up its butt. Back then we didn't ask "will it blend", but rather "will it fly" and (the now illegal phrase) "will it blow up".

On launch day, it went up about 50 ft. the fins all ripped off and the thing traveled horizontally (like a real X-wing fighter) and died and crashed on top of the two story telephone company building (you know, the one with NO windows). We knocked on the solid steel door (not knowing what to expect) and a guy answered the door from this "secret facility" and went up on the roof and tossed it down to me. Minor repairs, found all the fins, reassembled it all and put in on PERMANENT display only status, never to fly again. But the rocket blast burns around the plastic engine mounts was a nice touch for free.
 

Tsumi

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Why is the X wing not in X config? wings are always closed together... would be interesting to see a starfury from B5 go thru this... since they can supposedly work in an atmosphere.

Closed wings (technically S foils) are supposedly the speed configuration. Also probably makes modeling a lot easier.
 

jedijeb13

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Closed wings (technically S foils) are supposedly the speed configuration. Also probably makes modeling a lot easier.

Yup, S foils are opened to spread the weapons farther apart for more fire power, hitting four points instead of only two makes it easier to hit something moving as fast as a TIE fighter.

If you read all the X wing series books, they explain things pretty well (as far as true to the Star Wars universe, not necessarily our universe). The ships don't use aerodynamics to fly in atmosphere, they use repulsors for lift and the engines for forward propulsion. That is why they take off vertically for the most part instead of needing a runway.

The aerodynamic modeling though is interesting, as it would show that the Rebels ships should out perform the Imperial ships due to less drag slowing them down, but in the vacuum of space, it is all in the thrust and directional vectoring as to which is better.

The Star Wars Galaxies game did a neat job of setting up performance aspects for the ships in space. Very complicated as you built your ships from parts with different stats for speed, acceleration, pitch, roll, yaw and power consumption of the parts along with inherent stats built into each ship frame.
 

jedijeb13

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The aerodynamics of Star Wars vehicles might suck, but with enough power you can make anything fly (or keep anything flying).....




I remember that story, it was an Israeli jet on a training mission, and somehow the trainer was able to fly it home and land it like that. The engines have enough lift in their design to keep it up even with only the tiny bit of wing left on there. I doubt the F22 or F35 will ever be able to do that :)
 

CaptNumbNutz

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Star Wars vehicles do not rely on aerodynamics to fly.

The in universe explanation is they use technology called "repulsor lifts" which is a fancy way of saying "anti-gravity generators". Vehicles that had shield technology would also use those to further assist in high speed atmospheric flight by essentially making the vehicle have the aerodynamic profile of a teardrop or stretched out bubble. The vehicle would then use the combination of repulsor lifts and the engine thrusters on the back to fly through the atmosphere seamlessly. This gravity manipulation technology was also used to create dampeners to prevent pilots from experiencing the full g-force loads from their maneuvers or create localized gravity for passengers walking around the cabin during maneuvers.

Yup, S foils are opened to spread the weapons farther apart for more fire power, hitting four points instead of only two makes it easier to hit something moving as fast as a TIE fighter.
The purpose of S Foils, aka Strike foils, wasn't just to split the guns apart in a wider firing arc. S-foils were used on other craft like the fighters seen in the opening cutscene of Ep 3 Revenge of the Sith and those craft didn't have lasers attached to them. The wings of most craft were essentially gigantic passive heatsink radiators for the laser and engine system. Opening them up was a means of keeping the vehicle cool by exposing more surface to radiate heat.
 
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Tsumi

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I remember that story, it was an Israeli jet on a training mission, and somehow the trainer was able to fly it home and land it like that. The engines have enough lift in their design to keep it up even with only the tiny bit of wing left on there. I doubt the F22 or F35 will ever be able to do that :)

As long as your thrust is greater than your weight, you can keep aloft on engine power alone provided that you can still control pitch and yaw. As the F35 is capable of vertical takeoff, it definitely has enough power. As for whether or not you can remain in control with most of a wing missing, that's a different story entirely. The F22 has greater than 70,000 lbs of thrust with afterburners (52,000 lbs without) and weighs 43,000 lbs empty.

Star Wars vehicles do not rely on aerodynamics to fly.

The in universe explanation is they use technology called "repulsor lifts" which is a fancy way of saying "anti-gravity generators". Vehicles that had shield technology would also use those to further assist in high speed atmospheric flight by essentially making the vehicle have the aerodynamic profile of a teardrop or stretched out bubble. The vehicle would then use the combination of repulsor lifts and the engine thrusters on the back to fly through the atmosphere seamlessly. This gravity manipulation technology was also used to create dampeners to prevent pilots from experiencing the full g-force loads from their maneuvers or create localized gravity for passengers walking around the cabin during maneuvers.

The purpose of S Foils, aka Strike foils, wasn't just to split the guns apart in a wider firing arc. S-foils were used on other craft like the fighters seen in the opening cutscene of Ep 3 Revenge of the Sith and those craft didn't have lasers attached to them. The wings of most craft were essentially gigantic passive heatsink radiators for the laser and engine system. Opening them up was a means of keeping the vehicle cool by exposing more surface to radiate heat.

Makes sense (at least, Star Wars sense). I know B-wings have S-foils. ARC-170, which I believe are the ones in Revenge of the Sith.
 

SmokeRngs

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would be interesting to see a starfury from B5 go thru this... since they can supposedly work in an atmosphere.

Yes and no. Going from memory, the original Star Furys could not enter atmosphere because they were not designed for it. The later redesigned version on the other hand was capable of entering the atmosphere but needed to stay in the upper atmosphere where the air density was lesser. If it went into denser atmosphere it would tear itself apart trying to maneuver.
 
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The Lamborghini Countach has the same drag coefficient as the X-Wing - 0.45! At least it has a 600 HP V-12 to move all of that air out of the way!
 

Mazzspeed

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Reminds me of an awesome scene in the Battlestar Galactica series where the Galactica fell to the planet surface like a rock and warped out right at the last second before it hit the surface.

That's how real Men do it!
 

gunbust3r

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I just have to repeat "fantasy in space" to myself over and over again while watching was are supposedly ships capable of doing some percent of light speed in system piloted by someone with a flightstick looking out a window.
 

Guarana [BAWLS]

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I remember that story, it was an Israeli jet on a training mission, and somehow the trainer was able to fly it home and land it like that. The engines have enough lift in their design to keep it up even with only the tiny bit of wing left on there. I doubt the F22 or F35 will ever be able to do that :)
You think the F35 will actually get off the ground?
 

Guarana [BAWLS]

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I just have to repeat "fantasy in space" to myself over and over again while watching was are supposedly ships capable of doing some percent of light speed in system piloted by someone with a flightstick looking out a window.
TBF, their flight speeds in space are insignificant compared to lightspeed. Hyperspace jumps are straight lines, and they don't get to turn while in that.
 

Neutrino

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The aerodynamics of Star Wars vehicles might suck, but with enough power you can make anything fly (or keep anything flying)....

To be more accurate the main reason he was able to fly was still due to aerodynamics in particular the F15 has a lifting body design: (and enough remaning control surfaces of course)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lifting_body

However as you mentioned, having massive thrust does indeed help overcome many aerodynamic inefficiencies.

I average 0.000005% of light speed every day while driving.

That better not be in a school zone ;)
 

SvenBent

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I just have to repeat "fantasy in space" to myself over and over again while watching was are supposedly ships capable of doing some percent of light speed in system piloted by someone with a flightstick looking out a window.

I got pulled over by a cop driving 0.00001789397918434259% lightspeed

Also since yu have massive amount of space and bigger obstacle the speed becomes less "fast" compared to ordinary driving at the same speed.. scaling effect and such things
 

gunbust3r

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Sorry I was under the impression that a star wars ship at least could move in system at something like 0.1% of lightspeed, so you know it could go between planets faster than months. Snooping around the internet it is now clear to me no one knows how fast a star wars ship moves on system drive. http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Megalight billions of dollars in toys, books, movies, and they cant even iron that out? I'm not feeling so bad about canon breaking lightspeed torpedo maneuver now.
 

IcePickFreak

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They never explain how they have gravity on all the ships in space either. Or how about the lasers from pistols moving so slow? It's science fiction, so let's just say there's an aerodynamic shield around the craft that fly into atmospheres. I haven't even seen the latest movies and I hear people crying about space bombs. Movies apparently need to follow suit of TV and just make "reality" movies from now on. :eek:
As long as your thrust is greater than your weight, you can keep aloft on engine power alone provided that you can still control pitch and yaw. As the F35 is capable of vertical takeoff, it definitely has enough power. As for whether or not you can remain in control with most of a wing missing, that's a different story entirely.
That F-15 didn't land like a Falcon 9 rocket, so not sure where you're going there. The F-35 bit is a red herring since the F-35 STVOL variant has a secondary Rolls-Royce Liftfan jammed in the middle of it.
 

cjcox

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I just have to repeat "fantasy in space" to myself over and over again while watching was are supposedly ships capable of doing some percent of light speed in system piloted by someone with a flightstick looking out a window.

If you buy the X-Wing GT it comes with enhanced "sport" sound from the engines, which is great in space!! VAARROOOMMM!
 

NickM

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You think the F35 will actually get off the ground?

You know there are already operational combat ready F35 squadrons, right?
The Israelis love them for the massive amount if situational awareness that the platform gives them (sit in the plane on the ground and they know where EVERYTHING is for a several hundred mile radius-friendly AND hostile).
I'm just going to assume you were being facetious.
 

Nobu

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You know there are already operational combat ready F35 squadrons, right?
The Israelis love them for the massive amount if situational awareness that the platform gives them (sit in the plane on the ground and they know where EVERYTHING is for a several hundred mile radius-friendly AND hostile).
I'm just going to assume you were being facetious.
I think he meant get off the ground in the same condition as that other plane...
 

[Spectre]

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To be more accurate the main reason he was able to fly was still due to aerodynamics in particular the F15 has a lifting body design: (and enough remaning control surfaces of course)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lifting_body

However as you mentioned, having massive thrust does indeed help overcome many aerodynamic inefficiencies.

In that particular instance I think the lifting body idea (the F-15D isn't really a lifting body it just has a wide fuselage and close to flat bottom) gets over played when people recount this story for a couple of reasons. If he was generating so much lift from the body he wouldn't have been landing at over 200 knots. Second, if you assume that a clean F-15D has a ratio of 10:1 then from 13,000ft where the accident happened he could glide something like 24 miles IF he had lost power in clean level flight which would have easily made it to the airfield at 10 miles. That said, he didn't lose power in clean level flight, he was definitely no longer a clean bird, and he pitched down after the collision at a 30 degree angle and to pull out of the spin he increased his speed down by engaging the afterburner so he bled a lot of altitude (I don't know the exact number but it is probably safe to say he lost a few thousand feet in elevation). That all taken together, it seems more likely that the thrust was the main component of the lift in this case.
 

Neutrino

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You know there are already operational combat ready F35 squadrons, right?
The Israelis love them for the massive amount if situational awareness that the platform gives them (sit in the plane on the ground and they know where EVERYTHING is for a several hundred mile radius-friendly AND hostile).
I'm just going to assume you were being facetious.

I think there are quite a few strong arguments against the F35

IMO they should've kept the F22 line open then developed the electronics package currently installed in the F35 for them. The end result would've been a far superior plane for far cheaper.

Then just build a flipping dedicated plane for the marines if they really need a VSTOL plane and a modified F22 for the allies.


In that particular instance I think the lifting body idea (the F-15D isn't really a lifting body it just has a wide fuselage and close to flat bottom) gets over played when people recount this story for a couple of reasons. If he was generating so much lift from the body he wouldn't have been landing at over 200 knots. Second, if you assume that a clean F-15D has a ratio of 10:1 then from 13,000ft where the accident happened he could glide something like 24 miles IF he had lost power in clean level flight which would have easily made it to the airfield at 10 miles. That said, he didn't lose power in clean level flight, he was definitely no longer a clean bird, and he pitched down after the collision at a 30 degree angle and to pull out of the spin he increased his speed down by engaging the afterburner so he bled a lot of altitude (I don't know the exact number but it is probably safe to say he lost a few thousand feet in elevation). That all taken together, it seems more likely that the thrust was the main component of the lift in this case.

To be honest I am not sure if they specifically designed the f15 as a lifting body or not or maybe it just came out that way. I just saw it described as a lifting body quite often so I took this as a fact.

I did read that he used the afterburners to get back in control but I assume it was in order to gain enough authority in the remaining controls through extra airspeed.

As far as needing 200 kts to land, according to Wikipedia he came in twice as fast as necessary "Diverting to Ramon Airbase,[2] the F-15 landed at twice the normal speed to maintain the necessary lift"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1983_Negev_mid-air_collision

Anyway perhaps I am mostly arguing semantics, it just that from my perspective while thrust was a vital part of the recovery I still see the remaining aerodynamic components as the more important ones.

As previously mentioned by someone in this thread, when I think on landing on thrust I think more of a Falcon 9 landing.
 

NickM

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No argument on leaving the production lines open on F22.
However, the 22 does not work well for any other role than air dominance.
So now what do we do when we need a carrier-capable plane?
Ground attack?
Short field capability?
The F35 fills a lot of roles that the F22 cannot.
The 22 is better air dominance platform, but fails at any other role.
The cost argument is a non-starter (before anyone brings up that one).
The per-unit is now down to F15 new manufacture levels, and the 35 has much more capability than the F15 will EVER have, no matter how many revs we see on it.
 

Burticus

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True story: When I was in Jr. High and High School I did a lot of model rocketry. Every now and then I'd buy the "stupid" rocket. In this case the X-Wing fighter. Which was a pretty good replica of it with the little wing projections etc and a rocket shoved up its butt.

I remember those rocket kits when I was kid... mom would drag us to Michael's all the time. They only thing of interest to a young boy in that store are model kits and the rockets. Wasn't allowed to have a rocket X-wing though... she said I would blow my fingers off or some shit.
 
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