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Everything posted by LostCosmonaut

  1. LostCosmonaut

    Competition: Tank Design 2239

    Backstory (skip if you don't like alternate history junk) The year is 2239. It has been roughly 210 years since the world was engulfed in nuclear war. Following the war, the United States splintered into hundreds of small statelets. While much knowledge was retained in some form (mostly through books and other printed media), the loss of population and destruction of industrial capability set back society immensely. Though the Pacific Northwest was less badly hit than other areas, the destruction of Seattle and Portland, coupled with the rupturing of the Cascadia Subduction Zone in 2043, caused society to regress to a mid-19th century technology level. However, in the early 2100s, the Cascade Republic formed, centered near Tacoma. The new nation grew rapidly, expanding to encompass most of Washington and Oregon by 2239. The Cascade Republic now extends from the Klamath River in the south to the Fraser River in the north, and from the Pacific roughly to central Idaho. Over time, the standard of living and industrial development improved (initially through salvaging of surviving equipment, by the late 2100s through new development); the population has grown to about 4.5 million (comparable to 1950 levels), and technology is at about a 1940 level. Automobiles are common, aircraft are less common, but not rare by any means. Computers are nonexistent aside from a few experimental devices; while scientists and engineers are aware of the principles behind microchips and other advanced electronics, the facilities to produce such components simply do not exist. Low rate production of early transistors recently restarted. The current armored force of the Cascade Republic consists of three armored brigades. They are presently equipped with domestically produced light tanks, dating to the 2190s. Weighing roughly 12 tons and armed with a 40mm gun, they represented the apex of the Cascade Republic's industrial capabilities at the time. And when they were built, they were sufficient for duties such as pacifying survivalist enclaves in remote areas. However, since that time, the geopolitical situation has complicated significantly. There are two main opponents the Cascade Republic's military could expect to face in the near future. The first is California. The state of California was hit particularly hard by the nuclear exchange. However, in 2160, several small polities in the southern part of the state near the ruins of Los Angeles unified. Adopting an ideology not unfamiliar to North Korea, the new state declared itself the successor to the legacy of California, and set about forcibly annexing the rest of the state. It took them less than 50 years to unite the rest of California, and spread into parts of Arizona and northern Mexico. While California's expansion stopped at the Klamath River for now, this is only due to poor supply lines and the desire to engage easier targets. (California's northward advanced did provide the final impetus for the last statelets in south Oregon to unify with the Cascade Republic voluntarily). California is heavily industrialized, possessing significant air, naval, and armored capabilities. Their technology level is comparable to the Cascade Republic's, but their superior industrial capabilities and population mean that they can produce larger vehicles in greater quantity than other countries. Intelligence shows they have vehicles weighing up to 50 tons with 3 inches of armor, though most of their tanks are much lighter. The expected frontlines for an engagement with the Californian military would be the coastal regions in southern Oregon. Advancing up the coastal roads would allow California to capture the most populated and industrialized regions of the Cascade Republic if they advanced far enough north. Fortunately, the terrain near the border is very difficult and favors the defender; (near the Californian border) The other opponent is Deseret, a Mormon theocratic state centered in Utah, and encompassing much of Nevada, western Colorado, and southern Idaho. Recently, tension has arisen with the Cascade Republic over two main issues. The first is the poorly defined border in Eastern Oregon / Northern Nevada; the old state boundary is virtually meaningless, and though the area is sparsely populated, it does represent a significant land area, with grazing and water resources. The more recent flashpoint is the Cascade Republic's recent annexation of Arco and the area to the east. Deseret historically regarded Idaho as being within its sphere of influence, and maintained several puppet states in the area (the largest being centered in Idaho Falls). They regard the annexation of a signficant (in terms of land area, not population) portion of Idaho as a major intrusion into their rightful territory. That the Cascade Republic has repaired the rail line leading to the old Naval Reactors Facility, and set up a significant military base there only makes the situation worse. Deseret's military is light and heavily focused on mobile operations. Though they are less heavily mechanized than the Cascade Republic's forces, operating mostly armored cars and cavalry, they still represent a significant threat to supply and communication lines in the open terrain of eastern Oregon / southern Idaho. (a butte in the disputed region of Idaho, near Arco) Requirements As the head of a design team in the Cascade Republic military, you have been requested to design a new tank according to one of two specifications (or both if you so desire): Medium / Heavy Tank Weight: No more than 45 tons Width: No more than 10.8 feet (3.25 meters) Upper glacis / frontal turret armor of at least 3 in (76mm) LoS thickness Side armor at least 1in (25mm) thick (i.e. resistant to HMG fire) Power/weight ratio of at least 10 hp / ton No more than 6 crew members Primary armament capable of utilizing both anti-armor and high explosive rounds Light tank Weight: No more than 25 tons Width: No more than 10.8 feet Upper glacis / frontal turret armor of at least 1 in thickness Side armor of at least 3/8 in (10mm) thickness Power/weight ratio of at least 12 hp / ton No more than 6 crew members Primary armament capable of utilizing both anti-armor and high explosive rounds Other relevant information: Any tank should be designed to operate against either of the Cascade Republic's likely opponents (California or Deseret) The primary heavy machine gun is the M2, the primary medium machine gun is the M240. Use of one or both of these as coaxial and/or secondary armament is encouraged. The secret archives of the Cascade Republic are available for your use. Sadly, there are no running prewar armored vehicles, the best are some rusted hulks that have long been stripped of usable equipment. (Lima Tank Plant ate a 500 kt ground burst) Both HEAT and APFSDS rounds are in testing. APCR is the primary anti-armor round of the Cascade Republic. Either diesel or gasoline engines are acceptable, the Cascade Republic is friendly with oil producing regions in Canada (OOC: Engines are at about a late 1940s/early 50s tech level) The adaptability of the tank to other variants (such as SPAA, SPG, recovery vehicle, etc.) is preferred but not the primary metric that will be used to decide on a design. Ease of maintenance in the field is highly important. Any designs produced will be compared against the M4 Sherman and M3 Stuart (for medium/heavy and light tank), as these blueprints are readily available, and these tanks are well within the Cascade Republic's manufacturing capabilities.
  2. LostCosmonaut

    Ryan XV-5 Vertifan

    Some more XV-5 stuff;
  3. LostCosmonaut

    Ryan XV-5 Vertifan

    During the 1960s, both the USSR and NATO countries had many programs for the development of VTOL aircraft. Most of these never reach flying status, though a few did fly at least in prototype form. One of these was the Ryan XV-5 Vertifan. http://modelingmadness.com/scott/korean/xv5photoa.jpg Development of the XV-5 began on November 10, 1961, when the US Army issued a contract for the development of an aircraft using the lift-fan propulsion system. Primary contractors were General Electric and Ryan Aeronautics. The lift-fan system was quite different from other VTOL systems of the time, such as the lift jets found in the original MiG-23 prototype or contemporary VZ-4, for instance. Rather than the jet exhaust directly providing the thrust for vertical flight, the exhaust drives several fans, which provide the thrust for vertical lift. This has the advantage of not projecting hot exhaust gases downward, however, there are losses in efficiency due to the extensive ducting needed. The XV-5 (orignally designated VZ-11 at the start of the program) was powered by a pair of J85 turbojets, the same engines as found in the F-5. Maximum takeoff weight was 12,500 lb. Space for two crew members was provided. Two large lift fans were located in the wings, which provided most of the thrust for vertical takeoff. A smaller lift fan was located in the nose, which provided additional thrust as well as attitude control. The vanes on each fan could be pitched between -7 and 45 degrees to provide directional control while hovering. As the XV-5 would spend much of its time in hover, the test aircraft were fitted with helicopter style controls, to provide better handling while taking off and landing vertically. Two XV-5A test aircraft were formally accepted by the US Army on January 26, 1965, and began flight testing shortly afterward, at Edwards AFB. http://vertipedia.vtol.org/vstol/images/VSTOLWheel/pics/41.jpg The XV-5A demonstrated the ability to land and take off vertically, as well as successfully transition to horizontal flight (transition took place at about 170 km/h). However, there were some issues. The aircraft's ground attitude meant that taking off perfectly vertically was quite difficult; it require the pilot to release the brakes, adjust pitch controls, and change engine power simultaneously. Additionally, the aircraft was found to be difficult to control during the transition period, as there was no integrated control system for both modes of flight. Often, the XV-5A would pitch up or down for a few seconds as the transition occurred. Numerous other small issues were noted; many instruments were poorly placed, and cockpit temperature control was ineffective. More importantly, visibility downward was very bad when hovering. Oddly, a parking brake was not fitted to the XV-5A, which caused issues during testing. The XV-5A had decent conventional takeoff performance, with a takeoff run of about 800 meters needed. The aircraft also performed well during conventional landings. However, during vertical takeoffs and landings, severe turbulence was noted while in ground effect, making the aircraft difficult to control. This made it difficult to land in a precise spot (a major problem for an operational VTOL aircraft), and limited operations to when winds were less than about 10 km/h, obviously unacceptable for operational use. Another problem noted with vertical flight was that at high loads, the lift fans would reingest exhaust gases, leading to loss of power similar to vortex ring state. Despite these flaws, the XV-5A was judged adequate by the US Army as a research aircraft (however, it was recommended that these issues be fixed in follow-on research aircraft). The first XV-5A aircraft was lost in an accident on April 27, 1965, which unfortunately killed the pilot testing the aircraft. Investigation showed this was likely due to the pilot accidentally switching the aircraft from horizontal to vertical flight mode (the switch was located on the collective control for convenient access, which made it easy to activate accidentally). Testing continued afterward with the second prototype. Later in the testing, the XV-5 was considered by the US Army for use as a close air support aircraft or as a rescue aircraft (the lack of hot exhaust gases meant that it could hover over people without inadvertently frying them). The second fatal accident in the XV-5 program occurred in 1966 during testing of this capability. A rescue harness was ingested into the lift fan on the left wing of the XV-5A, damaging it. The pilot ejected, but was killed as the seat deployed horizontally due to the attitude of the aircraft during ejection. Later investigation showed that the damaged fan was still capable of producing enough lift to slow the XV-5's descent to a survivable rate. The XV-5A following the second crash. Following the crash of the second XV-5A airframe, it was decided to rebuild it into the XV-5B, and continue the test program with that aircraft. Numerous improvements were made to the systems of the XV-5 (including improved control systems and cockpit layout), correcting some of the deficiencies of the XV-5A. The aircraft was also repainted in NASA colors (the XV-5A had been painted in US Army markings.) i http://aviadejavu.ru/Images6/MY/MY77-6/10-3.jpg In addition to being used for testing of the VTOL characteristics and the lift-fan concept, the XV-5B was used for testing of approach procedures for VTOL aircraft. Particularly, the XV-5B was flown at steep approach angles of up to 20 degrees.The aircraft was flown successfully in this role, but it was found to be somewhat difficult for the pilot, as engine throttle, lift fan controls, and conventional flight controls all had to be manipulated to stabilize that approach. Testing of the XV-5B in this role was continued until 1971, when the aircraft was retired. It is currently on display in Fort Rucker, Alabama. http://cdn-www.airliners.net/aviation-photos/photos/7/1/7/2287717.jpg Video footage of the XV-5A Sources: PRELIMINARY PILOT QUALITATIVE EVALUATION OF THE XV-5A RESEARCH AIRCRAFT Lift Fan Aircraft - Lessons from Pilot's Perspective
  4. LostCosmonaut

    The SH Ski/Snowboard Thread

    K-Mart opens Friday; https://www.killington.com/media-room/press-releases/all-press-releases/opening-day-2018
  5. This is the official thread for discussion of anything related to skiing/snowboarding on SH. If you like throwing yourself down a frozen mountain, or are at all interested, this is the place. My personal experience: I mostly ski in the northeast (New York / Vermont), have never tried snowboarding. All my experience is at resorts, so if you want to know more about crazy backcountry shit I might not be able to answer 100% (though I am seriously considering heading to Tuckerman Ravine this year). Basic advice: Wear a helmet Rating systems are uniform everywhere, what's a black diamond somewhere might be a blue at a more hardcore place. Anything above black diamond (and especially above double black) is as much marketing as difficulty rating. Difficulty depends on conditions Wear a helmet Taking a lesson your first time is probably a good idea Make sure your boots are properly fitted Resources: http://www.skibum.net/ Site with a bunch of general info about skiing, and has little blurbs/ratings about a whole lot of American ski/snowboard places, grouped by state (surprised how many midwest states have ski places). Has a pro-ski / anti-snowboard tilt. https://www.liftopia.com/ Deals on lift tickets (it is an expensive hobby, especially if you go to Aspen or Vail) http://nyskiblog.com/ Blog about New York skiing http://forums.alpinezone.com/forumdisplay.php/10-Northeast-Skiing-and-Snowboarding-Forum Forum about skiing in the Northeast https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/ General skiing forum, but has more of a western audience. Also appears to have a vibrant shitposting culture. http://mountainvertical.com/ Shows de-marketified vertical ratings for each mountain. Vertical (distance from top to bottom) is a big deal for marketing, and there's a lot of ways to fudge it. http://www.goremountain.com/ http://www.whiteface.com/ The two places I go most often. Whiteface has more vertical and longer runs, but is farther away and is often windy and iced over. Gore is closer, less crowded, and sometimes has better conditions. http://timefortuckerman.com/ Site about Tuckerman Ravine, one of the holy sites of Northeast skiing. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzmlnH8vDQHoEb2TrC0WDCg Jerry of the Day Pic at the top is from the summit of Whiteface about a year ago.
  6. LostCosmonaut

    Aerospace Pictures and Art Thread

    Post cool pictures (including art) of aerospace object here.
  7. NTRs aren't completely dead 18.8 million is chump change for spaceflight, but better than nothing. reeeeeeee
  8. A bunch of ancient settlements extremely far (~82 N) north in Greenland link
  9. LostCosmonaut

    I Learned Something Today

    This thread is intended to be a place for cool things that you just found out about, but that aren't necessarily major enough to merit their own thread. For instance, today I learned why heavy water is/was used as a moderator in certain types of reactors. Since hydrogen atoms are small, they are very good at slowing down neutrons, but regular hydrogen also has a nasty tendency to absorb said neutrons (which you probably want to be absorbed by the uranium/plutonium in your reactor). Deuterium is a bit heavier, but still pretty damn good at slowing neutrons, and it's much less likely to absorb them.
  10. LostCosmonaut

    Saudi Arabia to begin operations in Yemen

    Things look pretty bad in Yemen right now; https://twitter.com/TurkiAlmohaiya/status/1051805308790685696
  11. LostCosmonaut

    Competition: Tank Design 2239

    Sick, whoever wins is going to get this burger king coupon I found under the fridge.
  12. LostCosmonaut

    Competition: Tank Design 2239

    Prize split is no problem uh, how does $50 total for a prize sound? I never actually specified at any point.
  13. LostCosmonaut

    Competition: Tank Design 2239

    One winner for each category was my intent.
  14. LostCosmonaut

    The Meteorology Thread: Hector Lives

    Remnants of Leslie are about to hit Portugal with near hurricane winds. Here's the trackmap for the storm's life;
  15. For discussion of all sorts of weather and weather related phenomena. Post cool shit, or just talk about what it's like outside. First, here's a cool pic of some sprites; Also, we're just now starting to get into hurricane season (although it actually began about 5 months ago with Hurricane Alex)! The US has dodged a lot of bullets recently, there hasn't been a landfalling major hurricane in the US since 2005. The biggest story in the Atlantic for 2015 was Hurricane Joaquin, which reached category 4 intensity over the Bahamas despite its unusual method of formation, and sank the cargo ship El Faro; The East Pacific had Hurricane Patricia, which produced the highest winds ever recorded in a hurricane, and the lowest pressure ever recorded in the western hemisphere (872 mb) Side not, California hasn't been hit by a hurricane since 1898. Maybe this is the year they'll get unlucky!
  16. LostCosmonaut

    The SH Ski/Snowboard Thread

    US ski season starts Saturday; https://kdvr.com/2018/10/10/wolf-creek-ski-area-to-open-saturday-says-it-will-be-first-in-nation/
  17. LostCosmonaut

    How to Salvage SLS?

    It looks like SLS is salvageable if Boeing stays involved; https://arstechnica.com/science/2018/10/theres-a-new-report-on-sls-rocket-management-and-its-pretty-brutal/ Between this and other fiascoes like the KC-46, my opinion of Boeing isn't that great right now.
  18. Credit to @Sturgeon for originally coming up with this discussion topic. As I'm sure you're all aware by now, SLS (Space Launch System) is horribly delayed; it was originally supposed to fly a few years ago, but now isn't supposed to launch until 2020. That will be an unmanned launch of the Block 1 version, the Block 2 version (the one that will rival Saturn V) won't be coming until 2029 per wikiped. Also, it makes the odd (and in my opinion poor) choice of going with solid rocket boosters plus hydrolox on the first stage. With that said, SLS does at least make use of existing hardware such as the RL-10 and derivatives of the Shuttle SRBs and RS-25s, and manufacturing has begun on some components. So it's ahead of the complete train wreck that was Constellation. The question is, how can SLS be fixed? There's a bunch of options depending how far back in time you're willing to go and how radical of changes you're going to make. I'm going to start by laying out what I see as the facts of the situation, without changing the architecture of the system: SLS is horribly overbuilt for LEO crewed operations, and F9/Dragon (and even Atlas V / Starliner) is much cheaper and better fits that mission. Plans to man-rate Falcon Heavy are canned for the moment, so besides BFR (which will blow everything open if it does what Musk promises) there are no American man-capable launchers that can send a crewed mission beyond LEO. (I don't know anything about plans to stick a capsule on New Glenn or any other amazon rockets) Therefore, SLS has something of a niche as a crewed beyond LEO launcher (again assuming BFR doesn't pan out) In order to become more economical, SLS must launch more frequently than once every few years. The most likely way to do this is by establishing a permanent presence on the moon. This would require acceleration of the schedule for Block 2 most likely, along with a shitload of money. Still, it should serve as a starting point for the discussion.
  19. So, there's now a very real possibility nobody will be going into space until June 2019.
  20. LostCosmonaut

    The Meteorology Thread: Hector Lives

    Hurricane Michael also resulted in the appearance of the rarest NWS advisory, the Extreme Wind Warning. The Extreme Wind Warning was created after the 2005 season, when NWS offices in Mississippi and Louisiana issued tornado warnings for counties that were going to be affected by Katrina's winds, but weren't actually getting hit by tornadoes.
  21. For stuff that's cool, but isn't necessarily important enough to merit its own thread; to start;
  22. LostCosmonaut

    The Meteorology Thread: Hector Lives

    The Florida Panhandle has never been hit by a category 4 storm. That might be about to change; I'm not 100% sure, but I think -90C cloud tops corresponds to an altitude of about 60,000 feet.
  23. There is now speculation that the surface of Europa could be covered in gigantic spikes of ice; https://www.space.com/42051-jupiter-moon-europa-ice-towers-lander.html They would look similar to (but larger than) penitentes, ice formations found in the Andes caused by differential sublimation in direct sunlight and low temperatures.