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{Drums, sounds of chanting in distance} "Rooikat, Rooikat, Rooikat..."   {Opposing chanting begins, in counterpoint} "Ratel, Ratel, Ratel"

https://helda.helsinki.fi/bitstream/handle/1975/8020/ECO031.pdf;jsessionid=1D4F492F19FEAAE2F3ECAA7A5A2BEF66?sequence=3   A paper outlining a bunch of methods for calculating tire/track press

Mini-competition suggestion: fix-a-tank   Contestants will be given an existing, flawed AFV design (or a selection to choose from), as well as a country and a time period. They will then be

4 hours ago, Sturgeon said:

I think we did a great job on the first competition and have dragged our asses on competitions ever since lol.

I think part of it is that we have some non-overlapping spheres of interest when it comes to designing things. Tonks are about the most common factor on this forum, so I'd support doing another tank-related design competition where sufficient interest has been accumulated.

 

2 hours ago, Bronezhilet said:

Yeah, but I'm down for another competition. I've been thinking about designing a tank anyway, might as well partake in a competition with it.

I'm always down - although I find pre-modern tanks more fun to design than modern ones.

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  • 2 months later...

Got an idea for a tank design competition, might be a bit of alternate history junk, but I'll see how it goes;

 

It is the year 20XX. It has been XX years since a nuclear war destroyed much of the world, causing severe damage to the industrial base. You are an engineer in <country>, tasked with designing a new tank for your nation's armed forces. While your country has knowledge of prewar tank developments (such as the M1, T-14, etc.), your nation's industrial base is insufficient to use manufacturing techniques more advanced than late 1930s / early 1940s technology (what exactly this means requires me to do a bit more thought).

 

Basically, a cheap way of getting around that any of the tanks from "design a tank for world war 2 country in 1938/1941/1944" end up using what we already know from hindsight and don't look like something that would have been made in that period.

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What is it designed to fight?

 

Edit: to clarify sonewhat, I like the idea and would be keen to participate.

 

I do, however, think that the devil here will be in the details. Are we working out of a destroyed post-nuclear US, a relatively untouched country that finds itself suddenly needing to build up a tank force, something else? How far away from the war are we? Relatedly, is there old-world equipment still kicking around, or is it 200 years later and ecerything is dust? What sort of threats and operating environment is this built for, and exactly what tech is available? Can we mix-and-match new ideas with older tech (nothing physically prevents us putting NERA and ERA in to deal with primitive HEAT jets, for instance), or is there some sort of hard limit on things. How much information has been retained from the old world?

 

@LostCosmonautI think you're going to have to do a bit of world-building and come back to us with a more detailed scenario.

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  • 1 month later...

I'm working on an idea for a contest, a contemporary fast attack craft for the USN, probably to be posted in mid-late december. I'm probably going to leave the requirements fairly open-ended, but it'll need to fit within a given budget and meet the appropriate dimensional, weight, and performance specifications -- I will also do my best to point people in the appropriate direction for helping to determine seaworthiness and performance if that's needed. I'm hoping this would be an interesting challenge, and one that is accessible to more people than a full-on warship design. I'll also be cooking up an un-scored entry as a baseline/template. 

 

Does that sound ok?

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1 hour ago, A. T. Mahan said:

I'm working on an idea for a contest, a contemporary fast attack craft for the USN, probably to be posted in mid-late december. I'm probably going to leave the requirements fairly open-ended, but it'll need to fit within a given budget and meet the appropriate dimensional, weight, and performance specifications -- I will also do my best to point people in the appropriate direction for helping to determine seaworthiness and performance if that's needed. I'm hoping this would be an interesting challenge, and one that is accessible to more people than a full-on warship design. I'll also be cooking up an un-scored entry as a baseline/template. 

 

Does that sound ok?

We now have a rule that there needs to be a long cooling off period between contests - around 1 year.

 

I think we might consider sonething around March/April next year if people are super keen, but until then it can get posted here like all the other ideas to be mulled over in due time.

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3 hours ago, Toxn said:

We now have a rule that there needs to be a long cooling off period between contests - around 1 year.

 

I think we might consider sonething around March/April next year if people are super keen, but until then it can get posted here like all the other ideas to be mulled over in due time.

 

I told Mahan to go ahead and suggest another contest, but I don't think anyone will really be biting for several months at least.

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  • 2 weeks later...

 

Backstory:
 

The Confederal Republics of Greater New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts Bay, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and the Providence Plantations is the major power in the Northeastern region of the former-US. A Federal Republic consisting of the States of Long Island, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island and the Providence Plantations, Massachusetts Bay, Cape Cod, and the Southern Unincorporated Territories, encompassing most of prewar Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Ohio. Founded by the survivors of the war in New York City shortly after the war, it is one of the most stable political entities in the region. High literacy and education rates, the survival of large caches of prewar information, the relative lack of damage from the war outside New York City, Boston, and parts of Philadelphia have allowed the region to become a manufacturing powerhouse. The existence of several major pre-war manufacturing sites in CRS territory, including the Philadelphia, Portsmouth, and Brooklyn Naval Shipyards, General Dynamics-Electric Boat (Which was spared from destruction by a dud 475-kiloton warhead), Bath Ironworks, Watervliet Arsenal, the Sikorsky and General Electric plants, and several major research facilities has brought the CRS to approximately the technical level of the early to mid-1950s US, although they are farther along in some specific areas -- gas turbine technology, electronic computers, high strength fibers, and high-strength ceramics being particularly noteworthy examples.

 

The economy of the CRS is predominantly focused on trade, aviation, and shipbuilding. Possessing two of the largest deepwater harbors on earth (New York and Boston harbors), the Republican States' merchant marine is the largest in the world, and there is regular trade with Western and Mediterranean Europe, Africa, southern Asia, and the Antipodes. As a corollary to this, they maintain a large and capable navy, predominantly based on updated and modified Second World War designs. The states of New York, Long Island and Connecticut are particularly influential in aviation, with nearly 50% of total North American aircraft production divided between Long Island, the Buffalo metropolitan area, and various locations in southern Connecticut. This has provided the Navy with substantial advantages in naval aviation, with the first CRS aircraft carrier, CRSS Kitty Hawk, a modification of the Ranger design of 1925, completed in 2218. Currently, the backbone of the fleet are the three ships of the CV-5 class (Bethpage, Azores, and Buzzard's Bay) and the first four ships of the CV-9 class (NewarkTroySchenectady, and Ithaca), (derived from design SCB-125A), with more under construction. Additional naval air forces include maritime patrol aircraft, predominantly B-17 and B-24 derivatives, antisubmarine warfare aircraft derived from the Lockheed Constellation, and several executive transports. 
 

 

Year: 2243

The Navy of the Confederal Republics of Greater New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts Bay, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and the Providence Plantations request proposals for a Patrol-Torpedo Boat.

 

The Chief of Naval Operations, having determined that our current force structure (Detailed in Appendix A) is insufficient to protect our international trade at sea, in the Great Lakes, on the various rivers of the North American continent, and to defend the seacoast, has determined that there is a doctrinal need for such craft.

The proposals will be evaluated against two benchmark Government designs — SCB-92F and SCB-238Q. These will be presented with the beginning of the contest. (December 7, 2018)

 

The specifications are as follows:
 

  • Displacement:

    • Not more than 75 tons at combat weight.

    • This is non-negotiable and a hard limit. Any design with a combat weight, defined as the vessel with full complement of crew, armaments, ammunition, fuel, oil, food, potable water, and a 100lb/man allotment for personal effects, in excess of 150,000lb will be disregarded. This limit is due to restrictions on transport capacity for transoceanic shipment.
       

  • Speed:

    • Threshold: 43.5 knots sprint, 39 knots sustained at combat weight, 45 knots at light ship.

    • Objective: 45 knots sprint, 43.5 knots sustained, at combat weight 48 knots light ship.
       

  • Complement:

    • Threshold: Not more than three officers and 14 enlisted.

    • Objective: Not more than two officers and nine enlisted.
       

  • Potable water:

    • Threshold: Not less than 150 USCS gallons (1,320lb)

    • Objective: Not less than 200 gallons (1,750 lb)
       

  • Range:

    • Threshold: Not less than 250 nautical miles at 35 knots, not less than 500 nautical miles at 15 knots, at combat weight.

    • Objective: Not less than 350 nautical miles at 35 knots, not less than 750 nautical miles at 20 knots at combat weight.
       

  • Engines:

    • Threshold: Not less than two or more than four engines. Not less than two nor more than four propellers. Machinery spaces must have both an AFFF blanket system and handheld extinguisher bottles of sufficient size and type.
       

  • Fuel tanks must be self sealing and must not have any wiring run through them.
     

  • The vessel must be able to conduct underway replenishment
     

  • Draft:

    • Threshold: Not more than six feet, six inches, including screws.

    • Objective: Not more than five feet, one inch including screws.
       

  • Turning circle:

    • Threshold: Not more than 435 yards.

    • Objective: Not more than 350 yards
       

  • Fittings: All fittings are to be corrosion resistant, and of the standard Navy type. All cleats will be of the Herreshoff double-taper type.
     

  • Accommodations:

    • Sufficient sleeping quarters for the crew are mandatory. There must be escape lighting in berthing spaces sufficient to guide the crew topside in total darkness or smoke.

    • Sufficient ventilation to accommodate the smoking of tobacco below decks is required.

    • Sufficient galley space is mandatory, including an electric cooktop and oven, preparations surfaces.

    • Sufficient storage to secure all cooking implements while underway is required.  
       

  • Food storage:

    • Threshold: Food storage sufficient for five days.

    • Objective: Refrigerated storage for seven days.
       

  • There shall be provisions for personal retention lanyard and harness systems to prevent loss of crew in adverse sea states.
     

  • Provision shall be provided for storage of individual small arms of the Crew, including 1x M1994/18 5.56mm carbine for each man and officer, 1x Colt Government .45 automatic or Browning Hi Power 9mm automatic pistol for each officer, and sufficient supplies of ammunition (210 rounds per carbine, 100 rounds per pistol per day of supplies) for each.
     

  • Communications fit:

    • Threshold:

      • 1x blinker light,

      • 1x standard type 50W VHF secure TBS radiotelephone (the exact set will be provided, AV/VRC-12 equivalent with VINSON),

      • LORAN radio navigation system.

    • Objective:

      • 2x blinker light,

      • 2x standard type VHF secure TBS radiotelephone,

      • 1x secure LF/MF/HF radio set (Units will be provided),

      • LORAN radio navigation system.
         

  • Sensor fit:

    • Threshold:

      • 2x acoustic depth sounder (bow and stern),

      • 1x manually operated optical rangefinder,

      • 2x 30” arc searchlights.

    • Objective:

      • 1x AN/SPS-5 surface search radar (S-band Raytheon SG),

      • 1x optical rangefinder,

      • Provision for a towed array sonar system and sonobuoys

      • Searchlights for all major caliber gun mounts.
         

  • The vessel must comply with all peacetime navigational lighting regulations.
     

  • Torpedo armament will be provided by the Naval Torpedo Station, Newport.

    • It will consist of not less than two nor more than four torpedoes of one of the following types:

      • 21” Mark 16 MOD 2 (USN Mark 16 torpedo with wake-homing head built off a Mark 35 seeker). 4,000lb, 11,000yd range at 46.2 knots, 746lb HBX-3 (Re=1.75)

      • 22.4” Mark 25 (New-productio USN Mark 25 torpedo) 2,400lb, 2500yd range at 40 knots, 725lb HBX-3 (Re=1.75)
         

  • Other armament:

    • Threshold:

      • Not less than:

        • 1x 37mm automatic gun (100 rounds)

        • 2x twin .50 Browning machine guns (2,000 rounds)

        • 2x 20mm machine guns (2,000 rounds)

        • 2x depth charge racks at stern (6 500lb depth charges)

        • Mounts for no less than 10 5” HV or AS rockets (storage for three sets of reloads)

    • Objective: Not less than

      • 1x automatic gun not smaller than 40mm bore and not larger than 3” bore (250 rounds)

      • 1x automatic gun not smaller than 35mm bore and not larger than 38mm bore, (250 rounds)

      • Not less than two 20mm machine guns (2000 rounds)

      • Not less than two twin .50 machine gun mounts (2,000 rounds)

      • Mounts for not less than twenty 5” rockets (storage for five sets of reloads)

 

  • Seaworthiness:

    • Threshold:

      • The vessel must be capable of making extended (1,000nm) redeployments on its own hull.

      • It must be capable of conducting combat operations to minimum standards with a skilled crew to Sea State III, must not be damaged by 24 hours at Sea State IV and must survive Sea State V.

    • Objective:

      • The vessel must be capable of making 2,000 nautical mile redeployments on its own hull.

    • It must be capable of conducting combat operators to minimum standards to Sea State IV, must not be damaged by 24 hours at Sea State V, and survive Sea State VI.

  • Wing-in-ground-effect craft will not be considered, as they are aircraft.


Guidance and Opinions:

The Navy greatly prefers supercharged gasoline engines to diesel-cycle engines, and is interested in gas turbine propulsion. The Navy does not consider steam turbines suitable for motor torpedo boats.

The Navy prefers that the vessels be less than 25 feet in beam to permit road transport by truck and trailer.

The Navy prefers nonmetallic construction for small craft, as degaussing is expensive and aluminum corrodes very rapidly.

The Navy is interested in fully submerged hydrofoils, but current experimentation has shown that either exceptional skill on the part of the helmsman or a computer system beyond the state of the art is required. If a control method is forthcoming, the Navy would be very interested.

The Surface Warfare Officer community would prefer the vessel to have splinter and machine gun bullet protection and an enclosed bridge. They also would very much like a reduced radar cross section, as the probable enemy has developed rudimentary radar systems.

The Underwater Demolition Team boat crews would prefer the vessel have mufflers or otherwise be quiet, and ask if accommodations could be made for transporting a couple rubber dinghies and a free space for a ladder somewhere along the gunwale.

The Office of Advanced Technical Development would like to know if you could design the vessel for but not with something fairly fragile aft of midships, about 16’ wide, 18’ long, 14’ tall, and 26,000lb, and if you could design a mainmast capable of supporting a 3,000lb radar system.

 

The Navy would like stabilized main gun mounts with power traverse and a holographic weapon sight, but they are not required.

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Gonna be honest, I'm not as keen on this idea. We just did one alt-hist wankery contest. Not sure we want to keep going down that road. When we were talking about a FAC/naval contest before it was more a modern wartime COTS fast attack craft that could be churned out with pretty close to NATO standard equipment. YMMV.

 

As is I'm not interested in taking part in this one. Maybe judging...

 

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Merged the PT boat discussion with the general competition suggestions.

 

I think that @A. T. Mahan put a lot of effort and care into this PT boat competition suggestion.  There's a lot of detail work in the big bold text there.

 

And I'm going to say no.

 

For a competition to work there need to be... at least three entries.  And there need to be at least three judges.  So there need to be on the order of six people who know how the fuck (weapons system X) works.

 

There just aren't that many people here who know boats.

 

We tried, in the past, to do a competition around designing an SMG.  That was my idea.  It was a bad idea.  I almost single-handedly destroyed the SH competitions section with that bad idea.  And SMGs are one of the easiest modern weapons systems in the world to design.  And we have one person here who works as a gunsmith, one who has worked in the firearms industry for decades, one who wrote about guns for four years, and several people with engineering degrees.  If it actually came down to it, there are several people here who could design you up a submachine gun!  But there just wasn't the critical mass of enthusiasm for anything that wasn't an armored fighting vehicle.

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I also think it's just too soon after the last contest myself.  As we saw last time we ran contests, people burn out. It takes a fair bit of creative work to design something.

 

Anyhow, I really like the thought that you put into the contest Mahan, but I'm one of the naval enthusiasts on the board. I couldn't come anywhere close to designing something that would fit the criteria for that. I could maybe judge it fairly, but would need to discuss tech details of 50s gas engines and stuff like that with an expert. The weapons systems would be easy, but 50s level radar is a mystery to me.

 

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22 minutes ago, Collimatrix said:

Merged the PT boat discussion with the general competition suggestions.

 

I think that @A. T. Mahan put a lot of effort and care into this PT boat competition suggestion.  There's a lot of detail work in the big bold text there.

 

And I'm going to say no.

 

For a competition to work there need to be... at least three entries.  And there need to be at least three judges.  So there need to be on the order of six people who know how the fuck (weapons system X) works.

 

There just aren't that many people here who know boats.

 

We tried, in the past, to do a competition around designing an SMG.  That was my idea.  It was a bad idea.  I almost single-handedly destroyed the SH competitions section with that bad idea.  And SMGs are one of the easiest modern weapons systems in the world to design.  And we have one person here who works as a gunsmith, one who has worked in the firearms industry for decades, one who wrote about guns for four years, and several people with engineering degrees.  If it actually came down to it, there are several people here who could design you up a submachine gun!  But there just wasn't the critical mass of enthusiasm for anything that wasn't an armored fighting vehicle.

I still hold hope in my heart that we'll have another successful aircraft competition one day. But we do definitely seem to struggle with anything that isn't a tank.

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What I was hoping for with the naval contest was to post links a couple of other places and maybe end up bringing more naval folks and have enough of a prize that people were actually interested. Maybe get multiple people to sponsor the contest and have it be somewhat extended length. YMMV.

 

 

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1 minute ago, Belesarius said:

What I was hoping for with the naval contest was to post links a couple of other places and maybe end up bringing more naval folks and have enough of a prize that people were actually interested. Maybe get multiple people to sponsor the contest and have it be somewhat extended length. YMMV.

 

 

Then it would have to be a battleship, aircraft carrier or submarine competition. Because, let's face it, no other ship types get as much love.

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      It is not foreseen that any of these vehicles will be able to plausibly take on modern medium or heavy designs head-on. Instead, what is wanted are general, implementable improvements to the characteristics of the chosen vehicle. These improvements should be aimed at making these vehicles more useful in the initial battles which are foreseen taking place against airborne and landing forces, in general cooperation with infantry, and as scouts.
       
      The submission should include one or more drawings or blueprints (at least a side view of the vehicle, but preferably a 3-point view and isometric view), a description of the modified vehicle, a description of how the modifications would be accomplished and a description of how the modifications would improve the design overall. The text of the submission should short and descriptive rather than long and exhaustive, and should not exceed 1000 words in total. Images may be photoshopped using existing pictures.
       
      Judging will be done on the basis of plausibility and effectiveness, with innovative solutions being encouraged in order to get the most bang for buck out of the base vehicle. Beyond implementation, the fixes should prioritise combat effectiveness while also improving reliability, crew ergonomics, communication, mobility and protection as much as possible.
       
      The foreign vehicles available for modification are:
      Renault R35 (already in service) Hotchkiss H35/39 Somua S35 (already in use for training purposes) T-26 BT-5 T-28 (only available in very small numbers, so need to be extremely effective) Panzer II Ausf.C  
      The foreign weapons immediately available for purchase are:
      15mm ZB-60 25mm Puteaux and Hotchkiss 3.7cm KPÚV vz. 34/Pak 34 (t) 3.7cm ÚV vz. 38/KwK 38(t)
      3.7cm Pak 36 4.0 cm Pak 192 (e) 45mm M1937 (53-K) 4.7cm KPÚV vz. 38/Pak 38 (t) 47mm APX 7.5cm Pak 97/38 7.62 cm F.K.297(r) and  7.62 cm PaK 39(r) 8.8cm Raketenwerfer 43  
      Licenses are also available for the manufacture of foreign engines (Maybach HL62 TRM, Maybach HL120 TRM and Praga Typ TNHPS/II), periscopes, sights, radios, cupolas and automotive subassemblies. All foreign vehicle weapons, subassemblies and components are available for reverse engineering and manufacture.
       
      IMPORTANT NOTE: This competition hasn't been finalised, and is waiting on your input! Vote to participate by giving this topic a 'controversial' (grapefruit-induced tears being the only currency of value), and if we get enough participants we'll pull the trigger. Ask any questions you want below, and when/if the competition goes forwards I will make a new thread for entries.
       
      Edit: thanks to excellent feedback, the competition proposal has been somewhat edited. If you want an idea of what my mindset is here, read up on the battle of Gela (bearing in mind that the wikipedia entry is shite) and ask how much better the counter-attack could have gone if the Italian vehicles had been equipped with radios and had the ability to move faster than jogging speed.
       
      Edit 2: since I failed to mention this above - this is not a one-man, one-entry sort of competition (although I'm not keen on the ten-men, one entry approach either).
      If you have two good ideas then you can submit twice. The only rules are not to test my patience and to keep it within the bounds of good taste.

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