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Re: Planet-Based Fighters

From: Thomas Anderson <thomas.anderson@u...>
Date: Fri, 22 Jan 1999 18:13:30 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: Re: Planet-Based Fighters

On Thu, 21 Jan 1999, Los wrote:
> I'm of the opinion that given two equal mass fighters, of equal tech
> that a planet based fighter will be more efficient-effective with pure
> planetary-based operations than one that has to interface from orbit,
> and vice versa.

i'd agree. if we look at fighters from a hard-sf perspective (never a
idea ...), then sensible space fighters are going to be built along the
lines of starfuries, or, really, soyuz. aero fighters will be like

i'd say that a pure space fighter (as i think most fighters are assumed
be) could no more go atmospheric than an unstreamlined starship.
just like starships, fighters could be streamlined. likewise, aero
fighters would be built for lower speeds and to make use of aerodynamic
lift. even if it could get into space, it wouldn't have the thrust or
maneuverability to compete with real fighters. maybe.

you would, however, be able to put space fighters on a booster stack and
launch them from the planet (like the electrons in dale brown's 'silver

it's good sf, but bad space opera. choose the perspective appropriate to
your universe / preferences. ymmv.

> Likewaide a pure space base fighters is more efficient for space ops
> having to carry streamlining it can dedicate more of it's mass to
> extended lifesupport, payload or whatever. Interface fighters, up to a
> certain tech level, I imagine, are purpose built craft, and once a
force is
> settled in nicely, then eth planetary fighters take over, though I can
see a
> role for interface a/c for quick strikes etc.

i suppose that in my model, interface-capable spaceborne craft would be
highly specialist unit, used only in the opening stages of planetary
assault. probably used only by the marines, like the harrier in the us
today. the navy air arm would have space fighters, as they spend most of
their time (assuming they do) in space. the army air corps would have
ground-based aerofighters, probably with some sort of v/stol capability
that they don't need to build much in the way of airbases before they
use them. the planetary defence force (ie the air force) would have
booster-assisted space fighters and space fighters in orbital hangars.

you could have some fun scenarios in the upper atmosphere, where both
space and aero fighters are at the limits of their envelopes.

the boosters used for ground-based space fighters could also be used to
deliver SMRs and MT missiles to orbit, where the missile's drive would
take over. we've had this discussion before.


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