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Subject: Battlestar Galactica poorly designed?
slowball    2/15/2005 3:37:59 AM
After watching the new Battlestar Galactica series I cruised by some fan websites. I saw a facetious comment that the landing bays of the Battlestar Galactica have giant signs on them saying 'attack here'. It went on to say that this major design defect should have been corrected from the original series design. I smiled at first having thought the same thing for years but upon further thought believe the design to be both sound and innovative. My take is that the design, with the landing bays being on struts away from the main hull, allows for the isolation of damage. Much like the engine pod design of the A-10. Landing bays/decks are always going to be a prime target no matter where you put them. They will always be more vulnerable than the rest of the hull since they need to allow access for fighters to land. By isolating the landing bays from the rest of the ship (and each other) you provide greater protection for the main hull and the other landing bay. Better to have fuel and munitions kept away from the main hull. This also allows guns on the main hull to cover the landing bays and flight path of fighters on final approach.
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eon    RE:Battlestar Galactica poorly designed?   2/15/2005 9:39:04 AM
I've only seen the pilot, but the new Galactica looks to me to be more "believable" than the original. It's a classic dispersed-structure megastructure design, with sections separated by function, as you stated. But, as with the Starfleet vessels in Star Trek, I get a bit concerned thinking about it in terms of static loads in maneuvers. I'd say you'd want a lot of room for a major evolution like a turn of more than about 60 deg., to avoid increased transverse-G stress loads. Of course, I don't know exactly how it's supposed to be propelled and/or maneuvered in the show, but I noticed the Vipers were maneuvering with thrusters, so I'm assuming that all the ships have some form of reaction drive and ACS. I'd think you'd want to turn something the size of a "battlestar" very, very carefully........
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eon    RE:Designs For Seriously Big Ships   2/17/2005 9:38:53 AM
If you want to see some fairly interesting spaceship designs (interesting as in "more-or-less believable", that is) check out the old animated TV show "Adventures Of The Galaxy Rangers". The Earth Space Navy ships looked both impressively big and impressively well-thought-out. The biggest one, the "battle cruiser" (more like a dreadnought) "Laredo", reminded me suspiciously of Bob McCall's original concepts for the starship "Centaurus", the original version of what later became the "Cygnus" in the Disney piece-of-crap movie "The Black Hole". The rest of the Earth ships in the show, big and small,were similarly well designed. I don't know who their production designer was, but he or she must have been an aeronautical engineer at some time or other- check out the Ranger-1 "cruiser" (a 100m-long FTL scout/shuttle) and you'll see what I mean. (PS- yes, at least some episodes of the series are out on DVD.).
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American Kafir    RE:Battlestar Galactica poorly designed?   2/17/2005 5:01:02 PM
Keep in mind that in the new BSG, the starboard launch bay of the Galactica had been converted into a museum and gift shop and it's still not ready for combat flight ops yet (but it's only been 3 weeks since the Cylon invasion of the colonies in the latest episode) They're doing just fine with one, but they're gonna need both.
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JohnBarry    RE:Battlestar Galactica poorly designed?   2/18/2005 9:26:12 AM
The battlestar design has always been one of my favorites. “My take is that the design, with the landing bays being on struts away from the main hull, allows for the isolation of damage.” One of many stupid episodes from the origianal show was one where a fire in the landing bay threatened to destroy the whole ship. As you say, one of the reason to have the landing bays away from the main hull is the isolation of damage. If really needed you could maybe eject the whole bay into space to save the rest of the ship.
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Ehran    RE:Battlestar Galactica poorly designed?   2/18/2005 11:28:12 AM
i don't think they will need both bays given they have only got 40 vipers to fly. plus i think the actual flight bays are inside the main hull with the pods being for landings. they launch from the main hull i think which supports the bays being inside the main hull.
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ridenrain    RE:Battlestar Galactica poorly designed?   2/18/2005 12:52:48 PM
Is there any reason why these space ships need a runway to take off and land?
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John Barry    RE:Battlestar Galactica poorly designed?   2/18/2005 5:32:50 PM
It looks cool. I can see a use for a roomy hanger bay, but you don't need a flightdeck for high speed landings and takeoffs. The problem may be in the way they show nothing but high speed landings, just like an aircraft carrier landing. In space you don't need a certain speed to keep the airflow over your wings to prevent gavity from crashing you into the ground. There is no air, gravity or ground. You could land as slow as you wanted(relative speed). I don't think there is anything wrong with the design itself. It's just a big hanger to store the fighters.
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slowball    RE:Battlestar Galactica poorly designed?   2/19/2005 1:16:52 AM
"It looks cool." - John Barry Took the words right out of my mouth. As far as the launch bays go,possible explanation is there may be some type of catapault system to accelerate the vipers without wasting their own fuel. I can't think of any reason for the long landing bays, no matter how outlandish. Physics never got in the way of a good/bad show in the original.
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ridenrain    RE:Battlestar Galactica poorly designed?   2/19/2005 1:50:49 AM
I remember reading somewhere that we always project what space fighter combat would be like, based on dogfighting prop fighters because that's probably the most dramatic and looks best on film. The reality would probably be more like watching a screen untill you or the other guy is suddenly dead.
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John Barry    RE:Battlestar Galactica poorly designed?   2/19/2005 2:39:13 AM
"I can't think of any reason for the long landing bays" One reason I can think of is to make it easier handling larger spacecraft in the bay. In the movie pilot it showed the Presidents shuttle landing in the hanger bay. It would be easier if you could just land at the back and then take off out the front. You wouldn't have to worry about turning the thing around or backing up. Like the C-5 Galaxy transport, drive on at one end, drive off the other.
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