elcid
Posts: 226
Joined: 11/20/2002 From: Lakewood Washington Status: offline

It appears that aircraft speed data in stock is in mph. But it also appears that the range data is in nautical miles. If you look at the bottom of the editor, Max Range is shown converted to hexes, with the range in parens given exactly as you enter it in the fields on the right side. Extended Combat Range and Normal Combat Range, on the other hand, show up differently: there the range from the right hand column for each category is divided by 2, and precisely reported while the range in hexes is also reported. The hex range in all cases is range / 40  with any fraction rounded up. Since hex sixe is 40 nautical miles, and since all those fields on the bottom display box are actually labeled nm, clearly the range data that should be entered is in nm. If you enter range in statute miles, it will overstate range by about 13%. But here is the rub: if speed is in mph, then duration in minutes cannot be derived by dividing it into the range in nm. Or you will get 13% too low a duration. Now the range fields on the right side are active for air missions. That is, they do not merely control range rings, but actually where you can fly a mission (and at what range you get full load or reduced load)? This is a powerful tool for those using the editor. But how to reconcile the entry of speed in mph and the range in nm? One solution  I find unpleasant  is to use the RHS solution from WITP: enter speed in knots. That means one would have to convert the entire database to knots. Of course, we have to convert the entire database with respect to range anyway  or overstate hex range. And range data appears to require review anyway. It is tricky. What is range in a reference? It might be ferry range (max range, transfer range in game terms). It more often is the maximum useful range (extended range in game terms). It may be the range with a normal load (normal range in game terms). Or it may be the range with maximum load (not even possible in game terms). The data set seems to use a mixed bag of ranges. On top of that, ranges are often determined by block  a similar plane gets the same range regardless. Thus an F7 version of a B24 has the same endurance as the B24  never mind it has no bombs and the bomb bays have auxiliary fuel tanks (as well as cameras) in them. So the real advantage of the F7 is lost in game terms. In the case of a B29, two versions carry 10,000 pounds of bombs (of the 20,000 theoretical maximum) to a normal mission range, one version carries something like 15,000 pounds  to the same range! A programmer writes this is because aircraft ranges are "somewhat abstracted" and if that were not done "we would have to create data for each separate aircraft." I am sure that saves time in terms of data entry and the research required to have the data. But the point of all the detail in this game system is, I think, that we can represent each model with something unique for it, "right" in a relative and general sense. [Yes  one can change range by changing load or cruising speed  and IRL  also by changing altitude. So in the sense we use a single range for a single load at a single cruising speed, we are approximating already.] But another solution  which I only stumbled on by accident  is to mix the speed data as is with ranges converted to nm. I simply did the ranges first  and it appears to work. Not quite sure why? Possibly the game assumes the speed is in knots, and we are misstating the speeds not to feed it in that way? But at least the combination works  duration derived from range in nm perfectly works with the value in the cruising speed field  wether we think it is in mph or not?
