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Aircraft ranges and entering data in the editor

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All Forums >> [New Releases from Matrix Games] >> War in the Pacific: Admiral's Edition >> Scenario Design and Modding >> Aircraft ranges and entering data in the editor Page: [1]
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Aircraft ranges and entering data in the editor - 12/5/2011 11:09:03 PM   


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 F-7 version of a B-24 has the same endurance as the B-24 - 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 F-7 is lost in game terms.
In the case of a B-29, 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?
Post #: 1
RE: Aircraft ranges and entering data in the editor - 12/10/2011 9:56:29 PM   


Posts: 226
Joined: 11/20/2002
From: Lakewood Washington
Status: offline
Testing various combinations, I have concluded that the elegant solution is to use data where speeds are in knots - fully
in sync with how ranges are calculated in hexes (as well as how they are expressed - in nm - by the editor). HOWEVER,
I did NOT change the way maneuverability is calculated. It is a rationalization, to be sure (saves man years of work) - but
it may actually be better to calculate maneuverability in terms of max speed in mph. That yields a greater range of values,
causing the relative differences between planes to be more apparent. Otherwise, if all speeds are in knots, the relative
values for things like intercept routines should be preserved.

What changes is that range is properly calculated - and is not overstated.

Reviewing aircraft data also revealed that not much research was done. Thus - an F-7 variant of a B-24 has nothing like its
actual range. Then too, the LB-30 transport version is not well modeled. Some of these (BOAC manned) operated early in the
war to evacuate Java. Two were operated out of Darwin from June 1945 (AUS manned) - because they could reach useful
destination better than other aircraft. [5500 pounds could be carried Darwin to Columbo] For map projection reasons, we will
never reach Columbo from Darwin - but we CAN model the range better. An LB-30 can carry a bomb bay fuel tank - treated
as a sort of drop tank - extending its range vs the bomber version. An F-7 can carry two such tanks - extending its range yet again.
Gasoline weighs 19.4 pounds per gallon. If we assume 20 pounds (some weight for the tank and attachments), a 4000 pound
tank carries about 200 gallons. These values result in roughly better representations of the ranges of these specialized aircraft.
FYI it appears drop tanks in AE use "effect" = capacity in gallons (thus a 170 litre tank has effect = 42 - its size in gallons). But
drop tanks have NO weight - so one does not need to modify the load capacity of a plane to fit them. For each "effect" point (ie
each gallon) you apparently get one minute more endurance at cruising speed. So you can use this to calculate the range impact
using DT of any given size of DT.

(in reply to elcid)
Post #: 2
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