Gep Malakai wrote:
Cary L. Brown wrote:
This is why I'm a big fan of multiple impulse-engine emplacements... something seen on the 1701-D and which I implemented on Vega... where you can simply adjust thrust on a per-unit basis to handle all of this... no "nozzle vectoring" required.
The other option being the ever-popular fan theory that the glowy red parts of the impulse engines don't provide thrust at all and just dump waste heat, while the actual propulsion it handled by some kind of non-Newtonain subspace magic. Which would also explain how ships can stop dead without forward-facing engine outlets or spinning 180 degrees to decelerate.
Which is just fine if you don't call it "impulse." Because the word "impulse" is a real, technical term with a real, established meaning.
An impulse is a force applied over time. It's inherently a Newtonian term. It is utterly fundamental to all mechanics. If someone's talking about this and isn't familiar with the term, they should read up on it.
Call your propulsion system something else... "sublight drive" or whatever... and you can get away with that. But you can't take a real word and totally bastardize the meaning of the word. That's like saying a "light" is something where you turn a knob and water comes out.