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Old February 12 2013, 03:41 AM   #12
Metryq
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Re: Warp, Motion, Accelleration... ugh...

tighr wrote: View Post
why do you feel "dogfighting" is not realistic in sci-fi?
Take the climactic battle in STAR WARS (later subtitled "A New Hope") as typical. We see the X-wings circle the gas giant Yavin in a very short period of time—let's guess about an hour or less based on the graphic shown of the approaching Death Star. That's without benefit of the hyperspace engine shown in other movies of the series. But since that wasn't shown until later, let's assume just the speed seen in the first movie.

Obviously, the fighters could not dogfight at such speeds close to the Death Star. Maneuvering at "interplanetary" speeds would require either a very wide turning radius, or unbearable G-forces. The speeds and distances are not a small step up from today's jet fighters. The jump is many orders of magnitude. If someone gets on your tail, just aim for the sky and blip the throttle. No one would ever be able to engage.

Okay, let's grant inertial dampers, "Ka-pwing! Bulletproof vest!" We are now talking about maneuvers too fast for human control, to say nothing of being able target an enemy fighter. If we now grant computer control for maneuvering and targeting, why bother with the human pilot? Why not an automated drone or cruise missile-like weapon? Why are bows and arrows ineffective against an armored tank?

The one-man fighter would be totally obsolete in interplanetary space. The amount of effort for one fighter to take out another fighter is completely irrelevant compared to the big weapons the capital ships would be tossing about. And a one-man fighter is a flea-bite to a capital ship—excepting childish fantasy scenarios like STAR WARS where ducking in and pressing the destruct button takes out the entire works.

Dogfighting in space is nothing more than a fantasy concession to Earth-bound humans—just like the Enterprise's "swish" as it passes by.
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