The Revolution pilot is online now...

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Gotham Central, Sep 4, 2012.

  1. Shurik

    Shurik Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    You can always look at the pictures of Pripyat (a town near Chernobyl nuclear power plant) if you want to see what a fairly large town would look like if it were abandoned and not maintained. For example - apartment buildings 24 years after the Chernobyl disaster:
    http://www.phoronix.com/image-viewer.php?id=chernobyl_2010&image=chernobyl_p_10_lrg
    http://www.phoronix.com/image-viewer.php?id=chernobyl_2010&image=chernobyl_p_06_lrg

    I've seen the trailer for this and the premise looked like it wasn't fully thought through. Since it's another JJ Abrams mystery series, I'll wait for it to get at least to the second season.
     
  2. Lindley

    Lindley Moderator with a Soul Moderator

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    Most Airbuses use fly-by-wire, but the only Boeing planes to use it so far are the 777 and 787. All the rest still use conventional hydraulics. Also, I don't know for sure but I would be very surprised if there wasn't a backup system; there's a backup for just about everything else, after all.

    There have been cases of complete loss of control surfaces in the past. While they usually lead to crashes, it is not an immediate thing. Some control can be maintained by varying the differential engine power. That's not a great solution but it would be something.

    Smaller planes such as Gulfstreams, Pipers, Cessnas, etc generally do not use fly-by-wire at all.

    There are a few small planes still flying today which do not even have an electrical system. I wonder if those would still work?
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2012
  3. aelius

    aelius Commander Red Shirt

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    But the engines stopped working too. And an airliners glide ratio is only a little better than a rock under the best of circumstances. And hydraulic systems in airliners are power assisted. Without the power they are extremely hard to maneuver. And if the plane was not flying straight and level when it happened the loss of engines and loss or serious degradation of control surfaces would probably put it into a flat spin, which is what was depicted on screen. Most airliners in around cities are in some kind of holding pattern waiting for or maneuvering to follow landing instructions or maneuvering to reach flight corridors for those leaving.
    My dad is a pilot and had a chance to fly a restored B-17 that was flying around the country. He said it was a beast to maneuver with the old style simple hydraulics. That matches with what I have read about those old bombers and even early airliners.
    And, WW II movies aside, the glide ratio's of most large aircraft suck. Hell, even the F4U Corsair, one of the best FIGHTERS of the war had only a 1 to 1 ratio. Most modern fighters and bombers have no better. And airliners glide really no better than a bomber, usually not as well.
    Light aircraft would do better. They are lighter with more relative lifting surface than most larger craft. Many of them would be able to glide to a landing if they could find a flat empty spot.
    As someone who has been around pilots and airports his whole life, as well as someone who has been fascinated by the history of flight and aircraft, I would say that the falling planes were probably the most realistic part of the show.
    It was just a lot of the other stuff that was kinda questionable.;)
     
  4. Gotham Central

    Gotham Central Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The area around Chernobyl is interesting for a lot of reason. In tis case though its not immediately refelctive of normal plant over growth since a large chunk of the plantlife in the immediate area was killed off by the radiation. The plants do eventually return and thrive, but they were initially hindered.
     
  5. Mister Fandango

    Mister Fandango Fleet Captain

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    Ignoring the fact that mechanical and chemical systems are still working just fine and dandy based upon this episode and that it's expressly stated that electricity is the only thing that stopped working, even a 300-ton cube of steel traveling at 500mph before losing its propulsion isn't going to just stop in mid-air and fall straight down.

    Again: Straight down. No forward movement whatsoever. And it wasn't even a dive down. It was belly-first.

    What's even dumber is that when these planes fell, their lights were still working.
     
  6. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    Citation needed? Remember, the google nerd mentioned to the kids that "physics itself had changed". That points to more than just electricity not working. It also probably explains the lack of nuclear plant meltdowns.
     
  7. Enterprise is Great

    Enterprise is Great Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I suspect that the plane falls the way it does simply because the producers thought it looks "kewl" when it just drops out of the sky like that.
     
  8. Lindley

    Lindley Moderator with a Soul Moderator

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    They can be glided under some conditions.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gimli_Glider

    A spin requires a loss of airspeed as well as a loss of coordination. It's one possible result of a loss of control surfaces, but it would not be instant. It takes time for airspeed to bleed off. Also, while there are a variety of things that can flatten a spin (making it less recoverable), addition of power prior to recovery is the most common one, obviously not a factor here.

    A good glide ratio isn't really compatible with good maneuverability, so it isn't too surprising that fighters suck at gliding. Commercial jets don't have maneuverability as a design goal, so I wouldn't be surprised if they glide a bit better.
     
  9. Dream

    Dream Admiral Admiral

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    This is the true answer. Because they thought it would look cool.:rommie:
     
  10. aelius

    aelius Commander Red Shirt

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    As I stated "flat spin". It is a very common effect of loss of control in aircraft. It is also one of the most difficult to recover from, even under normal conditions. Also, the planes were not simply falling straight down. The were spinning belly down and moving at an angle, probably 20 to 30 degrees. That is extremely normal for a plane suffering complete loss of control.
    I know planes always fall nose down in the movies, but those are movies.
    Perhaps the people who made the show did just think it looked cool, I don't know. but if they did they actually got it right, even if only by accident.
     
  11. aelius

    aelius Commander Red Shirt

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    Double post.
    You might be surprised, but you would be wrong. Airliners have sucky flight characteristics for anything but calm level flight. Airliners are heavy, and while their wings are sufficient to get them into the air they are not designed to be survivable with a total loss of power. That is why all airliners have multiple engines.
    Sorry about the Bold type, but I was having trouble with the multi-quote and wanted to distinguish my answers.
    Airplanes I know a lot about, computers not so much.:)
    Sorry for the double post, I was trying to edit it into my previous post. As I said, computers...
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2012
  12. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Haven't seen the show. How exactly does electricity no longer work?
     
  13. Lindley

    Lindley Moderator with a Soul Moderator

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    Any given control input and power level will eventually stabilize to a particular flight characteristic given time. (In other words, Pitch + Power = Performance.) Even if the aircraft is in a turn when controls are lost, it should just continue to turn.

    Now, if engine power is lost, then airspeed would bleed off and a stall might result. It's possible the stall could develop into a spin, and in some aircraft designs it could even be a flat spin.

    What's confusing me is why engine power would be lost. All else aside, jet turbines don't require electricity to keep them going. Maybe to get them started, but that's all.
     
  14. Mister Fandango

    Mister Fandango Fleet Captain

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    Dumb concept and poor execution. It's the only valid answer. Mechanical systems still work (flintlocks, crossbows, modern firearms, etc.). Chemical systems still work (stills, gunpowder, etc.). Fire still works. Hell, even electricity still works, else everyone would be dead and the magical talismans wouldn't be able to power up on their own (and those must be some crazy awesome batteries they have to be able to produce such a powerful effect even 15 years down the line).

    The only real explanation is that a wizard did it. And that's about as stupid as it gets.
     
  15. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    That's part of the mystery. Or in other words, "A wizard did it".
     
  16. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    So it doesn't work AT ALL anymore? :guffaw:



    I love it when authors skip science classes. All for purposes of drama, I'm sure. *shakes head*
     
  17. aelius

    aelius Commander Red Shirt

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    Yes, the fact that electrochemical batteries don't work but human central nervous systems do is inexplicable.
    In the Emberverse series the people, having no other explanation, settled somewhat sarcastically on "Alien Space Bats" did it.
    That doesn't work here because it was obviously caused by people.
    Also Steam power must not work because if it did then there would be steam power all over the place after 15 years. Trains, ships, even road vehicles can be powered by steam. This is a serious change to the laws of physics so profound that it can only be described as "magic"
     
  18. Gaith

    Gaith Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It read the script. :p
     
  19. Locutus of Bored

    Locutus of Bored The Norf Remembers Moderator

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    Honestly, I think any attempt at explaining the mechanism and effects of the blackout in any rational scientific way is bound to be a futile gesture, and I say that as someone who enjoys doing that myself (see my analysis of the blackout from the trailer here).

    This being a JJ Abrams production and a mythology-based series, I suspect we'll get a piecemeal mixture of vague scientific, pseudoscientific, and purely magical terms thrown our way ("The laws of physics changed!" It likely involves mathematical codes somehow, given the "algebra teacher's" --who clearly was more than that-- involvement). Enough to string the audience along as they drag the mythology out season by season (if they get the chance) until we get to the big revelation episode that doesn't actually resolve the mythology in any satisfactory way, but allows fans to argue whether the mythology they were speculating on for multiple seasons was ever meant to be resolved or if it was always just about the journey and the mythology didn't really matter. And I say this as a fan of both Abrams and mythology-based series like Lost, BSG, etc.

    I suspect in the end the blackout will have been caused by some kind of satellite-controlled EM field, computer virus, or worldwide nanite infestation that will explain a few of the effects but not make an ounce of sense for all the rest of them. The rule of cool will be the number one motivator for what happens on the show. If it's cooler that people are reduced to muskets, crossbows, and swords when there should be plenty of working modern firearms around (like Gus Fring's handgun), that's what we'll get. If it's cooler that people are riding horses than driving in pre-computerized cars which should still work, that's what we'll get. And if it's cooler that planes fall from the sky vertically (and many of the ones in the background were shown doing just that), that's what they'll do.

    Now, leaving the mythology aspects aside, the problem with this pilot was that it was too short. It should have been two hours. With the exception of the twist about the identity of Munroe, I learned absolutely nothing new from this episode that I didn't already know from the four-minute preview shown a while back, which literally gave away every single plot point without any of the extraneous filler. They should have extended the pilot and built up the characters more so they weren't one line ciphers like Plot-Advancing Perpetual Victim Asthma Boy, Algebra Lady Who Knows Things, Comic Relief Google Guy, Rebellious Girl With Heart, Stern Stepmom Who Means Well, Morally Ambiguous Badass Good Guy, Slightly Less Morally Ambiguous Badass Bad Guy, Dead Father Who Knew Things, Obviously Still Alive Mom, and Complex Loyalties Hunger Games Reject.

    Putting the focus on the teens as the center of attention might make sense from a demographic standpoint, and it provides the audience with counterparts who are as equally in the dark about the mystery as we are and therefore need it explained to them (us), but I have a feeling it's going to get really tedious in a short amount of time, since I was already on angst overload from the pilot which had hardly any exposition and was just flowing from one action/drama scene to the next. The focus should have preferably been on the uncle from the start, but maybe now that he's been introduced he'll start to take over the narrative more.

    While the level of overgrowth might not have been entirely realistic, the scenes with the abandoned, run-down cities and infrastructure were quite impressive. Again, rule of cool trumps realism. I suspect Wrigley Field just gave up the fight to the plants once it realized the Cubs were never going to win another World Series.

    Likewise, the fight choreography was superb. While it stretches credibility that the Munroe guys attacked Uncle Badass one at a time or in small groups martial arts movie style instead of all in a rush (although he did kind of break them up), everyone involved still acquitted themselves well with the sword and hand-to-hand fighting. I suspect they had a good deal of instruction before filming. And Hunger Games Understudy was quick and cool on drawing the bow.

    It wasn't a great pilot and certainly didn't grab my attention or make me say "wow" the way previous Abrams' produced pilots for Lost and Alias did, but unrealistic though it may be, the setting is interesting enough for me to stick around and see if things improve. Plus, I'll watch Giancarlo Esposito read a menu for an hour, so watching him play a shrewd mostly evil but not completely unreasonable bad guy should be fun. Uncle Badass could develop into someone interesting, and not just an asskicker, especially with his relationship to Munroe and his peripheral knowledge of the mechanism for the blackout.

    Anyway, I give the pilot a "B-." Enough to keep me hanging around to see where it goes, but not enough to guarantee my loyalty yet.
     
  20. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It's purgatory.

    The devil didn't pay the electricity bill.