The Plane Crane

Made a airplane? Zeppelin? Something in between? Here's where to put it. (Meant for any new skins/etc.etc/ and not actual new aircraft stats)
Coefficientofsnark
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The Plane Crane

Postby Coefficientofsnark » Wed Mar 09, 2011 2:37 pm

So, I was thinking; there's planes in the CS universe that only have zeppelin hooks and lack regular landing gear right? Stands to reason too; conventional undercarriages are complicated and heavy. It's not always practical to have a zeppelin hovering around as a mobile airbase though, and landing hooks attached to fixed structures would need a long deceleration lane.

Behold, the plane crane!

scan0001.jpg
scan0001.jpg (146.57 KiB) Viewed 2803 times


It's nothing more than a tower crane (yes, I checked, those existed in the 1930s) with some additional cross-bracing to deal with the dynamic loading of aircraft coming in to land. There's a trapeze at one end, planes snatch the hook and their speed is gradually bled off as the crane spins.

Assuming a landing speed of 100 MPH or so (which is a little bit above the stall speed of an early mark Bf-109, which is comparable in weight and size to a bloodhawk) and a ~200 foot crane boom the initial deceleration of the aircraft will give 3Gs of centrifugal force; well within the structural rating of most fighter aircraft. Pilots are advised to actually bank into the turn to help relieve some of the load off the crane.

When all that is done, the crane can gently plonk the plane down into some sort of cradle or whatever it is you store landing-gear-less aircraft in for maintenance or storage. The crane itself can be disassembled and moved elsewhere, just like a construction crane. It's faster to put up than an airstrip and way less conspicuous than a zep.

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Thom
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Re: The Plane Crane

Postby Thom » Wed Mar 09, 2011 7:25 pm

Sounds like a great idea, but sadly I cannot see the picture.
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Grant
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Re: The Plane Crane

Postby Grant » Thu Mar 10, 2011 4:30 am

Me neither. But a cool idea......Actually a VERY good idea. After all, how would all the "no landing gear" planes ever land?

Coefficientofsnark
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Re: The Plane Crane

Postby Coefficientofsnark » Thu Mar 10, 2011 12:59 pm

Image

Nothing special, picture-wise I'm afraid, just a rough sketch.

In the PC game the Black Hats' secret lair in the Rockies had a hook attached to the roof of a zep hanger, presumably on some sort of sliding cable arrangement. Looked expensive as hell, I kinda felt bad blowing it to smithereens.

There were a number of launch and recovery issues as shown in the game that always bugged me. Landing the fury always looked tricky. Coming in to land, you'd be high AoA, so the prop disc would be sticking up in front of the zep hook, and the cockpit is way in the back. Turns out there's a good reason for CS aircraft to be pushers, to keep the zeppelin hook clear of the propeller!

The hoplite is even worse. Autogyros by definition fly with the rotor disc sloping front to back. There would be about no clearance between the hook and the rotors.


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