The Practicle aspects of Hover Tank design. Discus not Argue

The challenge: build any kind of hover tank without using a tank kit's hull or turret - because nothing saus 'fun' like 70 tons of floating mayhem.

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The Practicle aspects of Hover Tank design. Discus not Argue

Post by DEC » Thu Jan 14, 2010 4:52 am

Thread dedicated to having fun but informed discussion on all things related to Hover tanks and how they might really work

May as well get this thread up straight away as I know nearly everyone will have some ideas or counter thoughts about HT design.

I ask on behalf of Sean and One zero:- keep in mind its fun. Be respectful of each others ideas and opinions. Don't be worried to counter an idea but deliver it in a way that is understandable and not rude.

I suggest we use the old equation as a basis for expansion.
FIREPOWER ( main gun), versus PROTECTION ( weight of armour protection) verses SURVIVEABILITY ( agilty/ speed/ engine /size).
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Post by DEC » Thu Jan 14, 2010 5:00 am

As mentioned in the intial challenge, my first design will be more about look than functionallity but certain things will be incorperated.

1. A wide flat body form. = To trap maximumn ground effect to aid in bouyancy to the hull as it rides a cushion of air.

2. Turret.= I know there isn't a need as in fact the whole vehicle can rotate on its axis, but as HWR MkII said, hull down postions offer good protection and would then require a turret to allow main weapon engagement.

3. Big engine with variety of thrust directors. = One of the important contsants of any Tank, enough usable power. it will need a lot of scoops to get air in, a lot to get air and thrust out to generate lift as well as a lot to influence direction. This will make the body pretty lumpy no doubt. :wink:

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Post by HWR MKII » Thu Jan 14, 2010 1:08 pm

Im going with a more modular design look to mine. The central core is supposed to act like the life pod design of an F-1 racer or a speed boat. Even if every bit of the vehicle is knocked out or damaged the central part is the most well armored.
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Post by DEC » Thu Jan 14, 2010 2:30 pm

Sounds like an Isreali had a hand in its design? Survivability as the first critiria.
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Post by Kylwell » Thu Jan 14, 2010 2:34 pm

Self-sealing, foam filled/honeycombed fuel tanks would be a must. By using a tank as such you could use a more energetic fuel than gasoline.
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Post by Dr. Yo » Thu Jan 14, 2010 3:09 pm

Such as...? Not raggin', genuinely curious.

Any kind of Grav vehicle is almost certainly going to have to use
some form of nuclear power, I thought...but reflecting on it, it
would sort of depend on how your AG system worked. If its an
active system, actually levitating the vehicle, then I could see
a need for lots and lots of juice. But if it simply reduces the mass
of the vehicle to zero, or close to it, then the power to actually
lift it is going to be comparitively small, and small chemical thrusters
might work just fine.
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Post by DEC » Thu Jan 14, 2010 3:19 pm

I know what you mean Dr Yo

Conventional design would need a balence of fuel weight against a very powerful engine just to generate anough powerr to lift an armoured vehicle. ( a bit like lifting a Harrier Aircraft, then having enough fuel to do stuff with it) However an antigrav vehicle would be in a state of 'Weightless' as its default setting with less energy required to change its postion. Maybe using the earths magnetic field to repel the Hovertanks body against.

Co-incidently I am just reading " The hunt for Zero Point" by Nick Cook again which investigates the posibility of countering gravity and lessening the effect of mass by cancelling gravity. Very interesting book.

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Last edited by DEC on Thu Jan 14, 2010 3:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Blappy » Thu Jan 14, 2010 3:19 pm

Kylwell wrote:Self-sealing, foam filled/honeycombed fuel tanks would be a must. By using a tank as such you could use a more energetic fuel than gasoline.
Fuel tanks? Really?

My Zero Point Energy "Ship Stone" will not need fuel. :shock:
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Post by Kylwell » Thu Jan 14, 2010 3:28 pm

Blappy wrote:
Kylwell wrote:Self-sealing, foam filled/honeycombed fuel tanks would be a must. By using a tank as such you could use a more energetic fuel than gasoline.
Fuel tanks? Really?

My Zero Point Energy "Ship Stone" will not need fuel. :shock:
Ma.K head, everything runs on fuel.

Why? 'Cause exhaust stains jest look cool (it's for the kids after all).
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Post by DEC » Thu Jan 14, 2010 3:37 pm

Hi Kylwell, Surely fuel would be a draw back as during its use constant balencing to trim the hovering tank would be needed?
If power was needed to high volumes maybe batteries would be better as they are a constant weight and fixed. Also a battery is less likley to cook off than a fuel tank if the tank was penetrated.

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Post by Kylwell » Thu Jan 14, 2010 3:42 pm

DEC wrote:Hi Kylwell, Surely fuel would be a draw back as during its use constant balencing to trim the hovering tank would be needed?
If power was needed to high volumes maybe batteries would be better as they are a constant weight and fixed. Also a battery is less likley to cook off than a fuel tank if the tank was penetrated.

DEC
Could be. Some batteries like to explode when punctured. Honeycombed or foam filled tanks don't slosh, one of the reasons F1 cars have all switch over to them. Even draw from each means little trimming. On top of that you could mount the fuel tank as centrally and as low as possible to minimize trim needs.

Mind you, I love the thought of an AG unit being powered by an IC engine/generator combo.
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Post by onezero » Thu Jan 14, 2010 4:05 pm

Kylwell wrote:
Mind you, I love the thought of an AG unit being powered by an IC engine/generator combo.
I'd like to investigate the feasibility of hamsters on speed as a power source.
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Post by Kylwell » Thu Jan 14, 2010 4:20 pm

onezero wrote:
Kylwell wrote:
Mind you, I love the thought of an AG unit being powered by an IC engine/generator combo.
I'd like to investigate the feasibility of hamsters on speed as a power source.
Well that'd go well with the cat/buttered toast AG unit.
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Post by HWR MKII » Thu Jan 14, 2010 6:03 pm

Ah the good ol C/BT AG unit. Emulated with ping pong balls eyerywhere.
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Post by Melw » Thu Jan 14, 2010 9:18 pm

I am thinking that something like this
http://www.farnovision.com/chronicles/f ... latos.html
only more advanced for a power source.
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Post by modelnutz » Thu Jan 14, 2010 9:58 pm

So, if anti-gravity is a potential levitation device...that would, in effect, allow the tank to utilize the earth's natural magnetic lines for motion...correct ? Given zero weight, one would merely have to overcome inertia...so, light weight tanks would be an advantage in manouverability....plus, less weight=less power required for levitation.
I envision "reaction panels/emmiters at all four corners for motion control...only issue...how to shield against EMPulses ?

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Post by Blappy » Fri Jan 15, 2010 12:12 am

Melw wrote:I am thinking that something like this
http://www.farnovision.com/chronicles/f ... latos.html
only more advanced for a power source.
Mel W.[/url]
Wow! What an incredible story.
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Post by DEC » Fri Jan 15, 2010 3:15 am

Sorry for the delayed responses - time difference.

Hello Kylwell Do you know if any modern AFVs have the fuel arrangement you mention? I would guess that the foam while making the fuel storage more stable, would significantly reduce the amount able to be stored in the same space, and a reason the military wouldn't fit foam? But i'm ready to be informed different, is there any AFV's with foam filled tanks, even retro fitted?
Honeycombed or foam filled tanks don't slosh, one of the reasons F1 cars have all switch over to them. Even draw from each means little trimming.
Hi Modelnutz
if anti-gravity is a potential levitation device...that would, in effect, allow the tank to utilize the earth's natural magnetic lines for motion...correct ? Given zero weight, one would merely have to overcome inertia...so, light weight tanks would be an advantage in manouverability....plus, less weight=less power required for levitation.
I envision "reaction panels/emmiters at all four corners for motion control...only issue...how to shield against EMPulses ?
I'm just a layman so some of the science to me sounds great but I'm sure there is more to it otherwise we'd all have hover cars right now.
However, what you've written ( and what i've been reading recently) all seems to be possible so naturally would be ideal for Hover tanks.

Funny thing is both models i'm working on right now for this challenge are more conventional, Big engine, big thrust designs. I'll save a compact AG HT for the future.

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Post by Kylwell » Fri Jan 15, 2010 12:28 pm

DEC - I don't think any military vehicles use foamed fuel tanks but IIRC there are a few that use honeycombed tanks. Details on fuel tanks for current military vehicles is strangely absent.

I do know that the military HMMWV has a very thick walled tank utilizing a low energy plastic that will either trap an incoming projectile or will seal the hole behind it.
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Post by DEC » Fri Jan 15, 2010 4:09 pm

Slightly related but Concorde, had to have a self sealing tanks fitted after the Air France incident, I'm not sure if it had foam inserted into the tanks too.

Yes, I guess Military stuff is not going to be "in the Open": but these days where many defence manufacturers are competeing with each other, there is more publicity on the new ideas, you never know whats new - a lot of which often goes back out of fashion. ( I recall a couple of years ago talk of a Plastic AFV, doing away with metal as a skin, and then there was talk of using an electric field to detonate incoming anti tank rounds, once again big news then never heard of again)

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Post by modelnutz » Fri Jan 15, 2010 4:42 pm

One more question....these tanks are in the future, correct ?

Are they manned, or un-manned ?
Seems to me that the trend to remove the occupants from fighting vehicles would apply in tank warfare as well....thoughts?

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Post by Kylwell » Fri Jan 15, 2010 5:36 pm

modelnutz wrote:One more question....these tanks are in the future, correct ?

Are they manned, or un-manned ?
That's up to you.
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Post by modelnutz » Fri Jan 15, 2010 5:39 pm

He,He,He.... I was hoping you'd say that :D

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Post by publiusr » Fri Jan 15, 2010 5:53 pm

One concept might be for circel or star shaped hover tanks that fan out in a grid with no turrets, but an upper section with guns all around. A hovering mobile base that has weapons facing all sides.

Something interesting from the British Invasion thread:

http://www.starshipmodeler.net/talk/pos ... &p=1150276

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Post by Scotaidh » Fri Jan 15, 2010 7:03 pm

I was thinking that simply from the mobility aspect, a flying tank might be militarily very useful, even if it did have to sit down to fire. I don't believe that we're ever going to see a situation like that at Kursk again, or even the tank battles of North Africa. I think they're going to be more one- (or two-) on-one. It seems to me that a tank that can pogo up out of cover, dash across terrain and plonk itself down again might be very interesting ... and of course, it'd need a turret. :)
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Post by Lt. Z0mBe » Fri Jan 15, 2010 8:12 pm

DEC wrote:As mentioned in the intial challenge, my first design will be more about look than functionallity but certain things will be incorperated.

1. A wide flat body form. = To trap maximumn ground effect to aid in bouyancy to the hull as it rides a cushion of air.

2. Turret.= I know there isn't a need as in fact the whole vehicle can rotate on its axis, but as HWR MkII said, hull down postions offer good protection and would then require a turret to allow main weapon engagement.

3. Big engine with variety of thrust directors. = One of the important contsants of any Tank, enough usable power. it will need a lot of scoops to get air in, a lot to get air and thrust out to generate lift as well as a lot to influence direction. This will make the body pretty lumpy no doubt. :wink:

DEC
I would imagine too the front and rear undersides would have to be "beveled" to match the angles of the front and rear drive and idler sprockets' relationships to the road wheels. Why? Just as the front and rear areas of a tracks are angled to allow for climbing, so angled would the front/rear areas of whatever antigravity projectors the hover tanks use:


(trt)===
\_hovertank__/ obstacle above ground level
ground level

(trt)===
\_hovertank_/
tank now above obstacle due to front projectors getting a "tooth" and pulling tank up and over.

Other options for projectors would be half spheres at the front and rear, but that would increase the height of the vehicle.

That's my two quatloos' worth.

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Post by Kylwell » Fri Jan 15, 2010 8:36 pm

And don't forget the never ending issue of logistics.

If it's too wide it can't travel down streets, too heavy and you can't air transport it, too tall makes it a target, too narrow is unstable, too long means corning can be an issue (yes it can pivot on it's center but those endy bits can catch on something).

Having a beveled front (and rear) only make sense as it'll lessen the chances of catching that front lip. Hovercraft (ducted air vehicles) have the issue with needing an armored skirt to keep the air in but even those curve under to facilitate going over things.
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Post by DEC » Sat Jan 16, 2010 6:27 am

Lt Zombie Good point and one i've not addressed on my current build, though it does have vectored thrusters projecting forward that would give the "bite " you mention.

I would guess an AG vehicle would require the AG units to be at the vehicle extremities to counter the un-even ground as you describe.

Kywell Logistics- reminds me of the problems ignored some what with the real " Conquerour " or "T28"
Conqueror Heavy tank UK
T28 super tank destroyer US

It didn't prevent them being built. :D The mention of an air cushion skirt points to conventional hover craft and something i've filled away for my second build. A far more conventional design i'm afraid. :wink:

Modelnutz for a model i'm sure manned or unmanned is what ever you decide, but I doubt are battle winning AFV could really be unmanned, Though remotley controlled is possible where the human element is in command/ control of the fighting vehicle from a safe location. A truley unmanned tank would be limited in its decison making and being able to over come real world problems. I do belive drones to be used in swarms and somewhat expendable will be deveoloped though. A mass of automatons to swamp a defender.

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Post by onezero » Sat Jan 16, 2010 10:49 am

Scotaidh wrote:I was thinking that simply from the mobility aspect, a flying tank might be militarily very useful, even if it did have to sit down to fire. I don't believe that we're ever going to see a situation like that at Kursk again, or even the tank battles of North Africa. I think they're going to be more one- (or two-) on-one. It seems to me that a tank that can pogo up out of cover, dash across terrain and plonk itself down again might be very interesting ... and of course, it'd need a turret. :)
... and a pogo stick.

Hmmmmmm.....
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Post by mike robel » Sat Jan 16, 2010 11:19 am

Scotaidh wrote:I was thinking that simply from the mobility aspect, a flying tank might be militarily very useful, even if it did have to sit down to fire. I don't believe that we're ever going to see a situation like that at Kursk again, or even the tank battles of North Africa. I think they're going to be more one- (or two-) on-one. It seems to me that a tank that can pogo up out of cover, dash across terrain and plonk itself down again might be very interesting ... and of course, it'd need a turret. :)
Desert Strom and Iraqi Freedom had large numbers of tanks. DS might have been the largest battle since Kursk or maybe largest ever tank battle.

While tanks are more lethal and therefore can control more ground than they could in WWII, which reduces the # needed for the same size tank, don't go counting out the tank and large armored fights just yet.

An old tanker

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