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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publiusr
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Post by publiusr » Fri Jan 22, 2010 12:19 pm

The disposable type razors look to be great tank barrel/front plate combos. Square barrels for pulse cannon. Some of the inner parts of other razors make for detail pieces.

Over the years, water guns have less of that linear, Syd Mead spy style and have rounded shapes these days that might lend themselves to tank bodies, with the inner plumbing perhaps going into a computer mouse turret. No time to do my own with 16 hour shifts these days.

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Post by DEC » Fri Jan 22, 2010 7:43 pm

hi publiusr
Yep, I've used the computer mouse before for a shaped mantlet. On a Trade Fed 'Jagd' Conversion. Also had ball and chain screen ala Merkava on the rear. Its in the Gallery queue now but some might have seen it in April 09 issue of 'Sci-fi and fantasy modeller'.
I really ougth to link it, just for interest as I agree with HWR MkII's sentiment, this forum is supposed to be about original designs...

Nothing added today on mine but its the weekend tommorow so fingers crossed...

DEC
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Post by onezero » Sat Jan 23, 2010 12:04 am

Masao wrote: Think, for example, of a hovering vehicle that is heavily armored (physical or energetic), carries heavy weapons, can zoom at 200 mph (or more) or crawl at walking speed, can turn on a dime and move in any direction, can reach altitudes of 100 or 1000 feet (or whatever) or a foot off the ground, isn't lethal to people standing next to it, and is robust enough to operate semi-independently like a modern tank. How would you use it?
Alot.

Oh, yes, my precioussssss ... I would use the hell out of that thing.

For the record: yes, I do have a design I am working on (whenever PSR on this blasted Dragon destroyer kit makes me cross eyed).

And no, you can't see it until I'm close to being done. Or at least in primer.
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Post by Buzzbomb » Sat Jan 23, 2010 6:30 am

onezero wrote:
Masao wrote:
For the record: yes, I do have a design I am working on (whenever PSR on this blasted Dragon destroyer kit makes me cross eyed).

And no, you can't see it until I'm close to being done. Or at least in primer.
what he said :D :D

something that I want to do with this is at least have something well into construction before I post.. it's a sort of "boy" thing.

I know you guys have a heap of fantastic ideas and I want to see why my minds eye comes up with without the input of of other, which usually lead to "why didn't I think of that" and a fair bit of harumpphining... :D :D
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Post by onezero » Sat Jan 23, 2010 10:35 am

Buzzbomb wrote:
something that I want to do with this is at least have something well into construction before I post.. it's a sort of "boy" thing.
What he said.

I will say that it's more a tank hunter than a MBT, and that it's a MaK-inspired. My design will use the C/BT countergrav and palletized weapons.
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Post by DEC » Sat Jan 23, 2010 8:25 pm

Sorry One Zero but what does C/BT stand for?
My design will use the C/BT countergrav
It will probably be obvious but I'm stumped right now. :?

I hear you all about the wish to have something near done before posting and I'll admit I've a second build on the go that will take a lot longer and is actually far more conventional in look but will not have any kit bashed parts. However to keep every one interested in this forum the CHIMERA was posted. Its not the most innotive of builds but its going at a pace i don't usually match so I hope i'm forgiven. :oops:

As Blappy says its Pics that make us all happy.

Have a great and productive Sunday- DEC
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Post by onezero » Sat Jan 23, 2010 10:27 pm

DEC wrote:Sorry One Zero but what does C/BT stand for?
My design will use the C/BT countergrav
It will probably be obvious but I'm stumped right now. :?
Cat/ Buttered Toast. If cats always land on their feet* and buttered toast always lands butter side down, then if you duct tape buttered toast (buttered side up, of course) to a cat's back you should, in theory, have a device whose spinning - onced dropped from any height - is not only a perpetual motion machine but counters local gravity.





* my cat always lands on his big, fat ass. The theory remains unchanged - only the location of the toast would differ.
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Post by Butters » Sun Jan 24, 2010 2:46 am

onezero wrote: * my cat always lands on his big, fat #*@((!&#$. The theory remains unchanged - only the location of the toast would differ.
Oh, jeez, 1-0!! I spit-taked all over my lap-top!!

(Poor thing - it's been through a lot)
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Post by DEC » Tue Jan 26, 2010 7:34 pm

OK, perhaps not so obvious.
i'll keep a (cats) eye on your thread to see it develop.
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Post by onezero » Thu Jan 28, 2010 12:03 am

One of the things I've been thinking about is UAVs. Small, relatively cheap, unobtrusive, and if you break one or it gets shot down, no human crew were hurt.

If I had the tech to make a hover-/counter-grav/anti-grav tank, I'd man it with a smart computer or a remote pilot.

Arming the thing .... now there is the quandry. Who are you fighting? If it's an opponent with a lot of armored vehicles, do you want a BFG or missiles? If your tank is more fore intimidation .... and if you've ever seen 50-60 tons of pissed off juggernaut come flying over a rise sporting a big gun, well, you know about "intimidating" .... then you need mass and BFG.

MBTs in Irag and Afcrapistan haven't been used for tank v tank mayhem. So do you need all the mass and armor and weaponry? Or does your hover-mayhem-device need to be more like a UAV .... lurking around unnoticed until that high value target appears?

Just thinking out loud here....
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Post by Dr. Yo » Thu Jan 28, 2010 10:46 am

One Zero mused
MBTs in Irag and Afcrapistan haven't been used for tank v tank mayhem. So do you need all the mass and armor and weaponry? Or does your hover-mayhem-device need to be more like a UAV .... lurking around unnoticed until that high value target appears?
The lack of a desert Kursk was more from lack of opportunity
and disparity than numbers and intent, ,methinks. Most of the Iraqui
tank forces were neutralized early in both conflicts by the overwhelming
superiority of airpower. ( It makes me wonder what kind of experiences
arose during the Iran/Iraq coflict, but it would probably take some digging
to find any accounts. )

You make a good point though-response in future "limited" conflicts
may involve a lot of "lets wait and see" which an AI drone is well
suited for, though it could be handled by remote controllers working
in shifts as well.

For weapons, I keep thinking about mast-mounted lasers and smarter
mortar shells. A DP heavy auto-cannon for most other things, and
a machine gun or three. BFGs are all well and good, but cruise
missles will be getting smaller, smarter, and cheaper as well-I
suspect the high end tank killer of 2030 will be a fast cruise missle
carrier of some kind, with perhaps 20 on board rounds, and a couple
of 25-35mm and good radar for the other fellows' CMs.
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Post by Joseph C. Brown » Thu Jan 28, 2010 1:01 pm

You have heard about the Battle of 73 Easting, correct?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_73_Easting
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Post by Dr. Yo » Thu Jan 28, 2010 1:39 pm

Joseph C. Brown wrote:You have heard about the Battle of 73 Easting, correct?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_73_Easting
Not directly, and it appears I was wrong. Ground technology* and
training seem to have been at least as impotant as airpower.

EDIT: An interesting article from The Economist. I don't
keep up wit hMilitary technology like I used to, so the CB-105
was a bit of a surprise to me. The B-52 as a tank-buster, whoddathunkit?
http://www.economist.com/sciencetechnol ... d=15391218

Airpower isn't going to go away, even when tanks fly...

* Night vision equipment in this instance
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Post by onezero » Thu Jan 28, 2010 4:17 pm

Joseph C. Brown wrote:You have heard about the Battle of 73 Easting, correct?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_73_Easting
My next-door-neighbor back home was gunner in one of the M1A1's; he said most of their kills were tanks loaded on transporters. 'course he wasn't in the thickest of the fighting ...
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Post by mike robel » Thu Jan 28, 2010 6:23 pm

well, it seems to have been my mission in life to try to counter these air force claims.

The air force claims that it had beat down the Republican Guard to less than 50% strength, that they could not communicate, had no supplies, and were short of everything you can imagine, except maybe US Air Strikes.

So, please explain to me how, if this is true, they were able to move from the Northern border of Kuwait facing south, to pretty much the center of the country facing west, assume command of the Iraqi 10th Corps (2 more divisions from their regular Army), and get established along the VII Corps line of advance?

Part of this battle was 73 Easting where my friend Doug MacGregor was the S-3 of the Squadron that did a lot of the fighting. I was in the main command post of the divsion CP of the 1st Infantry Division and totally out of the fight.

Anyway, part of the reason they were able to repostion/reorient was that we were slow and meticulous in trying to create a great armored fist to crush them, when it was not required. General Franks was trying to mass the 1st ID, the 1st Armored Division, the 3rd Armored Division, the 1st Cavalry Division, and the 1st (UK) AD to just smash the bejusus out of them. Trouble is all that massing takes time, and in the mean time the 2nd ACR was able to pretty much blow them apart and was stopped to allow us to catch up.

Anyway, the other reason we blew the crap out of them is the M1A1 outranged the T-72s and such by 1,000 meters or so. This pretty much gave us all the free killing time we wanted, or if we were moving at a steady speed, about 3 minutes of killing time. Plenty of time for a few tanks firing 4 shots a minute to take out a bunch more tanks.

This is not to say that the USAF was not a great help, they were. We had them use 3 cells of 3 B-52s each on the Iraqi 26th infantry division, followed by 3 C-130s each dropping 1 of those 15,000 pound daisy cutters. We turned off the AC-130s because it was day time. We went a day earlier than we thought we wound and our prep was reduced from 3 hours to 30 minutes, during which we threw 13000 or so projectiles at the enemy. We broke through the 26th in about 6 hours of fighting, with 2 killed and some wounded. Both KIAs were from from picking up bomblets. One brigade, the 2nd, suffered no KIA during the entire war.

Speaking of the 2nd, it was the brigade ordered to take SAFWAN airfield, when for some resaon it was discovered that we did not occupy it prior to teh cease fire. I don't know where anyone ever got that idea, because our s1800 situation report of the night before (which I wrote) plainly showed the whole division was inside Kuwait.

Anyway, there was an unknown and untouched RGFC brigade on the airfield. Things were a little tense because they came from Tikrit and told the BDE CDR that if they left without orders, their families would be killed. They needed 2 hours to get orders one way or the other. The BDE CDR said that was in his discretion, but if they weren't off, we would kill them all.

Two hours later, they got the orders and the COL was there to see what the deal was. (He had been in a wreck and his nose was broken). When the enemy commander told him the decision, he nodded and said very well. The enemy commander asked him what happened to his nose, and he said that his driver had h it him and broken it when he (the driver) asked the CO if he thought we would have to fight for the airfield and the COL said no.

Now, if we had blown away all their communications, pummeled the entire RGFC, just how was this untouched brigade in touch with the highest HQ to get permission to withdraw from its position in two hours?

The 24th Division caught a enmey division (also from the RGFC, I think) trying to escape and somehow their tanks were all on HETS. (If all commo was out, how did they marry up all the HETS to move an entire tank division.) Anyway, they got caught, tried to fight their way out, and got destroyed.

So, boys, lets have a little respect for the tank, which doesn't rule the battlefield by itself, but with the help of the whole combined arms team. Something that is not going to change in the future.

Only infantry and supported armor can take and hold ground. The air force can deny it and make it tough for them, but you don't own it, nor can you win their hearts and minds, till you put an 18 year old with a rifle and a bayonet on the ground.

<looking>
onezero wrote:
Joseph C. Brown wrote:You have heard about the Battle of 73 Easting, correct?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_73_Easting
My next-door-neighbor back home was gunner in one of the M1A1's; he said most of their kills were tanks loaded on transporters. 'course he wasn't in the thickest of the fighting ...

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Post by Kylwell » Thu Jan 28, 2010 7:12 pm

Can we go back to talking about floating tanks now?
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Post by HWR MKII » Thu Jan 28, 2010 8:08 pm

Stalk or mast mounted sensors are a neat detail idea. The Merkava has one commonly referred to as the "Droid". The German made Fennek also has a detachable mast mounted sensor unit on it. So theres a precedent set for anyone wanting to use it.
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Post by onezero » Thu Jan 28, 2010 9:37 pm

mike robel wrote:well, it seems to have been my mission in life to try to counter these air force claims.
Joe (M1A1 gunner) was US Army in 3AD. My (Marine) unit was attached to Joint Forces North .... lemme tell you, hanging with the Syrians was .... an experience.

You wanna bash the Air Force, go right ahead. They bashed us enough - apparently (at the time) everything on the ground looked pretty much alike.

If you want to correct the record with that wikipedia entry ... well, perhaps you could start with the part about the S-3 leading the battle. Last I heard (when I was S-2), the Commanding Officer led the battle.

Anyway ..... back to floaty tanks.
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Post by Blappy » Thu Jan 28, 2010 9:47 pm

mike robel wrote:well, it seems to have been my mission in life to try to counter these air force claims.

SNIP!

Only infantry and supported armor can take and hold ground. The air force can deny it and make it tough for them, but you don't own it, nor can you win their hearts and minds, till you put an 18 year old with a rifle and a bayonet on the ground.
That is an interesting bit of history from someone who was on the inside of it all.

Back to Hover Tanks. Because without them owning the ground of the future would be a lot harder. :D
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Post by Masao » Thu Jan 28, 2010 11:03 pm

I've been thinking about possible technologies around which our hover tanks could be built. These range from past/present day techs to pie-in-the-sky miracle SF techs. Here's my understanding of what they might be like.

1. Lift fans: Something like the Avrocar: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VZ-9_AV_Avrocar. Might hug the ground or fly at height, depending on the power of the fan.

2. Enclosed rotors: Any of the protected-rotor craft in Avatar or The Incredibles. Likely high flyers, but could be fragile.

3. Hovercraft/Air cushion vehicles: like LCACs or English Channel ferries. Really hugs the ground but can negotiate almost any surface.

4. Lift jets/thrust vectors: like the FB-35, Yak-38, or Harrier: Mostly V/STOL or VTOL aircraft, but might also be a ground-hugger that would burn the grass wherever it went.

5. Repulsor lifts/force fields: A purely SF idea, Like, perhaps, the Rebel Snowspeeder. Hugs the ground at various heights, depending on how powerful it can push against the ground.

6. Antigravity: Another SF idea. Might allow a limitless flying machine or maybe a ground hugger, if the antigrav generator is just powerful to counter the force of gravity. The Trade Federation Tank might be an example.

In addition to these lift technologies, there might be an additional need for something that provides forward/backward thrust. The technologies could be combined, as in a helicopter with jets or thrusters to push it forward.

As for fuels, I suppose the sky's the limit: you could use coal, regular jet fuel, hydrogen fuel cells, fusion, nuclear steam engines, matter-antimatter, etc.

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Post by Butters » Fri Jan 29, 2010 12:32 am

Masao wrote: In addition to these lift technologies, there might be an additional need for something that provides forward/backward thrust. The technologies could be combined, as in a helicopter with jets or thrusters to push it forward.
Could also be a system whereby the field is variable; Say 40% lift in the front and 60% in the rear. Abit like tilting the board with a marble on top. To reverse thrust, go 60 front/40 rear. To really get moving, 20 front/80 rear!
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Post by Dr. Yo » Fri Jan 29, 2010 10:11 am

Kylwell wrote:Can we go back to talking about floating tanks now?
Well, I thought I was. I'll post my work when I get to it and keep my
peace in the meantime.

EDIT: and that was unwarrented snarkiness as somebody who
doesn't deserve it in the least. Robb, I'm sorry. Not one of my
better days.
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Post by DOMENECH1776 » Sun Feb 28, 2010 7:42 pm

Dr. Yo wrote: For weapons, I keep thinking about mast-mounted lasers and smarter
mortar shells. A DP heavy auto-cannon for most other things, and
a machine gun or three. BFGs are all well and good, but cruise
missles will be getting smaller, smarter, and cheaper as well-I
suspect the high end tank killer of 2030 will be a fast cruise missle
carrier of some kind, with perhaps 20 on board rounds, and a couple
of 25-35mm and good radar for the other fellows' CMs.
Not mast mounted, but the Scorpion tanks from Halo, have the turret, raised significanty high above the rest of the tank on a small mount. Lets the gun have a sigificant amount of clearance before the tanks hull comes into view.
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Post by DOMENECH1776 » Sun Feb 28, 2010 7:42 pm

Double post, sorry.
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Post by HWR MKII » Sun Feb 28, 2010 9:31 pm

DOMENECH1776 wrote:
Dr. Yo wrote: For weapons, I keep thinking about mast-mounted lasers and smarter
mortar shells. A DP heavy auto-cannon for most other things, and
a machine gun or three. BFGs are all well and good, but cruise
missles will be getting smaller, smarter, and cheaper as well-I
suspect the high end tank killer of 2030 will be a fast cruise missle
carrier of some kind, with perhaps 20 on board rounds, and a couple
of 25-35mm and good radar for the other fellows' CMs.
Not mast mounted, but the Scorpion tanks from Halo, have the turret, raised significanty high above the rest of the tank on a small mount. Lets the gun have a sigificant amount of clearance before the tanks hull comes into view.
That introduces a signifigant risk of being a definite weak spot for the vehicle. It allows a nice seam in the armor for a well aimed shot to penetrate or at least jam the turret. Tiger 131 was caprutred in north africa due to a round deflecting off the barrel sleeve and penetrating the crew compartment roof and jamming the turret ring. The crew bailed leaving the tank intact for all practical reasons.

It is your idea however so im sure it will look cool when done. I just make notes of these things to help assist others in their designs. It may lead them to other things like an idea for an external RPG deflection device.
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Post by HWR MKII » Tue Mar 30, 2010 12:32 am

ANother recent development that may make something hovertankish possible. The UK has been experimenting with lightweight composite plastic armor.
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Post by DOMENECH1776 » Tue Mar 30, 2010 9:29 pm

I'm thinking of adding small wheels to my tank. If a tank uses some form of Grav manipulation for lift, but also utilizes some form of thrust, then wheels that are used for specific terrains could be used. For example, in urban areas, or interstates when speed is more of an issue than using terrain to hide, deploy some wheels from the lower hull, lower the "grav-defier" until the tank is resting on the wheels and drive to your next location. This would be suitable if your tech scenario makes you want to conserve power by minimizing your counter grav use. You could still have the grav-defier counter some of the tanks weight, but the wheels would support a bulk of it. Depending on the scenario, they may be cost effective.

I think on my tank the wheels would look small, almost like casters on a cart, and can be retracted into the hull when not in use.

Note, I'm adding them, but they wont be deployed on the model.
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Post by Big Hank » Tue Mar 30, 2010 10:21 pm

I believe I'll have a pair of "emergency" treads on mine. In my backstory, the hover tank technology in question isn't 100% reliable, LOL. Or maybe susceptible to damage/failure. I think some treads for a "limp mode" might be the trick, as well as tying in the terrestrial technology with the new found extraterrestrial tech. :8)

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Post by jeffrowse » Fri Apr 02, 2010 7:10 am

Kylwell wrote: ...too heavy and you can't air transport it...
"The vacc-heads give us a lift to local orbit, then we self-deploy when we're ready."

When AG vehicles can cover everything from 'Ground Zero' to exo-atmospheric orbit, the line between "armored ground forces" and "air forces" essentially ceases to exist. Whilst there is no replacing the GroPo for their ability to take and hold ground under any circumstances (where organics are unable to survive, robot sentries and automated defence systems plug the hole), a hover tank at anything more than a few metres off the ground is little different to a helicopter, and if it is in a high-threat environment then standing still is tantamount to holding up a huge sign saying "HIT ME!"so bumbling along at slow speed all the time is a Bad Thing - and since high speed flight is (was) the province of the Air Force (as much due to a lack of interest on behalf of the Army as anything), the line soon fades into oblivion and pretty much everyone ends up as a Marine... :wink:

Company HQ has an AG Armored Recovery Vehicle or two to collect any birds that have lost power, and anyone else self-recovers back to the laager. At a pinch, you just connect a 'spare' fusion generator to the crip and creep back home as best you can.

On a related note, although the primary anti-missile defence is rapid-fire lasers and various deception/jamming systems (DIIRCM as fitted to current aircraft) which rely on the main vehicle powerplant, there is also a couple of VRFGGs (Very Rapid Fire Gauss Gun) or VRFBPWs (Very Rapid Fire Ballistic Polymer Weapon) in blister mounts for times of low/no 'internal' power.

More food to thought to follow... maybe I should start a thread in the "off-topic" area rather than just under this "HoverTank Challenge"...?
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Post by rallymodeller » Fri Apr 23, 2010 3:39 am

Here's my take on hovertanks (or gravpanzers, as they're known in my "little world"). Take from it what you will:

In my still-evolvong alternate universe/future history (I'll do something with it someday) there exists a device called a Ventnor-Rosskov Field Generator. The V-R Field Generator is a device that looks like a big remote-control car electric motor. It even spins (the tanks whistle like a far-away jet engine). Three effects can be created by the generator, depending on how they are set up:

1. Field-nullification effect: A gravity-cancelling zone is created perpendicular to the long axis of the generator.

2. Tractive effect: A pseudo-gravitational field is created parallel to the long axis of the generator (one way or the other, depending on the direction of spin), OR perpendicular to the long axis (but not both for the same generator. Depends on how it was built).

3. Repellant Effect: Same as 2, but creates a sort of negative-gravity effect. Things are pushed away. Think of electrical eddy currents tossing aluminum cans in a recycling plant. Same rules apply).

In all three cases, the faster the generator spins, the more powerful the effect.

The fields can be focussed, by placing lenses of reflective material (dunno what, maybe old copied of the New Yorker) along the
part of the generator where you don't want the effect. In most applications, these shields are mobile to "aim" the effect. Apart from the magic floating/grabbing part, the fields have the same physics rules as everything else. Field strength falls off at the square of the distance, so the more altitude your tank gets the more unstable the field is. In addition, the power required to lift an object is the inverse of this.

So let's take my Cheetah (can be seen elsewhere in this part of the forum) as an example of how this would work. The Cheetah has a total of eight VR generators: six in two parallel gangs of three underneath (catamaran-style) and one in each side "fan duct". The ventral gangs are set up as Type 3 Perpendicular repulsors, with reflectors on top, and project half their diameter from the bottom of the tank. The side ducts are set up as Type 2 Parallel Generators. The side generators act as directional fans, and are the primary propulsive force. The six ventral generators are each independently driven to provide the ability to pitch and yaw. Normal constraints apply like zero traction on hills and recoil effects, but the onboard computer takes care of that.

There are other tradeoffs as well. It is extremely dangerous within the field area, especially in Effect 1 where local inertia is cancelled (side effect of getting rid of mass) meaning body processes requiring inertia don't work -- blood can't pump right, brain chemisrty stops, breathing is near impossible, and so forth. Shielding can attenuate this, but that is for another time. The VR-effect propulsors don't work in vacuum. The field generators are kind of noisy. All gravpanzers have significant (i.e. M1-level) thermal signatures, or greater. There is some electromagnetic leakage. You get the idea.

There's more, but it's late. I'll add more tomorrow.
--Jeremy

"I'm not a geek, I'm a specialist." -- Sgt. Sousuke Sagara, Full Metal Panic

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