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Voidships vs. the Mighty Force of Gravity


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#21 Lightbringer

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Posted 02 February 2014 - 12:18 PM

During the Badab War, the Star Phantoms landed their battle barge on a moon, but little information is given as to the moon's gravity, so it's hard to tell how impressive this feat really was.

This is actually a classic 40k FAQ: I've seen it asked in various ways in my years of lurking on 40k RPG forums...

My take on it is that warp-capable spacecraft are substantially over-engineered compared to equivalent sized planetary craft. The warp is a horrifically hostile environment, even with a Gellar field, so warp capable ships need to be able to withstand tremendous stresses. If a warp-capable vessel is an ocean liner, a system ship, no matter how large is, in terms of comparative robustness of construction, a rubber dinghy.

My view is that Imperial spacecraft are in many places almost solid blocks of metal, with superstructures consisting of tens of metres of tempered steel braced with adamantium. (In part this can be used to hand wave away any discrepancies in internal volume areas/ crew sizes that some of the cleverer forumites have pointed out, too.)

This super-robust construction means that some warp capable vessels are tough enough to survive entering a planet's gravity well, or even atmosphere, without disintegrating. They're rarely built for this, but they stand a chance or surviving it. Such a manoeuvre can never be entered into lightly, and it can never be taken for granted that ANY ship would survive trying it, but some of the better constructed warp capable craft, specifically Arks Mechanicus and Astartes vessels, would probably stand a better chance than most Naval or civilian vessels.

Anyway, that's my take on it. No real canon source for it, but it's an approach that explains ships both surviving and ships NOT surviving entering a planet's atmosphere...

#22 Visitor Q

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 04:34 AM

I am not an engineer or physicist by any stretch of the imagination but my rudimentary understanding was that there is a difference between the thrust needed to have something like a Gothic Class Cruiser take off and reach escape velocity and the maximum strain a structure can take before collapsing when on the surface of the planet.

 

That is to say a Gothic Cruiser is about what? 600 or 700m tall. Which is probably within the limits it could take within Earth's gravity.  

 

However the upward thrust needed to lift this behemoth of a star ship off the ground is probably too much, especially given where its engines are located. 

 

So to sum up I reckon an Imperial cruiser could land (just about) but probably not take off again.

 

Just my take on it but I'd love to see the explanation of an actual engineer.


Edited by Visitor Q, 06 February 2014 - 04:37 AM.


#23 Radwraith

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 01:45 PM

I am not an engineer or physicist by any stretch of the imagination but my rudimentary understanding was that there is a difference between the thrust needed to have something like a Gothic Class Cruiser take off and reach escape velocity and the maximum strain a structure can take before collapsing when on the surface of the planet.

 

That is to say a Gothic Cruiser is about what? 600 or 700m tall. Which is probably within the limits it could take within Earth's gravity.  

 

However the upward thrust needed to lift this behemoth of a star ship off the ground is probably too much, especially given where its engines are located. 

 

So to sum up I reckon an Imperial cruiser could land (just about) but probably not take off again.

 

Just my take on it but I'd love to see the explanation of an actual engineer.

Actual engineering and 40k physics rarely mix that well!  :rolleyes: But as I pointed out earlier, there are plenty of Canonical sources that say that Warp capable vessels in 40k can enter an atmosphere and remain aloft! (I would assume through the use of antigrav technology similar to landspeeders.). If a vessel can fly then it can, at least theoretically land and take off again. My take on it has always been that Imperial vessels are rarely designed to land (As in have actual landing gear) but can "dock" at a planetside starport if available.






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