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Old 2006-08-06, 17:29   Link #1
Anh_Minh
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MS catapults

Question: why do ships use catapults to launch their MS? On today's aircraft carriers it makes sense because the planes have to become fast enough to lift themselves before they crash into the sea, and they don't have a long run to do it in.

But MS? They either
- launch in space,
- won't fly at all,
- or are able of vertical take off under their own power.

Catapults take up some valuable space, so why do ships have them?
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Old 2006-08-06, 17:37   Link #2
Shiryuu
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So they would get to the frontlines faster?

I thought this was pretty obvious.

They could lift themselves, but that would be pretty slow compared to being catapulted.
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Old 2006-08-06, 17:44   Link #3
Skyfall
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Because most of grunt suits dont have ungodly thrusters and they would move very slow at the start, making them an easy target for the enemy. If i recal ZAKU has only 0.59g acceleration, while SF has 10g
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Old 2006-08-06, 18:03   Link #4
Anh_Minh
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A catapult will just give you initial velocity. Since the aims are computer assisted, it doesn't make a difference whether you go at 20km/h or 200. You have to rely on your own thrusters for evasive maneuvers anyway.

And anyway, if you're thrown at the enemy like a bloody canonball, you have to spend most of your thrust decelerating so you don't shoot though his line and out of range.
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Old 2006-08-06, 18:09   Link #5
Shiryuu
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So what do you want them rather do? Each suit walk out slowly until they have enough clearance to use their booster while getting shot at the same time?
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Old 2006-08-06, 18:11   Link #6
Komataguri
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A large ammount of fuel is used overcoming the force of gravity before a device can even lift off the ground, much less reach full acceleration.


By launching MS out on a Catapault, They are saving a VERY LARGE amount of fuel, thus allowing the MS to stay in the fight longer without worrying about running out of fuel for thrusters and manuvering.


because even on earth, MS do use their thrusters to assist in manuvers.


Its the same in space, altho to a lesser extend, expending a large amount of fuel to overcome the MS's mass and move it forward.


I think the catapault is just a method to save a large ammount of fuel.
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Old 2006-08-06, 18:19   Link #7
Anh_Minh
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I want them to launch before the fight even starts. They won't need to expend much fuel at all, since they'll start with having the same speed as the ship they launch from. And, if they have to launch under fire, as I said, being catapulted won't make much difference. In fact, it can easily mean they'll have to expend thrust to double back and attack the ship's attackers.

Want to make a difference? Use the space and weight of the catapult for more weapons instead. Or more MS.

I'm not sure how much of a fuel economy it is in the case of atmospheric flight, though.
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Old 2006-08-06, 18:23   Link #8
Shiryuu
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As far as I know, those catapults don't boost them fast enough that they would go flying past the enemy. Its just there to get them out faster. From what I can remember, the ms usually have to activate their boosters once they reach the end of the catapult.
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Old 2006-08-06, 19:14   Link #9
reinloch
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The catapults make no sense unless the ship has to launch suits while being attacked like 99% of the time in GSD. No AEW, no CAP, ships fighting suicidal battles in the front; their tactics leave much to be desired.
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Old 2006-08-06, 21:19   Link #10
4Tran
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Obviously, the main reason for showing the use of Mobile Suit catapults is to create visual ties to modern aircraft carriers (and to look cool). However, if we employ a little imagination, it's relatively easy to think of practical uses:

1. Quickly launches mobile suits away from the mother ship. This allows the mother ship to make quick vector changes without fear of ramming the launching mobile suits.

2. Thrust from a mobile suit can damage ships. It's thus preferable for mobile suits to engage their thrusters away from the mother ship.

3. Catapults allow the mobile suit to have a high delta-v in relation to the mother ship. This allows them to engage the enemy quicker and save on fuel and propellant at the same time.

4. In the atmosphere, a catapult can give an initial speed to flying units, thereby making it easier to attain stall speed.
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Old 2006-08-07, 01:20   Link #11
grandmaster192
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyfall
If i recal ZAKU has only 0.59g acceleration, while SF has 10g
God damn! I wonder what the Destiny has.......
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Old 2006-08-07, 01:39   Link #12
jonli
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Agree with the above poster. Besides they dont always use the catapults, when they want their MSes to stay close to defend the ship instead of fighting in the front lines they wont catapult them. Instead they would just open the hatch and let them walk out, we've seen this happen a few times already.
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Old 2006-08-07, 03:06   Link #13
4Tran
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grandmaster192
God damn! I wonder what the Destiny has.......
Destiny should have roughly have a similar acceleration to Freedom - it appears to have slightly better performance, so an extra g or two seems appropriate.
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Old 2006-08-07, 09:02   Link #14
srb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4Tran
Destiny should have roughly have a similar acceleration to Freedom - it appears to have slightly better performance, so an extra g or two seems appropriate.
I'm still wondering where he dug out that data, because as far as I know there's no official acceleration data for the Cosmic Era, and a 9.41 g difference between the ZAKU and SF? That's just ridiculous. The 0.59 figure is for the UC Zaku II, from one of the tech manuals published in the late 80's or early 90's or so.

And 4Tran also gave you the proper reasons as for why the catapults are employed, ranging from the aesthetic choice as well as their practical uses.
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Old 2006-08-07, 10:26   Link #15
4Tran
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Quote:
Originally Posted by srb
I'm still wondering where he dug out that data, because as far as I know there's no official acceleration data for the Cosmic Era, and a 9.41 g difference between the ZAKU and SF? That's just ridiculous. The 0.59 figure is for the UC Zaku II, from one of the tech manuals published in the late 80's or early 90's or so.
There isn't any. I was the one who derived Freedom's acceleration from the show itself. Basically, 10-15g is probably the minimum acceleration Freedom must have had in order to catch up to Lacus' shuttle in episode 26 of Destiny. As far as I can tell, this scene is the only one that gives us a chance to figure out the performance for any Cosmic Era vehicles. I originally posted this on MechaTalk, but apparently the entire thread it was in has been deleted.

To clarify, the 0.59g figure is for the Zaku II. The actual value for the ZAKU Warrior should be probably much higher than that (probably 4+g).
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