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Old 06-13-2019, 02:44 PM   #61
maximara
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Default Re: Approaching TL9?

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Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
Then again just because you can just barely get off the ground when the wind conditions are just right doesn't mean you have airplanes either. For TL purposes you don't measure from the first sort of successful prototypes but from when general implementation happens. In the case of airplanes, that's basically World War I. And it's TL 6 where the railroads were TL 5.
While GURPS does have Steam locomotives as TL5 it has continental railways as TL6 so it is one of these weird places in the TL scale.

Similarly the first plastic appeared in 1856 and was used a replacement for billiard balls in the late 19th century. Because of the type of plastic they were made of the billiards balls on occasion could explode. Plastic in GURPS is said to be TL7. Yeh...
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Old 06-13-2019, 02:55 PM   #62
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While GURPS does have Steam locomotives as TL5 it has continental railways as TL6 so it is one of these weird places in the TL scale.

Similarly the first plastic appeared in 1856 and was used a replacement for billiard balls in the late 19th century. Because of the type of plastic they were made of the billiards balls on occasion could explode. Plastic in GURPS is said to be TL7. Yeh...
I have no idea what the logic behind defining transcontinental railways as TL 6 is. It seems clearly to be just a mistake although it is true that the only transcontinental railways actually being built in the 19th century were in those places where a single nation happened to span a continent. But that's not a technological issue. As for plastics, it's clear to me that they didn't have celluloid in mind.
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Old 06-13-2019, 02:58 PM   #63
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Well, it does have some advantages. It just also has corresponding drawbacks. Tank rounds are essentially caseless (technically combustible case; the case does provide propellant effect but it's not as good at it as the main propellant).
I don't think I'd agree that combustible-case is 'essentially caseless'. It gives up some of the benefits associated with cased rounds, but also retains some (particularly, protection of the propellant and some breach sealing) at the expense of giving up some of the benefits of entirely caseless ammo (notably, eliminating ejected casings entirely).
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Old 06-13-2019, 03:06 PM   #64
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Spaceships calls Light Alloy a TL7 armour, and has this to say about it: "This is armor made of aerospace-grade aluminum or titanium alloys.", which makes the use of such alloys for aircraft in WWII the use of a TL7 technology, so if we're just throwing quotes from random books around, that's one from a 4e source.
Duralumin was used as far back as the armored ground attack Junkers J.I in WWI, so that can't be a defining feature.
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Old 06-13-2019, 03:46 PM   #65
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Incorrect. The Allison engine went in the A-36 Apache. That was the orignal version of the aircraft the Army waned to use as a low-level dive bomber.

It was not until the RAF transfored the plane by installing the Rolls-Royce Merlin (which was followed by the ;license built Packard) that the "Mustang" designation was used and it became a high-altitude fighter with the P-51 number.
Not completely accurate:

The aircraft first saw use in the RAF as the North American Mustang Mk I, then it was adopted by the USAAC as the P-51 Apache primarily but not entirely as a paperwork mechanism to allow them to be transferred to Britain under Lend-Lease (Britain was buying directly from NAA as a private purchase, Lend-Lease required the US military to serve as middleman).

When the Lend-Lease contract for the Mustang ran out of funds, the USAAF took over all remaining aircraft and wanted the aircraft to stay in production for future US adoption, but couldn't get a fighter contract worked up under current appropriations. NAA proposed adding dive brakes and redesignating it to take advantage of an unused dive bomber contract. The A-36 was the resulting aircraft.

In the meantime, the British had successfully experimented with putting the Merlin in the aircraft they had received, which went into production as the P-51B (the first production model, other than the A-36, not built primarily for British use). The original US name (Apache) was quickly dropped in favor of the RAF name (Mustang).

The first first US use of the Mustang (aside from testing) was the F-6A tactical reconnaissance aircraft.
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Old 06-13-2019, 05:05 PM   #66
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Default Re: Approaching TL9?

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I have no idea what the logic behind defining transcontinental railways as TL 6 is. It seems clearly to be just a mistake although it is true that the only transcontinental railways actually being built in the 19th century were in those places where a single nation happened to span a continent. But that's not a technological issue. As for plastics, it's clear to me that they didn't have celluloid in mind.
High Tech makes it a littler clearer:

Early Rail (TL5). Normal operational speed is 30-40 mph; averages 200-800 miles per day. A standard railcar carries 20 tons or 2,800 cubic feet. Price per passenger or per ton of cargo is about $1 per mile.

Mature Rail (TL6-7). Normal operational speed is 50-75 mph; averages 300-1,200 miles per day. A standard railcar carries 100 tons or 5,200 cubic feet. Price per passenger or per ton of cargo is $0.10 per mile.

High-Speed Passenger Rail (TL8). Normal operational speed is approximately 150 mph; routes are seldom longer than a few hundred miles. Price per passenger is $0.33 per mile.

Transcontinental railway is likely being used as a shorthand for "Mature Rail"

Last edited by maximara; 06-13-2019 at 05:13 PM.
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Old 06-13-2019, 06:51 PM   #67
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True but IMHO that is because they utilized "off the shelf" TL6 materials rather then "true" TL7 designs and materials. The P-51 Mustang's engine for example was an Allison V-1710 which dated from 1930 (though it had seen improvements since then).
But that was rapidly replaced by the Merlin, or a licensed-built version thereof. Also, the rest of the aircraft was very modern - modern materials, modern wing cross-section.
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Old 06-13-2019, 06:56 PM   #68
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Caseless rounds do not work "perfectly well." Cased ammunition provides actual advantages - obturation, heat dissipation, environmental protection, etc. - that caseless needs to work around. The only advantages caseless has are lower round weight and that the weapon is easier to seal against the elements.
The G11 had passed service acceptance trials, and was about to enter service when it was canned.

So, yes, caseless rounds do work perfectly well. Yes, they have drawbacks, but so do cased rounds. Caseless rounds look 'bad' in comparison because we're used to cased rounds.
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My point with all this is that we should not consider one of the hallmarks of TL9 to be caseless ammunition. I stand by my assessment that the signature technology will have to be power cells.
You're right about the former, but the latter remains to be shown, but I'd agree that it seems likely that the break-through is in high density portable power supply/storage.
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Old 06-13-2019, 06:57 PM   #69
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Well, it does have some advantages. It just also has corresponding drawbacks. Tank rounds are essentially caseless (technically combustible case; the case does provide propellant effect but it's not as good at it as the main propellant).
Many big naval guns were caseless, despite the risks from fairly exposed powder charges.
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Old 06-13-2019, 07:00 PM   #70
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High Tech makes it a littler clearer:

Early Rail (TL5). Normal operational speed is 30-40 mph; averages 200-800 miles per day. A standard railcar carries 20 tons or 2,800 cubic feet. Price per passenger or per ton of cargo is about $1 per mile.

Mature Rail (TL6-7). Normal operational speed is 50-75 mph; averages 300-1,200 miles per day. A standard railcar carries 100 tons or 5,200 cubic feet. Price per passenger or per ton of cargo is $0.10 per mile.

High-Speed Passenger Rail (TL8). Normal operational speed is approximately 150 mph; routes are seldom longer than a few hundred miles. Price per passenger is $0.33 per mile.

Transcontinental railway is likely being used as a shorthand for "Mature Rail"
Right. Steam engines TL 5, Diesel engines TL 6.
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