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SFAX PROGRAMME 2087 [Experimental one-off challenge]

|--==[ MIDLANDS RECONNAISSANCE AVIATION DIVISION ]==--|

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*** CLASSIFIED ***

_________________________________________________________________

For Department of Defense SFAX Personnel Only


MIDLANDS YSF-277 HIRUNDO

- mid-range hypersonic fighter bomber

- Codename "Barnstormer"

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TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

CREW SIZE: 2

LENGTH: 41.6 FT (3.2 M)
WIDTH: 58.3 FT (4.5 M)

DRY WEIGHT: 38,626 lbs
GROSS WEIGHT: 52,666 lbs
MAXIMUM TAKEOFF WEIGHT: 65,750 lbs

TOP SPEED: MACH 10 (7672.69 mph)
MAXIMUM COMBAT SPEED: MACH 6 (4603.61 mph)
FUELING CRUISE SPEED: MACH 2 (1534.54 mph)
DESIGNED LOAD FACTOR: 14.74 g

FLIGHT RANGE: In Atmosphere 6,900 miles on RF-90 engines only, 10k miles on all engines
COMBAT EFFECTIVE RANGE: 620 miles

PROPULSION: 2x P&S RF-60 Hybrid Nuclear Ion Engines, 2x NGI 16 Oblique-wave Detonation Engines

ORDINANCE

The Midlands YSF-277 Hirundo packs quite the punch for its relatively small size. It has two partially internal missile bays that each hold 4 air to air "Shrike" missiles, for a total of 8. These bays can be filled with other missiles depending on the mission, but the Shrike missiles are standard equipment. These missiles have an approximate range of 50 to 80 miles and are computer guided while within the 80 mile range.

The primary weapons of the YSF-277 are the 6 ASiM-9 Nuclear-armed missiles. These potent missiles are kept on wing mounted hardpoints that are as close as possible to the center of the jet while still having tolerance for the ignition blast and keeping them from inadvertent detonation from the heat given off from the RF-60 engines.

In addition to the two types of missiles, the YSF-277 has two laser turret arrays on tracks along the wings. These super close range(sub 10 mile) lasers are primarily used to neutralizing quick moving missiles fired against the jet. The round turret hubs can travel along the entire length of each wing while using the fiberoptic line in the track to continuously charge the 250 KW laser. The laser’s have a combined output of 500 KW and when used with the onboard weapons targeting system, they can be both a potent defense mechanism and extreme close range deterrent.

TECHNOLOGY OVERVIEW

RCS AND SCS SYSTEMS

The Midlands YSF-277 Hirundo makes judicious use of a computer aided Reaction Control System and Stability Assistance System to help keep the jet performing at optimal maneuverability parameters and to let the pilot focus on the task at hand instead of keeping the jet flying level. This is especially important at hypersonic speeds, where the G forces can sometimes pull the pilots attention in other directions other than flying. The RCS system uses excess vented heat from the main RF-60 engines to assist the motions the pilot is attempting, primarily in the pitch and roll of the jet. This allows the YSF-277 to make incredibly sharp turns, capitalizing on the already quite maneuverable tendencies of flying wings and being the origin of it's nickname "Barnstormer", referencing the high-speed acrobatic antics of barn swallows. The SAS system tempers these movements and the general instability of the flying wing shape by vectoring the thrust coming from RCS vents. It modulates the severity of RCS assistance based off of the speed at which the pilot changes input direction, allowing very fine control over flight path. These systems working in tandem allow for one of the YSF-277's party tricks. Particularly skilled pilots can execute a 180 degree pitch transition, reversing the forward direction of the jet to fire the more potent Shrike missiles at pursuers. With the relative closeness of the cabin to the axis of rotation in this maneuver, the G forces exerted on the crew are minimal.

C.U.R.I.E. WEAPONS MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

The Central Unified Retaliation Intelligence Engine, or C.U.R.I.E. is an advanced ai weapons management assistant that, like the RCS and SAS systems, lets the WSO focus on taking down the enemy instead of dealing with the intricacies of each of the targeting systems for each type of weapon. C.U.R.I.E. gives the WSO an augmented view of the battlefield around the fighter, highlighting known targets and constantly scanning for new ones, working in conjunction with the standard SWG-654 radar array. The system lets the WSO toggle between the YSF-227's armaments at will, keeping the others primed and at the ready. C.U.R.I.E. can also be switched into full autonomous mode, usually when the WSO needs to administer to the repairs of vital systems, defaulting to a laser dominant defense protocol at an increased range of 30 miles(done by diverting power from the external missile launchers to bolster laser range). C.U.R.I.E. also has mild autopilot features, in case of a malfunction or loss of consciousness of the pilot, and can be overwritten completely for a purely manual approach in the case of reduced power conditions or if the WSO wants a more manual feel. Named after the lady who gave us the gateway to the radioactivity knowledge that lets jets like this fly, the C.U.R.I.E. weapons management system puts guaranteed nuclear destruction only a button press away.

GRAPHINE ALLOY ABLATIVE STEALTH COATING

Graphene plays a vital role in many, many places in the YSF-277's architecture. It helps shield the rest of the fighter from the heat from the engines, lines the fuel tanks in the belly of the fighter, and allows for an incredibly flexible and nuanced electrical grid throughout the craft. Perhaps the most important and extensive use of graphene is in the stealth and heat deflection coating that envelopes the entire craft. The graphene alloy ablative stealth coating, or GAAS coating, provides a nearly transparent coating for the entirety of the fighter that absorbs around 90% of most known radar frequencies, with the shaping of the fighter accounting for another 5%. Not only does this mean that the YSF-277 is quite hard to detect on radar, it also means that whatever paint treatment is used, be it an electroactive active camouflage or other such visual stealth tech, it is not affected by the coating. Since the coating is partially graphene, crystalline carbon, and quartz, it has an incredibly high melting point, around 2697 degrees C. It also has a high heat transference rate, distributing the re-entry heat across the entire plane and off back into the atmosphere. It also is a quite effective deterrent to energy weapons as well, due to its high electrical conductivity. At least 50% of all energy weapon hits are absorbed into the onboard energy supplies. All of this functionality from one base material keeps the fighter safe and hidden from prying enemy eyes.

NGI 16 OBLIQUE-WAVE DETONATION ENGINES

While the P&S RF-60 engines may be the primary, conventional propulsion source for the YSF-277, the reason it can reach to speeds of Mach 10 is due to the Northern Greysteel Industries (NGI) 16 oblique-wave detonation engines. These engines, instead of using the typical burning of high pressure HARP fuel to use exhaust gasses for propulsion, they use a controlled, continuous pressure wave released from the end of the engine. (The exact science of how this works can be seen here. https://newatlas.com/aircraft/oblique-wave-detonation-engine-hypersonic-ucf/?fbclid=IwAR1BvPDVov9__In0Fzqx8g67HdDT03IRx6HBOC5i7maLOyAc1-tNj0Gcyn4) This allows for much higher speeds than even ramjet style engines, even in the vacuum of space. The way the NGI 16 engines are designed not only lets the YSF-277 push the limits of what speeds should be possible with this fighter's shape, it also allows for blistering acceleration. For quick getaways, the YSF-277 can jump from Mach 6 to Mach 10 in about 15 seconds, just the thing for getting out of enemy range to swing around and regroup. The engines also make use of the unique properties of graphene for on the fly refueling. When the fighter drops to Mach 2 or below, the intakes on the front of the engines open slightly and deploy graphene mesh filters to pull in ionized hydrogen or oxygen to replenish fuel stores. This puts the stealth cruising range of the fighter being theoretically indefinite, but that depends on the concentration of the appropriate elements in the area being surveyed.

ACS CABIN PRESSURIZATION

The automatic climate system on the YSF-277 keeps the cabin pressurized and habitable for both pilot and WSO. It also allows for the WSO to act as a technician on the internal access panels at the rear of the cabin. It also helps control the flight suits that keep the crew safe from the extreme G forces they experience during combat. The base ACS flight suit looks like this, with a variety of helmets to choose from, provided that they're fitted with a UCC air tank port.

The ACS flight suit for the WSO has a bit more reinforcement, due to the fact that they face backward in the cabin. They’re locked in more securely than the pilot because of this and are ensconced in the virtual targeting suit that C.U.R.I.E. provides.

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--==[ 5.1.2087 MRAD ]==--

INTERNAL USE ONLY

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|--==[ MIDLANDS RECONNAISSANCE AVIATION DIVISION ]==--|

_______________________________________________________________

*** CLASSIFIED ***

_________________________________________________________________

For Department of Defense SFAX Personnel Only


Due to unforseen file size limitations and memory overflow errors in the receiving computers caused by the previous report, the Operational Photos section has been moved to this separate dossier. Hopefully the confusion caused by this is minimal.

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CMW Aerospace YSF-61 Black Widow III

CMW Aerospace is pleased to present the YSF-61 Black Widow III, our submission to the Unified States Space Force SFAX Program.

Representing a quantum leap in propulsion, weapons, materials and computer technology, the YSF-61 Black Widow III combines a revolutionary powerplant arrangement with a “brilliant” airframe to achieve atmospheric and exo-atmospheric performance far beyond any space fighter-interceptor that has come before it, all while far exceeding the combat performance of friend and foe alike.


OVERVIEW AND SYSTEMS

The YSF-61 Black Widow III is a super-heavy, hypersonic, multi-role fighter-bomber aerospacecraft. Its unique shape, consisting primarily of a triangular lifting-body design swept back at 76 degrees, combines good handling characteristics, structural efficiency and very low surface area compared to internal volume, all of which play an important role in giving the YSF-61 its incredible performance and favourable radar cross-section. A retractable canard with trailing-edge control surfaces can be deployed at speeds below Mach 3.0, and is automatically deployed at all airspeeds below 450 knots for improved low-speed handling and maneuverability.

The majority of the YSF-61 is constructed from various forms of carbon composite, with the engine inlet and exhaust ramps made from refractory metal-matrix composite material that combine excellent heat resistance with superior strength and durability.

The skin of the YSF-61 is made out of a revolutionary “brilliant” composite material, made possible by advances in additive manufacturing. In most aerospacecraft, the skin was just that; the outer covering of the aircraft. In the YSF-61, however, the skin bakes the following properties into an otherwise conventional carbon-carbon composite material:

  • Active self-healing properties, to mitigate the effects of battle damage, as well as bird/microasteroid damage;
  • Micro-scale transmitter/receiver elements, giving the YSF-61 the ability to use the entire surface as both a sensor (for radar, infrared, visual and ultraviolet ranges) and as an antenna for both communications systems as well as for electronic countermeasures;
  • Active cooling passages, using the YSF-61’s extremely cold hydrogen fuel to keep skin temperatures under control even at the maximum atmospheric dash speed of Mach 20, or during high-velocity re-entry maneuvers at orbital velocities of up to 12,500 metres per second.

The skin-embedded transmit/receive elements in the YSF-61’s skin all network to the Central Mission Computer, which present the pilot and WSO with independently-selectable synthetic 360-degree panoramic views around the aerospacecraft, including the ability to see “through” the vehicle itself. Additionally, all YSF-61s have the ability to network with one another via ultra-high speed, extremely-secure datalinks, allowing for full sharing of sensor and targeting data, as well as networking the CMCs together to better assign targets to individual aircraft or flight elements. All this, while maintaining exceptional radar cross-section performance, on the order of -33 dBm - roughly the same as a small bird.


SWG-654 Radar Array

The YSF-61 carries the all-new SWG-654 multi-mission radar in the large, actively-cooled carbon-carbon nosecone. Where the YSF-61 differs from the competition, is that it carries three SWG-654 units; one forward facing, and two in the side-mounted radomes, giving over 300 degrees of un-interrupted radar coverage, as well as bestowing a very powerful side-looking, ground-mapping radar capability for reconnaissance missions.

Crew Escape System

The YSF-61 seats the pilot and WSO in full crew escape pod, capable of rescuing the crew from zero altitude and zero airspeed, all the way to the depths of space. With the ability to withstand tremendous heat, the CES is capable of re-entering the atmosphere and landing safely on both land and water via parachute and landing airbags with no input from the crew beyond the command to eject. The CES also contains thrusters for maneuvering and safe automatic landing on non-atmospheric bodies, as well as emergency life support for 96 hours beyond the YSF-61’s normal life support stores.


Powerplant and Fuel System

The heart of the YSF-61 is its revolutionary powerplant arrangement. The Blended-cycle nuclear-ion/oblique wave detonation engine allows the YSF-61 to operate in a wide range of speeds and altitudes in atmosphere, as well as granting it the ability to maneuver freely in space as well. At speeds below Mach 5.0, the three Plank & Stocking RF60 engines are responsible for propelling the YSF-61, providing class-leading power and efficiency in that flight regime. Additionally, the RF60 engine is the primary means of propulsive power in vacuum environments, providing good performance and excellent fuel economy in exo-atmospheric flight.

Beyond Mach 5.0, the CMW Aeroneutronics YWD101 oblique-wave detonation engines take over, using the engine’s unique ability to create a standing detonation wave to generate enough thrust to generate nearly 2G of forward acceleration at maximum power. This is made possible in no small part because of the large inlet and exhaust ramps that form an integral part of the YSF-61’s propulsion system, the inlet ramp in particular utilising shock waves to compress inlet air dramatically before it enters the engines.

The two Hydrogen-Cycle Machines (HCM) form the third and most vital component of the propulsion system of the YSF-61. The YSF-61 relies upon slush hydrogen fuel - essentially, a mix of solid and liquid hydrogen, held in a semi-solid, semi-liquid slush state - not only for propulsion, but for active cooling of the aircraft’s skin at high speed. Cold fuel is pumped into the active cooling system and piped throughout the airframe, cooling the skin, the avionics systems as well as helping to maintain environmental control for the crew. This boils the liquid hydrogen and creates great quantities of hot, gaseous hydrogen. This gas then enters the HCM, where it is compressed, then sent through an air heat-exchanger in the inlet. This hydrogen is then passed through an expansion turbine, where it cools from 500 degrees Celsius to -260 degrees Celsius in an instant, using this energy to drive the compressor, as well as pumps and electrical generators on the HCM Integrated Power Drive. Finally, the re-liquified hydrogen passes through a fuel-to-fuel cooler, exchanging the final bit of heat energy into the fuel passing into the engines to be burnt.

The HCM’s Integrated Power Drive is the primary means of generating electrical power in oblique wave detonation mode, as that engine has no moving parts from which to drive a geneator. Additionally, the HCM can provide power while the vehicle coasts unpowered in space, as the YSF-61’s skin absorbs an incredible amount of heat on the sunward side that must be dissipated.

Most of the fuselage’s internal volume is dedicated to carrying the slush hydrogen fuel, in large cryogenic tanks. While slush hydrogen contains an incredible amount of energy per unit of mass, its energy density is two and a half times lower than JP-D fuel, thus necessitating the very large tanks and by extension, the large overall dimensions of the YSF-61. Hydrogen, being the lightest atom of all, has a considerable specific impulse benefit over JP-D fuel, which allows for a dramatic improvement in performance in exo-atmospheric flight especially.


The YSF-61 is the first aircraft produced by CMW Aerospace that does away with a traditional, all-aircraft hydraulic system, instead opting for networked, electrically-driven actuators throughout the aircraft. This greatly improves redudnancy, reliability and ease of maintenance, with all of the actuators - in addition to all other mechanical or electronic components on the YSF-161 - communicating their status in real-time to the Central Information Computer, allowing for real-time vehicle health monitoring and predictive maintenance protocols to be used, greatly reducing maintenance downtime and improving mission-capable rates.


ORDINANCE

The YSF-61 has been designed to work with a wide range of current-generation weaponry, for vehicle to vehicle combat both in-atmosphere and outside, as well as space/air-ground conventional and nuclear strike missions. The two fully-enclosed weapons bays, can be independently configured with any combination of ordinance, up to a total weight of 15,000 kilograms, and are rated to deploy any weapon at any speed up to each weapon’s rated safe speed.


ASiM-9 Missile

In its primary air/space superiority loadout, the YSF-61 can carry up to ten next-generation ASiM-9 missiles. In a maximum-effort shoot scenario, all ten weapons can be ripple-fired in less than six seconds, each guided to target by any combination of on-board radar and infrared seekers, and datalink guidance from any networked YSF-61.


Type 101 Kinetic Energy Weapon

For conventional strike missions, the considerable speed and altitude performance of the YSF-61 allows for the effective use of kinetic energy weapons on ground targets. CMW Aerospace has designed two variations of kinetic energy weapons to be carried by the YSF-61.

Up to twenty-two Type 101 kinetic energy impactors can be carried, each containing multi-spectrum guidance and nano-inertial navigation to achieve a circular error probable (CEP) of 0.5 metres, an optional explosive fuse to fragment the device before impact for area effect, and a small rocket “kick” motor to add more velocity right before impact if needed. Weighing 670 kilograms each, each Type 101 has the destructive power equivalent to a conventional explosive bomb weighing 8,500 kilograms.


Type 102 Kinetic Energy Penetrator

Four Type 102 kinetic energy penetrators can also be carried, each device containing the same guidance, fusing and propulsion system of the Type 101. The Type 102, however, weighs 3,600 kilograms, and has the destructive power equivalent to a conventional explosive bomb of 50,000 kilograms. Additionally, the hardened tungsten nose structure of the penetrator is capable of breaching virtually all hardened underground structures that would have necessitated the use of nuclear devices in years past.


W287/Mk29 Nuclear RV Warhead

In the nuclear strike role, the YSF-61 can carry twenty-four W287 warheads in their Mk29 re-entry vehicles. With an advanced dial-a-yield capability and precision steering capability, the W287 can detonate with a force between 0.3 kt and 1,000 kt, with a CEP of 20 metres.


ASL-107 Solid-State Laser Weapon

For short- to medium-range anti-air/space engagements, the YSF-61 carries two forward-firing CMW Aeroneutronics ASL-107 steerable, solid-state lasers mounted in the mid-span fairings. The ASL-107 is a megawatt-class infrared laser, each capable of firing up to 20 full-powered pulses per minute, and engaging targets in atmosphere out to a range of 100 kilometres, and well beyond in exo-atmospheric flight. The steering mechanisms give the two lasers full forward hemispheric coverage combined.


ASL-105B Defensive Solid-State Laser Weapon

Additionally, a single CMW Aeroneutronics ASL-105B steerable, solid state laser is mounted in a rear-facing orientation on the port-side wing fairing. This 50 kilowatt-class laser is purely defensive in nature, designed to target and either blind or destroy incoming missiles and high-energy kinetic weapons fire. Capable of firing up to 500 pulses per minute, the ASL-105B works in conjunction with the two forward-firing ASL-107s (which each can fire 500 pulses per minute in the 50-kilowatt defensive mode) to provide complete directional protection against incoming threats.


DIMENSIONS AND PERFORMANCE

Length
173 feet 3 inches (52.8 metres)
Wingspan
78 feet 9 inches (24.0 metres)
Height
24 feet 7 inches (7.5 metres)
Lifting Area
6,200 sq.ft (576 sq.m) canards retracted, 6,780 sq.ft (630 sq.m) canards extended
Empty Weight
94,815 pounds (43,000 kilograms)
Maximum Takeoff Weight
171,990 pounds (78,000 kilograms)
Fuel Capacity
44,100 pounds of slush hydrogen (20,000 kilograms)

POWERPLANT SPECIFICATIONS

Powerplant
3x CMW Aeroneutronics YAO100-CM-101A blended-cycle nuclear-ion/oblique wave detonation engines

Each YAO100 engine consists of:

1x Plank & Stocking RF60-PS-505H hybrid nuclear ion engine, and
1x CMW Aeroneutronics YWD101-CM-100 oblique wave detonation engine

Maximum thrust, atmospheric mode
27,000 lbf per engine (120 kN) dry, 64,070 lbf (285 kN) afterburning
Maximum thrust, wave detonation mode
125,900 lbf per engine (560kN) at Mach 18.0
Thrust range, vacuum mode
1,100 lbf to 40,460 lbf (5 to 180 kN)
Orbital Maneuvering System
Electro-magnetic thrust vectoring nozzles

KEY PERFORMANCE FIGURES

Maximum atmospheric speed
Mach 20.0 at 110,000 feet; 11,900 knots (13,720 mph, 22,080 km/h at 33,350 metres)
Cruise speed for best atmospheric range
Mach 5.0 at 115,000 feet; 2,980 knots (3,430 mph, 5,520 km/h)
Atmospheric combat radius, combat air patrol with 180-minute on-station time
1,780 nautical miles (2,050 miles, 3,300 kilometres)
Combat radius, air intercept mission, maximum performance
2,660 nautical miles (3,060 miles, 4,930 kilometres)
Atmospheric ferry range
9,600 nautical miles (11,060 miles, 17,810 kilometres) with 45 minute fuel reserve
Design load factor
+15/-6g up to and including Mach 5, +11/-4g to maximum speed
Atmospheric cornering speed, mission weight
370 knots
Takeoff run at maximum gross weight, sea level and standard conditions
3,230 feet (985 metres)
Scramble time, wheels-stopped to Low-Earth Orbit
5 minutes 40 seconds

MORE PICTURES
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Forged by Akatronix, guided by Zacspeed

YSF-060 "Radiant"

Specifications

Crew Size: 2

Length (nose to horizontal stabilizers): 14.05 m
Height (ground to tip of vertical stabilizers): 0.40 m
Width (fuselage and wingspan combined): 10.80 m

Dry Weight: 16,300 kg
Gross Weight: 23,000 kg
Maximum Take-Off Weight: 28,000 kg
Designed Load Factor: 30 g

Powerplant: P&S RF-60-RAD Hybrid Nuclear Ion Engine (2)
Dry Thrust: 114 kN (per unit)
Afterburner Thrust: 280 kN (per unit)
Vacuum Thrust: 5 - 170 kN (per unit)

Maximum Speed: 5333.91 kn (Mach 8)
Supercruise Speed: 2666.95 kn (Mach 4)
Atmospheric Range: 2,106 NM (3,900 km)
Combat Range: 837 NM (1,550 km)

Armaments

image

Gun: Angrepp (2)
Type: Pod-Mounted Laser Cannons

Missile: BB-7 (6)
Type: Air-Air Medium-Range

Missile: BB-9 (2)
Type: Space-Space Medium-Range

Missile: ASiM-9 (4)
Type: Nuclear Long-Range

Technology

VISER

VISER is the Radiant’s radar system. It links from the craft’s integrated central computer to the passengers’ spacesuits via a high-speed fiber-optic interface.

Utilizing the best in laser scanner technology, it actively maps and highlights various points of interest for the user via their visors. This includes enemy craft, obstacles, and bases of operation. Their directions will also be displayed, and should those objects exit the user’s line of sight, their direction will also be displayed.

Various objects can be highlighted by the pilots looking at them, done through eye tracking technology, though should the system detect potential threats, it will
automatically highlight them. Further, the system can predict those objects’ trajectories through machine learning algorithms and animating such a prediction up
to 10 seconds into the future.

Alongside these advanced capabilities, VISER can display vital information, craft condition, weapon inventory, and crosshairs. Any visual effects, such as highlighting and animating, will stay bright orange to ensure visibility.

Active Heat Signature Reduction System

8% of engine horsepower (at max) will be used to power the “refridgeration” system that surrounds the engine. By cooling the engine and its surrounding strucutre, this system minimizes this craft’s detection through thermal-imaging sights.

Intelligent Pre-emptive Flaring (IPF)

The IPF system actively seeks for any armed weapons in any close radius through signal-interfering counter measures. Should the system detect any signal from nearby enemy aircraft in a five-kilometer radius (in an ideal battle environment), it will automatically prime the flares and monitor those aircraft. Should those weapons then be launched, the IPF system will release its flares.

Anti-Signal Interference

Exactly what it says on the tin; it prevents signals from being jammed. Developed by Akatronix for use in civilian models, this rendition of the Anti-Signal Interference system is built with tighter tolerances in compliance for the SFAX program, built with a mechanical override as a fail-safe system.

Flight Shots

Fixtures are a bit glitchy at these angles.

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DIVERGENCE AND THE RED MOON - THE TIMELINE THUS FAR

>


1966
Korolev’s death brought a massive shock to the space industry. Questions arose as to who would continue his ambitious projects, and for a time, the West felt confident they could pull in the lead as Socialist leadership scrambled to their decisions.

Very quickly, they got to work and introduced the new director of the space programme.
Nikita Gruzinsky was among those who worked under Korolev, and was very much familiar with how he operated the programme.
And it was no wonder why they got back in business so quickly.

The Socialist Federation refused to sign the Space Weapons Treaty that prohibited arms bringing in space, and tensions briefly rose with the Unified States.


1969
July Third marks a day that will be remembered forever. The day divergence truly happened.

Millions around the world watched as the red flag of the Federation was planted on the white regolith. Alexei Leonov, the first man on the moon was a communist. Brought to the lunar surface through the Socialist Federation’s N1 lunar rocket, the most powerful rocket on Earth.

No one expected it. And no wonder, the entire Socialist Lunar Programme was kept under wraps for the longest time. Rockets were built in utmost secrecy and not even the best satellites could capture the Socialists’ plans. It soon became apparent the Space Race wasn’t over yet.

While morale in the Socialist Federation was high, it was even higher in the West to beat them on other potential fronts.


1970
The Unified States’ Apollo programme followed suit. The eleventh launch attempt after five failures finally brought the first Westerners to the moon. The banner stood proudly on the lunar regolith and was broadcast around the world as a show of “We’re still here, and we’re coming.” towards the Eastern Blok.

In other parts of the world, the revolution in Ishkarin and the subsequent invasion of its neighbouring Ivraakeh sends the Eastern Centre into chaos.
The Sino-Socialist Split happens during this time following de-Stalingization of the Socialist Federation.


1973
The oil crisis takes the world by storm, and with prohibitively expensive oil means that more economic ways of doing things were becoming mainstream. The Unified States’ presence in Southern Sainang was weakening, and they pulled out of the Sainang War this year as they sought to lessen their usage of oil, now rising in price.

The Socialists and the West were now trying to cut their energy usage as much as possible to save funding, and this affected spaceflight as we know it. Lunar programmes were cut short, and development was halted as a result.

After years of attempts, the Angliran Kingdom ceased development of VTOL aircraft after too many cost-overruns, delays and the fact it was deemed “too costly” to continue funding of.


1974
The preliminary designs for a potential Unified States “Space Shuttle” system are presented. Socialist spies pick up on it, and now they have their own plans too to introduce cheaper ways of getting into space. The cost cutting era had begun.


1982
The first of the Space Shuttles have begun service. The Unified States launches the Constitution into space. The launch is successful.
The Socialists followed suit with Ptichka, the first Socialist Space Shuttle launching into space fully autonomously.

Over in Hangan, tensions rise between the North and South yet again as North Hangan accidentally shoots down an airliner from the South, but military intervention by the Unified States stops any kind of conflict from arising. As a result, the President of the Unified States had announced that the new Global Positioning System would be available for civilian use once it was completed, completely free of charge.


1984
In fear of something similar to Hangan happening in their own backdoor, they decide to annex their Quebois neighbor up North before any kind of Socialist influence may arise. Little resistance is met to this.


1987
The Socialist Federation launches the Svetilo military space station via a Space Shuttle, in disguise as a civilian station. The first known military installment in space.

Later that year in the Socialist Federation, new leader is put into place that rules over the country with a greater Iron Fist than any previous leaders have. Tensions rise over East and West Alleland.


1989
In the Kurshian Gulf, war breaks out in the Eastern Centre. Civil wars arise out of nowhere and military efforts attempt to be directed towards there.

In the East, the People’s Dragon Republic is shown to have massacred innocent protestors seemingly out of nowhere following their peaceful demonstration. A similar thing happened a year prior in the Socialist Federation. None of this information ever made it out of either country.
The internet is released to the Western public this year.


1993
Ion engines began to be experimented for space use by the Unified States.
A space shuttle of the Socialist Union breaks apart during re-entry following the delivery of a module to the Svetilo space station, which leads to the Unified States launching their own investigations about the safety of the Space Shuttle system.


1996
The Sterllin Wall falls following constant military pressure from the Socialist Union, and West Alleland falls to the East and the Socialists’ power in the Eauran continent rises. Tensions start rising to a great extent.


1997
A terrorist plan is executed by a Eastern Central faction called Al-Sawaraiaeh originating from Ivraakeh. The result is the bringing down of dozens of airplanes from either side of the Iron Curtain. Peace talks between the West and the East are now beginning in an attempt to curb the Central East’s messiness. They eventually agree to attempt to thaw the coldness between them and create a joint anti-terrorism coalition.


2000
The new Millenium arrives, both countries have decided on new goals to hopefully bring tensions down. Including collaborations between the Unified States and Socialist Union’s space programmes, in building a new collaborative Unity Space Station.

A new radioisotope was discovered by scientists of the Socialist Federation, a derivative of Plutonium-238, this radioisotope has a fairly long half-life, yet supplies an impressive amount of heat energy with human acceptable levels of radiation with appropriate shielding. However, it was found to be incredibly contaminative to a lot of certain types of light metals and without appropriate shielding, it was found to be highly radioactive and very lethal.


2003
Sabotage happens in the building of the Unity Space Station from either side, and tensions rise between the Unified States and the Socialist Union yet again as the thawing fails. It is revealed to the Unified States that the Socialist Union has secretly been building an arsenal of military space stations, and the Unity Space Station plan falls apart in mere months.


2004
The joint coalition between the Socialist Federation and the Unified States falls apart, and leads to a short conflict in the Eastern Centre between Unified States and Socialist Federation forces.
The Moscau-Washington Hotline falls apart, and both countries decide on diplomatic isolation from one another.


2006
The Unified States began its own military space station programme, with the launching of the first module in December of that year. Unlike the Socialist Federation, the launch and beginning of their program was not done in secrecy, in an attempt to intimidate the Eastern Blok.

The Angliran Kingdom attempts to launch their own coalition with the Republique Francois to curb the Eastern Central conflict. The Unified States agrees to supply appropriate funding to either country in an attempt to gain their favour and increase influence while they attempt to focus their efforts in the continued space race.


2007
The Socialist Federation pioneers a new type of Ion engine, with an integrated radioisotope in the engine for a more compact and efficient design. The result is an Ion engine with a powerful energy source being able to give off great amounts of thrust with great efficiency. Due to its integration with a radioisotope-driven nuclear battery, it is given the unfortunately confusing name “Nuclear Ion Engine”.


2009
The first flights of Nuclear Ion Engines are trialed on the Socialist Federation’s Space Shuttle Atom. It spends six months in orbit with little troubles, and plans are built up for entire nuclear space vessel fleets.

Social Media and internet popularity begins booming in the Western world with the introduction of more affordable internet-capable devices.


2012
The Unified States is now through developing their own Nuclear Ion Engine. The first trials begin by June on their latest Shuttle Design. Technology begins rapidly advancing by this point as each side of the Iron Curtain attempts to one-up the other.

In other news, the Eastern Central, almost having been forgotten about in the midst of the conflicts between the Socialist Federation and Unified States, is now taken over by the radicalist Al-Sawaraiaeh faction following a bloody conflict with the attempted involvement of the Republique Francois and the Anglirian Kingdom.


2018
The development of Hybrid Nuclear Ion engines begins in the Unified States and preliminary design studies for potential spacecraft are created. The Unified States Air Force takes a particular keen interest in newer military spaceplanes that could potentially emerge from the new program.


2020
Nuclear warnings all over the Socialist Federation go off as multiple targets are identified to be headed towards the country. In response, the upper echelon of the Socialist Federation began to approve the launching of their own nuclear arsenal.

Fortunately, one woman in command of the Strategic Nuclear Arms Committee had a hunch that it was a radar glitch, and refused to turn the final key needed to launch all nuclear weapons.

It was indeed a radar glitch.

On social media app Teeter, the hashtag “#EndOfTheWorld” trended for multiple days and later crashed its servers from the sheer amount of people posting such things.


2021
The Socialist Federation begins colonization of the Moon with the launch of the Zvezda Lunar Base, the first permanent human presence on the surface of another celestial body.


2022
The Unified States’ begins its first Hybrid N-Ion Engine test, with their new single-stage-to-orbit demonstrator. It is successful and launches a dummy payload into Low-Earth-Orbit. It is destroyed on re-entry however.


2024
The Socialist Federation begins testing of military space planes in orbit.


2028
Mass space militarization by the Socialist Federation begins. Military SSTOs begin being launched by the dozens each month. Space bases are being expanded with new constructions occurring in space via materials being launched into orbit instead of whole constructs being launched from Earth.
The Unified States attempts to follow suit, but are too focused with their Mars missions.


2034
The Unified States begins the first manned missions to Mars.
Eventually, three men landed on the Martian surface, men of the Unified States. Suddenly it seemed as if they were starting to get ahead in the space race.


2036
Mars colonization begins, and the first Martian city is established.

Miramar is a town located in Martian territory of the Unified States. Initially, it was mainly government people living in the city, but it rapidly began being filled with citizens and business began thriving.


2037
The Unified States notices the rapid industrialization and militarization of space by the Socialist Federation and launches the Space Force law which creates the new Unified States Space Force.


2040s-2060s
Rapid industrialization and militarization of space. The development of newer space weapons such as space warships, space fighters, and other such things happen during this time period.

The 2040s saw the first space fighters being fielded from military space stations and Lunar military bases, and the 2050s saw the first space warships and orbital space ports for such warships. Moore’s law takes over and nuclear spacecraft carriers, nuclear space destroyers and other such vehicles capable of orbital bombardment are utilized in very short timeframes.

Retirements of vessels introduced for only 8 years were common as development happened very quickly.

Military bases and larger cities on Mars and the Moon begin appearing, and orbital space construction via space yards are now a very common thing by the late 2050s.

The largest Martian city is Miramar, the first settlement on Mars. It features everything a regular Earth city has, from municipal halls, shopping centres, offices and the like. In the center of Miramar is Space Force Base Miramar, home of the Martian US Space Force Flight Tactics Instructor Programme.

The early 2060s also marked the beginning of an attempt at researching and developing VTOL vehicles by the Unified States, but the results of these tests were never publicized and the projects faded into obscurity.

In 2066, the Unity Space Station makes an uncontrolled reentry over Socialist Federation territory, and this angers them, putting the blame on the Unified States.


2070s-2080s
Colonization of the outer Solar System begins, the first manned flight to the outer planets happens in 2083.

Laser systems began usage in Space weaponry by the late 2070s, and now a multitude of space warfare vehicles have appeared or have been retrofitted to feature space laser capability.

In 2075, a civilian space liner of the Socialist Federation is shot down over Mars, with little to no debris ever recovered. The Unified States continued to insist it was a military operation by the Socialist Federation


2091
The testing of the Unified States’ SFAX Programme begins.

> _

11 Likes

any news on how this is going?

Unfortunately I might just re-run the challenge once 4.2 rolls around. There were a lot of oversights I made with the rules and it led me to making a challenge that I now have no idea how to finish the write-ups for without having some kind of unsatisfying ending because I left the challenge out for too long.

The (somewhat) good news is that I already have an idea for how I would do things the next time around, and when I do re-run SFAX, you can expect the same lore and premise but just different submission processes to hopefully reduce load on both me and the person making the entry.

I sincerely apologize for leaving people out too long on this, and I hope that the next iteration of the challenge may actually bring about better results that everyone will be able to be satisfied about.

3 Likes

That’s disappointing but understandable.

I can’t speak for the other entrants, but I’d still be interested in some sort of an informal critique of what everyone came up with though.

4 Likes

Will do that instead I guess, I could probably adapt some stuff I’ve already written to at least give some form of conclusion. Hopefully something can get written out before next week.

4 Likes

>
>

2021-09-13

WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN OF THIS CHALLENGE

You’re likely wondering why there isn’t a proper write-up.
Let me explain

First of all, the rules had one major oversight I wasn’t expecting. There was no way I was going to be able be able to fairly write about an aircraft’s description without some kind of controversial opinion. I don’t have a degree in aerodynamics, so if there was something that seemed off with one aircraft, and I said something about it, it could be rather unfair because something something I never specified or whatever.

Second, the lore which was the main driving factor of this challenge was also somewhat scuffed. The rumours with the Sukhois were meant to be overbloated by the US Government and wasn’t actually a target to aim for, leading to rather bloated stats submitted by competitors.

Third, the statistics were WAY beyond what I was expecting, and the in-depthness wasn’t something I expected either, and the challenge was more or less written out for me so I had a really hard time trying to decide which thing was supposed to be written about that wasn’t just me rewriting whatever the entrants had already written.

All my excuses aside, here’s an actual short conclusion or critiquing or whatever aaaaAAAA of all the aircraft for you to read as requested by the MrHips.

>
> report.load
>

YSF-88 ASTRAEA by @Xepy

This was more or less the plane that was going to win. It ticked all the boxes I was looking for. It looks badass, it fits perfectly on the carrier deck, and had all the bits and gizmos I wanted out of the SFAX fighter like a stealthy weapons bay, visible thrust vectoring, etc.
The write-up was brilliant, and the formatting was perfect, and I was scratching my head on how I would release the results for this in a way that seemed right.

YSF-277 HIRUNDO by @Portalkat42

This one, while creative, wasn’t at all what I was looking for. My main issue with this was that the general shape did not at all match something that would realistically fly, let alone be a fighter in real life. Now you might argue FBW tech gets better in the future or something but I don’t think that can save the design from actually just flipping on take-off and causing a massive nuclear disaster on the runway. This was where I was concerned that if I talked about aerodynamics I’d get shat on by some armchair aerodynamicicisist or whatever the term is and it genuinely screwed me over.
The writeup was cool, the suit ideas were a nice touch, but the part with top speed, handling, etc, just did not make sense for this aircraft with its design. There’s a reason real-life aircraft do not resemble birds in terms of wing layout.

YSF-61 BLACK WIDOW III by @MrChips

As much as I loved this design and the homage to the Black Widow name, it just did not match up what I was looking for. The general design overall looked too much like a stealth reconnaisance plane or some kind of high speed bomber instead of a carrier-borne interceptor. Speaking of carrier, this would literally not fit at all in or on a carrier and that was probably something that I should have specified in the rules otherwise this wouldn’t have happened.
The write-up absolutely blew me away though, and it was just so in-depth I didn’t even know what to do at first.

YSF-60 RADIANT by @chiefzach2018 and @yurimacs

Well, where do I start? The airframe is absolutely tiny and is just dwarfed by the humongous missiles. It seems as though the aircraft was designed first and “retrofitted” to fit the new very specific missiles later, which is realistic… for a plane late in its service lifespan. Then there’s the nose and cockpit, which just isn’t at all ergonomic and the nose really makes me wonder how the large radar I mentioned would fit, although that is somewhat my fault for not specifying what radar size to put in this.
The write-up is something, with some cool specifications and what not but was unfortunately just blown away by the rest of the competitors.

So setting all of those aside, what I did learn from attempting to host this challenge is that I probably need to be a bit more specific with my rules instead of “encouraging creativity” or whatever the hell. Trying to go all AGC-inspired with this simply would not work since military aircraft are of an entirely different calibre compared to self-designed semi-post-apocalyptic anything-goes hackjobs.
I’ve learned my lesson, and here’s to the future attempt at re-running this absolute clusterfuck of a challenge.

Oh yeah, I’m also thinking of opening up SFAX lore or whatever i’m calling this series to more people to add-onto some kind of future year 2100AD collaborative universe science fiction cold war ahohaa nonsense. Not exactly sure how many people in a car game community would be interested but hey could be worth a shot. I’m thinking of having a heavy emphasis on the military vehicles of the world being built in automation and stuff and maybe doing cool stuff with them in blender or something.
if i did go with the idea i need a name for this universe that isn’t just a ripoff of Strangereal idk
anyway i’m so tired bye

>
> Thank you for your patience
> Sorry about the unsatisfying end
> log.end
> _

12 Likes

Thanks for the write-up! It might not be what you had envisioned at the beginning, but at least we all got closure out of it. :smile:

I will say though with reference my (admittedly) huge design, I refer you back to the 1950s to justify my decision. The US Navy was fielding designs for a revolutionary (and often huge) new generation of combat aircraft like the F-4 Phantom, they found their existing carrier fleet was inadequately small for them.

What did they do? Designed and built bigger carriers! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

4 Likes