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CauldronBorn24
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PostSubject: Supersonic flight (and portals...)   Fri Jul 16, 2010 5:01 pm

Moved from the pilots thread.

aethernavale wrote:


Once again, you're thinking too much real world. And that statement is pretty hilarious, coming from this pessimistic realist. For instance, any predator with magical abilities would be able to use the newtonian laws of motion to their advantage, not their derision. While gee-forces could break their bones or cause them to suffer redout/blackout, that would only occur if the forces were being enacted on said creature. If the forces that are actually generating lift and ability are magical in nature, then the force is not directly applied to the physical body. Even if the force isn't being generated entirely by either physical or magical yields, but rather shared between the two, one could easily argue that even a rock harpy could achieve such flight patterns. They are often masters (or at the least strong wielders) of powerful wind magic - which at its base is just the variance of different temperature layers, in and of itself a manipulation of energy and therefore also allowing a predator to manipulate matter/energy conservation to their advantage as well, as heat generation is one of the concerns of such flight. I can't imagine any good reason why a predator would need to travel at such speeds, and the stresses would be rather large. I don't think it would kill them though, unless they were attempting it solely by physical means. For short bursts, I wouldn't have any issues believing they could do it. Sustained? No chance. The amount of energy required to safely pull it off would not be worth it.


Using real world examples, in the peregrine falcon, we see a bird that has been clocked at 68mph horizontal cruising speed, and up to 242mph in swoop. That's roughly 32% sonic speed right there, unassisted. Ideal speeds of the falcon are even higher, especially at high altitudes and thin atmospheres (such as that near mountain peaks, which do exist in Felarya). More importantly to note, however, is that the falcon has been clocked doing 90mph UP. I personally do not see harpies 'catching' aircraft by flying along side them, but I do believe they could strike down an aircraft. Peregrines can protect their bodies while striking at such high velocity speeds, so there is no reason to think a harpy could not do so either, even if they had to result to magic in order to do so. Applying the resultant 'speed conversion' argument to predators allows for even more wiggle room.

Unlike a the peregrine falcon, which last I checked clocked 186 mph, not 242, a harpy has a human torso and head which is drastically different than that of any bird, let alone one which has adapted to pull off these impressive speeds. Thus I don't see a harpy mimicing the dive of a peregrine. Also it's not the speed conversions of scaling up to ginats which bothers me about this, rather the dynamics and laws of the fulid they are traveling through.

Oldman40k2003 wrote:
Anime-Junkie wrote:

rcs619 wrote:
In a good dive, I think they'd be pushing supersonic.
No, terminal velocity does not allow supersonic dives. Supersonic would probably kill them. The sound barrier was called a "barrier" for a reason.

Supersonic speeds probably wouldn't, in and of themselves, kill harpies. People have ejected from aircraft traveling at supersonic speeds and survived with minimal or no injuries. Now if a wing got caught poorly or something like that, then I could see serious problems occurring. (Supersonic shock waves have much more energy than a normal sound wave, but considerably less energy than some of the things we encounter in everyday life, and a lot of the energy in the shockwave is not transmitted but is instead reflected off of a surface it hits. See the mythbusters episode where they shot a supersonic bullet between two very closely spaced panes of thin glass, yet didn't break them.)

The people ejecting form aircraft at super sonic speeds usually are waering a helmet which breaks the air, not their face. The problem would as you said would only occur if the tried to move or pull out of a dive in which they would need to extend their wings. Last I checked when you ejected you always kept your arms tightly tucked in by holding fast onto the chair.


Oldman40k2003 wrote:
Anime-Junkie wrote:

Also, a diving harpy colliding with a jet... Messy, to say the least.

Maybe, depending on how the harpy and the jet collided. If the harpy grazed the jet's wings with a talon, the jet's wing would likely disintegrate. The talon would be roughed up, but it probably wouldn't be ripped off or anything. If the harpy "dropped" down on top of the jet while traveling at the same forward velocity, the jet would almost certainly disintegrate, and so long as no piece of the jet accelerated fast enough and hit the harpy, the harpy would be essentially untouched.

Or, to explain more completely, consider this longer explanation.
A harpy and a jet are both traveling in the same direction at the same speed, with the harpy flying above the jet. The harpy dives down on to the jet, hitting it roughly enough to cause it to have a structural failure and break up. At the moment of impact, both the harpy and the jet are traveling at the same speed in the same direction. Each piece of the broken aircraft also starts out traveling in the same direction and velocity as the jet it came from, so each piece is not moving relative to the harpy. Each piece of the jet has a different mass and a different aerodynamic profile, so each piece will interact with the air around the jet differently. The really heavy pieces will not not slow down very quickly at all, and so will continue to travel at the velocity of the jet before it broke up (which is the velocity of the harpy as well). Since they are traveling in at the same speed and direction, they are essentially harmless to the harpy, since the relative velocity between the harpy and that object is essentially zero. It's like how you are not injured simply by touching your car seat, even though your car is traveling at 60 miles an hour, because you are also traveling at 60 miles an hour.

However, some of the pieces have considerably less mass and more drag than the others, and these pieces will decelerate rapidly (from the point of view of someone sitting on the ground. From the harpies' point of view these pieces will accelerate rapidly towards the back of the jet.) How dangerous these pieces are depends on a great many factors, with the major three being how sharp and pointed the object is, how quickly it accelerates, and how heavy it is. All three of these factors interact with each other.

The location of the harpy hitting the jet is of high importance as well. If the harpy only breaks a wing off of the jet, the jet will still crash but the harpy might be in front of all the dangerous pieces and thus be completely safe. On the other hand, a harpy that smacks into the back of a jet and causes it to break up will be showered with pieces from everything in front of her... many of which have the entire length of the aircraft to accelerate into lethal projectiles. (From her perspective. From the perspective of someone on the ground the dangerous pieces slow down very rapidly and it is the harpy that flies into them at high speeds.)

Yet you and your car seat are traveling at the sime direction; if a harpy intercepted a jet by attacking from a different direction; say the jet was flying level and the harpy came from a 60 degree angle. An impact with a jet is not going to stop a diving harpy, so it would providing it breaks through the jet will still be moving. As you said larger parts of the jet would be retain their inertia and still be moving forward; into a harpy which would still be in a dive and thus moving in a different dicretion relative to the jet.


Oldman40k2003 wrote:
Anime-Junkie wrote:
During WWII, pilots were sometimes unable to pull out of a dive because the the air pressure over the control surfaces was so great that they couldn't be moved. This would also happen to harpies, they would HAVE to keep their wings in and therefore be unable to pull out.

Maybe. It is important to note that the reason WWII planes had this problem was because of where their flaps were placed; modern supersonic aircraft have their control flaps placed differently, still in contact with the super sonic air stream but out of any shock-cones, thus enabling the control surfaces to still function properly. We would need to model/test a harpy at super sonic speed to determine just how affected their control surfaces are. In an additional complication, it is likely that how functional their wings would be at controlling their orientation at supersonic speed would depend greatly on just how they are holding their wings; a slight change in the angle of attack might be enough to deprive them of control... or give control back.


Also, while I am not a hydrodynamic/aerodynamic engineer, I want to point out that it should be possible for an object to have a terminal velocity high than the speed of sound, if it has the proper aerodynamics. If an object is streamlined enough, it will fall faster and faster. As it reaches the speed of sound, supersonic shockwaves will form, which require energy and increase drag. For an object that is aerodynamic enough, however, even this increased drag will not bleed off energy fast enough, and the object will continue to accelerate past the speed of sound.


Anime-Junkie wrote:
If a harpy entered a super fast dive and then attempted to abruptly pull out of it, their bones would break due to the gees and pressures involved.
This depends on just how strong their bones are... if their bones were really strong then if they jerked their wings open at supersonic speeds not much would happen other than that they would begin to slow down very rapidly. Even if their bones are not very strong, they could still slowly pull out of a supersonic dive... by very slowly opening their wings, thus increasing their drag and slowing them down.

Bird bones while strong are very light; and while they can support their own weight I dbout they could support the pressures exereted on them while approaching Mach 1. Also while they could open their wings very slowly that defeats the point when trying to match a jet in high speed maneurverability.




Oldman40k2003 wrote:
I was curious about just what the terminal velocity of a harpy might be, so I did some quick research.


The formula for terminal velocity is equal to sqrt((2*m*g)/(p*A*Cd)), where m is the mass of the falling object, g is the acceleration due to gravity, p is the density of the fluid through which the object is falling, A is the projected area of the object, and Cd is the coefficient of drag, which tends to increase for objects that are traveling at supersonic speeds.

The acceleration due to gravity is presumably 9.8 m/s^2 , and the density of the air is presumably around 1.3 kg/m^3. The other three variables have a wide range of possible values, so the result is likely to be somewhat variable. From the two harpies in the wiki (Erica and Belletia), I have calculated an average height of 89 feet. This is 14.8 times as tall as a 6 foot human. If we assume (a big assumption) that a harpy is essentially just a scaled up human, then we can just scale up a human's weight too. Not by 14.8, but by 14.8^3 (because the harpy is bigger in all three dimensions (x,y,z)). If the average human female weighed 74 kg, then the scaled up harpy would weigh 239892 kg. Assuming a head first dive, I don't think a human would have a projected surface area any wider than his chest to back distance, nor any longer than his shoulder to shoulder distance. This is roughly 0.12 square meters of surface area. Scaling it up (by multiplying it by 14.8 twice, once for each of the dimensions involved) gives a frontal area of 26.2 square meters. The last parameter is the most difficult to guess, as it varies depending on other factors. However, it tends to go UP when an object is traveling at supersonic speeds, so if I do my calculations using a higher than average coefficient of drag, then I will be underestimating the terminal velocity of a harpy, which is preferable to overestimating it. Some quick googling suggest a subsonic Cd for a bird of about 0.4... I am going to play it "safe" and quadruple that to 1.6 to get a supersonic coefficient of drag.


With all those number, I plug and chug and get the result of 293 meters per second, which is about 655 miles per hour. Since the speed of sound is roughly 768 mph, a harpy under those condition cannot generally exceed the speed of sound (maybe if they went really high were drag is less and dove they could exceed the speed of sound, though they would slow back down to 655 miles per hour after a bit.)

This result is very sensitive to the values you choose though; if the supersonic coefficient of drag is 0.8 instead of 1.6, then the terminal velocity is 928 mile per hour, clearly supersonic.

Unlike a modern military jet which has a small cross section from the front a harpy does not, the main surface which breaks the air is not a streamlined nose cone but a human head; also the surace area of a harpy is going to large due to its massive wings, even if they are tucked in. A harpy just isn't streamline enough. Of course if you get high enough then it may be possible, but what is high enough? Could a harpy even breath at that altitude considering due to its size it would need alot more oxygen than a normal human?


Last edited by CauldronBorn24 on Sat Jul 17, 2010 11:00 am; edited 3 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Supersonic flight (and portals...)   Fri Jul 16, 2010 5:07 pm

The wiki says that Lamina Harpies are among the fastest and most maneuverable in flight. What would be their top speed? Also, a lot of predators aren't subject to the same laws of physics so maybe their heads and torso are no problem to flight. This is part fantasy. Start using your imagination people. Geez. Neutral
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PostSubject: Re: Supersonic flight (and portals...)   Fri Jul 16, 2010 5:16 pm

Sean Okotami wrote:
The wiki says that Lamina Harpies are among the fastest and most maneuverable in flight. What would be their top speed? Also, a lot of predators aren't subject to the same laws of physics so maybe their heads and torso are no problem to flight. This is part fantasy. Start using your imagination people. Geez. Neutral

No idea about the about the Lamina Harpies; however the laws mostly broken by giant predators are those of body mechanics, not the laws of physics as a whole. If a harpy doesn't follow the laws of aerodynamics without a given explination, ie magic, what stops a barn from zooming around at Mach 1? The problem isn't the lack of imagination Sean, rather its using physical laws to explain something then breaking those laws or limitations without any real explination as to how. Somewhat hypocritical don't you think?
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PostSubject: Re: Supersonic flight (and portals...)   Fri Jul 16, 2010 6:12 pm

CauldronBorn24 wrote:
Moved from the pilots thread.

Thanks for creating a new thread.



CauldronBorn24 wrote:
also the surace area of a harpy is going to large due to its massive wings, even if they are tucked in.
I already took that into account when I gave the harpy their "projected surface area"; its larger than a plain human's would (to scale). I suspect that a bird scaled to harpy size wouldn't have nearly 26 meters of frontal area, since they are slimmer creatures.


CauldronBorn24 wrote:

Unlike a modern military jet which has a small cross section from the front a harpy does not, the main surface which breaks the air is not a streamlined nose cone but a human head;
Its interesting to note that a human sitting upright (like say in a car) only has a drag coefficient of of 1.0 to 1.3. Clearly going head first is more streamlined than going "knees first", so I feel comfortable with saying that a head first human has a drag coefficient around 0.4. What I really need though is a measurement of the drag coefficient of a human body going head first at supersonic speeds. Since superman isn't real, nobody seems to have bothered to measure it in the real world, or create a simulation and measure it there.


CauldronBorn24 wrote:
A harpy just isn't streamline enough.
Well, I'm pretty sure a harpy is more streamlined than a person on a bicycle, and that has a drag coefficient of 0.9... and as I showed in the my calculations, something as heavy as a scaled up human going head first with a drag coefficient of 0.8 would have a terminal velocity in excess of the speed of sound.

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PostSubject: Re: Supersonic flight (and portals...)   Fri Jul 16, 2010 6:27 pm

Oldman40k2003 wrote:
CauldronBorn24 wrote:
Moved from the pilots thread.
Thanks for creating a new thread.
On my request. Razz
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PostSubject: Re: Supersonic flight (and portals...)   Fri Jul 16, 2010 6:34 pm

Sorry that this had gottten way out of hand guys. Sad Hey btw, just to take into account, even if the harpy were to catch up to a a jet similar to modern one (specially 4th+ and 5th generation) wouldn't they scud to the ground because pilots could perform a thrust vector out of the dive.
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PostSubject: Re: Supersonic flight (and portals...)   Fri Jul 16, 2010 6:38 pm

Personally, I've never been a fan of Supersonic Harpies. It just reads as an excuse to argue why we don't see jets and the like on Felarya (They could grab them and have a fast meal! [/cheap pun]). It, furthermore, has minimal evolutionary purpose: While evolution isn't dictated by a "as-needed" factor, it seems very unlikely a Harpy (especially living in a predominantly densely packed environment with Jungles, so at least Jungle Harpies) would have any need to fly at such speeds: None of their prey move at such speeds barring jets (and you'd be hard pressed to classify such things as standard prey, either in terms of standard or prey).

I might see a Harpy, diving excessive distances, minimal frontage, starting with a big kick, getting supersonic speeds, but I just can't see a regular one consistently going through sonic booms, let alone doing such then having any chance of breaking out whilst attacking a terrestrial-based prey. Hitting Aircraft in such a state would more often be accidental, as you're moving predominantly "down" instead of horizontal, so you're relying more on hitting where it will be than giving chase.

I might be more willing to give a general scale-bonus to Harpies, if the increase in size wasn't almost always used positively. When someone mentions a Giant Predator, their most often arguments that they have for weaknesses are... they can't fit in small areas, and they tend not to be friends with Prey easily. That's it. Furthermore, there's also the habit that in most birds (people seem to ignore this a lot), the larger it gets the slower it gets proportionally. Compare the proportional speed of a Peregrine Falcon (55mph horizontally) and its size (13-23 inches) to a Bald Eagle's speed (44mph horizontally) to its size (28-40 inches). A Bald Eagle may be roughly twice as big, but is going at 80% the speed for horizontal flight. Dives unrecorded for a Bald Eagle, but even so size = flight advantage for a Harpie. I mean, heck, do we use Usain Bolt as the typical speed example for Giantess', or the average human?

Final note for diving peregrines: They slap one of their wings against their prey during a dive to help mitigate the harm from impact. I'd like to see even a 60' Harpy successfully manage a smack like that against a Human, akin to a Peregrine Falcon jumping down on a 2" mouse and smacking it with its wings. The proportions only get worse than there, and in this point it's one of accuracy / time instead of general scaling (80' Harpy having to hit something 1/13th its size in under a second).

EDIT: Oh, yeah, and the fact that a Harpy hitting a Jet dead on would likely either:
A) Blow the Jet, as it was just hit by a 300+ kilo object at 333m/s
B) Turn the Harpy into a chunk salsa, under the same principle of a Jet hitting a biological organism at 333m/s+
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PostSubject: Re: Supersonic flight (and portals...)   Fri Jul 16, 2010 6:42 pm

Having a multicell organism fly at over Mach 1 is one of the few things nature has never achieved, so it is unlikely we will find the exact figures we need. Well I looked up the drag coefficient for a bird here and it seems your figures are acurate.

A human head and torso is built very differently from a bird, ; so I believe the drag coefficient is any where from 1.3 to 0.9, there is not so way a Harpy can get round the fact half its body is one of the least aerodynamic shapes imagenable. Now while this edvidence supports the fact a Harpy may indeed break the sound barrier by plumeting like a stone, if its survives, remeber nature never built an animal which can conduct controled supersonic flight. Thus the problem would be maneuverability, it would be stuck in a dive and unable to quickly pullout, which would require use of its wings. Another problem facing the harpy and its human torso/head is acceleration, power and maneuerability in 'normal' flight. As I hinted to a human face isn't the best aerofoil:



Also note that according to engineeringtoolbox.com that the Dc for a subsonic transport aircraft is 0.012, far lower than both a bird and a human.
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PostSubject: Re: Supersonic flight (and portals...)   Fri Jul 16, 2010 6:49 pm

A question if we say harpy's head and torso are protected by a force field or barrier with a more aerodynamic design in order to correct this problem Does it look more plausible or not Question
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PostSubject: Re: Supersonic flight (and portals...)   Fri Jul 16, 2010 6:53 pm

gwadahunter2222 wrote:
A question if we say harpy's head and torso are protected by a force field or barrier with a more aerodynamic design in order to correct this problem Does it look more plausible or not Question
The problems here are:
1) It requires an even greater average of mages for Harpies (and Predators already are blessed with something like a 30% Mage rate with their people, as opposed to non-Predators under the exact same "Prosper or Die" (actually, probably harsher) having something like a 1% frequency).
2) In such a case, it's moot to argue Hypersonic anyways as then it's unknown how much is from magical capabilities as well (Example: Standard Humans in D&D, with a simple Haste spell, can be made to move like a Cheetah).
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PostSubject: Re: Supersonic flight (and portals...)   Fri Jul 16, 2010 6:57 pm

Also just after reading Mal's post I thought of something; the Su-27 one of the most of common advanced jet fighers on the planet is huge. Now I know harpies are agressive yet I don't think they are immune to fear; I can't imagen one trying to pick a fight with something which is not only faster and more manueverable than it but close to it in size without a very good reason.
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PostSubject: Re: Supersonic flight (and portals...)   Fri Jul 16, 2010 7:06 pm

CauldronBorn24 wrote:
Moved from the pilots thread.


Unlike a the peregrine falcon, which last I checked clocked 186 mph, not 242, a harpy has a human torso and head which is drastically different than that of any bird, let alone one which has adapted to pull off these impressive speeds. Thus I don't see a harpy mimicing the dive of a peregrine. Also it's not the speed conversions of scaling up to ginats which bothers me about this, rather the dynamics and laws of the fulid they are traveling through.

The Guiness Book of World records disagrees with your clocks. I'm sure they could be wrong though... so we could instead just consult the myriad of information and videos available on the internet. Granted, we can't trust the lot of them either, but trust me - that bird has broached 200mph+. As someone with an interest in falconeering, I've seen what the birds can do. I agree, harpies are not streamlined in physical form - however they can compensate for that. As to them mimicking the dive of a peregrine, the wiki says they do swoop. I imagine they don't go for the same terminal speeds however unless they're engaging aerial targets, as they need to be able to pull out of their dive in order to prevent from smashing into the ground when grabbing for humans. Some species would most likely be more adept at it than others. To be honest, however, more credit is lent to the theory that they would have no reason to even develop such techniques, as almost all of the entries on wiki describe their food choices as being land based. There isn't any mention to attacking other aerial food sources, unless you include the hummingbird harpies.



CauldronBorn24 wrote:
Yet you and your car seat are traveling at the sime direction; if a harpy intercepted a jet by attacking from a different direction; say the jet was flying level and the harpy came from a 60 degree angle. An impact with a jet is not going to stop a diving harpy, so it would providing it breaks through the jet will still be moving. As you said larger parts of the jet would be retain their inertia and still be moving forward; into a harpy which would still be in a dive and thus moving in a different dicretion relative to the jet.


Back to the peregrine example, they are able to hit their targets during their swoop without injuring themselves. If they can, a harpy could as well. From what I recall, peregrines strike the wings of their targets, preventing themselves from being injured. I forget how the actual mechanic works though.

The real issue would be what would happen to the aircraft, as already mentioned. The harpy could use magic to deflect anything that would become dangerous - its unlikely however the pilot could hold his craft together. We have to see this from a necessity point of view. Why would a harpy do this? The only fathomable reason is if they stand to gain something from it - which in Felarya would be food. First off, they would have to actually recognize the object at those speeds - and while wiki says they have great vision, I'm not buying they would be able to identify a supersonic craft. If they did, however, they obliterate the potential meal, and there is still no point - and they would more than likely do just that making an impact on a craft traveling at such speeds. It is for that reason that I do not see this being viable; but I do think they could achieve the speed if they wished.



CauldronBorn24 wrote:
Bird bones while strong are very light; and while they can support their own weight I dbout they could support the pressures exereted on them while approaching Mach 1. Also while they could open their wings very slowly that defeats the point when trying to match a jet in high speed maneurverability.


Like I said earlier, I don't envision a harpy matching a jet in flight - I see them as catching it as it passes them by through something similar to a falcon's swoop. However, I do believe they would be okay with the physical constraints of the approach, assuming they were doing so with magic assist. By diverting the energy around them they could create a potential of lower energy around themselves much like a gas torpedo does underwater. Or they could simply divert wind currents to create 'holes' that they shoot through in swoop. This would of course require a great deal of effort, energy, and skill, and so once again I don't see this being a common practice. It just isn't worth the potential gain. Harpies are a vain and cocky bunch, but I don't recall them being complete morons either.




CauldronBorn24 wrote:
Unlike a modern military jet which has a small cross section from the front a harpy does not, the main surface which breaks the air is not a streamlined nose cone but a human head; also the surace area of a harpy is going to large due to its massive wings, even if they are tucked in. A harpy just isn't streamline enough. Of course if you get high enough then it may be possible, but what is high enough? Could a harpy even breath at that altitude considering due to its size it would need alot more oxygen than a normal human?


You should look up an aircraft called the XB-70 Valkyrie. It was a high altitude bomber using 6 massive turbojets to achieve supersonic flight at insane altitudes. Only two were ever built, one of which crashed, and they did experience a great deal of issues with the surfaces of the aircraft at supersonic speeds - but the aircraft is not small in its cross section by any means. It is a long conical tube attached to a large delta wing with a boxy rack of engines strapped to the bottom. Hell, it is the size of a small/medium Felaryan predator. Aerodynamic (arguably), sure. Not human in form, sure. Harpies are not aerodynamic. Physically. Agreed. They can, however, compensate for this. It is not that terribly difficult to imagine one capable of wind magic being able to assist in their own flight. It is also easy to see why they would compensate. Considering their size from a physics standpoint, it is much more likely that - realistically - harpies would be gliders, not fliers, as the amount of effort required in lifting their huge bodies into the air from a standstill would be ridiculous. Yet we have the Great Rocky Fields harpies defying that logic all the time. If we start nickel-and-diming our predators to this extreme, someone is going to owe me an explanation of how tonorions, dridders, chilotaurs, and any of their ilk are capable of walking. Because lets face it people, it can't be the same mechanism as their earthbased cousins, now can it? Harpies, sphinxes, and dragons are not and have never been aerodynamic creatures. At some point, 'realism' becomes a moot point and the only thing you're arguing for is balance.


What I do agree with is the lack of necessity for a harpy to achieve supersonic flight. Without a reason, I can't fathom them attempting it. If one were to attempt it, however, I believe with the right conditions they could achieve it. In conclusion, I am firmly attached to the belief that a harpy could achieve supersonics if it desired - but without any reason for them to want this, I can't fathom them ever trying and I think that is the argument that should be broached moreso than whether or not they can achieve those speeds. I would achieve balance through those means, rather than over the realistic implications of what a harpy can or cannot do. I don't know what the cruising speed of the Felaryan Express is, but we know for a fact that they are easy targets for preds - and they are the only active air travel units I know of besides personal craft. Personally, I lend more credence to aerial craft in Felarya being gun-bristling air-ships (hellloooo Last Exile) rather than the sleek and sporty jets we know today.
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PostSubject: Re: Supersonic flight (and portals...)   Fri Jul 16, 2010 7:12 pm

CauldronBorn24 wrote:
Also note that according to engineeringtoolbox.com that the Dc for a subsonic transport aircraft is 0.012, far lower than both a bird and a human.

Actually, I wanted to do a direct comparison between the Dc of a human and that of a plane, but I read on wikipedia (and thus it must be true! /Sarcasm) that airplanes use their wing surface area as "surface area" part of their Dc, whereas most everything else uses the "projected frontal area" in their Dc, which means that the two Dc values are not directly comparable, and that a plane's Dc will appear to be vastly lower than the other type of Dc, since Dc is calculated by dividing drag by area.

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PostSubject: Re: Supersonic flight (and portals...)   Fri Jul 16, 2010 7:15 pm

CauldronBorn24 wrote:
Also just after reading Mal's post I thought of something; the Su-27 one of the most of common advanced jet fighers on the planet is huge. Now I know harpies are agressive yet I don't think they are immune to fear; I can't imagen one trying to pick a fight with something which is not only faster and more manueverable than it but close to it in size without a very good reason.


Harpies are cocky and believe the sky is theirs. Of course they would attack it - assuming they could actually track it. Harpy nominal size for human predation is 40-80 ft, according to wiki, and the Su-27 Flanker is 72 feet long. IIRC, the Flanker is the plane that's capable of firing a missile behind it while still traveling forwards... it would definitely be an interesting match up.
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PostSubject: Re: Supersonic flight (and portals...)   Fri Jul 16, 2010 7:41 pm

I wthink we've all agreed that a Harpy could breach the sound barrier yet it's dealing with the consequences; you are right in saying a peregrine falcon can pull off feats of manueverability while diving, even if it is at 200 mph, air behaves very differently when going past a surface at 600 mph; the increased localized air pressure can prevent control surfaces like flaps, wings, tails from moving; as Oldman said we'ed need to put one in a wind tunnel, or as you suggest let it have some magical ability, but remember not all Harpies are mages or magic users.

aethernavale wrote:


You should look up an aircraft called the XB-70 Valkyrie. It was a high altitude bomber using 6 massive turbojets to achieve supersonic flight at insane altitudes. Only two were ever built, one of which crashed, and they did experience a great deal of issues with the surfaces of the aircraft at supersonic speeds - but the aircraft is not small in its cross section by any means. It is a long conical tube attached to a large delta wing with a boxy rack of engines strapped to the bottom. Hell, it is the size of a small/medium Felaryan predator. Aerodynamic (arguably), sure. Not human in form, sure. Harpies are not aerodynamic. Physically. Agreed. They can, however, compensate for this. It is not that terribly difficult to imagine one capable of wind magic being able to assist in their own flight. It is also easy to see why they would compensate. Considering their size from a physics standpoint, it is much more likely that - realistically - harpies would be gliders, not fliers, as the amount of effort required in lifting their huge bodies into the air from a standstill would be ridiculous. Yet we have the Great Rocky Fields harpies defying that logic all the time. If we start nickel-and-diming our predators to this extreme, someone is going to owe me an explanation of how tonorions, dridders, chilotaurs, and any of their ilk are capable of walking. Because lets face it people, it can't be the same mechanism as their earthbased cousins, now can it? Harpies, sphinxes, and dragons are not and have never been aerodynamic creatures. At some point, 'realism' becomes a moot point and the only thing you're arguing for is balance.

I am quite fimiliar with the Valkyrie, and if you look at it from the front it has a very small cross section for its size, even with those boxy intakes, and yes overall its huge it wasn't designed to be nimble, it was designed to out run anything in the air; like the Mig 25 which was designed to counter it, it maneuvered like a ship but nothing could catch it. Now it has those six massive engines each giving a 128 kiloNewtons of thrust, the XB-70 could be s boxy as a B-24 and it still would of flowen at a consdierable speed with those things powering it. Also with a length of 185ft, wing span of 105ft and a max takeoff weight of 250 tons I'd say the Valkyrie would be bigger than most flying predators. Now as for the other giants walking that has been explained by a self contained reason elsewhere, the reason I was nitpicking about supersonic hapries is that flight has as much to do with what you are flying through as well as your flyer.

You are right about realism becoming a moot point and that it is all a balancing act, however I also think that you are going to have a very though time explaining how a harpy could out match something like a Su-27/30/35 or F-15/18/22 when it is much easier to find real world examples of what those airfract can do, and that doesn't even include the armaments.
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PostSubject: Re: Supersonic flight (and portals...)   Fri Jul 16, 2010 7:48 pm

aethernavale wrote:
CauldronBorn24 wrote:
Also just after reading Mal's post I thought of something; the Su-27 one of the most of common advanced jet fighers on the planet is huge. Now I know harpies are agressive yet I don't think they are immune to fear; I can't imagen one trying to pick a fight with something which is not only faster and more manueverable than it but close to it in size without a very good reason.


Harpies are cocky and believe the sky is theirs. Of course they would attack it - assuming they could actually track it. Harpy nominal size for human predation is 40-80 ft, according to wiki, and the Su-27 Flanker is 72 feet long. IIRC, the Flanker is the plane that's capable of firing a missile behind it while still traveling forwards... it would definitely be an interesting match up.

If I were the hapry I'd be more worried about the fact the Flanker is much faster; max speed of Mach 2.35, can preform a cobra maneuver and has a rapid fire 30mm cannon which fires high explosive shells; a couple of direct hits which would probably injure or kill the delicate harpy.

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PostSubject: Re: Supersonic flight (and portals...)   Fri Jul 16, 2010 8:06 pm

CauldronBorn24 wrote:
You are right about realism becoming a moot point and that it is all a balancing act, however I also think that you are going to have a very though time explaining how a harpy could out match something like a Su-27/30/35 or F-15/18/22 when it is much easier to find real world examples of what those airfract can do, and that doesn't even include the armaments.



Ah, but since when was I arguing that they could? You're trying to make this out as if I'm comparing them to jets, when I am most certainly not. I have stated multiple times that I do not believe a harpy could fly in such a manner. What I did state was that I believe they could achieve supersonic flight.



Now, if we're talking about taking them down, that isn't all the difficult either. Rudimentary weapons can take down highly advanced and sophisticated aircraft - insurgents prove this all the time in the Middle East. Is a harpy going to win a dog fight with a Flanker or a Tomcat? No - the idea is preposterous. So is the idea of them engaging one in such a way after one or two die in the process. Humans facing off against predators leaves the pred with a significant advantage. Actual aircraft on the other hand is a capable balance - the weapons they support would be capable of hurting/killing a predator - the speed and agility of modern aircraft will also easily be able to compete with the Felaryan kingdom. That being said, the logistics of operating such craft becomes the problem. On the ground, they are extremely vulnerable. Airfields are not small, and the components and expertise needed to keep such craft air worthy will become a major problem quickly in Felarya. Not to mention keeping your ground crews alive and willing. Something that can go toe-to-toe with a predator and achieve endurance is needed for the aerial arena, and modern jets are not going to fit this billet. An airship can be self contained and thus not require a dedicated land based operation. Much like the Zeppelins of the past, airships could dock with towering buildings rather than being forced to land, exchanging goods and ferrying people between cities with a much higher safety margin than walking. Of course, harpies could tear apart a Zeppelin, so we'll be requiring a more advanced, armoured, and defensible airship.


If we really get right down to it though, we see the reason why airships, airplanes, and aircraft are not typical to the Felaryan environment. It can be summed up in two words: gate portals. Why use something slow, ungangly, expensive, high maintenance, or else when you can mass-transit required goods and personnel? Much like the advent of a working railgun cupola that didn't require its own massive and separate power source would make aircraft obsolete, the portal system realistically eliminates the need for such craft, provided you have gates between desired locations. For areas without gates, I could see the need - but once again, I don't see that need being fulfilled by modern aircraft.
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PostSubject: Re: Supersonic flight (and portals...)   Fri Jul 16, 2010 8:27 pm

aethernavale wrote:
CauldronBorn24 wrote:
You are right about realism becoming a moot point and that it is all a balancing act, however I also think that you are going to have a very though time explaining how a harpy could out match something like a Su-27/30/35 or F-15/18/22 when it is much easier to find real world examples of what those airfract can do, and that doesn't even include the armaments.



Ah, but since when was I arguing that they could? You're trying to make this out as if I'm comparing them to jets, when I am most certainly not. I have stated multiple times that I do not believe a harpy could fly in such a manner. What I did state was that I believe they could achieve supersonic flight.

The point wasn't aimed at you; however I did use my replys to your statements to express them, sorry for the misunderstanding.

aethernavale wrote:
Now, if we're talking about taking them down, that isn't all the difficult either. Rudimentary weapons can take down highly advanced and sophisticated aircraft - insurgents prove this all the time in the Middle East. Is a harpy going to win a dog fight with a Flanker or a Tomcat? No - the idea is preposterous. So is the idea of them engaging one in such a way after one or two die in the process. Humans facing off against predators leaves the pred with a significant advantage. Actual aircraft on the other hand is a capable balance - the weapons they support would be capable of hurting/killing a predator - the speed and agility of modern aircraft will also easily be able to compete with the Felaryan kingdom. That being said, the logistics of operating such craft becomes the problem. On the ground, they are extremely vulnerable. Airfields are not small, and the components and expertise needed to keep such craft air worthy will become a major problem quickly in Felarya. Not to mention keeping your ground crews alive and willing. Something that can go toe-to-toe with a predator and achieve endurance is needed for the aerial arena, and modern jets are not going to fit this billet. An airship can be self contained and thus not require a dedicated land based operation. Much like the Zeppelins of the past, airships could dock with towering buildings rather than being forced to land, exchanging goods and ferrying people between cities with a much higher safety margin than walking. Of course, harpies could tear apart a Zeppelin, so we'll be requiring a more advanced, armoured, and defensible airship.

I've been thinking about your airship idea; my thoughts ranged from ored boats held alloft by large canvas ballons to the zepplin based ariel battleships invisioned in the late 19th Century to early 20th Century. If said airship had something like the Phlanx AMS a couple of those on each axis would provide a formidable defence against harpy attacks.

aethernavale wrote:
If we really get right down to it though, we see the reason why airships, airplanes, and aircraft are not typical to the Felaryan environment. It can be summed up in two words: gate portals. Why use something slow, ungangly, expensive, high maintenance, or else when you can mass-transit required goods and personnel? Much like the advent of a working railgun cupola that didn't require its own massive and separate power source would make aircraft obsolete, the portal system realistically eliminates the need for such craft, provided you have gates between desired locations. For areas without gates, I could see the need - but once again, I don't see that need being fulfilled by modern aircraft.

Portals are used however like aircraft they require specialists there is also the unreliability factor. If you wished for air superiority for a local spot in Felarya you could achieve this with ground defenses such as AAA guns, Flack and SAMs tuned to use Doppler radar or some other exotic guidence system. Most predators don't exactly have a standoff ranged attack.
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PostSubject: Re: Supersonic flight (and portals...)   Sat Jul 17, 2010 5:46 am

aethernavale wrote:
If we really get right down to it though, we see the reason why airships, airplanes, and aircraft are not typical to the Felaryan environment. It can be summed up in two words: gate portals. Why use something slow, ungangly, expensive, high maintenance, or else when you can mass-transit required goods and personnel? Much like the advent of a working railgun cupola that didn't require its own massive and separate power source would make aircraft obsolete, the portal system realistically eliminates the need for such craft, provided you have gates between desired locations. For areas without gates, I could see the need - but once again, I don't see that need being fulfilled by modern aircraft.
Portal system? I don't think so. While there are portal mages, long range portal magic is (or should be) a dangerous and often unsure thing due to Felarya's unstable nature. There is no "portal system." No network of gates to and from each of the major holds in Felarya. If there was then that would eliminate a large portion of the travellers in Felarya's jungle.
If we make portal magic too easy then there's no reason why the magiocrats and their compatriots in other cities and hold would establish such a network and charge a toll to anyone who used it. If the portal magic was easy then the toll would be very small (due to the number of people using it) making it a easy, almost risk free virtually instant transportation system.

To quote the wiki: While it can be a hard and dangerous discipline, portal-crafting is an easy task for them.
This seems a bit contradictory. In the same breath the wiki says that portal craft is both hard and dangerous and easy. If I was to go for any I would choose the former. Or at least restrict the latter part of that statement to the absolute masters of portal magic (and make it relative).

(The Ur-Sagol and Negav portals are multiversal portals, they don't connect to other places in Felarya, although I'm sure a sufficiently powerful mage could venture out there and attempt to bend them into doing so.)
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PostSubject: Re: Supersonic flight (and portals...)   Sat Jul 17, 2010 6:17 am

Anime-Junkie wrote:
aethernavale wrote:
If we really get right down to it though, we see the reason why airships, airplanes, and aircraft are not typical to the Felaryan environment. It can be summed up in two words: gate portals. Why use something slow, ungangly, expensive, high maintenance, or else when you can mass-transit required goods and personnel? Much like the advent of a working railgun cupola that didn't require its own massive and separate power source would make aircraft obsolete, the portal system realistically eliminates the need for such craft, provided you have gates between desired locations. For areas without gates, I could see the need - but once again, I don't see that need being fulfilled by modern aircraft.
Portal system? I don't think so. While there are portal mages, long range portal magic is (or should be) a dangerous and often unsure thing due to Felarya's unstable nature. There is no "portal system." No network of gates to and from each of the major holds in Felarya. If there was then that would eliminate a large portion of the travellers in Felarya's jungle.
If we make portal magic too easy then there's no reason why the magiocrats and their compatriots in other cities and hold would establish such a network and charge a toll to anyone who used it. If the portal magic was easy then the toll would be very small (due to the number of people using it) making it a easy, almost risk free virtually instant transportation system.

To quote the wiki: While it can be a hard and dangerous discipline, portal-crafting is an easy task for them.
This seems a bit contradictory. In the same breath the wiki says that portal craft is both hard and dangerous and easy. If I was to go for any I would choose the former. Or at least restrict the latter part of that statement to the absolute masters of portal magic (and make it relative).

(The Ur-Sagol and Negav portals are multiversal portals, they don't connect to other places in Felarya, although I'm sure a sufficiently powerful mage could venture out there and attempt to bend them into doing so.)


I said portal system, not mass-trans. You guys love to jump to the far end of the spectrum on things. Worse than politiks, in some ways.


Most of the larger communities do however have portals, either created by ancients or their own technology/magiks. Ur-Sagol has a portal, Negav has at least one portal, the Mirtans have a portal to their own dimension, etc. I'm not implying that every town and villa would have a portal, but the major metropolis' do seem to support it. I know the portals don't interconnect on Felarya - if they did there would be no reason to transverse Felarya in the first place. You could however use the portals as a bypass provided you were able to manipulate their technology/magiks or willing to take alternate paths to your destination. We know a lot of personnel in Felarya are either coming for treasure, exploitation, or use as a shortcut to their destination. There are undoubtedly a majority of personnel that choose however to avoid Felarya. To be honest, however, the technology/magic does not necessarily have to be high tech or difficult to use. Difficult to understand, to create, sure. Much like how airships were originally filled with hydrogen vice helium or the disparity in nuclear reactor designs when comparing nations involved in the cold war. The magiocrats need only keep the knowledge of building portals an 'industrial secret' in order to maintain a monopoly on it, and spread the propaganda that it is difficult and/or dangerous. Granted, there is always some danger involved. You can take just about any benign object and make it deadly given the proper mindset and ability - with a few clever manipulations of events involving catastrophic results from the ignorant attempting to make their own portals and a domineering hand to control it, they would easily maintain control.


Airships could be useful for ferrying supplies to some of the outlying areas, but lets look at this - unless those areas were open enough to allow air transport to enter the area you're still stuck with ground transport. Either that, or you would need a large tower that came above the surrounding environment enough to allow the docking of a ship, which - while possible - is not a smart idea. Any large structure of that sort would attract attention, and many of those outlying settlements remain settled because they're unseen. Setting up heavily fortified camps all over the place also leads to issues. I could see humans using airships as a means of controlling other humans or as a transport between large cities with defensible positions, but I don't see them as being a total solution either. Not to mention you still need to be able to defend them while in flight from any opportunistic predators.
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PostSubject: Re: Supersonic flight (and portals...)   Sat Jul 17, 2010 7:44 am

aethernavale wrote:
I said portal system, not mass-trans. You guys love to jump to the far end of the spectrum on things. Worse than politiks, in some ways.
Portal system implies mass-transit to me.


aethernavale wrote:
Most of the larger communities do however have portals, either created by ancients or their own technology/magiks. Ur-Sagol has a portal, Negav has at least one portal, the Mirtans have a portal to their own dimension, etc. I'm not implying that every town and villa would have a portal,
I didn't think you were.
aethernavale wrote:
but the major metropolis' do seem to support it. I know the portals don't interconnect on Felarya - if they did there would be no reason to transverse Felarya in the first place. You could however use the portals as a bypass provided you were able to manipulate their technology/magiks or willing to take alternate paths to your destination.
The ones on the map that is. (It's unknown whether or not there's one in Kelerm). Wile I agree that it's possible to do it that way, I'd think that it would only be done to move a lot of personnel or cargo at once. It can't be too easy to do. Not to mention that the Negav portal is a ways away from the city and there are always others wanting to use it.

aethernavale wrote:
The magiocrats need only keep the knowledge of building portals an 'industrial secret' in order to maintain a monopoly on it, and spread the propaganda that it is difficult and/or dangerous. Granted, there is always some danger involved. You can take just about any benign object and make it deadly given the proper mindset and ability - with a few clever manipulations of events involving catastrophic results from the ignorant attempting to make their own portals and a domineering hand to control it, they would easily maintain control.
Hmm... Creating portals should be dangerous. Given the nature of Felarya itself creating a portal can be easy, but having it exit where you want and keeping it stable shouldn't be. However, the magiocrats of course could make it seem even more dangerous.


aethernavale wrote:
Airships could be useful for ferrying supplies to some of the outlying areas, but lets look at this - unless those areas were open enough to allow air transport to enter the area you're still stuck with ground transport. Either that, or you would need a large tower that came above the surrounding environment enough to allow the docking of a ship, which - while possible - is not a smart idea. Any large structure of that sort would attract attention, and many of those outlying settlements remain settled because they're unseen. Setting up heavily fortified camps all over the place also leads to issues. I could see humans using airships as a means of controlling other humans or as a transport between large cities with defensible positions, but I don't see them as being a total solution either. Not to mention you still need to be able to defend them while in flight from any opportunistic predators.
Well, The Lydronite Islands* do have their Air fortresses, huge ships carved out of Lydronite rich stone. (Lydronite is a mineral that has the property of keeping itself at a set elevation that can be manipulated with magic. The Islands themselves are suspended in their this way too). But for any place else, I agree with your points here.

* Part of Shatterock Caldera. Not yet canon.
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PostSubject: Re: Supersonic flight (and portals...)   Sat Jul 17, 2010 8:07 am

Anime-Junkie wrote:
aethernavale wrote:
The magiocrats need only keep the knowledge of building portals an 'industrial secret' in order to maintain a monopoly on it, and spread the propaganda that it is difficult and/or dangerous. Granted, there is always some danger involved. You can take just about any benign object and make it deadly given the proper mindset and ability - with a few clever manipulations of events involving catastrophic results from the ignorant attempting to make their own portals and a domineering hand to control it, they would easily maintain control.
Hmm... Creating portals should be dangerous. Given the nature of Felarya itself creating a portal can be easy, but having it exit where you want and keeping it stable shouldn't be. However, the magiocrats of course could make it seem even more dangerous.



What do you consider dangerous? Some people find what I do to be far too dangerous to allow. Public opinion has been getting better over the years, but there are still great reservations towards it. Some of which are quite ridiculous for anyone who actually has knowledge of the topic. Basing my debate on that which I know best, the point I'm going to make here is that while nuclear power has many dangers and can easily kill people without the proper precautions, we still require it for the lifestyle we live and find that the risks are surpassed by the gains. Just because a portal on Felarya, or anywhere for that matter, is difficult to create, operate, and maintain, will not stop people from doing so because the potential benefits of such a device far outweigh the potential losses that might be incurred. It would only take one moment of disrespect or disregard for either a nuclear reactor or a dimensional portal to turn on its masters. They are both dangerous - please don't try to tell me, of all people, that because something is dangerous that it is therefore limited in its use. In nature, things will find a way to survive. In humans, the necessity to fulfill a perceived need will overcome the dangers posed by the solutions that are proffered - no matter how great they are. The only difference is in the perspective that others will view it. Whether or not the ends truly justify the means.
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