So today I’m looking at the turning radius of airplanes at different speeds and how hard they turn to figure out what the final scaler for our Air Combat Maneuvering should be, it looks like 50ft squares for WWI and some WWII, then 500ft squares for the jet age is likely.
Turning Radius in 1,000s of feet for a High-G turn at a given rate of speed
|Speed in Knots||2g||3g||4g||5g||6g||7g||8g||9g||50 ft||500ft|
I take the radius of the turn above, calculate what a quarter of the circumference is and how many 50 or 500 ft squares it would take to go around a 90 degree turn. On the far right is how ,many 50ft or 500ft squares you cover while travelling at the listed speed for 6 seconds. The numbers for 100, 200 and 300 knots are fine. All of the 6g and 9g numbers are fine, I am still working on the rest.
Number of 50ft Squares of movement for a 90 degree turn at High-G at a given rate of speed
|Speed in Knots||2g||3g||4g||5g||6g||7g||8g||9g||50 ft/round||500ft/round|
|100/115||16||10||8||6||20 squares||2 squares|
1g is a level turn, normal gravity pulling down on the aircraft. there’s not even a piloting check required for a 1g level turn.
2gs is a a little more strenuous on the pilot and the aircraft, and so one and so on. 9gs is where most pilots black out. G-Suits are supposed to help you not pass out while performing these maneuvers, but they don’t fly the plane for you.
Now in D20 Modern there was no item scaling, the difficulty of a trained maneuver was 15 and difficult maneuvers was 20, forever, they never got easier or harder.
I need to spread difficulty class numbers across a range of 1g it’s so easy you don’t need to roll and 9gs you’ll possibly black out, and not all aircraft can handle the stress you might rip the wings off. I don’t think that starting at 10 and going up by 5 for every G is going to cut it, at some point a DC 45 9g turn will be inevitable, through Anti-Aircraft fire and being shot at by enemy pilots even. I’m going to look at the Starfinder rules for heavy gravity for the stress on the pilot, the speed penalties beyond cruising should be self-reinforcing at stall as well as it’s flying apart speeds.
At level 20 a trained pilot with 20 Dex (+5), 20 Ranks Piloting, +3 Class skill bonus, +3 Skill synergy is +31, I believe with Enhancement items they could get +6 more Dex, (+3) and say a highly nimble fighter +2 Piloting for +36 to the roll, the pilot would make 9g turns and try real hard not to fall asleep. Maybe we just use the Easy, Hard, Difficult, Very Difficult DCs from Pathfinder 2e and similar tables I have made for Starfinder, the GM decides the difficulty off the cuff based on all factors. As a GM that’s fine, but as a player I like to know what I’m working with, but huge tables of numbers and turn radius markers aren’t exactly cinematic.
These are the things I’m grappling with today.
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