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Ghost Leviathan
Mar 2, 2017

Exploration is ill-advised




...is that a submarine version of a SR-71

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Midjack
Dec 24, 2007





Ghost Leviathan posted:

...is that a submarine version of a SR-71

Yeah, it was kind of a trend for covers to take an existing plane or car and work it in, see also K.W. Jeterís The Glass Hammer and its Lamborghini.

Sanguinia
Jan 1, 2012

#RXT REVOLUTION~!
2000





So Atlantis The Lost Empire popped up on my Disney Plus. That was pretty good! Like I said, we need more Victorian/Verne-ian Scifi in the world.

Ghost Leviathan
Mar 2, 2017

Exploration is ill-advised




Consensus seems to be Atlantis was the setup for a series crammed into too short a movie.

McSpanky
Jan 16, 2005







Hannibal Rex posted:

Never played that game, but IIRC it was written by Warren Ellis.

That's right! I totally forgot that until you mentioned it. It's on GOG and Steam for a song these days, still a good play if you don't mind turn-of-the-century graphics.

Midjack posted:

Frank Herbert of Dune fame wrote one called The Dragon in the Sea later retitled Under Pressure that was a spy hunt on a submarine while the sub was stealing oil from an undersea Russian oilfield. Very Cold War.



The SR-71 as a submarine frickin owns

Ghost Leviathan
Mar 2, 2017

Exploration is ill-advised




Atlantis: The Lost Empire basically seems like it was made to sell toys that never got made. Maybe just as well mind, I don't think the super baroque aesthetic would translate well to mass-produced plastic.

Can nautical fantasy come too? Mostly just One Piece comes to mind. And I guess Pirates of the Caribbean.

McSpanky
Jan 16, 2005







Ghost Leviathan posted:

Atlantis: The Lost Empire basically seems like it was made to sell toys that never got made. Maybe just as well mind, I don't think the super baroque aesthetic would translate well to mass-produced plastic.

Can nautical fantasy come too? Mostly just One Piece comes to mind. And I guess Pirates of the Caribbean.

If so I get to call Pirates of Dark Water! That show was kinda messed up for kids.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011

STOP BEING EVIL.


Oh, I remember a short-lived little manga called Aqua Knight.



It was a weird mix of sci-fi and fantasy. The titular knights wear a cross between a deep sea diving suit and a mech suit, but the story opens with the main character washing up on an island, meeting Death, who gives her a magic knife, and then having to chase after a bipolar mad scientist with a submarine who kidnaps some magical thing along with a young boy.

It was a fairly short run, and the creator went on to make Battle Angel Alita.

Ghost Leviathan posted:

Atlantis: The Lost Empire basically seems like it was made to sell toys that never got made. Maybe just as well mind, I don't think the super baroque aesthetic would translate well to mass-produced plastic.

Well, there were toys. Not sure if they sold well.



Most of the plot of the movie was basically the plot of the movie Stargate, but in a more fun setting and at the end the final bad guy is the military industrial complex. Atlantis's attempt at expanding the movie into a television series didn't go too well though.

It was also in the middle of Disney's halcyon period when they were still willing to develop more unique styles, before they killed off theatrical 2D animation.

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



In the RTS Total Annihilation, the expansion pack allowed entirely ocean maps, and the construction of floating/submerged bases. This included a seaplane factory, where you could build amphibious aircraft that could happily sit on the ocean floor when not in use

I tried to find out of Echo the Dolphin was relevant, but the people who played it all seem to have gone mad

Lemniscate Blue
Apr 21, 2006

Here we go again.

McSpanky posted:

If so I get to call Pirates of Dark Water! That show was kinda messed up for kids.

Now there's a blast from the past. I have fond memories of that show.

Pennywise the Frown
May 10, 2010



Upset Trowel

Nebakenezzer posted:

In the RTS Total Annihilation, the expansion pack allowed entirely ocean maps, and the construction of floating/submerged bases. This included a seaplane factory, where you could build amphibious aircraft that could happily sit on the ocean floor when not in use

I tried to find out of Echo the Dolphin was relevant, but the people who played it all seem to have gone mad

Total Annihilation was one of the best games ever made.

Tulip
Jun 3, 2008

I have no country to fight for; my country is the earth; I am a citizen of the world.




Nebakenezzer posted:

I tried to find out of Echo the Dolphin was relevant, but the people who played it all seem to have gone mad

Having only played the genesis one I'd say "sure," its got like time travel and poo poo, but I mostly remember it being a platformer (ish?) with dope aesthetics.

McSpanky
Jan 16, 2005







Tulip posted:

Having only played the genesis one I'd say "sure," its got like time travel and poo poo, but I mostly remember it being a platformer (ish?) with dope aesthetics.

IIRC the final level takes place on an alien ship with few opportunities to find air and a pretty disturbing-for-kids Gigeresque aesthetic that made for a pretty anxious experience all told.

Neo Rasa
Mar 8, 2007
Everyone should play DUKE games.



Nebakenezzer posted:

I tried to find out of Echo the Dolphin was relevant, but the people who played it all seem to have gone mad

The Ecco games absolutely counts for reasons folks mentioned. The second game especially goes hard into some weird sci-fi territory.

Groke
Jul 27, 2007
New Adventures In Mom Strength

Pennywise the Frown posted:

Total Annihilation was one of the best games ever made.
Was way the gently caress ahead of its time.

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



Groke posted:

Was way the gently caress ahead of its time.

It's really depressing to me how the AI toggle switches and the queue of tasks you could set up have never really been bettered in an RTS.

Pennywise the Frown
May 10, 2010



Upset Trowel

Groke posted:

Was way the gently caress ahead of its time.

I loved that you could do whatever you want. I'd spend like an hour setting up an impenetrable base. Then I'd build a HUGE fleet of bombers and just go to town on their base and finally move some troops in.

So many good memories playing with my friend. Also had some really amazing composed music.

This is my favorite.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qgkyl_ZG8XA

Just beautiful. It seriously gives me goosebumps on the chorus to this day.

Pennywise the Frown fucked around with this message at 17:05 on Jun 14, 2020

Farmer Crack-Ass
Jan 2, 2001

~this is me posting irl~


Nebakenezzer posted:

It's really depressing to me how the AI toggle switches and the queue of tasks you could set up have never really been bettered in an RTS.

Supreme Commander improved on the task queueing, at least; in that game you could set a looping production queue on a factory, set an automatic ferry path for air transports, then tell the factory to rally produced units at the ferry point so that the transports would automatically bring units to the desired location.

Way, way easier to setup a coordinated air drop than the one time I remember going through the hassle of dropping a shitload of Cans into an enemy base in TA. There was a trick to coordinating it where you'd get the air transports loaded, then tell them to Guard an expendable unit, then queue an Unload command where you wanted them to drop the unit, then self-destruct the expendable unit which would clear the Guard command and all the transports that were set to guard would race off to unload their cargo. It worked but you had to do it for each. individual. transport.


I was spoiled big time by the unlimited zoom-out functionality in Supreme Commander, myself.

Farmer Crack-Ass fucked around with this message at 23:05 on Jun 14, 2020

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



Supreme Commander chat: that aircraft carrier/submarine the blue guys had still surfaces in the cold war thread sometimes.

Can post about design studies/real world examples of aircraft carrier submarines upon request

Tulip
Jun 3, 2008

I have no country to fight for; my country is the earth; I am a citizen of the world.




Nebakenezzer posted:

Supreme Commander chat: that aircraft carrier/submarine the blue guys had still surfaces in the cold war thread sometimes.

Can post about design studies/real world examples of aircraft carrier submarines upon request

free hubcaps
Oct 12, 2009



Nebakenezzer posted:

Supreme Commander chat: that aircraft carrier/submarine the blue guys had still surfaces in the cold war thread sometimes.

Can post about design studies/real world examples of aircraft carrier submarines upon request

i'd be interested in this, the only one im familiar with is the I-400

Sanguinia
Jan 1, 2012

#RXT REVOLUTION~!
2000





Nebakenezzer posted:

Supreme Commander chat: that aircraft carrier/submarine the blue guys had still surfaces in the cold war thread sometimes.

Can post about design studies/real world examples of aircraft carrier submarines upon request

How about a submarine/MECHA carrier?

Farmer Crack-Ass
Jan 2, 2001

~this is me posting irl~


Nebakenezzer posted:

Supreme Commander chat: that aircraft carrier/submarine the blue guys had still surfaces in the cold war thread sometimes.

Can post about design studies/real world examples of aircraft carrier submarines upon request

Atlantis! Man, Supreme Commander was really a giant love letter to Total Annihilation fans.

"Wouldn't it be cool if you could have submarines that launched nuclear missiles? Or submarines that launched airplanes? Or big-rear end troop transport aircraft? Or destroyers that sprout legs and walk on land? Or even more giant mechs??"


Here's a fun video where Chris Taylor goes into how his experience working on a baseball game informed his work on TA:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NAQ3N6bRIRk


Also: YES, MAKE THE POSTS!!

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye





So after World War One, the world's navies realized they could launch and recover aircraft from ships, and for scouting, this was pretty useful. The Royal Navy in particular had experimented a fair bit with aircraft and ships, because they hated the German Naval Zeppelins so, so much. In addition to inventing the aircraft carrier (and the first carrier strike ever was off of it to blow up some zeppelins in their 1000 ft long "sheds") they also tried a lot of different variations in launching single aircraft from warships. One of these, a Sopwith Pup, was launched, climbed to the Zeppelin's altitude without being noticed, and shot the Zeppelin down. After that, even the harrumphist of RN admirals admitted the aeroplane had some merit in a naval context. Aircraft would be flying boats or floatplanes, and would be hucked via catapult into the sky, and recovered by landing on water and then being lifted aboard. This wasn't by any means perfect - an aircraft without radar had to fly low just to see anything - and the ship had to stop to recover its aircraft. What's more, you needed calm seas to land without risking damage. But in the 1920s-1930s, this was an improvement, and so most battleships and cruisers built in this period had an aircraft catapult, plus hanger facilities. (The Japanese were especially into this, and would build some weird cruiser/battleship/floatplane carrier hybrids.)

Submarines were in a state of flux in this era, and people messed about, trying to figure out how the boats would fit into the next conflict. Submarines proved themselves in the first World War as a potent naval weapon, but people didn't really know what the limits of such a weapon was. At the time, German U-boats were more like surface ships that could hide rather than being able to maneuver under water. What's more, in their merchant raiding, their guns did as much damage as torpedoes, with U-cruisers (bigger U-boats with more, larger guns) were quite successful. So there was a lot of experimenting with configurations. Considering that submarines were now being pictured as 'cruisers' in a sense - IE long-ranging merchant raiders that operated alone - soon people were wondering if aircraft and submarines went together, especially as cruiser subs could handle the addition of a sealed hanger on their deck.

The first aircraft carrying sub was the HMS M2 - she was a cruiser class submarine laid down in 1916 and launched in 1919, one of three M-classes. The M-class submarine was built as a substitution instead of continuing the loving ridiculous K-class submarines, which were 400 ft long, had a maximum dive depth much less than 400 ft, and were steam powered. All three M-classes had a single big gun - which were soon disallowed by the Washington Naval treaty. So each M had its single 12in gun removed, and replaced with in M2's case, an aircraft hanger.



M1 in neato camouflage paint. Oh, and 12in is a *very big gun indeed* if you are not a battleship.





M2 launching its aircraft. The wings unfolded for launch. Initially the crane just set it into the sea to take off; later they added a catapult.





And I'm guessing "roughness of the sea" could be an issue.

This was the last aircraft carrying sub the British built; the M2 itself was lost with all hands in an accident involving the hanger opening under water. Other nations experimented with aircraft carrying subs in the interwar years, but only Japan and France would make a go of it.

France built a single large submarine, Surcouf, that was in the same cruiser mold as the M2 had been. A good article, including a cutaway drawing, can be found here, but the basic deets is that she was a submarine, with a cruiser's guns, and also carried a scout/spotter aircraft. The launch of the aircraft was a production, as the aircraft had to be moved out of its hanger, its wings unfolded and otherwise assembled, have its engine warmed up, and then taken by a crane and gently plopped on the sea before it could take off. Like M2's aircraft, it was a slow and strictly fair-weather proposition.



The aircraft hanger is behind the sail.

There was also a plan to fit Surcouf with a helicopter. A genius French engineer reasoned that having a helicopter would be way more useful than the floatplane, as most of the steps involved in taking off and landing it could be skipped.





Sadly for all of humanity the conquest of France by the Nazis ended this project. Surcouf was lost in circumstances people still argue over.

Next: The Japanese

Nebakenezzer fucked around with this message at 15:37 on Jun 19, 2020

Jostiband
May 7, 2007



Lots of wasted engineering effort that could have been avoided by just designing submarines that can transform into airplanes imo

McSpanky
Jan 16, 2005







Jostiband posted:

Lots of wasted engineering effort that could have been avoided by just designing submarines that can transform into airplanes imo

Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow was pretty good

Darth Brooks
Jan 15, 2005

I do not wear this mask to protect me. I wear it to protect you from me.


Jostiband posted:

Lots of wasted engineering effort that could have been avoided by just designing submarines that can transform into airplanes imo

Why not just use a flying sub?

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye





A USN Kingfisher being recovered by its ship.



Just for reference, this is the British X-1 cruiser submarine. Pew, pew pew pew pew!



I mean, damming with faint praise but it's not as stupid as the K-class.



Colorized shot of a Japanese floatplane fighter.



Floatplane recon and attack aircraft.



Colorized shot of the I-26, a Japanese submarine with a hanger. That's the cylinder forward of the sail.



Painting of the I-15.

The Japanese warmed up to the aircraft-carrying subs for a few reasons. First, some of their submarine classes were cruiser-sized simply because they were built for trans-pacific operations. Second, for those finding things in the Pacific reasons, the idea of scout aircraft was seen as sensible, regardless of what job the submarine was assigned to. The Japanese were also really good at submarines, and really good at aircraft carriers, so making it practical came much easier. Finally, the Japanese were also the people who made floatplane versions of their fighters to operate air cover in remote Pacific islands, so clearly they were just willing to give it a whirl. You can see this wiki list for the full deets, but Japan not only had one-off aircraft carrying submarines, it has several production classes of them. Most carried one or two float-planes. In addition to scouting, they got up to some stuff as well: a submarine launched aircraft became the only Axis warplane to bomb north America (twice!) and this was repeated over Wellington, NZ, and Sydney, Australia. These submarines were also ideal cargo subs for the shadowy trade of technology and critical resources between Japan and Nazi Germany during World War 2. The B-class submarines, the most common type carrying aircraft went through three iterations with the B1s commissioning 20 hulls, the B2s commissioning 6, and the B3/4 series commissioning 3.

The Germans also messed about slightly with aircraft and submarines. Before World War 2, the Kriegsmarine had designed a U-boat crusier, the Mk. XI U-boat. While less dramatic than the Surcouf or the M1, it was a big submarine like its contemporaries, the X-1 in the Royal Navy, or the Narwal class in the USN. It mounted armored turrets like the X-1. The Mk.XI also had provision for a scouting aircraft: Arado had designed the Ar 231, which was basically a flat-pack floatplane. The widest part of a prop-driven airplane you cannot break down is the propellor, so Arado designed the 231 to fit in a waterproof cylinder slightly wider than the prop when not in use.



The asymmetrical notch in the wings was not because you put it together wrong.

Testing revealed that the idea of assembly/disassembly of something describable as a flat-pack floatplane on the deck of a submarine was a poor idea. Testing also found that the aircraft needed a flat calm to take off and land, and was kind of a poor airplane while flying. This was just as well, as the Kriegsmarine cancelled the Mk. XIs not long after the first keels had been laid, judging correctly that by the time the type was commissioned, it would be obsolete.

Later in the war, long-range Mk. IX U-boats operating away from thick allied air cover (IE in the south Atlantic or Indian oceans) would get a manned kite they could deploy. The Focke-Achgelis Fa 330 was a rotary winged kite. If that's confusing (and it definitely is) imagine an autogyro, now subtract the forward facing engine, and give the thing momentum to fly by tethering it to a moving submarine. Submarines, compared to ships, are low in the water, and that restricts visibility while on the surface. The Fa 330 thus was an augmented crow's nest that could observe great distances on clear days. I'd dig you up some photos, but I found this period two minute film on the Fa 330 being assembled and deployed that says more than I ever could. If the Arado 231 was a flat-pack aircraft, was the Fa 330 the equivalent of camping equipment?







shots of a recent Tamiya model kit that show off the aircraft hanger.



Bottom, Mk. VII U-boat, middle, I-400, top, Japanese Destroyer






Two shots post-surrender to the Americans. The aircraft hanger attracted a lot of attention.

The 800 pound gorilla of aircraft carrying submarines in a few ways is the I-400 class. Admiral Yamamoto might have crafted his crushing victory at Pearl Harbor and then his crushing defeat at Midway, but he at least got the war with the United States was a long-shot that was going to require some risky bets. One of these was the I-400 series. As conceived, the I-400 class would carry three modern floatplanes in its hanger. Possessing a global spanning range, these submarines would sail to distant shores where defenses would be light, then strike at strategic targets of the enemy. Yamamoto thought that having a fleet of 18 of these massive submarines would give the Imperial Japanese Navy a truly incredible wildcard - the ability to strike anywhere the ocean touched with the equivalent of a fleet carrier's worth of aircraft.

It should be said that this idea was profound. Previously, submarines were either fleet assets or merchant raiders. Being able to damage the enemy's ability to make war directly was a strategic attack, not a tactical one, and one that would change the world post war.

So the Japanese started work on some hecka chonk'in submarines. Put it this way: The Mk. VII U-boat displaced 769 tons surfaced and 871 tons submerged, was 67 m (220 ft) long, and sailed with 40-50 crew. The fleet submarine that the USN used to blockade Japan was the Gato class. It displaced 1500 tons surfaced and 2500 tons submerged, was 95 m (311 ft) long, and sailed with 60 crew. The I-400 series displaced 6,600 tons, was 122 m (400 ft) long, and sailed with 144 officers and men. In order to get the necessary space, Japanese Naval architects gave the I-400 twin symmetrical pressure hulls, a feature much later used on the USSR's Typhoon class ballistic missile submarines. The sub could also boast snorkels and sound-deadening tiles.

It's aircraft and facilities were similarly advanced. The aircraft designed for the subs, the Aichi M6A Seiran (storm from a clear sky) was a sleek floatplane that could carry bombs or heavy torpedoes. Carried three to a sub, these aircraft could unfold, be armed by deck crew, and be flung into the sky by a compressed air catapult in half an hour. A system borrowed from the stillborn German aircraft carrier Graf Zeppelin allowed prewarming of the Seiran's engine oil, so time did not have to be spent warming the aircraft up. (Because of the challenges of taking off, piston engine aircraft are warmed up on the deck to make sure they are limber for having the throttles pinned for takeoff.) One final tech note: the aircraft could optionally launch without floats. The aircraft could of course return to ditch by the submarine, but yeah, ideal for kamikaze missions.

When this idea was conceived, only the Japanese had perfected coordinated strikes from multiple carrier decks, so the idea is that 18 subs launch 54 aircraft. The first target for the sub fleet was going to be the locks at either end of Lake Gatun, the artificial lake at the top of the Panama Canal. If they were destroyed, the lake would drain, and it would take six months before the canal was usable again. One unlucky American soldier who had been stationed in the Canal zone who'd later been captured had given the Japanese a great deal of useful intel on canal defenses.

As y'all know, this didn't happen. It was the summer of 1945 when two submarines had been made operational. By then, it was judged that knocking out the Panama canal would do little to improve Japan's military situation. At the highest levels of command, there was a second mission discussed. Thanks to the Imperial Japanese Army's loving horrific biowarface research, Japan had viable biological weapons. It was suggested that these subs be used to infest LA or San Fransisco with anthrax-carrying fleas or similar. This was not done, thankfully, though why not is controversial. I've read a quote on the internet that ultimately they decided further escalation in this already extraordinarily nasty war was the last thing needed. It could also be that the IJN hated the idea of using the IJA's weapon so much they nixed the idea, and if that sounds weird, you should know that the IJN and IJA spent the 1930s and World War 2 so hostile to each other that you could describe it as a low grade civil war, and in the runup to Midway, the IJA's signals intelligence clocked that the US had broken IJN codes, but just didn't tell the IJN.

So, the two I-400s reassigned to attack the main staging atoll the U.S. Navy was using in its invasion of Okinawa. (A third I-400 class had been completed as a blockade runner, but was not commissioned by the war's end.) The flight crews of the two subs were told on the way that 1) I guess the brass decided y'all are Kamikaze pilots, and 2) we're going to repaint the aircraft in American colors for you to sneak in for maximum effect. This second part was a war crime, and strenuously objected to by the flight crews, who considered such a move dishonorable besides. The atomic bombings fortunately happened during this voyage, and both subs surrendered to the Americans, who up until the point they appeared had no clue that the subs existed. The size of a destroyer, the I-400s prompted lots of inspections from naval brass, so there's lots of good photos of these subs. Both were studied extensively by the US Navy, which informed their attempts at putting missiles on subs.



The infamous Oka manned missile.

One Seiran still exists, amazingly. Brought back to the United States, it was restored and now sits in the Smithsonian's aviation museum. The I-400 class, unfortunately, was of keen interest to the USSR as well as the United States. After a year documenting and studying bother submarines, the US towed them into deep water, then scuttled both to keep them out of the USSR's hands. (Thanks to being Allies and signatories at the Japanese surrender, I think the Soviets had some legal claim to at least examine captured Japanese tech.)

Next: the amphetamine fueled early cold war

Sanguinia
Jan 1, 2012

#RXT REVOLUTION~!
2000





This is an aside but drat to Submarines with big dumb battleship canons on them look awesome.

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



The whole thing is an aside but I like the thread and don't know how else to contribute

I'm not sure if it's still true that the ocean floor is still known with less resolution than Mars, but it remains a wild, alien place, but full of some wild-rear end life

Nautical SF similarly seems under-serviced, save 20,000 leagues under the sea

And while sphere was an improbably good movie, feh. It uses the bottom of the sea like a deserted island or a snowed in-Hotel in a lonely mountain pass

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



Oh, this is *sort of* nautical sci-fi: Neal Stephenson wrote his novel Cryptonomicon after writing stories for Wired about submarine cables, and then reading about an ex-Marine who used recently declassified information to find the wreck of a Japanese sub. I-101 [IIRC] was sunk mid-Atlantic carrying $100 million in gold bullion. It's still down there. The covert trade between Nazi Germany and Imperialist Japan was naturally a top target for the Allies, and 50% of the subs were sunk before completing an out and back trip. From Japan to France, they sent things like natural rubber, tungsten, opium, quinine, tin, and even natural coffee. Aside from gold as payment, usually the Germans sent technology back - pretty much everything in the wunder-waffen catalog. The very last U-boat was heading from Germany to Japan with gold lined cylinders filled with "U-power": powered Uranium Oxide. The sub docked in Pennsylvania, and the uranium was quietly taken to Oak Ridge for Processing. (May 1945 the Atomic bomb was still top secret.) The Uranium was probably going to be used as a catalyst for methanol production. Oh, and the Germans tried to send the Japanese the Me 262, but the boxed up aircraft ended up in one of those sunken subs. But, somehow the Japanese did get photographs taken by an engineer of theirs, and just through the photographs created their own jet turbine over about a year.

Oh, and if you kick around wikipedia you can find an Italian submarine that ended up in Singapore, and because the crew kept fighting after Italian surrender, a German/Italian/Japanese crew and this submarine ended up in the seas around Japan and became the last ship to shoot down an American place in WW2

Darth Brooks
Jan 15, 2005

I do not wear this mask to protect me. I wear it to protect you from me.


Nebakenezzer posted:

I'd dig you up some photos, but I found this period two minute film on the Fa 330 being assembled and deployed that says more than I ever could. If the Arado 231 was a flat-pack aircraft, was the Fa 330 the equivalent of camping equipment?

All I can do is imagine what would happen to some poor submariner / pilot when allied aircraft showed up and the sub needed to dive a few hundred feet down.

McSpanky
Jan 16, 2005







Nebakenezzer posted:

I'm not sure if it's still true that the ocean floor is still known with less resolution than Mars, but it remains a wild, alien place, but full of some wild-rear end life

It is. Only 19% of the seabed has been mapped to a resolution of 100m, while the entire Martian surface has been mapped to at least that resolution. Once you get over the hard part of sending a spacecraft there, it's just easier to park it in orbit and map the exposed surface from space than to map the parts of our planet's surface under miles of water.

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



McSpanky posted:

It is. Only 19% of the seabed has been mapped to a resolution of 100m, while the entire Martian surface has been mapped to at least that resolution. Once you get over the hard part of sending a spacecraft there, it's just easier to park it in orbit and map the exposed surface from space than to map the parts of our planet's surface under miles of water.

I think you mean kilometers of water

But I just googled to see how that X-prize about this was going, turns out there is a winner and it is pretty cool: https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-48473701

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



Does the Meg count as nautical sci fi

I find it weirdly irritating that in a movie so silly they actually bothered to explain how the megalodon traveled the cold thermal layer

also a smartphone displaying your remaining oxygen when diving may be a good example of trash garbage technology

Sir DonkeyPunch
Mar 23, 2007

I didn't hear no bell


Nebakenezzer posted:

The size of a destroyer, the I-400s prompted lots of inspections from naval brass, so there's lots of good photos of these subs. Both were studied extensively by the US Navy, which informed their attempts at putting missiles on subs.

poo poo, I never made the connection between the Regulus launching subs and the I-400, but that makes total sense

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



So after the Second World War ended on the back of a United States Navy battleship in Tokyo Bay, the USN had a bit of an existential crisis.

Submarines were involved in and off to the side of this crisis. Once somebody in the Navy started hammering together technical assessments about the future of submarine design, it was clear that subs were poised on a revolution in design as big as HMS Dreadnought heralded. Radar, long range patrol aircraft, patrol aircraft with radar, combined with the increase of firepower in guided weapons, combined with Axis designs of the type XXI U-boat/I-201 class submarines said very clearly that the future was operating submerged as much as possible. The strategic submarine was clearly going to be a thing going forward, though this was going to require lots of RnD involving cruise and ballistic missiles. Because the first pictured job for these hypothetical missiles was as a nuclear weapon delivery system, this - got roped in to the USN's existential crisis.

Y'see, the USN became obsessed with the delivery of nuclear weapons as a way to get more money. The United States Army Air Force had become its own service, the USAF. And pretty much the first thing that happened was an extended slapfight between the USAF and the USN for postwar budget dollars, with the USAF getting B-36 production over the United States - which was going to be a new aircraft carrier big enough for jets. In search of nuclear delivery systems, guided missiles, naval jets, and this annoying little jew of a Captain who kept insisting nuclear power was idea for submarines, not destroyers (what an rear end in a top hat, we brought him back to the pentagon and gave him an office in a former women's restroom) the USN started laying lots and lots of RnD bets.

And here's where aircraft carrying subs make a brief return. (There's not much RL development but I figured Y'all wouldn't mind seeing some related weirdness.)

Almost immediately post war, the USN started experimenting with launching cruise missiles from submarines. At first, these were V-1 copies.







Side bonus: subs are poor at resisting explosions but actually pretty good at resisting shrapnel and fire.

These experiments, as you can see, were fairly rough and ready, with a heavy influence from the I-400. Had America been poorer, they might've just commissioned the I-400s directly into the USN. This lead to the first deployed cruise missile, the Regulus, which I must note was developed by Convair. Launched from the surface, they were definitively a stopgap until the Polaris ballistic missiles were ready. [In retrospect, the design of nuclear bombers was so changing and hectic that all types were placeholders for later future types. Missile submarines were similar - except that once Polaris missiles were perfected, it was mostly a refining of the concept.] But, they got some people thinking about aircraft. All big cruise missiles are basically unmanned aircraft - some propel themselves by turbojet. And since they were the size of aircraft anyway...maybe manned aircraft?



USS Tunny, a Gato-class submarine that would serve from WW2 to Vietnam, test-launching a Regulus missile.

I think this was helped by another, almost as strange hypothesis. So remember those baller floatplane fighters the Japanese had? Other nations gave it a whirl, too.





This one remained a drawing, but you can find a Grumman Wildcat with floats out there.

But then, Saunders-Roe [Saro], a firm in Britain, decided to one-up these and design a jet fighter flying boat. BEHOLD:







The British defense establishment looked at the Saro AS/1 and said no, though the USN wanted to at least buy a few for testing. Saro got back to building sensible things, like Saunders-Roe Princess, an airliner/flying boat that in some shots appears to be screaming, horrified at its own existence.

Convair, on the other hand, was happy to oblige the USN's desire for amphibious jets, designing the aptly named Sea Dart. And bonus: it had skis!







The reason for the Sea Dart's design was as a hedge. The first generation of jet turbines was not very suited for carrier work - they had slow throttles and usually required generous takeoff rolls. For the USN, this resulted in the testing of quite a few uninspiring jets while the piston era in essence getting another few rounds in carrier aviation. The Sea Dart was an attempt to build a supersonic fighter that didn't require a carrier for operation. After a crash killed a test pilot, the program was cancelled, but not before the USN had people looking into aircraft carrying submarines. (Convair may have laid out some open bar Friday lunches to get that discussion going.)

As this was a series of design studies, the details of what aircraft tends to switch around a bit. The Sea Dart was considered briefly for a submarine carrier, launching themselves in calm weather and launching via catapult in all other weather, but the idea of having a freakin' aircraft elevator in your submarine was something submariners and engineers were a little worried by. Well, not so much the elevator itself: it was the idea of this elevator having at least two giant hatches that would remain water tight under all conditions, because the largest open space in the sub, the hanger deck, was beyond them. Then, via NASA's precursor, studies were made with Boeing as to what a sub-carrier would look like. The design assumed the power plant used in the USS Thresher - a S5W nuclear planet, and a basic hull design from the fourth-coming USS Halibut, which was the first US submarine designed to launch cruise missiles. The innovation was modifying the aircraft so they could stage and launch themselves via missile-tube-ish orifices. The project was named Flying Carpet, with the sub itself called AN-1.



The AN-1 was going to be big - 50% larger than the Polaris-class missile submarines under development, and was initially reckoned to be able to have 8 aircraft, with stores for 10 combat sorties each. Four aircraft would be kept in two separate pressure hulls. To launch aircraft, the sub would surface, then four aircraft, strapped to rockets, would be launched vertically. (These rockets conveniently already existed under another Pentagon program, one that looked to launch fighters without a runway.) The first aircraft for this program was the infuriatingly named F11F-1F Super Tiger. Despite the name, apparently the USS Grayback [SSG-574] launched two of them after they were stowed in her Regulus tubes, confirming the basic concept worked. What's more, a little tweaking of the design promised to double the useful sorties.



There's a big, big gap in my knowledge, though: how the gently caress the honkies were supposed to be recovered, and clearly they were, I mean why be happy you could stage 16 sorties per aircraft if you only ever launched one? I'm thinking "flying carpet" was not only a launcher, but also a thing that could be added to aircraft to make them amphibious? And even if it did, we're still talking about a crane to re-load the Tiger in a launch tube once its control surfaces folded.

The Boeing study estimated the AN-1 would cost $150 million in late fifties dollars, 50% more than a Polaris ballistic missile submarine.

This proposal evolved as Boeing (being Boeing) sexed up the proposal a bit, by saying the submarines could use tigers now, but then be refit to deploy this awesome new aircraft they just sketched. It was going to be a VTOL (Vertical takeoff or Landing) mach 3 tailsitting combat fighter. Launching and landing by its tail allowed the engineers to get rid of all that pain-in-the-rear end amphibious stuff. This upgraded proposal was called AN-2.



I'm not sure what the joke here should be about. Thunderbirds? Intercepting Mothera?



So eventually, the USN got Polaris nuclear missiles working, and then a commitment of "41 for Freedom" from the US Congress. Ballistic Missile subs became the third part of what was called the nuclear triad. This (and the construction of the Forrestal class aircraft carriers, the first "supercarriers" large enough to launch modern jets) solved its existential crisis. The Martin Seamaster strategic bomber flying boat was cancelled at this juncture, and I think some admiral came into the office where the AS-2 was being looked at, and said "you want to do what?" and dropped the whole idea.



This appears to be a sketch of what a more conventional early '60s submarine carrier would look like. The addition of STOL [short takeoff or landing] aircraft is interesting; they could be thinking of what would become the Harrier, or maybe a stol version of an existing navy fighter?

So, as far as I can tell, the Soviets never considered aircraft carrying subs post war. This does make sense, if you think that unlike the Japanese or the Americans, the Soviets had very little experience with aircraft carriers. They did briefly study [ahem] Hydrofoil fighters, though.





This was just a little corner in another nautical sci-fi turn. Y'see, the Soviets had, like the Americans concluded that a way to keep some strategic bombers impossible to take out in a first strike was to make them flying boats, and disperse them in remote inlets, fjords, atolls, harbors etc. Only the Soviets had two additional brainwaves: also make them hydrofoils, and make them supersonic.



Oh, and that aircraft on top was a separate project for a manned/unmanned high speed (think Mach 3+) parasite nuclear bomber.









Oh, and that last one? Nuclear powered, because, sure, why not

One more thing in this now slightly unhinged odyssey: people have proposed building aircraft submarines. None of them left the drawing board in the cold war era. This first one I *think* is real, as the Soviets often did experimentally ask about doing new things.





You can find other illustrations out there, but I think they are from Sci-fi novels/ Popular Science.





Much like the Spanish Inquisition, at least, you wouldn't expect it.

I gotta say though, I think if you are talking Soviet, you're missing the obvious hack of making your submarine an ekranoplan





I mean, this could be a sub, no problem, and it existed.

Actually, you're in luck if you want to know more: the oldmachinepress blog did a writeup.

So, finally, one thing I notice about all Cold War and later sub/aircraft carriers is that a modern sub surfacing is a nonstarter in any sort of combat situation. So your future potential sub/aircraft carriers are going to have to launch and recover aircraft while submerged. But, as usual, the skunk works boys are ahead of us: linked is an article proposing the Cormorant, a submarine/aircraft that is launched via missile tube and capable of returning to it. Now its offensive capabilities are modest; it's definitely a short range recon/attack platform. But people are once again considering it, at least.

Not only a submarine, It would be launched via an Ohio class's Missile tube and then be capable of returning to it. So in the drone age, at least, aircraft carrier subs is something people are thinking about again.

FIN

Midjack
Dec 24, 2007





Neb I love your posts.

http://www.whkeith.com/sharuq-and-stingray.html

Years ago William Keith wrote a couple of technothrillers that posited heavier than water one man subs that behaved like fighter planes and were launched from a Typhoon that the US bought from Russia. Additionally, these subs used computers and blue-green lasers to provide the occupants with a way to see their surroundings. In the first book the adversary is a Middle Eastern country (canít remember who) that bought an Oscar from Russia and is threatening world shipping with it. In the second book the adversary is Japan, who has developed similar technologies.

The covers were cool, at least.

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



Midjack posted:

Neb I love your posts.



Youtube: a cool visualization of what it'd look like if you drained the earth's oceans

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-uOwv_Krqk8

PS> Apparently geologically speaking New Zealand is its own continent, mostly underwater

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Randomcheese3
Sep 6, 2011

"It's like no cheese I've ever tasted."


There's a few things you've missed out. Both the British and the German tried aircraft-carrying subs during WWI. In 1915, the Germans tried flying seaplanes from U-12; these were armed with bombs, and in one case were used to bomb London. The next year, the British sub E22 was given two seaplanes, as part of a plan to ambush Zeppelins in the North Sea. The seaplanes didn't have a hangar, so the sub couldn't submerge with the aircraft aboard. Instead, the aircraft were just stuck on deck, and would float off. Neither experiment was particularly successful - the British one was never used operationally, as the aircraft kept being damaged by waves.



The USN did some trials in the 1920s, but never built a specialised aircraft carrying submarine. Instead, they bodged a waterproof hangar onto the submarine S-1. It operated between 1923 and 1926, flying the Martin MS-1 and the Cox-Klein XS-1 and XS-2. It was not very effective.

They tried it again in the 1950s, with helicopters. The transport submarines Perch and Sealion were given waterproof hangars that could contain a Bell HTL helicopter. These subs had been converted into troop transports, and the hangars were more commonly used for small boats (but could also take LVTs). You can see some film of this from here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3pcyhqXvRQ0#t=575s (at 9:35 or so, if the link hasn't worked). The hangars were removed in 1956, though helicopters could still land on the space left behind. There was an exercise in July 1956, where a flight of helicopters brought a company of marines out to Sealion:

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