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  #31  
Old 12-09-2018, 03:21 PM
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I can't see a reason former first world powers wouldn't have some operational aircraft post-TDM. In the US there are literally thousands of private small aircraft sitting on the tarmac or in hangars of hundreds of municipal airports. These are besides the military aircraft not destroyed in combat or nuclear strikes. Even the magic EMPs of T2K aren't going to destroy every single electronic component in every one of these aircraft.

Aircraft rendered completely unusable from the EMPs will be canabalized to provide spares/repairs for other aircraft. Small aircraft would be some of the highest priority equipment any power bloc (MilGov, CivGov, etc) would want to control. I'd even say aircraft would be higher priority than heavy armor, tanks are well and good but aerial recon gives a huge advantage to even a light infantry force.

Avgas for planes wouldn't be any more of a problem than fuel normally is in T2K, after all somehow Diesel engines can run on alcohol.

Avgas and gasoline can be made from syngas with some processing, synthetic avgas has actually been a thing for years in civil aviation, the FAA allows up to (IIRC) 50% natural/synthetic avgas blends. Synthetic fuel was heavily used by Germany in WWII and chemical plants that made it were primary targets for allied bombing. So avgas would be something larger powers could end up making in bulk. Not commercial aviation is practical bulk production but enough to perform aerial recon and high value transport.

At the local cantonment level I think kites and balloons would definitely be used if not ultralight planes or paramotors in some places. Kites and balloons could be used for aerial photography, weather stations, or to loft radio repeaters to extend UHF/VHF comms.

I don't think what air power anyone can field would be used in front line combat very often though. With no armor or defensive systems repurposed civilian aircraft wouldn't want to get anywhere near enemy ground forces. They'd prefer nice safe high altitude missions.
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  #32  
Old 12-09-2018, 07:08 PM
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Avgas for planes wouldn't be any more of a problem than fuel normally is in T2K, after all somehow Diesel engines can run on alcohol.
T2K has a few smallish diversions from real world physics and chemistry to make the game playable. The fuel issue is one of them, radiation half life is another.
Sure, IRL they don't make a huge amount of sense, but seen in the light this is essentially an alternate reality with slightly different scientific "rules", it all fits nicely into place.
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  #33  
Old 12-09-2018, 07:55 PM
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Avgas for planes wouldn't be any more of a problem than fuel normally is in T2K, after all somehow Diesel engines can run on alcohol.
According to The Manual for the Home and Farm Production of Alcohol Fuel, it can be done either by mixing vegetable oil with the alcohol at levels of 5-20% to lubricate the injectors or by making a "diesohol" of 80% alcohol and 20% diesel. In both cases, it has to be anhydrous and is incredibly moisture-sensitive. I've also read about a system that's not moisture sensitive, but it requires a lot more modification. That one uses a small amount of diesel (as little as 5%) and injects high-proof alcohol from a second tank.
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  #34  
Old 12-09-2018, 08:16 PM
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That one uses a small amount of diesel (as little as 5%) and injects high-proof alcohol from a second tank.
That's likely the method most mechanics use in T2K, substituting something else (vegetable oil perhaps) for the small amount of diesel.
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Old 12-09-2018, 08:54 PM
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That's likely the method most mechanics use in T2K, substituting something else (vegetable oil perhaps) for the small amount of diesel.
I don't think vegetable oil will work. Most plant oils tend to have high autoignition temperatures (406C for cooking oil, 424C for canola, 435C for olive). Kerosene (which can be distilled from the liquid obtained from heating shale or coal) is at 220C, closer to diesel's 256C.
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Old 12-09-2018, 09:51 PM
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Biodiesel is generally made from vegetable oil. https://www.thoughtco.com/make-biodi...ble-oil-605975
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  #37  
Old 12-09-2018, 10:07 PM
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Biodiesel is generally made from vegetable oil. https://www.thoughtco.com/make-biodi...ble-oil-605975
Oh, that would work. I thought you meant straight vegetable oil without the transesterification process used to turn it into biodiesel. There might be some temperature restrictions (palm oil biodiesel gels at 55F/13C and canola around 14F/-10C), and you need to replace some of the fittings or else the fuel will eat your hoses (like ethanol does for gasoline vehicles), but yeah, biodiesel would probably work at least as well as kerosene.
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  #38  
Old 12-10-2018, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Legbreaker View Post
T2K has a few smallish diversions from real world physics and chemistry to make the game playable. The fuel issue is one of them, radiation half life is another.
Sure, IRL they don't make a huge amount of sense, but seen in the light this is essentially an alternate reality with slightly different scientific "rules", it all fits nicely into place.
and another is the fact that there are no ethanol blends of fuel and that the energy that they are using for ethanol and methanol is significantly lower than in reality - i.e. the difference between reality and what the game says they can is pretty large
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  #39  
Old 12-10-2018, 06:58 PM
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The main point I was making is the rules as written do not talk about biodiesel, dieselhol, or anything else. In the game world the alcohol goes from still to fuel tank and engine runs. So if we're operating in that world, avgas for small planes is no more difficult to produce than alcohol for our game world Diesel engines.

So talking about aircraft in the T2K world, the issue is more one of physical supply of planes, pilots, and airstrips than one of fuel for same. Powers like MilGov would make aircraft maintenance/refurbishment a crash program IMO. Per liter of fuel a Cessna with a radio and pair of binoculars would make a great force multiplier and better (again IMO) than trying to field heavy armor.

A couple working Hueys or Jetrangers would be a huge boon in the field. Thinking about it helicopters might even be a bigger priority than light planes as they have many of the same capabilities with added capability of air mobile infantry.
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  #40  
Old 12-10-2018, 10:59 PM
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The designers of Twilight2000 didn't have a real understanding of fuel or fuel types other than perhaps some small research in their local library. In their defense, the internet didn't really exist when they wrote Twilight2000.

The Issues are;

Methanol alone does NOT have sufficient power to be used as a fuel. It simply lacks energy. It can be used to "cut" alcohol, gas or biodiesel/diesel, which WILL reduce that engine's power. A ratio of 10% methanol to 90% fuel will allow the "stretching" of an existing fuel supply. Cutting more than 20% Methanol into the fuel can result in reliability issues.

Ethanol is stated as having roughly HALF the power of gasoline. NOTHING could be farther from the truth. Alcohol actually has MORE POWER than gasoline but it burns hotter and, more importantly, FASTER than gasoline. This faster burn rate contributes to LOWER MILEAGE than gas but there is MORE POWER while you have a fuel supply. This is why Top Fuel Dragsters and performance racers all use an alcohol-based fuel system. The higher temps will cause the catastrophic failure of gaskets and hoses and eventually the piston rings and springs. However, any new vehicle rated for E85 CAN HANDLE alcohol.

The original Gasahol is a 50/50 mix of gas and Ethanol and you will see a significant reduction in MPG (up to 40%) but only a minor reduction in power for ground vehicles. Using Gasahol in Light Aviation IS A RECIPE FOR DISASTER! Ethanol is known for water contamination issues and putting it into a carburated aircraft where the pilot controls the fuel flow/mix like a Cessna or Moonie (the two types I'M most familiar with) will probably result in carb stalls or carb intake icing at higher altitudes (where the cold air will gel the fuel and cause the water bound to the Ethanol to form ice crystals in the fuel lines). Power will also be SIGNIFICANTLY reduced compared to the high Octane ratings in AVGAS. Stalls will be common when attempting to maneuver under power, especially at high bank angles where fuel flow may "lean out" due to gravity. Standard High Test ground fuels will fare even worse. As a substitute for AVGAS, certain High Test Gasolines (97+ Octane) can be used with a bottle of special additives BUT it may result in reduced top speed AND altitude ceiling. This additive is commonly found at smaller US airports in order to support private and bush pilots who may fly into places where AVGAS is hard to get. Mixing High Test and Ethanol would be a NO GO in any smart General Aviation pilot's handbook.

The uninformed idea of AVGAS being needed for ALL Aircraft in Twilight2000 also needs to be addressed. This is NOT CORRECT. even the US Army's light aviation (based on the Cessna) is a TURBOPROP aircraft. ALL General Aviation Turboprop aircraft use Jet A fuel. The military turboprops use JP8. This fuel is less explosive and more uniform in its burn rates than AVGAS. In addition, a year before the First Gulf War, the Army started pushing a concept called "One Fuel Forward" where they only used ONE FUEL TYPE for all equipment and vehicles. That fuel was JP8. Yes, we began putting JET FUEL in diesel trucks in 1990. The initial issue was clogged fuel filters because the detergents in the JP8 "washed out" the contaminants from older fuels used before it. The second issue was that not all issued equipment used diesel fuel. The Army still had batches of older equipment that required MOGAS (gasoline). By the time of the Twilight War, diesel use would be "universal" and so would JP8. Any pilot would only need to look as far as the nearest tanker with "prewar" fuel production in it to find JP8 Jet Fuel. Civil aviation (which normally uses Jet A) can use JP8 as well. Fuel really won't be the issue for military aviation that GDW made it out to be.

Another issue is Biodiesel and Diesel being different fuels. The game has diesel engines using alcohol which is a questionable move. The diesel engines should be using Biodiesel made with Ethanol. Contrary to the opinions of an uninformed minority, there is NO DIFFERENCE in fuel economy OR power between the two. In fact, most diesels can run on FUEL OIL/HOME HEATING OIL. The fuels we were using in the 4/92nd and 475th prior to the JP8 were diesel in name only. You could lube a chassis with some of it. Virgin Airlines also proved that with sufficient detergents added, Biodiesel CAN BE USED BY JETS. They flew using highly-refined BIOWILLY'S (owned by Willy Nelson) without incident. In addition, most Jet Fuels are just highly refined Kerosene. With the right additives, Kerosene can be used to operate jet or turboprop aircraft. Anyone with Chemistry can formulate those additives.
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  #41  
Old 12-11-2018, 07:22 AM
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Current experiments mix biodiesel and jet fuel in a 50/50 ratio. It works for takeoff and landing without problems, but there might be a hit in speed, acceleration, and range (the jury is out, and the Air Force and Navy are getting mixed results. Current test aircraft include the C-17, FA-18, and UH-60, with limited experiments with other aircraft.

There are also reportedly such experiments taking place with ground vehicles, primarily with vehicles in Europe, though the US Marines' M1s, AAPV7s, and LAV25s are mentioned. I have not been able to find results. Ground vehicles have also been tested with 100% biodiesel.

In both cases, the biodiesel is derived from algae.
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  #42  
Old 12-11-2018, 05:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swaghauler View Post
The designers of Twilight2000 didn't have a real understanding of fuel or fuel types other than perhaps some small research in their local library. In their defense, the internet didn't really exist when they wrote Twilight2000.

The Issues are;

Methanol alone does NOT have sufficient power to be used as a fuel. It simply lacks energy. It can be used to "cut" alcohol, gas or biodiesel/diesel, which WILL reduce that engine's power. A ratio of 10% methanol to 90% fuel will allow the "stretching" of an existing fuel supply. Cutting more than 20% Methanol into the fuel can result in reliability issues.
Pure methanol is the fuel used by Champcars, monster trucks, Outlaw racing, and USAC sprint cars. If you watched an Indianapolis 500 between 1965 and 2006, you've watched methanol-fueled cars. High-end methanol has 97% of the energy by mass and 86% of the energy by volume of low-end ethanol, and it's more energetic than wood gas (which is used in cars and was used for Tiger training tanks in WW2), so it's certainly energetic enough. The problem is that it'll eat most of the materials commonly used for seals in fuel systems and engines, so it'll destroy anything that's not specifically designed to use it.

Quote:
Ethanol is stated as having roughly HALF the power of gasoline. NOTHING could be farther from the truth. Alcohol actually has MORE POWER than gasoline but it burns hotter and, more importantly, FASTER than gasoline.
That's not true. Ethanol has an energy content of 26.8 MJ/kg and 21.2 MJ/l. Gasoline is 48.3 and 34.8, respectively. By mass, ethanol has 55% of the energy of gasoline and by volume 61%.

Quote:
This faster burn rate contributes to LOWER MILEAGE than gas but there is MORE POWER while you have a fuel supply. This is why Top Fuel Dragsters and performance racers all use an alcohol-based fuel system. The higher temps will cause the catastrophic failure of gaskets and hoses and eventually the piston rings and springs. However, any new vehicle rated for E85 CAN HANDLE alcohol.
Top fuel dragsters use 90% nitromethane and 10% methanol. The fuel has a much lower energy density than gasoline, but nitromethane has oxygen in it, and the reduced demand for external air means an engine running nitro can burn 17 times as much fuel per second.

Quote:
<snip aviation section since I'm not an expert on that>

Another issue is Biodiesel and Diesel being different fuels. The game has diesel engines using alcohol which is a questionable move. The diesel engines should be using Biodiesel made with Ethanol. Contrary to the opinions of an uninformed minority, there is NO DIFFERENCE in fuel economy OR power between the two.
This is true, although it appears to be due to the way biodiesel lubricates. It has ~9% less energy than petrodiesel, and the best fuel for efficiency is B40 (40% bio, 60% petro), apparently because that's where the better lubrication of bio and better energy content of petro meet a happy medium.
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  #43  
Old 12-14-2018, 04:03 PM
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Nice old thread revisit!

Given what I've picked up in the thread about fuels and so on I'm tempted to put at least some combat A/C back in the skies in my (very noncanonical) Twilight 2000 game should I get it going again. Won't be the in the thousands, but some airstrike capability in the event of an emergency; most of it is to protect what's left of NATO forces still in the western region of Germany and to keep France off-balance.
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  #44  
Old 12-14-2018, 07:27 PM
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Purely from the point of view of creating scenarios, having a handful of aircraft flying opens up some opportunities. I'm not thinking so much of PCs getting to us said aircraft (at least, not straight away) but more along the lines of missions in support of aircraft such as the PCs being sent out to: - collect parts/fuel/ammo, locate pilots/crew/mechanics/technicians, rescue downed aircrew, destroy threats to the operation of the aircraft (e.g. AAA, other aircraft), provide early warning of enemy aircraft and so on.

I'm also thinking of the fear factor of both allied and enemy forces who would have to keep an eye on the sky and the potential for worry while they try to identify an approaching aircraft.
Even with the prevalence of ManPADS, SAMs & AAA before the war, they will be, like everything, reduced in overall numbers or be less effective due to lack of ammo, transport or trained personnel or they might be concentrated around important locations (and perhaps the PCs are tasked with plotting the locations of enemy air defences). So rather than having umbrella type coverage, there will be AA coverage in certain areas with the potential for AA being located in areas thought safe - should make any flight into the area a long and twisting flight, probably at low level with the added fear that maybe they'll run into something!
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