Re: Promos, Planes, & Hackle

From: Ed Rudnicki <>
Date: Tue, 23 Apr 96 17:17:29 EDT

>On biplanes: Didn't the Russkies use some sort of biplane fighter in WWII? I
>thought I had read something about them ages ago, and one was also used in a
>recent Harry Turtledove historical fic. (and he's very accurate, as far as I
>can tell)

Well, I don't think much of Turtledove, for various reasons, but,
yes, the Russians did use biplane fighters. In the early 30s they
introduced a pair of fighters, the monoplane I-16 and the biplane
I-15 (and later I-153). The theory was that the faster monoplanes
would chase down and engage the enemy fighters, allowing the more
maneuverable biplanes to close in and finish the job. Both types
were obsolete by the start of WW2.

>Could be that MWI was a trenches-and-artillery sort of affair, but that
>aviation was still in the lighter-than-air stage (Armored Zeps with light
>artillery guns! Oh boy! They would appeal to a navy-dominated military-
>Battleships of the Skies. Who would think that those flimsy wood-and-cloth
>toys would be good for anything in war?) MWII could have the mech cavalry of

Armored Zeppelins are an impossibility. Remember that Zeps are
lighter than air craft, relying on the lift of a gas (H or He)
contained within rather than the dynamic lift of wings. Every pound
you add to the weight means you have to add so many cubic feet of
gas, which makes the Zep bigger, and heavier, and so on. They have
to be as light as possible. Besides, airships (as opposed to free
balloons) and aircraft evolved at the same time anyway.

The Russo-Japanese war looked a lot like what you described, albeit
without some of the things in WW1 - aircraft, airships, submarines,

>WWII, but with biplanes. Or the Kat planet could have
>one-country(city-state) per island if it's mostly H2O with no large
>continents. Then the navy would dominate- and they certainly didn't like
>planes or carriers when they were new!

Such countries would likely have battleship-heavy fleets, with
carriers and aircraft used for scouting. Remember that if it weren't
for the Washington Treaty of 1922 the carrier would never have risen
to dominance in WW2.

>Hackle(von Braun) and the rocket thing- I think that might account for why
>he keeps trying to reform Mac & Molly. He signed on with the bad guys
>because he thought that was the only way to take Kats to the Stars. (flash
>to a young Hackle as consultant to Die Katt in Monde {cf Fritz Lang's Die
>Frau im Monde-1929 film, kids). Of course Hackle was kept isolated in the
>development compound, so he wouldn't have heard any morale-destroying news,
>but he still feels guilty about being on the wrong side. Robots, he reasons,
>don't have any of the illogical hatreds, failures, and reflexes of his
>former masters, so he can create something that's truly good. He's not
>senile! But he can't believe that Mac & Molly are truly bad. He must have
>made a slight miscalculation somewhere- something that is possible to fix.
>Without their agressive hormones, M&M should be pure beings with a desire to
>help Katkind. That's why he keeps hauling them back & fixing them.

I like this, and it works and fits well. Pure scientists have
difficulty conceiving of their creations being used for destruction;
that's what us engineers are for :)


Received on Tue Apr 23 1996 - 18:15:15 PDT

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