Service entry dates for Confed fighters

NinjaLA

Alex Von T.
but the only *report* we get of that entire decade of war is that blair spent it on a backwater space station.. definitely war still happened on a massive scale while blair was on the sidelines. its pretty silly to assume that someone would not have seen the bloodfang in an entire decade. remember.. during a massive war, every day hundreds, if not thousands of things are happening that you never get to see or hear about.
 

starfox1701

Petty Officer
True however Excalibur is suppose to be the Confed counter for Bloodfang. If Bloodfangs where running around the front making a general nucence of themself for 10 years I personally would have expected to see the Excalibur several years sooner. There is also the fact that in WC2 your IDC tags Thrakath's fighter by his name, not the fighter class name. It's thin I'll admit but without more info from the missing 10 years its the best theroy I have. I just wish I could give a definative answer.
 

Mace

Vice Admiral
You can look for definitive answers in a piece of fiction, and never find them or assume something wich could be wrong and you would never know, that is why you could write letters to the creators of comicbooks and the author would come up with an awnser, and if it did or did not make sense to you, that is the awnser you get, straight from the source itself.

The bloodfang's backstory is listed in the WC3 manual(Only thrakhath himself and members of his elite personal guard are allowed to fly them), The Excalibur was created exactly to counter the Bloodfang after Blair's encounter with the fighter in the end of WC2's main campaign. You find a bloodfang wreckage in Ultima7, so yes, there is more than one fighter and other people then Thrakhath get to fly it.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
No he said it looks like a B17 wich is a matter of paint job. However early B25s where painted just like early B17s.
It's not just the paintjob - even the designation (A-17) is evocative of the B-17.

As I said before I was merely using the A 10 as an example in general of what characteristics would make a good ground attack fighter and how Longbow seams to have more of these then Broadsword. Since ground attack plays little or no role in any missions you fly in the earlier games we have no hard data on any dedicated ground attack craft.
Well, here's the thing - there are two games with ground attack missions, WC3 and WC4. In one, you use the Excalibur for ground attacks. In the other, you use the Hellcat. You never have the option of using the Longbow. That doesn't mean the Longbow is not capable of atmospheric combat, obviously - but if we never see a Longbow in a ground attack role, how can we possibly discuss the ship's advantages as a ground attack craft? Based on the information we actually have, the Longbow is simply not used for ground attacks.
 

Dundradal

Frog Blast the Vent Core!
True however Excalibur is suppose to be the Confed counter for Bloodfang. If Bloodfangs where running around the front making a general nucence of themself for 10 years I personally would have expected to see the Excalibur several years sooner. There is also the fact that in WC2 your IDC tags Thrakath's fighter by his name, not the fighter class name. It's thin I'll admit but without more info from the missing 10 years its the best theroy I have. I just wish I could give a definative answer.

You have the dates wrong. Blair shoots down Thrakhath at K'Tithrak Mang in 2665-66 (forget exactly which). WC3 takes place in 2669. It's a handful of years later. It is not a decade, which is the time between WC1 (2654) and WC2 (2665) when Blair is sent off to InSys Security.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
You have the dates wrong. Blair shoots down Thrakhath at K'Tithrak Mang in 2665-66 (forget exactly which). WC3 takes place in 2669. It's a handful of years later. It is not a decade, which is the time between WC1 (2654) and WC2 (2665) when Blair is sent off to InSys Security.
Actually, he shoots Thakhath down in 2667, so it's a mere two years.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
I never bought the whole prototype/production model idea because it doesn't actually answer the question of why they look so different. It just says they are and expects that to sell.

Is there any particular explanation owed there? All things considered, that seems pretty comprehensive: the square ones were prototypes on which to test the cloak and the dagger-like ones are the spaceframes that are using them off the production line. Heck, there's no better analogy than real stealth aircraft... compare the rectangular Tacit Blue technology demonstrator to the sweeping B-2 bomber it lead to.

(The fact that they use "Strakha" to refer to the Shroud-style Sartha prototype on Academy suggests that the word actually means something along the lines of 'invisible.' Or maybe something more prosaic.)

(Good thing the Privateer version didn't make the cut! https://cdn.wcnews.com/newestshots/full/privstrakharender.jpg)

I never considered Strategic bombers as insperation for Longbow and Broadsword because so many light and medium aircraft had turrets back then. I can see the corilations but think that planes like the TBF Avenger, Douglas A-20 or Mitsubishi Ki-51 might better discribe the roles the designers where tring to fill. The Broadsword, because she is so much bigger then other WC fighters might actually have been inspiered by the B25s used in the Doolittle raid off of Hornet and Enterprise.

I think the Broadsword is pretty blatantly a B-17. Others have already noted the designation and the paint scheme... but the big give-away is the distinctive ball turret which appears in the flight deck background shots of the ship. (You have to remember that the people responsible for the ships weren't hardcore aviation enthusiasts... nobody was saying "make this like a Mitsubishi Ki-51"... they were drawing from broad cultural touchstones like the Flying Fortress.)

and thrakhath strikes me as the kind of cat who would pimp his own ride when the mood fits.

Yes, we're told in Secret Missions 2 that he's considered the Empire's greatest pilot... so obviously he has been flying in combat.

No just that no Confed forces that encoutered the fighter lived to tell the tail. Without an earlier contact report that's the most logical conclusion

Or that it's just not a Bloodfang in the first place. We're only calling it a Bloodfang because it looks (somewhat) like the fighter he flies at the end of Wing Commander 2... which is also never called a Bloodfang.

(Here's some fan speculation that I like: maybe "Vatari" is the Kilrathi name for the Bloodfang...)

The bloodfang's backstory is listed in the WC3 manual(Only thrakhath himself and members of his elite personal guard are allowed to fly them), The Excalibur was created exactly to counter the Bloodfang after Blair's encounter with the fighter in the end of WC2's main campaign. You find a bloodfang wreckage in Ultima7, so yes, there is more than one fighter and other people then Thrakhath get to fly it.

The only mention of the Bloodfang in Victory Streak is: "His ship of choice is the Bloodfang, which is said to be poundfor-
pound a match for our own new Excalibur-class fighter."

Well, here's the thing - there are two games with ground attack missions, WC3 and WC4. In one, you use the Excalibur for ground attacks. In the other, you use the Hellcat. You never have the option of using the Longbow. That doesn't mean the Longbow is not capable of atmospheric combat, obviously - but if we never see a Longbow in a ground attack role, how can we possibly discuss the ship's advantages as a ground attack craft? Based on the information we actually have, the Longbow is simply not used for ground attacks.

You don't really use the Hellcat for ground attack missions. It's a photo recon mission and then a shuttle escort, right? The Vindicator, on the other hand...
 
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Youngblood

Rear Admiral
LOAF when you refer to the Tornado as a Fighter/Bomber if you mean the Panavia Tornado its not strictly true as there is a fighter variant and a ground attack variant the F3 or the GR4 (F being fighter the 3 being its update same with GR Ground Recon) neither can do the others job if you look the F3 has a longer nose to house the radar in.
 

Kyle Maverick

Rear Admiral
You don't really use the Hellcat for ground attack missions. It's a photo recon mission and then a shuttle escort, right? The Vindicator, on the other hand...
I dunno LOAF, you have to take out the SAM sites in both missions (well you don't have to in the recon mission but it makes life easier), so there is some ground attack in there.
 

starfox1701

Petty Officer
It's not just the paintjob - even the designation (A-17) is evocative of the B-17.


Well, here's the thing - there are two games with ground attack missions, WC3 and WC4. In one, you use the Excalibur for ground attacks. In the other, you use the Hellcat. You never have the option of using the Longbow. That doesn't mean the Longbow is not capable of atmospheric combat, obviously - but if we never see a Longbow in a ground attack role, how can we possibly discuss the ship's advantages as a ground attack craft? Based on the information we actually have, the Longbow is simply not used for ground attacks.

Correct me if I'm wrong but arn't you fling for the UBW in WC4 by the time you start ground strikes? They don't have Longbows right?

As far as dicussing it well it has to be a theorecical exercise because we won't have a definite answer but You can anilise the shape and other listed charicteristics and compare these to both other WC craft and real world fighters used in this role and with reasonably gage a crafts sutibility espicially in relation to other WC craft.

You have the dates wrong. Blair shoots down Thrakhath at K'Tithrak Mang in 2665-66 (forget exactly which). WC3 takes place in 2669. It's a handful of years later. It is not a decade, which is the time between WC1 (2654) and WC2 (2665) when Blair is sent off to InSys Security.

Actually, he shoots Thakhath down in 2667, so it's a mere two years.

Ok heres the list of dates. 2656 in the trailer for WC2 we see the first glips of the Bloodfang or at least a very Bloodfang like fighter flown by Thrakhath. Next Blair shoots Thrakhath down in the WC2 Bloodfang in 2667. Shortly there after Confed start the Excalibur development project.
2669 Excalibur enters prototype testing and is used for the strike on Kilra shooting down the WC3 Bloodfang.

Is there any particular explanation owed there? All things considered, that seems pretty comprehensive: the square ones were prototypes on which to test the cloak and the dagger-like ones are the spaceframes that are using them off the production line. Heck, there's no better analogy than real stealth aircraft... compare the rectangular Tacit Blue technology demonstrator to the sweeping B-2 bomber it lead to.

Well yea if you are going to insist that both body stlyes exist in the same universe you do need to explane why they look so different from a reasonably technical standpoint because that not how it works in the real world. There was clearly a good sized production run of the WC2 type hull. If thats just the proto type what necisitated the massive hull changes for the production model.

(The fact that they use "Strakha" to refer to the Shroud-style Sartha prototype on Academy suggests that the word actually means something along the lines of 'invisible.' Or maybe something more prosaic.)

Yea it would be nice to beable to translate the names. Might actual answer alot of questions.

I think the Broadsword is pretty blatantly a B-17. Others have already noted the designation and the paint scheme... but the big give-away is the distinctive ball turret which appears in the flight deck background shots of the ship. (You have to remember that the people responsible for the ships weren't hardcore aviation enthusiasts... nobody was saying "make this like a Mitsubishi Ki-51"... they were drawing from broad cultural touchstones like the Flying Fortress.)

I'm not questioning tha the B17 plays a major part in the look of Broadswords. I guess what I'm trying to say that I think its a real possibility the the B25 and the Doolittle raid might have served as the originating idea for Broadsword. When came down to actually designing the look of the fighter they decided to draw on the much better known and more iconic B17.

Or that it's just not a Bloodfang in the first place. We're only calling it a Bloodfang because it looks (somewhat) like the fighter he flies at the end of Wing Commander 2... which is also never called a Bloodfang.

(Here's some fan speculation that I like: maybe "Vatari" is the Kilrathi name for the Bloodfang...)

I like that idea alot. What do we know about the Vatari besides whats in Standoff?
 

Ilanin

Captain
We know almost nothing about the Vatari - the Standoff team's interpretation was entirely guesswork. Thrakhath says in Fleet Action that the Hakagas will be capable of "carrying and servicing our newest Vatari-class fighters to be launched next year." Whether that means the Vatari only entered service in 2669 (OK, Thrakhath was probably talking about Kilrathi years rather than Terran ones, but let's assume they're comparable), or whether it was just a new model of the Vatari that entered service then, is unclear. That is, I believe, literally the only time the word "Vatari" appears in a Wing Commander product (Standoff doesn't count).
 

Dundradal

Frog Blast the Vent Core!
Correct me if I'm wrong but arn't you fling for the UBW in WC4 by the time you start ground strikes? They don't have Longbows right?

We do not know for sure, but it might be a good guess they do. Either from purchases or captures during the conflict.

I'm not questioning tha the B17 plays a major part in the look of Broadswords. I guess what I'm trying to say that I think its a real possibility the the B25 and the Doolittle raid might have served as the originating idea for Broadsword. When came down to actually designing the look of the fighter they decided to draw on the much better known and more iconic B17.

And we are telling you no, it did not. I'm not sure how many ways it can be stated.
 

DangerousCook

Rear Admiral
It is an interesting thing to look at:

A-14 Raptor
A-15 Gladius
A-17 Broadsword
A-18 Crossbow
A-20 Banshee

F-27 Arrow V
F-36 Hornet
F-38 Talon
F-44 Rapier II
F-54 Epee
F-57 Sabre
F/A-76 Longbow
HF-66 Thunderbolt VII
F-71 Stiletto
F-95 Morningstar
F-97 Wraith
F-98 Phantom
F-103 Excalibur
F-104 Bearcat
F/A-105 Tigershark
F-106 Piranha
F-107 Lance
F-108 Panther
F-109 Vampire
F-110 Wasp

P-64 Ferret

TB-80 Devastator
TB-81 Shrike

CF-105 Scimitar

What sort of conclusions have people drawn from these designations?

To me it would appear that the Arrow (both by virture of its F-27 and V designations) pre-dates the Rapier (which is new in 2654, no?)

Also, the Thunderbolt and Scimitar have HF and CF designations, respectively. Considering the WC3 model Thunderbolt is VII (so I'm assuming there were at least six previous variations of this craft), and that it's most similar to the pre-historic Scimitar in terms of having "XF-blah", it's likely that the Thunderbolt is at least pre-war old (this is supported by novel references that others have pointed out).

What else can we extrapolate - or at least attempt to extrapolate - here?
 

Iceblade

Admiral
I think the SS manual cleared up the start date for the Thunderbolt 7 as 2669 (maybe 2668). One idea suggested was that the Thunderbolt 7 was also used for SAR duties since it has a tractor beam (HF designiation having been used for SAR planes). Admittedly, it would seem the designation means "heavy fighter", which is very inconsistent with the rest of the series. Though it could be argued it was the first of the fighters that is considered a true heavy fighter, but the HF designation was being "moth-balled" in favor of a more uniform designations and changes in role descriptions (eg heavy/medium/light fighters to space superiority/multi-role/scout fighters).
 

DangerousCook

Rear Admiral
I think the SS manual cleared up the start date for the Thunderbolt 7 as 2669 (maybe 2668). One idea suggested was that the Thunderbolt 7 was also used for SAR duties since it has a tractor beam (HF designiation having been used for SAR planes). Admittedly, it would seem the designation means "heavy fighter", which is very inconsistent with the rest of the series. Though it could be argued it was the first of the fighters that is considered a true heavy fighter, but the HF designation was being "moth-balled" in favor of a more uniform designations and changes in role descriptions (eg heavy/medium/light fighters to space superiority/multi-role/scout fighters).

Do you think this means that previous versions of the Thunderbolt (in other words 1-6) were produced earlier? Or do you think that those just never made it off the cutting room floor?
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Do you think this means that previous versions of the Thunderbolt (in other words 1-6) were produced earlier? Or do you think that those just never made it off the cutting room floor?

The Roman numeral designates an entirely different, unrelated design... so the Thunderbolt/II/II/IV/V/VI would be other spacecraft that existed earlier in the Confederation's history. The best example is actually the 'real' Thunderbolt: the first one is the P-47 Thunderbolt from World War II and then the modern A-10 Thunderbolt II ground attack aircraft.

I think the SS manual cleared up the start date for the Thunderbolt 7 as 2669 (maybe 2668).

I don't /think/ this is mentioned in StarSoldier.

To me it would appear that the Arrow (both by virture of its F-27 and V designations) pre-dates the Rapier (which is new in 2654, no?)

That's right, and we've seen it before the Rapier, too... it was on an episode of Wing Commander Academy (the pilot.)
 

Iceblade

Admiral
*digs (clicks) up SS* Hmm... yeah, you're right Loaf (as usual). The only reference is to the '69 variant (no start date). It definitely isn't clear if there were versions before it given the commentary from the author.

We do know from SS, however, that the Arrow space frame dates back to the 2650s: The Scout is the standard Arrow V spaceframe, relatively unchanged over the last half century.

Thanks to Maniac, we also know that the Sabre was around in 2658, so the Epee was introduced sometime between 2654 and 2658.
 

Ijuin

Admiral
The Roman numeral designates an entirely different, unrelated design... so the Thunderbolt/II/II/IV/V/VI would be other spacecraft that existed earlier in the Confederation's history. The best example is actually the 'real' Thunderbolt: the first one is the P-47 Thunderbolt from World War II and then the modern A-10 Thunderbolt II ground attack aircraft.
Bingo. AFAIK, variants of the same airframe are labeled with an alphabet letter, such as the Sabre-D 3-man torpedo bomber variant.
 

Iceblade

Admiral
I know...necro, but this feels like the best thread for these questions:

How certain are we regarding the épée intro year? I'm have to wonder whether the line from Lafong really means that the fighter was introduced in 2661.
The next question: where did we get the 2668 intro date of the Thunderbolt?
 
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Quarto

Unknown Enemy
As far as I know, we have no certainty whatsoever regarding the intro year of the Epee. Note that replacing the Hornet does not necessarily mean introduction - we see the first Rapiers in WC1, but it's not until one of the SM addons that we hear about the Scimitar being definitively retired. It can be a long way from introduction to replacement of earlier aircraft.

As for the Thunderbolt, I don't know. If I had to guess, I'd say this information must have come from either the WC3 or WC4 novelisation, both of which give some (mildly contradictory) information about the Thunderbolt.
 
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