Title Posted
<em>The Great Vanishing Crucian Mystery</em> Oct 2002
The Terran Federation - partial (high resolution - 157KB) Oct 2002
ISW 4: The Arachnid War (1) (low resolution - 27KB) Oct 2002
Mother's recall of surviving Battle Fleet units Oct 2002
Upgrading <em>Dahak </em>to a hyperdrive Oct 2002
Honor Harrington series timeline Oct 2002
Naval refits Oct 2002
Cover art Nov 2002
Treecat intelligence I Nov 2002
Why did Paul Tankersley accept Summervale's challenge? Nov 2002


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Pearls of Weber

A collection of posts by David Weber containing background information for his stories, collected and generously made available Joe Buckley.

Why does towing pods decrease ship acceleration?

  • Series: Honorverse
  • Date: April 22, 2009

Chuck has a part of it. A tractor mount can take only so much before it fails, hence the total strain you put on one must be controlled. With smaller numbers of pods, you can spread the strain between multiple tractors and thus sustain higher accelerations without wrecking a portion of your ship's hull and shedding pods. As for the LACs in HotQ, remember that it was necessary for the Peeps to use sufficient tractors to completely "zone" the LAC. This was to insure that all portions of the LACs' hulls accelerated at the same time and rate, but it was also to spread the strain on the tractor mounts.

Even more importantly, however, towing pods astern requires a tractor link through the open after aspect of the wedge. The more pods there are, the wider the open aspect has to be. The wider the open aspect is, the less efficient the impeller wedge is and the less efficient the inertial compensator becomes. As the inertial compensator becomes less efficient, the max acceleration to which you can take the drive without risking compensator failure drops. The sheer power of the drive is also a factor; you can trade off brute power for impeller wedge efficiency to a point, which is why the Peep Mars-class CAs, with humongous drive power but less efficient compensators, can tow more missile pods than a Warlock-class [I believe he meant Star Knight-class - Ed.].

I think from the above you can see that stowing missile pods internally will not have the same deforming effect on the wedge that towing them astern will entail.

Take care--

David (vanishing back into his literary slave labor camp)