Friday, May 07, 2010

Friday Night Physics

For reasons that I trust are obvious to everyone, tonight we'll be looking at the War Machine Armor and some of the engineering that distinguishes from the traditional Iron Man armor suits.

An initial disclaimer however - like the Iron Man armor itself, a lot of this is subject to the interpretation of the artist, so take all of this with a grain of salt.

The most important distinction of the War Machine armor is fairly obvious - most of the weapons systems are essentially modified or miniturized versions of existing military hardware - missile launchers, machineguns, autocannons and so forth. While this happens to be a far more reasonable depiction than the various beam weaponry of the Iron Man armor, it also introduces a few entirely new drawbacks that to consider.

The first drawback has to be the limits on ammunition that you can store on a roughly human-sized frame for that many weapons - I mean, even if the armor were hollow (and it obviously isn't) there's no way to put enough ammo to keep a high cyclic-rate of fire chain gun firing for more than a couple of minutes. And of course, there's only so many rockets you could fire which would limit your long-term offensive capabilities.
Secondly, you'd have to consider the short and long term maintenance issues. Even with low-residue "smokeless" propellants, the weapons would require cleaning. Of course, you could bypass this problem by saying that the projectile weapons use an electromagnetic propulsion system such as a rail gun, but this would introduce increased overheating issues, requiring an even more bulky design to accomodate coolants.

Recoil and balance would also become issues, especially with the rockets and most especially during flight (though, as we've discussed before, the Iron man armor isn't exactly aerodynamically feasible). The force of the weapons firing should knock around a human sized target unless it's anchored to the ground somehow. Now, this could probably be overcome using the propulsion of the repulsor flight system, but having never seen this depicted before, it is something that is clearly lacking. Of course, this problem gets a lot worse when you consider the guns mounted on the forearms of the War Machine armor, and gets much much worse when factoring multiple weapons systems firing at once.
Still, it looks awesome, no?

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