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How big/heavy can we make a ventral turret on an airborne mobile platform? (In all eras)

HeavyArmor

Trust me, I'm a Tech-Priest
Author
A curious and non-practical thought.

We saw in many fictional works, that with ASB/Handwaverium/R.O.B. intervention, we often have flying/floating battleship/cruisers/warships.

But, assuming that the other laws of physics remain unmolested, and material science were mostly on par with real life equivalent eras, how big/heavy can we make a turret that shoots at a down-ish angle from a ventral position?

I know that a lot of larger turrets on either naval or land applications were held to their mounting platform mostly by their weight, so when their platform goes capsizing/flip, the turret fells out. So I guess that such turrets are unable to be mounted on a ventral position. Aircraft ventral turrets as far as I know are limited to 20~30mm caliber autocannons.

But what happens when these flying/floating warships need to shoot down? (obviously I mean other than simply drop bombs or fire rockets/missiles) I felt it would be hilarious if a flying/floating battleship have a several mile blind zone on the lower hemisphere that she can't shoot other than some autocannon-caliber firepower...
 

Eliar

Well-known member
Yea thats one of the reasons you need unobtainium or magic for flying battleships or bases with bigass turrets.

The blowback would knock em over
 

Scottty

Well-known member
The first vaguely practical idea that comes to mind would be an airship.

The Germans used airships as heavy bombers in WW1 - yup, the Kirov Airship is real, just German not Soviet.
And anything dropping gravity bombs is by definition "shooting down".

But in general - if you are talking about mounting heavy artillery guns - 16inch or the like, on something that flies? OK, you want airborne artillery?
If the shells are going to be fired in a ballistic manner, you probably want the big guns on the top surface. On the underside you would put bomb racks, AA guns, missile launchers, and so on.
 

bluepencil

Indentured Artist
Author

Sounds to me like someone started playing Airships: Conquer the Skies.
 

Mr Wumbo

Well-known member
Author
I'm currently worldbuilding a setting with lots of flying warships and I've been thinking about this too. At least it have fantasy elements so I can handwave lots of things, for example the ships fly by creating tracks of "hard" air that they slides over in the air like bobsleds.

Ball turret is a great design for ventral turret because it's basically an armed gimbal, but I don't thinking they scale well into battleship caliber as their shape would make shell handling awkward and limits the caliber that can be mounted on them lower than it ought be. You could design the loading mechanism to just load the gun horizontally with much of the mechanism outside of the turret, but this would require the gun to reposition downwards everytime it reloads which I imagine would be terrible for the fire rate.

So in my setting flying warships generally have only carry low caliber guns in their underside. For ground bombardment the warships generally just do plunging fire which they have to do from a large distance away anyway because of the threats of ultraheavy AA or magic missiles. It helps that their magic air sled they rides on also acts like a force field that can physically block projectiles (a field that can hold up a ship as heavy as the Yamato can bounce off 12 inch shells).
 
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