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Old 01-01-2007, 07:23 PM   #1
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Default The Eagle - what a Crap Design!

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Ok, perhaps the title of this thread is a little over the top because we all know the Eagle is one of the most 'believable' sci-fi vessels ever built.

But it does have certain design flaws. Most notably, the lack of lateral (I think that's the word I mean) rigidity in the spine cagework.

So let's pick the Eagle apart and perhaps look at ways it could be improved... over to you.
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Old 01-01-2007, 07:43 PM   #2
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why wouldn't the side thrusters point straight out so they can maneuver side to side easily.

the command module should have some thrusters on the back if its ever released from the rest of the craft.

if the pods have steps and railings that come out for crew departure why isn't there any door recesses on the pods?

cant think of anything else.
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Old 01-01-2007, 08:30 PM   #3
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Where are the rest of the engine mechanics for the VTOLs, especially the ones on the underside of the passenger pod?
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Old 01-01-2007, 09:54 PM   #4
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Design flaw? Two words: Sliding doors
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Old 01-01-2007, 10:10 PM   #5
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1. The passenger pod and lab pod should really have airlocks. After all, the Eagles are meant to be mostly operating on the moon, and pumping the air out of the whole cabin every time someone is going outside just doesn't seem practical.

2. Yes, the CM is beautiful and loved by all of us (I think). But not very practical with only two small triangular windows and a very narrow field of view. I don't think monitors is enough. Something more like a helicopter cabin would be better, with glass more or less surrounding the pilot.

3. The spine booster has the two extra bells pointing at an angle up from the spine. That means that the Eagle is pushed downwards when using the booster, and has to compensate with the VTOLs. A terrible waste of fuel! The booster bells should be pointing in line with the main bells.

4. The freighter pod is blocking the doors, keeping the pilots from going outside in case they have to land off-base.
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Old 02-01-2007, 03:20 AM   #6
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I would suspect that the extensions on the lab pod are airlocks.
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Old 02-01-2007, 05:12 AM   #7
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1) There should be electrical and consumables (fuel, oxygen, etc) conduits running along the spine between the fore and aft compartments. One of the Eagle models had this, but it was only visible in some photos I've seen on Catacombs.

2) lots of exposed equipment in the framework ..... this is a problem for two reasons. (a) The obvious and much discussed atmospheric entry ... too much heating and melting. (b) Assuming you don't enter the atmosphere that fast, there is still problems involved with direct sunlight heating things up, then the ship turns and the equipment goes into shadow and cools way, way down. This is why NASA space probes have thermal blankets on them... to help distribute and even out the heat transfer.

3) Side-by-side docking. Terribly impractical the way they showed it. And I refuse to beleive those convenient docking tubes that extended out of nowhere. Apparently those were stored in the same magical place that the boarding stairs were hiding. It would probably make more sense to dock spine-to-spine, with tunnels such as that shown between the passenger pod and the reentry glider.

4) The passenger seats are set too far apart.... wasteful of space. I could easily see at least 3 seats per side instead of 2. It might even be possible to get three rows instead of 2. In the ideal situation, your passenger count goes from 8 to 18.

5) The passenger pod can only be attatched/detatched by lifting the entire rest of the Eagle. This is great in the field for dropping a pod or a cargo pod in a remote location on the Lunar surface, but it makes hanger operations a bit more complicated. Also, if the superstructure were reversed, with the spine structure on the bottom instead of the top, then passenger and cargo pods could be larger (at the very least taller if desired).

6) The spine is a fixed length.... which means your cargo and passenger pods are limited to a fixed length as well. The ultimate in flexability would be the ability to stretch the Eagle length at will. That might be too complicated, but perhaps there could be different spines available, then the fore and aft compartments could be mounted to longer spines depending on the mission and cargo pod desired.

7) No transporter, shields, or photon torpedoes. .... uh, wait. Sorry. Wrong show.
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Old 02-01-2007, 06:31 AM   #8
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and one other thing while im thinking about it, why does the lab pod have side thrusters on it if the leg pods already have them?


oh, and this doesnt pertain to the eagle but its something i have to know about. the landing pad is pretty much a large cross that raises and lowers the eagle into the hangar, but when it shows the underground hangar shots its just a large pade just a little bigger then an eagle, how does that work?
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Old 02-01-2007, 06:44 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Northerner
oh, and this doesnt pertain to the eagle but its something i have to know about. the landing pad is pretty much a large cross that raises and lowers the eagle into the hangar, but when it shows the underground hangar shots its just a large pade just a little bigger then an eagle, how does that work?
That can be explained. The cross takes you down to a level where it gets refueled and prepped etc. If more work needs to be done or whatever, the Eagle is then moved to a different location - ie it is taken off the cross pad and placed on the other, rectangular pad which takes you to the more centralized general maintenance/work bay.

Just because you don't see the intermediate location doesn't mean it ain't there.

However, along those lines - something that is not as easily explained away: when the full cross pad is lowering and you are looking up, the open cross area at the top sometimes closes. Forget for the moment we never see this happen from above. Instead just consider: given the size of the circular landing pad and the size and, particularly, the shape of the panels that close the cross area, there is simply no way those panels can actually fit on the landing pad.
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Old 02-01-2007, 06:57 AM   #10
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They must be something like a roller shutter which is in sections and can roll up...I can't think of any other explanation...
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Old 02-01-2007, 04:32 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by w8cmp
They must be something like a roller shutter which is in sections and can roll up...I can't think of any other explanation...
And even that explanation doesn't work, given the physical design of the individual panels which come together. It is simply impossible for them to actually be there and do what they do.
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Old 02-01-2007, 05:08 PM   #12
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I am the only person who has ever wondered why the Eagle does have a set of wheels in addition the pads?
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Old 02-01-2007, 05:32 PM   #13
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Well i think most of the faults have been covered, but my gripe is with the command module,
1. why are the windows not in the pilots line of sight?
2. why arn't the lower sections windows, so that the pilots can see whats going on below the eagle?
3. how does the door slide ...there is no space for it to slide?
4.why doesn't somebody tell the eagle pilots that they have an eject system.. because it never gets used in season 1 or 2.


As for the Lab pod.. how do the side doors open??

Don't even get me started on the in flight eagle to eagle docking bridge that materialises out of the side of the transporter pod.
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Old 02-01-2007, 05:55 PM   #14
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So, it's unanimous - the Eagle is Crap!

Why then do we love it so?...
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Old 02-01-2007, 06:03 PM   #15
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Covers on the landing pads... I discusssed this on another forum a couple of years ago, and came up with the same conclusion: it wouldn't work! (Same with the crane lifting the Eagle off of the lift, going through the wall and into the hangar!)
I think Brian Johnson (at the "Ask Brian Johnson" pages at Space1999.org) said something to the effect of the sfx crew just trying to get a shot that looked good onscreen, without always worrying about the physics of how a real situation would work.

Now, to analyze a real launch pad, would the Alphans have to depressurize the whole pad, lift shaft & hangar every time an Eagle was raised or lowered? Of course not. I do believe that a cover slid out to cover the lift shaft, but it was underground at the bottom of the shaft, just above the staging area where the Eagle was transferred to the smaller rectangular pad. Think about it: there would be less area to repressurize, and the shaft covers would not be limited by the pad size, since they could retract into the ground surrounding the shaft.
There's even onscreen evidence in Season 1 for this, in a way. Remeber in "The Last Sunset" how the Ariel probe released the gas (air) which vented up through a launch pad lift shaft, carrying a bunch of debris with it? I suspect that the debris was the lift shaft cover, broken (OK, shredded) by the advancing pressure wave. Since it was only a cover, and not a landing surface that needed to support the weight of an Eagle, it was thinner, less robust. Thus, it effectively shattered when blasted from below.
Just an aside regarding the smaller, rectangular pad... in addition to what BrianS said, I think the smaller pad also served another purpose: getting the laser tanks (or in peacetime, construction vehicles) to the surface. Perhaps it could be raised up to ground level, where unseen doors on the long, rectangular extension of the launch pad allowed access to the lunar surface. In this way, ground vehicles & Eagles could be "launched" at the same time.


I spend way too much time thinking things through like this, don't I? Still, some year if I ever make a hangar diorama, I want to incorporate things like this into it.

Sorry for the threadjack; maybe I'll start a new thread about the launch pad/hangar complexes, and copy this post to there.
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Old 02-01-2007, 06:11 PM   #16
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Fuel. The Eagle has almost no space for fuel. I think the rear "engine compartment" could instead be a fuel tank, which would increase the Eagle's fuel capacity to -- still not very much.
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Old 02-01-2007, 06:20 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by preHEstoric
I am the only person who has ever wondered why the Eagle does have a set of wheels in addition the pads?
One of the novels, Android Planet I believe, equips an Eagle in such a way. Where they extend from/retract to is a mystery, though. (The "underside," of course, but I don't recall if it was specified beyond that.)
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Old 02-01-2007, 06:29 PM   #18
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Was the fact there doesn't appear to be a toilet on the Eagle explain the lack of cup holders or any in flight catering facilities?
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Old 02-01-2007, 06:44 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by preHEstoric
Was the fact there doesn't appear to be a toilet on the Eagle explain the lack of cup holders or any in flight catering facilities?
According to the Starlog blueprints, there is one in the rear corridor section IIRC. Not much help if you're in the front with a freighter pod attached.
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Old 02-01-2007, 06:47 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by preHEstoric
Was the fact there doesn't appear to be a toilet on the Eagle explain the lack of cup holders or any in flight catering facilities?
Ooo, gotta disagree with you on the lack of in-flight catering, I'm afraid... http://www.space1999.net/~catacombs/.../b/spb0025.jpg and http://www.space1999.net/~catacombs/.../b/spb0027.jpg from "Breakaway," and http://www.space1999.net/~catacombs/...c/sptfc077.jpg and http://www.space1999.net/~catacombs/...c/sptfc080.jpg from "The Full Circle."


edited typo
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