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perioikos
02-23-2005, 07:36 AM
When scouting over the Pacific Ocean, at what distances were ships visible? It's easy enough to find the distance to the horizon at a given altitude, and the atmospheric conditions are key to object visibility, but in general, what were common spotting distances?

For example, if a patrol plane is flying at 20 000 ft, and there is a small group of 4-5 destroyers on the horizon, and the conditions are clear, and it is mid afternoon, at what distance would one expect the patrol plane to spot the ships?

Also, what were typical patrol patterns flown by carrier groups?

CAPs are common, but to what distance did this umbrella spread? How far did ASPs extend?

And does anyone know of any good information on shipboard air search radar, and its reliability. For example, I've found some information on the SK and SG, for example, stating that their ranges were out ot 150nm.

Been doing some mission-building off-line with CVEs and in setting-up scenarios I'm trying to get these sort of things reasonably correct.

If anyone has good information or links.

Thanks

perioikos
02-23-2005, 07:36 AM
When scouting over the Pacific Ocean, at what distances were ships visible? It's easy enough to find the distance to the horizon at a given altitude, and the atmospheric conditions are key to object visibility, but in general, what were common spotting distances?

For example, if a patrol plane is flying at 20 000 ft, and there is a small group of 4-5 destroyers on the horizon, and the conditions are clear, and it is mid afternoon, at what distance would one expect the patrol plane to spot the ships?

Also, what were typical patrol patterns flown by carrier groups?

CAPs are common, but to what distance did this umbrella spread? How far did ASPs extend?

And does anyone know of any good information on shipboard air search radar, and its reliability. For example, I've found some information on the SK and SG, for example, stating that their ranges were out ot 150nm.

Been doing some mission-building off-line with CVEs and in setting-up scenarios I'm trying to get these sort of things reasonably correct.

If anyone has good information or links.

Thanks

Finkeren
02-23-2005, 10:18 AM
IRL the distance would depend on a lot of factors. If you count out the effects of weather and just asume that visibility is perfect, then the most important factor would be if the ship is moving or not since the the wake would be very visble due to it's size compared to the ship itself. This of course again depending on the size of the ship.
On open sea with no objects to distract the view the visibility distance is limited only by the roundness of the earth and how high the plane is flying and in perfect weather conditions it would be possible to spot moving ships from a very large distance if the pilot used a good pair of binoculars http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif
My guess would be, mind you this is only a guess, that it would be difficult to spot large ships at distances over 200 km. I have personally spotted ships from a distance over 150 km from a commercial airliner flying at 9.000 metres.
In FB/PF it's of course quite a different matter. And I'm really looking forward to BOB to make the draw distance much, much larger!

A funny thing to note (I don't know how it looks on other machines): When I play PF the wake of a moving ship actually begins to draw at a greater distance than the ship itself (so actually you DO see the wake before the ship itself http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif) but still this happens at a very short distance making level-bombing of ships rather hard.
If any one knows a way to make the drawing distance larger I'd like to know it.

perioikos
02-23-2005, 10:37 AM
Thanks for the response. I agree that the weather conditions, and not the distance to the horizon are the greater limitation to spotting (from altitude).

I appreciate the observation that you identified a ship from 150km. I'd like to find some documentation stating that a reconaissance flight "x" observed ship(s) at "y" distance.

Finkeren
02-24-2005, 05:30 AM
I didn't actually say that I "identified" a ship from 150 km distance http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blink.gif I think that would be impossible. But I distinctly spotted it at that distance.
A pilot of a recon AC wouldn't really have to identify the ship either, it would often be enough to report the number of ships, approx. size of ships and wich formation they sail in. Then Intelligence would do the rest

LEXX_Luthor
02-24-2005, 06:55 AM
Not always. There are stories of aircrew claiming to see battleships or carriers when they only saw destroyers or cruisers, resulting in Bad News for those in charge of air operations planning.

When you see a boat, sometimes it automatically grows into battleship or carrier. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif