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Are hypersonic aircraft allowed on Vatsim?


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I guess there are two sides to the special ops thing.

One is to rule out flights that are exempt from the normal restrictions - firefighting aircraft might be allowed to descend to the surface over the sea when other aircraft wouldn't, medevac flights would get priority treatment, state aircraft might get more separation around them, etc. This is why the "no flight may declare itself to have priority" rule exists, but I believe it's also part of the reason for the other special ops rules.

The other is to maintain a somewhat realistic distribution of flight types. If special ops were completely legal, we'd have a lot more of those, and tbh, flying into an airport with six ongoing rescue missions, eight presidential aircraft on the arrival, and a dozen military fighters patrolling the area, would pretty much ruin immersion for me.

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Hypersonic aircraft, on the other hand, would not ruin it for other players, because they would be flying well above everyone else and thus would not interfere with them. During departure and arrival they will be flying at conventional speeds, so there would not be any disruption either.

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@Andreas FuchsCan we be sure of this? AFAIK no hyperspeed AC are operational at this moment. But allowing them would mean I could invent my own plane with flight characteristics vastly different than known - how many UFO would we see, I wonder? While still flying low and slow, but with abrupt direction changes.

Torben Andersen, VACC-SCA Controller (C1)

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Another problem with fictional aircraft is that ATC cannot be expected to know anything about their performance characteristics.

There's a finite number of current and historical types, so a performance database for these is not unreasonable. But when anyone can come and fly whatever they or someone else made up, then that goes out the window, and ATC would have to accommodate literally anything.

Like, I made a fictional and fairly unrealistic SSTO transport - it's about as big as an A380, it has two rotating engine pods on the wingtips, so it can hover and do VTOL, it reaches Mach 5 or so in the lower atmosphere, and then proceeds to accelerate further after passing FL600 or so by firing its rocket engines. Reentry is initially ballistic, then when aerodynamics kick in, it flies passively, much like the Shuttle did, bleeds off speed, and eventually transitions to conventional powered flight. Imagine the kind of disruptions this would cause in between all the airliners, and how much this would disrupt everyone else's immersion - not to mention that nobody has that thing in their model mapping, so it would just show up as a white A320 that flies super weirdly for everyone else.

Just, no, let's not.

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Well, one could also give the idea of VATSIM some thought. For me it has always been trying to simulate the real world as closely as possible (given a vast numbers of deviations from this must exist, due to the fact, that I'm a happy amateur with no RW experience what so ever). Inventing planes "out of this World" defies the purpose of VATSIM, as seen from my perspective. We all have out personal reasons for being on VATSIM, but as I havn't paid a single 0.01$,€,£ I think it is most fair to accept that those who actually pay for my amusement have some saying in, what I can do or can't do. So I stick to the posts from BoGs.

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Torben Andersen, VACC-SCA Controller (C1)

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I have already invested quite a bit of money into VATSIM at a regional/national level (donations for infrastructure, sponsoring and organizing RL events etc.), but I don't think it's about "who pays the bills".

I also respect the opinion of "upper management", but it is not forbidden to discuss them or even ask further questions.

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Maybe the biggest issue really is the "immersion" bit.

Most of us are here to simulate real-world civilian aviation as closely as the circumstances allow.

A couple anachronisms, like the airworthy Concorde here and there, a DC-6 in transatlantic passenger revenue service, or a Pan Am 747, are OK - this much suspension of disbelief most of us can muster, and I believe it resonates enough with the kind of nostalgia most aviation enthusiasts share.

But allowing entirely fictional aircraft, with out-of-this-world performance, would be stretching it a bit too much, and I deeply question why one would want to fly a Mach 10 experimental stealth fighter aircraft on a platform whose primary purpose is so radically different from that. If you want to go pew pew zoom zoom in a spaceship, there are dozens of multiplayer games out there where you can do just that.

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I'm getting the same feeling in this thread that I get in the one about Russian flights: that some people are putting too much work into thinking of or believing "reasons" for a particular flight.  This in itself is unrealistic. 

In the real world, a DC-6 can most certainly fly across the Atlantic. It doesn't need to give a reason to do so.  It's simply another aircraft, flying from A to B.  No one cares why.  It's just another piece of traffic.  So the concept that allowing this on Vatsim requires some sort of "suspension of disbelief" just doesn't track.

Same with test flight profiles.  In the real world, the SR-71 flew in and then above ARTCC airspace for years before the USAF ever acknowledged its existence.  Methods were used that ensured this worked just fine. 

The problem I could see on Vatsim is if dozens of people were trying to do this at once.  That seems highly unlikely, but it would cause some chaos.  An occasional "unusual" flight like this, though, would actually be MORE realistic, not less, because this stuff does happen out there. I would never be the person on Vatsim flying one of these flights, but I would enjoy having to cope with one occasionally... it would add a little more real-world dynamicism to the airspace. 

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Maybe a bit off topic, but does anyone know the ICAO aircraft type designator for the HALO Pelican? 😆

Kidding aside, @Andreas Fuchs I'm shocked by your reaction to this topic.  You are the last person, based on your previous ATC posts, that would be remotely open to this type of activity on the network.  I have to pause a minute, and try to take it all in....LOL. 😵

Edited by Tim Simpson
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