|Faction||Empire of the Rising Sun|
|Brief||Using blasts of superheated air to 'hover' and propel vehicles.|
Walk along any street in Japan and you will see an unusual site: sleek, nimble moving vehicles, rapidly flying along the street a significant distance above the ground. These may be anything from Tanukis taking businessmen to work, to large trains hovering along their tracks, to police 'cars' chasing down suspects. All of these vehicles are powered by a single invention: Vector Jets.
Vector jets boil down to simply superheated jets of air being fired from the underside of a vehicle. Newton's third law dictates that the downwards push of the air will produce an upwards push on the vehicle itself, 'levitating' it. By varying the amount of air being fired from certain jets, the vehicle can be steered while in midair. What is a simple idea in theory becomes incredibly complicated in practise. The first problem is the fine engineering skill required to produce the jets in the first place: the constant heat and strain will put a lot of stress on these parts, and they need to be incredibly precise to move a vehicle with any reliability. If even a single jet was to fail, the vehicle would come crashing down to earth. The second is shielding the cockpit of the vehicle so the driver is not trapped in a sauna without any way to leave: potentially, a driver of a vector jet driven vehicle could die of heatstroke in record time. Next is the issue of weight: using vector jet technology for even light vehicles of most factions would not work: the parts they are made of are too heavy to be lifted in this way, and making them light enough to use vector jets would mean the entire vehicle, parts and all, would have to be made of a material as weak as cardboard. Finally, there is the problem of calculation: there needs to be constant, precise calculations to make sure the jets are working correctly. Such calculations could not be done fast enough by a human: a 'computer' would have to be used: not only a computer, but a computer that is smaller than a car and able to solve the complex calculations is mere minutes! Such complex problems seemed impossible to overcome by other factions. One faction, however, was both lucky and clever enough to solve these issues...
History and DevelopmentEdit
Wave-force technology has been one of the most powerful technologies discovered by the Empire of the Rising Sun, capable of generating a nearly unlimited supply of clean, free energy. Despite the incredible complexity of the technology, large amounts of research was put into the field, in the hope of harnessing what had been referred to as 'the power of space itself'. Indeed, the technology has been truly revolutionary; Japan has abandoned coal and oil fuelled powered sources almost entirely, in favour of wave-force power stations that produce such unimaginable quantities of energy that Super Reactors look laughable by comparison.
Of course, this was far from the only application of wave-force technology. It was soon found that it could also be used to create devastatingly powerful weapons, such as the Wave-Force triguns mounted on Floating Fortresses. Wave-Force technology can even be used in propulsion, a fact which could potentially give the Empire a massive advantage in the Space Race.
However, not all the attempts to find new applications for this miraculous technology have met with success. One such example was an attempt to equip the Empire's military vehicles with wave force reactors. This would have effectively unlimited range, giving the Empire a significant advantage over other militaries. But the promising concept soon ran into an unforeseen problem; heat. As per the rule of thermodynamics, any power generation will increase entropy in the surrounding area, typically in the form of heat. And with the phenomenal levels of power generated by wave-force technology, this meant a correspondingly huge amount of heat.
The heat had to be diverted from the vehicle in some way: otherwise, the inner workings would quickly melt into a useless fused pile of wires. Large power plants could easily meet the cooling requirements. However, this did not prove to be the case with smaller power plants and vehicles; while the Empire's smallest wave-force generator design was barely larger than a man, even it produced a massive quantity of heat. The few trials that were conducted with wave-force powered vehicles quickly proved the idea impractical. Only monstrosities such as the King Oni, it was found, could carry all the requisite cooling systems; anything smaller would at best last a few minutes before turning into slag. Additionally, the trials also exposed an embarrassing flaw with several of the test vehicles--these vehicles had been designed to use air to cool the wave-force generator, before expelling it out through exhaust vents, but the air exited the vents at dangerously high temperatures and velocities--not only could friendly infantry in the vicinity end up getting badly burnt, the jets of air also had a tendency to knock the vehicle off-course!
This brief foray into wave-force powered vehicles, however, did have an unexpected spin-off. One of the engineers, having seen the ease with which the test vehicles had been deflected by their heated exhaust, soon came up with the idea of using similar jets of hot air to propel vehicles.
The very next day, the engineer breathlessly met with the rest of his engineering team, and told them of his idea. Using intricate jets, the heat could be diverted underneath the vehicle to lift it above the ground, and by carefully controlling the direction and power of the jets, a vehicle could even be made to hover in midair. At this suggestion, the other engineers all laughed. It was simply ridiculous! To lift the vehicle up in the first place, it would have to be made of a ridiculously lightweight material! Like nanosteel! Add to that, the specialised jets would need to be made incredibly precisely and in minute size, you would need some kind of nanotechnology to make them! And as for controlling the jets, why, an A.I. would be needed... the engineers stopped laughing. The groundwork for vector jets had just been set, and the idea would soon revolutionize the Empire's military designs.