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Airplanes and Pegasi - How Fast Can a Pegasus Fly? Do Airplanes Make Sense?


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Pegasi Speed  

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  1. 1. How fast do you think a fit, somewhat athletic pegasus could fly for a few minutes, while carrying ~100 pounds (45 kg)?

    • <30 mph (<50 km/h)
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    • 70-90 mph (110-150 km/h)
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    • 90-110 mph (150-180 km/h)
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    • 110-130 mph (180-210 km/h)
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    • 130-150 mph (210-240 km/h)
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    • 150-170 mph (240-270 km/h)
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    • 170-190 mph (270-310 km/h)
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So I'm writing a fanfiction, and for it, I want to get a consensus on how y'all view the pegasus race. The question here is the about how fast a pegasi can fly for a few minutes while carrying 100+ pounds (45+ kg).

 

Now, for carrying heavy payloads, airplanes make sense.

 

TB-3-first.jpg

 

But what about fighters? What about interceptors?

 

The key question is, how could a pegasus fare against a pony flying such aircraft?

 

 

sopwith-camel-625x450.jpg

 

In a dogfight, an air infantrypony (pegasus) would easily out-turn and win against an airplane. But that's irrelevant if they've got no chance in heck of keeping up!

 

A TB-3 bomber can fly at a max speed of 129 mph (212 km/h). Would such an aircraft be so fast, that pegasi would struggle to keep up while carrying 100+ pounds (45+ kilograms) of equipment? (machinegun, ammo, etc.)

 

Or do pegasi have the strength to pull that off easily?

 

Keep in mind, not all pegasi are nearly as able as Rainbow Dash! Also, let's be realistic... The Sonic Rainboom was done by magic, so don't let that make you think regular pegasi zoom around at 400+ mph! That's just absurd. The fastest any bird can fly is the super aerodynamic falcon, at 120 mph in a high-speed dive. But we're talking about big, unaerodynamic flying horses! post-1477-0-56941700-1358411253.png

(Average bird flight speed is about 30 mph/50 km/h, I think)

 

Think of driving your car down the freeway, and note how fast you're going. Now imagine trying to fly that fast as a pegasus, and carry all that weight while doing it! 100+ pounds! Could you pull that off, while making 2-3 attack runs on something going just as fast?

 

How fast do you think a pegasus can go with moderate training, and keep going for a few minutes?

Edited by Mattlight
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(edited)

Well according to Lauren Faust a Pegasus's wing power translates in to 9.1 mph for ever 1 wingpower. So I suppose you could just find out an individual pegasi's wingpower and do it that way!

 

Woah. Brilliant! Thanks, I'd never heard that from Faust before! :D

I shall proceed to do this immediately! Just gotta go dig up "Hurricane Fluttershy"... :P

 

EDIT2:

 

Sturdy Wing, Could you link me the source? Not that I don't believe you, it's just someponies might not believe me when I tell them that ^^;

 

EDIT:

Looked it up. Here's some values:

 

 

Thunderlane hit 9.3 wingpower. All the pegasi were very impressed!
That's 85 mph (135 km/h)
Rainbow Dash did 16.5 wingpower, or 150 mph (240 km/h)
 
Rainbow Dash set the goal for everypony at 10 wingpower (91 mph, or 145 km/h)
 
Spike wrote down some numbers on a notepad, which were:
8.7 (79 mph, 126 km/h)
9.2 (84 mph, 134 km/h)
9.7 (88 mph, 141 km/h)
9.9 (90 mph, 145 km/h)
 
And then a pony did 11 wingpower (100.1 mph, 160 km/h).
 
Carrying 100+ pounds, and trying to keep up with bombers cruising at ~120 mph, while making multiple attack runs... I'd say case closed. Ponies MUST fly interceptors to get the job done!
 
So... Darn. Lol, I was hoping for a bit more discussion, though it is very nice to get a solid consensus and canonical answer to that ^^
Edited by Mattlight
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That's a good question -- I was wondering the same thing myself. 100mph seems like a reasonable top speed, except yeah, Rainbow Dash messes everything up. She can break the sound barrier, which (in our world, at least) is around 700mph. So I don't really know.

 

My guess would be that the average pegasus tops out at 100mph, an elite speedster would be able to fly up to Mach 0.9 or so, and Rainbow Dash can fly at Mach >1 because she's special. But if they're carrying something, I can see that number drop dramatically.

 

Bottom line -- It's your fanfic, so you can make their top speed whatever you want. And MLP canon is a bit ambiguous here, which you can use to your advantage--regardless of what you do, it won't be seen as a violation of canon. (Within reason.)

 

Edit: Whoops! Didn't see that earlier post before I made mine.

Edited by AlexanderVulpes
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That's a good question -- I was wondering the same thing myself. 100mph seems like a reasonable top speed, except yeah, Rainbow Dash messes everything up. She can break the sound barrier, which (in our world, at least) is around 700mph. So I don't really know.

 

My guess would be that the average pegasus tops out at 100mph, an elite speedster would be able to fly up to Mach 0.9 or so, and Rainbow Dash can fly at Mach >1 because she's special. But if they're carrying something, I can see that number drop dramatically.

 

Bottom line -- It's your fanfic, so you can make their top speed whatever you want. And MLP canon is a bit ambiguous here, which you can use to your advantage--regardless of what you do, it won't be seen as a violation of canon. (Within reason.)

 

Certainly! As the author, I do get the benefit of the doubt, heheh.

 

But I was also very curious as to what ponies thought, and in getting some discussion on the subject. The thread did lead me to that awesome piece of information about Lauren's word that 1 wingpower = 9.1 mph. See previous post ^^

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Woah. Brilliant! Thanks, I'd never heard that from Faust before! :D

I shall proceed to do this immediately! Just gotta go dig up "Hurricane Fluttershy"... :P

 

EDIT2:

 

Sturdy Wing, Could you link me the source? Not that I don't believe you, it's just someponies might not believe me when I tell them that ^^;

 

EDIT:

Looked it up. Here's some values:

 

 

Thunderlane hit 9.3 wingpower. All the pegasi were very impressed!
That's 85 mph (135 km/h)
Rainbow Dash did 16.5 wingpower, or 150 mph (240 km/h)
 
Rainbow Dash set the goal for everypony at 10 wingpower (91 mph, or 145 km/h)
 
Spike wrote down some numbers on a notepad, which were:
8.7 (79 mph, 126 km/h)
9.2 (84 mph, 134 km/h)
9.7 (88 mph, 141 km/h)
9.9 (90 mph, 145 km/h)
 
And then a pony did 11 wingpower (100.1 mph, 160 km/h).
 
Carrying 100+ pounds, and trying to keep up with bombers cruising at ~120 mph, while making multiple attack runs... I'd say case closed. Ponies MUST fly interceptors to get the job done!
 
So... Darn. Lol, I was hoping for a bit more discussion, though it is very nice to get a solid consensus and canonical answer to that ^^

 

Actually, Rainbow Dash's top Wing Power is around 39.8, seeing as that is the needed amount of wing power to break the sound barrier. I remember hearing it was from Faust but I couldn't remember, so I checked, and it's not from her. BUT this guy did an incredible job of breaking it down in this video 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84yWP5UbLu0

I would honestly take this as canon, it's not going to get much better than this.

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The only basis from which we think that Rainbow Dash can take several dozen G-forces is from vague angles that were only meant to convey imagery rather than accurate thrust information.

 

We have no indications of Equestrian surface gravity, atmospheric pressure or even if they breathe actual oxygen. The Sonic Rainboom might actually be happening at a speed far less than the speed of sound in an Earth-atmosphere at sea level (1225kph/761 mph.) In fact there is more support for that fact, seeing as in S1E23 The Cutie Mark Chronicles, the first Sonic Rainboom is first heard, and then seen. If Rainbow was flying faster than sound, this would be by-definition impossible .

 

The main practicality of aircraft in the Pony universe would be bulk transport, or carrying non-pegasi creatures or resting pegasi.

 

With the idea of Pegasi in conflict of an airspace against aircraft, ponies would be dramatically slower than most modern fighter technologies, but be incredibly hard to hit. My Little Pony suggests that the ponies are much smaller than full size horses, and I like the idea that they're not all that much larger than a big dog in terms of stature. This would make their radar cross-section equal to that of some manner of bird, and an equally marginal infrared signature. So Ponies would fare well in a fight due to essentially behaving like Inter-War period Figher handling characteristics, but for all practical purposes un-targetable. So basically their main tactic would be to out-last fighters that vie for supremacy, since a stallion's stamina probably would outlast their fuel or ammo.

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With the idea of Pegasi in conflict of an airspace against aircraft, ponies would be dramatically slower than most modern fighter technologies, but be incredibly hard to hit. My Little Pony suggests that the ponies are much smaller than full size horses, and I like the idea that they're not all that much larger than a big dog in terms of stature. This would make their radar cross-section equal to that of some manner of bird, and an equally marginal infrared signature. So Ponies would fare well in a fight due to essentially behaving like Inter-War period Figher handling characteristics, but for all practical purposes un-targetable. So basically their main tactic would be to out-last fighters that vie for supremacy, since a stallion's stamina probably would outlast their fuel or ammo.

Remember that fighters (or any other airplane, or ponies for that matter) can arrive in waves. So there can be fighters continually in the air over a location even as individual planes come and go. Of course, air supremacy only has meaning if one can prevent other planes from occupying the airspace, which neither ponies nor planes can do to one another.

 

The Pegasi's best bet would be to assault the planes on the landing field when they're helpless. Pegasi are vastly more stealthy in every way than a plane and could sneak up and destroy planes, ruin infrastructure, and kill pilots and ground crew. They may not be able to haul heavy machinery, but a bag full of satchel charges could put a whole squadron out of business.

Edited by Veylon
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Another thing to factor in is cost.  It's probably cheaper to hire a pegasus pony (or even a team of pegasi) for small payloads than it is to build or purchase an entire airplane and then hire ponies to operate it. 

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Well since Pegasus are born with wings, a airplane can compare just with the speed.

Aerodynamics can well better explain it, Airplanes were made to help people travel in the air and Pegasus can well fly faster but can help people travel as well.

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(edited)

Actually, Rainbow Dash's top Wing Power is around 39.8, seeing as that is the needed amount of wing power to break the sound barrier. I remember hearing it was from Faust but I couldn't remember, so I checked, and it's not from her. BUT this guy did an incredible job of breaking it down in this video 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84yWP5UbLu0

I would honestly take this as canon, it's not going to get much better than this.

 

 

That's 19.5 mph/wingpower, not 9.1!

 

Hmm. I think I vaguely recall discussing this on these forums when it first came out. The device uses a fan, so it measures airflow... And I started typing a huge thing but really it's super confusing and complex.

 

Suffice it to say, aerodynamics is very messy. But that's not how much power Rainbow Dash was putting out with her wings. That was her increase in kinetic energy, true, but what if her kinetic energy was constant? Then the power would be zero (delta-energy/delta-time, where delta-energy = 0, is zero). So if Rainbow flew by that anemometer at a constant speed, no matter how fast it was, then it would read zero, unless she was accelerating, if it measured power in terms of change in the pony's kinetic energy.

 

Now, it may read power in terms of how much energy is lost to parasitic drag per time, that, you could measure with a fan, and would work as depicted. There's some relationship with that power and speed, though, and I'm not sure what it is, but there's some chance the two are directly proportional, at which point the answer to; "is it a measure of speed or power", the answer would be: "both". But I'm not sure drag works that way.

 

 

Anyways, I'm more than reluctant to accept that. Those numbers are... Out there. A P 40 Warhawk cruises at 270 mph.

 

(Beginning of this video)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VdrViDYuwM8

 

The wide-angle field of vision and large size of the aircraft makes them look like they're going a lot slower than they really are, too. Don't forget, even fighter planes are big!

 

The only basis from which we think that Rainbow Dash can take several dozen G-forces is from vague angles that were only meant to convey imagery rather than accurate thrust information.

 

We have no indications of Equestrian surface gravity, atmospheric pressure or even if they breathe actual oxygen. The Sonic Rainboom might actually be happening at a speed far less than the speed of sound in an Earth-atmosphere at sea level (1225kph/761 mph.) In fact there is more support for that fact, seeing as in S1E23 The Cutie Mark Chronicles, the first Sonic Rainboom is first heard, and then seen. If Rainbow was flying faster than sound, this would be by-definition impossible .

 

The main practicality of aircraft in the Pony universe would be bulk transport, or carrying non-pegasi creatures or resting pegasi.

 

With the idea of Pegasi in conflict of an airspace against aircraft, ponies would be dramatically slower than most modern fighter technologies, but be incredibly hard to hit. My Little Pony suggests that the ponies are much smaller than full size horses, and I like the idea that they're not all that much larger than a big dog in terms of stature. This would make their radar cross-section equal to that of some manner of bird, and an equally marginal infrared signature. So Ponies would fare well in a fight due to essentially behaving like Inter-War period Figher handling characteristics, but for all practical purposes un-targetable. So basically their main tactic would be to out-last fighters that vie for supremacy, since a stallion's stamina probably would outlast their fuel or ammo.

 

Heh, yeah, the show wasn't made to convey technically accurate information.

 

Though I will say, we see many Terran animals, and, generally speaking, in fiction, we assume it's the same as our world except where they show indicates otherwise. So really it's very silly to postulate anything else. Perhaps you could argue; "the air density is higher; it's the only way a pegasus could fly with such small wings", in which case, the size of the pegasi's wings would be the show indicating that difference in-between our world and theirs; a thicker atmosphere.

 

Hehe, it's funny you say we can't trust the show to convey technical information, then turn around and reference it for technical information :P I would take it more as, Pinkie heard it and didn't see it because she was looking the other way, actually.

 

And I wouldn't be so sure about their ineffectiveness. There are guns that exist, that quite effectively shoot down rocket, artillery and mortar rounds. C-RAM. Counter-Rocket, Artillery, Mortar.

 

http://splicd.com/ugDbAXXk-Oo/16/48

 

The M61 Vulcan, pretty much the standard air-to-air gun on U.S. fighters (F14 (very recently retired), F16, F15, F18, F22), uses the exact same caliber round as the gun in the video. The gun in the video shoots at 4,500 rpm, while the Vulcan shoots at 6,000 rpm, and 6,600 rpm on another variant.

 

The biggest issue would be acquiring the target and firing time.

(F-15: 9.4 seconds of firing time. F-18: about 6 seconds.)

 

Also, unlike air-to-air missiles, guns need no type of lock to fire.

 

As for how big they are, I decided to do that research myself: http://eagle1division.deviantart.com/art/My-Little-Pony-How-Little-311034846

 

Roughly about the same cross-sectional area as a human, and the guns on jet fighters have been used to strafe infantry before.

 

True, for targeting, ponies are small. But they're at the big disadvantage of being the only thing in the sky; there's no clutter to conceal them.

 

But it's all somewhat moot, since my fic's more about 1930's-era technology :P

 

Remember that fighters (or any other airplane, or ponies for that matter) can arrive in waves. So there can be fighters continually in the air over a location even as individual planes come and go. Of course, air supremacy only has meaning if one can prevent other planes from occupying the airspace, which neither ponies nor planes can do to one another.

 

The Pegasi's best bet would be to assault the planes on the landing field when they're helpless. Pegasi are vastly more stealthy in every way than a plane and could sneak up and destroy planes, ruin infrastructure, and kill pilots and ground crew. They may not be able to haul heavy machinery, but a bag full of satchel charges could put a whole squadron out of business.

 

So, in other words, special forces.

 

Another thing to factor in is cost.  It's probably cheaper to hire a pegasus pony (or even a team of pegasi) for small payloads than it is to build or purchase an entire airplane and then hire ponies to operate it. 

 

True, very true. It's all about cost-effectiveness. But defeat is the most costly thing, by far.

Edited by Mattlight
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