Stations & carriers: 1-way hangars vs. 2-way hangars

Hey guys,

I made a visualisation of traffic flow, in stations and carriers, for two different types of hangar. A 1-way hangar is an enclosed space with only 1 entrance for a ship. A 2-way hangar is an enclosed space with 1 entrance and 1 exit.

The 1-way hangar requires less space to install in a ship, you can simply paste it onto the side of the ship. A more complex configuration would be the cave-like design we often see in sci-fi ships, where several 1-way hangars are installed in the sides of a larger hangar with 1 or more entrances and exits. This type of setup works fine with little traffic, but may become problematic when there’s a lot of ingoing and outgoing ships. Elite: Dangerous spacestations are a good example of a hangar using the same opening as an entrance and as an exit door. You have to wait for eachother or you risk collision.

The 2-way hangar requires the design of traffic corridors. In general it will require less entrance corridors and more exit corridors, as shown in the image below. Each corridor can be filled with ship traffic going in the same direction. You can still collide with eachother, but the relative speed between two ships don’t differ as much because their speed vectors point in roughly the same direction.

Both hangar types allow for many interesting configurations. I would like to start a discussion here for what would be interesting configuration, both in terms of traffic flow and in aesthetics. Let me know what you think, and please post your own drawings of interesting designs :slight_smile:


At first thought i would like the one way for stations. There you can land slowly backwards.

The two way seems a lot faster and would be nice on the battle carriers.


Take your “2-way hangars” and place them side by side, so you get one long set of hangars. The openings are free of traffic on both sides. This would involve a long carrier with a kind of elevated spine that contains the hangars. Or multple spines, even to the point of the ship’s cross-section looking like an asterisk. The more spines, the greater the congestion, but two spines would be pretty much free of congestion.

For those of you who prefer grand proportions, have the spines set up so that they retract. To release fighters, a spine extends. Alternately, allow each hangar to extend.

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Yes, instead of having an interior corridor between the two lines of hangars, you can have one long corridor that’s directly accesable from outside. This is basically the best option regarding traffic flow. I made a sketch with that ‘tankstation’ configuration below.

The tankstation setup is quite useful for outposts close to resource gathering areas, it makes it easy to drop off stuff and return to work. I do think having long interior corridors leading to large interior rooms is too cool to not have in large spacestations and carriers :wink:

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But requires modeling work that would only exist for its cool factor. It would have no gameplay role other than to give griefers a new axis of attack. Literally.

Here’s a hangar concept that I put together eight years ago. It seems to match your hallway and room concept.

This is what they looked like on the inside. Note the tiny little door at the far end on the right. Those things on either side at the end were balconies.

This is all Centaurus-themed stuff that was packaged as a hangar kit. Here are a couple more configurations.

This was all built back when I was advocating Durable Ships, where storing each one and working on it would be A Thing. In an arena shooter, there’s no need for such things.


It mostly depends on the intent of the small craft. If we are expecting a low survival rate, there is little reason to worry about returning craft, and therefore little reason to worry about two way hangars.

If we are expecting a large number of craft to return frequently (say, resupplying armament) then a two-way hangar becomes vital.

I’d personally advocate for both types on a carrier: launching/recovering into individual bays against the vacuum (makes sense to minimize damage on impacts, as well as maximizing deployment rate) while having several two way hangars for returning bombers/torpedo boats to reload. Destroyers would probably have two way hangars, as they are already designed to combat fleets of small craft and would benefit more from bombers, while cruisers would probably carry fighters for self defense against small craft and therefore need the single bays.


With a two way, you have a least another way of exiting if the outer doors are damaged and can’t open.

The one way ones seem to be only useful if you want to pressurise the compartment, which I assume would be seldom… you’d probably use bridges to connect to docking ports.

I’d try and remove walls for the sake of walls and park ships like an airport. Come in through a central tunnel and veer off into a parking area to the top and bottom and then just go out through the top and bottom corridors.

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From the carrier thread…

None of these designs consider that you can land a craft on top or bottom of the carrier bays, a single dead-end lane with the top being used for entry and bottom for exit would be just fine.

What cybercritic said. The first thing came to mind looking at OP is how 2d these concepts are. Sure both options make sense on the ground, but not in space. You can have a simple corridor/“runway”, with landing pads on all of it’s sides. Maximum space, maximum flow. The landing ships are out of the way because they are always offset in at least 1 dimension (to either side or to above/below), and no ship has to turn around within the carrier.

Might be a bit hard to see but landing places (blue) are on all four sides of a square corridor (white) in this example. If you want to make it less boring you can make a corridor that is perhaps wider in one direction and have multiple “lanes”, or is hexagonal for less wasted space in the corners, etc.

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That’s assuming we never want to impart a significant gravitational field on the carrier, though. Not much use putting things on walls and ceilings if you want to park your carrier over a base below the geostationary orbit altitude, much less on the surface.

And while I realize there will not be such detailed destruction as to show specific rooms getting trashed, there are plenty of reasons to separate the craft, which I listed above. Putting all your eggs in one basket and such. This community has always been big on realistic, practical design, and there are realistic, practical reasons for both

You would require a way of locking things to the ship anyway. The gravitational forces of bodies differ little from the forces emerging while accelerating the ship in certain directions. Given how ridiculously powerful the engines are on the current ships, I would expect the gravitational field of planets to be of a mild annoyance at best.

As far as separating parts of the ship, sure I said nothing about that. You probably want to have multiple launch decks anyway, I was just trying to point out how “flat” all the designs seem to be compared to what is possible in space.

Fair enough, regarding the acceleration of planets vs ship. That being said, I still feel the only way a multi-surface hangar will work efficiently is in a zero gravity situation: while I understand any amount of gravity generation is mostly hand-wavium, generating it in a single direction “feels” more realistic and likely to me. That being said, a rotary style ship hangar to generate false gravity could certainly be an option, and gives a very real reason to avoid non-zero G situations as much as possible during operations.

Capital ships are not capable of entering the atmosphere in the Infinity universe, they are space-only ships…

That may be true, but if I hold my position in a geostationary orbit in LEO, I am subjected to roughly 90% gravity at sea level ( That means needing to constantly output ~90% of my weight to maintain altitude outside the atmosphere. Why not maintain a proper GEO? My small craft only have to travel 160km, instead of nearly 36,000km.

Additionally, there is the possibility of moons and planets without an atmosphere. Realistically speaking, what is stopping a capital craft from approaching those?

Reality breaks at some point, current craft pull such high Gs that magical inertial dampeners are needed just to keep the pilot alive and there are no orbital mechanics in IBS. Also, I think the artificial gravity in Infinity universe is localized, as in having magical plates that create a gravitational attraction, in that case you could put those plates on the floor and on the ceiling and have a perfectly functional two ‘floor’ room.

That may be, but even if we work under the assumption that any surface of any room can be used as the “floor,” you still wouldn’t wasn’t to use more than the two opposing sides, else you begin to waste volume. In the L design shown earlier, there is a lot of dead space "above"each wall that goes unused, and you cannot park craft against the wall where they join because taking off would crash into the craft parked on the other wall. For a great deal of expense and energy costs in gravity generation on two sides of a room (which I continue to assert is far harder to find reasonable than a single direction of false gravity in a room), and potential confusion of having two different launch orientations, you gain the maneuvering space granted to each level above the parking height.

As a sailor who is familiar with the military’s desire for simplicity and redundancy in everything, the default choice for a militarized design is obvious: single orientation, preferably with a default layout across all vessels.

How about the curvature of space? If the warp drive system is sufficiently sensitive to the curvature of space then moving deep into the gravity well of a massive body would be bad - regardless of whether you use the warp drive to move in and out of the gravity well. It’s like taking a delicate crystal object and bending it. It doesn’t bend, it breaks. The warp drive is metaphorically crystalline, and taking it into the gravity well will shatter it.

Simplicity and redundancy puts the hangars on the exterior of the ship, with the service and support gear arrayed adjacent to it. Having armed ships flying around in the interior of a carrier is nuts, and it also delays their recovery and deployment times. It also presents single/limited points of failure that could lead to disaster, whether through accident or attack. These are all reasons why I suggested a raised spine on a long ship.

The interior hallway makes sense if the carrier is a combat ship, heavily armored and needing to protect its hangars. However, if a carrier is a non-combatant - as with modern carriers - then it’s all about operational efficiency.

I was under the impression capitals had conventional drives as well, but I’ve not been keeping up with discussions very well. Either way, if we are assuming artificial gravity generation, I find it much easier to believe each room can be given a specific gravity in any vector than believing every room can generate a magical gravity that only affects half the room.

I can think of several reasons to keep hangars internal, mostly for protection of the small craft from impacts (space debris or attack), as well as convenience to the crew (walking around outside is dangerous). There is also some concern over atmosphere, I am assuming hangars will be star wars style where they are pressurized against the vacuum, but find it hard to imagine wanting to pressurized the entire exterior of the hull. Conventional bombs suddenly become quite valuable in such a design.

While there is always risk associated to internally stored weapons, it is not unimaginable that passing through a hangar would send a signal to deactivate weapon systems. In terms of risk, an external hangar poses a high degree of risk to individuals on a much higher frequency, with little that can be done to mitigate the risks. Internal hangars have a much higher risk at a much lower frequency, but with a great number of ways to mitigate those risks.

you need less than 1g to stay in a static position above earth.
when you pull more than 1g you ascend :stuck_out_tongue:
no magic high g inertia dampeners.

theres the question: is the device sensible to external gravity fields or just the effect it creates?
because small ships have warp drives and can very much get far below warp drive activation altitude without the drive breaking.
(especially as LEO is already about 0.9g and im pretty sure we’ll be able to pull capships into low orbits)

aka is it an engine restriction or a gameplay restriction?

I was talking about Gs encountered from acceleration in a normal combat scenario.