Talk:Blackbird/Archive 1

From Battlestar Wiki, the free, open content Battlestar Galactica encyclopedia and episode guide


We should probably get a screenshot of the Blackbird, both when under construction and during its test flight. -- Joe Beaudoin 00:03, 17 September 2005 (EDT)

I added a photo of the blackbird at the commissioning, since it was the widest shot of the ship -- Danaucpe 21:34, 18 September 2005 (EDT)
Thanks! Hopefully when the DVDs come out for Season 2 we can get a cleaner, crisper screenshot. -- Joe Beaudoin 12:29, 20 September 2005 (EDT)
I might be able to get a cleaner one, but I'll have to see. I won't have time for a couple of days, maybe, but I'll give it a go and see what I can do. If I replace this image file, does it have to be the same size, or if I crop it differently, will the Wiki software still handle it okay? I'll also see about getting one from when it's under construction. --Day 13:29, 20 September 2005 (EDT)
It doesn't have to be the same size. The software will know the difference. Thanks Day! -- Joe Beaudoin 13:31, 20 September 2005 (EDT)


"The first prototype was dubbed "Laura", in honor of President Laura Roslin." Are there really going to be any more of these things? If they had to through so much to scrounge up materials for just one...Also, isn't its name now 'Laura,' not 'Blackbird,' which I thought was just its temporary designation? Kuralyov 10:57, 17 September 2005 (EDT)

I'm not too sure, to be honest with you. Perhaps someone more knowledgeable with this sort of thing might wish to come forward and clarify for us. As for scrounging up parts, they may eventually be able to get some from unserviceable Vipers. -- Joe Beaudoin 11:07, 17 September 2005 (EDT)
Two points to resolve this. One, we'll just check next episode, and if they consistently call it Laura and never "Blackbird" we change the name. Two, next episode the Battlestar Pegasus is showing up, with a full compliment of Vipers, so that should kind of render it a moot point for a while. ---Ricimer, 17 Sept, 2005
Perhaps it's the Blackbird-class Viper "Laura", where Laura is the name of that particular ship. Well, I guess we'll find out later. --Talos 13:24, 17 September 2005 (EDT)
Huh. I hadn't thought of most of those things. I got the impression that it was a Blackbird (implicitly Mark I) named Laura. So, I wouldn't call it a Viper. But there's nothing conclusive yet. --Day 15:23, 19 September 2005 (EDT)
In the blog I linked to below, David Eick says that it's definitely not a Viper, but something completely new. He also says it's the only stealth ship in the Fleet, which I guess might say somehting about the Colonial military mindset. Kuralyov 14:28, 20 September 2005 (EDT)
Well, we wouldn't know if the Colonial Military had stealth craft before the attack or not, since none of them escaped with Galactica. --April Arcus 14:45, 20 September 2005 (EDT)
  • The latest video blog (here) has Eick calling it the Blackbird, not the Laura, so I guess that is the accepted name afterall. Kuralyov 11:20, 20 September 2005 (EDT)

Blackbird is the name of the ship type (like "Viper" or "Raptor"), Laura is the name of the ship itself. Philwelch 17:08, 25 September 2005 (EDT)

Apollo just called it the Blackbird in "Pegasus". --April Arcus 17:28, 25 September 2005 (EDT)
With only one Blackbird, the group will call it only by its kind's name. If more are made, maybe the nicknames will be used, maybe not. This nicknaming was common in WWII on bomber aircraft, but right now it's just an honorific. Militarily, "Blackbird" rolls off the tongue better and appears as the common usage right now. Spencerian 10:37, 26 September 2005 (EDT)

Blackbird's Shape, and the Shuttle Orbiter

According to online sources, the design of a stealth aircraft uses angles along the fuselage and a low profile to cause radar signals to bounce erratically off of it, causing a small radar image, perhaps the size of a bird, if at all. Further reduction of the radar bounceback can be done by using radar-absorbing materials (RAM), which absorb radar energy, emitting heat as a by-product. While carbon-composite materials may not actually be in truth RAM material, in Galactica's universe, DRADIS may not be sensitive to it. Color does not matter for RAM material; this is a matter of visual stealth and aesthetics. In the case of the American aircraft mentioned in the article as a stealth fighter, its shape is less used in stealth, but obviously RAM is used for this purpose.


The entire vehicle that lifts off the pad at Cape Canaveral is officially known as the Space Transportation System, or STS. Colloquially the entire launch vehicle is also known as the Space Shuttle. The Orbiter is the official name of the winged vehicle and the only part of the launch vehicle with its form of carbon composite known as Reinforced Carbon-Carbon, which is why I'm a stickler in noting the Orbiter, not the entire Shuttle stack, uses carbon composites. Since the Blackbird uses a kind of carbon composite that can cover the entire ship, the material is significantly lighter than RCC, which has some weight and greater fragility than what Galactica's carbon composite appears to be. Perhaps they use carbon-fiber composites similar to that found in our popular in racing bicycles. Perhaps they use graphite...who knows? Whatever it is, it's lightweight. 00:17, 18 September 2005 (EDT)

FTL Drive

So now we know. Now somebody explain to me how Starbuck could sneak right up the Cylon's preverbial arses yet still set off the Fleet's Dradis while still outside of visual contact. --Watcher 23:03, 6 January 2006 (EST)

Blackbird presumably has a silent running mode of sorts; as you could see in "Flight of the Phoenix" they announced "no Dradis contact" when Starbuck *killed the engines* and turned her lights off. So it seems that, at the time, they were expecting it to have a contact. Starbuck probably kicked her engines on FULL BLAST here because she WANTED to get their attention. --Ricimer 23:40, 6 January 2006 (EST)
Yeah. I imagine it's an emissions management issues. Notice, too, that when shew flew by the Ressurection Ship, she seemed to switch off several systems, perhaps in order to reduce the electricity that she was using. I bet she did a lot of engine flaring, creating a large infrared signature. --Day 23:43, 6 January 2006 (EST)
Good points. But look at that scene again. She's awfully darned close to the Resurrection Ship (and presumably inside the defense perimeter of the two Basestars) when she shuts everything down (I'm presuming that's RDM's intended indicator that the Blackbird has gone quiet). When she lights up again (including restarting her engines and spinning up her FTL) she only a hair's breadth out of the innards of the R.S. It seems to me that in both situations she should have drawn attention. I think this was probably a cheat on RDM's part for the sake of visual and expositional brevity. --Watcher 23:56, 6 January 2006 (EST)
Yeah. I do, too. THough, I think it would have been equally understandable and within the style of the show to simply show her close to the R.S., then show her far away and jumping. There's plenty of implied action elsewhere in the series. --Day 00:50, 7 January 2006 (EST)
Wow... Somebody agreed with me. I'm gonna have to print this out. --Watcher 00:59, 7 January 2006 (EST)
It doesn't matter that the Blackbird could have been detected on DRADIS just before it jumped back to the Fleet, the time between power up and the jump itself was only a second or two, not nearly enough time for a firing solution, never mind actual ordnance to traverse the distance between the Basestars and the Blackbird itself. --Madbrood 10:15, 12 September 2006 (CDT)

The FTL drive could've come from Raptor 305, scrapped in "Fragged" --April Arcus 01:01, 7 January 2006 (EST)

It's also possible that it could have come from Pegasus, considering that it was mostly likely on the ship when Apollo gave Starbuck the equipment for the original recon mission for the R.S. --Sgtpayne 23:22, 19 January 2006 (EST)
No, the Blackbird was on Galactica; Chief Tyrol asked Laird where it had gone, this scene was aboard Galactica. --Madbrood 10:15, 12 September 2006 (CDT)

No Transponder?

It seems far more likely to me that she simply toggled the transponder off. Being a transmission source, it should be able to be on or off as desired in a stealth ship. It seems wildly risky to omit one completely, though. --CalculatinAvatar 00:31, 11 January 2006 (EST)

It had to have been transmitting some kind of signal for both Galactica and Pegasus to pick it up on DRADIS, friendly or hostile signature notwithstanding. --Kahran 00:39, 11 January 2006 (EST)

Fate of the Blackbird

As mentioned in the article, we did see Apollo eject from the 'Bird, yet the fate of the craft wasn't ascertained. Any thoughts? My thought would be that the craft was destroyed, given the amount of damage the craft took. And, if it wasn't destroyed (or the Cylons manage to discover and salvage the craft), what then? --Sgtpayne 23:22, 19 January 2006 (EST)

In real life, carbon-composite is very fragile, and the Colonials certainly acted as if it is for them, too (though less fragile). My guess is that the initial impact tore Laura up pretty good and then being unwhole did further damage. A Viper would probably have been recoverable at least, if still scrap, but I bet our stealth ship is just so much metal and bits floating about now. Perhaps time will tell.--Day 01:18, 20 January 2006 (EST)
Indeed. Though I kind of see Blackbird as a plot mechanic for the Cain trilogy. Now that they have lots of Vipers from Pegasus, I think they'll be more concerned with servicing them again and not have enough time for Blackbird. You never know. Heck, maybe they could salvage the pieces from it, then build essentially a "new" Blackbird from the salvaged parts, Laura II. Time will tell, sooner or later. Always does. --Ricimer 13:27, 20 January 2006 (EST)

Blackbird on Pegasus' Dradis

"The Blackbird is in visual range of the Fleet long before DRADIS detects her approach."

Uh, Spence, guys... are we absolutely sure about this:


It looks to me that Starbuck popped up on Pegasus' Dradis out near the outer reaches of its sensitivity... well before anyone reported a visual. (Or did you mean, Spence, that Starbuck peek-a-booed the fleet before they saw her?)

You may be right...but it seemed that the Blackbird snuck up on both of the battlestars. Take a look at what Thrace can see when you pops back in and you can see how close she is to the Fleet--she was close enough to see the chicken fight, if I remember right. That's awfully close to the Fleet from an attack perspective. Do write in your take on it and let others confirm what you (or I) interpreted. --Spencerian 15:33, 22 January 2006 (EST)
I think this is likely another one of those scenes the editors elected to fudge for the sake understandability for the more casual viewer (they really can't worry about people like us -- it would take them a year to make an episode). You're right, Spence. If Starbuck had had laser guided missles, she would have been able to stuff one right up somebody's exhaust. At the same time neither Galactica's nor Pegasus' Vipers have any idea she's out there -- she comes up on none of their Dradis sweeps (at first anyway). Only Pegasus herself detects Starbuck. And damn fast at that. In fact so fast we must assume: (1) Pegasus' Dradis hardware is better than what's aboard the Vipers (very plausible). (2) Pegasus' Dradis is superior to Galactica's (also acceptable). (3) Pegasus' Dradis far outstrips that of the Cylons (I find that highly frakkin' unlikely).
I see no logical way to reconcile that last bit. Coupled with the above image of Blackbird right on the hairy edge of Pegasus' Dradis sweep, I think this scene has a host of issues especially when it's compared to the scene which proceeded it. It's just something they decided to let go for the sake of expediancy and dramatic effect.
(BTW. This really came up because I misinterpreted your sentence. I thought by "in visual range of the Fleet long before DRADIS detects her approach" you meant she was seen (by pilots or whatnot) before her presence registered on Dradis.) --Watcher 16:25, 22 January 2006 (EST)
  • 1) Pegasus could simply be closer to where Blackbird came back (by a matter of a few hundred feet).
  • 2) We don't know that Pegasus saw it "first"; we the audience just happen to see Pegasus' CIC reaction first.
  • 3) Pegasus and Galactica's Vipers are focusing on shooting each other, and for all we know, they did see the Blackbird, the camera just cuts to the CIC first.
  • 4) As RDM stated in the podcast, Starbuck WANTED to be seen. As we saw in FotP, it's not stealth all the time; that is, powering down non=essential systems, etc. Basically, after talking with Apollo, Starbuck was trying to get everyone's attention to stop everyone. --Ricimer 16:37, 22 January 2006 (EST)
Agree, particularly point 4. --April Arcus 16:54, 22 January 2006 (EST)

Regarding the edit on January 27th, it was posted that "The Blackbird was likely detected only because of Starbuck transmitting a response message to Apollo aboard a Raptor, another testament to her stealth prowess" (I originally thought it was meant that it was detected in the battle); however, this should be removed by the very fact that the paragraphs immediately above what I'm writing now exist: we don't know at all that transmitting a message had anything to do with it, and the podcast seems to imply that it was because she turned on her engines full blast. This line should be removed.--Ricimer 00:00, 27 January 2006 (EST)

That is an entirely reasonable point. --April Arcus 00:14, 27 January 2006 (EST)
My point is entirely reasonable? Thanks.--Ricimer 01:37, 27 January 2006 (EST)
Well, Ricimer... When you're right, you're right. The only reason your previous edits were reverted is because it was obvious you were thinking of another scene. However, once you figured out what scene it was actually talking about, you, very astutely, saw that the sentence very well should have been removed. All you have to do to get people to agree with you around here is have good reason or good logic. --Day 01:53, 27 January 2006 (EST)

Appearance before Construction?

I was just watching Flight of the Phoenix, the scene of the Great Cylon Turkey Shoot, when I noticed a rather familiar-looking vessel flying through the carnage.

These screenshots were taken from an avi file, for simplicity, hence the slightly lower quality. This is at approximately 33:33, or Chapter 5 8:19 on the DVD.

IS this the Blackbird? It sure looks like it to me. --Madbrood 13:22, 7 September 2006 (CDT)

Good spot! I took this better quality image from my DVDs
Looks like the blackbird to me :D --Mercifull (Talk/Contribs) 13:57, 7 September 2006 (CDT)
It's not a Cylon Raider. It's not a mark II. It's not a mark VII. I'd agree that it appears to be a "blackbird". Fans like you are the bane of editors everywhere. (They might have included it thinking the Blackbird might get to take part in the fighting, but then not pulled it once it got the final sequences got established.) Good catch! --Steelviper 14:05, 7 September 2006 (CDT)
Worth a test in BW:OC. I think we could upload that. lol. --Shane (T - C - E) 15:30, 7 September 2006 (CDT)
Hehe, thanks. I just randomly noticed it- it was the third time or something that I've watched the episode on DVD, and then *pow*, there it was. So, shall I post this in the BW:OC section, or do one of you guys want to? --Madbrood 07:16, 8 September 2006 (CDT)
Your discovery! --Shane (T - C - E) 07:24, 8 September 2006 (CDT)
I just went through my iTunes Music Store download of Flight of the Phoenix, and I notice it's not even the Blackbird flying before commisioning, it's the Blackbird flying before it's built! --BklynBruzer 07:44, 8 September 2006 (CDT)
Yep, that's true, it was befor it was completed. --Talos 09:09, 8 September 2006 (CDT)
Now that's what I call an efficient deck crew. Or a resourceful pilot. (Or a production goof.) --Steelviper 11:23, 8 September 2006 (CDT)
Hehe yeah, I noticed that after I posted. Have changed the title to reflect. Also: put up on BW:OC --Madbrood 11:51, 8 September 2006 (CDT)
Hmm, I just noticed, the Blackbird also shoots during this, even though, as stated in BW:OC, the Blackbird doesn't have any guns on it! --BklynBruzer 07:30, 19 September 2006 (CDT)
It was an edditing mistake. JosephK19 13:30, 29 September 2006 (CDT)
We know :) Mr Thompson answered our question on the BW:OC page --Madbrood 13:54, 29 September 2006 (CDT)

Article cleanup

I do think that the article could stand to use some cleanup... mainly in the copy editing department. I've started some work on it, since it annoyed me so much...

I removed the contention that the Blackbird doesn't have a transmitter. There's no reason to really note this... she could have simply deactivated the thing while in silent running mode. Clearly, a stealth ship would have such an ability. Until we get confirmation either way, I've just removed the thing. -- Joe Beaudoin So say we all - Donate - Battlestar Pegasus 21:34, 1 August 2008 (UTC)

What do people think about this paragraph?
One must speculate that since a typical Viper's engines are vulnerable to heat-seeking missiles (Miniseries), these must be as well. Additionally, such engines would compromise the Blackbird's stealth features during powered flight. (This is less of a disadvantage in space than in atmospheric flight; a spacecraft's inertia is not disrupted by gravity, friction, and other factors an atmospheric-bound craft would be, and thus can fly straight almost indefinitely without firing its engines while in empty space.)
I've moved it from the main body to the notes section, but it seems to fanwanky to me... -- Joe Beaudoin So say we all - Donate - Battlestar Pegasus 21:43, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
Frak it, I've just removed it entirely. Obviously, if people disagree with that, please discuss that here. -- Joe Beaudoin So say we all - Donate - Battlestar Pegasus 22:03, 1 August 2008 (UTC)