Defiance question: Flying

On an episode of Defiance it was mentioned that the reason there are no aircraft is that there is an intense radiation barrier at 400 feet.

AGL, or MSL?

If it’s AGL, then why don’t they have aircraft?

If it’s MSL, then how can they be in Saint Louis (elevation 466 feet)?

:smack: I just asked this seven months ago!

My mind is going, Dave. There’s no doubting it.

Just did a search to verify the 400-foot limit. (That’s how I found out I asked this before.) Apparently the real reason there are no planes is the budget.

So apparently, aircraft can only be used for dogfights and airstrikes and action scenes. They’re completely useless for getting from Point A to Point B. The only aircraft that are not useless for getting from Point A to Point B are airliners that fly at Mach 0.85, so they’re much too fast for story lines that often depend upon characters taking a long time to get somewhere and towns like Defiance being isolated by distance. Little airplanes that fly at 130 mph and take days to cross the country don’t exist and have never existed. And even if little airplanes existed, it would cost hundreds of dollars to rent one for a day’s shooting.

So that explains why there are no airplanes or helicopters. But how can the writers be so bad at science? No, really. I understand that most people are not scientists. I understand that even writers and producers who are good at science and make every effort to be accurate, flub things up. When watching a work of fiction, sometimes you have to suspend your disbelief. But this 400-foot radiation layer… That’s really poor writing.

So the fact having been established, is it AGL or MSL?

It’s not just the radaition but all the junk up there as well. Junk which is capable of falling and slicing open aircraft and its occupants with little warning.

How could they be the MOUNTAINS which apparently surround the former St. Louis of the series’ universe? When they were ambushing that group of Volge that were going to attack the settlement they certainly appeared to be well over 400 ft above the valley floor.

They probably should have gone with the Arkfalls (debris raining from space) or hostiles with surface to air missiles being teh reasons for there being no aircraft. The 400’ limit doesn’t really cut it.

Blame the terraforming. All the land you see is now 50-100 feet above sea level; any appearance of taller hills or mountains in the distance is just an optical illusion caused by the interaction of the residual terraforming energy and the radiation belt.

However, there’s still no reason not to have helicopters.

That pretty much sums up Defiance.