S-Mart Dragonfly - Modular Multi-Purpose Aerodyne
Soon after S-Mart was founded, by Ace Ripley, he quickly saw to it that a particular design of aerodyne went into limited scale manufacturing. This aircraft was a 21st century aerodyne called the Sikorsky S-201 - essentially a follow on to the Sky Crane heavy lift modular helicopter. The reasons were twofold. Firstly, this aircraft displayed incredible versatility - it was a modular design. It could carry a heavy cargo load to a mining facility and within five minutes a new pod could be locked under the belly that would allow it to enter combat as a heavy gun-ship!
This aerodyne was among the several designs that Project Archive had access to but this was also one of the VERY few that actually had the parts to build a half dozen samples. The only downfall of this was that Project Archive only had the design schematics and nothing was known about how the manufacturing facility was tooled. Some of the sample aerodynes were produced and sold to a few specially trusted associates of Ace Ripley, with the remainder being kept on hand for testing and limited deployment by Desert Star's N.O.M.A.D. military.
The S-201 samples were well liked and as a result special effort was placed into developing tooling to manufacture serial production S-201s as the S-Mart Dragonfly. Production of the knock-off version began in 115PA.
The first order for 32 was submitted by the N.O.M.A.D. military of Desert Star, shortly before production was announced. Soon after production began early in 115PA, an order for 12 Dragonflies was issued by Wa-Daisho's Red Devils. Following the completion of these, in 116-117PA, an order for 45 Dragonflies was issued by the Allied Naval Fleet for outfitting on the Kyoto, Dalmir, Javelin, Battlemaster, and Whiteshark class vessels in that branch service. The most recent serial production order was issued by the Imperial Kyatashiro Navy for 5 Dragonflies to equip their Kyoto Class carriers with a decent utility aircraft. An additional 82 Dragonflies have been produced for various other nations, mercenary units, corporations, and individuals in the time span leading up to February 2nd, 118PA.
Their time in service has been well spent in all areas. Those in N.O.M.A.D. use have seen service primarily in combat support roles, relocating artillery pieces, carrying in heavy supply loads, transporting infantry units to forward deployment sites, med-evac duties, communication relay duties, as well as the occasional close air support combat missions. In Wa-Daisho's service they have been far more limited in scope of mission performance, opting only to use them in utility positions such as transport, troop transport, executive transport, med-evac, and communications relay duties. The Allied Naval Fleet Dragonflies have seen the majority of action the type has experienced, most notably in the Battle of St. Lawrence where dozens of Dragonflies saw service in the Search & Rescue role. When not in combat the Dragonflies of this branch are used heavily as transports, executive transports, and especially as communications relay platforms. Those in Imperial Kyatashiro Navy use are used in much the same roles as their A.N.F. brethren.
Class: Modular Multi-Purpose Aerodyne.
Type: Dragonfly-A according to S-Mart & Desert Star. Wa-Daisho's designation system regards it as the SM Type 15 Dragonfly.
Crew: 4; Pilot, Copilot, & 2 Gunners. The Dragonfly can accommodate up to 16 fully armed soldiers in troop transport mode.
M.D.C. by Location:
*Grenade Launcher Turret - 150.
*Pulse Laser Turrets (2) - 50 each.
*Winglets (2) - 50 each.
**Turbines (2) - 250 each.
***Directional Thrusters (4) - 100 each.
Standard Cargo Pod - 250.
****Main Body - 405.
Reinforced Pilot's Compartment - 100.
* These targets are small, and difficult to hit, and may only be done so at a penalty of -4 to strike.
** Destroying one of the turbines means that two of the directional thrusters have lost their means of propulsion. The aircraft has lost MOST of its maneuvering capabilities! Handling the aircraft is very difficult, as it must lean heavily to one side - as such all maneuvers are conducted at -50%. A Dragonfly with more than 50% of it's total cargo capacity load will be forced to jettison it's load to even accomplish these negatives or it WILL crash.
*** These targets are small, and difficult to hit, and may only be done so at a penalty of -4 to strike. Naturally, if any of these are destroyed, the performance of this aircraft will be severely hampered. For every one destroyed, all maneuvers will be conducted at a -25%! If three are destroyed, the aircraft will begin to lose altitude, and either a crash landing must be made at the -75% penalty - or the crew must bail out.
**** Depleting the M.D.C. of the main body means that the aircraft's fuselage is in tatters, and for safety measures the thrusters have disengaged. There is no chance of landing an aerodyne so stricken, meaning that the crew MUST bail out.
Maximum Speed: 487 mph (779km/hr.) clean, 405 mph (648km/hr.) with a standard cargo pod affixed - empty, 194 mph (310km/hr.) with a standard cargo pod affixed - max. load. Odd loads suspended under the center fuselage will reduce the maximum speed severely and will most likely be moved at 60-100 mph. (96-160km/hr.) (Treat the communications relay pod as a standard cargo pod with a half load of cargo due to drag from radio relay aerials and additional weight.)
Maximum Altitude: 12,000'. (3,658m.)
Maximum Range: 901 miles (1,442km.) clean, 750 miles (1,200km.) with a standard cargo pod affixed - empty, 359 miles (574km.) with a standard cargo pod affixed - max. load; each before requiring a cooling period of at least 30 minutes. (Treat the communications relay pod as a standard cargo pod with a half load of cargo due to drag from relay aerials and additional weight.)
Height: 11'2". (3.4m.)
Length: 38'10". (11.8m.)
Width: 12'. (3.7m.)
Weight: 3.4 tons. (3.08 metric tons.)
Cargo: Without a standard cargo pod attached it can carry 3.82 tons (3.47 metric tons.) of cargo - 2.64 tons (2.4 metric tons.) with a standard cargo pod affixed. A med-evac pod does not permit the carriage of cargo but it does allow for five medical personnel and up to 8 stretchers to be carried, along with a vast array of medical equipment designed to stabilize patients in preparation of medical treatment at a hospital. A troop transport pod is essentially a standard cargo pod with mesh seating along each side that permits 16 fully armed soldiers or eight man-sized suits of power armor to be carried into battle. A communications relay pod does not permit any cargo to be carried.
Power System: Nuclear; Average energy life of 20 years.
Market Cost: 12.6 million credits will purchase a brand new Dragonfly from S-Mart. A communications relay pod costs 1.2 million credits over and above the base cost. A Med-Evac pod costs 750,000 credits - but comes fully stocked with all of the latest medical care equipment. A weapons pod costs 125,000 credits but does not include the cost of additional pod weapons. Please see the Pod Weapons section for details on cost.
1. Dual Mount 40 mm Automatic Grenade Launcher Turret: Located in the nose of the Dragonfly is a large turret that mounts two automatic grenade launcher turrets. This weapon can rotate 180 degrees and can lower down to 60 degrees below the centerline. It is a deadly weapon that is perfect for clearing new LZs!
Primary Purpose: Assault.
Secondary Purpose: Defense.
Mega-Damage: 4D6x10 M.D. for a dual 10 round burst of grenades.
Blast Radius: 100'.
Rate of Fire: These weapons are calibrated to fire simultaneous bursts only equal to the hand to hand attacks of the pilot or copilot.
Maximum Effective Range: 3,000'.
Payload: 50 grenades per launcher - accounting for only 5 dual 10 round bursts of grenades.
2. Pulse Laser Turrets (2): These turrets are mounted in the sides of the aerodyne above the weapon winglets, below the thruster intakes, and in front of the cabin side doors. On the standard S-Mart produced model these turrets are remote controlled by the pilot and copilot. In the version requisitioned by Wa-Daisho's Air Force soldiers in the back seats man the turrets. The weapon mounted within these turrets varies per who uses it. Those used by Desert Star mount the LPL-7a, those used by Kyatashiro mount the Wilk's 457, the weapon of choice for Wa-Daisho though - naturally is the Republican Industries Type 7 VSPLR.
Primary Purpose: Defense.
Secondary Purpose: Assault.
Mega-Damage: 1D6+4 M.D. or 2D6 M.D. for a single round pulse, 5D6 M.D. or 6D6 M.D. for a triple pulse burst. Note that both lasers CAN be fired simultaneously at the expense of only one attack. (The lesser of the damage listings is for the Blue Green frequency setting.)
Rate of Fire: Aimed, Burst, or Wild.
Maximum Effective Range: 1,600'.
Payload: Effectively unlimited, thanks to the nuclear power supply.
3. Weapon Winglet Hardpoints (2): The Dragonfly is equipped with a pair of winglets specifically intended for slinging ordinance under them. Each winglet has the capacity to carry a single pod of missiles or a single pod mounted cannon or laser. Please see the Pod Weapons section for details.
4. (Optional) Underbelly Hardpoint Pod: The Dragonfly's versatility as a modular multi-purpose platform brings it to the logical conclusion that it CAN be utilized in a heavy gunship role. In this layout a Dragonfly can don a pod that has two long winglets with up 20 pod spaces of weaponry - of these 16 are direct/indirect fire weapon positions and 4 may only have indirect fire weapons. (Essentially 16 spaces can fit missiles, torpedoes, bombs, or depth charges - while the other four may only mount bombs or depth charges.) Please see the Pod Weapons section for details.
5. Systems of Note: The Dragonfly is outfitted with a number of systems to improve survivability and mission performance.
1. Military Radio & Scrambler: 500 mile (800km.) range.
2. Radar & Target ID: 50 mile (80km.) range. Is capable of look-down up to 5 miles (8km.) out. Can track up to 36 targets simultaneously, but may only engage one target at a time.
3. Targeting/Combat Computer: This targeting computer assists the pilot in targeting, by providing him with a heads up display that includes all pertinent information. It provides a bonus of +1 to strike with all weapons installed.
4. Navigation Computer: This system uses the gravitational forces of the earth, to plot out where exactly the aircraft is. This system can effectively pinpoint the location of the aircraft down to the nearest hundred yards, to the pilot. Adds a +20% to Navigational skills.
5. Laser Detector: A handy system that sounds an alarm as soon as any laser targeting system even crosses over the aircraft.
6. Radar Detector: This system notifies the pilot when the aircraft has been sighted on radar.
7. Infrared Optics: This system allows the pilot and/or copilot to pull a monocle over his or her eye and see in perfect darkness. The range is limited to about five miles, and is limited to about a 90 degree arc of coverage forward of the aircraft.
8. Chaff & Flare Dispenser: This dual system is designed to negate the effectiveness of missiles, thereby improving the aircraft's survivability. If the incoming missile is Radar Guided, the Chaff has an 80% chance of throwing it off course, if it is Optical or Heat guided, the flare has a 90% chance of knocking it off course. Payload is limited to 20 chaff/flare bundles.
9. Auto Pilot: This allows the aircraft to lock in on a specific course and setting, and to fly itself from point A to point B. It can be programmed for set course changes and to perform certain maneuvers on it's own as well, but this must be programmed into the navigation computer. An aircraft can virtually fly itself then, change directions on it's own a handful of times, and do everything but take off, fight, and land.
10. Ejection Seats: Both pilot and copilot have ejection seats and chutes for use in emergency situations.
The picture used above was inspired by the image and description of the AV-9 Multi-Purpose Aerodyne as displayed in R. Talsorian's Games Inc. Cyberpunk 2020®'s Sourcebook Maximum Metal. This image was by no means created in an effort to steal the credit for such an impressively styled aircraft from the illustration team of R. Talsorian Games Inc., but was included here in an effort to emulate a well designed vehicle in the RIFTS role playing game.
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