S-Mart Dustfish A & B

      The DustFish is a jeep sized hovercraft shaped more like a small two man speed boat. It has twin props in the rear and a small roll cage protecting the pilot and passengers. While initially designed to meet military specifications for a non-combat utility platform, a civilian version was put into production in late 115PA. The only real difference between the two basic models is that the Dustfish-A, the military version, features a pintle mount for defensive purposes. A more heavily armored nuclear powered variant was proposed by S-Mart but no orders were forthcoming, and so S-Mart quietly converted their few nuclear powered stock back to electric power, and ceased offering it as an option. (This version was known as the Dustfish-C, but since none were ever sold and they are no longer available - stats will not be included here.)

      Although not as 'pretty' as some of S-Mart's vehicular designs, the Dustfish is quite popular. Mercenary companies and military units employ these as cheap patrol vehicles or as staff cars. Civilians use them as recreational vehicles out in the country, and many people who live their lives on the plains employ them as their primary mode of transportation as well. For it's military applications users like Desert Star, Wa-Daisho, Kyatashiro, Republican, Water Point Preserve, New Hope, among others have acquired literally hundreds of these vehicles and use them for a variety of purposes.

      What all air-cushion hovercraft lack, however, is the ability to cross uneven terrain, and the inability to climb inclines of higher than a few degrees for any duration - they simply lose their forward momentum. Thus vehicles like the Dustfish are fairly limited to crossing over flat terrain like the Salt Flats of Desert Star, water, and flat grassland.

Model Type: Dustfish-A & B; in Wa-Daisho service the A variant is known as the SM Type 14 Dustfish.
Class: Military Air-Cushion Hovercraft & Civilian Air-Cushion Hovercraft.
Crew: 1; can accommodate 3 passengers.
M.D.C. by Location:
    Fans (2) - 30 each
    *Skirt (10 sections) - 20 per section
    **Roll Cage - 25
    ***Main Body - 60

* If more than four of the sections are depleted the hovercraft's belly will begin dragging on the ground. To continue moving will mean damaging the hovercraft beyond repair within 1D4 miles of dragging. Making the hovercraft worthless beyond being that of a parts donor.
** The Roll Cage may not completely encompass the crew, however it does afford the characters some protection from fire, as the attackers will have a -2 to strike those within, if the strike is missed by one of those two points the shot strikes the roll cage and likely damages it severely if not tears out a couple of support beams!
*** Depleting the M.D.C. of the Main Body indicates that the vehicle essentially has been destroyed, and is good for nothing more than scrap - or as a parts donor for other vehicles.

Performance:
Hover Speed: 150 mph
Maximum Altitude: 3'
Handling: This vehicle is not the best for maneuvering, even having been described as being like "a brick on grease" when making sudden evasive maneuvers. -10% when trying to make high speed maneuvers like dodges or sudden turns. On a failed roll reduce the vehicles current speed by 30%, or if appropriate, the vehicle crashes.
Accelerated Leaping: The Dustfish can leap up to 20' into the air off of an incline.
Range: Electric & Internal Combustion have a 400 mile range.
A Note Towards Range: All vehicles need some degree of maintenance, and an air cushion hovercraft is no exception. The skirt along the bottom of the Dustfish will tear and wear down from the constant friction of it's contact against the various surfaces it comes in contact with. Generally, they absolutely must be replaced or patched every two or three thousand miles, but it is recommended that the skirt be completely replaced every 50,000 miles.

Statistical Data:
Height: 5'
Width: 8'
Length: 14'
Weight: 1,500 Lb.
Cargo Capacity: 1,000 Lb. before the Hovercraft noticeably bogs down. (1,000-1,249 Lb.); -5% piloting rolls, 1,250-1,399 Lb.; -10% piloting rolls, 1,400 Lb. and above; -25% Piloting rolls, Max Spd: 60 mph. Keep in mind, these negatives are all in addition to the -10% piloting roll negative for the vehicles normal handling.)
Market Cost: 65,000 credits for the Dustfish-A, the military version, and 60,000 credits for the Dustfish-B civilian version. Repair sections for the mega-damage capacity skirt cost 500 credits per section, bringing the M.D.C. back up to the full 20. Patches only cost 50 credits, but these are S.D.C. patches capable of being blasted away with even S.D.C. firearms. A complete replacement S.D.C. skirt may be purchased for the Dustfish in place of the mega-damage capacity version, and these typically cost only 500 credits - but are only good for about 10,000 miles. A complete replacement M.D.C. skirt costs 5,000 credits.

1. System of Note:
    1. Dash Mounted Radio: 20 mi range radio, this is standard for both models.
    2. Pintle Mount: Standard for the military version, and is good for any weapon up to 200 Lb.



      The image above is reprinted, with permission, from R. Talsorian Games Inc. Cyberpunk 2020's Sourcebook Maximum Metal. In the sourcebook it is seen as the GEB Duster, a common general purpose hovercraft in the Cyberpunk game world. All rights remain reserved by R. Talsorian Games Inc., and SirTenzan's RIFTS Gallery acknowledges and respects these rights. This image is reprinted as a means of creating a wonderful new vehicle for RIFTS, using the spectacular artistry of R. Talsorian Games Inc. illustrators.




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