By Edward A. May
The Whirlwind was initially developed in response to a NOMAD requirement for a medium lift transport aircraft that would fit a role somewhere between the Skytruck's and the Hermes' load capacities. This aircraft would also have to be capable of vertical take-off or landing (VTOL) performance, so that it could serve the NOMAD Air Force along side of the Dragonfly in supporting front line military operations.
After carefully screening the references provided by Project Archive, S-Mart engineers settled on reproducing a type fielded in the mid-21st century known as the Boeing V-24 Osprey II.
This aircraft, the successor to the famed V-22 Osprey, was the first all-nuclear, high performance tilt-rotor aircraft built out of high structural integrity composites and ceramics to be produced. It was produced, in various marks and variations, throughout the mid to late 21st century for all of the United States service arms and several foreign services, and was even beginning to find it's way into civilian hands shortly before the cataclysm occurred.
While today, a dozen or so of the Boeing manufactured Osprey IIs can be found scattered around North America in flight worthy condition, S-Mart's decision to begin production of the Whirlwind marked the first time since the cataclysm that a true Tilt-Rotor aircraft was to be produced from the ground up.
Development and tooling work began in late 114PA with production beginning in the summer of 115PA. With the type already having been proven through data files and samples contained within Project Archive, the type quickly entered service with the NOMAD Air Force and entered sale on the commercial market a few months later.
In 116PA an envoy from the Royal Tolkeenite Air Force was given a demonstration of the Whirlwind's lift capacity and performance envelope prompting him to place an order for 30 such aircraft for various purposes throughout the Kingdom of Tolkeen. Only 15 such aircraft were delivered before the war's start in 117PA, however, and all remaining orders were canceled in favor of other production types ordered by Tolkeen at that time.
Other commercial customers of the type have included independent mercenary units, corporate entities, and various independent contractors located in Kyatashiro, El Paso, Ishpeming, Kingsdale, Republican, New Hope, and Silvereno.
Since it's introduction, although the Whirlwind is an excellent performer, it's small cargo bay and limited performance envelope has severely hampered it's sales margins. As a result the Whirlwind has only been produced in small numbers since it's initial production run in 115PA. To date, as of February 2nd, 118PA only 46 of the type have been manufactured.
Model Type: Whirlwind-A.
Class: Tilt-Rotor Transport Aircraft.
Crew: 2; Can accommodate 28 troops.
M.D.C. by Location:
* Wings (2) - 150 each.
* Nacelles (2) - 150 each.
** Rotor Blades (6) - 50 each.
*** Tails (2) - 100 each.
Aft Cargo Door - 100.
****Main Body - 400.
Reinforced Pilot's Compartment - 100.
* Destroying a wing or nacelle will result in the loss of control and a subsequent crash. Note that if one of the engines are severely damaged, resulting in it's inability to operate but still maintaining the integrity of the rotor and the wing, power can be diverted to the opposite rotor via a complicated gearing mechanism to drive both rotors simultaneously.
** Destroying one of the rotor blades will result in terrible vibration and will force the pilot to conduct an immediate emergency landing at a penalty of -35%.
*** Destroying one of the tails will result in serious problems with horizontal maneuverability at high speeds. Reduce the maximum horizontal flight by 50%, with an imposed penalty of -10% to the pilot's abilities. Flying over this maximum horizontal flight will result in dangerous tail sliding causing all within the aircraft to be bounced around and imposing a penalty of -40% to maintain control.
**** Depleting the M.D.C. of the main body means that the aircraft's fuselage is in tatters, and for safety measures the power systems have shut down. The pilot can attempt a dead stick landing, at a -30% on level ground, or can opt to eject.
Maximum Speed: 315 mph with the rotors poised in the horizontal flight position, 175 mph with the rotors at a 45 degree angle, or 115 mph with the rotors in a near-vertical upright position. Cruising speeds tend to be 235, 130, and 85 mph respectively.
Maximum Altitude: 28,000 feet.
Maximum Endurance: The electro-magnetic propulsion system driving the twin rotors are very and durable allowing the aircraft to fly for up to 20 hours at cruising speeds before requiring a cooling period of 20 minutes or more. Flying at speeds exceeding cruising speed requires a cooling period after about 10 hours of flight.
Height: 23' 2". (25' 6" with the rotors turned vertical.)
Rotor Span: 90' 6".
Weight: 16 tons.
Maximum Cargo Weight: Cargo is limited to 16 tons, with sufficient airstrip to take-off in a conventional manner. Short Take-Off/Landing capability, with the rotors at a 45 degree angle is limited to 12 tons, while pure vertical take-off/landing capability is limited to 9 tons. External cargo, via dual hook suspension, is limited only by this 9 ton limit capability. Internal cargo space is 28'x6'x6'.
Market Cost: The S-Mart Whirlwind-A is available from S-Mart at a cost of 35.5 million credits per aircraft, in addition to short production run costs.
Systems of Note:
1. Military Radio & Scrambler: 500 mile range.
2. Radar & Target ID: 50 mile range and is programmed with most aircraft on RIFTS Earth current to 115PA, as well as most common types of star fighters available on Phase World. Additionally, it is programmed to recognize the signature of several species of flying monsters/D-Bees. Can track up to 36 targets simultaneously.
3. Inertial Navigation Computer: This system uses the gravitational forces of the earth, to plot out the exact location of the aircraft down to the nearest hundred yards. Adds a +20% to the aircrew's navigational skills.
4. Laser Detector: This system sounds an alarm every time a laser tracking, distancing, or weapon laser paints/targets or strikes the aircraft.
5. Radar Detector: This system sounds an alarm every time a distancing, tracking, or targeting radar, or microwave weapon paints/targets or strikes the aircraft.
6. Ejection Seats: The pilot and copilot each have an ejection seat and chute for use in emergency situations.
The image displayed in reference to this aircraft is the Federated-Boeing Commuter 2050 as shown on pg. 52 of the now defunct FASA Corporation (RPG), Shadowrun's Sourcebook, The Rigger Black Book. The rights to which are now owned solely by WizKids, Inc. WizKids, Inc. has granted permission to SirTenzan's RIFTS Gallery to use the artwork but does not endorse, and is not affiliated with SirTenzan's RIFTS Gallery in any official capacity whatsoever.
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