In 114PA it was becoming painfully clear that the use of high tech and expensive fighter aircraft as trainers was not cost effective. On at least four occasions, one of Wa-Daisho's heavily modified Gray Falcons known as "Raiden" were put out of commission by a training accident, that required massive repairs to continue service. Thus, the Republican Council set a series of requirements down for the small, newly forming Republican Industries, to develop a basic trainer design. The requirements stated specifically, an aircraft with dual controls, reasonably rugged construction to allow for rough landings, and for it to be suitable for training both jet and prop pilots.
Design work took an extensive period of time. Firstly, because of industrial lay out - the new surface factories, needing to be finished, and for a corporate structure to be developed around it. Secondly, up until recently, the most that had been produced by Republican Industries was license produced S-Mart products, and other equipment exclusive to Wa-Daisho in extremely limited numbers. This meant that design of the new trainer aircraft would be slow and tedious - and more than once required consultation of S-Mart engineers and technicians who specialized in aircraft mechanics. Finally, a design was settled upon, tooling and construction followed - with a prototype aircraft being completed by mid 115PA. It was a sharp looking low wing monoplane with a large T-style tail. It was a composite propelled aircraft with a heat/thrust nuclear powered turbojet in the rear of the fuselage, and an electromagnetic shaft driven propeller unit in the front of the fuselage, making it a dual purpose trainer as planned. Something that was not mentioned in the requisites but was decided was a valuable asset to the program, was the fact that the trainer was designed to accommodate a light load of weapons (intended for training purposes), and a set of floats were designed to allow for amphibious modifications! The first test flight took place from a rough gravel road outside of the city of Wa-Daisho, on August 3, 115PA with Lt. James Avery of Wa-Daisho's Air Force at the controls. The flight was not very smooth however. He reported an unusual horizontal vibration shortly after take off, which cleared up at around 200' of altitude only to return shortly thereafter. He continued to climb, until engaging the jet which caused the aircraft to sway violently, and required an immediate shut down of the aft thruster, as well as a dive to regain control. Two avoided spins, and a bouncy landing later - Lt. James Avery reported that the aircraft was extremely unsafe. It's horizontal stability was poor, and use of the jet thruster literally threw him out of control. Taking the aircraft back to the factories to study the problems revealed a number of things wrong with the aircraft. The vertical tail control surfaces were somewhat loose, which caused the aircraft's unusual vibration. That problem could be fixed easily. The aircraft's terrible tendency to want to spin however was located in the tail's design itself. This required a complete redesign of this region, a more conventional mid fuselage stabilizer configuration being settled upon finally. In January of 116PA the design was again ready for testing. This time with Sergeant Thomas Renquist at the controls. Unlike the previous flight, the new tail performed marvelously - allowing the design to be authorized for full production by the end of the month.
In February 116PA the aircraft was designated the Republican Industries Type 16 Trainer, and entered production soon after. Republican Industries at the onset of production was geared to produce up to six aircraft a month. All of these were to be fitted with floats because of Wa-Daisho's lack of any real air port. Once an air port is constructed, these floats can be removed, and the landing gear be deployed as normal - however the tail wheel will have to be refitted, which is a simple task that requires five lock down bolts.
The first of these aircraft entered service with Wa-Daisho's Air Force as trainers in April of the same year, and began training of pilots immediately. From these aircraft's early performance, it was seen that the design really had a lot of potential to be used in other roles as well. Observation to most nations in RIFTS time, usually comes at the cost of using high tech, expensive fighter aircraft that were just not designed for such uses. The design of the Type 16 however, was developed for training purposes - but just so happened to also combine the traits of a much more useful aircraft than just that. Within a few short weeks, it was realized that the aircraft could also be used to shadow sea going vessels, patrol waters at slow speed, utility work, communications, VIP transport, and even in light attack roles. Thus after Wa-Daisho's training squadron of sixteen aircraft was completed, eight more were secured for the Wa-Daisho Air Force as observation/patrol aircraft, and a further four more were attained for similar purposes for use by each Avery and Angel Peak based Militias. Part way through this final production run, Republican Industries received a shocking order from the NOMAD Air Force in August of 116PA for 22 aircraft for use as trainers for their own pilots. In January of 117PA, with the CS forces building up on their borders, Tolkeen also issued a request for 42 Type 16s for use as trainers, and as utility aircraft - the last of which were delivered on August 21, 117PA - a mere few days before the CS Invasion of Tolkeen.
Since these military orders have been filled, a number of independent contracts have also been drawn out. A Delivery Service in El Paso has purchased 2 Type 16s for air mail drops to areas in Mexico and elsewhere. Akersley Fishing has purchased a trio of these aircraft, outfitted with the float package, for VIP transport of important officials to and from the fishing fleet. Furthermore a handful of individuals across North America have purchased these as independent personal aircraft.
In it's intended role, it has turned out to be an excellent aircraft for training purposes. There have been fewer accidents due to the less complex systems used in the training aircraft, and it allows pilots to ease into the high performance of jet fighters and similar military aircraft. Those that entered service with Tolkeen, have since seen much more than simple pilot training. It's ability to carry light weapons has also resulted in it's use as a light attack and observation aircraft, in addition to liaison work transporting magic users and similar agents behind enemy lines, and deep into CS held territory. On occasion the type has also been used as a VIP Transport as well! Due to the inherent danger of these missions, since the aircraft were first delivered in August of 117PA, losses have been heavy in Tolkeen with no less than 18 of them having been destroyed in the first seven months of operations. To try to remedy these losses, in December of 117PA Tolkeen weapons engineers have outfitted the rear pilots compartment of the remaining 24 aircraft with a flexible mount, typically outfitted with a TW TK-60 Light Machine Gun.
Wa-Daisho Trainer Colors
Wa-Daisho Recon/Patrol Aircraft Colors
Desert Star Trainer Colors
Tolkeen Trainer/Observation/Liaison Colors
El Paso Delivery/Postal Aircraft Colors
Model Type: Type 16. (Implies the year of it's authorized construction, 116PA).
Class: Trainer, Observation, Utility, Transport, & Liaison.
Crew: 1 or 2. Can be flown with one pilot, but during primary training an instructor typically rides in the rear cockpit seat. During alternate missions, and observer/photographer can ride in the rear cockpit seat, or the rear seat could be used for freight.
M.D.C. by Location:
*Wings (2) - 125 each.
**Horizontal Stabilizers (2) - 50 each.
**Tail - 68.
Tail Wheel - 15.
Propeller - 60.
Main Retracting Landing Gear (2) - 25.
(Optional)Twin Floats (2) - 50 each.
***Main Body - 170.
Reinforced Pilots Compartment/Cockpit-50.
* Destroying one of the wings will disable the aircraft and bring it to crash.
** Destroying any one of these locations will force the pilot to immediately search for a landing spot, as the aircraft has become unstable, and difficult to control. A crash landing requires a roll of -40%.
*** Depleting the M.D.C. of the main body shuts the vehicle down completely, making it useless.
Maximum Speed: 355 mph under propeller power, 412 mph under jet power, 445 mph with both propulsion systems running. Reduce speed by 32% for use of the optional Floats.
Maximum Altitude: 44,250'.
Maximum Range: Theoretically the Type 16 could continue operations until the reactor's fuel became too weak to propel the motors any longer. However, the larger the demand for power the hotter the reactor burns. After 10 hours of flight using both jet and propeller systems, 12 hours with just jet propulsion, and 42 hours with just propeller propulsion.
Length: 34' 6".
Wingspan: 40' 5".
Weight: 13,600 Lbs or 6.8 tons; 14,200 or 7.1 tons with the floats.
Cargo: Can carry up to 525 Lbs of cargo weight inside of the rear canopy area - provided that there is no one in it. The Tolkeen version is modified to accomodate a TW TK-60 Light Machine Gun in the rear cockpit but it makes it much more crowded and awkward for the person in the rear cockpit to concentrate.
Power System: Nuclear; Average Energy Life of about 10 years.
Market Cost: 885,000 credits - PLUS an additional 150,000 credits for the twin floats. Each bolt on pylon for the under wing hard points costs an additional 500 credits, with a maximum of four. (Note that only 2 hard points can be equipped when the twin floats are in place, and then the weight limit is reduced to 200 Lbs total.)
1. (Optional) Underwing Hard Points (4): The Type 16, was designed as an all purpose trainer - which meant that it needed to be capable of carrying a small assortment of weapons. These may then be mounted on up to four pylons, two only if the floats have been installed, that can be purchased for a small fee from Republican Industries or S-Mart, that each can accommodate up to two pod spaces of weapons. Altogether the Type 16 can carry a load of up to 1,000 Lbs - divided among the pylons, or a maximum of 200 Lbs if the floats are installed. Here are some typical weapons that can be equipped - though remember that the Type 16 is not designed as a combat aircraft despite it's weapons capabilities. Tolkeen on the other hand, although they use these weapons described below in training, the Type 16 oftentimes is used by fully trained pilots in an assortment of other missions it was not designed, but is well suited, for. For it's use in these missions, they can carry A, B, F, G, or I from the weapons listed under the S-Mart Assassin's Pod Weapons. Those used by Wa-Daisho for recon and patrol missions typically are outfitted with either a pair of Pulse Laser Pods, a pair of Short Range, Armor Piercing Missiles, or a pair of 100 Lbs High Explosive Bombs.
A. Pulse Laser Pods: This pod mounted laser is essentially a modified Type 7 VSPLR, outfitted to fire only three round pulses. It is equipped on this aircraft for gunnery practice. Each pod takes up a whole pylon, and weighs only 35 Lbs.
Primary Purpose: Gunnery Training.
Secondary Purpose: Defense.
Mega-Damage: 5D6 M.D. for a triple pulse burst on blue green frequency, or 6D6 M.D. on the standard laser frequency.
Blast Radius: Point of Impact.
Rate of Fire: Equal to the pilots hand to hand attacks.
Maximum Effective Range: 1,600'.
Payload: The laser pod is typically outfitted with a clip, for the purpose of placing a limit on the number of times the weapon may be fired. However, the weapon can be patched into the nuclear power system for an unlimited number of shots.
B. 20 mm Cannon Gun Pods: This pod mounted rapid fire cannon can be mounted under a wing for cannon gunnery training. Each pods weighs 200 Lbs, including ammunition, takes up 1 pylon, and 1 pod space. (Note that these are purchased from S-Mart.)
Primary Purpose: Anti-Personnel.
Secondary Purpose: Anti-Armor.
Mega-Damage: 2D4x10 M.D. per 20 shell burst.
Blast Radius: A combined burst of explosive shells has about a 2' blast radius.
Rate of Fire: 10 shell bursts only.
Maximum Effective Range: 3,000'.
Payload: 200 shells, or 10 bursts.
C. Short Range Torpedos or Missiles: A pair of short range torpedo or missile can be outfitted on a twin rack that fits on a single pylon for use in gunnery practice. The torpedoes or missiles together with the rack weigh 75 Lbs, and take up 1 pod space.
Primary Purpose: Anti-Armor/Ship Training.
Secondary Purpose: Anti-Aircraft Training.
Mega-Damage: Early in gunnery training, it is typically outfitted with paint/dye warheads that explode upon impact showering a 5' radius with paint or in the case of the torpedo, pops and dyes the water a greenish color in the area of impact. Later in practice live fire exercises are done with all sorts of warheads.
Blast Radius: 5' radius.
Rate of Fire: One missile or torpedo may be fired at a time.
Maximum Effective Range: 3 miles for the practice types; Varies for all other types.
Payload: 1 missile per pylon.
D. 100 Lbs Bombs: The Type 16 may be outfitted with bombs for bombing run practice. Each one takes up a single pylon, and weighs ... 100 Lbs!
Primary Purpose: Dive Bombing Practice.
Secondary Purpose: Horizontal Bombing Practice.
Mega-Damage: Early in gunnery training, it is typically outfitted with chalk bombs that explode upon impact in a gigantic puff of chalk marking the spot struck with the bomb. The pattern on the object or location struck may be inspected and details determined concerning what could be done to improve the aim/shot of the pilot in training. Later in training High Explosive Bombs are used in live fire exercises that inflict 2D4x10 M.D.
Blast Radius: 30'.
Rate of Fire: One bomb may be fired at a time.
Maximum Effective Range: May be deployed from a variety of altitudes.
Payload: 1 bomb per pylon.
2. (Exclusive to Tolkeen) TW TK-60 Light Machine Gun (1; Rear Cockpit): The aircraft sold to Tolkeen are used in a variety of roles it was not intended for. It's low speed, and light armor strength has made it vulnerable to aerial opposition, especially from the rear. In an effort to stem these losses from enemy fighters a flexible mount was installed in the back cockpit of all remaining Type 16s in the Royal Tolkeen Air Force, and a TW TK-60 was provided to the left side wall of each rear cockpit, to allow the person in the back cockpit (trainer or otherwise) to unbuckle themselves, sit on their knees facing backwards, and latch this weapon into the flexible mount creating a defense to rear attacks. (See page 63 of Coalition Wars: RIFTS: Siege on Tolkeen - Chapter One for details.)
3. Systems of Note: The Type 16 is outfitted with an assortment of systems designed to give the trainer an accurate portrayal of the responsibilities a pilot will have in a more advanced aircraft.
1. Simulated Difficulty Training System: With an instructor in the aft cockpit, he can opt to cause a number of problems to occur during flight. This includes simulated tail winds on landing (Through use of flaps on wings, tail, and horizontal surfaces placed for this purpose.), mechanical failures, and any number of problems that can arise during flight - can all be simulated in flight.
2. Dual Control System: The trainer has dual controls that allow the aircraft to be operated from the front or back seats. Visibility is not considered to be excellent for the trainer in the back seat, thus a retractable periscope is provided for the person in the rear seat to see over the front seat and fly the aircraft in this manner.
3. Radio Communications System: This provides the aircraft with communications from either seat, to anywhere within an 80 mile radius of the aircraft provided that it is at a high enough altitude.
4. Military Radar with Look Down, and Radar ID: This advanced system allows the pilot in training to become accustomed to the advanced features of a military aircraft such as these devices. The Radar has a range of 30 miles, with look down capabilities allowing it to 'see' objects on the ground, or close to it, and the Radar ID that is programmed with most North American vehicle types, and aircraft known to Wa-Daisho, in addition to some 12,000 different species of creatures that might show up on radar as being more than 20' in height, and/or fly.
5. M.A.D. (Magnetic Anomaly Detector): This is a special system used to detect the presense of large quantities of metal underwater, or on land surfaces. It has a range of 5 miles, and can detect objects as far down as a mile. It is projected through the use of a retractable antennae that flips down into position on the right wing of the Type 16.
6. Heads Up Display, Reflector Sight, & Computer Targeting Computer: These systems also are provided to permit the pilot in training some systems to grow more accustomed to flying aircraft with targeting assistance. The Reflector Sight is the most basic, similar to those used in World War II Fighter aircraft. It basically reflects a site up onto a clear armored panel in front of the pilot allowing him to see generally where a weapon system would strike - provided it were outfitted with any. It is mostly present as a redundant system in case any of the more advanced features were to fail. (Simulated difficulties, remember?) The Heads up Display basically allows the pilot to access tons of information all at once, including ranges, anticipated points of attack, tracking, and so forth. The Computer Targeting Sight actually will assist the pilot in tracking, and targeting of a target. The Reflector Sight Provides no bonuses (Without there would be negatives.), and the Computer Targeting Computer provides a +2 to strike.)
7. Chaff & Flare Dispenser: This dual system is designed to negate the effectiveness of missiles without resorting to dangerous maneuvers and such, when on bombing runs, in the process of aiming, etc. 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. In training, it can also be used to mark a location of when a bomb is dropped, instead of dropping the real thing in training - OR the flare dispenser may be used in recon or observation missions to mark a target.
8. Environmental Systems: The Type 16 is designed for operations that simulate the cockpit of a modern aircraft, so therefore it has a pressurized cockpit with up to 12 hours of life support for two individuals.