Ghost QF-106 Delta Dart:
Sarah Willis was flying patrol in her Sea Strike fighter. Her wing man had a major failure with his fighter and had been forced to return to the CSS Lone Star as a result. It was a small miracle that the fighter had not crashed limping towards the carrier.
There had been a series of usual radar contacts in this vicinity and she had been ordered to stay on station until another pair of fighter was sent to support her as a result. There was nothing on her radar now however. Her radar officer shook his head.
There had been periodic reports of targets appearing and disappearing over the last few years. These could be stealth fighters operated by the group in Florida but she did not think it likely. It was simply too close to Texas. They general did not operate this close to Lone Star controlled territory.
Suddenly her radar officer spoke up, "Lieutenant, we are picking up a contact at sixty-five degrees to port at sixty-seven kilometers. It seems to have just appeared on the radar. From the return though, it is a very solid contact and does not appear to be a stealth aircraft. It is squawking some extremely strange signals - might be some form of IFF but the computer does not recognize it." Just then it fuzzed out and then returned a few moments later. It did not seem to be jamming however.
She could easily lock a pair of missiles on it but she wanted to figure out what it was. As well, she was worried that she would lose lock and the missiles would get lost. Turning her nose towards the target, she poured on the thrust quickly exceeding mach one and then pushing onto mach two. Top speed of the fighter is mach two point eight and she was approaching it as she begins to approach the target. Of course the engines would overheat more quickly at this speed but the engine barely heated up in the couple of minutes it took her to intercept.
What she saw was a delta wing aircraft which had a white body and an orange painted tail fin. Maybe some kind of fighter from appearances. Her radar officer told her, "I have been trying to raise the aircraft. I have been getting nothing back."
Trying to get a better look, she rose above the other aircraft, which had increased its speed to above mach one by now, probably trying to run. Looking into the cockpit, there appeared to be nobody inside. "What the hell." she exclaimed. Most drones did not have cockpits in the first place.
Instead of locking a missile, she decided to go in with guns. It was too close to be comfortable with missiles anyway especially with periodically losing lock on target. Locking on with her radar gun sight, she fired a burst from her lasers at the aircraft. Suddenly, the other aircraft dodged. She never saw anything maneuver like that thing. Even her instructors would be hard pressed to dodge that effectively.
Quickly, she switched to mini-missiles. A moment later, she fired a volley of six mini-missiles. She had an almost perfect lock one. Several seemed to go haywire on launch and traveled in every direction. Two remained locked but again the other fighter dodged the missiles. The mini-missiles detonated long after passing the other aircraft when they reached maximum range.
The enemy aircraft, as she saw it now, did a complicated maneuver and it was suddenly behind her. She kept trying to jink but nothing she did seemed able to shake the other aircraft. Any moment, she expected the fighter to open fire and shoot her from the sky. She could hear her radar officer calling for assistance but it would be several minutes before they would get there.
It seemed to last an eternity but eventually the other fighter veered off. Maybe is simply could not keep up with her fighter. Then again, it might have been that she almost put her fighter in a flat spin trying to avoid the other fighter’s fire. Still, the other fighter could have had her if it had wanted to.
As it departed, she tracked it at around mach two point three. She could chase it but she was afraid that it might engage her once again. Still, she had to try one last time. Lieutenant Willis toggled all six of her long range missiles. When she had the other fighter in a solid lock, she fired all of them. Her sensors fuzzed out and two missiles immediately began going wildly out of control. Four still held lock however.
Took just moments for the remaining long range missiles to reach the other fighter. The aircraft just disappeared as the missiles exploded. She blinked because it had not exploded but just simply disappeared. Not matter how powerful the explosion, wreckage should be raining down onto the water. Where had it gone.
Her radar officer asked, "How are we going to explain what happened." It was just then that the four "Shrike" interceptors appeared on the horizon.
There are legends on Rifts Earth of ghosts. Ghosts are said to walk battlefields. Ghost aircraft are said to patrol the skies and ghost ships are said to sail the dark seas. The magic of the Rifts seems to have charged these things with energies never known before. What once were just shades are now solid. Some are friendly while others are not.
Produced by Convair, the F-106 Delta Dart was a United States Air Force single engine interceptor fighter which served in the Nineteen-Sixties, Nineteen-Seventies, and Nineteen-Eighties. It ended its days serving as the QF-106, a radar control target, where it operated for another decade. Fighter pilots needed supersonic targets which they could test missiles again and new missiles needed targets to be tested against.
There are stories of a QF-106 drone which just disappeared. Most assumed that it just lost radio signal and either flew until it ran out of fuel or detonated on its own. Before then, the drone was known as an extremely hard target to kill. It seemed to have incredible luck with missiles almost always missing. The pilot who operated the drone had a heart attack the next day and died. It is said that he was an incredible pilot before piloting drones and was an ace with kills in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam.
This same aircraft seemed to have reappeared centuries later, not seeming to have crashed after all. Of course, it might have crashed and then have been reborn when the Earth was engulfed in magical energies. Over the years, there have been hundreds of reports of a mysterious ghost aircraft. It has been engaged by Coalition, R.E.E.F. Florida, and even New Navy units. Several techno-wizard pilots have also engaged the ghost drone. Most often the ghost fighter is seen over the Western Gulf of Mexico but has periodically been found further away including over land.
Generally, because the aircraft does not appear to fire at other aircraft. As such, both the New Navy and R.E.E.F. Florida have orders to not fire on the aircraft unless it fires at them. The Coalition on the other hand has fired on the aircraft numerous times. Trying to engage with guns is almost impossible and often missiles just go haywire. It does have a chaff and flare system that it has used periodically against incoming missiles.
On the occasion where a missile is about to hit the aircraft, the ghost plane just appears to disappear. There are various suggestions including that the ghost aircraft teleports while others suggest that it becomes intangible and invisible. Most suggest that the ghost Delta Dart is actually impossible to kill. Nobody knows for sure however. The few times its paint was scratched, the aircraft seems to have regenerated the damage.
Even though the ghost drone has never fired on another aircraft, it has not stopped it from playing games. It will often swing into a tail position of another fighter. There is story of a Coalition aircraft actually crashing in an attempt to lose the ghost aircraft. While frowned on, some New Navy and R.E.E.F pilots have engaged the drone in friendly dogfights.
Whoever pilots the drone, the drone is piloted at an incredible skill. Those who have looked into the cockpit of the aircraft have noted that there is no pilot inside the cockpit. Some think that a ghost pilots the aircraft while others suggest that the aircraft flies itself.
Model Number: QF-106A
Vehicle Type: Air, Single Engine Ghost Fighter / Drone
Crew: Zero (or one depending what is flying the aircraft)
Horror Factor: 10
M.D.C. by Location:
| Wings (2):||220 each|
| Rudder (1):||120|
|Landing Gear (2):||30 each|
| Main Body:||380|
 Destroying a wing will cause the plane to crash
 Destroying the rudder will cause the aircraft to before uncountable and crash
Note: The QF-106 will regenerate at 20% of the hit locations M.D.C. per day, meaning all damage will be restored within 5 days of being damaged. Even if a hit location is completely destroyed, it will slowly regenerate until completely restored.
Driving on Ground (Taxiing): Only possible for take offs and landings as well as for parking and storage. Speed is 40 mph (64 kph) when traveling and not on take off or landing.
Flying: Maximum speed of mach 2.3 (1,525 mph / 1,320 knots / 2,455 kph) with a maximum altitude of 57,000 feet (17,000 meters). Normal cruise speed is between mach 0.9 and 1.1 (594 to 726 mph / 516 to 631 knots / 956 to 1168 kph) When intangible, fighter’s top speed is increased to mach 3.45 mph (2,277 mph / 1,980 knots / 3,665 kph) but the aircraft must slow down to mach 2.3 (1,525 mph / 1,320 knots / 2,455 kph) before becoming solid or piloting is at -20% while above that speed.
Range: Effectively Unlimited, the fighter drone appears to need no refueling and seems to run on magical energy. The aircraft however seems to only be able to travel greater than cruise speed for up to fifteen minutes. It then requires two hours to recharge its "afterburners."
Height: 20.28 feet (6.18 meters)
Wingspan: 38.25 feet (11.67 meters)
Length: 70.7 feet (21.55 meters)
Weight: F-106 Delta Dart weighed 24,420 pounds (11,077 kilograms) empty and 34,510 pounds (15,670 kilograms) loaded
Power System: Magic, systems seem to work as if run by magic (Originally powered by a Pratt & Whitney J75-17 afterburning turbojet with 24,500 lbs of thrust)
Cargo: Minimal (Storage for small equipment), does not include ordnance bay or cockpit
Black Market Cost: Not for Sale, due to the haunted nature of this aircraft it is doubtful anyone would want the drone fighters and the plane is completely independent.
- One (1) Anti-Missile Chaff/Flare Dispenser: Even though magical in nature, it has the same effects as the TRIAX model. Each time the system is engaged, the system fires off one chaff and 1D4 flares although regenerates the defensive weapons through magic.
- Effect: 01-50 Enemy missile or missile volley detonates in chaff cloud - Missiles are all destroyed.
51-75 Enemy missile or missile volley loses track of real target and veers away in wrong direction (May lock onto another target.)
76-00 No effect, enemy missile or missile volley is still on target.
Payload: Effectively unlimited, continuously reloads itself by magic.
Special Abilities as a Haunted Vehicle:
- Will of Its Own: The drone fighter appears to be completely independent and/or in control of a ghost pilot in the plane. Hard to know if it is the aircraft itself or if a ghost pilots the aircraft. The personality is one of almost playfulness where it will often play games with other fighters. It does not fire back but will otherwise try to tail other aircraft. Incredibly skilled, the aircraft has a 98% pilot skill roll, has 8 attacks per melee, +6 to pretend to engage other aircraft, +12 to dodge, and +4 to initiative.
- Lucky: Once per day, the ghost aircraft can re-roll a botched skill roll (piloting skill roll, dodge roll, strike rolls, perception roll, etc.)
- Technological Jamming Field: The ghost drone creates a strange jamming field which works on technology, especially sensor systems and guidance system. Does not seem to create an actual jamming field but instead just seems to fuzz sensor systems. Gives a -50% penalty to "read sensory instrument" rolls as well as -8 to strike with missiles. Missiles just seem to go haywire when fired.
- Inexhaustible Propulsive Force: Range and fuel are not a problem; the fighter seems able to go on forever, powered by a magical power source. Only limit is that the fighter drone is limited to fifteen minutes on "afterburner" with a two hour recharge required.
- Regenerates Damage: The QF-106 will regenerate at 20% of the hit locations M.D.C. per day, meaning all damage will be restored within 5 days of being damaged. Even if a hit location is completely destroyed, it will slowly regenerate until completely restored.
- Rejects Modern Components: The drone fighter will not accept the addition of modern components and components will seem to fail within a few days. Of course, being that the aircraft does not have a crew, this is not a serious concern.
- Natural Invisibility: The fighter is capable of assuming an invisible (Both Visually and on Radar) and perfectly silent state, even when running full out! The vehicle cannot engage in any sort of offensive action (such as firing a weapon) without dropping its invisibility. Can engage this ability 4 times per day with a duration of up to 60 minutes at a time.
- Natural Intangibility: The vehicle has the ability to become immaterial and intangible, and ghost through solid objects. The aircraft can drive or fly right through solid objects and can drive over or through water when the enchantment is activated. The fighter cannot be harmed by normal weapons while intangible but can be effected by magic weapons and psionics. Speed is increased to mach 3.45 mph (2,277 mph / 1,980 knots / 3,665 kph) while intangible but must slow down before becoming solid again. The fighter appears to be ghostlike when it goes intangible and cannot be detected on radar. Can engage this ability 4 times per day for up to 30 minutes at a time.
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Special Credit to Talis D. Merrill (firstname.lastname@example.org) for many of the concepts and enchantments / powers for Ghost / Haunted vehicles.
Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).
Copyright © 2013, Kitsune. All rights reserved.