TR-10 Finch Light Starfighter Trainer (HAFN / CAF):
One might think that all of small craft training could be done in simulation and much of the training is done that way. Still, using actual space craft does have advantages. The feel of a simulator is almost identical but there are still tiny differences which a pilot can sense. Still, some militaries do rely completely on simulators however. Others use standard fighters in the training role.
When retired from combat duty, the SF-5 Starling served in the trainer role. As time went on, the modified fighter became old and maintenance costs increased. One specific problem was that there were no new parts being made for the old light fighter anymore. In general, that meant that parts would need to be salvaged from retired craft or specially made.
It was decided that a new trainer design would replace the Starling in service. One design under consideration was simply an unarmed version of the SF-9 Vixen light fighter. The light fighter was often used in the training role, more so as the Starling got older. Of course, as a single seat, it would be best to modify into a twin seat versions.
Still, it was decide that a completely new design using a large amount of civilian components would be less expensive to manufacture in number as well as being less expensive to operate. A competition was called with a number of different designs were submitted. The winner of the competition being a craft which became known as the Finch. It was a tiny design, actually even smaller than the Vixen. Like the Vixen, the fighter trainer was designed for good atmospheric performance as well as space.
Numerous Finches have been produced. It was adopted by a number of planetary military forces in addition to the Human Alliance. When the Consortium of Civilized Worlds took shape, they also adopted this fighter trainer. It has not been since comparatively recently that this craft has begun to be replaced. Now, it has largely been replaced in the Trainer role in both the Consortium and Human Alliance by the Kitten light trainer. While mostly replaced in Human Alliance service, they still operate a number of these old craft. Larger numbers are operated by planetary defense forces.
In addition to military service, a number of these training craft have found their way into civilian hands. Some are used for stunt acrobatics displays. Others are for those who just want the thrill of flying a space fighter. It is likely that these craft will remain in civilian hands long after they have been retired completely from military service. As well, as more Kittens replace the Finch, more Finch have been sold as surplus and there is thriving interest in them
As with the later Kitten, a number of these craft have been armed and perform the role of light fighter with smaller powers especially outside of Consortium controlled space. While the Finch can perform this role, they are really not well suited to this role. They are neither heavily armed or very well protected as a true fighter. Their losses as a result are far greater in any engagement than a true light fighter would be. Still, they are far cheaper than even the Vixen is.
While the computer systems on the trainer are mostly build to civilian specifications, they are designed to be able simulate the controls of most fighter craft. In most cases, all that is required are new software patches. There are limitations such as when the top speed of the fighter being simulated is faster than the Finch. The Vixen, for example, is slightly faster than the Finch. Flight controls of the Finch are more forgiving than those of most fighters.
In comparison, as far as acceleration, the Finch is actually slightly faster than the Osprey but is slightly slower than the Vixen. It is actually just as fast as the much newer Katana spacefighter. The design does not really have wings but is instead a lifting body. Power is supplied by a relatively small fusion plant. At the time of the introduction of the trainer, it was one of the advanced civilian power plants available. It is designed for lower maintenance than a military reactor but does require more often refueling.
Standard models of the Finch are fitted with civilian radiation and particle shielding, limiting their top speed to around twenty percent of the speed of light. The trainer can be upgraded with military class radiation and particle shields however. There is no provision for variable shields however. Being built out of civilian alloys and composites, the Finch is not as tough as a true fighter although is still reasonably able to withstand damage.
Standard, the trainer is unarmed and has a sophisticated system to simulate tracking and targeting. In addition, there are a set of marker targeting lights to similar energy weapons. In those converted to the role of light fighter, these are replaced by light lasers. In addition, these light fighters will usually mount a single hard point on the centerline able to carry a single capital missile. As with most craft, a variety of lighter ordnance can also be carried such as long range and medium range missiles.
This trainer uses modified starship speed and weapon range rules. See Revised Starship Rules for Phase World / Three Galaxies for more details.
Model Type: TR-10
Vehicle Type: Light Trainer (Some converted to light fighter)
Crew: Two (Student and Instructor)
M.D.C. By Location:
Wing Light Lasers (2 - If mounted):
Missile Hard Points (1, Underside - If mounted):
 Main Body:
 Depleting the M.D.C. of the main body will put the fighter out of commission. All internal systems will shut down, including life support and internal gravity. The ship itself will be an unsalvageable floating wreck.
Driving on the Ground: Not Possible.
Sublight: Has a special sublight engine that allows the ship to travel up to 20 percent of the speed of light. Fighter can accelerate/decelerate at the rate of 1.4 percent of light per melee. Particle and Radiation shields can be increased to military standards, if increased the Trainer can reach a top speed of 40 percent of light.
Atmospheric Propulsion: Maximum speed is Mach 6.5 (4,819.5 mph / 7,756.2 kph), can enter an atmosphere because flight system is using contra grav. Fighter versions, when carrying ordinance, top speed in an atmosphere is Mach 3 (2224.4 mph / 3,579.8 kph)
Maximum Range: : Effectively Unlimited by drive system but only has supplies for pilots for three days.
Length: 25.5 feet (7.77 meters).
Height: 8.2 feet (2.5 meters).
Width: 24 feet (7.315 meters).
Weight: 4.8 tons (4.35 metric tons)
Power System: Advanced Fusion with 4 year life span.
Cargo: Minimal Storage Space, place for a rifle, handgun, small survival kit, signal flares, and food rations.
Market Cost: 9.5 million credits (Some older surplus might go for slightly less), Military class particle and radiation shields cost 500,000 credits, Laser Cannons cost 200,000 credits (100,000 each) and Missile pylon and control systems costs 20,000 credits.
WEAPON SYSTEMS (None fitted standard):
Two (2) Light Lasers Cannons: The Trainer normally has no weapons fitted except a set of targeting lights to indicate a hit or not. They have the same range as the laser cannons listed here that can replace them. If fitted, the “light starfighter’ will have a light laser cannon on each wing.
Maximum Effective Range: 4000 feet (1219 m) through atmosphere and 78.8 miles (121.9 km) in space.
Mega-Damage: 2D4x10+20 for both cannons (1D4x10+10 if one is destroyed)
Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the Pilot (usually 4 or 5).
Payload: Effectively Unlimited.
One (1) Missile Pylon: If the trainer is fitted as a fighter, one missile hard point can be fitted on the underbelly. This allows the “light fighter” to carry one cruise missile, two long range missiles, or four medium range missiles. The pylon must carry all the same type ordnance. A Cruise missile is normally carried when on an anti-capital ship role and long and medium range missiles when fighting other starfighters. Cruise Missiles have a top speed of Mach 25 in an atmosphere and in space has an acceleration of 10% of light per turn (far faster than any starship.) Long Range Missiles have a top speed of Mach 20 in an atmosphere and in space has an acceleration of 8% of light per turn (faster than any starship.) Medium Range Missiles have a top speed of Mach 15 in an atmosphere and in space has an acceleration of 6% of light per turn. Whether weapons can be shot down is calculated from the speed of target, launcher, and missile. When drive goes dead, missile will continue to travel in a straight line unless set to self destruct but has very low odds of hitting starships (Great for hitting bases and planets because target does not move and missile, when unpowered, is at -25% to be detected.) Cruise missiles have minuses to hit small targets but all missiles are all considered smart missiles.
Maximum Effective Range: Cruise Missile range is 8,000 miles (12,875 km) in an atmosphere and 4,000,000 miles (6,437,376 km/ 21.5 light seconds) in space, Long Range Missile range is 3,400 miles (5,470 km) in an atmosphere and 1,800,000 miles (2,897,000 km/9.7 light seconds) in space, and Medium Range Missiles range is 160 miles (257.5 km) in an atmosphere and 80,000 miles (128,750 km/0.43 light seconds) in space.
Mega-Damage & Properties: See revised Phase World / Three Galaxies missile tables for details (Cruise Anti-Matter multi-warheads inflict 5D6x100 M.D.C. each and Long Range Fusion warheads inflict 2D4x100 M.D.C. each.)
Rate of Fire: Can fire missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2) missiles.
Payload: One (1) Cruise Missile, two (2) Long Range Missiles, or four (4) Medium Range Missiles.
Special Bonuses: The trainer is designed to be both very maneuverable and very forgiving. This gives the following bonuses: add +5% to the pilots piloting skill, +1 to dodge energy and projectile fire, and +2 to dodge missiles, obstacles, and stellar debris. The fighter can be specially programmed so it emulates the performance characteristic of the fighter it is emulating, in those cases use the other fighters performance unless superior to the Finch (The Finch cannot outperform itself) The Trainer also have a very advanced terrain following system. All bonuses are in addition to pilots bonuses (Hand to hand and Starfighter Pilot: Basic or Elite).
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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).
Copyright © 2013, Kitsune. All rights reserved.