Tragun Corporation T-250 Hover Mule:

Not as large at it once was, the Tragun Corporation is one of the oldest companies in the Three Galaxies still in existence. Over the last several decades, the company has drastically downsized. When people think of the company, they think of the hover mule which put the company on the map. It is not the companies only product and several other gravity hovercraft are manufactured by the company. In most ways, the hover mule could be considered the Three Galaxies equivalent of the Twenty-First Century pick-up truck. While large cargos are usually carried on heavy shuttles, the hover mule is often used to carry lighter cargos and for general transportation.

The T-250 Hover Mule is one of the best known designs operated within the Three Galaxies and the design has been virtually copied by several other companies who still produce is. The Tragun Corporation no longer produced the T-250 but still produces similar models. Even if Tragun was to go completely out of business, it is likely that there would be T-250 Hover Mules still being used for several centuries. A huge number of after market conversions and upgrades are available for the T-250.

In many ways, a Hover Mule actually looks like a pickup truck of the Twentieth and Twenty-First Century. There is no engine compartment in front of the crew / pilot compartment but behind the crew compartment is a cargo bay similar in basic design to a pickup truck. Cargo compartment can carry up to two metric tons. Of course, the vehicle does not have any wheels and is propelled by a gravity hover unit mounted under the hover mule. A variety of covers are available for the hover mule's cargo compartment to protect cargo within the cargo bay. There are even camper type shells which has bunks and a tiny kitchen area. Some adventures use these to explore primitive planets. The cab of most models are only designed for the pilot and a single passenger but there are some models with an extended cab which has space for three addition to ride in cramped conditions behind the hover mules pilot and passenger.

The reason why the T-250 is so popular is due to how reliable it is. The mule has been produced for centuries and there are still many of the original T-250 mules still operational. Many operators have complained severely when their companies switched to newer designs. As well, it is very easy to repair compared to many newer models which is why many mechanics like the old design. It is tough, made from high strength alloys and composites although it cannot take the damage of a true combat design. Top speed is fairly sedate with a top speed of only about two hundred and fifty kilometers per hour and a maximum altitude is limited to around two hundred meters. Most models are conventional electrical with a high capacity battery which givers the hover mule a maximum range of around two thousand kilometers. There are some after market conversions which replace the battery with a micro-fusion reactor which gives virtually unlimited range. Later Tragun hover mule designs do offer this feature as well.

The crew compartment standard is fitted with an atmospheric filtering system and temperature controls to maintain a comfortable compartment but is not fitted with full life support. This means that it cannot operate in toxic environments and in vacuum such as on an airless moon unless the crew wears special suits. Later models produced by Tragun do often this feature. Sensor system are also limited with a simple radar navigation system and light amplification for the pilot. The navigation system is tied in with the hover craft's navigation to avoid it bottoming out or getting into a collision.

As might expected, many militaries operate large numbers of Hover Mules. While militaries such as the Consortium Armed Forces have replaced most of the T-250 Hover Mules with newer hover designs, the vehicle is still found in many backwater posts. As well, it is operated in large numbers by militaries which do not have the budget of the Consortium. In most cases, it is operated in the logistical role but some "military" groups have modified them for combat roles. This includes the addition of light weaponry and addition armor. Most of these are backwater militaries who lack the proper organization of effective militaries. Some are operated by revolutionary groups as well as criminal organizations. A planet within Human Alliance had a rebelling group had converted a number and called them tanks. A single old Kramer Hover Tank engaged ten of them and destroyed all ten within minutes.

Model Type: TC T-250
Vehicle Type: Contra-Grav Hover Craft (Cargo)
Crew: One (and one passenger) for standard model or One (and four passengers) for extended model (does not include cargo bay / six to eight can ride in the cargo bay comfortably)

M.D.C. By Location:

[1] Hover Unit:100
[2] Main Body:350
Cargo Bay:80

[1] Destruction of the hover unit will cause the vehicle to be no longer under the pilots control.
[2] Destruction of the main body will cause the vehicle to crash.

Driving on the Ground: 124.3 mph (200 kph) maximum. The hover craft can make sharp turns and float over any obstacle. Note: The maximum top speed can be actually higher than this, but that is under ideal conditions, like straight roads and flat terrain. The low level terrain avoidance systems cannot operate properly at speeds faster than this.
Atmospheric Propulsion: Maximum cruise speed is 155.3 mph (250 kph), due to being a low powered Contra-Grav system, altitude is limited to 656.2 feet (200 meters.)
Maximum Range: With electric power system has a 1,242.7 miles (2,000 km) range and with fusion (after market upgrade) has effectively unlimited range.

Statistical Data:
Length: Standard Cab: 21.3 feet (6.5 meters) Extended Cab: 23.6 feet (7.2 meters)
Height: All Models: 6.56 feet (2.0 meters)
Width: All Models: 7.87 feet (2.4 meters)
Weight: Standard Cab: 7,054.8 lbs (3,200 kilograms) empty. Extended Cab: 7,936.6 lbs (3,600 kilograms) empty
Power System: Electrical with High Capacity Battery (Advanced Fusion Conversion with a 5 year micro-fusion reactor available)
Cargo: Minimal Storage Space in crew compartment (Extended versions have additional space behind driver seat) Cargo bay can carry a maximum of 4,409.2 lbs (2000 kilograms)
Market Cost: 35,000 credits for a new model and 10,000 to 15,000 for an older model with an electrical power plant. The micro fusion conversion costs 80,000 credits.

None standard but some have weapon systems added (Mainly Paramilitary Organizations)

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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Copyright © 2006 Kitsune. All rights reserved.