Minuteman B-1020 Medium Bomber:

Until the coming of the Rifts, the Boeing company was a major manufacturer of civilian airliner. The Boeing 1020 was the main medium airliner manufactured by the company and was operated by a huge number of airliners both inside and outside of the United States. It could operate from smaller airports than the 1030 large airliner and was built in incredible numbers. Like most aircraft, the vast majority were destroyed with the coming of the Rifts. Still, a surprising number of these aircraft survived the storms which ravaged the planet. Some of the airports which the planes operated from were comparatively remote and were away from where storms struck the fiercest. Being made from high strength alloys and composites, these aircraft are also incredibly durable and even could survive without being maintained for long periods.

Smaller than the Boeing 1030, the medium airliner could operate from far more primitive conditions than the larger design. It is not a true vertical take off and landing design but is short take off and landing. In most cases, the roads which once existed are scoured from the world as if they never existed. As such, many cargos which would have been carried on trucks or trains were instead carried on aircraft. Where valuable cargoes are transported, other less reputable individuals take advantage of them. Sometimes they are called Sky Pirates. They will often try to shoot down cargo aircraft in order to raid the cargo. Unfortunately, some of those raiders have managed to get high performance fighters and cannot be outrun like most supernatural creatures. There were two basic solutions to these bandits who cruise the sky. The first is to hire someone as escorts and the other is to arm the airliners with a measure of self defense. The most common defense were pulse lasers although some were armed with missiles as well.

Even before the coming of the Rifts, some of these airliners were operated in military support roles and were equipped with self defense systems. Some of these survived. Others were converted a variety of military roles after the coming of the Rifts. One of the most interesting conversions is a platform carrying huge numbers of missiles. In Pre-Rifts days, when the 747 Jumbo Jet was Boeing's premier aircraft, there was a proposal to create a missile armed version of the airliner. It was considered as a replacement for the ancient B-52 bomber after the B-1 Lancer bomber was canceled. The concept was not pursued at the time and the B-1 program was eventually restarted. After the coming of the Rifts, the idea was seen as having merit once again with a lack of pre-rifts bombers and few facilities which can build them.

Due to the large number of Boeing 1020 medium airliners which survived, it was an obvious choice for conversion to a missile platform. While it can only carry about half as many missiles as the conversion of the 1030, its payload is almost as great as the Iron Heart Industry's Air Castle Bomber while the conversion is less expensive and with the destruction of Iron Heart Armament, it is one of the few choices remaining for a large missile platform. The only real disadvantages which the Boeing 1020 has compared to the Air Castle bomber is that the Boeing design cannot take off vertically and is slower.

While several other companies, including Golden Age Weaponsmiths, convert civilian designs to military roles, the Minuteman conversions are some of the highest quality and extensive conversions. The Boeing 1020 is just one of many designs which there are available conversions for. Both cargo and passenger versions can be converted although on passenger versions, the passenger compartment has to be stripped first. In place of a passenger or cargo compartment, the medium airliner carries a large missile bay with rotary launchers. The conversion of the Boeing 1020 airliner is designated the Minuteman B-1020. The medium bomber has the ability to carry up to one hundred long range missiles. Like other conversions, the sides of the fuselage have the main launch tubes. For the main defensive battery, the B-1020 mounts two point defense laser batteries with one above the fuselage and a second under the fuselage. In addition, the medium bomber mounts a pair of medium range missile batteries. These are used to engage enemies beyond the range of the laser turrets without using the long range missiles carried on the main battery. The electronics on the airliner are excellent but the airliner lacked any kind of long range radar system. This is refitted on the bomber and those which are not converted from military roles are given a range of additional self defense systems. a long range radar mounted and those which were not originally military have sophisticated self defense systems mounted.

The Coalition considers any aircraft carrying a large number of missiles to be a direct threat. The Air Castle bomber is the most commonly considered aircraft but all Minuteman designs are considered a threat including the B-1020 medium bomber. As a result, the general policy is to shoot down these bombers without warning. Sometimes target identification has suffered and Boeing 1020 airliners which have not been converted to bomber roles have been shot down with heavy loss of life with those carrying passengers. Some of these converted airliners are operated independently although most are operated by Mercenary companies.

Model Type: Minuteman B-1020
Class: Medium Bomber (Converted Medium Passenger Airliner)
Crew: Five (Pilot, Co-Pilot, Weapon Master, and Two Gunners
Passengers: 6 Passengers

M.D.C. by Location:

Long Range Missile Launcher Doors (2, sides):100 each
Retractable Medium Range Missile Launchers (2):80 each
Pulse Laser Turrets (2):60 each
[1] Wings (2):300 each
[2] Elevators (2):75 each
[2] Rudders (2):75 each
Front Cargo Bay Doors (Heavy Cargo Versions):100
Side Doors (2):40 each
[2] Engines (2):240 each
Reinforced Pilot’s Compartment / Cockpit:200
[3] Main Body:750
Landing Gear (3):40 each

[1] Destroying a wing will cause the plane to crash.
[2] Destruction of rudders or one elevator will still allow the aircraft to be controlled by the varying of power levels of the engines but aircraft has a penalty of -10 to dodge, and a -30% penalty to all piloting rolls. Destruction of both of the elevators will leave the plane uncontrollable. The destruction of one engine will reduce the aircraft's top speed by half and give the pilot a -2 penalty to dodge as well as giving a 10% penalty to piloting. Destruction of both engines will cause the aircraft to crash.
[3] Depleting the M.D.C. of the main body will shut the aircraft down completely, rendering it useless and causing it to crash if in flight.

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.
Flight: The B-1020 Bomber has the ability to make short take-offs and landings. It has a maximum speed of Mach 0.98 (646.8 mph /1,040.92 kph) and a cruise speed of Mack 0.95 (627 mph / 1,009.06 kph.) Maximum altitude is 60,000 feet (18,288 meters)
Range: Due to Fusion engine effectively unlimited range, need to cool down after 16 hours of flight at maximum speed. At cruising speed, range is increased to 24 hours of flight.

Statistical Data:
Length: 210.95 feet (64.3 meters)
Wingspan: 166.67 feet (50.8 meters)
Height: 54.13 feet (16.5 meters)
Weight: 200 tons (181.4 metric tons) fully loaded, 125 tons (113.4 metric tons) empty
Power Source: Nuclear, Should have an average life span of 10 years.
Cargo: Minimal (Storage for equipment for the bomber crew). Does not include ordnance bay. Ordnance bay, of emptied of ordnance can carry up to 73.3 tons (66.5 metric tons)
Black Market Cost: 85 millions credits.

Weapon Systems:

  1. High-Powered Laser Turrets (2): The bomber mounts two of these turrets with one behind the medium range launchers on the top of the bomber with the other under the fuselage near the tail of the bomber. This weapon system is a relatively simple adaption of the laser elements of the JA-12 Juicer Assault Rifle mounted into turrets. In addition to being retractable, the turrets have the ability to rotate 360 degrees and have a 90 degree arc of fire. The laser cannons pull power directly from the fusion reactor of the aircraft. The turrets are both radar and infrared guided and has a +4 to hit when set to automatic firing and uses bonuses of gunner when fired on manual. Primary target for defense laser systems is missiles which is considered to be one of the biggest threats. When controlled manually, weapon mounts are usually controlled by the two secondary crew members.
    Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1,200 meters).
    Mega Damage: 4D6 for single shot and 1D6x10+10 for three round burst from cannon.
    Rate of Fire:Equal to gunner's hand to hand (When Automated, can fire up to 6 times per melee and has +4 to strike)
    Payload: Unlimited (Draws Power off the main engines).
  2. Long Range Missile Launchers: These launchers are on either side or the converted airliner with missiles being carried in the converted passenger compartment. The launcher can use a vast variety of missiles including surface skimming missiles and rocket propelled torpedoes. Long range missiles are normally used against large targets and aircraft / missiles. About half of all missiles carried are fusion warheads and most missiles are normally smart missiles.
    Maximum Effective Range: As per long range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Mega Damage: As per long range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Rate of Fire: Can fire long range missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2), four (4), eight (8), or ten (10) long range missiles per launcher per melee. Missile cells are automatically reloaded and are ready to fire next melee.
    Payload: 100 Long Range Missiles Total.
  3. Medium Range Missile Launchers (2): Mounted in retractable launchers on either side of the bomber just behind the cockpit. The launchers only extend when about to be fired and are virtually concealed when not in firing mode and do not produce drag when fully retracted. Each launcher has two ready to fire missiles. The launchers are reloaded from a magazine by an automatic reload system within the bomber's body. Weapon can be controlled by any of the bomber's crew although most commonly controlled by the pilot or co-pilot.
    Maximum Effective Range: Varies with medium range missile type; Usually plasma or armor piercing are carried (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Mega Damage: Varies with medium range missile type; Usually plasma or armor piercing are carried (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Rate of Fire: Can fire missiles one at a time, or in volleys of two (2) or four (4) missiles.
    Payload: Twenty-Four (24) missiles in magazine for each launcher plus two in each of the launchers.
  4. Anti-Missile Chaff Dispenser: Located at the very tail of the aircraft are two chaff dispensers. When tailed by a missile, a cloud of chaff and other obtrusive particles can be released to confuse or detonate the enemy's attack. Rifts Earth decoys systems are assumed to not operate against Phase World missiles due to technological difference. Reduce effects by 20% against smart missiles (Add +20% to rolls for smart missiles.)
      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.
    Also note that the chaff cloud will also blind flying monsters that fly through cloud. They will suffer the following penalties: reduce melee attacks/actions, combat bonuses, and speed by half. Duration: 1D4 melee rounds.
    Payload: Eight (8)

Special Equipment:
The aircraft has all the standard features of a standard fighter (same as standard robot including loudspeaker and microphone on this aircraft) plus these special features listed..

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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Copyright © 2007, Kitsune. All rights reserved.