TW-AV8B Merlin class Technowizard VTOL:
All Merlin class VTOLs began their life as Pre-Rifts Harriers. For some reason, the multiple enchantments to create the Merlin will only work on the pre-rifts aircraft. Several Technowizards have theorized that the aircraft must have been affected by the coming of the Rifts and the appearance of the ley-lines. The magic that came as a result somehow caused the planes to be able to store spells cast on them. The creators have found that any variety of Harrier can be used and parts of various Harriers may be used as long as they have a complete frame after adding the various parts together. Because of the scarce nature of Harrier parts, the builders are going to travel to England to see if they can retrieve more Harrier parts.
The aircraft uses a combination of both magic and technology. While aircraft is not as fast as most post rifts aircraft, the aircrafts has many special features to compensate for the aircrafts lack of speed.
Construction of the aircraft begins by reducing the aircraft to the frame and lacing the frame with quartz crystals. This along with enchantments makes the aircraft's frame to be an M.D.C. structure. The outer skin of the aircraft is replaced by a mega damage magical aluminum, silver, and meteoric iron alloy. All repairs must be of the same material as well and are twice as expensive as normal repairs are (can only be repaired by a techno-wizard as well). The aircraft takes no damage from fire or heat including mega damage and magical heat and fire. A special Armor of Ithan force field has been added that can be activated up to three times per day.
The engines are replaced by a combination magical and nuclear powered system. The magical flight system is based on an incredibly boosted Fly as the Eagle spell. The standard flight system is purely technological in origin and is similar to the flight systems in most aircraft. The aircraft can fly up to 300 knots using the magical flight system only and the aircraft is completely silent when using the magical flight system. The standard flight system can be to fly the aircraft at up to 450 knots. However, it is rarely used without the magical flight system. A possible situation in which the standard flight system might be used alone is if an anti-magic cloud is cast on the aircraft and the magical flight system fails. The aircraft can operate with both flight systems combined to fly up to 600 knots. The most unusual feature is that the aircraft can perform Ley Line Phasing similar to a Ley Line Walker. This allows the aircraft to phase to a location, make an attack run, and then use the Ley Line to escape again.
The Auto-cannon is retained and if missing may be taken from any Pre-Rifts aircraft with the same cannon from another Pre-Rifts aircraft. The machine-gun is then enchanted with a variety of spells to turn the cannon into a T.K. Machinegun but with a much greater payload and damage. The original aircraft had a variety of different hard points. These are retained and the aircraft normally carries non magical standard Rifts ordnance. The chaff and flare system has been replaced by a magical system that has the advantage of only needing to be recharged by three spells.
The aircraft's sensors, like all other systems, are a combination of magical systems and technology. The aircraft has a conventional radar system but has the spell “See the Invisible” allowing the aircraft to detect invisible targets. In addition, the aircraft has all the features of a robot vehicle (with the exception of loud speaker and microphone) and has a radar detection system and an infrared sensor system.
Model Number: TW-AV8B Merlin
Vehicle Type: Single Engine Fighter-Bomber
Crew: One (Some originally training versions have two seats)
M.D.C. by Location:
| Wings (2):||200 each|
| Elevators (2):||75 each|
| Landing Gear (4):||30 each|
| Main Body:||400|
|Magical “Armor of Ithan” Force Field (3 times per day):||150|
 Destroying a wing will cause the plane to crash.
 Destruction of rudders or one elevator will still allow the fighter to be controlled by the varying of power levels of the engines but the fighter 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 and pilot must eject to survive.
 All indicated hit locations are small and/or difficult targets to hit. An attacker must make a called shot and has a -3 penalty as well.
 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. The aircraft takes no damage from fire or heat due to enchantments (Including magical and mega damage heat and fire - Does not apply to force field).
Driving on Ground (Taxiing): Only possible for conventional 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: The Merlins engines are combination of magic and technology. The aircraft has a magical flight system that allows it to fly from hover to 300 knots (345.2 mph / 555.6 kph) completely silently. Using just the standard thrusters, the Merlin can fly from hover to a top speed of 450 knots (517.8 mph/ 833.4 kph). The engines are quieter than the original Rolls Royce engines. Using both the thrusters and magical flight systems, the aircraft can reach 600 knots (690.5 mph / 1,111.2 kph) but the aircraft still makes about half the noise of a normal aircraft flying at 600 knots. The aircraft can hover stationary up to 5,000 feet (1524 meters) and can fly up to 50,000 feet (15,240 meters) if not hovering.
Ley Line Phasing: The aircraft has the ability to teleport to a specific different location on the same ley line. In order to travel to a location on another Ley Line, the aircraft must teleport to a nexus with the ley line that the target location is at and teleport on that line. The ability requires 2D6 minutes (average of three times longer than a ley line walkers ability) and requites all but Ley Line Walkers to spend 50 P.P.E. to teleport (may tap Ley Line for teleport and Ley Line Walkers require no P.P.E.). The number of teleports is also limited to 2 per hour and four per 24 hour period.
Maximum Effective Range: Effectively Unlimited. Thrusters overheat after 10 hours of use above 300 knots without magical flight system or 500 knots using the magical flight system and the thrusters combined.
Height 12 feet (3.7 meters)
Wingspan: 25 feet (7.6 meters)
Length: 47.5 feet (14.5 meters)
Weight: 12.8 tons (11.6 metric tons) without missiles
Power System: Magical and Nuclear, Should have an average lifespan of 20 years
Cargo: Minimal (Storage for small equipment), does not include hard points
Black Market Cost: 32 million credits.
- Telekinetic Machine-Gun: The original Pre-Rifts cannon is enchanted
by a series of spells so the cannon acts as a more powerful version of
the TK Machine-gun. This increases the weapon's damage and instead of being
reloaded, the cannon must be recharged by the spell Telekinesis and 100
PPE once per month. The cannon is mounted in a small pod underneath the
fighter. The cannon does full damage to targets that are impervious to
Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1,220 meters).
Mega Damage: 12D6
Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the pilot (usually 4 or 5).
Payload: Unlimited, although the spells must be renewed every month whether the cannon have been used or not.
- Hard Points (7): The Merlin has a total of seven reinforced
hard points with one hard point on the Fuselage and three hard points on
each wing. The Center hard point cannot carry mini missile packs and the
wing hard points cannot carry the jamming pod but both the Fuselage and
the wing hard points can carry both missiles and bombs.
- Bombs and Missiles: The only restriction is that a hard point
must carry all the same type of missiles or bombs. Both unguided and guided
bombs can be carried.
Maximum Effective Range: Varies by missile type for missile and varies by altitude that bombs are dropped at (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
Mega Damage: Varies by missile or bomb type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
Rate of Fire: Missiles can be fired and bombs can be dropped one at a time per hard point. Multiple hard points can be linked as one attack but must be the same size (light, medium, or heavy) and style of ordnance (all missiles or bombs in a volley.)
Payload: 4 short range missile or light bombs, 2 medium range missiles or medium bombs, or 1 long range missile or heavy bomb (all ordnance on a hard point must be the same size and type of ordnance)
- Mini-Missile Pod: Large capacity mini-missile pod. The aircraft
normally carries missile pods for ground strafing, anti-troop, and anti-emplacement
attacks. Normal missile used are armor piercing, plasma, or fragmentation
Maximum Effective Range: Varies with missile types, mini-missiles only (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.) Mega Damage: Varies with mini missile types (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
Rate of Fire: Each pod can fire missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2), four (4), eight (8), or sixteen (16) mini-missiles and can be linked with other mini-missile pods for greater number of missiles (Counts as one attack no matter how many missiles in volley.)
Payload: Each pod carries sixteen (16) mini-missiles.
- Active Jamming Pod: Pod takes place of all ordnance on the Hard Point. Causes -25% to detection but when it is active, other vehicles/ bases can detect that it is jamming, and some missiles will home in on jamming signals. Jamming also causes a -4 penalty to all radar guided weapons.
- Towed Decoys (4): The pod takes place of all ordnance on
the Hard Point. The aircraft can carry a special pod that carries four
advanced towed decoy drones. These drones are dragged about 328 feet (100
meters) behind the aircraft on a thin cable. Each is a specially designed
radar lure that creates a radar image to mimic the aircraft. If decoys
are not destroyed, they can be recovered and repaired. Rifts Earth decoy
systems are assumed to not operate against Phase World weapons due to technological
Effects: The decoy has an 65% chance of fooling ordinary non military radars and non smart guided missiles, the decoy has a 35% chance of fooling military level radars (like those of the Coalition), and the decoy has a 10% chance of fooling advanced military radars (Like those of the New Navy and Triax) and smart missiles.
Maximum Effective Range: Not Applicable although the decoy is deployed 328 feet (100 meters) from the aircraft
Rate of Fire: One can be deployed at a time and requires 15 seconds to deploy (Reel Out) another decoy
Payload: 4 Decoys each pod.
- Bombs and Missiles: The only restriction is that a hard point must carry all the same type of missiles or bombs. Both unguided and guided bombs can be carried.
- Magical “Fireworks” Anti-Missile Chaff/Flare Dispenser (1): In many ways
this system is similar to technological versions of the Chaff/Flare system.
The anti-missile system works by combining three spells. The three spells
are Fire Bolt, Apparition, and Telekinesis. The physical effects of the
system are identical to the Triax Anti-Missile chaff but instead of being
reloaded, it is recharged by spells.
- 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.
Duration: 1D4 melee rounds.
Payload: 10 Uses before being recharged. The dispenser is recharged by the spells Apparition (20 P.P.E.), Fire Bolt (7 P.P.E.), and Telekinesis (8 P.P.E.).
- Techno-Wizard Modifications: The Merlin has the following
techno-wizard modifications built into the aircraft. These require P.P.E.
or I.S.P. from the pilot.
- Shadow Meld (10th Level) - 10 P.P.E. or 20 I.S.P.
Impervious to Energy (10th Level) - 20 P.P.E. or 40 I.S.P.
Invisibility-Superior (10th Level) - 20 P.P.E. or 40 I.S.P.
The fighter has all the standard features of a standard fighter (same as standard robot minus loudspeaker and microphone) plus these special features listed. The special equipment is a combination of both magic and technology
- Radar: Range 500 miles (805 km), can identify and track up to 96 targets simultaneously, It is also capable of Terrain Following for low altitude flight. With Combat & Targeting Computer, the Merlin can fire missiles at up to twenty four targets at the same time.
- Magical “See the Invisible” Optics: Same as spell and used at will. 2,000 feet (610 meters) range. Can see forces, objects, and creatures which can turn invisible, or are invisible. Can also see vaporous beings and astral bodies.
- E.S.M.: Radar Detector. Passively detects other radars being operated.
- FLIR: Forward Looking Infrared. Allows pilot and weapons officer to get visuals on targets at night.
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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).
Copyright © 1998 & 2001, Kitsune. All rights reserved.