Techno-Wizard Albatross class Aerial Aircraft Carrier:
Throughout relatively recent history, there have been fictional flying carriers for aircraft. Of course, the reality was far different. To create such a flying carrier would require massive amounts of power which were simply impossible for most of the early history of flight. The closest that was ever historically created was the Airship carriers produced in the United States in the years before the Second World War. These helium filled airships could carry only a very limited number of aircraft and both crashed due to bad weather. For the most part, they are considered failures.
Since the coming of the Rifts, many ideas have been resurrected. Some of these have included seaborne aircraft, submersible fighters, submersible carriers, combination battleships and carriers, flying sail frigates, and even giant super heavy tanks. Of course some of these ideas have been more successful than others. While there strange ideas being revisited is not exclusively the domain of Techno-Wizards, they are one of the most common groups to reexplore such ideas. Techno-Wizards are also among the best salvagers on Rifts Earth and can often use magic to fix technology which would otherwise be un-reparable.
One of the more common Coalition heavy transports is the Death Head Transport. It flies through little more than brute force. A small number have been destroyed over the years. A group of Techno-Wizards were able to salvage the thruster units from a pair of crashed Death Head transports. One of the techno-wizard has seen an ancient Pre-Rifts movie (from the beginning of the Twenty-First Century) which featured the idea of a flying carrier. He was able to persuade the others to use the thrusters which they recovered on building a flying aircraft carrier using the engines to keep it up in the air. There were few other engines that had the power to keep such a thing in the air and even then it was a strain because of how much heavier the flying carrier was than the Death head. It took several years to built the carrier but it is considered surprisingly successful. Various names were considered but eventually the name Albatross was chosen. There is rumor of a second group trying to salvage enough Death Head Transport engines to build a flying carrier but so far it appears to not have been completed. It is unclear how far they have even gotten on the carried. Rumor is that they plan to name the new carrier, if it ever gets completed, the Pegasus.
The Albatross looks a bit like an old World War Two escort carrier which everything below the waterline has been cut off. Actually, the ship is a bit flatter than that. The lift engines are mounted under the main body and provide the lift which allows the Albatross to fly. Thrust engines are mounted on either side of the ship near the rear and aircraft land between the engines. Power is provided by fusion reactors which were also salvaged from the Death Head Transports. Still, since the carrier is a fair amount heavier than a Death Head Transport, it is quite a bit slower. Top speed is around 280 mph although it will overheat fairly quickly at that speed. Cruise speed is considered to only be around 100 mph and is usually flies much slower than that. The carrier only usually goes to maximum only for escapes. The carrier has a small superstructure which is used for flight operations and mounts a small but powerful radar system. The hull itself is constructed from high strength mega-damage alloys and composites, much of which was salvaged from the Death Head Transports which the engines and reactors were salvaged from. This use of conventional materials allows the carrier to be repaired far more easily than if enchanted materials were used. Unfortunately, most of the actual electronics on the transports were restroyed and could not be salvaged.
Conventional weaponry is limited on the flying carrier to missile launchers. Forward and aft of the flight deck are mounted short range missile launchers. These mounts are primarily for anti-missile defense but can be used against larger targets as well when needed. They can fire downward at up to a thirty degree angle. The primary weaponry of the carrier is its fighters. The carrier will do everything possible to avoid combat itself. Mounted on the carrier is a long range Kestrel Eye radar system which was purchased from Metalworks Industries. The actual fire control ability far overwhelms the carriers ability to target missiles and other weapons and is mainly used as a search radar.
The Albatross has a variety of magical features built in. Its most amazing feature is the ability to produce a magical shockwave around the carrier. A few techno-wizard naval style ships have this feature and the enchantment is incredibly effective at knocking missiles out of the sky. Unlike the system mounted on naval ships, the shockwave is completely spherical. The system is limited to four activations per minute and can be extremely draining on magical energies. Supplementing that are eight telekinetic machine gun mounts with four on each side. Two on each side are mounted to fire upward and two on each side are mounted to fire downward. The carrier has a magical chaff and flare system designed to decoy missiles as well. Finally, the carrier has the enchantments of invisibility superior, shadow meld, and impervious to energy. Often the carrier will become visible, launch its fighters, and simply become invisible again until the fighters return. To power all of these enchantments, the carrier mounts a techno-wizard battery. It can store a human amount of magical energy but can only recharge on it own at ley lines and at a ley line nexus. Spell casters can also channel their own magical energy into the battery. The carrier has magical optics to enable them to see invisible beings.
Because of the small size of the carrier and the need to keep it as light as possible, the available flight deck and hanger bay space is quite limited. As a result, the smaller fighters possible were selected. Fighter compliment presently consists of two squadrons of PL-51W “Wildstorm” Thunder Mustangs and a half squadron (six fighters) of Metalwork's F-600 Sparrowhawk fighters. Using larger fighters would severely limited the fighter compliment. The conventional Sparrowhawk fighters are carried because of their much greater speed than the propeller driven techno-wizard fighters. The carrier has limited repair shops onboard which allows simple repairs of aircraft to be done although major repairs are usually done elsewhere. In addition to the fighter compliment, the carrier embarks about one hundred and twenty troops in power armor. Eighty are in mystic power armor but forty are in flying titan power armor. The flying titan power armor is much faster and can almost act as light fighters themselves. Of course, most sparrowhawk fighters and flying titan power armors are outfitted with techno-wizard enchantments. Common enchantments include Armor of Ithan, Impervious to Energy, and Invisibility Superior.
Model Type: TW-AVL-01
Vehicle Type: Aerial; Flying Aircraft Carrier
Crew: 280 with usually at least 8 techno-wizard and 6 other spell casting types.
Troops: 80 pilots for Mystic Power Armors, 40 pilots for Flying Titan Power Armor, and 45 aircraft pilots / crews
Robots, Power Armors, and Vehicles:
|80||Mystic Power Armors|
|40||FT-005 Flying Titan Power Armors|
|24||TW-PL-51W “Wildstorm” Thunder Mustang|
|6||M.I. F-600 Sparrowhawk Ultra-Light Fighter|
M.D.C. by Location:
| Flight Deck:||1,000|
| Control Bridge:||500|
| Long Range “Kestrel Eye” Radar System (1):||100|
|Short Range Missile Launchers (2, Front and Rear):||150 each|
|T.W. Gatling Cannons (8):||100 each|
| Tail Fin (2):||200 each|
| Lower Thruster Jets (8):||200 each|
| Lower Saucers (2):||800 each|
| Rear Jets (6):||300 each|
| Main Body:||2,500|
 If the elevator is destroyed, no aircraft can be moved from the hangers to the main flight deck.
 If the flight decks are destroyed, only VTOL aircraft can be launched or land. VTOL aircraft are at -15% to piloting.
 If Control Bridge is destroyed, the carrier can still be piloted from the engine room but with a -15% to piloting rolls due to using emergency controls. Communication and sensor equipment are not concentrated on the bridge to reduce the effectiveness of bridge hits.
 Destroying Search Radar Tower will eliminate the “Kestrel Eye” type radar system.
 Destruction of both of the rudders will still allow the carrier to be controlled by the varying of power levels of the engines but has a penalty of -10 to dodge, and a -30% penalty to all piloting rolls.
 Destruction of the jets will increase minimum speed by 25 mph (40 kph), gives -1 to dodge, and will give a -10% penalty to quick 360 degree rotations for each engine lost. Destruction of both lower saucers will increase minimum speed to 200 mph (321.9 kph), give a -8 to dodge, and will prevent quick 360 rotations.
 The destruction of one engine will reduce the transports top speed by one six and give the pilot a -1 penalty to dodge as well as giving a -5% penalty to piloting. The destruction of additional engines will give cumulative penalties. Destruction of all six engines will cause the carrier to only be able to hover.
 Depleting the M.D.C. of the main body will shut the carrier down completely, rendering it useless and causing it to crash if in flight.
Driving on Ground: Not possible but may travel in hover mode as low as 10 feet (3.05 meters) due to special avionics.
Flying: The rocket propulsion enables the flying carrier to hover stationary up to 2,000 feet (610 meters) or fly. Maximum flying speed is 280 mph (450,6 kph) but cruising speed is about 100 mph (160.9 kph). Maximum altitude is limited to about 40,000 feet (12,192.0 meters)
Flying Range: The nuclear power supply gives the carrier decades of life but the jet rockets get hot and need to cool after a maximum of 20 hours of continuous flight at speeds above cruising. It can fly indefinitely at cruising speeds and/or with rest stops every few hours.
Water: The carrier can hover across the surface of water at a speed of 100 mph (160.9 kph). It is not designed to be submersible.
Height: 65 feet (19.8 meters)
Width: 102 feet (31.1 meters)
Length: 480 feet (146.3 meters)
Weight: 8,500 tons (7711.1 metric tons) fully loaded
Cargo: 100 tons (90.7 metric tons) of nonessential equipment and supplies. Each enlisted crew member has a small locker for personal items and uniforms. Carrier officers have more space for personal items. Most of the carrier's spaces are taken up by aircraft, extra ammo, armor, troops, weapons, and engines.
Power System: Nuclear, average reactor life is 20 years
Black Market Cost: Not for Sale, likely to cost 600 million to one billion to build.
- TK Gatling Cannons (8): Four are mounted on each side with
two mounted so they fire upwards and two are mounted so they fire downward.
Mounts have been enchanted by a series of spells so the cannons act as
a more powerful version of the TK Machine gun. This increases the weapons
damage and instead of being reloaded, the cannons must be recharged by
the spell Telekinesis and 100 P.P.E. once per month. The cannon does full
damage to targets that are impervious to energy. Additional optics and
fire control have been added to enable the system to track and target aircraft
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 gunner (usually 4 or 5).
Payload: Unlimited, although the spells (100 P.P.E. each cannon) on each must be renewed every month whether the cannon have been used or not.
- Two (2) Short Range Missile Launching Systems: Each launcher
has a 36 Short Range Missiles and fills a similar role to the Pre-Rifts
RAM missile launcher. These launchers primary purpose is to shoot incoming
missiles. The missile launchers are mounted at the extreme bow and extreme
fantail of the carrier. Missiles are usually 50% AP and 50% Plasma. Each
launcher operates independently
Maximum Effective Range: As per short range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
Mega Damage: As per short range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
Rate of Fire: Can fire missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2), four (4), six (6), or twelve (12) missiles (Each launcher operates independently.)
Payload: 36 missiles each launcher for a grand total of 72 missiles (Has 144 missiles for reloads kept in storage)
- Magical “Shockwave” Defense System: When it is activated, a circular
energy wave is emanated from the carrier in all directions. The blast is
semi-spherical and effects travel upwards and downwards as well. It is
longer ranged version of the eight level spell shockwave. Unfortunately,
the spell can only be activated once per melee and requires magical energy
every time it is activated. It is mostly used to destroy incoming missiles.
The system does not effect people and equipment on the deck of the ship
Maximum Effective Range: 1,000 feet (305 meters) in all directions
Mega Damage: 1D4x10 to all targets within radius of effect (S.D.C. objects will be completely destroyed). The system also inflicts knock as per the spell “Shockwave” on page 144 of World Book 16: Federation of Magic. (General Guideline: If the shockwave does not destroy the incoming missiles then missiles of medium range and smaller have an 88% of being knocked from the air, long range missiles have a 50% chance of being knocked out of the air, and cruise missiles have a 20% of being knocked out of the air)
Rate of Fire: Once per melee
Payload: One, requires 35 P.P.E. to be activated again
- Magical “Fireworks” Anti-Missile Chaff/Flare Dispenser (8): In many
ways this system is similar to technological versions of the Chaff/Flare
system. When the system fires, it looks like fireworks firing. 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 similar
to the Triax Anti-Missile chaff but instead of being reloaded, it is recharged
- 01-35 - Enemy missile or missile volley detonates in chaff cloud - Missiles
are all destroyed.
36-60 - Enemy missile or missile volley loses track of real target and veers away in wrong direction (May lock onto another target.)
61-00 - No effect, enemy missile or missile volley is still on target.
Duration: 1D4 melee rounds.
Payload: 10 Uses before being recharged. Each launcher is recharged by the spells Apparition (20 P.P.E.), Fire Bolt (7 P.P.E.), and Telekinesis (8 P.P.E.). The cost for all launchers to be recharged is 280 P.P.E. All launchers must be activated at the same time to operate correctly.
- Techno-Wizard Modifications: The Albatross has the following
Techno-Wizard Modifications built into the ship. These require P.P.E. or
I.S.P. from the carrier's crew or P.P.E. battery. The P.P.E. and I.S.P. values
listed inside of the parenthesis are if using higher P.P.E. costs for larger
Shadow Meld (10th Level) - 10 P.P.E. or 20 I.S.P. (40 P.P.E. or 80 I.S.P.)
Impervious to Energy (10th Level) - 20 P.P.E. or 40 I.S.P. (80 P.P.E. or 160 I.S.P.)
Invisibility-Superior (10th Level) - 20 P.P.E. or 40 I.S.P. (80 P.P.E. or 160 ISP)
The carrier has all systems standard on a robot vehicle plus the following special features:
- Kestrel Eye Radar System: Radar system has a 360 degree coverage and can track both airborne and surface targets. Radar system has a range of 500 miles (805 km) and can track up to 600 targets simultaneously and can perform intercepts to up to 60 targets simultaneously.
- ESM: Can detect another radar system at around 125% of the range of the transmitting radar and is usually subject to radar horizon.
- Magical “See the Invisible” Optics: The carrier has several special optical systems with see the invisible on them. 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.
- P.P.E. Battery: The carrier has a special P.P.E. battery, unlike similar systems in Phase World, it does not generate magical energy but stores magical energy. The system will store up to 500 P.P.E. and can be stored by crew members and absorbs P.P.E. from Ley Lines and Nexus Points. It will absorb P.P.E. at the rate of 20 per hour on ley lines and 40 per hour on nexus points.
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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).
Copyright © 2006, Kitsune. All rights reserved.