Firefly class Ultra-Light Shuttle:

While light shuttles do most of the light work, there is even a smaller class of shuttles known as ultra-light shuttles. They could be considered the cargo / passenger van class of light space craft. While they are not as common as light shuttles, there are a number of different manufacturers of these ultra light designs. The Firefly is fairly representative of the various ultra-light shuttle designs.

The reasons why these designs are less common are that most smaller merchant ship classes can make planetary landings on their own. The same is the case with smaller warship classes such as frigates and destroyers. They are expensive enough that they are outside of the purchase ability of the average civilian and in most places require specialized starship licences to operate. In addition, in most populated systems, there are additional insurance requirements. Most people who own personal vehicles instead own gravitic hover designs which are limited to atmospheric operations.

For better atmospheric operations, these shuttles is streamlined and designed as a lifting body. It also has folding wings. They can do light orbital work but are not recommended for operation outside of orbital areas. Travel between planets and into outer system areas is not recommended for these shuttles. They have limited acceleration and are not fitted with anything beyond light civilian radiation shielding. Their acceleration is actually a bit slower than a standard light shuttle. When docking with large ships, this is usually done in a parking orbit due to the low acceleration of these shuttles.

Standard crew is one although there is space for two operators although supplies are limited. In many advanced systems, there is a complex beacon system and auto-pilot system to allow the shuttle to be almost automatically operated. In fact, these shuttles can be operated on purely automatic although having humans operating the shuttles can be quite useful in many cases. Otherwise, the sensors carried on the most ultra-light shuttles is extremely limited.

These shuttles can be operated in both passenger transport or cargo carrying roles. Many, but not all, have folding seating to quickly configure between passenger and cargo roles. For passengers, standard is twelve but some are designed for only eight passengers while others are designed for sixteen passengers. Sixteen passenger versions are quite cramped. A few are fitted for greater luxury for only a handful of passengers. For cargo, around two metric tons can be carried. Internal cargo bay dimensions are 3.3 meters long, 2 meters wide, and 1.8 meters high. The shuttles have two side doors and a large rear cargo door.

These shuttles may look a little like some fighters but are in no way warships. While a few owners have added some light weaponry to these shuttles, this is not recommended. They are extremely vulnerable to damage and do not have any kind of defensive shielding to allow them to survive any additional damage. Unlike light shuttles, there is no common military equivalent of these shuttles.

This starship design uses modified starship speed and weapon range rules. See Revised Starship Rules for Phase World / Three Galaxies for more details.

Model Type: ULPS-3501
Vehicle Type: Ultra-Light Cargo / Passenger Shuttle.
Crew: One or Two (can be run on automatic with no crew)
Passengers: Eight, Twelve, or Sixteen depending on configuration

M.D.C. By Location:

Landing Gear (3)10 each
Side Passenger Doors (2):25 each
Rear Cargo Door:60
[1] Folding Wings (2):150 each
[2] Main Body:325

[1] Destroying a wing will cause the shuttle to be barely controllable in an atmosphere with -40% to pilot skill rolls and -8 to dodge attacks. Destruction of a wing has no effect in space.
[2] Depleting the M.D.C. of the main body will put the shuttle 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. Star Ship can accelerate/decelerate at the rate of 0.4 percent of light per melee.
Atmospheric Propulsion: Maximum cruise speed is Mach One (741.5 mph / 1,193.3 kph), can enter and leave an atmosphere because flight system is by contra grav.
Maximum Range: Effectively Unlimited by Drive system but only has supplies for crew members for a maximum of four days.

Statistical Data:
Length: 19.03 feet (5.8 meters).
Height: 8.53 feet (2.6 meters).
Width: 9.19 feet (2.8 meters) with wings folded and 17.72 feet (5.4 meters) with wings fully extended
Weight: 9,920.8 pounds (4,500 kilograms)
Power System: Advanced Fusion with 6 year life span.
Cargo: Cargo hold that can carry up to 4,409.2 lbs (2,000 kilograms) of cargo if not configured for passengers The cargo hold is 10.8 x 6.6 x 5.9 feet in dimensions (3.3 x 2.0 x 1.8 meters).
Market Cost: 8 to 12 million credits for a standard Firefly class light shuttle depending on model.

None Standard.

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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Copyright © 2012, Kitsune. All rights reserved.