Woodson Spaceways "Clydesdale" Heavy Container Shuttle:

In many ways, cargo shuttles can be seen as the Three Galaxies equivalent of trucks in the later part of Twentieth Century and shuttle pilots can be seen as the equivalent of truck drivers. The transport cargo from larger ships and ports. While some of the cargo is carried as bulk cargoes and is loaded straight onto a ship, the vast majority of cargos are carried on containers straight onto ships and unloaded in the same fashion. In some cases, these shuttles will only operate around planetary orbit while in other cases, they can operate across an entire star system. Few shuttle designs have "Faster than Light" drives and most cargoes carried between systems are carried on larger vessels. As might be expected, there are a number of different shuttle designs which have been developed to carry these cargos. One of these designs is the Clydesdale class heavy container shuttle and the shuttle can be found almost throughout the Three Galaxies and is an extremely common sight at center.

An extremely rugged design, the "Clydesdale" has been in service for well over a century and replaced the earlier "Workhorse" design. Not much to look at, the Clydesdale basically is a frame where the container fits under the shuttle and once dropped to the ground, simply takes off again. In many ways, it can be considered similar in general appearance to sky-lift helicopters from Earth. A gravity tractor system locks the containers in place although it is supplemented by bolting the containers in place. A large, fully loaded, container falling from orbit can be extremely devastating. Like most shuttle designs, propulsion is through a special contra-grav system which allows for use in an atmosphere as well as space. The system is capable of extremely precise m to be able to pick up containers. Most containers come in a few standard designs with the largest being 200 by 50 x 50 feet and smaller containers being 100 x 25 x 25 feet. Ships are designed to stack these with eight of the smaller containers taking the place of one of the larger containers. The Clydesdale is designed to be able to carry one large container of eight smaller containers lashed together. In most cases, mini-tugs are used to separate the smaller containers and help pull containers off of ships.

The Clydesdale class is designed to be able to be operated by a single pilot but is more commonly operated by a pair of crew. This allows for a larger measure of safety. Because Shuttles may be expected to be operate for extended periods of time, the shuttles are equipped with a small sleeper compared which is fitted with most basic comforts required including bunk beds, a basic kitchen. Many crews will equip their shuttles with better facilities including entertainment systems. While most functions can be performed by the shuttles automatic pilot, most companies prefer human crews as an extra safety. Still, some companies do operate these shuttles completely autonomously.

As might be expected, few Clydesdale class shuttles carry any sort of weaponry although some of the crews operating these shuttles in wilder areas do arm them on their own. Not particularly fast, the shuttles are still well suited to the role which they perform. Power is provided by a large fusion reactor. While not as powerful as the fusion reactors carried on most military shuttles, the design is extremely safe and is low maintenance. With regular maintenance, the fusion reactors can give centuries of service although some crews run the engines close to their red line and do not properly maintain them.

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

Model: WS-HCS-4
Vehicle Type: Heavy Container Shuttle
Crew: Two (Pilot and Co-pilot), can be operated by one or even without a pilot via automatic flight system.

M.D.C. By Location:

Reinforced Pilot’s Compartment:125
Cargo Clamps / Gravity Presser System (8):10 each
Landing Gear (3):50 each
[1] Main Body:900

[1] 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 if in space and will crash to the planet if within the atmosphere.

Driving on the Ground: Not Possible.
Sublight: Has a special sublight engine that allows the ship to travel up to 40 percent of the speed of light. Star Ship can accelerate/decelerate at the rate of 0.35 percent of light per melee
Atmospheric Propulsion: Maximum cruise speed is 300 mph (483 kph), can enter and leave an atmosphere because flight system is using contra grav.
Maximum Range: Effectively Unlimited by Drive system but only has supplies for crew members for about four weeks.

Statistical Data:
Length: 282 feet (85.9 meters).
Height: 74 feet (22.5 meters).
Width: 88 feet (26.8 meters)
Weight: 1800 tons (1,630 metric tons)
Power System: Advanced Fusion with 20 year life span.
Cargo: Can carry one large container (200 x 50 x 50 ft / 61 x 15.2 x 15.2 meters) or eight small containers (100 x 25 x 25 feet / 30.5 x 7.6 x 7.6 meters) with a capacity of around 600 tons (544 metric tons) total
Market Cost: 45 million credits (Unarmed)

None Standard

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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

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