Fuchs Aerospace “Kit Fox” Gyro-Plane:

The Gyro-Plane is an interesting aircraft which took over many of the roles of the helicopter before the coming of the Rifts. They were extremely popular with civil aviation replacing small aircraft aviation as well as for various specialized roles. Some of these include news agencies, exploration, law enforcement use, and even some military applications. The larger Tilt Rotor designs took up roles which required the ability to carry more passengers or cargo.

Fuchs Aerospace was one of half a dozen aircraft manufactures who built Gyro-Planes before the coming of the Rifts. Due to the large numbers produced, many survived after the coming of the Rifts. They are even produced after the coming of the Rifts by a variety of companies. Especially with the lack of roads, such aircraft are often the best means of travel.

The “Kit Fox” is a fairly typical design of a Pre-Rifts Gyro-Plane. A Gyro-Plane can be considered a combination of a helicopter and a conventional aircraft. This design was first introduced with the Carter Aviation CarterCopter. The aircraft uses a rotor for take off and landing. The rotor is heavier than a standard helicopter rotor. When traveling horizontally, the upper rotor is not powered, spinning freely, and instead relies on a pusher propellor. The Gyro-Plane has aircraft type wings to provide lift and has the same width as the rotor blades. The design allows the aircraft to reach speeds greater than those of a helicopter as well as at lower power.

Not incredibly fast, the “Kit Fox” Gyro-Plane has a top speed of 245 miles per hour. Power is provided by a high efficiency electrical engine with a high capacity battery. Range with the battery is 2500 miles. Earlier versions of the Gyro-Plane were mostly powered by fuel cell systems and many of them existed until the coming of the Rifts. Most had about half the range of the "Kit Fox." It is likely that a number have been converted to fusion power after the coming of the rifts.

Virtually the entire aircraft is made from composites. Fuselage, blades, and wings are all made from composites. While incredibly strong, the aircraft is also extremely light. Because the advanced composites are virtually immune to corrosion, these aircraft are still found in out of the way locations. While not armored for combat, it is still incredible how much damage these designs could withstand while still flying.

The aircraft is designed for a crew of two in the front with two passengers in the rear area. While cramped, the cockpit is well designed with advanced electronics for a budget design. It includes an automatic pilot system with a G.P.S. system. Of course after the coming of the Rifts, the G.P.S. system is basically useless. Most pilots consider the “Kit Fox” to be pure pleasure to fly. It can be flown by a single pilot easily. Instead of passengers, a total of six hundred pounds of cargo can be carried in the rear area.

The “Kit Fox” was never really designed as a military design and few were armed before the coming of the Rifts. Still, military versions carry a wide variety of electronics including addition sensor systems. Police versions were often similarly equipped. Forward Infra-Red systems were extremely common as well as search lights. Both forward mounted and underside mounted versions are common. The underside mounted versions are in a retractable mount so that they do not restrict aircraft speed.

Of course after the coming of the Rifts, many of these aircraft have been armed. Some have been used in the ground attack role while others are used almost as fighters. Still, they are slow for true military roles although they are fast enough to escape most magical and supernatural creatures. Some owners have mounted hand held energy rifles on the Gyro-Plane relying on energy clips. A few also mounted a rail gun or pre-rifts machine-gun designs. As well, mini-missile launchers were mounted on a few of these. There are too many different mounted weapon systems carried to list in detail. Of course some owners also add additional armor, either internally or applied extrenally.

Model Number: FA-PAV-4
Vehicle Type: Personal Gyro-Plane
Crew: Two with two passengers (can be flown by one)

M.D.C. by Location:

[1] Main Rotor:40
[1] Pusher Propellor:30
[1] Wings (2):80 each
[1] Tail:40
Landing Gear (3):5 each
Reinforced Cockpit:80
[2] Main Body:150

[1] The hit on the main rotor, tail, rear propeller, or wing will cause the aircraft to crash. Roll under the piloting skill -30% for a successful crash landing
[2] Destroying the main body knocks the helicopter out of the sky and renders it completely useless.

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. Gyro-Plane can land and take off from primitive runways.
Flying: Hover to 245 mph (394.3 kph / 212.9 kt) with a ceiling of 32,000 feet (9,753.6 meters). The Gyro-Plane has great maneuverability and VTOL capabilities.
Maximum Effective Range: 2500 miles (4023.4 km) on a single battery charge.

Statistical Data:
Height: 14.3 feet (4.36 meters)
Wingspan / Rotor Width: 44.5 feet (13.56 meters)
Length: 26.8 feet (8.17 meters)
Weight: 2,000 pounds (907.2 kg) empty and 3,200 pounds (1451.5 kg) fully loaded
Power System: Electrical, uses a High Capacity battery (Some have been converted to fusion)
Cargo: Minimal (Storage for small equipment), without passengers can carry 600 lbs (272.2 kg) in rear area of cockpit.
Black Market Cost: 650,000 credits (Can sometimes sell for double that price)

Weapon Systems:
None Standard

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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Copyright © 2007, Kitsune. All rights reserved.