United States C-55 Pegasus Heavy Transport:

Excerpt from Fox’s Combat Aircraft of the World, 2090 to 2091:

At almost four hundred tons when fully loaded, the C-55 Pegasus is one of the largest transport planes operated. It is also one of the oldest designs still operated by the United States military. The aircraft was initially developed as a replacement for the C-5 Galaxy. The Galaxy was aging as was in extreme need of being replaced. Stress on airframes had restricted how much cargo the heavy transports could carry and it was deemed not worth rebuilding. Unlike the V-50 Transport, which replaced the C-17 Globemaster III, the aircraft is mainly operated by the United States military. To reduce the aircraft's runway requirements, the C-55 is designed for short take offs and landings and requires far less runway than the C-5 it replaced. Still, there is consideration being given to develop a replacement for the C-55 which is vertical take off and landing.

The C-55 was one of the first aircraft designs which took advantage of the new composites and alloys being developed as well as the new fusion turbines being introduced. Planning for the new design began in Twenty Thirty-Seven with the first prototype flying five years later. Due to severe budget constraints, development was slow. It was not until Twenty Forty-Eight that production. Unlike most aircraft from around the same time as the Pegasus was introduced, the heavy transport still remains in production. There have been some upgrades including the upgrade of the aircraft's materials so it can withstand greater damage and stress. While orders have been reduced compared to original orders, it is likely that production will remain for at least another decade. Older C-55 Pegasus transports have been mostly assigned to reserve units.

For thrust, the C-55 mounts four General Electric FT-120 Fusion Turbines. Each engine produces over fifty-five thousand tons of thrust and each has a variable geometry nozzle which allows thrust to be directed for use in short take offs and landings. Top speed is Mach 0.94 with a normal cruise speed of Mach 0.90, much faster than the C-5. This is partially due to a more aerodynamic airframe as well as more powerful engines. Early models of the aircraft overheated after sixteen hours at cruise speed while upgraded models can cruise for up to twenty-four hours straight without overheating. Of course at maximum speed, the aircraft overheats slightly faster. The new alloys and composites allows the aircraft to be virtually immune to corrosion. As a result, the aircraft remain in good conditions even though some have been in service for decades.

The C-55 can basically carry anything in the United States arsenal and is the only aircraft in the United States air fleet which can actually carry a pair of the Jackson main battle tanks. A wide variety of different cargo can be carried as well and it can carry up to one hundred and eighty tons of cargo. The aircraft, like the C-5, has a cargo hatch in the rear and the nose of the transport can be opened so cargo can be loaded from the front while unloaded from the rear. There is a special passenger deck above the main cargo hold with the ability to carry up to one hundred passengers. If the cargo plane uses pallet type seating instead of cargo, a total of four hundred and fifty passengers can be carried. In the cargo bay, two-hundred and fifty light power armors can be carried in the cargo bay. For medical transport, two hundred and twenty special medical litters can be carried as well as forty medical personnel not including the upper passenger deck which can be used to carry less injured and semi-ambulatory casualties.

The aircraft is designed to be operated by a crew of three with a pilot, co-pilot, and flight technician. There is space set aside for a second crew for longer operations as well as four load masters. The aircraft has a galley, lavatory facilities, and tiny sleeping quarters for the crew. Electronics have been upgraded on most models and the C-55 is one of the largest fly by wire aircraft in existence. Advanced electronics include jamming systems, a decoy systems, and a range of sensor systems.

Model Type: C-55
Class: Quad Engine STOL (Thruster) Transport Aircraft
Crew: 3 (Pilot, Co-Pilot, and Flight Engineer), has space for an additional relief crew as well as four Load Masters (Space for 10.)
Troops: 100 Troops in upper passenger compartment. Can carry 350 passengers (250 light power armors or 220 medical litters and 40 medical personnel) in cargo bay in place of cargo.

M.D.C. By Location:C-55AC-55D
[1] Wings (2):480 each 550 each
[2] Elevators (2):240 each320 each
[2] Rudders (2):200 each250 each
Front Cargo Door:320400
Rear Cargo Bay Door:320400
Side Doors (2):75 each100 each
[3] Engines (4):300 each400 each
[4] Main Body:8001,200
Landing Gear (12):25 each25 each

[1] Destroying a wing will cause the plane to crash.
[2] Destruction of rudders or one elevator will still allow the aircraft to be controlled by the varying of power levels of the engines but aircraft 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.
[3] The destruction of one engine will reduce the aircraft's top speed by one quarter and give the pilot a -1 penalty to dodge as well as giving a 10% penalty to piloting. Each destroyed engine causes cumulative effects. Destruction of four engines will cause the aircraft to crash.
[4] 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.

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.
Flight: The C-55 Pegasus has the ability to make short take-offs and landings. It has a maximum speed of Mach 0.94 (620.4 mph /998.44 kph) and a cruise speed of Mach 0.90 (594 mph / 955.95 kph.) Maximum altitude is 60,000 feet (18,288 meters)
Range: Due to Fusion engine effectively unlimited range, need to cool down after 12 hours of flight (16 hours in C-55D Model) at maximum speed. At cruising speed, range is increased to 16 hours of flight (24 hours in C-55D Model.)

Statistical Data:
Height: 68 feet 4 inches (20.83 meters)
Wingspan: 215 feet 6 inches (65.68 meters)
Length: 255 feet 8 inches (77.93 meters)
Weight: 485,016.98 pounds (220,000 kg) empty and 848,779.71 pounds (385,000 kg) maximum takeoff weight
Power System: Nuclear, Should have an average life span of 10 years.
Cargo: 180 tons (163.29 metric tons)
Black Market Cost: 125 million credits

Weapon Systems:

  1. Anti-Missile Chaff Dispenser (All Military Versions): Located at the very tail of the aircraft are two chaff dispensers. When tailed by a missile, a cloud of chaff and other obtrusive particles can be released to confuse or detonate the enemy's attack. Rifts Earth decoys systems are assumed to not operate against Phase World missiles due to technological difference. Reduce effects by 20% against smart missiles (Add +20% to rolls for smart missiles.)
      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.
    Also note that the chaff cloud will also blind flying monsters that fly through cloud. They will suffer the following penalties: reduce melee attacks/actions, combat bonuses, and speed by half. Duration: 1D4 melee rounds.
    Payload: Eight (8)

Special Equipment:
The aircraft has all the standard features of a standard fighter (same as standard robot including loudspeaker and microphone on this aircraft) plus these special features listed.

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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Copyright © 2007, Kitsune. All rights reserved.