United States V-50 Stratotrain VTOL Transport:

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

At almost three hundred tons, the Stratotrain is the largest operation VTOL aircraft although there are consideration to built even larger VTOL aircraft to replace the large C-55 transport. Built initially as a replacement for the aging C-17 Globemaster III, the Stratotrain is operated by several militaries which previously operated the C-17. Its ability to take off and land vertically has made the aircraft an extremely popular design. The only limitation is that the size of the aircraft lifts the improvised fields it can operate from. The United States is the largest operator of these aircraft and has a fleet of several hundred.

The first prototype of the V-50 flew in 2062 and the design is largely based on the smaller V-47 Dakota II design. This allowed for more rapid introduction than otherwise possible. Like the Stratotrain's smaller cousin, the V-50 is a twin engine design although each engine are vastly more powerful. Full production was started in 2067 and continues to the present time. Periodically, there have been discussion of developing a successor aircraft but it is quite likely that the V-50 will operate as the main heavy lift VTOL aircraft for several more decades at least. Unlike the V-47, there are no variants of the Stratotrain transport.

Like most of the aircraft of its generation, the V-50 takes advantage of many items of new technology. The first is the fusion turbines which give the aircraft virtually unlimited range. Eventually, the engines will overheat but it requires twenty-four hours of continuous operation at speeds of up to Mach 0.90 and the transport's top speed is slightly greater although the aircraft overheats faster. It is slightly slower than the smaller "Dakota II" transport. The second main revolution is in high strength composites and allows. Compared to the previous generation, the aircraft can take incredible amounts of abuse and are virtually immune to both corrosion and stresses on the air frame.

The V-50 is designed to basically carry any common military hardware operated by the United States Army including the M-7 Jackson Main Battle Tank. A variety of cargo pallets can also be carried and cargo loads of up to around one hundred tons can be carried. Special pallet type seating is also available and up to 180 troops can be carried. This seating can be rapidly mounted and removed when no longer needed. One hundred and twenty light power armors can also be carried instead of troops. As well, the aircraft is well suited for medical operations including evacuations. In such roles, the aircraft can carry one hundred life support litters as well as twenty medical personnel. The plane is designed with a rear cargo door although the cargo compartment is pressurized while in flight.

The aircraft flight controls have changed between the original models and those presently in service. Fly by wire controls makes the aircraft incredibly responsive and special flight software insures safety in vertical take offs and landings. There is an upgrade program underway to upgrade the flight controls to the new standard. Electronics include advance sensor systems, jamming systems, and chaff and flare systems. The aircraft is designed to be operated by a crew of three, a pilot, a copilot, and a load master. In some cases, the load master can be deleted.

Model Type: V-50
Class: Double Engine VTOL (Thruster) Transport Aircraft
Crew: 3 (Pilot, Co-Pilot, and Load Master)
Troops: 180 Troops (120 in Light Power Armor / 100 Medical Litters and 20 Medical Personnel)

M.D.C. by Location:

[1] Wings (2):400 each
[2] Elevators (2):180 each
[2] Rudders (2):150 each
Rear Cargo Bay Door:160
Side Doors (2):75 each
[3] Engines (2):300 each
[4] Main Body:750
Landing Gear (5):25 each

[1] Destroying a wing will cause the plane to crash
[2] Destruction of the tail will still allow the transport to be controlled by the varying of power levels of the engines but fighter has a penalty of -10 to dodge, and a -30% penalty to all piloting rolls.
[3] The destruction of one engine will reduce the aircraft top speed by half and give the pilot a -2 penalty to dodge as well as giving a 10% penalty to piloting. With one engine destroyed, the aircraft cannot make vertical take offs and landings. Destruction of both engines will cause the aircraft to crash. Pilot may attempt a emergency landing or pilot can choose to eject.
[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.
Flying: 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) The aircraft is Vertical Take Off and Landing which allows it to take off virtually anywhere and can hover indefinitely.
Maximum Effective Range: Due to Fusion engine effectively unlimited range, need to cool down after 16 hours of flight at maximum speed. At cruising speed, range is increased to 24 hours of flight.

Statistical Data:
Height: 56 feet 3 inches (17.15 meters)
Wingspan: 172 feet 6 inches (52.58 meters)
Length: 174 feet 9 inches (53.26 meters)
Weight: 385,808.96 pounds (175,000 kg) empty and 617,294.33 pounds (280,000 kg) maximum takeoff weight
Power System: Nuclear, Should have an average life span of 10 years.
Cargo: 100 tons (90.72 metric tons)
Black Market Cost: 75 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.