Raider Zephyr Starfighter (Babylon Five):

This Starfighter was the standard fighter for the Belt Alliance. This was a small defense alliance formed by the EA Colonies in the Orion system. They formed a defense alliance because Earth Force was not always present in sufficient force to defend the shipping lanes from Pirate attack. The Zephyr was designed to be able to operate both in an atmosphere and in space. It is a cross between a lifting body design and a flying wing. After the Belt Alliance was rendered useless by a growing Earth Force, this fighter was phased out quickly in favor of the more capable Aurora Starfury. As a result of this, the Zephyr is relatively easy to find on the black market. A reasonably competent engineer is capable of refitting the fighter with pulse cannons and missiles. These fighters gained a reputation for themselves when several pirate outfits began using them for raids on commercial shipping lanes. At the peak of these raids the pirates raided Babylon 5. During this raid it became very clear that the Zephyr was no match for the newer Aurora Starfuries stationed at B5. The pirate mothership fled the battle, leaving virtually all of its fighters behind (Only to be destroyed by the Shadows). After this debacle the raids came to a full stop, and there have been no pirate raids for several years now.

The Zephyr has two ion engines for space flight, and these double as scramjets for atmospheric flight. At several points on the ships hull are clusters of maneuvering jets. Although the fighter is very manuevrable in a atmosphere it is only moderately maneuverable in space when compared to other starfighters. Its armor is comparable to that of Narn designs, but is not as durable as that of the newer Earth Force designed fighters.

In the pilots compartment, the pilot sits as in an atmospheric craft. Due to the design the view the pilot has from the cockpit is fairly limited. The fighter is operated by a combination of hand, foot, eye, and voice-activated controls.

The Zephyr fighter is reasonably well armed. For beam weaponry, the fighter is armed with two pulse cannons. It also carries four medium range missiles, hidden in the hull. The pulse cannons are normally used for dogfighting. The missiles are usually plasma, and are used against other fighters at longer range and against larger ships. The Zephyr has no weapons designed to be used against larger warships except missiles.

Listed is the formula to allow player and game masters to calculate the fighter’s velocity and distance traveled:

Model Number: Belt alliance Zephyr Starfighter

Vehicle Type: Twin Engine Atmospheric/Space Fighter
Crew: One

M.D.C. by Location:

Pulse cannons (2):40 each
Missile bays (4):25 each
Reinforced Pilots Compartment:125
[1] Ion Engines (2):120 each
[2]Wings (2):150 each
[3] Main Body:300

[1] Destroying one engine reduces the fighters performance by 50 %. If the fighter is in an atmosphere, it can no longer achieve escape velocity.
[2] Destroying a wing will cause the vehicle to crash from loss of control if it is flying in an atmosphere. Destroying one or both of the fighters wings in space means the fighter cannot enter an atmosphere, and imposes a -1 penalty to dodge per wing because some of the maneuvering jets are located in the wings.
[3] Depleting the M.D.C. of the main body will shut the foghter down completely, rendering it useless.

Driving on Ground: Not Possible
Flying; In atmosphere: The fighter can easily achieve escape velocity (Mach 32.6 / 25053 mph / 40320 kph) within 5 minute. The fighter has a maximum acceleration of 5 G. When the fighter is operating within an atmosphere, pilot will normally keep velocity below Mach 10 (7695 mph / 12384 kph). It is a VSTOL design, it cannot be launched from a standstill, but needs a short runway (700 meters when fully loaded)
Flying; Space: The fighter does not have an effective top speed but is limited by acceleration. Fighter can reach a top acceleration of 5 G but is normally limited to 1 G except in combat to conserve fuel.
Stardrive: The fighter does not have a jump drive but can use already formed jump points such as those formed by jump gates. While in hyperspace, the fighter can reach a maximum of 3 lightyears per hour. This means that the fighter could theoretically cover the Galaxy in about 40 months (will need to refuel very often and the fighters are not meant to operate very far from their homebase or ship).
Maximum Effective Range: The fighter has enough fuel for 20 minutes at maximum performance. If fighter is operating at less maximum performance, the fighters range is vastly increased. The fighter has 5 hours 20 minutes of endurance if operating at only 1 G and for every increase of 1 G, the fighter burns reaction mass twice as fast. Fighter uses hydrogen for fuel for a fusion reactor. The fighter can operate with engines on standby to increase fighters range.
Fighter has supplies for pilot for 2 days.

Statistical Data:
Height: 7 feet (2.1 meters)
Length: 20 feet (6 meters)
Width: 40 feet (12 meters)
Weight: 16.5 tons (15 metric tons)
Power System: 2 Fusion Batteries (At maximum output, duration is 20 minutes)
Cargo: Minimal (Storage for small equipment).
Cost: No longer constructed, 8 million on the black market for a unarmed version, 14 million for a fully armed version.

Weapons Systems

  1. Linked Pulse Cannons (2): These cannons are the fighters main anti starfighter and missile weapon system. These cannons fire rapid fire bursts of super charged Plasma and are similar to those carried on the Earth Force destroyer but are much smaller. These cannons are as powerful as those carried on the Thunderbolt Starfury, but shorter ranged. Author Note: The source on this weapon system lists the weapons range as 160,000 km. It has been reduces to fit more with Palladium frameworks and because they are a fighter mounted weapon system.
    Mega Damage: 2D6x10 for all two cannons combined. Each cannon does 1D6x10 but the two cannons are normally fired together.
    Maximum Effective Range: 8.1 miles (13 km) in an atmosphere and 810 miles (1,300 km) in space.
    Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the pilot (usually 4 or 5).
    Payload: Effectively Unlimited.
  2. Missiles: The fighter normally carries 4 medium range missiles with plasma warheads but can carry eight short range missiles as well. Missile are assumed to accelerate at 2 times normal mach speed in Gs greater than the starships speed when used in space. The missiles are fitted inside recessed bays inside the fighter. Missiles can be launched at non moving targets beyond the powered range of the missiles to hit targets without the chance of the launching ship being hit by missiles itself but penalties exist when launching missiles beyond normal missile range. Missiles can be mixed and matched at the rate of two short range missiles for one medium range missile.
    Maximum Effective Range: Varies with missile types, assume powered range is 8 x normal in space (Go to revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Damage: Varies with missile types (Go to revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Rate of Fire: One at a time or in volleys of 2, 4, or 8.
    Payload: 4 medium range missile, or 8 short range missiles.

COMBAT BONUSES: The Zephyr is very maneuverable and very accurate. Use the Phase World Starfighter combat (Elite or Basic) skill with no additional vehicle bonuses (Pilots skills and statistics still add. to bonuses)

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Technical information sourced partially from Voltayre's Encyclopia Xenobiologica.

CGI of Ship by Mark Kane. More of his CGI pictures of B-5 Ships at G'Kane at Babylon 5.

Writeup by Mischa (E-Mail Mischa).

Formatting and minor revisions by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Rifts Conversion Copyright © 1998, Mischa. All rights reserved.