Earth Directorate Starfighter (Buck Rogers):

This fighter is a medium starfighter used by the Earth Defense Directorate to protect the Earth and all starships in service in with the Earth government. The fighter is very maneuverable and heavily armed. The fighter can launch and land under its own power but often uses electromagnetic launch systems to reach a greater initial velocity than would be otherwise possible.

The fighter is built around two needle like structures and could be described as being built in a twin boom construction. The body of the fighter could be described as a futuristic version of the old World War Two Lighting twin engine fighter. Both booms have two sharp noses and the fighter’s twin engines are mounted with one on the rear of each of these boom structures. Between the two structures is the fighter’s cockpit which contains a position for the pilot forward and behind the pilot is a second compartment for a passenger. The passenger compartment faces aft. The cockpit is rather blocky and has few rounded surfaces. The cockpit is mounted on an almost flat surface with stretched between the two boom structures. The fighter has delta style wings and two control surfaces facing downwards near the rear of the fighter.

The fighter is armed with eight laser cannons mounted near the front of the fighter and near where the booms extend from the rest of the body of the fighter. While the laser cannons are not that powerful individually, all eight firing together can inflict surprising damage. When the fighter is being used against starships, it can carry two anti-ship missiles mounted on the underbelly.

These fighters were originally fitted with a combat program designed to fight better than the pilots themselves. This program was found to be predictable and a large number of pilots were lost as a result. The program is no longer used by pilots and loss rates have decreased significantly.

This fighter does have some disadvantages when compared to starfighters from other universes. The ship uses ion engines which have a lower duration than the gravity based engines used in most Starships within the Three Galaxies. The Earth Directorate fighter also do not use missiles regularly and would likely suffer against any opponent who regularly uses missiles.

Notes of game conversion:

Because of the nature of the series "Buck Rogers" and the needs to put the fighter into game mechanics, I have given many statistic as two different possible statistics to take this into account. The G that I have seen listed would not be sufficient to get near the speed of light yet many episodes have indicated speeds in this area. In some ways each version is closer to what was seen in the series. I do make one huge change, fighters in Buck Rogers act as if they are in the atmosphere even when they operating in space. This is incorrect. The Television series Babylon 5 is a good series to watch to get a clearer idea on how space vehicles would probably maneuver.

Phase world version uses my revised phase world starship rules and can hold their own against most C.A.F and Kreeghor fighters. This version is recommended if you with to put them into Phase World as among equals. See Revised Starship Rules for Phase World / Three Galaxies for more details.

Moderate version uses Gs of acceleration and reduced weapon ranges. This version is useful for Mutants In Orbit, Phase World if used as a lower tech race, used with my Earth Force ships conversions for B-5, and as a possible crash on Rifts Earth. Listed is the formula to allow player and game masters to calculate the fighter’s velocity and distance traveled.

Model Type: ED-SF-012
Vehicle Type: Medium Starfighter
Crew: One but can fit two passengers in the back cockpit in emergencies.

M.D.C. By Location:

Laser Cannons (8):20 each
[1] Delta Wings (2):80
[1] Rear Flight Surfaces (2):50
[2] Engines (2):100 each
Landing Struts (3):20 each
[3] Main Body:450
Reinforced Pilots Cockpit:120
Reinforced Passenger Cockpit:120

[1] Loss of a wing or rudder while in an atmosphere will cause the fighter to lose control and crash. The loss of a wing in space has no effect on the fighter’s performance but the fighter will be unable to re-enter an atmosphere safely.
[2] Loss of an engine will reduce performance of fighter by one half and loss of two engines will prevent the fighter from accelerate or decelerate beyond 5% of normal (This is using maneuvering thrusters) and the fighter will crash in an atmosphere.
[3] Depleting the M.D.C. of the main body will put the fighter out of commission. All internal systems will shut down, including life support and internal gravity. The ship itself will be an unsalvageable floating wreck. In an atmosphere, the fighter will crash

Driving on the Ground: Not Possible.
Phase World Version: Has a special sublight engine that allows the ship to travel up to 40 percent of the speed of light. Fighter can accelerate/decelerate at the rate of 1.60 percent of light per melee maximum (Standard is 1.2 percent of light per turn).
Moderate Version: The fighter does not have an effective top speed but is limited by acceleration. Fighter can reach a top acceleration of 9 G but standard is 6 G to conserve fuel.
Atmospheric Propulsion: Both Version: The fighter can achieve escape velocity (Mach 32.6 / 25053 mph / 40320 kph) but normally operates at Mach 8 (6160.7 mph / 9907.2 kph) or less.
Stardrive: None, uses special Stargates to travel Interstellar distances.
Maximum Range: Both Versions: the fighter has enough fuel for 15 days of standard performance. If fighter is operating at maximum performance, reduce range by half. Fighter uses hydrogen for fuel for a fusion reactor. The fighter can operate with engines on standby to increase fighter’s range. The fighter has supplies for pilot for 3 weeks.

Statistical Data:
Length: 30.3 feet (9.2 meters)
Height: 10.7 feet (3.3 meters)
Width: 17.8 feet (5.4 meters)
Weight: 14.5 tons (13.1 metric tons) unloaded
Power System: Fusion power supply with a 15 day duration at normal output. Fusion power supply can run life support without any thrust for 2 years although rations and water will have long run out.
Cargo: Small Storage Space, 4 ft x 4.5 ft x 4 ft. Used for emergency equipment and weapons but a passenger can be crammed in emergency.
Market Cost: 25 million credits to build.


  1. Laser Cannons (8): These cannons are mounted on either side of the booms on the fighter and are mounted near the front of the fighter. While individually not extremely powerful, all eight weapons firing together are about equal to those mounted on those on C.A.F. Starfighters as well. All eight cannons fire combined and cannons individually if all of the other cannons are destroyed.
    Maximum Effective Range:
      Phase World Version: 800 miles (1,290 km) in space and 8 miles (12.3 km) in an atmosphere.
      Moderate Version: 4,000 feet (1,200 m) in an atmosphere and 32,000 feet (9,600 m) in space.
    Mega Damage: Both Versions: 4D6x10 for all eight cannons. If one cannon is destroyed, damage is reduced by 5D6 per cannon destroyed.
    Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the pilot (usually 4 or 5).
    Payload: Effectively Unlimited.
  2. Two (2) Anti-Ship Missiles: There are two separate descriptions of these missiles. They are mounted on the underbelly of the fighter when they are used and are used against large targets. Missiles have penalties to hit small targets but are all considered smart missiles.
    Phase World Version: Effectively very similar to Phase World cruise missiles. Missiles has a top speed of Mach 25 in an atmosphere and in space has an acceleration of 10% of light per turn (far faster than any starship). When drive goes dead, the missile will continue to travel in a straight line unless preset to self destruct or receives a destruct code but has very low odds of hitting star ships (Great for hitting bases and planets because target does not move and torpedoes when dead is at -25% to be detected.) See Modified starship rules for more details
    Moderate Version: The description of these are close to that used for conventional cruise missiles Missile are assumed to accelerate at 2 times normal mach speed in Gs greater than the starships speed when used in space. 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.
    Maximum Effective Range:
      Phase World Version: Powered torpedo range is 8000 miles (12,875 km) in an atmosphere and 4,000,000 miles (6,437,376 km/ 21.5 light seconds) in space.
      Moderate Version: Varies with missile types, assume powered range is 8 x normal in space (Use new missile/bomb tables).
    Mega-Damage & Properties: Both Versions: Varies with cruise missile types (Use new missile/bomb tables) - Anti-Matter warheads are NOT available.
    Rate of Fire: One at a time or in volleys of 2
    Payload: 2 Missiles (Effectively Cruise)

COMBAT BONUSES: The Earth Directorate Starfighter is very maneuverable and very accurate. Use the Phase World Starfighter combat (Elite or Basic) skill. These bonuses are in addition to those from the piloting skill.

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[ Buck Rogers in the 25th Century is copyright © Universal Pictures. ]

Starfighter Model by Jay Barnes ( His homepage is Here.

Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Rifts Conversion Copyright © 2001, Kitsune. All rights reserved.