Author Topic: "Bustard" Aerial Refueler  (Read 335 times)


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"Bustard" Aerial Refueler
« on: 26 January 2024, 13:02:43 »
Bustard Aerial Refueler

Mass: 70 tons
Power Plant:  Fusion
Armor: BAR 7
     1 Medium Laser
Introduction Year: 2821
Tech Rating/Availability: D/X-E-D-X
Cost: 773,269 C-bills

The Bustard is a medium-sized support aircraft designed for aerial refueling operations.

The practice of using aerial refuelers to boost the range of fighters is an ancient one. While aerospace fighters can reach anywhere on a planet simply by boosting to space and coasting on momentum, this is not the case for conventional fighters. Furthermore, even aerospace fighters can benefit from having their range extended mid-flight. For this reason, many regular forces still rely on aerial refueling craft. The Bustard is one such example.

Because it is propeller-driven the Bustard is almost unique among fusion-powered fixed-wing aircraft. Although this arrangement places hard limits on maximum speed and altitude, it also provides a key advantage: the Bustard can achieve almost unlimited range on an inconsequential amount of fuel. The aircraft can thus be deployed to rendezvous with friendly aircraft many hours in advance. With the capability to loiter indefinitely, time spent airborne is limited mainly by crew endurance. As Bustard crews are fond of saying, they can reach any point on the globe... eventually. The Bustard also features STOL capability, allowing it to use short airfields.

With an internal capacity of just over 31 tons of fuel one Bustard can refuel several aircraft. Refueling is conducted via a rear-mounted flying boom drogue.

The Bustard's crew consists of a pilot, copilot/navigator, and drogue operator. The aircraft fares poorly if forced to enter combat; it is armored as heavily as the structure will allow, but the aircraft can usually sustain only a few hits. For defense it mounts one rear-mounted medium laser, which is controlled by the drogue operator.

Bustards are spread thinly but evenly throughout Lyran and Marik space. They are one of the few non-mech units whose fusion engines were generally left intact during the Succession Wars.

Code: [Select]
Type: Bustard
Technology Base: Inner Sphere (Standard)
Tonnage: 70
Battle Value: 179

Equipment                                          Mass
Engine                         Fusion                21
Safe Thrust: 4
Max Thrust: 6
Structural Integrity:         4                       
Heat Sinks:                   0                       3
Fuel:                         0                     0.0
Cockpit                                               7
Armor Factor (BAR 7)          74                    3.5

     Nose                    20   
     Wings                 18/18   
     Aft                     18   

and Ammo              Location   Tonnage  Heat   SRV  MRV  LRV  ERV
SV Chassis Mod          BOD       0.0      -      -    -    -    - 
SV Chassis Mod          BOD       0.0      -      -    -    -    - 
Medium Laser            AFT       1.0      3      5    0    0    0 
Refueling Drogue        AFT       1.0      -      -    -    -    - 

Carrying Capacity  
Liquid Cargo Space (1 door) - 31.395 tons