[Traveller] Design Philosophy of Fighters and Small Ships

With Mech Tech ‘n’ bot: Fighters and Small Ships being released soon, I probably should discuss the design philosophy behind the book. My philosophy had two main sources for inspiration: modern cars and airplanes. When Boeing makes a 737 they customize it to their customer’s needs, but they tend to fall into one of several groups: passenger transport, cargo transport, or military applications. The passenger transport version is fitted with seats, a galley a standardized gangway entrance, and legally required safety features. The cargo variant is fitted with latching hooks to keep the cargo from moving during the flight, sections for large cargo and small cargo, and a standardized gangway to make loading and unloading cargo easier. The military variant could possess a hatch for dropping bombs, enhanced electrical for operating sophisticated radar and other detection equipment, or others depending on its specific use. But all the while, the general design, cockpit, engines, fuel tanks are relatively unchanged. This helps keep the costs down for Boeing while making aircraft for wide applications.

S172 by RenStar
In the same way, the S172 by RenStar Avionics possess several variations. First there is a passenger variant designed to transport 40 passengers from a planet’s surface to orbit and back again in relative comfort while still packing them in like sardines. Next there is a short range cargo variant that carries considerable cargo for its size while changing as little as possible to the basic structure. Finally there is a long range cargo variant that can operate for two weeks in the vacuum of space with little refuelling. This version possess a larger engine and power plant to increase its range and a single weapon to help defend itself. … What was that? A military variant? I’m sorry that is classified.

Yes, I know that cargo transports are the coolest and all, but what about fighters. What inspiration was used in designing a fighter? For this, I looked at the Infiniti car manufacturer. When you look at an Infiniti, you know it is an Infiniti. They design a specific look into their cars to make them instantly recognizable. Every commercial has their the single wavy line to help brand the appearance of every model.

Kraft by Guardian Industries
In the same way, space fighter manufacturers would want their products to stand out, making each to appear similar. Enter the Kraft by Guardian Industries. This fighter travels as fast as a missile regardless if it is the light or medium interceptor variants. But because GI wants their fighters to stand out, the fighters appear almost identical. So when you see the basic configuration, you know that the owners of those fighters must be rich enough to be able to afford these fast fighters.

Mech Tech ‘n’ bot: Fighters and Small Ships will be available on November 23 for Print at Lulu.com and for PDF download at DriveThruRPG.com

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