Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Spacewings of the 22nd Century

Perhaps you're growing bored of all the futuristic GURPS stuff I'm posting that has to do with my setting, A Killing Wind. Perhaps you're not. I'll never know unless you tell me (or alternately, unless my viewership ratings plummet). Today I have some spaceplanes designed for that setting, primarily used by the wealthy residents of the Earth governments or corporate headquarters due to the dearth of ground transportation available over most of the surface of that planet.

Ford-Boeing Motors is a Prime Two corporation with its headquarters on Earth. Its main construction yards are in low earth orbit, though it maintains offices on and fabrication yards above Luna City as well. Ford-Boeings are the most common type of Spacewing found in private settings. They have effectively captured the individual luxury market.

The Outrider
This is Ford-Boeing's most modest spacewing available for purchase. Clocking in at around J$250,000 (depending on modifications selected), this modestly priced spacewing requires a long landing and takeoff strip, accommodates 2-4 passengers, and carries enough chemical propellant for one super-atmospheric trip at a time. The Outrider makes use of chemical rocket engines (notably, Rolls-Royce Olympus Mons engines) and has a bank of photovoltaic converters along its wingspan to provide cabin electricity as well as reactant power.

The Cloudranger
Ford-Boeing's midrange spacewing costs between J$500,000 and J$800,000 depending on configuration. It has limited VTOL capability and maneuverable retrojets which reduce the necessity for runway length as well as improving overall maneuverability. The Cloudranger can be configured for 2-8 passengers. At the lower levels it makes use of a Rolls-Royce Orion chemical rocket engine, but the fancier Cloudrangers have microwave rocket engines manufactured by Luxing Aerospace (generally, Silent Dragon engines).

The Starstrider
The most luxurious of luxury models designed by Ford-Boeing, the Starstrider costs between J$1.5M and J$35M depending on configuration. All Starstriders start with Silent Dragon engines as a basis. The fanciest have EM impulse engines as well as complete LiFi suites, sensor drone capacity, and VTOL capabilities. Starstriders can carry 2-25 passengers depending on their size.

Originally a privately owned arthouse firm, Carramore went into the spacewing design business in the late 90s and emerged as a major player for corporate contracts in the early 22nd century. Carramore spacewings are all individually designed and cost upwards of J$1M.

Luxing has a number of subsidiary companies producing spacewings, but these are generally used only for recreational, mass transit, or Luxing corp exec. purposes.

Other competition exists, particularly in the form of the BRIC corporation Ad Astra, which produces the Starshot, Wellspring, Damion, and Van Allen spacewings. However, the companies listed above cover nearly 65% of the marketshare.

No comments:

Post a Comment