Wednesday, May 4, 2011

[1938] Dirigible! R100 and R101 on the loose

Continuing with the air-power for my 1938: A Very British Civil War Isle of Man campaign, I present the rival dirigibles, R100 and R101.

During late WWI and the interwar period, several rigid dirigibles, the R series, were developed for the British military. The R series included:
  • R23X class (serial R27 and R29, first flights 1918),
  • R31 class (serial R31, first flight 1918, and R32, first flight 1919),
  • R33 class (serial R33 and R34, first flights 1919),
  • R36 class (serial R36, first flight 1921, and the never built R37),
  • R38 class (serial R38, first flight 1921, with R39, R40 and R41 never built),
  • R80 class (serial R80, first flight 1920), and
  • R100 class (serial R100 and R101, first flights 1929)
When R38 crashed during her first flight in 1921 near the city of Hull, the military project was closed. Despite a re-vamp in 1925, with R33 (and a whole adventure story about that), things then petered off until 1929, when R100 and R101 were developed and flown. Two separate groups developed these ships - a private company Vickers built the "Capitalist Airship" R100, while the Government Air Ministry built the "the Socialist Airship" R101. Both flew in 1929, with the R101 crashing in late 1930, killing 48 of the 55 passengers and crew. This final event ended the British dirigible program.

But what could be in an alternate timeline? Perhaps both R100 and R101, the "Capitalist" and "Socialist" airships survived to 1938. Perhaps they took sides similar to their nicknames. Perhaps they now spend the bulk of the Very British Civil War playing a cat-and-mouse game in the clouds, fighting their own version of the war. Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps.

So here are the stats for R100 and R101 (using Clint Black's Savage Crimson Skies rules). They're the same, pretty much, but have some different glitches.

And to prevent anything from shortening the adventure (one shot and *boom*), they use helium (in 1935, the British government managed to get a contract from the US for their two flagships), so the very explosive hydrogen hasn't been used for a couple of years. No *boom*.

R100/R101 (3 points)
  • R100: 37 + 63 passengers (max capacity 100)
  • R101: 45 (15 minimum) + 55 passengers (max capacity 100)
Speed: 8 (Average, 2 points)
  • R100: maximum speed: 81.5 mph, cruising speed: 50 mph, range: 4095 miles
  • R101: maximum speed: 71 mph, cruising speed: 63 mph, range: 4000 miles
Toughness: 12 (2) (Poor)
  • 8x Machineguns (Range: 15/30/60, Damage: 2d8, RoF: 3, Notes: AP2) (Poor)
Hard Points: 0 (Poor)

Glitches (1, -1 point):

  • R100 - Engine Overheating- This aircraft’s engine overheats when stressed. When performing any maneuver with a –4 or worse modifier, this vehicle suffers an additional –2 modifier.
  • R101 - Fuel Hog- This aircraft suffers a –2 modifier when rolling for fuel usage.

Upgrades (2, 2 points):
VTOL (dirigible) - stall speed is 0 (see Decreased Stall Speed).

Improved Handling- All Piloting rolls gain a +1 bonus.

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