An upsized, improved Air raft. Midrange utility transport and liaison craft.
Air scout is an improvement on the air raft. Fully enclosed, environmentally controlled and capable of higher speeds and more complex airborne maneuvers. Models that are fully pressurized and sealed for extended spaceborne operations re available giving it the ability to act as a liaison craft and mini shuttle for space craft and orbital stations.
Generally designed for fast subsonic flight the Air scout is fairly nimble capable of fast pitch yaw and roll movements as well as rapid ascent, descent and lateral slides. This requires more complex flight control software, and expanded controls for the pilot. Unfortunately the additional agility and maneuverability also requires that the pilot receive more training than the casual flyer to fully exploit the abilities of the craft.
Scouts are suited to both civilian security, and military operation as light utility vehicles, short range patrol and scouting, and occasionally can be pressed into service as a fire support vehicle for squad level groups. The are most definitely not combat craft, thin armor and their light structure make them vulnerable to heavy weapons restricting them to non combat duties in most cases.
Access tot he Air scout is provided by two gull wing doors on either side of the hull, and a large swing up gate at the rear of the craft. this allows for rapid loading and unloading of cargo ad full access to the interior of the craft.
the doors and canopy of the craft are fully reinforced to handle exposure to a wide range of temperatures and exposure to hard vacuum without warping or damage due to heat and extreme differences in pressure. This is a safety feature intended to prevent the canopy or hatches from giving way during ascent and causing a catastrophic depressurization.
Aerodynamics: The Air scout is designed for transonic flight at best. the design is actually engineered to make supersonic flight impossible under most circumstances. In an Earth type atmosphere the leading edge of the craft forms a shockwave that prevents the craft from exceeding mach one. This is for safety and noise control purposes since aircraft generating sonic booms over starports and cities would be a major issue.
Hatches: the side hatches open outward through a notch cut into the sponsons on the sides of the craft. sliding panels cover the gap and allow higher speeds. These can be removed if desired but high speed flight becomes a bit unpleasant due to buffeting and vibration generated by drag on the recessed areas.
Canopy and Leading edge: the canopy and leading edges of the hull are reinforced and armored to protect from bird strikes. They are technically bullet proof but not likely to stand up to anything larger than an assault rifle.
Landing Gear: Normally an Air Scout is fitted with skids for general purpose use.They can be fitted with retractable landing gear on designs intended for higher speed flight. Most models can settle into water for short periods of time, with "frontier" models being sealed. Frontier models can land on water and stay afloat in moderately sized swells for extended periods.
General purpose passenger/cargo
Cargo carrier: no passengers
Commuter: slightly crowded seating for 12-18 people
Luxury Model: high end furnishings, high end entertainment system, leather interior,mini bar, extra cup holders.
Frontier Model: reinforced structure, light armor, extended life support improved communications,water landing capable.
Light duty Military/Security transport: lightly armed and armored
Extended spaceborne operations: Improved sensors and extended life support
Speed: high subsonic/transonic(supersonic in power dive)
Range: to be determined
Armor: extremely light
Weapons: None, heavy machine guns light auto cannon and rocket pods can be fitted to military models.
Sensors:basic radar, floodlights.
Electronics: navigation system,long range radio
Passengers: standard is 6-10 passengers.
Cargo: depends on model. It can range from "luggage rack", to "delivery van" range
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