TL-8 Personal Helicopter

NOTE: This fictional writeup is based upon Millenium Jet, Inc.'s SoloTrek™ XFV™. No copyright infringement is intended. It is merely my attempt to adapt this intriguing invention to the Traveller rpg. In April 2003, the company gave up on the product, reorganized, and focused on military applications of its core technology. By 2004, the company morphed into Trek Aerospace and renamed the craft Springtail™. I'm not privy to the details. You'll have to check them out for yourself. And the specifications listed below may no longer be true.

Ok, now that the legal stuff has been taken care of......

Initially created as a less expensive alternative to regular helicopters, the personal helicopter saw use by the military as a reconaissance vehicle, news agencies, law enforcement, search & rescue outfits, and surveyors.

A 2-cycle, 4 cylinder, 130 horsepower engine powers twin ducted fans mounted side-by-side. Dual electric fuel pumps powered by separate batteries ensure uninterrupted fuel for the engines.

To prevent theft or accidents by untrained individuals, the helicopter can be operated only by authorized personnel. The machine will become enabled only after a retinal eye scan, incorporated as part of the machine's heads-up system, verifies the operator as a person trained and authorized to fly the machine. The helicopter will not become enabled unless the operator has programmed in his/her correct weight into the aircraft.

The helicopter's control system can be customized for operators with different levels of experience: novice, intermediate, and advanced.

Included in the aircraft's helmet mounted heads-up-display, GPS information is available to the pilot along with information on the aircraft's systems and operating performance.

The helicopter can be safely flown and landed in the event of a complete electrical system malfunction. The helicopter "persuades" the operator to land when the fuel state reaches an unsafe level or if onboard sensors detect developing anomalies in any life-critical systems or components. Military versions have a pilot override switch.

In the event of system failure, the helicopter's ballistic parachute deploys automatically to provide an additional level of security for operating at altitudes greater than 100 feet above the ground.

Physical Specifications:

Length:62" (1.57 m)
Width:104" (2.64 m)
Height:90" (2.29 m)
Empty Weight:305 lbs (138.6 kg)
Maximum Gross Weight:750 lbs (341 kg)
Operator Weight:115 - 275 lbs (52.3 - 125 kg)
Operator Size:5'4" - 6'6" (1.62 - 1.98 m)

Mechanical Specifications: (Designed for standard atmosphere)

Engine Output:130 hp (96.9 kW)
Fuel:Gasoline (87 octane minimum)
Fuel Capacity:10.5 Gal (39.74 liters)
Top Speed:70 knots (80.5 mph, 134 kph)
Cruise Speed: 40 - 60 Knots (46 - 69 mph, 76 kph - 115 kph)
Range:150 nautical miles (~90 km)
Endurance:Up to 3 hours
Maximum Hover Altitude: 8,000 Feet (~2,417 meters) Above Sea Level

Features: Enhanced electronic controls backed up by enhanced mechanical controls. Computer integrates data from internal systems, gyrocompass, barometric altimeter, GPS, and passive infrared goggles into a heads-up display for the pilot. Communication is via radio (30 km/18 mile short range).

No weapons are mounted on the craft.

Price: Approximately 28,000 cr (wholesale)

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