Jack of Harts F-4 Blackhawk starfighter
Curtiss F-4 Blackhawk
Designed by Stephen Huda
Contact and the proliferation of gravtech into our technological base revolutionized the one hundred worlds of humanity as we knew it. In a day we found out that we were not alone, that They were very much more advanced than we were, and that They were human too. It was a scary time to be Human.
We needed new and more capable fighters to usher in a new generation of war machines that would use the new technologies we had access to. Designers and engineers put thousands of ideas on the drawing boards, hundreds of ideas into prototype stage, and scores of finished designs into limited production. Some of these were purchased by the Western Alliance or American armed forces, others by star system militias, and some found buyers in corporate security interests. Most had limited to no success on the market due the many difficulties with mating Peloran and Terran technologies.
The Curtiss F-4 Blackhawk was designed by one of the preeminent design teams of her day, responsible for five rocket fighter designs that reached full production before Contact. She was the fourth gravtech fighter placed into production for the American armed forces. She quickly showed superiority to the first three fighters, capable of both anti-fighter and anti-ship attack roles, and soon eclipsed them in general use. The Blackhawk became the most effective and visible American starfighter of her generation. They traveled everywhere the American military went, and fought every foe we faced.
The Blackhawk ruled supreme in the American military until the F-7 Hellcat supplanted her as the preeminent fighter of a new generation of starfighters. The Americans sold the Blackhawks to system militias and corporate security force, sending them into the private market, and production continued. There they have remained ever since, one of the most commonly flown starfighters of all time, constantly updated with new technologies as they come out. War-era and later versions are even hyperspace-capable, like all other modern starfighters.The Blackhawk is armed with two forward laser cannons and two missile pods that can breech any deflection grid, especially when armed with modern munitions. The four large engines give her impressive maneuvering capabilities, even compared to modern starfighters. And while the style of her construction is considered heavily "retro" by modern standards, many say that is part of the Blackhawk's charm.