Zerraspace on DeviantArthttps://www.deviantart.com/zerraspace/art/Exacting-Class-Starfighter-475730187Zerraspace

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Exacting Class Starfighter

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Description

Physical Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 4 m diameter at ends, 5 m diameter at Whipple shield body casing, 60 m length (image is not exactly to scale)
  • Composition: primarily high-emissivity graffold (folded graphene) scaffolding, some layering of low absorptivity high emissivity alloy and Whipple shield exterior for anti-laser and kinetic defense
  • Dry Mass: roughly 20 tons
  • Wet Mass: potential maximum of 40 to 65 tons depending on fuel type used (100 MPa hydrogen or helium isotopes)
  • Wingspan: 30 meters per radiator-wing, folds-up to 5 meters
  • Thrust/Weight: designed for up to continuous 5 G acceleration, achieved by multi-terawatt ICF drives (number and position depend on configuration)
  • Powerplant: 50 MW Brayton Cycle generator with argon working fluid
  • Sensors: Frontal and rear IR batteries, radar and skin-incorporated antenna
  • Armament: High frequency UV semiconductor laser with 3 turrets, missile loadout, twin spinal coilguns, nuclear exhaust may be used at close range

 

This is a departure from my regular work towards something more speculative; a true “spacefighter”, a small vessel capable of operating both in space and in an atmosphere. Each one of these is an enormously demanding task on its own, hence the hybrid craft must make a number of compromises to fully operate.

 

A military vessel first and foremost, the starfighter is not a comfortable ride. Variable thrust and gravity will send the pilot rocking, which the gyroscopic cockpit can only do so much to accommodate, and it has no life support, so he must remain in his space suit at all times. The craft is not meant to hold him for more than a few hours – ideally it is only operated from carriers or planetary bases during skirmishes. That being said, the frontal module can be ejected in case of an emergency, at which solar panels unfurl to provide enough power to operate antenna and coordinate a rescue mission. The starfighter’s minimal design lends to easy conversion to a drone or smart-ship, as this only requires putting a decent computer in place of the cockpit.

 

In battle, the starfighter serves chiefly as an interceptor or assault craft. As an interceptor, it shoots down incoming missiles and directs fire away from more vital ships. When on the attack, the onboard lasers might not be powerful enough to do significant damage to larger ships, but equipped nukes allow it take down a limited number of opponents of any size. Some militaries even prefer them to capital ships, as many can be built for the same cost as a larger vessel and each loss is less of a hit to the fleet, yet in their numbers they are harder to take down.

 

Exacting detail of ship systems and functioning is available if desired. I must thank the Atomic Rockets website for its invaluable contributions to the above, as well as NASA for specifics of supersonic flight and surface-to-orbit craft. I hope it merits both their seals of approval.

Image size
3780x3780px 1.4 MB
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Comments22
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I finally found this sketch again. I just wanted to say that this design reminds me of what L5resident posts.