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Old 01-29-2020, 06:30 AM   #20
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Iceland*
Default More Narrowly Defined Routes and Required Ranges

I've done some checking of maps.

I can spot several different roles for aircraft designed to carry around people in Kessler's network. These are all for TL6-7 designs, i.e. not jets, with only the last option retaining the possibility of an older, tested, very reliable jet of some sort, but being more likely to be a more anachronistic aircraft (if we want PCs to ever consider flying in it).

I'm assuming that there are plenty of options for those in Kessler's network who are comfortable with modern aircraft and expect them to fly commercial or charter flights to places like Nassau, Guadeloupe or St. Lucia and then, if necessary, be picked up there in a smaller amphibious aircraft.

A) Short range amphibious craft
Amphibious: Yes --- Range Required: 350 miles --- Extended Range (if practical): 500+ miles
Designed to take off from just north of Rosalie, Dominica (the airport on Dominica is well over an hour of travel away from Kessler's retreat there) and to be able to reach pretty much any destination in the Lesser Antilles. In order to reach Puerto Rico, the range needs to be at least 400-500 miles, depending on where it will land in Puerto Rico.
Obviously, I'd prefer that it be as fast as possible out to the required range, but given the short distances, I'm thinking that the selection here will be based more on what is simplest, most robust, easiest to maintain and operate without much in the way of infrastructure.
Contenders: Antonov An-2 (w/floats), de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver, de Havilland Canada DHC-3 Otter, Grumman Goose, Grumman Widgeon, Helio Courier, Noorduyn Norseman or Republic RC-3 Seabee.
Am I leaving any obvious choices out?

B) Medium Transport
Amphibious: Ideally --- Range Required: 850 miles --- Extended Range (if practical): 1,300 miles
Able to transport an 8-12 men team anywhere in the Greater Antilles from a base somewhere in the Bahamas. Would be very nice if it could get to Galveston and/or the islands of the Lesser Antilles, especially Guadeloupe, Dominica and St. Lucia, in a pinch.
The less infrastructure needed, the better, but also needs to be fast enough to make it practical for 500+ mile flights without wasting too much time; i.e. must not take more time to get you to your destination than using a larger, faster (but still propeller-driven) plane to reach the closest airport and then using a small amphibious craft.
Contenders: Beriev Be-6, Consolidated PBY Catalina, de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter, Grumman Goose (w/turboprop conversion).
What else could do this well?

C) Do-Everything Transport
Amphibious: Maybe --- Range Required: 1,250-1,350 miles --- Extended Range (if practical): 2,400 miles
Designed to travel between Galveston and Caribbean destinations, as well as reaching most of the Caribbean from the Bahamas or the Lesser Antilles. At minimum being able to travel between Galveston and Nassau without refueling, and at best, being able to fly directly from Galveston to Rosalie, Dominica.
If not amphibious, at least needs to be able to land nearly anywhere there is any sort of runway.
Contenders: Antonov An-24, Antonov An-26, Beriev Be-6, Beriev Be-12 Chayka, Canadair CL-215, Canadair/Bombardier CL-415, Consolidated PBY Catalina, Douglas DC-3, Grumman HU-16 Albatross, Nord N.1402 Noroit or Short Sunderland/Sandringham.
Anything I'm missing?

D) Long-Range Transport
Amphibious: No --- Range Required: 2,400+ miles --- Extended Range (if practical): 3,000?
The best transport plane available for travelling from airports as far apart as the US Gulf Coast (e.g. Galveston or New Orleans) to destinations anywhere in the Caribbean, like the Lesser Antilles. Doesn't need amphibious capacity, which would likely make it slower and reduce fuel efficiency, but does need to be able to land on small regional airports, like those on Caribbean islands without international airports, and would ideally be able to land on quite short runways.
Will not usually have to carry more than eight to fifteen people, but we want the option of carrying up to twenty or so in reasonable comfort, as well as equipment for a scientific expedition and/or a tactical team.
Needs to have a cruise speed over 200 mph, the faster the better, but can't be too advanced; i.e. it can't be considered a TL8 aircraft, based on design, materials, method of construction and time of construction (stuff with history and emotional connections with humans tends to play better with magical auras).
Is ideally either a very simple, robust Western design of pre-1980s vintage or a simple Soviet design of anywhere up to their fall. That is, we're probably looking at propeller planes like the Douglas DC-3 or similar options, unless there is a TL7 jet of legendary simplicity and robustness.
Also, can't cost anything too ridiculous. I'll allow a budget of several million dollars, maybe even up to 20-30 millions if that gets me something absolutely great and not comparable to cheaper options, but we're not going to be considering anything that costs even close to a real airliner (100 millions dollars). And if I can get a good option for just a $1,000,000; that would leave that much more for several smaller planes for local destinations.
Contenders: Antonov An-10, Antonov An-12, Antonov An-72, Douglas DC-3 (with extra fuel tanks) and probably a lot of options of which I haven't thought.

Airfields: For any non-amphibious transports, they'd have to be able to operate out of the Douglas-Charles Airport on Dominica. Since the 2010s or so, its one asphalt runway was lengthened by 300 m, to 1,756 m (5,761'), at about 70' altitude and facilities for night landings added. The previous length of the runway was enough for regular service by C-47 Dakotas with plenty of room to spare, but I'm not sure about jets.

Airfield facilities at Galveston, Nassau, Fort Lauderdale, Guadeloupe and St. Lucia all offer more modern amenities, so while greater logistical flexibility would be nice, it isn't vital for the long-range transport.
Za uspiekh nashevo beznadiozhnovo diela!

Last edited by Icelander; 01-29-2020 at 10:57 AM.
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