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Old 01-29-2020, 12:56 PM   #21
Rupert
 
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Default Re: Seaplanes or Amphibious Aircraft for Caribbean Adventuring and Logistics

If you're looking at an An-10 or An-12, you're in the C-130 Hercules class, and should look at it as well.
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Old 01-29-2020, 03:40 PM   #22
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Default C-130 Hercules

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If you're looking at an An-10 or An-12, you're in the C-130 Hercules class, and should look at it as well.
Sure, if one can be found for a reasonable price.

The An-10 and An-12 were included because it is canonically established that NPC Contacts of the Patron were involved in obtaining all sorts of ex-Soviet 'surplus' military hardware after the fall of the Soviet Union and I figured these might have been available at some point before 1995 at much more affordable prices than the equivalent Western aircraft.

This size category might be too big, at any rate, for my requirements. Granted, the high cruise speeds and long ranges are nice, but given that I don't expect any need to ever transport more than 30 people with light equipment (i.e. not actual platoon-level firepower), it's probably more important to be able to use shorter runways and need less infrastructure.

In case there is no more practical way to get this sort of range combined with this sort of cruising speed; are C-130 aircraft available at prices more reasonable than four times or more the cost of a former Soviet aircraft of a similar role?

Or, if not, is the C-130 so much more capable, reliable and/or otherwise suitable that it's worth buying it even for many times the price of the rough Soviet equivalent?
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Old 01-29-2020, 10:47 PM   #23
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Default Re: C-130 Hercules

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In case there is no more practical way to get this sort of range combined with this sort of cruising speed; are C-130 aircraft available at prices more reasonable than four times or more the cost of a former Soviet aircraft of a similar role?

Or, if not, is the C-130 so much more capable, reliable and/or otherwise suitable that it's worth buying it even for many times the price of the rough Soviet equivalent?
I really don't know. After the Soviet Union falls An-12s are going to be dirt cheap, just like all the other ex-Soviet kit. Their downside is the high maintenance hours and higher fuel costs. OTOH, they don't require as skilled workers as US kit usually does.

Another option, and they were in use in the area as civilian passenger aircraft until the 70s, is civilianised versions of the Short Sunderland. Big, long range, huge endurance. Without all the military hardware (guns, turrets, bomb racks, etc.) and the normal flight crew of 'only' five they should have plenty of capacity for 10-15 guys and their kit. They'd want a collapsible/inflatable dingy for wilderness craft to shore work, given the size of a Sunderland, to make things a bit easier, but again - plenty of room for that.

EDIT: And now that I re-read your post, I see that you mention this option.
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Old 01-31-2020, 01:56 AM   #24
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Default Re: C-130 Hercules/An-12/Short Sunderland

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I really don't know. After the Soviet Union falls An-12s are going to be dirt cheap, just like all the other ex-Soviet kit. Their downside is the high maintenance hours and higher fuel costs. OTOH, they don't require as skilled workers as US kit usually does.
Requiring less skilled workers is somewhat of a benefit, as that might allow crew and security who have mechanical inclinations or prior job experience (several established NPCs had some relevant MOS/Rating in the USCG, Navy or other militaries) to do some of the work. The fewer dedicated aircraft mechanics needed as full-time staff, the better, especially as there are rather a lot of crew and security who spend most of their time training or on alert, and might well be able to pitch in with maintenance at times.

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Another option, and they were in use in the area as civilian passenger aircraft until the 70s, is civilianised versions of the Short Sunderland. Big, long range, huge endurance. Without all the military hardware (guns, turrets, bomb racks, etc.) and the normal flight crew of 'only' five they should have plenty of capacity for 10-15 guys and their kit. They'd want a collapsible/inflatable dingy for wilderness craft to shore work, given the size of a Sunderland, to make things a bit easier, but again - plenty of room for that.

EDIT: And now that I re-read your post, I see that you mention this option.
That could work, especially if they do not require vast runways.

In general, aside from amphibious aircraft or seaplanes, what are good TL7 transport aircraft that are simple, robust and capable of operating from modest airfields?

Because I'll need at least one type that can take PCs (and other occultists afraid of machines that are too modern) distances of 1,000+ miles without spending an eternity in the air.
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Old 01-31-2020, 05:43 AM   #25
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Default Re: Seaplanes or Amphibious Aircraft for Caribbean Adventuring and Logistics

The basic late-TL6/early-TL7 choice is the DC-3/C-47. 1,600 miles useful range cruising at about 200 mph, and still a couple of thousand in use today.

A later, larger, option is the Fairchild C-119 which can carry about three times the passengers, or up to 12 tons of cargo (though that much load would cut range by quite a bit), with about the same speed and range. A similar sized aircraft was the Hawker Siddeley Andover (a bit smaller, cruises at 270 mph, so a bit faster).

The next size up is dominated by the C-130, and it's about as big as you'll get onto a poor runway unless you go for the An-22 (but that seems excessive for Kessler's needs). A C-130 cruises at over 300 mph, and can carry 60+ soldiers and their kit (and twice that if you pack them in like sardines, but they won't be exiting the craft quickly). The French-German Transall is similar, but just not quite as good (a bit slower, a bit less payload, a bit shorter ranged). The An-12 cruises at about 400 mph, but is otherwise much the same as the C-130 (though with its higher wing-loading I expect it probably requires a longer take-off and landing run).

The Ilyushin Il-76 is probably the biggest sensible option - it has rough-landing capability, is late TL7 (went into production 1974), and there are plenty around in a wide range of types. Experience in Afghanistan shows them to be a robust aircraft that's hard to shoot down and which can be landed safely even when damaged. They can lift over 50 tons (much more in the newer versions, but they are definitely TL8 builds, so not in consideration), fly ~2,500 miles with a 50 ton payload or ~4,500 miles with a 20 ton payload, and cruise at 470+ mph. It's probably too much plane, but it certainly delivers.

There are also a range of ex-Soviet small to medium airliners from the 50s onwards that are grass strip capable, and for moving people and some cargo from airfield to airfield with no expectation of hostile activity they are probably the better bets - they'll be faster and cheaper to run than 'tactical' transports.
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Old 01-31-2020, 02:47 PM   #26
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Default D) Long-Range Transport

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Originally Posted by Rupert View Post
The basic late-TL6/early-TL7 choice is the DC-3/C-47. 1,600 miles useful range cruising at about 200 mph, and still a couple of thousand in use today.
Also very reasonably priced; for an aircraft capable of transporting that many.

Kessler will inevitably have acquired one at some point, probably as he and people around him started to better understand the ramification of magical interference with technology correlating with increased technological sophistication.

It's not ideal as the longest ranged transport, the one that would handle flights from Galveston to Caribbean destinations, mostly because of the slow cruising speed compared to actual TL7 transport aircraft, but it will do very well as a non-amphibious Do-Everything Transport for taking people from the Bahamas to the Lesser Antilles or vice versa.

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A later, larger, option is the Fairchild C-119 which can carry about three times the passengers, or up to 12 tons of cargo (though that much load would cut range by quite a bit), with about the same speed and range. A similar sized aircraft was the Hawker Siddeley Andover (a bit smaller, cruises at 270 mph, so a bit faster).

The next size up is dominated by the C-130, and it's about as big as you'll get onto a poor runway unless you go for the An-22 (but that seems excessive for Kessler's needs). A C-130 cruises at over 300 mph, and can carry 60+ soldiers and their kit (and twice that if you pack them in like sardines, but they won't be exiting the craft quickly). The French-German Transall is similar, but just not quite as good (a bit slower, a bit less payload, a bit shorter ranged).
I don't really need more useful load capacity, than a DC-3, but I do want to have something with longer range and greater cruising speed. This was especially vital to Kessler in the early stages of his operations, about 1987-1995, as back then he'd have looked for the best plane for the money he was prepared to spend (and which could land on Dominica) without paying as much attention to the threat of a modern airplane malfunctioning in high-magic areas.

Magic interfering with technology was a concern once they'd studied it for a few years, yes, but it didn't assume the importance it would later until after the disaster in 1995. After all, using TL6 designs in preference to something newer and better is a pretty strange thing to do and there was a natural reluctance to shift wholesale over to less effective aircraft just because of a theoretical threat that hadn't actually killed anyone.

The C-130 is a pretty great plane for Kessler's purposes, but it suffers from a high price tag and might be difficult to even acquire.

Are there even many C-130 in private hands?

It's still in service, so there won't surplus aircraft (least not ones still airworthy) and I can't see that they make any civilian equivalent offered for commercial sale.

Kessler's right hand man is a former French Former Legion paratrooper who mostly jumped from C-160s and later a few C-130s. As were, I believe, about five of the security personnel working for Kessler in 1995. So Jean-Michel Alexandre would certainly be familiar with the strengths of these two designs and would probably have recommended them... if they would be bought for reasonable sums around 1987-192 or so.

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The An-12 cruises at about 400 mph, but is otherwise much the same as the C-130 (though with its higher wing-loading I expect it probably requires a longer take-off and landing run).
The An-12 appeared to me to tick every box for the long-range role, but unfortunately, I've discovered that at full load, it's unsafe for the Douglas-Charles Airport on Dominica, even after the runway was extended by 300 meters. Before that extension, the An-12 would not have been allowed to land there at all. So, unfortunately, it's out.

Leaving, perhaps...

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The Ilyushin Il-76 is probably the biggest sensible option - it has rough-landing capability, is late TL7 (went into production 1974), and there are plenty around in a wide range of types. Experience in Afghanistan shows them to be a robust aircraft that's hard to shoot down and which can be landed safely even when damaged. They can lift over 50 tons (much more in the newer versions, but they are definitely TL8 builds, so not in consideration), fly ~2,500 miles with a 50 ton payload or ~4,500 miles with a 20 ton payload, and cruise at 470+ mph. It's probably too much plane, but it certainly delivers.
The Ilyushin Il-76 is very fast compared to the earlier propeller planes I'm considering and can land on tiny runways, much shorter than that required by far smaller planes. If Kessler was able to buy one in the early 1990s for less than $30,000,000 (in modern US dollars, adjusted for inflation), he would have jumped at the chance, too much plane or not.

An Il-76 costs about $50 to $66 million new, but those are improved variants compared to what would be available in 1990 or 1991. Also, one would hope that it would be possible to get bargains at this time, from Colonels who weren't being paid and didn't have any idea what would happen to their countries.

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There are also a range of ex-Soviet small to medium airliners from the 50s onwards that are grass strip capable, and for moving people and some cargo from airfield to airfield with no expectation of hostile activity they are probably the better bets - they'll be faster and cheaper to run than 'tactical' transports.
Anything that would still have been flying and useful in the early 1990s, at the fall of the Soviet Union, available at bargain prices?

I want some of the more warlike inventory available to Kessler to reflect the fact that just as he was preparing a secret paramilitary organization to fight supernatural threats, something that might have been the greatest glut of surplus military equipment in history hit the world market.

As Kessler canonically has a close relationship with several arms dealers who were heavily involved in post-1990 events in former Soviet countries, he'd have snapped up anything he could get for reasonable prices which he thought would be helpful for his occult operations.

Smuggling in heavy weapons to the US was too risky*, but Eastern Bloc transport or passenger aircraft without weaponry could have been legally imported almost anywhere.

*But Kessler absolutely has access to former Soviet machine guns and perhaps other military equipment stored on Caribbean islands where the authorities are very inclined towards him.
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Old 01-31-2020, 02:58 PM   #27
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Default Re: D) Long-Range Transport

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[C-130] is still in service, so there won't surplus aircraft (least not ones still airworthy)
Yes, there are. Quite a few countries have sold off older models.
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and I can't see that they make any civilian equivalent offered for commercial sale.
Lockheed have sold them, as the Lockheed L-100. This is basically a C-130E with no pylon tanks or military equipment. They haven't sold in huge quantities, but they definitely exist.
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Old 01-31-2020, 03:27 PM   #28
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Default Re: D) Long-Range Transport

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Yes, there are. Quite a few countries have sold off older models.

Lockheed have sold them, as the Lockheed L-100. This is basically a C-130E with no pylon tanks or military equipment. They haven't sold in huge quantities, but they definitely exist.
Ah, ok, thanks.

Is the ca $34-50 million for a used C-130H and the $4-5 million for a used C-100-30 purely a reflection of some very expensive military hardware not present in the civilian-ised aircraft or are the C-130H really better aircraft in some way that could matter to Kessler?

Also, if he were to use an C-130 or C-100, they'd have to be able to make a direct Galveston to Douglas-Charles Airport (Dominica) flight in a reasonable timeframe. So he'd need extra fuel tanks, which I imagine could be arranged, especially as he'd usually be carrying a much lighter load of passengers and equipment than typical military transport use.
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Old 01-31-2020, 05:02 PM   #29
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Default Re: D) Long-Range Transport

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AIs the ca $34-50 million for a used C-130H and the $4-5 million for a used C-100-30 purely a reflection of some very expensive military hardware not present in the civilian-ised aircraft or are the C-130H really better aircraft in some way that could matter to Kessler?
The C-130Hs are newer and have more fatigue lift left, as well as better engines, military equipment, and being on the military aircraft price scale. Air forces seem willing to pay more for aircraft than civilian freight operators.

The L-100 has never been a commercially successful aircraft. It costs too much to run, and it's rather large for most of the civilian freight work that needs to go to short rough fields. It's very cool, but that doesn't pay the bills.

Kessler's essentially paramilitary requirements are rather different from a civilian freight line. An L-100 would seem to suit him rather well.
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Old 01-31-2020, 06:59 PM   #30
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Default Re: Seaplanes or Amphibious Aircraft for Caribbean Adventuring and Logistics

For what it's worth, civilian transport model IL-76TDs seem to go for about $5 million. New models run at something like $30 million.

Many military and civilian Il-76s were disposed of after the breakup of the USSR, so they would've been available through both legit and dodgy channels. I think if one wanted a muscular transport, with lots of capacity and range, it's the one to get. Still in service, with quite a few made and in use for such a large aircraft, parts and general servicing will be easy to arrange.

I do like the way it's still got a glazed lower nose for the navigator, so if all the fancy instruments fail they can get down there with a map, and find landmarks by eye, the old-fashioned way.
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