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Old 02-01-2020, 05:35 AM   #31
Icelander
 
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Default Long-Range Transport

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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
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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Originally Posted by Rupert View Post
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.
Sounds like both the L-100-30 and the Il-76 were options when Kessler was buying a transport plane to take people from Galveston to Dominica faster than yachts could steam or any seaplane would go.

That would be before anyone around Kessler was as nervous about modern aircraft failing and he'd have bought the aircraft based on performance, measured against the cost of acquiring it and operating it.

If they were available at similar prices around the fall of the Soviet Union, I get the feeling that the Il-76 is a much more capable plane and while a fully-loaded C-130 (it's possible, I guess that the C-100-30 requires less runway) could theoretically land at Douglas-Charles Airport in Dominica, it still requires more than three times the runway length that an Il-76TD requires.

Actually, before the mid-2000s extension to the runway at Douglas-Charles, a C-130 would be operating outside of safety margins if they landed there fully loaded. So the Il-76TD, acquired at the fall of the Soviet Union, seems like a logical possession.

Ironically, of course, now in 2018, some of his employees, like the PCs, will probably consider that old plane far too modern to ever get into.

Edit: The Il-76TD costs about $8,500 per hour to operate, with 55% of that being the 7.5 tons of jet fuel it burns per hour. This is a lot, obviously, but note that it can fly from Scholes International Airport in Galveston to Douglas-Charles Airport on Dominica in about five hours, which means that if it should ever prove necessary, the entire crew of the Penemue, including the 'Night Riders' and some additional support personnel, can be airlifted between those two main theatres of Kessler's influence for about $42,500, which is competitive with the cost of buying everyone economy class flight tickets on a commercial flight and will take significantly less time.
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Old 02-01-2020, 05:42 AM   #32
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Default Re: Long-Range Transport

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
Actually, before the mid-2000s extension to the runway at Douglas-Charles, a C-130 would be operating outside of safety margins if they landed there fully loaded. So the Il-76TD, acquired at the fall of the Soviet Union, seems like a logical possession.
Worth noting here that in the 1960's the US Navy ran some tests and successfully landed and launched a C-130 from an aircraft carrier deck, without aid of a catapult or arrestor gear. They tested it up to a 25,000 lb load.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uM5AI3YSV3M
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Old 02-01-2020, 09:18 AM   #33
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Default Re: Long-Range Transport

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Originally Posted by copeab View Post
Worth noting here that in the 1960's the US Navy ran some tests and successfully landed and launched a C-130 from an aircraft carrier deck, without aid of a catapult or arrestor gear. They tested it up to a 25,000 lb load.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uM5AI3YSV3M
Yes, I recall that.

That means that a lightly loaded C-130 can land on a much shorter runway than published safety guidelines suggest for fully loaded aircraft. However, that might well, in GURPS terms, require a risky Piloting roll. Worth noting is that the pilot was specially selected and decorated for courage after the experiment.

If available for a similar price, the Il-76, with its thrust reversers for STOL performance, would seem like an advance over the C-130/C-100. It only needs 450 m (1,476') of runway to land, and can handle landing or taking off on grass or rough ground, as well as being faster and having longer range.
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Old 02-01-2020, 10:14 AM   #34
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Default Re: Seaplanes or Amphibious Aircraft for Caribbean Adventuring and Logistics

There are also floatplane versions of many light civilian aircraft. If anonymity is a priority, Cessnas and Pipers would disappear into the background just about anywhere tourism and water combine.
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Old 02-01-2020, 11:17 AM   #35
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Default Re: Seaplanes or Amphibious Aircraft for Caribbean Adventuring and Logistics

A400M Atlas is a new cargo plane from Europe. In production from 2013, the price tag may be a bit high. But it does have a shorter take off than a Hercules, 980m as opposed to 1090m.

It's a bit of a beast.
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Old 02-01-2020, 01:17 PM   #36
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Default Re: Seaplanes or Amphibious Aircraft for Caribbean Adventuring and Logistics

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A400M Atlas is a new cargo plane from Europe. In production from 2013, the price tag may be a bit high. But it does have a shorter take off than a Hercules, 980m as opposed to 1090m.

It's a bit of a beast.
After 1995, Kessler's people would worry a lot more about modern, cutting-edge technology failing around magicians and supernatural phenomena. After that, they'd be more likely to buy WWII vintage equipment than late TL8 new aircraft.

Also, the price is literally high enough so that you could buy dozens of Il-76TD aircraft instead. Not that there will be dozens of planes in use, more like twelve in all. I'm thinking one or two long-range transports, a couple of do-everything transports, 2-3 medium amphibious transports and at most six short-range amphibious aircraft. Total budget for acquiring them less than fifty million dollars, which is maybe a third to a quarter of what one Airbus A400M Atlas would go for.

And the Il-76 is still better at STOL, requiring only 450 meters of runway.
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Old 02-01-2020, 01:21 PM   #37
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Default Re: Seaplanes or Amphibious Aircraft for Caribbean Adventuring and Logistics

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There are also floatplane versions of many light civilian aircraft. If anonymity is a priority, Cessnas and Pipers would disappear into the background just about anywhere tourism and water combine.
That's a good point.

To supplement more anachronistic aircraft (meant for magicians who fear flying in anything even remotely advanced), what would be the most common, cost-effective and anonymous TL7 amphibious aircraft?
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Old 02-01-2020, 09:59 PM   #38
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Default Re: Seaplanes or Amphibious Aircraft for Caribbean Adventuring and Logistics

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That's a good point.

To supplement more anachronistic aircraft (meant for magicians who fear flying in anything even remotely advanced), what would be the most common, cost-effective and anonymous TL7 amphibious aircraft?
For small flostplanes pick a Cessna of the right size, basically. Alternatively, the de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver or DHC-6 Twin Otter would be a common choice. The DHCs have features that'd be useful to monster hunters and the like, being rugged, having excellent STOL capabilities, and large doors so you can load and unload quickly and stuff awkward and bulky objects into them. I think the Beaver is probably what you'd be recommended to get as a 'working' plane in its class, over everything else.

While they weren't common in the west until the this century, there's always the An-2V (or An-2M or An-2W if Polish-built), the floatplane variant of the An-2 (which you listed up-thread as an option). It's probably about as primitive as you can get and still claim something is TL7.
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Old 02-02-2020, 07:06 AM   #39
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Default Grumman Goose

I've decided that Kessler's first seaplane and his personal favorite is the Grumman Goose.

In the spring of 1961, the French Navy retired fourteen JRF-5 models that had been used in WWII (by the US), Indochina and Algeria (by the French). This was done after the fifteenth aircraft in the squadron crashed, killing an admiral and several others.

At this time, Kessler had a great need for a seaplane for his Caribbean business interests and pleasure expedition slash sales pitches with various oilmen, investors and government functionaries. He was also only seven years out of the French Foreign Legion and his backstory established him as a talented scrounger and fixer in the military, who cultivated relationships with people in various transport arms to enable him to smuggle luxuries that soldiers craved into warzones and all sorts of things out of them.*

It's entirely in character for Kessler to have known a senior NCO involved in retiring the fourteen aircraft who'd shade the inspection of one of them so that it was rated as less airworthy than it was, enabling Kessler to buy it even cheaper than ordinary military surplus.

With a minimal refurbishing in 1961 and then gradual improvements of furnishings and comfort, this Grumman Goose JRF-5 would have served as his primary personal seaplane. He'd even learn to fly it himself and it would eventually come to have a luxurious late 1960s slash early 1970s Swinging Sixties, silk-and-satin, Hugh Hefner-esque interior.

Even when Kessler added a new McKinnon conversion G-21G turboprop Goose in the 1970s sometime as his new personal island transport, he still kept his old warhorse, lovingly maintained, the veteran of the same wars as he was.

So that old JRF-5 Grumman Goose is still airworthy and after 1995, was pressed back into service as a deliberately anachronistic short-range transport, mostly in the Lesser Antilles. It's usually based on Dominica or St. Lucia, where it's kept indoors in nice hangars part of Kessler's private retreats on both islands.

The newer Grumman/McKinnon G-21G 'Turbo Goose' might be based in the Bahamas, depending on whether any other seaplanes I determine Kessler owns are more suitable. Given that it's bought in the 1970s by a company owned by Kessler since then, with no attempt to keep his ownership secret, maybe it would be best used somewhere Kessler is openly associated with things, as opposed to a cover company for clandestine and occult activities.

Yeah, the G-21G should actually be home-based in Galveston. It can make quick trips to a lot of Texas locations from there, as well as reaching New Orleans, Biloxi-Gulfport, Mobile and plenty of other Gulf Coast destinations. And if needed, it can easily reach many Caribbean destinations, like the Bahamas.

*When Kessler came home to the US from serving in Indochina, he wasn't a relatively penniless former soldier, he had enough money to present himself as a flash cove driving fanncy cars, with contacts among a certain set of people in Texas and Havana who frequented nightclubs, lounges and casinos, and who backed him in setting up a fancy casino in Havana, the Hotel Metropole Havana. Legend holds that Kessler smuggled WWII and other war souveniers, Middle Eastern and SE Asian artwork and other collectibles to rich Texans, which while illegal is not considered all that morally culpable. However, at the time, there was also another rumour, not impossible on the face of it, that Kessler was supplying some old friends he knew back in Galveston (say, friends of the Maceo brothers) with heroin from Indochina.
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Old 02-02-2020, 08:27 AM   #40
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Default Re: Seaplanes or Amphibious Aircraft for Caribbean Adventuring and Logistics

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Originally Posted by Rupert View Post
For small flostplanes pick a Cessna of the right size, basically. Alternatively, the de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver or DHC-6 Twin Otter would be a common choice. The DHCs have features that'd be useful to monster hunters and the like, being rugged, having excellent STOL capabilities, and large doors so you can load and unload quickly and stuff awkward and bulky objects into them. I think the Beaver is probably what you'd be recommended to get as a 'working' plane in its class, over everything else.

While they weren't common in the west until the this century, there's always the An-2V (or An-2M or An-2W if Polish-built), the floatplane variant of the An-2 (which you listed up-thread as an option). It's probably about as primitive as you can get and still claim something is TL7.
Ok, say if we were in the market for four shorter range, smaller seaplanes (350-500 miles) and a couple of medium amphibious transports at some point between 1987-1994, what are plausible buys?

We're explicitly setting up logistics for occult investigators, research expeditions and even paramilitary teams, but we don't yet reject anything more modern than WWII (because fears of technology failing in the presence of magic only developed gradually, with experience, and then with the painful lessons of 1995).

What about a couple DHC-2 Beavers bought in the 80s and two An-2V or An-2M/W acquired dirt cheap in the early 90s as the smaller short-range transports?

Would it seem too odd compared to just buying the most common Beechcrafts, Cessnas or Pipers on the market at the time and fitting them with floats?

How about a DHC-6 Twin Otter as a medium amphibious transport bought in 1987-1988 or so? Is that a mundane purchase, something a person unaware of the supernatural might consider a good corporate plane for shuttling people involved in offshore oil between Caribbean islands lacking airports?
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