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Old 01-28-2020, 12:12 PM   #11
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Default Re: Seaplanes or Amphibious Aircraft for Caribbean Adventuring and Logistics

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
2) Small, but high-quality aircraft that would be good for transporting individuals or small teams of about four to places without landing places for private jets.
There was a proposal a few years ago for an amphibious bizjet; the target market was people doing business in e.g. Africa. Alas, not only did the company fail before producing a prototype, but it seems to have vanished entirely from the memory of the net and I can no longer even recall the project name.
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Old 01-28-2020, 02:09 PM   #12
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Default DHC-3 Otter

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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
DHC-3 Otter. Look through the rest of the DHC range for your other needs.
Canadian, but that's not necessarily a negative from Kessler's point of view. In 2018, it's been established that he buys several varieties of night vision devices from Canadian vendors, to avoid issues with ITAR legislation in the US for gears meant for use in the Caribbean.*

So Kessler clearly has some commercial contacts in Canada, whether as a result of Caribbean connections (plenty of Canadian cooperation with Commonwealth realns there, public and private) or through some Francophone connection with Quebec.

Compared to the Grumman Goose (as the smaller planes) and the PBY Catalina (as the larger), what are some important strengths and weaknesses of the DHC-3 Otter?

Which of the three are most likely to have been bought as Kessler's private amphibious aircraft in the 1960s?

What are their approximate relative Cost in 1995 on one hand and 2018 on the other?

And setting aside supernatural effects on technology**, are any of the three practical for direct trips from Galveston to Caribbean destinations like the Caymans, the Bahamas, St. Lucia or Dominica?

Or, for a long trip like that, would you always use a faster private jet for a first leg to a proper airport and only from there take an amphibious plane to a destination without a runway?

*Not that Canada doesn't have export restrictions on modern NVDs, but in real life, I can find websites that cater to US buyers for Canadian tactical gear, complete with an assisted approval process. And unlike the US, Canada is apparently not infamous for draconian penalties for allowing non-citizens to look through export-restricted NVDs.
**Because in the 1970s the supernatural didn't exist; in the 1980s neither Kessler nor others knew enough about it to predict a correlation between increased technological sophistication and failure rates in areas of high magic; and even in the early 1990s, Kessler's logistical network would mostly be designed without paranoid consideration for performance during a major paranormal catastrophe. The loss of the 1995 expedition had a powerful effect on people and reinforced the lesson that modern, cutting-edge TL8 technology is all too prone to fail during significant thaumatological events inside a Vile Vortex.
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Old 01-28-2020, 03:23 PM   #13
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Default Re: Grumman Goose

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Found some info:

https://www.airliners.net/aircraft-d...g-21-goose/230

While top speed only increases about 25%, range (over 2500 km on standard fuel) and payload (2000 kg or up to 12 passengers) significantly increase.
Ah, very good!

That's quite an impressive range.

A wide variety of Caribbean destinations are practical from Rosalie, Dominica, without needing to refuel. Not just the nearby airports on the islands of Guadaloupe and St. Lucia, but you could actually fly direct to Nassau. Granted, it would probably be a terribly slow way to travel and a short hop from Dominica to the next airfield where you can switch to a jet is probably faster and more comfortable, but it's nice to have the option.

Hell, you can even reach Nassau and other Caribbean destinations (not as far as the Lesser Antilles, though) from Galveston, if required.
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Old 01-28-2020, 03:32 PM   #14
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Default Re: Seaplanes or Amphibious Aircraft for Caribbean Adventuring and Logistics

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There's quite a list to choose from:

Cl-215: 2crew, 26seats, cruise 180mph, range 1300 miles
CL-415: 2crew, 18seats, cruise 200mph, range 1500 miles
Grumman HU-16 Albatross: 4-6crew, 10seats, cruise 120mph, range 2850
Consolidated PBY Catalina: 10crew, cruise 125mph, range 2520
de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter: 2crew, 19seats, cruise 210mph, range 920miles
de Havilland Canada DHC-3 Otter: 1crew, 9seats, cruise 120mph, range 940miles

Smaller aircraft:
Fairchild F-11 Husky
Noorduyn Norseman
Helio Courier
GippsAero GA8 Airvan
Ah, an excellent summary, smurf!

Thanks.

Now, are any of these more or less capable of operating without extensive facilities at either the starting point or the destination?

Does the size and massive fuel capacities of the larger aircraft, like the Catalinas or Albatrosses, mean you need significantly more infrastructure to dock or refuel them than you need for a DCH-3 Otter, Grumman Goose or any of the smaller aircraft you list?
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Old 01-28-2020, 09:27 PM   #15
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Default Re: Seaplanes or Amphibious Aircraft for Caribbean Adventuring and Logistics

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
A

Does the size and massive fuel capacities of the larger aircraft, like the Catalinas or Albatrosses, mean you need significantly more infrastructure to dock or refuel them than you need for a DCH-3 Otter, Grumman Goose or any of the smaller aircraft you list?
It means you need more fuel and possibly more time pumping it but you don't need infrastructure. You need a place the PBY can dock at and a long enough hose to reach from a 55 gallon drum(or drums) of aviation fuel but plenty of PBYs were refuelled during WWII exactly that way.
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Old 01-29-2020, 03:38 AM   #16
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Default Re: Seaplanes or Amphibious Aircraft for Caribbean Adventuring and Logistics

The Twin Otter has a few very useful features. In addition to being generally very flexible, it can operate from very short runways, clearings, and open ground, and it's common enough basically everywhere in the world that nobody would bat an eye if they saw one.
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Old 01-29-2020, 04:36 AM   #17
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Default Re: Seaplanes or Amphibious Aircraft for Caribbean Adventuring and Logistics

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
Ah, an excellent summary, smurf!

Thanks.

Now, are any of these more or less capable of operating without extensive facilities at either the starting point or the destination?

Does the size and massive fuel capacities of the larger aircraft, like the Catalinas or Albatrosses, mean you need significantly more infrastructure to dock or refuel them than you need for a DCH-3 Otter, Grumman Goose or any of the smaller aircraft you list?
Most of these aircraft are 20m long and 30m wing span with the Twin Otter being a bit smaller. All of the have 1000+ litre fuel tanks and may require a bowser. The CL-415 is an improve 215 with a Turbo Prop where the others are piston engines.

Cl-215: 2crew, 26seats, cruise 180mph, range 1300 miles
CL-415: 2crew, 18seats, cruise 200mph, range 1500 miles
Grumman HU-16 Albatross: 4-6crew, 10seats, cruise 120mph, range 2850
Consolidated PBY Catalina: 10crew, cruise 125mph, range 2520
de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter: 2crew, 19seats, cruise 210mph, range 920miles
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Old 01-29-2020, 05:00 AM   #18
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Default Re: Seaplanes or Amphibious Aircraft for Caribbean Adventuring and Logistics

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There was a proposal a few years ago for an amphibious bizjet; the target market was people doing business in e.g. Africa. Alas, not only did the company fail before producing a prototype, but it seems to have vanished entirely from the memory of the net – and I can no longer even recall the project name.
In the 1980s, Kessler might well be in the market for a personal business jet. For most of the eighties, Kessler spent a fair amount of time doing business in various African countries (as indeed he'd done since the sixties), which often included travelling to the sites of remote mining concessions. It's even remotely possibly the he'd buy a new jet in 1990-1995, if the one he was using was unsatisfactory or a new aircraft which added significant capabilities came on the market, but considering other priorities at that time, it's not all that likely.

After 1995, Kessler has not shown any inclination to travel by a modern jet. Some of his staff still do, of course, but in general, among those closest to J.R. Kessler and most familiar with the occult, there is a marked tendency toward the use of simple, robust and even anachronistic technology.

As an example, none of the four PCs in the campaign set in 2018 will step onto a modern airliner or helicopter. So far, they've not been forced to make a decision on whether to fly on a TL6 or TL7 propeller plane, but I expect them to regard the prospect with trepidation.

See, all four PC make use of ritual magic in some way and they know electronics and even mechanical devices are less reliable around them; correlating by the TL8 of the device and the level of thaumatological energy emitted by the PC's gear or recent actions. I've told them that even on a new jet airliner, while the odds of a catastrophic plane crash is undoubtedly greater for them than mundane people, perhaps by orders of magnitude, the risk is still minuscule compared to the risks they run in an adventuring career. Still, the risk of dying in a plane crash they have no control over seems much scarier to them than the much greater risks of dying doing PC stuff.

So, for now, the PCs emulate their Patron, J.R. Kessler, and travel by means of yacht or classic cars. Still, being PCs, the eventuality will assuredly arise when they have to be somewhere 1,000+ miles away, now. At that point, their options will be anachronistic TL6-7 aircraft like the Douglas DC-3 or some of the models of amphibious aicraft or seaplanes suggested in this thread; or more modern aircraft available from some of their Patron's legitimate business activities (like offshore oil companies), such as TL8 business jets and helicopters.
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Old 01-29-2020, 05:34 AM   #19
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Default The Douglas DC-3

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Then there's the ever-reliable DC-3. There were some floatplane versions, and a more reliable airplane never existed. The floats would cut into its speed and range, but once again, ye can carry plenty of people and stuff.

[...]

Both types are still flying as working aircraft in this day and age, especially the DC-3.
Ah!

I was already planning for Kessler to own at least one working Douglas DC-3, specifically in order so that a team of 'Night Riders' (Monster Hunters), complete with occultists and magicians who do not trust modern machines, could travel from Galveston to the Caribbean faster than a yacht will take them.

I had no idea that the DC-3 could be converted to amphibious operations.

I wonder how much that would degrade performance. For example, would you lose so much cruising speed that it would take longer to fly an amphibious DC-3 a single leg of maybe 1,000 miles than it would do to fly it 800 miles, land on an airfield and then use a smaller seaplane to get to the destination?
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Old 01-29-2020, 06:30 AM   #20
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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.
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