- Vehicle Name
- Banshee-Class Fieldship
- Vehicle Type
- Troop Transport / Ground-Attack Aircraft
- Vehicle Height
- 3.87m (12ft 7in)
- Vehicle Length
- 8.38m (27ft 6in)
- Vehicle Width
- 12.27m (40ft)
- Vehicle Weight
- 11,113kg (24,500lb) Loaded
- Vehicle Speed
- 459kmh (285mph)
- Vehicle Powerplant
- 2 x LL1 Electro-magnetic turbines (prototype plasma) +
1 x Standing-wave Resonance Turbine (lift)
- Vehicle Range
- 2,415km (1,500 miles)
- Vehicle Crew
- 2 (1 x Pilot, 1 x Weapon's Officer / Navigator)
- Vehicle Passengers
- Vehicle Armament
- Vehicle Description
The designation 'Fieldship' is a generic term used to describe a variety of aircraft built to operate in the unique conditions of the Heavenfield.
The Exiles were the first to produce a functioning aircraft, and developed a series of different prototypes to suit different roles. By far, the most common design was the Banshee-class troop transport, which later went on to be reverse-engineered by the U.S. and designated the Cadera-class.
This proved the most successful of all variants, but there were also plans for many different designs, from single-seat fighters to mammoth transport craft. Some never made it beyond early prototypes before the Exiles lost the Fortress, and their manufacturing capability, while others were only manufactured in small quantities. Others (such as the two Flagships, the Herald and the Divinity), are from an altogether different lineage, and are usually grouped separate from the other Fielships.
The first production-model Fieldship was the MkIII Banshee-class, developed at the Exiles' hidden factories in Eastern Europe. It utilised a revolutionary propulsion system discovered in the Field.
Initially designed and developed by the Exiles under Dr. Henschel, the Banshees were the very first aircraft to see service in the Heavenfield, and were created to transport troops and equipment the long distances from the Exile Fortress to the British and American Entry-Points.
The early prototype models had been plagued by reliability issues, compounded by the speed with which they had been developed. The MkIII was the first iteration that conquered some of these problems, although there were still many defects to the machine, which saw losses due to mechanical failures outweigh combat losses by three-to-one.
The MkIII/h model saw an upgraded sealed turbine unit which drastically improved reliability and range, and these were introduced into production lines just in time for the American intervention in the Field, affording the Exiles the ability to move troops, equipment and munitions the vast distances to the newly-created American Entry-Points at Fort Caulder, Williams' Airbase, and the Devil's Rock Research Laboratory.
The MKIII/h variant was also the first unit to deploy offensive weaponry, albeit in a very limited way. Two hardpoints were created beneath the fuselage, providing mounting for a variety of weapons including the standard Exile 20mm and 30mm short-pulse cannons, as well as an early rail gun prototype that never entered production (but would later go on to form the basis of the American HYDRA LCMP Rail Gun).
A general lack of resources in production meant that very few Fieldships were ever fitted with offensive weaponry, most aircraft being utilised as a troop transport or supply ship.
The Exiles did also experiment with a prototype bomb system using a shielded energy emitter, but these were never particularly effective, especially since there was no effective delivery systems available. In fact (as happened with the American 'Pall-Bearer' variant) Exiles were more likely to drop bombs manually from an open loading ramp, which, against slow-moving Titan-class Demons, often proved an effective (although incredibly dangerous) technique.
The final variant of Exile Fieldship was a transporter class ship (the 'PAC-17'). This was a much-modified Banshee, with two turbines fitted in parallel at the expense of the passenger compartment. This produced a 'double-hulled' aircraft, capable of air-lifting immense loads. It was designed especially to be able to lift the A-40 Field-Walkers, and although slow and poorly-armoured, proved a very capable workhorse.
The 'Cadera' class Fieldship was an American redesign, based upon ships captured during the siege of Fort Caulder's E.P. Initially, they were an exact reverse-engineering project, completed in an incredibly short amount of time. This allowed the Americans the necessary strength to counter the siege of Fort Caulder, but it also carried over the limitations and defects inherent within the Exile design.
After the Battle of Maunsworth Field, an American Commission was set up to investigate the new problems facing a military force operating in completely new conditions.
Although a technological breakthrough, it was admitted that the new Fieldships were proving to have no small room for improvement.
The first requirement was greater offensive capabilities for their newly-formed Airborne units. As noted, the Fieldship design had been a straight copy of Exile technologies, and the lack of heavy weapons and armour when dealing with large-scale Demon threats was a distinct omission.
This need for stand-off offensive systems led to the creation of the Mk II Cadera-Class craft, which added two weapons-bay housings for the newly-developed Heavy Energy Cannons. These housings are standard interchangeable pods, added at the expense of longer range capabilities (although a fuel pod can also be fitted in place of weapons systems).
Breighton A7 'Bug Buster' - Ground Assault
An up-gunned ‘Breighton Class’ fighter was developed out of demand from pilots for a solution to the ‘M-class’ Demon threat.
A massive twin 40mm energy cannon was mounted over the cockpit. This formidable weapon required huge energy generators, which filled the passenger compartment, adding significantly to the weight of the craft, adversely affecting speed and manoeuvrability.
This sacrifice was deemed acceptable, when set against the awesome firepower of this low-level hunter-killer.
C-19 'Pall Bearer' Bomber-Variant
In an attempt to carry ordnance large enough to prove effective against M-class Demon targets, the passenger-bay was stripped from several standard Caderas to form the C-19 'Bomber' Variant. This allowed the Cadera to carry a much-improved payload right up to the notorious 8000lb 'sarcophagus' bomb.
With extra weapons pylons along the wing stubs the C-19, although slow and ponderous, proved able to deliver devastating firepower to the battlefield.