Ghost TBF Avenger Aircraft:
Intermittently, the REEF base in Florida had been picking up a set of radar contacts. Five slow flying air contacts would appear and then a few minutes disappear once again. They would generally appear in certain coordinate out to sea. The area was in the Bermuda Trangle.
Fearing some type of attack from Atlantis, the REEF sent out patrols to see if they could intercept the contacts but each time they were sent nothing was seen. The radar systems had been tested repeatedly to see if it was some kind of sensor glitch and everything had checked out as normal. It also appeared on multiple radar systems so even if they had missed something in the programing, it was virtually impossible to have effected multiple platforms.
In desperation, the commander of the base had sent out eight patrols of two Logan fighters each near the coordinates where. to see if they could spot anything. General Krystal Moor did not get as much time in her fighters as she may have wished since becoming commander of the base so she headed one of the patrol elements herself. She felt good finally getting into the air for a patrol, something routine but not something she got to do as often as she liked.
Her fighter lashed out at the open air to detect any targets which might appear. The multiple independent radar transmitters of the nose radar on the fighters were extremely powerful and couple burn through even the best stealth at close range. Of course there was always a concern that the bandits which they were searching for would be using some sort of magical stealth. There was no way to detect those targets.
Suddenly, a contact appeared on her radar. Something slow flying like had been detected previously. Four more targets appeared a few moments later. Activating her high powered cameras to see what was at location, she focused on the first radar target she detected. The camera system could give an incredible visual of an object even miles away.
It was a propeller powered aircraft, something ancient maybe from the Second World War. The engines of the aircraft appears to be sputtering as if they were almost out of fuel. As she examined the aircraft, she saw that pilot was in a tattered flight suit with bones being able to be seen through the rips and tears. Something tickled her memory, something she almost remembered reading about.
As she put her Logan into afterburner to close with the aircraft, she remembered that a group of aircraft had been lost soon after the Second World War, a flight of five aircraft which disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle and never seen again. There were various ideas of what might have happened to them but it had never been fully explained. General Moor had heard stories of ghosts no longer resting, ghost aircraft and ships once again flying through the skies and sailing the oceans. Moments later the five aircraft disappeared once again.
Since the coming of the Rifts, many ships and aircraft once thought lost have reappeared all around the world. The dead have in many places come back with the magical energies wrapped around world and have been reborn. While the most famous in many respects, the five lost TBF Avenger Bombers of Flight 19 are just one of many ghost aircraft flying around the world once more. They are not even the only lost Avenger aircraft lost.
Aircraft assumed to be Avengers have been seen scattered around the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean. They seem to be rarely seen over land although there are some reports in the north west which might be Avenger aircraft. Some appear to have come from ghost carriers although none have actually been seen landing on the ground. In most cases, the aircraft seem to just appear in the air. There are several encounters between Coalition aircraft as well as the New Navy.
The TBF Avenger was build by Grumman as a torpedo bomber to replace the obsolete Douglas Devastator torpedo bomber. As most Grumman aircraft, the Avenger was extremely tough. There were cases of Avenger aircraft surviving incredible damage and as a result of their planes' ruggedness, Grumman was often called "Grumman Iron Works." The bomber was developed by Grumman but was manufactured by General Motors. It was used in virtually every battle in the Pacific after the Battle of Midway and served after World War Two. One was even flown by George H Bush, a president of the United States near the end of the Twentieth Century. He crashed after making an attack and had to be rescued.
In some cases these aircraft have appeared solid while in other cases the aircraft appear transparent. In some cases, the aircraft appear to have been crewed by pilots completely concealed in flight suits while in other cases the crew are either transparent or are skeletons. A variety of different color schemes have been reported, some with US Navy markings while others carry the marking of the British fleet arm.
Some spirits seem more or less neutral and only attack those who attack them while others seem to attack any target which gets within range of its weapons. There are stories about these aircraft just appearing and attacking another aircraft or ship. No one knows what motivates these aircraft or the ghosts which pilot them. Some think that they are possessed by malign spirits while some think that their crews consider anything encountered to be enemy aircraft. It is even possible that both explanations are correct.
The magic which resurrected these aircraft made them appear to have the ability to take damage which would tear the original Avenger bomber apart. The damage appears to regenerate as well and there are reports of a ghost aircraft being badly damaged and later returning without any damage. The Avengers are known to be the same ones because the markings including numbering are identical.
As with the ability of these to withstand damage, these aircraft can also deal out damage even to the strongest of alloys and composites. Most avengers where armed with a pair of forward firing fifty caliber machine guns, a turret with another fifty caliber machine gun, and a lower belly mounted thirty caliber machine gun. Some carry only a single thirty caliber machine gun instead of a pair of fifty caliber machine guns. Either way, these weapon no longer fire normal bullets but instead fire a magical fire known as balefire. These make the aircraft extremely dangerous to approach but even more dangerous is that many of these ghost Avengers appear to carry a torpedo. When launched, this torpedo appears to be possessed by a spirit and the torpedo seems to attack again and again until it is destroyed. Luckily, the aircraft only appears to carry one of these torpedoes although when encountered at a later time, the aircraft appears to have the ability to drop one of these torpedoes again.
Several other abilities appear to be common to these ghost aircraft. They seem to be able to fly forever even if it appears that the aircraft engines are constantly sputtering. They don't appear in most cases to fly much faster than the original Avenger bomber. These aircraft seem to have the ability to become either invisible or intangible for short periods of time.
Model Number: TBF / TBM
Vehicle Type: Air, Single Engine Ghost Bomber
Crew: Unknown (Supernatural - Original Crew Three)
Horror Factor: 12
M.D.C. by Location:
| Wings (2):||175 each|
| Elevators (2):||85 each|
| Rudder (1):||85|
|Ball Turret (Rear of Cockpit)||65|
|Landing Gear (2):||10 each|
| Main Body:||380|
 Destroying a Wing will cause the plane to crash.
 Destruction of the elevators or rudder will leave the plane uncontrollable and pilot must eject to survive.
 Depleting the M.D.C. of the main body will shut the Aircraft down completely, rendering it useless and causing it to crash if in flight.
Note: The Avenger will regenerate at 20% of the hit locations M.D.C. per day, meaning all damage will be restored within 5 days of being damaged. Even if a hit location is completely destroyed, it will slowly regenerate until completely restored.
Driving on Ground (Taxiing): Only possible for take offs and landings as well as for parking and storage. Speed is 40 mph (64 kph) when traveling and not on take off or landing.
Flying: 276 mph (444.2 kph) with an altitude of 30,100 feet (9,170 meters.) When intangible, bombers's top speed is increased to 345 mph (555.2 kph) The aircraft must slow down to 276 mph (444.2 kph) before becoming solid or piloting is at -20% while above that speed.
Maximum Effective Range: Effectively Unlimited, the bomber appears to need no refueling and seems to run on magical energy.
Height: 15 feet 5 inches (4.70 meters)
Wingspan: 54 feet 2 inches (16.51 meters) with wings extended
Length: 40 feet 11.5 inches (12.48 meters)
Weight: TBF / TBM weighed 10,545 pounds (4,783 kilograms) empty and 17,893 pounds (8,115 kilograms) loaded.
Power System: Magic, systems seem to work as if run by magic (Originally powered by a Curtis Wright R-2600-20 radial engine.)
Cargo: Minimal (Storage for small equipment), does not include hard points or bomb bay
Black Market Cost: Not for Sale, due to the haunted nature of these aircraft it is doubtful anyone would want the fighters and the planes are completely independent.
- Two “Balefire” .50 Machine-Guns / One .30 Machine-Gun: Forward Firing Weapons. Early versions of the Avenger carried a single .30 caliber Machine-Gun in the nose although later versions replaced this with a pair of .50 caliber Machine-Guns in the Wings. These weapons fire “Balefire” rounds although the rounds do not have the secondary havoc effects although payload appears to be virtually infinite.
- One “Balefire” .50 Machine-Gun Turret: Mounted in a turret behind the cockpit. These weapons fire “Balefire” rounds although the rounds do not have the secondary havoc effects although payload appears to be virtually infinite.
- One “Balefire” .30 Machine-Gun: Belly mounted to protect the aircraft from attacks from below the bomber. These weapons fire “Balefire” rounds although the rounds do not have the secondary havoc effects although payload appears to be virtually infinite.
- One (1) "Water Wraith" Torpedo: The aircraft can drop a single torpedo. The torpedo glows with an unnatural green light. Some think that the torpedoes contain some sort of demon which possesses the weapon. The torpedo will chase down a fleeing target and are incredibly fast compared to a World War Two torpedoes, about sixty knots. While quite a bit slower than most advanced torpedoes used by Post Rifts Navies, the torpedoes appear to have effectively unlimited endurance and the only way to stop the torpedo appears to be to destroy it. The torpedo will attack over and over again unless it is destroyed (50 M.D.C.) The torpedo has two attacks per round and is +3 to strike and dodge. Luckily, the aircraft seems to possess only a single on of these malevolent weapons at any one time although they appear to regenerate slowly although no-one knows how this occurs. Some speculate that the torpedoes just reappear in the bomb bay but it is mostly guess.
Maximum Effective Range: .30 Machine Gun: 2,000 feet (609.6 meters). .50 Machine Guns: 3,000 feet (914.4 meters)
Mega Damage: .30 Machine Gun: Short Burst 2D6 and Long Burst 6D6, .50 Machine Guns: Short Burst 5D6 (1D6x10 for both guns) and Long Burst 1D6x10+10 (2D6x10+20 for both guns)
Rate of Fire: Equal to combined hand to hand attacks of the pilot (Usually four or five)
Payload: Effectively Unlimited
Maximum Effective Range: 3,000 feet (914.4 meters)
Mega Damage: .Short Burst 5D6 and Long Burst 1D6x10+10.
Rate of Fire: Equal to combined hand to hand attacks of the gunner (Usually four or five)
Payload: Effectively Unlimited.
Maximum Effective Range: 2,000 feet (609.6 meters).
Mega Damage: .30 Machine Gun: Short Burst 2D6 and Long Burst 6D6,
Rate of Fire: Equal to combined hand to hand attacks of the gunner (Usually four or five)
Payload: Effectively Unlimited
Maximum Effective Range: Effectively unlimited, Once fired, the possessed torpedo will travel and pursue the designated target until its target or the torpedo is destroyed (or the target vanished from sight or gets away by another means.)
Mega-Damage: 4D6x10 M.D. of magical energy every time the torpedo strikes
Rate of Fire: Can fire torpedoes one at a time.
Payload: One Total, Regenerates at the rate of one torpedo per hour.
Special Abilities as a Haunted Vehicle:
- Will of Its Own: These aircraft appear to be completely independent
and/or in control of the ghost pilots in the plane. The personalities of
these aircraft appear to vary although it appears that many have certain
aspects in common such as that they will not engage aircraft which have
United States symbols on them and certain types of targets such as Coalition
(with their Nazi like symbols) are commonly targeted. If not classified
automatically an enemy or a friend, the aircraft's personality will decide
to engage the enemy or not. Some will leave virtually everything alone
while others will attack virtually everything.
Some ghost pilots seem to be rookie pilots while others are expert. Rookie fighters / pilots have a 70% piloting skill, has 4 attacks per melee, have +1 to strike, +5 to dodge. More experienced fighters / pilots will have an 80% piloting skill, have 6 attacks per melee, have +3 to strike, +6 to dodge, and +1 to initiative. Highly Experienced fighters / pilots have a 90% piloting skill, have 7 attacks per melee, have +5 to strike, +8 to dodge, and +2 to initiative.
- Inexhaustible Propulsive Force: Range and fuel are not a problem; the bomber seems able to go on forever, powered by a magical power source.
- Regenerates Damage: The bomber will regenerate at 20% of the hit locations M.D.C. per day, meaning all damage will be restored within 5 days of being damaged. Even if a hit location is completely destroyed, it will slowly regenerate until completely restored.
- Rejects Modern Components: The bomber will not accept the addition of modern components and components will seem to fail within a few days.
- Natural Invisibility: The bomber is capable of assuming an invisible (Both Visually and on Radar) and perfectly silent state, even when running full out! The vehicle cannot engage in any sort of offensive action (such as firing a weapon) without dropping its invisibility. Can engage this ability 4 times per day with a duration of up to 60 minutes at a time.
- Natural Intangibility: The vehicle has the ability to become immaterial and intangible, and ghost through solid objects. The aircraft can drive or fly right through solid objects and can drive over or through water when the enchantment is activated. The fighter cannot be harmed by normal weapons while intangible but can be effected by magic weapons and psionics. Weapons cannot be used while the Wildcats intangible. Speed is increased to 345 mph (555.2 kph) while intangible but must slow down before becoming solid again. The fighter appears to be ghostlike when it goes intangible and cannot be detected on radar. Can engage this ability 4 times per day for up to 30 minutes at a time.
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Special Credit to Talis D. Merrill (firstname.lastname@example.org) for many of the concepts and enchantments / powers for Ghost / Haunted vehicles.
Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).
Copyright © 2007, Kitsune. All rights reserved.