T.W. He-162-TW "Hellfire" Salamander Techno-Wizard Fighter:
The He-162 is a lesser known German jet fighter from World War Two but has a very interesting aircraft. The design was built and flown in only ten weeks and plans were laid for the production of 4000 fighters per month. It was also planned that pilots for the fighters would come from Hitler Youth. The grandiose plans for 4000 fighters per month were never realized and the first squadron was only formed four days before the official cessation of hostilities in Europe. The fighter was known by a variety of names including 'Spatz' (Sparrow), 'Salamander', and 'Volksjäger' (People's Fighter.) The He-162 mounted its engine above the fuselage and was extremely fast, even faster than the Me-262. Weaponry was two 20 mm cannons in the lower sides of the fuselage with 120 rounds per cannon. The plane was designed to be built using semi-skilled labor and designed to use non-strategic materials. The fighter was constructed from wood and alloys. Although components were often poorly manufactured, the fighter was an excellent design and had very clean lines. Various version of the He-162 were under development including using a "V" shaped tail and forward swept wings.
The version of the He-162 mounting forward swept wings and the "V" shaped tail interested German techno-wizards and they decided to develop an aircraft based on it. No He-162 aircraft are believed to have survived the coming of the Rifts and designs had to develop their version from drawing and photographs of the World War Two jet fighter. As a result, the plane is less of an exact copy of the original aircraft. Some examples include that the wings are swept more forward than was planned for the German prototype. Other examples include that the flight controls had to be guessed at. Even so, the Techno-Wizard He-162 still is recognizable as an He-162. Unlike the original German fighters, the fighters are incredibly well crafted and are considered works of art like many techno-wizard designs. The fighter is extremely deadly and has fought well in engagement against both Russian Warlord forces and against supernatural creatures such as Gargoyles. Some owners of the He-162 try to model paint schemes after drawing and photographs of He-162 fighters while others give their fighters pain jobs when the fighters are covered in fire with the design of a burning Salamander on the side.
In many myths, the Salamander is a creature of fire. The Techno-Wizard He-162 is also a creature of fire. A fire aura can be created around the fighter up to three times per day to protect the fighter. Any attacks have to destroy the fire field before doing damage to the fighter itself and any creatures which attempt to touch the fighter will take fire damage. A few crazy pilots have tried to make swiping attacks with the fighter but the maneuver is extremely dangerous. The fire field is powered by a minor elemental creature of fire. Several fighters which are based on the element of fire are powered by fire elementals. Like the air elemental based fighters, if the aircraft is destroyed, the fire elemental will simply go back to its home plane and not attack anyone in the area. It is believed that the elemental is asked to merge with the fighter and not forced or coerced. The fire elemental appears to give the fighter a personality which might not be expected.
The fighter is actually constructed from a mixture of enchanted and high tech materials. Part are constructed from wood which has been enchanted with the spell "Iron Wood" once it has been shaped and fitted while other parts use high tech alloys and composites. Many Techno-Wizards are expect carpenters and the materials are easy to craft. Once complete, the fighter is enchanted so that it is impervious to fire. The fusion engine is far more reliable than the original BMW turbojet engine and produces far more power than the original engine. To reduce frame stress, the fighter has a limiter on the engine which prevent the fighter from going above 1050 kilometers per hour. Electronics are modern and are generally superior to those mounted in most Techno-Wizard airfcat. Flight controls are fly by wire and the fighter is very maneuverable. The fighter has a long range radar fitted into the nose and has the systems carried on most modern fighters. An attempt has been made to make the internal displays look like those on German jet fighters but are holographic plasma displays. This allows them to be reconfigured into more detailed displays if needed. The cockpit is fitted with full life support systems and is more comfortable than the original cockpit.
In the location of the two 20 mm cannon in the original He-162, the Techno-Wizard jet fighter mounts two flame cannons. The magical energy for the cannons is from the fire elemental and the cannon do not need to be recharged. There was some consideration give to mounting either telekinetic machine-guns or conventional weapons to deal with targets which are impervious to energy but the idea was rejected. Instead, a pair of flush mounted retractable mini-missile launcher are mounted behind the cockpit. The launchers reduce drag compared to non flush mounted launchers although payload it reduced. In addition to the side mounted flame cannons and mini-missile launchers, the fighter has four wing hard points. These can carry a variety of different ordnance including bombs, missiles, and additional rocket packs. Unlike the electrical field and whirlwind fields, the flame aura is close to the fighter and missile weapons and bombs can be used while the field is active.
Model Number: T.W. He-162-TW "Hellfire" Salamander
Vehicle Type: Single Engine Techno-Wizard Turbojet Fighter
M.D.C. by Location:
| Nose Mounted Flame Cannons (1):||50 each|
| Side Mounted Mini Missile Launchers (2, behind cockpit)||50 each|
| Forward Swept Wings (2):||160 each|
| Tail Section:||100|
| Landing Gear (3):||30 each|
| Main Body:||325|
|Fire Aura (3 times per day):||100|
 These are small and difficult targets to strike, requiring the attacker to make a "called shot;" but even then the attacker is -4 to strike.
 Destroying a Wing or the Tail Section will cause the plane to crash.
 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. The aircraft takes no damage from fire or heat due to enchantments (Including magical and mega damage heat and fire).
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: Engines are purely technological in design. Fighter is not VTOL in design and cannot hover. The Techno-Wizard Salamander has a top speed of 652 mph (1050 kph) with a maximum altitude of about 60,000 feet (18,288 meters). Top speed is due to computer limiting speed not due to engine power. As a result, top speed is not reduced for external ordnance.
Maximum Effective Range: Effectively Unlimited. Unlike most Coalition and other governments fighters, the Salamander does not overheat and can run indefinitely.
Height 8.36 feet (2.55 meters)
Wingspan: 24.44 feet (7.45 meters)
Length: 32.15 feet (9.80 meters)
Weight: 2.42 tons (2.2 metric tons) empty and 4.96 tons (4.5 metric tons) fully loaded
Power System: Nuclear, Should have an average life-span of 20 years
Cargo: Minimal (Storage for small equipment), does not include hard points
Black Market Cost: 30.5 million credits.
- Two (2) Heavy Flame Cannons: Mounted in the fighter's fuselage forward of the cockpit and replace the 20 mm cannons mounted in the original Salamander. Each weapon is a converted heavy plasma weapon. All of the flame cannons can be fired together and inflict incredible damage when all four are fired together. No matter how many cannons are fired together, it counts as one attack. The flame cannons have a slightly better range and have an unlimited payload compared to hand held flame cannons. The weapon pulls its energy from the minor Fire Elemental.
- Mini-Missile Launchers (2): A small mini-missile launcher is mounted behind the cockpit under the fighter's engine. The launchers are retractable to reduce the fighter's drag. This weapon is mostly used against enemy aircraft, missile volleys, and other aerial opponents, or on strafing runs against troops and other ground targets. The weapon has a much larger punch than the flame cannons.
- Wing Hard Points (4): The "Hellfire" Salamander can carry a variety of ordnance on its hard points. The fighter has two hard points on each wing for a total of four hard points. With the addition of sensor systems, the fighter can control missiles instead of just bombs and unguided rockets. Mini-Missile pods are very popular. Weapons can be used while the flame aura is active and towed decoys are available for the fighter.
- Bombs and Missiles: The only restriction is that a hard point must carry all the same type of missiles or bombs. Both unguided and guided bombs can be carried.
- Mini-Missile Pod: Large capacity mini-missile pod. The aircraft normally carries missile pods for ground strafing, anti-troop, and anti-emplacement attacks. Normal missile used are armor piercing, plasma, or fragmentation mini-missiles.
- Advanced Towed Decoys (4): The pod takes place of all ordnance on the Hard Point. The aircraft can carry a special pod that carries four advanced towed decoy drones. These drones are dragged about 328 feet (100 meters) behind the aircraft on a thin cable. Each is a specially designed radar lure that creates a radar image to mimic the aircraft. If decoys are not destroyed, they can be recovered and repaired. Rifts Earth decoy systems are assumed to not operate against Phase World weapons due to technological difference.
- Magical "Fire Aura": The "Hellfire" Salamander can produce an aura of fire up to three times per day. The pilot can see clearly through the fire aura. While this field is active, the fighter is clearly on fire and cannot be concealed using the spells of Chameleon or Invisibility. The field is too close to the fighter for ramming attacks although some pilots have tried. It is effective against creatures who try to grab the fighter. Missiles can be fired from fighter and towed decoys are protected from the effects as well. See spell description for more details.
- Techno-Wizard Modifications: The Salamander has the following Techno-Wizard Modifications built into the Aircraft. These require P.P.E. or I.S.P. from the pilot.
Maximum Effective Range: 3,000 feet (914 meters).
Mega Damage: 1D6x10 per flame cannon and 2D6x10 for both cannons firing simultaneously (Counts as one attack)
Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the pilot (usually 4 or 5).
Payload: Effectively Unlimited.
Maximum Effective Range: Varies with missile types, mini-missiles only (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
Mega-Damage: Varies with mini-missile types (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
Rate of Fire: Equal to the total number of hand to hand attacks per melee. The missiles can be fired one at a time, or in volleys of two, four, or eight.
Payload: 16 total; 8 mini-missiles in each launcher.
Maximum Effective Range: Range varies by missile type for missile and varies by altitude that bombs are dropped at (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
Mega Damage: Varies by missile or bomb type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
Rate of Fire: Missiles can be fired and bombs can be dropped one at a time per hard point. Multiple hard points can be linked as one attack but must be the same size (light, medium, or heavy) and style of ordnance (all missiles or bombs in a volley)
Payload: 4 short range missile or light bombs, 2 medium range missiles or medium bombs, or 1 long range missile or heavy bomb (all ordnance on a hard point must be the same size and type of ordnance)
Maximum Effective Range: Varies with missile types, mini-missiles only (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
Mega Damage: Varies with mini missile types (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
Rate of Fire: Each pod can fire one at a time or in volleys of two (2), four (4), eight (8), or sixteen (16) mini-missiles and can be linked with other mini-missile pods for greater number of missiles (Counts as one attack no matter how many missiles in volley)
Payload: Each pod carries 16 mini-missiles.
Effects: The decoy has an 80% chance of fooling ordinary non military radars and non smart guided missiles, the decoy has a 50% chance of fooling military level radars (like those of the Coalition), and the decoy has a 25% chance of fooling advanced military radars (Like those of the New Navy and Triax) and smart missiles. Against missiles homing on a jamming signal, jamming has an 40% chance of tricking missiles if both the aircraft and missile are jamming and an 80% chance if the jamming system on the aircraft is deactivated before the missile reaches it.
Maximum Effective Range: Not Applicable although the decoy is deployed 328 feet (100 meters) from the aircraft
Rate of Fire: One can be deployed at a time and requires 15 seconds to deploy (Reel Out) another decoy
Payload: 4 Decoys each pod.
Maximum Effective Range: 0.5 feet (0.15 meters) around fighter
Mega Damage & Effects: 3D6 M.D.C. to any targets attempting to grab fighter and has a 50% chance of catching combustible materials on fire. Fire Aura also gives a 100 M.D.C. Force field which damage must be subtracted from first.
Payload: Three Times per day.
- Chameleon (10th Level) - 6 P.P.E. or 12 I.S.P.
Impervious to Energy (10th Level) - 20 P.P.E. or 40 I.S.P.
Invisibility-Superior (10th Level) - 20 P.P.E. or 40 I.S.P.
The fighter has all the standard features of a standard fighter (same as standard robot minus loudspeaker and microphone) plus these special features listed. The special equipment is a combination of both magic and technology
- Radar: Range 500 miles (805 km), can identify and track up to 96 targets simultaneously, It is also capable of Terrain Following for low altitude flight. With Combat & Targeting Computer, the Starfighter can fire missiles at up to twenty four targets at the same time.
- Internal Active Jamming Gear: Causes -25% to detection but when it is active, other vehicles/ bases can detect that it is jamming, and some missiles will home in on jamming signals. Jamming also causes a -4 penalty to all radar guided weapons.
- Magical “See the Invisible” Optics: Same as spell and used at will. 2,000 feet (610 meters) range. Can see forces, objects, and creatures which can turn invisible, or are invisible. Can also see vaporous beings and astral bodies.
- E.S.M.: Radar Detector. Passively detects other radars being operated.
- FLIR: Forward Looking Infrared. Allows pilot and weapons officer to get visuals on targets at night.
- +2 to Strike with Forward Mounted Gun and Mini-Missile Launchers.
+3 to dodge
+5 to dodge while traveling over 250 mph.
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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).
Copyright © 2004, Kitsune. All rights reserved.