Data Canister: Skyranger

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Data Canister 894, X-Com Archives. Technical briefing for SR77H 'Skyranger' light transport.

Vehicle Type - VTOL Aircraft, powered by 2 variable turbofan engines.
Weight, unloaded - 12 000 Kg
Maximum VTOL takeoff weight - 50 000 Kg
Maximum VTOL takeoff weight with one engine inoperable - 30 000 Kg
Maximum conventional takeoff weight - 56 000 Kg
Maximum conventional takeoff weight with one engine inoperable - 38 000 kg
Maximum fuel weight - 36 000 Kg
Cargo area - 9.4 m long, 2.2 m wide, 2.3m high.
Normal flight range - 14 000 Kilometres
Maximum speed - 1 450 Km/h
Cruise speed - 930 Km/h
Conventional takeoff field length - 1620 m
Conventional landing field length - 1360 m

Length - 24m
Wingspan - 14m
Height - 8m

Crew - One pilot and copilot.

History of Design

In the 1970s, the old USSR began working towards creating a vehicle suitable for replacing helicopters in use for extremely long range special operations. More specifically, for use in depositing and supplying special operations groups in the United States of America. Initial designs were unable to make the cross-global distances required, due to size and weight constraints. The most suitable version was unveiled in 1977, at an astronomical cost. The old USSR was forced to abandon the project for other, more important, methods of gaining ground in the cold war.

After the collapse of the USSR, the project was lost entirely. When the X-Com project was hurriedly specced out, it was clear that no known aircraft could fulfil initial troop transport requirements. Several former KGB officers recalled the 'Skyranger' project, and the old designs were brought out as speedily as possible.

It was determined that with new state of the art materials and engines, the 'Skyranger' could operate as desired. The original moth balled Skyranger was brought out and re-fitted immediately in America, before being forwarded to X-Com. A small 'research' facility was then put together several kilometres outside of Moscow, which produces 'Prototypes' as X-Com requires them.

Description of Design

The SR77H is, at its heart, one of the most effective special operations transports available.

The main positive aspect to the design is in its VTOL Capacity. Vents within the engine housings can, variably, redirect thrust to a number of nozzles on the undersides of the craft fuselage and wings, vented through ducts in the aircraft's sides. This system allows the vented exhaust from the system to pressurise all nozzles at once, and gradually switch the VTOL thrust over to regular thrust. Also, one engine being damaged does not ground this craft.

The design makes use of two sets of wings. The rear wings and stabilisers are set high on the craft's rear, and the rear wings are the larger set. The second set is mounted just aft of the craft's nose, and closer to the middle of the craft. These wings cut the air ahead of the aft wings, so as to have air flow evenly across both sets of wings at once, increasing stability, and increasing 'lift' dramatically.

Accommodations on the craft are crude at best. The extended cockpit contains an enclosed chemical toilet booth, and a small MRE heating oven, behind the pilots.

The rear bay of the craft is large, with rails along the walls and floor for the insertion or removal of cargo storage equipment. Skyrangers in X-Com use will primarily make use of rows of seating and storage along either wall, allowing up to fourteen personnel and their equipment to be stored effectively.

Remote controlled heavy weapons platforms, due to their sizes, will reduce the amount of seating available.

The Skyranger's rear bay terminates in a swinging ramp, which serves as the rear wall of the craft in normal flight. On landing, the ramp is lowered, providing a path down to the ground. It is entirely flat, but coated in non-slip rubber to enhance traction.

The Skyrangers in use will also have advanced communications stations in place on the craft, to relay messages, data, and orders up to a satellite in orbit, or retransmit them over long distances.

It is projected that as X-Com expands, Skyrangers will be used more and more frequently in a covert freighter role, moving personnel and equipment from base to base.

- Skonar, 14 May 2003, StrategyCore, transferred by JFG

Update

The Skyranger in the new Enemy Unknown 2012 has the markings SR-77H on its tail (clearly visible when returning from a mission).

See Also