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Grumman TB-1 Dauntless


Designer Notes - This plane grew out of an idea of an aerial torpedo bomber that was designed to destroy Zeppelins.


 
Original artist concept sketch
"When you see a Dauntless coming you no you have to put a parachute on because your Zeppelin is going down."
    - Jonathan Baker, Gunner on the ISA airship Ironside

Name - Grumman TB-1 Dauntless
Class - Heavy Fighter (Tractor)
Manufacturer - Grumman Aircraft Engineering - Long Island, New York, Empire State
Engine - (2) Wright 1450s (1,226 h.p.)
Loaded Weight - 14,500 lbs.
Service Ceiling - 25,000 ft.
Range - 800 miles
Max. Speed - 250 mph
Max. Accel. - 65.6 feet/second
Max. Decel. - 65.7 feet/second

Wing Span - 41 ft. 3 in.
Length - 38 ft. 4 in.
Height - 18 ft. 1 in.

Weapons:
    (2) Sperry-Browning 'Gatekeeper' 40-caliber Machine Guns
    (2) Sperry-Browning 'Gatekeeper' 40-caliber Machine Guns in a
            Bendix 'Stinger' Tail Gunnery Turret

Design History:
    The ISA and the Empire States are natural enemies, the ISA coveting the Empire State's reputation as North Americas leading trade centers and the Empire States coveting the ISA's industrial capacity.  Early after the two nations where formed competition between them grew.  As the ISA started to expand it's airship manufacturing plants, the Empire States began to worry that the ISA would soon be able to deploy a large fleet of airships that the ES would not be able to hold back.  The Empire States soon realized that it's aircraft industry, with it's more creative designs and companies it would balance the competition between them.  But then the ISA announced it's alliance with Germany.  The Empire States knew that this new alliance would tilt the balance in the ISA's favor unless they did something.  The Empire State's High Command decided to counter this threat the same way they did before and announced a design competition for an aircraft that would be able to take down these lighter-than-air Goliaths.
    Seven aircraft companies entered the competition with designs ranging from the inventive quad hulled Brewster design to the more conventional Grumman design.  The Grumman design won the competition with a design that was developed from an original concept that dated back to before the break up of the United States.  Named the Dauntless, the aircraft was of conventional design with a standard hull and twin engines placed into pods on either wing.  The Dauntless would have three crew, a pilot, a bombardier and a rear gunner that was placed in the new Bendix 'Stinger' Turret.  The Dauntless is only equipped with 4 Sperry-Browning 'Gatekeeper' 40-caliber machine guns, with two in each wing and the other two in the turret.  This might seem under gunned for an aircraft it's size, but the guns serve only a defense roll with it's main punch coming from the two aerial torpedoes that were stored in an internal bomb bay.

Role:
    Although the Dauntless was originally designed for the sole purpose of the destruction of airships, it has been able to carve a niche out in other fields.  The Dauntless has shown great performance as a naval torpedo bomber, when the Empire States High Command stationed a couple to defend the sea approaches to the ES.  It has also performed well as an Attack Bomber using it's internal bay to carry bombs instead of torpedoes.
    But the Dauntless performs the best in it's original role, Aerial Torpedo Bomber.  Able to carry up to 6 aerial torpedoes, 2 internally and 4 on the outside hardpoints, the Dauntless spells certain doom to any airship that it wishes to attack.

Deployment:
    The vast majority of the Dauntlesses have appeared in the air militias of the Empire States.  More than half of these have been placed on the border with the ISA to prevent them from gaining the upper hand with it's larger air fleets.  They other half have been spread around the boards of the Empire States with about a quarter protecting the sea approaches.
    Other nations such as Pacifica and Appalachia have managed to acquire a few squadrons for there Air Corps where they serve in the same roles as in the Empire States.  Since the Dauntless is one of the largest aircraft in service the cost to maintain and operate the craft have kept it out of the hands of most of the pirate gangs.  Although the few that can afford it have used it to devastating effect, especially against militia airships that get in there way.

Pilots and Campaigns:
    Because of it's roll few pilots have gained notoriety.  The most notable of those few are the crew of the 'Kraut Killer' which is stationed along the ISA's approaches to the St. Lawrence River.  The area is notable for it's almost weekly skirmishes between ISA and Empire States forces.  In one of these engagements the ISA sent a convoy of over 8 Zeppelins through the area in an effort to try and expand there influence over that sector.  Unfortunately for them the 'Kraut Killer's Squadron was just rotated in.  In this single engagement the ISA forces lost 5 out of the 8 Zeppelins with the others being seriously damaged.  The crew of the 'Kraut Killer' added one of those Zeppelins, two more shared and two aircraft to it's record that day.  To date the record of the 'Kraut Killer' can not be topped by any plane in North America, with 17 and 1/2 Zeppelins downed and 9 aircraft destroyed.



Game Stats:
 
Game Points Mass
Base Target Number 1 10,000 lbs.
Maximum Speed 3 3,300 lbs.
Maximum Gs 2 2,400 lbs.
Acceleration Rate 2 1,200 lbs.
 
Armor Points 350 1,050 lbs.
Nose 70  210 lbs.
Port Wing Leading 60 180 lbs.
Port Wing Trailing 50 150 lbs.
Starboard Wing Leading 60 180 lbs.
Starboard Wing Trailing 50  150 lbs.
Tail 60 180 lbs.
 
Weapons Arc Mass
40-cal. machine gun Gun 5 250 lbs.
40-cal. machine gun Gun 6 250 lbs.
40-cal. machine gun Gun 7: Turret 525 lbs.
40-cal. machine gun Gun 8: Turret 525 lbs.
Internal Hardpoint 1 Gun 1 125 lbs.
Internal Hardpoint 2 Gun 2 125 lbs.
Internal Hardpoint 3 Gun 3 125 lbs.
Internal Hardpoint 4 Gun 4 125 lbs.

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