This aircraft is like no other. Like your everyday airships, it propels itself by flapping wings, but unlike airships, it does not have a balloon full of hot gasses to carry it skywards. This aircraft lifts itself of the earth by the same wing flapping motion.
Ever since the first dawn, man has dreamed of flying like a bird and conquer the Sky, and with this new contraption he is one step closer. Many ideas have come before, but all failed. But the Aerial steam carriage company has succeeded! The design is not resembling a bird, but it is resembling an insect, a dragonfly to be precise!
The aviator sits in the front, with behind his back the boiler and steam engine. With an intricate set of gears, the engine drives four wings fixed on the upper side of the body. The four wings can all move independently, controlled by the aviator via levers and dials. The aviator controls the length of the stroke of the wing, the amount of strokes per minute, but also the angle of attack of the wing. All to create more upwards or forwards motion. Behind the wings, a long tail sticks out with two more wings positioned at an angle upwards. These do not flap but can be rotated to help steer the craft like an airship uses its rudder.
This craft sounds marvellous but there is a major issue, the wings cannot create enough upwards force to lift a heavy load, the weight of the craft is reduced to a minimum but that still leaves barely enough weight space for the aviator.
Because there is only one operator, and they are busy controlling the craft, they can't feed the boiler with coal, therefore a liquid fuel boiler is used.
So far only the Air Corps has been interested in these flying crafts. And even raised a special fighter wing for it!. In contrary to tradition, the Army is now not looking for the biggest strongest man, but for small lightweight dudes that can fly these new fighters. It seems they have been successful in finding aviators, as there is a regular flights of these new crafts spotted over the Millpoint Air Station.
In reality, the Air Corps have sourced aviators from the Air Corps Orphanage for Lost Boys and Girls. Finding that even among the most unlucky, the boys still where to big. After centuries of a desire for big strong males, it seemed like the population of Eglen did not have any small man. After a series of failed attempts to use children as aviators, they looked towards the other pupils living at the Orphanage, the girls. In an unprecedented move, the General staff of the army signed off on a generous budget for a five year long test, to see if the young woman could be trained to fly the crafts. Seeing the potential of having the aircraft as an asset in their military arsenal, they were unwilling to give up on them. If technology advanced, as it always does, they could go back to using real man was the idea.
But the Army, knowing that the public would never accept the fact that the aviators were female. There were already plenty of people upset about the fact that the Army employed woman in their domestic service and in the administration division.
So far most weight saving that has been done has resulted in the placement of larger boiler, engine, fuel and water tanks, or increasing the armament. Or having the craft be lighter to increase range and manoeuvrability.
Wingspan: 7 paces
(Units and Measurements in Eglen)
3 Squadrons of 24 crafts
Air Corps 20th Fighter Wing
3 Squadrons of 8 crafts
1st Naval Air Flotilla
1 Squadron of 24 crafts.