ACG-1 "Aquila" Combat Autogyro
Used by the Coalition Defense Forces in their fight against the Grand Army of Voxelia in the War of Reunification, the ACG-1 Combat Autogyro (also known as the Aquila) is a combat autogyro designed primarily for ground support. The Aquila can be used for limited transport roles due to its ability to hover and is capable of engaging other aircraft (such as the R1-B "Reeve" Advanced Fighter) if required. The asymmetry of the Aquila has lent it another, more derogatory nickname: "Plucked Duck."
The Aquila is large, twin-boom auto gyro featuring a single prop in the push configuration. Initial spin-up of the rotor is achieved through a separate clutch mechanism connected to the main engine; once the rotor is in motion, as with other auto-gyros, the flow of air driven by the horizontal prop keeps the rotor moving. While this configuration means that the Aquila is slower than its Voxelian counterpart - the Reeve - the Aquila can take off vertically and, therefore, requires little to no infrastructure to launch in the field.
Weapons & Armament
The famous ugliness of the Aquila derives, in part, from the 18mm grease gun - of the sort normally wielded by auto-armor or a machine gun crew - attached to a limited traversal ball turret on the passenger side of the cockpit. As the Aquila sits on the left side and the gunner sits on the right, this means that the Aquila has a notable tendency to circle counterclockwise around a target in an effort to keep the target within the gunner's firing arc. The firing arc of this turret is roughly a 90 degree cone spanning from directly forward to directly to the left of the Aquila's flight path. As noted below, another crew-served weapon (often another 18mm grease gun or a BX-9 "Smokestack" Automatic Scattergun loaded with flechette shells) can be used from the aft section during low-speed flight with the appropriate preparation. The Aquila can also level-drop bombs out of the floor hatch, though this is not its intended role.
Armor and defense
The Aquila is moderately armored for an aircraft of its size and type. Most armor is dedicated to the underside of the vehicle to dissuade attack from hostile ground forces as the Aquila swoops in to provide fire support.
Communication Tools & Systems
The Aquila can navigate and communicate with other members of its squadron via its radio system.
A special reconnaisance package for the Aquila, using the relatively new infrared technology, is in development at Data Engines Limited.
Additional & auxiliary systems
The space immediately to the aft of the cockpit is a modular multi-purpose space, able to carry cargo, ordinance, or passengers. This space features large sliding doors along either side which can be opened manually or via a switch in the cockpit, as well as a floor hatch in ordinance modules. This space can be configured to carry up to four passengers or a single suited auto-armor operator into battle. Alternatively, large mounts on the floor can support a single crew-served weapon - along with its two operators - which can be fired out the open side doors when the Aquila is flying slowly enough to permit this. While the Aquila is not designed for bombing, it can level-drop bombs by deploying them out the floor hatch though this precludes carrying any passengers or cargo until the bombs are dropped and the bomb racks jettisoned.
Hangars & docked vessels
An Aquila can deploy from, and return to, a low-flying airship's parasite fighter cradle. It attaches to a boom via a sturdy lug located at the apex of the top rotor column. It requires a degree of finesse to avoid striking the airship's envelope or the boom itself with the spinning rotors, but the ability of the Aquila to hover gives the pilot more time to guide the lug onto the boom. The Aquila can also be deployed from a skystation in an inflection layer, though its operational ceiling is too low to permit it to return. It remains unknown if an Aquila can safely cross a commissure independently, with almost all attempts thus far ending in failure.
Aquila, Plucked Duck
Inspired by the Fairey Rotodyne and McDonnell XV-1
Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull
Awww, poor Aquila, getting called a 'plucked duck'. I can see what you mean about the asymmetry from your inspiration photos though.