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Full Version: Is it a bird? Is it a ship? No, it's a Flying Cruiser!
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Well, two actually.

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An APS-based and a Laser-based one. Aren't those siblings cute?

I've been trying for a while to come up with a decent flying unit, and I used what I learned with monohul designs to build this one, a light cruiser class unit. The idea is to use dedicated propeller stacked together for sustentation, embedded within the hull for protection (inspired by the OW Eyrie in fact). Trim and altitude control is achieved by regulating rotation speed using a bunch of ACBs.
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Thrusters are used for turning and roll control, under ACB control as well; I didn't use a single PID for this construct, so I spend some time working on control logics. There's quite a lot of them, as I wanted a great agility for this unit; their positioning above and bellow center of gravity is what allows for roll control by ACBs.
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Next point is speed: I wanted to achieve around 100m/s to evade even Excalibur or Thyr projectiles (hence the need for a lot of thrusters to turn reasonably short...). That means use of custom jets... and an incredible thirst for fuel! The unit tops finally at a satisfying 94m/s, but expect around 6400fuel/min under full load... for propuslion only! But the result is there: main artillery of Thyr will keep missing while I'm circling around at full speed, at about 325m altitude. Mwahahahah.
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Now, main dish: weaponry! Both variants share the (small) missile battery on folding containers, the two 128mm AAA turrets, and 4 quadruple ASROCs launchers vertically mounted in the double hull. They also have a dual-layer of shields (down only; up is a single layer), 3.3 in strength, and some smoke dispensers. Only problem is a 90+m/s, they feel a bit useless as you are already far from the emission point when the smoke cloud becomes effective... Finally, there is a quite effective LAMS to deal with projectiles which would have managed to hit you otherwise.

For main guns: APS version uses the same quad-500mm than my Legatus-class Battleship, with an additional front protection and 3m elevation mantlets instead of 2m AA ones, to allow firing on targets above.
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The Laser version uses a gimball-like turrets with 4 beams; under-deck structure of APS is replaced by an additional engine unit and some laser pumps and cavities, shared with LAMS system for a max continuous damage of 779, with 149.8AP. I'm a bit disapointed by the lack of power though, even it will perform honorably on OW units. I'm still a bit new to laser building, so I guess there is still a huge room for improvement here. A least, I am happy with the look and behaviour of the turret, it's very pleasant to watch Smile.
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Control are exctly the same as my other constructs (ships, indeed); you can switch cruise altitude bewteen 325m (up arrow) and 200m (down arrow). If coming to close to the surface, it will try to put full thrust on the propellers, and if going bellow 50m it will reduce speed to avoid dip the nose in the water.

It's fully walkable, has a fully fonctional main bridge and battle central, and is fitted with 2 remote cams (one in the nose, one on bridge).

So, figures:
Length: 103m
Blocks: 9439 (APS) / 9552 (Laser)
Mass: 5509 (APS) / 4673 (Laser)
Top speed: 94m/s
Max alt: 325~330m (propellers won't allow me to go higher...)
Power: 45600HP (APS) / 68400 (Laser)
Price: 200k (both variants)

U/J : accelerate / decelerate
H/K: steer port/starboard
Y/I: roll port/starboard
T/G: switch on shields in reflect / laser absorb mode
O: switch shields off
Up/Down: set altitude to 350m / 200m

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As usual, comments and advices will be higly appreciated; I'm still new to flyers, but I'd like to continue with a complete Orde of battles, including small frigate-class units. In the meantime, enjoy this one Smile !
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