Independent Hauler class Far Trader

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Independent Hauler class Far Trader
Type: AF Far Trader
Category ACS
Size 100 Tons
Hull Configuration Slab Hull
Streamlining Streamlined Hull
Tech Level TL–12
Computer Model 1/bis
Jump J-2
Maneuver 1 G
Fuel Treatment scoops, purifier
Hardpoints 1
Staterooms 2
Crew 2
    Officers 1
    Enlisted 1
High/Mid Passengers 2
Cargo 45.8 Tons
Fuel tank 21 Tons
Origin Vland
Manufacturer Bureaux
Year Operational -489
Cost MCr25.265
Quick Ship Profile AF-AS12
Universal Ship Profile AF-C1821S
Blueprint Yes
Illustration No
Canon Unpublished, fan design
Designer Adrian TymesTeulisch
Design System Mongoose 2nd
Era Long Night
Reference Fan Design

The Independent Hauler class Far Trader is a civilian commercial trading starship.


A number of people, upon hearing this class name, question if there has been some translation error. It really is called the "Independent Hauler", in Anglic, despite its Vilani origins. See History & Background below for the reason.

This class is a basic, simple Far Trader which makes no pretense about being anything else. The staterooms are designed to host 1 to 4 sophonts, usually in one of the following configurations:

As with passenger capacity, cargo capacity is flexible depending on need: the ship normally stores enough fuel for a single Jump-2 or two Jump-1s without refueling, but has collapsible fuel tanks which can trade 20 (technically 19.8) tons of cargo capacity for a second jump (or 9.8 tons to enable a third Jump-1). With the tanks fully collapsed, an Independent Hauler achieves its maximum (and official) cargo capacity of 45.8 tons. As the ship possesses fuel scoops and processors, this extra fuel capacity is most often used to cross 3 or 4 parsec gaps, or when it is desired to maintain the option of a quick exit from a system, such as with visits to pirate-infested systems.

Aesthetically, this starship is said to scream its Vilani origins by its lack of flourishes. It is a rounded, streamlined Slab Hull, looking like a large grav vehicle, although the maneuver drive mounted amidships slightly protrudes from the center during flight (retracting for takeoffs and landings) so as to give better thrust.

Given its variable jump performance, variable but low cargo capacity, and wilderness refueling capability, this ship has most often been seen servicing smaller population colonies, with not much to trade and lesser starports where obtaining refined fuel may be difficult.

General Description & Deck Plans[edit]

  1. Deck Plans for this vessel.
    Independent hauler deckplans.png

Basic Ship Characteristics[edit]

Following the Imperial Navy and IISS Universal Ship Profile and data, additional information is presented in the format shown here.

Basic Ship Characteristics
No. Category Remarks
1. Tonnage / Hull Tonnage: 100 tons (standard). 1,400 cubic meters. Streamlined Slab Hull.
  • Dimensions: Rounded slab — 30 m long by 15 m wide by 3 m tall. During flight, maneuver drive extends another 1.5 m from top & bottom, for a total of 6 m tall.
2. Crew Crew: Officially, 1 Pilot and 1 Astrogator. In practice, these are often the same person.
3. Performance Acceleration: 1-G maneuver drive installed.
  • Jump: 2.
4. Electronics Model/2.
5. Hardpoints 1 hardpoint, unused.
6. Armament None.
7. Defenses None.
8. Craft None. Vacc suits required for EVA (extra-vehicle activity). Rescue Balls for crew escape normally carried.
9. Fuel Treatment It is equipped with a fuel purification plant and fuel scoops.
10. Cost MCr25.265 standard. MCr22.7385 in quantity. (The architect's fees were paid by the Reformed Vilani Bureaux as a common good.)
11. Construction Time 3 weeks standard, 2 in quantity.
12. Remarks A simple, reliable, low-cost ship, able to dynamically trade off between range and cargo capacity, and between passenger capacity and crew comfort.

History & Background[edit]

In -489, the Reformed Vilani Bureaux resolved to begin expansion of interstellar trade in the region around Vland. As part of this effort, they promoted a number of starship designs, to encourage people of some means to consider buying starships and trading between worlds.

One such design was a TL-11 classic dating back to the First Imperium. In order to promote it as a TL-12 ship and thus a new class, they changed only the cargo belt, modernizing it. The maneuver drive, jump drive, collapsible fuel tanks, and even the bridge and ship's computer were left unchanged, save for a minor software update to account for the cargo belt now having overhead magnets to assist. There was some debate as to what to call it, as it was a new class and yet the same class. Ultimately, since a number of potential customers for the class spoke Anglic, it was decided that the Anglic translation would be the new name.

There is much historical documentation that, at the time, this was considered unimaginative even by Vilani standards.

Even so, the design proved itself handily. It was familiar, from stories handed down the generations, to many Vilani families with distant ancestors who had flown ships. While it was not a large cargo hauler, nor would it ultimately prove the most megacredit-efficient, its flexibility proved useful when serving the trade needs of smaller worlds. The blueprints spread to the Old Earth Union by about -350, when there are records of this class being manufactured.

This class of ship is somewhat well known in central Third Imperium regions, though as with most ship classes in general use for centuries, the design has spread throughout Charted Space. For a while it was considered the model of a small Far Trader, until better models came along, especially since the rise of the Third Imperium.

Class Naming Practice/s & Peculiarities[edit]

Ship Interior Details: The ship has been described as "comfy", with a small crew section in front, then almost everything behind that dedicated to fuel and cargo. From the front:

  • The bridge features a large cylindrical primary sensor processor to the left, then three consoles. From left to right these are traditionally designated Astrogator, Pilot, and Passenger (locked out of controls, but there if the passenger wishes to access the ship's computer while talking to the crew).
  • Behind that is a small hallway/corridor bounded by two staterooms. Traditionally, the pilot is in the one on the ship's right, as that doorway is closer to the bridge and the bed is positioned so, if the pilot console on the bridge begins beeping a warning while the pilot is in bed, the warnings have a better chance of waking up the pilot.
  • Behind that are the crew commons, split in two. On the left is a table with two chairs (a third and forth can be positioned around the table in what is technically cargo space, though four is a bit cramped); these can fold away if greater access to the power plant is needed (experience has demonstrated that, in circumstances where said greater access is necessary, sophonts aboard rarely mind not being able to take meals at the folded-away table just then, save for the most self-important of passengers). On the right is a small galley, ending in a clothes-and-dishes washer and dryer.
  • Behind that is the dedicated cargo area. The floor of the entire cargo area (including the collapsible fuel tanks) is a series of conveyor belts, with magnets and grippers in the ceiling, which can shift cargo around without needing crew muscle.
    • On the left is the airlock. Unlike most, this airlock is designed to allow both its inner and outer doors to be open at once, to move large cargo through (it is up to the crew to remember not to do this in vacuum). In atmosphere, the airlock can attempt to decompress, causing a sucking effect that can bring aboard any cargo small enough to fit into the airlock (or the lip of most large cargo), after which the cargo belt can move it to a suitable position in the cargo hold. Likewise, the cargo belt can move cargo out through the airlock, dumping it on whatever lies immediately outside (be that a truck or open ground, either way the cargo is traditionally considered "delivered" the moment it leaves the ship).
  • Behind that is the fuel tanks. There are marked lines where the collapsible tank will expand to when carrying 1 or 2 extra "units" of fuel (one "unit" being enough for a single Jump-1, two "unit"s for two of them or a single Jump-2). Any volume not currently occupied by the collapsible tank (and that will not soon be occupied, if cargo loading is happening before refueling) is free for cargo.

Unlike most ships, an Independent Hauler class Far Trader has no iris valves, instead relying exclusively on sliding doors.

The cargo hold can be chock full of goods on one trip and somewhat empty on the next. There are many tales of Independent Haulers taking off when so full their inner airlock doors would not close; this is risky but feasible, so long as the outer airlock door firmly shuts.

Class Naming Practice/s: The original Independent Haulers were sold numbered, not named. As with most tramp vessels produced in any great quantity, though, an uncoordinated mass of names has been applied to individual ships. As of 1105, there are at least 100 known Independent Haulers still in service which have borne at least 10 distinct names each over their careers.

Selected Variant Types & Classes[edit]

54 Representative Far Trader (AF) Classes[edit]

§ == ( Please refer to the following AAB Library Data for more information: ) == §

Type AF Far Trader


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Mongoose New Traveller This ship was designed using Mongoose 2nd ship design rules.
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