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A Spaceplane is an Interfacecraft, a craft designed to operate well in both an atmosphere and in the vacuum.

Description (Specifications)[edit]

An Interfacecraft is a kind of vehicle or technological device, intended to convey sophonts from one location to another. Spaceplanes have Lifting Body Hulls or airfoil surfaces such as wings, giving them atmospheric performance beyond that provided by simple thrust or any onboard gravitic systems.

Examples of Spaceplanes[edit]

No goods in Spaceplane

History & Background (Dossier)[edit]

Many technologists do not consider spaceplanes viable until the TL:7-9 technological epoch, and even then it can be dicey. Other technologists claim that prototype spaceplanes may be possible within the TL:4-6 tech epoch.

Expected Technological Progression of Spaceplane Development[edit]

Technological Overview of Spaceplanes[edit]

A variety of spaceplanes with gradually increasing technological capabilities are expected to become available through the first two tech periods of a sophont society.

Foundational Period[edit]

Foundational Period: TL:1-9
Tech Epoch Remarks
TL:1-3 Technological flight is generally consider extremely rare or near impossible during this tech epoch.
TL:4-6 While rockets are generally possible within this tech epoch, Spaceplanes are generally too dangerous and unreliable at this stage.
TL:7-9 Most sophont societies first reach space using multiple stage rockets and the idea of SSTO (Single Stage to Orbit or a Spaceplane) spaceflight remains an elusive goal for many TL:7-9 sophont societies. Early prototype gravcraft simply lack the performance to achieve orbital breakout on all but the smallest of planets. And the efficiencies of transatmospheric flight using multiple stage launches is hard to beat with period engineering.

Interstellar Period[edit]

Interstellar Period: TL:10-18
Tech Epoch Remarks
TL:10-12 By the TL:10-12 tech epoch, gravitics enables and complicates the spaceplane's construction. It also blurs the pictures as air/rafts and G-carriers can achieve the same thing (air-space performance) although often with lesser performance envelopes.
TL:13-15 By the TL:13-15 tech epoch, the performance of Z-Drives, advanced speeders, high performance G-Carriers, and more capable technology effectively makes all craft capable spaceplanes. The difference between planetary atmospheric and orbital vacuum flight becomes moot and the term begins to disappear from vocabularies and textbooks.
TL:16-18 It is projected that nearly all vehicles and crafts will have spaceplane capabilities in this technological epoch. Many estimate that Gravitic Control Technology will be relatively cheap and widely available by this time.

See also[edit]


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


The line between Spaceplane and Spaceship is blurred.
If the design is described as a Vehicle then its a Spaceplane;
if it is described as a Ship its a Spaceship.

References & Contributors (Sources)[edit]

This list of sources was used by the Traveller Wiki Editorial Team and individual contributors to compose this article. Copyrighted material is used under license from Far Future Enterprises or by permission of the author. The page history lists all of the contributions.