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The Z-Drive, or lifters, are a gravity control based technology used as a Maneuver Drive in starships, and as a motive thrust system in vehicles.

  • It is first developed at TL:7-9 with most sophont societies producing capable prototypes by TL–8, although some do it earlier.
  • It is a kind of Ship Equipment.

Library Data Referral Tree[edit]

Please see the following AAB Library Data articles for more information:

Description (Specifications)[edit]

Lifters are anti-gravity hull plates that negate local gravity and provide a limited ability to change location. Lifters produce only a limited lateral movement vector and are not suited to long distance travel on a world. Lifters have an effective horizontal top speed of 50 kph. Lifters operate optimally within 1D of a gravity source; they are ineffective at distances beyond 1D. [1]

Lifters do not provide thrust and so cannot physically lift a craft. Instead, they neutralize most of the gravitational attraction of a world (approximately 99% of gravitation force, beyond which power use becoming prohibitive). Usually Lifters are used only as an adjunct to the ship's thrusters (M-Drive or G-Drive). By neutralizing most of a world's gravitational field, a ship with only 1-G of thrust can still escape the world's gravity well. [2]

STL Drive Specifications[edit]

STL Drive Specifications (Starship Propulsion)
Category Specifications Remarks
Name Z-Drive Early Z-Drives only work within a planetary gravity well.
Drive Type Lifter A gravitic control technology.
Velocity TBD TBD
Duration TBD TBD
Hazards TBD TBD
Geometry TBD TBD
Levels TBD TBD
Inventor TBD TBD
Characteristics TBD TBD

History & Background (Dossier)[edit]

Z-Drives become commonplace by the TL:10-12 technological epoch. Earlier models can be notoriously unreliable. Higher technology models are vastly more capable. [3]

Grav drive technology is still prototype in this technological epoch and still possesses many problems to be worked out. Shipborne Z-Drives often fall short and more capable and reliable drives are mostly used except under niche conditions where the Z-Drive might possess local advantages.[4]

The technology is made practical by this technological epoch and it becomes ubiquitous across the worlds and systems of Charted Space and a default ship component in spacecraft and starcraft. Air/rafts and G-carriers begin to replace aircraft in many roles on worlds that can afford them.[5]

Advanced gravitic technology becomes even more capable allowing for speeders (...grav-aircraft hybrids) and even planet to satellite grav transports. Grav technology still falls short of allowing complete intersystem transport.[6]

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.
  1. Marc Miller. T5 Core Rules (Far Future Enterprises, 2013), 323.
  2. Frank ChadwickDave Nilsen. Fire, Fusion, & Steel (Game Designers Workshop, 1994), 75.
  3. An unpublished factoid written by Maksim-Smelchak
  4. An unpublished factoid written by Maksim-Smelchak
  5. An unpublished factoid written by Maksim-Smelchak
  6. An unpublished factoid written by Maksim-Smelchak