The Maneuver Drive is the general term for one of the three primary engineering systems used in starships and spaceships. The Maneuver drive moves ships through normal space, throughout systems, and on and off planets.
- They are also commonly called Relativistic Drives or "Impulse Drives" among other terms.
- The term "Maneuver Drive" is a generic term that refers to Impulse Drives and other STL Relativistic Drives in general, and should not be confused with the term "M-Drive" (= "Maneuver Drive"), which refers specifically to the common Maneuver Drive system known as the Thruster Plate that reacts against the curvature of spacetime (i.e. gravity) that is in use at standard TLs throughout Charted Space.
- The two other primary engineering systems are Jump Drive and Power Plant.
- It is a kind of Ship Equipment.
Library Data Referral Tree
Please see the following AAB Library Data articles for more information:
- Speed of Travel
- Astronomical Unit (AU)
- Light Speed (c)
- Light-week (lw)
- Light-year (ly)
- NAFAL (STL)
- Parsec (pc)
- Spacecraft Drives (Interplanetary Drives or Impulse Drives)
- Starship Drives (Interstellar Drives)
Because the M-Drive carries the word Maneuver in its title, various references to Maneuver Drives can be confusing: the word may refer to a specific type of drive (...the Maneuver Drive or M-Drive), or to a general class of drives that propel ships by changing their momentum (Impulse Drives). The meaning can usually be derived from context. 
The specific technology used for the maneuver drive depends upon the Technology level of the worlds producing the ships.
Typical Drive Designations
In addition to the widely-available gravity-based vector movement drives, other drives are available. These are used by cultures who never developed, or don't have access to, the grav based drive systems.
- Reaction Drive (using reaction-mass)
- Chemical Rocket
- Electric Rocket
- Nuclear Rocket
- Antimatter Rockets
- Solar Sail
- T-Drive (Reactionless Thruster / Dean Drive)
NAFAL Drive Specifications
NAFAL Maneuver Drive Specifications (Starship Propulsion) Category Specifications Remarks Name Generic Maneuver Drive Thruster Drive Type Relativistic Drive NAFAL Sublight Realspace drive. Velocity 6 G Few fighters can exceed sustained 6 G acceleration due to pilot limitations. Missiles and unmanned craft can exceed 6 G. Compensators can sometimes allow higher acceleration. Duration Limited by reaction mass or fuel tankage. Smallcraft rarely carry more than a few hours of sustained reaction mass or fuel. Hazards Collision or drive failure The vacuum is an unfriendly environment for most lifeforms and life support is always potentially failure ridden. Physical
Biophysiological limitations Lifeforms tend to be fragile even with inertial compensators. Geometry Euclidean Conventional space-time Levels 1 level Conventional space-time or realspace Entry n/a n/a Exit n/a n/a Fuel Drive-Dependent Typically conventional reaction mass or hydrogen fuel Resource
Machinery, fuel, electricity, etc. Fusion power plants are in widespread use. Other plant types also exist. Inventor Various Various Characteristics Various Starships typically make use of a number of disparate technologies and drives.
History & Background (Dossier)
The earliest spacecraft in most sophont societies tend to utilize rockets or rocket drives. As the technology base for a society grows so too does an array of ever more sophisticated drives.
By the TL:10-12 technological epoch, gravity control technology tends to become commonplace and Gravity Drives or G-Drives become widely available on worlds able to support the technology.
Technological Overview of Projected Propulsion Technology
Expected Drive Development Sequence: NAFAL to FTL
- Relativistic Drive (NAFAL) → Jump Drive → Hop Drive → Skip Drive → Leap Drive → Bound Drive → Vault Drive → Six Drive → Seven Drive → Eight Drive → Nine Drive
References & Contributors (Sources)
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- Marc Miller. Starships (Game Designers Workshop, 1977), 13,22.
- Marc Miller, Frank Chadwick, John Harshman. High Guard (Game Designers Workshop, 1980), 22,23.
- Herb Petro. Imperium Staple 07 (Herb Petro, 1986), TBD.
- Herb Petro. Imperium Staple 08 (Herb Petro, 1986), TBD.
- Marc Miller. Referee's Manual (Game Designers Workshop, 1987), 56.
- Rob Caswell, William W. Connors, Joe Fugate, Gary L. Thomas. Starship Operator's Manual (Digest Group Publications, 1988), 1.
- Loren Wiseman. "Sublight Drives." Challenge 72 (1994): .
- Frank Chadwick, Dave Nilsen. Fire, Fusion, & Steel (Game Designers Workshop, 1994), 72-73.
- Don Perrin. Starships (Imperium Games, 1996), 71.
- David Golden, Guy Garnett. Fire, Fusion & Steel (Imperium Games, 1997), 65.
- Marc Miller. T5 Core Rules (Far Future Enterprises, 2013), 323-327.
- Traveller Wiki Editorial Team
- Author & Contributor: Lord (Marquis) and Master of Sophontology Maksim-Smelchak of the Ministry of Science
- ↑ Marc Miller. T5 Core Rules (Far Future Enterprises, 2013), 323.