Runabout class Small Transport

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Runabout class Small Transport
Wiki Navy.png
The most basic of spaceships.
Type: UM Multipurpose Utility Craft
Category Smallcraft
Size 10 Tons
Hull Configuration Sphere Hull
Streamlining Streamlined Hull
Tech Level TL–9
Computer Model/1
Jump J-0
Maneuver 1 G
Hardpoints 0
Staterooms 0
Crew 1
    Enlisted 1
High/Mid Passengers 0
Cargo 6 Tons
Fuel tank 0 Tons
Origin Vland
Manufacturer various
Year Operational -9900s
End of Service None expected
Cost MCr0.693. MCr0.6237 in quantity.
Architect fee MCrAdrian Tymes
Quick Ship Profile UM-1S10
Blueprint Yes
Illustration No
Also see Utility Craft
Canon Published, fan design
Era All
Reference EXTERNAL LINK: MGT Forums
Designed with Mongoose Traveller High Guard rules, but portable to other versions.

The Runabout class Small Transport is a Multipurpose Utility Craft.

  • It may be encountered on any world of at least TL-9 capable of manufacturing its own smallcraft, whether or not there is a local starport.
  • It is a truly ancient ship class, which keeps getting reinvented as TL-9 naval architects reconverge on the same principles of the minimum possible spaceship. Although technically each variant is its own class, long standing tradition lumps them all into this class.

Description (Specifications)[edit]

One of the cheapest boats with a maneuver drive, the Runabout is among the first products of a TL-9 civilization that is just beginning to master gravitics. It is able to haul 6 tons of cargo anywhere on a planet in several minutes, to orbiting moons or space stations in hours, or ( using some of the cargo capacity for extra life support) other worlds in the same system in only a few days, revolutionary fast transit times compared to what was possible before. Poor and low population worlds with some but not much need for orbital transport often employ these; in extreme cases, when there is need to move less than a hundred tons of cargo per day even at the busiest, a single Runabout serves the entire world's needs.

The loading belt - a reconfigurable series of conveyors underneath the cargo - can extend a ramp outside to offload onto waiting vehicles, or to simply place containers on the ground. The ramp has a limited ability to twist in all 3 axis, as well as small, simple manipulators at the end (which is always in the pilot's line of sight while extended), allowing it to pick up cargo as well. The Runabout does not need to land while dropping off or retrieving cargo, but it has limited maneuvering power and turns off long range sensors while the loading belt is engaged.

The cockpit is a simple affair, with a hinged canopy in front of the pilot that swings up to allow entry and egress, and hosts a series of heads up displays in flight. If the chair is pushed back, there is barely enough room to stand and stretch, to avoid cramping up during long flights. Ladder rungs extend from the hull when the landing gear is deployed, though any docking berth a Runabout calls home will have stairs or a catwalk leading up to the cockpit.

Image Repository[edit]

Not available at this time.

General Description & Deck Plans[edit]

  1. Deck Plans for this vessel.
    1 runabout 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 [1]

Basic Ship Characteristics [2]
No. Category Remarks
1. Tonnage / Hull Tonnage: 10 tons (standard). 140 cubic meters. Streamlined Hull.
  • Dimensions: Maximum - 6 m by 6 m by 9 m.
2. Crew Crew: 1 Pilot.
3. Performance Acceleration: 1-G maneuver drive installed.
4. Electronics Model/1.
5. Hardpoints Too small for hardpoints. 1 firmpoint, unused.
6. Armament None.
7. Defenses None.
8. Craft None (besides itself). Crew is recommended to use vacc suit if exo-atmospheric operation is anticipated. Rescue Balls are not normally carried (and in many cases, not locally available).
9. Fuel Treatment It is not equipped with a fuel purification plant or fuel scoops.
10. Cost MCr0.693. MCr0.6237 in quantity. Architect's fees vary wildly as this is sometimes a world's first truly efficient spaceship, but in most cases were amortized many centuries ago. True costs vary wildly; some wealthier shipyards train their crews on constructing Runabouts, then give the Runabouts away for free (though usually for some sort of favor).
11. Construction Time Two thirds of a day standard, half a day in quantity.
  • When built to train a crew how to build a ship, a full day is normal.
  • For first-true-efficient-spaceship cases, construction periods of several years are not unheard of. This includes extensive R&D and testing of each subsystem, political wrangling to divert always-limited funding to the construction of a substantially new and unproven thing, distillation of the concept from a breakthrough into formats understandable by the public, and generally sophonts getting over themselves in achieving something new.
    • Engineers' subsequent claims that they could put together the second (or tenth, or hundredth) of this ship class in under a day are often treated as ridiculous boasts, until the engineers proceed to do it. In many cases it is subsequently accepted as established fact, with few reflecting on why the first one took so much longer.
12. Remarks Barely more than a grav vehicle, but it is a true spaceship with sensors, life support, maneuver drive, et cetera.

History & Background (Dossier)[edit]

Third Imperium tradition states that the Runabout class was officially invented on old Vland some time in the -9900s, as part of their technological path to the jump drive. It is presumed that the Ancients invented and used something like Runabouts at some point, but recycled all of theirs into higher technology level spacecraft long before the Final War, thus leaving none to be found. Runabout designs from Lair, Terra, and Zhdant as well as from Vland (and some allegedly from Guaran, though as with many aspects of Hiver history their provenance is less certain) have been widely distributed throughout Charted Space. Aslan do not seem to have invented this design until after they possessed jump drive, so it is unclear which world their first Runabouts came from. Droyne seem to simply have no tradition of their own Runabouts, instead using grav vehicles. K'kree use drones instead, as they would have to enlarge the cockpit by sacrificing enough cargo space to make Runabouts less viable (even aside from their claustrophobia).

Most worlds that independently developed gravitics have a museum somewhere displaying an old Runabout, sometimes maintained in full working order by hobbyists. In some places, the cycle of history has pulled Runabouts from active duty to museums, back to active duty with the Long Night, then back to museums when the worlds recovered; these Runabouts are venerated by the locals.

Being a stretched sphere (to save on construction costs), a Runabout is harder to control in atmosphere than its higher TL cousins such as the Gig. Being cheap, it is sometimes used as a training boat for young sophonts. This inevitably leads to it sometimes being in the hands of young, inebriated sophonts looking for cheap thrills, unaware that they are struggling to fly straight. For some reason, the concept of Runabout jousting - running into things with the loading belt extended - keeps being reinvented, with the predictable consequences of ramming a light hull vehicle into things. There is general agreement that, while a Runabout is not made for sports, Runabout fencing with electronic tip-contact scoring will at least let the pilot survive longer to enjoy the experience.

More constructively, on worlds that prize industry, public competitions will sometimes be held for how fast crews can put together a Runabout. The results are then tested to ensure compliance with minimum specifications, before judging and distribution of prizes. Shipyards that sponsor such competitions tend to write them off as training expenses, as even the losing crews may find out how to improve.

Class Naming Practice/s & Peculiarities[edit]

In theory, each case where the Runabout was reinvented is its own class, but tradition counts them all as Runabouts. That said, each world where these are produced has its own naming traditions. In many cases the first pilot is the one to name a Runabout, and they make no effort to stay on a consistent theme (though they will often be an attempt at whatever the local culture considers colorful or bold). Even on a given world, there are cases where two or more Runabouts have been given the same name; a common solution is for the two pilots to argue until traffic control gets tired of it and renames one or both.

Selected Variant Types & Classes[edit]

Civilian Ship - Utility Craft:

References & Contributors (Sources)[edit]

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