Friday, October 13, 2006

Saurian Tech -- The Shirka Insertion Transport

Shnakvorum rikoyoch (Greetings, friends),

Book Update: My science fiction novel, Starfire, is rushing along at a crazy pace now. I've just passed the halfway point and things are really getting intense for Rathe and the rest of his companions. I'd tell you more, but it will probably be better for you to just discover it all on your own when you read the published book. (It can't hurt to be optimistic).

But to celebrate the passing of the halfway mark and seeing the end finally being closer than the beginning I thought it would be fun to highlight some of the Saurian technology used in Starfire. (You may remember I've developed a whole language for my Saurian world.)

I'm going to start off with one of my favorite Karn military transports, the shirka. Here's the official definition from my ever growing glossary:

Shirka: A Karnian shock troop transport, the shirka was designed to insert reinforcements directly to the front lines or in the very midst of the enemy. With the ability to approach low and silently, the transport is most effective at catching an enemy unaware. But during the insertion process its engines are specifically designed to create auditory distress to any unprepared Saurian on the ground in an effort to sow chaos and terror in enemy troops.

That's a rather technical and bland description though, nothing compared to the beauty of the craft in actual use. Most Saurian planes aren't built like a human plane. I mean the basic shape would be recognizable: fuselage, wings, front back (though there are just as many planes with the rudder on the front as on the back in Saurian society, if not more due to Dactyl influence [note: Dactyls are the flying clans of Saurians, ranging from the tiny Ramf to the massive Kwetzl]).

The trick to the shirka is that it doesn't have fixed (or even solid) wings, the leading edge is rigid, but the bulk of the wing is made of a thin and flexible material. It also has a flexible "neck" between the main fuselage and the cockpit (a common trait on Saurian planes with forward rudders). While on approach shirka's glide in silently with their air-jet engines turned off, sweeping in low over the ground. Once they have reached their objective they do something rather odd. The pilot keys on the drop mode, maneuvering the plane so that the fuselage is at a very steep angle to the ground, while the fixed edge of the wings and the "head" remain level with the ground. Some of the engine's force is re-directed at the wings, filling the membrane with super-heated air, in order to inflate them and cause both lift and drag. The plane's inertia and the main force of the shrieking engines (blowing the normal chilled air at the ground) keep the plane aloft for a few precious seconds, long enough for the soldiers to make the short drop to the ground and assault any enemy positions.

Once the soldiers are clear the head and wings snap in line with the fuselage and the plane rockets into the air.

The main reason I developed this craft is because I needed an insertion craft, but didn't want to use the more human helicopter, and saurian parachutes would look silly, I mean they just aren't built for the kind we know of, and ... whoa ... hang on a sec ...

OK, back. Sorry about that, I just realized what Saurian infantry parachutes would actually be. Well, for the soldiers anyway. I already knew about the safety chutes built into the planes ... but that'll have to wait for another time. I've got to get back and work on the crash that was about to happen when Bailey reminded me that she needed this post.


Posted by ~ Bailey Truitt @ 7:00 AM
Bailey, what's in that coffee you're serving?
Posted by Anonymous fred wiley : 7:23 AM
Yeah, ditto. I'm wondering if S-Man gets his with triple caffeine. Somehow I just can't see him drinking a decaf caramel mocha.
Posted by Anonymous r.j. hager : 7:24 AM
Well, I think it's great stuff. All the science fiction creativity, I mean. Keep at it, S-Man! Can't wait to read Starfire!
Posted by Anonymous carly suggs : 9:31 AM
Wouldn't those be some mighty big parachutes? :-D

Hey, glad to see the S-man letting his imagination loose on the unsuspecting beans...
Posted by Blogger :-)Ronie : 9:57 AM
What can I say, Bailey makes the best coffee, cinammon rolls and sandwiches this side of the milky way.

It's pure nitro for the creative mind (why else would we have so many quirky characters that hang out around the Java Joint. :)
Posted by Blogger S-man : 11:08 AM
S-Man (as I recall, your real name is Ted?), once again you have triggered my imagination. As I've said before, I've never been a science fiction fan, but I can see the fascination of creating a whole other world of strange and wonderful creatures, and the things they use.
Posted by Anonymous elizabeth monty : 1:10 PM
So first, you finish the novel. Then, you start on the screenplay. Then, the comic book? You may want to hire someone else to do the computer game. You may be busy.

Of course, you'll need to talk to those lego folks about packaging your Starfire characters and transportation.
Posted by Blogger Domino : 2:27 PM
Master S-man sir, might I come with you when you go to that-- planet...why, look at the time, we'd better get started before...oh my...this won't do at all...I really do need some of that java juice, my joints are going to rust...stupid Saurian out, Master S-man...that aircraft nearly took off our heads!! oh my, I'm not shiny anymore
Posted by Blogger Mid Stutsman : 3:29 PM
S-Man, does Sauria have a Java Joint? Maybe Bailey could open a franchise.
Posted by Anonymous larry cellaway : 11:40 AM
ooooooh a Java Joint on Sauria...
What a yummy idea!

I can't wait to read your book. Do we HAVE to wait for it to be published?
Posted by Anonymous Kjersten : 1:27 PM
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