Showing posts with label drawings. Show all posts
Showing posts with label drawings. Show all posts

Thursday, February 20, 2020

USN Cetus and Chesterton Transport

USN Cetus
I have this horrible cough which is preventing me from working in ink. I have managed to cobble together final designs for USN Cestus and the Chesterton Transport ship in Inkscape.

Yesterday, I posted a lot about the Chesterton Transport Ship, so today I will lead with the USN Cetus.

The Cetus has four decks, like the transport, but their arrangements are wildly different.

Deck 1 is dedicated to sensors and a pair of anti-missile turrets.

Deck 2 is the shuttle operation and missile deck. It serves as the main point of ingress and egress for the crew. Often, the missiles are replaced with shuttles. Theoretically, the ship has a secondary capacity for missiles on the lower deck. Because this is a government operation, the ship often has no missiles in either location. Shuttles and drones are cheaper.

There are 4 common ships carried here. The Cetus can carry 3 manned Centaur or 4 unmanned Zombie fighters. Typically, doesn't carry anything so advanced. It is normally equipped with a pair of ABLE recon drones and a Fastback shuttle. The ABLE drone is a wonderful sensor package, but the Fastback shuttle is perversely named vehicle. It's roomy, but profoundly slow. It has two massive doors on either side like a conversion van. It carries 12 passengers or very small cargo loads.

As mentioned before, next deck holds the crew quarters slung between the fuel pods and engine mounts. The Equipment Locker holds many cargo/weapons tractors and fire fighting equipment. Two more Phalanxes are mounted on the leading edge of the ship, which makes this Frigate a wonderful carrier escort. The heavy weapons spaces are designed to carry continent busting nukes, but this configuration is rarely loaded out. The "heavy weapons" are often a pallet of 2 lasers and a single railgun, port and starboard. Sometimes, the Cetus class carries just one of these pallets with the other space being given over to either special sensors or rarely, extra space for the crew. Typically, the officers will sleep in this space, if given a chance.

The lowest deck has the main airlock, which is identical to the Chesterton's hatch. It has very little purpose on the Frigate variant. The Consumable Hold is jam packed with food. The Cargo Bay carries an unusual mix of rescue pallets and maintenance materials. There is a running gag that one Cetus can build a second Cetus from the stuff jammed in the holds.

The Chesterton Transport
Ok, back to the Chesterton. This ship features a science package on Deck 1. This deck is called the Nerd Nest as the science packages are not determined by the ship's owner. The sensors and experiments are specified in the Decadal Survey, which is the result of suggestions by the greater science community. The crew has a manual for maintenance, but only the nerdiest crewmen and women understand the equipment placed here.

Shuttle Operations is two lies for one. Most Chesterton owners cannot afford shuttles for their ships and unlike the Cetus, this space is poorly arranged for commercial shuttles. Usually each Chesterton has a hanger queen, which is only used to test to the inadequate facilities. More often than not, this area is used for recreation. The shuttle refueling lines are bled dry to prevent accidents when used for crew activities.

The third deck is well appointed with crew space to the fore and a large central Engineering space. Having Engineering in the center of the ship supports improved crew and ship safety. In an odd quirk, the bridge is arranged just like the CIC on a Cetus. This was in case of a wartime refit. This only occurred twice in the history of the program and the CIC was the only part of the ship requiring large modifications. The bridge of the Chesterton is far more roomy than the CIC of the Cetus as it has far fewer fittings for crew consoles. The "small holds" are actually larger than crew quarters and have adjustable atmospheric controls.

Deck four carries the lion's share of cargo. Strangely, it has small tractors, trams and locomotives to transport cargo from one ship to other via the main hatch. Unlike the Cetus, the main hatch is used as the main entry point for the crew.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

The USN Chesterton, Growler and Variants

I'm not feeling so hot tonight. I have a cough and cold, so I can't do detail work. I figured I will just do the write up on this ship. This is middle and largest deck of 5 levels. 

The USN Chesterton was peace-time design for a frigate. The ship featured a large central engineering bay with the bridge just fore of it. Along the front rim of the disc, a variety of weapons were mounted. In the aft area were the crew quarters along with the main elevators. The engines were mounted at an angle, which gave the ship incredible maneuverability at the cost of top speed. 

Since this was a peace-time design, the frigate never made it off the drawing board. Instead, it was re-purposed into heavy tug and transport vessel. 


This configuration necessitated switching the crew quarters away from between the engines to the forward section of the ship where the weapons would have been in the name of safety. It was felt that damage to the engines could too easily breach the hull and kill the crew. USN crews fight suited, so this was not a concern for a frigate. 

When the war started, the Chesterton dry dock facility was already tooled up for transport production and switching to frigate production was easy. Since there were a great many Chesterton tugs and transports already plying the spaceways, this variant was given the name of "Growler" to set it apart. Before the first ship was released from the dock, the class name was changed again to "Cestus".

Because the Chesterton was a proven design, the Cestus/Growler configuration was only minimally tested. The placement of the tightly packed crew quarters in the rear of the ship was never studied. The crews soon found that the engines caused vibrations in the crew spaces. Unofficially, the crews reverted to the "Growler" designation as commentary on the ship's qualities. While not a fatal flaw, the ship was strongly disliked by their crews.

The first and last ship of the Cestus class do not have these problems as they were built to the specifications of the Chesterton for special missions such as mine warfare and electronic intelligence collection.