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Starfighters

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Throughout the galaxy, peoples often go beyond pure utilitarianism in their Royal spacecraft designs, and express the values of their native culture through their ships - a custom which explains the striking look of the Naboo Royal N-1 Starfighter. This handcrafted space fighter embodies the Naboo love of elegant design, and includes all the necessary equipment within a custom-designed spaceframe, making the ship a work of art.

Created for the purpose of planetary defense sorties, patrols, and formal diplomatic escort missions, the N-1 sports galactic standard sublight engine components in a vectored J-type (twin radial) configuration, allowing the lightweight ship to maneuver with quickness and precision. In accordance with the Naboo philosophy of harmony, the engines were modified for cleaner operation, which results in fewer atmospheric emissions during launch and landing cycles.

The N-1 pilot is assisted by a galactic standard astromech unit, loaded through a hatch in the underside of the ship. The cockpit is equipped with complete life support systems, while a compact hyperdrive provides the spacecraft with deep-space autonomy, especially useful when N-1 fighters serve as the Queen's Honor Guard on visits to other planets.

As the galaxy edges into increasing unrest, the symbolic purpose of noble fighter corps like Naboo's N-1 squadrons begins to fade before the threats and actions of great powers. The dreadful weapons and ships now being amassed by certain organizations are dedicated to nothing but destruction, and there is little that comparatively fragile 'artwork spacecraft' could do against such savage war machines.

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Rebel Alliance

X-wing01.gif (82480 bytes)One of the Rebel Alliance's most advanced fighters, the X-wing plays a major role in the assault on the first Death Star. The one-man T-65 X-wing starfighter, which measures 12.5 meters from nose to engine block, was the final design of its kind by the Incom Corporation before Incom was nationalized by the Empire.

The X-wing takes its name from its pair of double-layered wings that are deployed into an X-formation for combat. During atmospheric and non-combat space flight, the wings are closed for stability. Each wing tip carries an oversized long-range laser cannon.
A pair of proton torpedo launchers are mounted midway up the main space-frame, each holding a magazine of three torpedoes. An R2 astromech droid housed in a snug droid socket behind the pilot handles many in-flight operations, such as damage control, astrogation and flight performance adjustment.

The X-wing is known for its durability, with a reinforced alloy hull and high-powered shield generators. It can normally take minor hits without a serious loss of performance, and has full ejection and life-support systems. X-wings have hyperdrive systems that add flexibility to their list of attributes

 

 

Despite its age, this ship has been one of the mainstays of the Rebel Alliance and sees notable duty at the Battle of Yavin. The twin-engine Y-wing, at 16 meters long, is a multi-purpose ship designed as a compromise between an attack fighter and heavier bombers. The well-armed and durable Y-wing fighter-bombers can give and take a great deal of punishment, but they do not have the speed and maneuverability necessary to compete evenly with modern Imperial attack fighters.
The Rebel Alliance has flown more Y-wings than any other fighter and has used a number of different configurations for a variety of mission profiles. It is not uncommon for a Y-wing to be stripped down for assault runs against Imperial convoys and then be refitted by Rebel technicians for a heavy bombing run against an Imperial base. Y-wings also find use on diplomatic escort missions and for long-range patrols.

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The Y-wing has three main components. The forward cockpit nose cone houses the pilots and weapons systems. A reinforced space-frame central spar stretches back from the nose cone; the Y-wing's ionization reactor and hyperdrive/astrogation hardware are crammed into this narrow frame. A cross wing housing the main power cells attaches at the back of the spar, with the two powerful turbine sublight ion drives on either end.
The cockpit module is protected by sturdy armor plating. Hull plating originally covered the entire Y-wing body, but as the ship requires maintenance after virtually every flight, mechanics weary of constantly removing and replacing panels have finally left the body plating off entirely. The pilot controls a pair of forward laser cannons and the twin proton torpedo launchers. A turret-mounted ion cannon is directly behind the pilot, although the ion cannon is notoriously delicate and failure-prone. An astromech droid fits into the droid socket behind the cockpit and monitors all fight, navigation and power systems.

 

 

A small, wedge-shaped craft, the A-wing fighters is introduced at the Battle of Endor and quickly becomes a major element of the Alliance combat fleet. The lightweight A-wing, designed by Genera Jan Dodonna to outrun any ship in the Imperial Navy, has especially powerful avionics, including a power-jamming system that lets pilots blind enemy targets prior to attack

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While originally designed for escort duty, the A-wing is proving more adept at hit-and-run missions, blasting enemy sites and spacecraft with twin, wing-mounted pivoting blaster cannons and concussion missiles.

  The downside of the A-wing's speed and agility is its relatively high vulnerability in dogfights: The position of the cockpit and its lack of shielding leaves pilots exposed to enemy fire, making the craft's speed even more important.

 

 

Swbwing.gif (57829 bytes)A spacecraft personally designed by Admiral Ackbar, the B-wing fighter plays a major role in the Rebel Alliance fleet at the Battle of Endor.

    One of the Alliance's most heavily-armed starfighters, the B-wing, in effect, is one long, flat wing with an unusual rotating cockpit at one end, and one of the ship's three ion cannons at the other. About midway on the wing are two airfoils that extend out during combat, giving the ship the appearance of a cross.
   Because of its unusual gyro-stabilization system, the cockpit remains steady while the rest of the ship rotates around it, giving the pilot a stable field of fire. Designed to go head-to-head with much larger Imperial ships and disable them, the B-wing is also used for heavy assault strikes against Imperial facilities and as an escort for X-wing and Y-wing fighters.

  In addition to the ion cannons, there is a laser cannon mounted below the cockpit, two proton torpedo launchers and two small blaster cannons.
An enhanced model, such as the one Ackbar has used personally, has an expanded command module that accommodates a gunner. This and other design revisions have made the ship faster and tougher, and have substantially increased its combat success rate.

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Galactic Empire

 

Tiefig~1.gif (83732 bytes)The TIE fighter is the most recognizable symbol of the Imperial Navy's control of space. TIE (Twin Ion Engine) fighters are aboard even the smallest cruisers and are stationed at starports and garrison bases across the galaxy. The TIE fighter is a small ship whose distinguishing feature is the pair of large hexagonal solar array wings on either side of its small, spherical cockpit pod. The ship presents a small profile and its great maneuverability makes it difficult to target in combat.

TIEs are short-range fighters lacking hyperdrives to save weight and increase performance. They depend on a home base--a nearby planet or Imperial cruiser. They carry two days' worth of supplies and must refuel after the first few hours of combat, but their massive quantities make up for any design deficiencies. The fighters are used for planetary and cruiser defense and assault against Rebel, pirate and alien vessels. They also escort heavily armed TIE bombers when attacking permanent planetary installations.

Each TIE has a pair of forward-mounted, fire-linked laser cannons. The powerful laser generators are in the undercarriage of the command pod and feed off the power generators and batteries. The fighter draws much of its energy from solar radiation absorbed by the array wings.

 

 

Swtiei.gif (77481 bytes)Faster and more maneuverable than the standard TIE fighter, the TIE Interceptor is the legacy of advances developed for Darth Vader's TIE Advanced X1 Prototype. The TIE interceptor uses the standard TIE cockpit, drive pod and wing braces. The solar panels appear to be "dagger-shaped," making the interceptor far more intimidating, while giving the ship a smaller profile than the X1 which makes it harder to target.

The TIE interceptor has more powerful drives than the standard TIE, and is almost as fast as the Alliance's A-wing fighter. The TIE interceptor uses a new type of ion stream projector allowing pilots to execute tight turns and rolls. Twin-port deflectors can be manipulated individually for fine control and counter-balancing, making the TIE interceptor a superior choice for dogfights against Rebel ships.

The standard version of the ship has four laser cannons, one at the end of each solar panel (although experimental variants have included more), and advanced targeting equipment gives the pilot great firing accuracy. Like other TIE fighters, the interceptor has little armor plating and no shield generators. Interceptor pilots rely on their ship's maneuverability and superiority of numbers to survive engagements with better armed and armored Rebel fighters.

 

 

Tie-b.gif (40689 bytes)The Emperor's primary assault bomber, it is somewhat slower and less maneuverable than standard star-fighters, but provides excellent surgical strike potential against ground and deep space targets.

Tie bombers have double pods and elongated solar panels. The starboard pod contains the pilot's compartment along with flight computers, communications, and life-support. The port pod holds the ordinance bay and targeting and delivery systems. Twin ion engines are mounted between the two pods. The bomber's weaponry includes yield proton bombs, orbital mines, and free-falling thermal detonators. A pair of front-firing laser canons provide protection from enemy ships.

 

 

TIE-DV.GIF (62508 bytes)In the battle of Yavin, Darth Vader takes a ship into combat against the Rebels himself. This prototype ship, the TIE Advanced X1, features an original rear-deck spaceframe and reinforced durasteel-alloy hull built around standard TIE/In cockpit and wing brace elements. While similar to the standard TIE/In in many components, the advnaced X1 sports a more powerful drive system.

Speed performance is only slightly better than the TIE/In, however, due to the added mass of the vessel, which includes hyperdrive and shields. A good deal of the ship's extra power is bled off to the shield generators. While less maneuverable than standard TIE fighters, it can take a beating.

The TIE Advanced X1 has twin heavy-blaster cannons in a fixed, front-mounted position, like the TIE/In. In addition to its shields, it had a modest hyperdrive but no life support system.
Against the Rebel X-wing and Y-wing fighters in the Death Star trench, Darth Vader's personal ship proves to be a devastating opponent, and Vader cuts down one pilot after another with the X1's high technology. While the X1 prototype has not been accepted by the Imperial Fleet for mass production, many of its best design features are being incorporated into the TIE interceptor.

 

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