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Morgan Rhys Emlyn Jenkins

"Black Kestrel concept" by Morgan Rhys Emlyn Jenkins

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SciFi and Fantasy Art Black Kestrel concept by Morgan Rhys Emlyn Jenkins
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This is a concept of the Black Kestrel VTOL gunship prototype for my scifi/fantasy story, Scars of Gaia

The Black Kestrel started life as a private venture on the drawing boards of Royal Aero Corp Ltd three years before the war with the Terranians, the original test vehicle, the Kestrel was unarmed, and initially planned to use jet engines until the advent of the Royal Aero Corp turbo-ramjet.

Plans were put in place for an armed version of the Kestrel, known as the Black Kestrel, it was intended to replace other gunships such as the Stormbringer Intermeshing Autogyro gunship - the first Black Kestrel prototype was built almost a year before the war - initially designed for taking off from helipads (thanks to its VTOL capability) and provide rapid response against barbarians and pirates who are trying to brake the fortress walls that define the borders of the Kingdom of Needlehelm.

The Black Kestrel is powered by four experimental turbo-ramjets that could rotate independently to provide absolute stability when hovering - the ramjets were revolutionary, the Royal Aero Corp scientists and engineers designed the ramjet so it can both act as a low powered jet when taxiing on the runway, and when in flight, the centre of the engine expands to slow down air and provide a controlled plasma burn, the combination of jet and ramjet proved extremely successful. 

Initial armaments consisted of a single forward firing 30cal medium machine bolter in the nose and a retractable plasma auto cannon at the rear - while the plasma auto cannon was able to destroy all the targets at the providing grounds, the weapon created plasma feed problems to the engines, this is because (with many Needlehelmian vehicles) the plasma weaponiser module is directly linked to the plasma fuel batteries and the engines use a lot of plasma power - the project would have been modified to carry a less powerful weapon or be scrapped altogether if not the Royal Ordelence Company did not invent the experimental Morning Star Laser System which did not provide a constant strain on the plasma fuel batteries, the new weapon solved the plasma feed problems to the engines.

The rearmed Black Kestrel proved a bigger success and got the Ministry of War and Defence interested - it was decided to give a few Black Kestrels to 79th Border Air Support Squadron and to use these new gunships when barbarians and pirates attack next - when the pirates attacked, the Black Kestrels proved more than their worth, the laser system set the large siege towers on fire and vaporised a Barbarian catapult.

The original Kestrels are still in service in the experimental manor, the turbo-ramjets are also used by the Peregrine light VTOL transport aircraft and a modified version is also in use with the Gannet hovertank - the Royal Aero Corp forsees the future of aviation using the turbo-ramjet, there is even a design in the works for a turbo-ramjet powered fighter (The Sparrowhawks ramjet is different from the Royal Aero Corps turbo-ramjet as the Sparrowhawks ramjet has no jet fans and needs to be launched by rockets from the airfield) - this new fighter design is proposed to provide fighter cover for Freighter-class transport airships who has a landing deck ontop for transport aircrafts.

When the Terranians began their attack on the Kingdom of Needlehelm, the 79th Border Air Support Squadron was out of range to use the laser systems against the new and mysterious enemy, but in later campaigns in the continent of March, the Needlehelmians found that the laser could go through magical shells that Terranians cast upon themselves to deflect projectile weapons, as if they weren’t there.

The Black Kestrel is an expensive aircraft to construct on the battlefield, and constant threat from dragons such as the Wyverns and Wyrms, the Black Kestrels are now armed with Cobra micro AA missiles for minimal air to air combat, but could also use the forward firing machine bolter as well.


12 Jan 2011:-) John R Farley Jr
I’d love to see a 3/4 side view of this ship, all four of those big engines tilting up and forward like that.

:-) Morgan Rhys Emlyn Jenkins replies: "I’ll see what I can do with one of my more professional drawings"
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'Black Kestrel concept':
 • Created by: :-) Morgan Rhys Emlyn Jenkins
 • Copyright: ©Morgan Rhys Emlyn Jenkins. All rights reserved!

 • Keywords: Gunship, Ramjet, VTOL
 • Categories: Spaceships, Ships, Bessels, Transportation..., Weapons, Bows, Swords, Blades, Rapiers...
 • Techniques: Pencil/Graphite Pen
 • Inspirations: Video/Computer Game
 • Submitted: 2010-04-27 23:54:45
 • Views: 1186
 • Resolution: 1600x1097

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