One thing that made the GunRaven starfighter unique, was that it was designed to be highly effective against ‘droid’ fighters. At the time, the use of remote controlled or independent thinking fighters was common place. These fighters could be cheaply mass produced, used in large numbers, and could perform maneuvers unmatched by an human piloted craft.
That was, until, the GunRaven. It is for this reason above all others that the GunRaven holds a hallowed place in the halls of aviation history. The GunRaven was designed with a maneuver called the “death blossom”, which gave a pilot a deadly counter measure against swarms of droid fighters.
The death blossom had two modes. The first mode was commonly used by pilots on their initial attack run against a swarm of droid fighters. The GunRaven held ‘secret’ compartments, each carrying four short-range “fire and forget”, self tracking missiles. These fast moving and fast tracking missiles were specifically designed to be used against droid fighters, and each GunRaven held 24 missiles, with 16 in the secret compartments. When first coming head-to-head with a swarm of droid fighters, GunRaven pilots would activate the first mode of death blossom, and fire off all 16 of those missiles. It was always an impressive sight to see -- the flame trails of 16 missiles arching through the blackness of space and then racing into the oncoming droid fighters. With a squadron, or even half a squadron of GunRavens doing this at the same time, even a massive swarm of droid fighters could be decimated in a matter of seconds.
The second mode was meant for use by a lone GunRaven when encountering overwhelming odds. The second mode once again used these 16 missiles and the gun turret to create a complete sphere around the GunRaven of pure death and destruction. The pilot lost control of the GunRaven to the targeting computer during this second mode, and the power drain was immense, but the fighter could rapidly address and fire on dozens of targets simultaneously.
Even after this maneuver, the pilot still had the standard compliment of 8 fast-tracking missiles and the double barrel gun turret. In short, for such a small fighter, the GunRaven had an immense amount of firepower at its disposal.
The only weakness of the GunRaven was power issues. The GunRaven utilized a small, H-3 fusion core that could be easily replaced when damaged. However, the power drain of the fighters many systems, weapons, and very powerful engines drained even the mini-fusion power core very quickly in combat. The GunRaven had 15 minutes of power during combat, after which the pilot was forced to withdraw from combat and allow several minutes for all systems and the fusion core to recharge. This drawback of the fighter created a new tactic that pilots called, “smash and run”. Essentially, GunRaven pilots would “launch hell first thing out of the gate”, then quickly withdraw. This would also lead to a great deal of sexually oriented humor pertaining to GunRaven pilots in the barracks, but the tactic proved sound for the limited combat time provided by the GunRaven.
The GunRaven SI-MA also enjoys one of the best targeting computers available, as the success of the death blossom, and indeed the entire production of the fighter, depends upon accurate and successful targeting and strikes on multiple concurrent targets. The targeting computers are coupled with up-to-date sensors that augment the targeting computers and make the fighter a good patrol craft. In addition, the GunRaven SI-MA enjoys incredible speed and maneuverability. The fighter has four, rather oversized for how small this fighter is, powerful ion engines. There are also several maneuvering thrusters, and two SLAM engines for turbo boosted speed. It is little wonder that the GunRaven has so little power in combat situations. In standard patrol, with weapons powered down, the GunRaven has enough power for medium range patrols and serves quite well patrolling dense asteroid fields where the fighter’s small size and maneuverability are great assets.
About this creation
Death blossom hatches closed
Death blossom hatches open
Gotta give credit to Jamie Neufeld over at Brickshelf and Flickr, and the little contest for personalized Gun Ravens over at the starfighter group on Flickr that took place like forever ago.
The death blossom controls are on the right.
The two middle engines are just boosters for when a pilot "feels the need for speed".
The swooshability factor on this is through the roof. It's very addicing... I lie in bed at night waiting for my hot, newlywed wife to go to sleep so I can reach over to my night dresser, pull this thing out, and starting swooshing.