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AVC-31 "Typhoon" Planetary Combat Aircraft
AVC-31 "Typhoon", a VTOL Planetary Combat Aircraft for attack and assault.
About this creation
1.1 General. As strides continue to be taken in the development of combat aircraft, new propulsion systems are slowly but surely replacing rotary wing and multimode canard aircraft. The AVC-30 is a small attack platform designed to provide combat support to infantrymen on the battlefield.

The aircraft is small, maneuverable and relatively fast. It is piloted by a single crewmember, and has a small transport bay for weapons and ammunition. Its weapons suite includes a multi-ordnance cannon on a chin mount, and a variety of other antipersonnel, antitank and antiaircraft weapons on fixed pylons.

1.2 AVC-31 "Typhoon." The story of the AVC-31 is an example of "Be careful of what you wish for, because you just might get it." One of the complaints of AVC-30 pilots was that the aircraft had limited forward visibility. In response to this problem, design engineers modified the nose section of the aircraft and replaced the canopy. These modifications greatly improved visibility in the forward quarter and towards the ground, which was an added advantage when operating at low altitude and during takeoffs and landings.

In this redesign, however, the nose section was lengthened, which upset the center of gravity of the aircraft. In order to correct for this change in balance, the designers lengthened the main fuselage, nearly doubling the size of the rear cargo compartment. This change increased the overall weight of the aircraft considerably, which meant that the engines needed to be upgraded in order to accommodate for the increased power requirements.

Despite the seemingly out of control design process, the result was surprisingly successful. So successful, in fact, that the larger version was re-designated the AVC-31 "Typhoon," and the military ordered twice as many aircraft than the original model. The larger size gives the Typhoon tremendous versatility. It can be fitted with additional fuel or weapons for the combat role, or configured to carry infantry in an assault or transport role. The AVC-31 is now the workhorse for air assault forces in planetary combat operations. The AVC-31 normally embarks a pilot as well as a crew chief, who is responsible for weapons reloading and aircraft field maintenance or repair.

The AVC-31 may be more appropriately classified as an AVA aircraft (Assault), but to avoid budgetary squabbling in military-governmental circles, it has retained its AVC designation.



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   2.12.4 Flight Controls. Control of the aircraft is accomplished primarily through two flight controls, the Flight Vector Control Unit and the Power Control Lever. Inputs from the PCL and FVCU are processed by the flight control subprogram, which adjusts engine output and thrust vectors to maintain aircraft stability.

2.12.4.1 Flight Vector Control Unit. This is a roughly spherical control unit, which is used to control the flight vector of the aircraft in all axes. The pilot grasps the lever from the top, and is able to rotate the unit around all axes in order to change the pitch, yaw and roll of the aircraft. The unit can also be moved directly up or down, in order to control the aircraft in vertical flight. The contour of the unit facilitates movement up and down. There are a number of accessory controls on the unit which allow the pilot to perform such action as firing weapons, controlling sensors and transmitting on aircraft radios.

2.12.4.2 Power Control Lever (PCL). The power control lever controls the thrust output of the engines. In horizontal flight, this generally equates to speed. In vertical flight, this generally equates to height of hover. Additionally, there is a thumbwheel control on the PCL which is used to transition the aircraft from vertical to horizontal flight. Adjustment of this control changes the rotational angle of the main engines and maneuvering exhaust ports.



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   2.2.1 Vectored Thrust. Control of the AVC-31 in flight is accomplished by varying the direction and magnitude of engine pulses through the various exhaust ports. ("Vectored-thrust"). The aircraft has the ability for Short and Vertical Take-Offs and Landings (S/VTOL).

The main engines can pivot 360 degrees on a transverse access perpendicular to the mainline of the aircraft. This provides for the main thrust vector in both normal flight and during takeoff and landing. For maneuverability, pulses can be directed directly off the main manifold, 90 degrees off the mainline. This allows for quick changes in aircraft yaw, and for horizontal flight. Finally, pulses are also ducted to two forward maneuvering exhaust ports, which provide stability in the VTOL operating envelope. The engines and maneuvering ports are moved by small electrically-driven servo motors.



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   2.11.1 Armor. As with any combat aircraft, there is a delicate balance between weight and protection. The AVC-31 is armored with 3mm alloy plates backed by a Super-Resilient Fiber (SRF) material. The cockpit floor and cargo compartment deck are reinforced with a 2nd layer of 3mm alloy plate. The armor combination is able to stop most shrapnel and small arms fire such as assault/battle rifle rounds, especially when the aircraft is at altitude. Heavier ordnance, such as that of crew-served weapons easily penetrates the skin of the aircraft. The AVC-31 relies on speed and maneuverability to avoid these threats.

2.11.2 Canopy. The canopy is made of 4mm plexisteel polymer, which can stop only shrapnel and long range small-arms fire.



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   2.10.2 Antenna Group. The antenna group consists of 2 multiplexed antennas located on the tail section of the aircraft. The radios switch antennas based on frequency signal strength, line of sight and transmission quality. Nominal range is limited to Line-of-sight to a maximum of 400km.



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   2.7.2 Multi-Spectrum Passive Search and Track (MSPST). In addition to active radar sensors, the AVC-31 is equipped with a Multi-Spectrum Passive Search and Track (MSPST) system. This sensor unit, located above the cockpit, senses electromagnetic energy, and is able to determine the nature, bearing and range of the signal. The system predominately processes IR, UV and radio wave frequency bands. This information is displayed in the form of a target track in the aircraft targeting program, and also a direct image presented to the pilot. This system requires no emissions from the AVC-31, which allows it to operate in "radar silent" mode and retain the capability to prosecute targets. The MSPST can track and target contacts out to 50km, and detect emissions from up to 3.0 times the emitter range. Note, the MSPST is found only in the Block 50 aircraft and subsequent.



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   An AVC-31 crew and two infantrymen take a break at a front-line operations point (FLOP).



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   An AVC-31 pilot talks with his crew chief.



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   Typically, in atmospheric environments, AVC-31 pilots wear standard flight suits. Crew chiefs normally wear infantry-issue body armor.



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   A squad of infantry deploy from an AVC-31 in the "Assault" configuration.



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   This infantry fire team is equipped with an MPARS-II RPG Launcher and an MG-50 Light Machine gun.



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   3.1.1.2 Assault Configuration. In this configuration, the aircraft is equipped to transport infantry to the battlefield and to provide close air support. One weapons pylon is equipped with the AGC-32 Twin Cannon Package. The other pylon mounts a 4 or 6 rail AGR-34 Rocket Array. This gives the AVC-31 excellent capability against fixed position and light armored vehicles.



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   2.14.1 AMC-31 Multi-Ordnance Launcher. The main weapon of the AVC-31 is the AMC-31 Multi-Ordnance Launcher. The weapon has two firing units. The first unit is a 12.7mm auto-cannon, the second is a 40mm grenade launcher. The firing units are co-axially mounted on a chin turret, capable of traversing 320 deg. and elevating from +10 deg to -90 deg. This weapon is almost exclusively slewed by the pilot using the Helmet Mounted Cueing System (HCMS.)



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   2.14.5 AGC-40 Rotary Cannon. This weapon is an automatic projectile weapon using the tried and true "Gatling" gun design. It has four 7mm barrels, which rotate around the firing axis in order to maintain an extremely high rate of fire at 2000rpm. Of course, there is almost never enough ammunition to support this type of firepower for any length of time, so it is usually fired in 25, 50 or 100 round bursts. Occasionally, the weapon is mounted to a fixed pylon. Usually, however, it is mounted on a support fixture alongside the crew compartment, and fired by the embarked crew chief. In such a configuration, it has an excellent field of fire of approximately 160 deg.



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   An AVC-31 provides fire support to infantry below. Note that in this aircraft, the cargo doors have been removed...a common custom modification by AVC-31 squadrons.



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   An AVC-31 provides high-cover while infantry deploy from a second AVC-31.



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   An AVC-31 prepares to land. Removal of the cargo doors allows for rapid deployment of infantry, but at the increased threat from ground fire.



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   An AVC-31 prepares to land in a small landing zone (LZ) cleared by infantry.



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   The AVC-31 is powered by two Platt & Willie Model 110 Pulse Detonation Engines. The primary operating mode uses an air/propellant mix and is considered an ˇ§air-breathingˇ¨ system. Alternately, the engines can run on pure propellant/oxidizer, allowing for operation in a vacuum environment

Air is drawn into the engine system through fans located on the upper deck of the aircraft. The location of the fan helps reduce accidental ingestion of debris which could cause foreign object damage (FOD) to the internal mechanisms of the engines, particularly when operating close to the ground. It also allows passengers to board or disembark from the aircraft without interference from the engine intakes.



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   2.14.4 AGR-34 Rocket Array. The AGR-34 rocket is a small, inertially guided multipurpose rocket. The pilot designates a target, usually with the HMCS. After target acquisition, onboard sensors determine target position, and uplink this information to the rocket. Once fired, the rocket will automatically home in on the target coordinates. Because of it’s “fire and forget” employment, without target updates, it is difficult to employ against moving targets. The aircraft can carry up to four or six rockets on a single pylon mounted array. With a range of 1500m, and a penetration capability of up to 40mm of alloy plate, the AGR-34 is an excellent weapon against fixed structures, installations, fortifications and stationary vehicles.



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   An AVC-31 lands, directed by a infantryman using standard hand signals.



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   A section of AVC-30 "Storm" aircraft on patrol. The AVC-30 is a smaller version of the AVC-31, designed specifically for combat support.



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   2.14.8 AMC-15 Rotary Gyrojet Cannon. The AMC-15 is an automatic cannon that fires gyrojet projectiles. Gyrojets are essentially self-propelled bullets. The cannon has 4 barrels that rotate around a central drum feeding mechanism. This allows for sustained rates of fire without risk of the barrels overheating. Rate of fire is selectable for 500, 750 or 1500 rpm. Normally, the weapon is fired in 25-50 round bursts. The AMC-15 is a pylon mounted weapon, with a fixed firing position. Normal loadout for the weapon is a mixture of Armor Piercing, High Explosive and Incendiary rounds. The weapon and engage surface and air targets out to approximately 5000m. The AMC-15 is affectionately called the "lawn mower" due to its propensity to cut down infantry like ripened wheat



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   The AVC-31 came to be out of an idea for doing a combat story involving an infantry assault. I was envisioning an aircraft similar to the Bell Kiowa, or "Little Bird" from Blackhawk Down fame. The basic design of a wing/rotor-less aircraft comes reminiscent of an old GI Joe arch-enemy Cobra toy I remember vaguely from a million years ago. The design evolution came together well, however, and now I have two vehicles that fill the role of what can be compared to today's modern attack and transport helicopters.

Somewhat similar to the back-story, the very first design was the shorter AVC-30 "Storm." In the process, however, I liked the look of the AVC-31's "4-door" design better, and worked it out first, and then went back to smooth out the snub-nose version. I was hoping to use more SNOT elements, and build a nose section with a transparent underbelly. Although I worked out a couple of ideas, they didnˇ¦t quite fit this vehicle, so I decided to cut my losses, and go with a conventional nose section.



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   I also had a couple of the side doors from an old underwater explorers set, and I liked the idea of integrating them into the design. It ended up working out perfectly. I like the hinges that I put together too, especially since it ended up auto-greebling the top of the vehicle. Mounting the spoked wheels atop the model were inspired by the UCS X-wing, and fit nicely into the back-story as air intakes. As I've mentioned before, I'm not a particularly aivid greebler, but I was inspired by Chris Phillips' greebling of the underside of his Martian Heavy Gunship, so I experimented a bit with this and the flex hoses mounted on the belly of the vehicle. The multi-ordnance launcher concept is inspired by Mike "Pearl" Harber, from one of his light reconnaissance vehicles.




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   Rear view, showing the ducts from the pulse-detonation engines.



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   I'd like to make a quick note about color schemes and the like. Almost all of my military models are built in your basic gray, with occasional dark gray and black highlight or contrast colors. In building these models, the color scheme remains the same. I didnˇ¦t realize what a difference it makes until I ran short of a couple of dark gray wedge plates for the nose section (The stripe below the canopy that leads back to the dark gray winglet and side bricks). I substituted a light gray wedge plate, but this subtle change made a drastic difference in the overall appearance of the model. There have been a few LUGNET threads about color schemes, and I'd recommend looking into them. It's a great issue for discussion and experimentation.



Comments

 I like it 
  December 2, 2010
i want one, with the AGC-40 Rotary Cannon. it looks awesome!
Stickboy .
 I like it 
Patrick Leon
  October 27, 2008
WOW I love it!
 I like it 
  March 31, 2008
Hi, That's a great MOC! Have you seen the Flickr Military LEGO competition? If you build something new before the end of May you could enter it. http://www.flickr.com/groups/legomilitary/discuss/72157604182049397/ Info is also on Lugnet. There is a Q and A and a submission thread on here: http://www.flickr.com/groups/legomilitary/discuss/ Would love to see what you come up with. cheers Magnus
 I like it 
  January 6, 2008
Its awsome, what program did you use to create this? I mean i use LDD but this dosent look like LDD unless its a better version than mine becuase i dont have that cockpit on my LDD. Plz Respond to me on my padge.
 I like it 
  October 17, 2007
Very impressive, I like the color scheme, my creatios are mostly monochromatic. (will be posting things new each day until I run out of things to post)
 I like it 
  October 2, 2007
Is's realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, realy, cool (:
 I like it 
  September 21, 2007
really good. how did you suspend it above the battle field in your pictures?
 I like it 
  August 11, 2007
This is very well done. I love it.
 I like it 
  May 8, 2007
Awsome!!! I'll take 2 Typhoon's and 2 Storm's!!!!
Stickboy .
 I like it 
William Fratari
  April 23, 2004
I stand in awe of your genius and skill. That's awesome! If any of them landed on a Fratari world, however, they would be annhiliated by the Fratari Federation, and, if necessary, the Terrans and Nedrons, too. Anyway, that's awesome! I love using infantry in LEGO battles, but they always get killed so easily due to lack of armor and besides 'Mechs are better. This could drop them right where you need them on the battlefield, I think I'll make a transport now...
 I like it 
  April 22, 2004
Very nice. The engines are cool but they may be mounted to far back but its still cool. The craft is sleek but still has function with troop space and chin cannon. 5 smilies P.S.- where are those minifig torsos from?
 
By Stickboy .
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