Max Speed: 1425 kph (Jet)
790 kph (Ducted Fan)
Max Service Ceiling: 36,000 feet
Maximum Range: 2110 km
The Shark was built after Pat Chambers commented that I should build a Close Air Support Craft for my mechs and armor. It isnít the most heavily armed craft but it provides enough punch to deter most enemy ground forces, and is considerably cheaper than calling in a bomber or Assault Dropship (Falcon) to do the job.
This craft shares much in common with my Dropships (the Eagle, Falcon, and the Hawk). Most notably similar are the engines which, though smaller, are almost exactly the same. Here you can see the from the side view the shark-like profile which lead to the name change from SkyHammer (before the thing was built).
This is the first dedicated attack aircraft Iíve built in a while (I donít count my WWII Concept) because the BumbleBee and the Dropships are all made primarily to carry some sort of cargo although they do have offensive weaponry.
Initially I tried to build in wings and a longer tail for this, but they took focus off of the engines and made it look too thin and fragile.
After building in a handlebar-like control scheme for the BumbleBee I used the same concept again for the Shark, though you can barely see the edges of it.
I also built in foot pedals (I think Iím going to try to incorporate these more often).
The tail is almost identical to the Falcon Dropshipís though it is considerably cleaner looking. And when in full forward flight, the tail provides most lift and control, much like a missile or rocket.
Here you can see the engines, the anti-armor missiles, and the 30mm cannons used to strafe enemy ground troops. The engines are actually a hybrid of a ducted fan and jet engine. When lifting off, hovering, or flying close to the ground, fuel is only used to drive the fans to provide necessary lift. When in forward motion however fuel is injected into the combustion chambers and the traditional jet engine effect takes over. (Itís kind of hard to ambush an armored column if, when flying close to the ground, your jets are setting the surrounding foliage on fire.)
Just like my dropships this aircraft (though not space worthy) can take off and land vertically removing the need for expensive and conspicuous runways.
I thought about adding tail thrusters to help stabilize the Shark, but they made it look off, and the engines were pretty much already right over the center of gravity anyway, meaning little else would be needed for hover control.
I also built in landing ďskids.Ē I know they arenít fully retractable they just come together to decrease air resistance. While simpler, providing less for mechanics to have to fiddle around with , the gear does doesnít allow the craft to roll around much which means the pilot has to actually hover the craft into/out of whatever hangar is around.
Ultimately this wasnít a very complicated MOC, most of it has slanted pieces leaving few surfaces, like the tail or spine, to have to cover with studless LEGOs.
I like the design a lot. I'm not crazy about the blue color scheme, but I understand a need to stay in keeping with the other flight crafts and available parts can play a role too. I read about you wanting to add engines to the tail but they threw off the visual balance. The AV-8 Harrier has small (hardly noticeable) control jets on the wingtips, nose and tail called puffer ducts. If you have two of the little binocular pieces, you could add those to the tail fins to control roll and whatnot without adding huge engines. You could even put them on 1x1 round plates so they can swivel a bit. Just a thought, nice work! Peace - Patrick