Hurricane (fighter)

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Hurricane
Type Space-to-Surface Fighter Escort
Primary User Terran Confederation
Introduction pre-2600
General Characteristics
Crew 1 (pilot); 2 (pilot and instructor)
Source Wing Commander: Action Stations



Work-in-progress, expect frequent changes. Help and feedback is welcome. See discussion page.


History

The Hurricane Space-to-Surface Fighter Escort was the primary strike escort craft at the time of the McAuliffe Ambush and multiple squadrons of these fighters were located at the bases and ships there. The fighter is actually a hybrid design with the intent as a space-to-surface escort for the Gladiator space-to-surface bomber and Sheridan marine landing craft. The fighter on paper is inferior to the Wildcat space interceptor as well as the Hawk atmospheric fighter. However, most Hurricane pilots often took pride in knowing that they were the best because they were able to survive. Usually, pilots of the day did not want to be assigned to a Hurricane squadron; however, once assigned few ever asked for a transfer upon mastering the fighter. The cargo space for the fighter is located at the nose of the fighter.

Sources

Wing Commander: Action Stations

  • Chapter 2
    • "Ensign Geoffrey Tolwyn snapped off a sharp salute as the lieutenant climbed out of the pilot's seat of his Hurricane space-to-surface fighter escort, the ground crew scrambling past Geoff to chock the wheels and hook in the fuel vent lines.
      • Richards pulled his helmet off, his cool dark eyes scanning the young ensign's features. Geoff had a recollection of meeting Richards once before, back in his second year, when Richards served as a summer flight instructor for basic subsonic atmospheric flight, though he had never gone through the reported torture of spending an afternoon with Richards in the right seat. Richards had a reputation for being a washout maker, an instructor eager to give the dreaded red check mark, in any of a hundred different areas, that would forever ground the dreams of another fleggie pilot. He seemed to have aged. Wrinkles already creased back from his eyes and his hair was going gray, even though he was only twenty-six. Geoff wondered if this was part of the price of flying and sensed that it was, especially when the planes were usually far older than the pilots, and prone to catastrophic failure.
      • Richards stared at Geoff for several seconds before returning the salute.
      • "I was ordered to report to you here, sir," Geoff announced.
      • Vance nodded, turning away for a second to look back at the ground crew.
      • "Make sure you're careful screwing on that fuel exhaust vent line, the threads on it are damn near stripped," he said, and turned to look back at Geoff. "Should have junked the whole damn thing years ago."
      • Geoff knew enough, at least in this case, to remain silent. He had a couple of dozen hours in the twin seat variant, and the registration plate on that craft had showed the old bucket was nearly twice his age. And yet, even being close to what still was considered to be a primary strike escort craft set his pulse beating. On the rung of fighter pilots, flying a Hurrie was considered more than a few steps down from a Wildcat pure space interceptor, or even a heavy Falcon fighter-bomber. The Hurrie was a hybrid design, and like most hybrids trying to combine two functions into one, it did neither of them very well. Its original intent was to serve as a space-to-surface escort for the old Gladiator bombers and Sheridan marine landing craft. If jumped by a Wildcat equivalent, it was dead meat, and, down in atmosphere, if it ran up against something like a Hawk it was dead as well. But as such things often developed in the realm of pilots, Hurrie jocks might be disdainful of the craft, but inwardly they took a fierce pride in the knowledge that they had to be the best if they were going to survive. No one wanted assignment to a Hurricane squadron, but once chosen, few of them asked for a transfer after mastering the craft and learning to squeeze the last bit of performance out of one.
      • Richards went up to the nose of the Hurricane and, opening up a cargo hatch, pulled out a duffel bag and slung it over his shoulder. Turning to the crew chief he handed over his helmet, signed off on the craft, then after hesitating for a second he gave the plane an affectionate pat before turning back to Geoff and motioning for him to follow."
    • "Geoff could not help but look in wide-eyed awe at the vast array of strike power lined up before him, entire squadrons of Hurricanes, Gladiators, Trident heavy bombers, and Hummer light recon and strike planes, arrayed wingtip to wingtip. And yet, on closer examination, even his unpracticed eye could see that more than one of the planes was missing an engine, or access hatches were pulled open to reveal that the guts of the plane were gone, and in some cases the plane was up on jacks and its wheels were missing."
    • " "I'm a pilot, sir, not cypher. Sure it's a hobby of mine, and I still fool around with it, but flyings my game."
      • "What best serves the fleet, Mr. Richards?"
      • "The best thing I can do for the fleet is fly Hurricanes. Are you telling me this new job with you is intel?"
      • Turner smiled. "Later, son. Don't worry, you'll still get some flying in, but the details can wait. You were complaining about fleet doctrine and the Varni reports." "
  • Chapter 13
    • "Sergeant Major Manuel Ulandi stepped out of the headquarters building and, lighting another cigar, he looked up to the hills north of the city. Thirty years of discipline would not allow him to feel disgusted with an admiral who was his boss, but the feeling was pretty damn close to the surface. Command had totally broken down, with orders being shouted only to be countermanded a minute later, and then changed yet again. He heard the thunder of a flight of Hurricanes taking off and, looking over his shoulder, he saw them lifting up, banking and then streaking off westward, afterburners glowing. Sirens echoed from the town while, out on the flightline, a hysterical mob of personnel, cut off from their ships, swarmed around the transports. Thousands of others streamed towards the base of the skyhook tower and he shook his head.
      • "Poor bastards." He sighed. "They'll get caught when the Cats blow it."
      • A file of marines barged out of the headquarters, surrounding a Hurricane that had been pulled up to the door of the building. Ulandi watched as Admiral Long emerged, squeezing himself into the back seat of the Hurricane trainer. The pilot, already in his seat, pulled the canopy down and locked it. The Hurricane fired up and headed for the taxiway, weaving its way around the wreckage of several ships which had slammed into each other in the confusion. Without even waiting to gain the runway, the Hurricane went to afterburners, rumbling across a concrete apron then onto what passed for grass on this world and finally lifted off, going into a vertical climb.
      • A rolling peal of sonic booms rumbled across the sky and, shading his eyes, Ulandi saw a score of contrails tracing in from the west. The Hurricanes were now just glowing dots of light which disappeared from view as they punched through the shimmering waver of the shields. He could feel a crackling in the air as the shielding went up to maximum, the view on the other side distorting so that what lay beyond the base looked like a shimmering mirage. Any ship that hit the shield at high speed would be ripped to shreds. If it slowed subsonic speeds to make the transit, the defensive batteries would tear the target apart... at least, that's what the book said."
  • Chapter 14
    • "Several hundred landing craft were strung out beneath the transports. Above them, however, were three battleships and at least a dozen cruisers, which had been providing fire support down on the surface of the planet. Far below, down on the surface, Geoff could see the smoke and flashes of fire from what had once been the Confederation's most important base beyond Earth. Apparently some resistance was still being offered, as a side channel picked up a signal from two Hurricane fighters. There was even a flash of fire from a ground-based laser battery."