TB-80a Devastator: Class A Torpedo Bomber
Guest Lecture to Confed Flight Academy
2681 2nd Semester
Given by 2nd Lt. Ernest "Moof" Gibson
Good morning everyone. Today, I'm going to give you an overview of the worthy successor to the now retired Longbow: the TB-80a Devastator. When you got a big capship you have to fry, this is the big gun you want to be flying. It's my job today to show you how to fly this lumbering armored beast. So, all of you wet-behind-the-ears plebes: sit down, live it, love it and learn it.

The first thing that everyone notices is the really, really big gun. The plasma cannon along with the huge missile loadout makes the Devastator the perfect ship for slamming enemy caps. This is where the teamwork comes in and experienced bombers have to rely on plebs like you. Don't think for a second that the enemy fighter cover will just let you waltz in and do your business. There are two different ways to hit the caps. Some prefer to use the Devastator's complement of heavy and light torps. It can take about thirty seconds to get a torpedo lock and you have to make several strafing runs as you avoid fire. This is "by-the-book" and if the men watching your back are good, and your four auto-turrets don't get knocked out the job's as good as done. This is the safe way and the way that most of you should fly during your careers.

Now me, and maybe a few others here, can take a different approach. I just switch over to the plasma cannon, and ready my anti-fighter missiles. Hey, if you spend all your time firing torps, the other ordinance can go to waste. So I pump all my power to my gun and shields and burn straight in blazing away. While I'm doing that, I'm cutting loose with my pilums, imrecs, and the kitchen sink if they loaded it up! I gotta earn that 'Ace of Aces' medal somehow!

Don't think just because the heavies go boom that your jobs over…not by a long shot. Every time I go on a run, a newbie bomb-boy keeps sending "I'm in a bomber! I can't fight the fighters." Whine. Whimper. Cry me a freaking river. I wish I could reach my hand out of the cockpit and slap them on the back of the head. Your buddies are out there risking their hides for you. You have to do the same. And that means firing your tachyon cannon, using your remaining missiles, or ramming the enemy. Spit on them and call them names if you have to! That is the important thing to learn about the Devastator. First, your men protect you. Then you help protect them. Remember it.

But, you have to be sorta careful when you start any kind of dogfighting with the Devastator. That's because it turns about as well as an old fashion bus. Don't fly into a bunch of pirate ships thinking that you're about to pull some razzle-dazzle. You can't. Sure the big gun can cut through the enemy formations like a hot knife through butter. But its low refire rate means that if you miss, you're going to pay. The shields and armor will protect you, but concentrated fire means that you are digging yourself a hole. Engage enemies one at a time. Or two at a time if you feel brave. But make sure you get some gunnery practice in, because the Devastator can be an unforgiving mistress.

Hey you, no stragglers. You can wait outside. Next time, buy a watch, plebe. I'm really not interested in excuses. This is a Confed Flight Academy, not some penny ante college course. You're interrupting the most important lecture these guys are ever going to get. Amscray. What did you say? Give me your name and ident number right now…

-End of transcript
Edited by order of Headmaster Walter Mcduffie