Designer: truegrit / Armory: Specialized Armoured Works

  • Last Post 01 July 2017
Lasergunner posted this 01 July 2017


Lasergunner posted this 01 July 2017

UPDATE: 9/1/2005

Nimbus Airship

Level: Custom Level 2 / 3067

Technology: Inner Sphere VTOL

Tonnage: 30 Tons

Designer: truegrit

Armory: Specialized Armoured Works


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"A what?" That was the response of the entire design team at Specialized when Stephen Ito-Cerny announced that his firm would bring the dirigible back into modern warfare. Although various passenger versions had existed through the centuries as transportation novelties, an actual combat application of the air-filled crafts had not been attempted since ancient Terran days. Although on the revolutionary side and seemingly on the foolhardy and startling sides as well, Ito-Cerny had a hunch that the unique form factor would provide Inner Sphere forces with a long missing element of surprise. Airships have traditional strengths that make them excellent in a reconnaissance role. Most notably, the design team was tasked to keep the ability to cruise at speed at extreme altitudes. By applying modern technologies, Specialized was able to create the Nimbus, a hardier descendent of the zeppelins of yesteryear.

With a cruising speed just of just over 111 km/h, standard operating procedure calls for the Nimbus to float high above the reach of most conventional weaponry, using its Irian-made Alexis Beagle system to ferret out hidden troops. In its secondary role of transport, it can safely carry up to 1 ton of sundries or personal equipment between bases. Shielding the main compartment is two tons of BattleMech grade armor, allowing the propulsion systems and crew cabin to withstand blasts from even the Clans' lasers. Of course, along with the traditional strengths comes the traditional weakness of the gas-filled balloon that enables flight. However, by partitioning the entire volume into discrete pockets and sheathing the them in an advanced polymer fabric, designers have minimized the amount of damage any one shot can do to the integrity of the whole. Engineers estimate that the Nimbus should be able to sail through small caliber fire from guns or lasers and still make it back to base. Although obviously not meant for combat, the Nimbus carries two 20mm autocannons, one of the few weapons with the accuracy to deal damage from the heights that the craft inhabits.

So far, the Nimbus has found a home with the Lyran armed forces as well as the within the Trinity Alliance, with the majority of those ending up in the Magistry of Canopus. Most recently, it was used to good effect against the Jade Falcons during a brief border skirmish. Due to the relatively scarce atmosphere, the Clan forces had simply assumed that the Lyran conventional armor would not include VTOL support, since rotor-wing aircraft would be unable to stay aloft. When rear Clan forces found themselves at the receiving end of aerial fire and indirect missile barrages, the Lyrans made use of the ensuing breaks in formation to drive the raiders offworld.

Type: Nimbus Airship                

Technology Base: Inner Sphere              

Movement Type: VTOL                

Tonnage: 30                  


Equipment         Mass        

Internal Structure:       3        

Engine:     70   4        

Type:     I.C.E.            

Cruising MP:     7            

Flank MP:     11            

Heat Sinks:         0        

Control Equipment:       1.5        

Lift Equipment:       3        

Power Amplifier:       0        

Turret:         0        

Armor Factor:       3        

      Armor Value            

Front:     12            

R/L Side:     12/12            

Rear:     10            

Turret:     2            


Weapons and Ammo   Location   Tonnage   Ammo   Tonnage

Autocannon/2   Front   6   45   1

Autocannon/2   Front   6        

Beagle Active Probe       1.5        



Cargo     Body   1        

Author's note: Sadly, no altitude rules are given in the BMRr with regards to range, so a high-altitude blimp 18 hexes up at 2 board hexes away is still within range of a flamer. I suppose a house rule could adapt the combat within buidlings rule to apply to outdoor combat as well. I just like the idea that VTOL rules (with the weak rotor armor being analogous to the gas balloon) can apply to airships as well.


User Reviews

User Rating Posted Updated

DethOkay 5 3/4/2005 3/6/2005

here is someting new, novel, and unique.
LOVE the FLUFF.....great drawing..

Warhawk 4 3/3/2005  

An interesting design concept. In one of the novels about Camachos Caballeros (the name escapes me) it had a large dirigible for carrying cargo ('Mechs).
Nice adaptation.