|E-Wing, series 5, block 80 (Designation FA-19 Aurora)|
FreiTek (Mk 1-4), OssusTech (Mk5)
All - complete rebuild of series IV fighter
17.77 meters / 58 ft 3.6 in
160 (dry thrust) / 172 (afterburner)
|Maximum speed (atmosphere)||
J58-OT 222.411 KN VASIMR Engines (2)
J08-OT 222.411 KN VASIMR Thrusters (2)
OssusTech SSL-1912 "Slipstream" Drive
Impervium Stealth Armor Plating
Fighter class Draydax System
OT ATS-250 Target ID & Tracking System
OT TACAN-5 NaviCom system, 30 jump capacity
OT FBW-4 Fly-by-wire system
Kaiburr Systems HAL 9750
heavy laser cannons (3)
proton torpedo launcher (1)
8 optional hard points for external stores
Equipped (cockpit acts as deep space rescue capsule)
9 cu. meters / 318 cu. ft.
The Mk 5 E-Wing was a bid by OssusTech to create as powerful strike-fighter platform as possible from an already existing starfighter platform, the venerable, and already superbly powerful Mk 4 E-Wing. The project took all the Mk 4 E-Wings that Ossus already had from previous purchases, predominately from the now defunct Falcon Shipyards, and upgrade them with more modern technology. Technically, this was not infringing, since the Ossan did not build the actual frame in which this new technology went. They gutted what was in them and filled these husks with newer technology, including improved sensors, flight computers, and cockpit layout, among other things, though the frame would be re-worked to incorporate some changes.
These new E-Wings have become the cutting edge of the Ossus Defense Force's starfighter corps. It bridges the gap between the K-Wing's bombing and close air support roles, and the XJ-9 X-Wing's space superiority role as a strike-fighter, and does so with flying colors. Jaecyn Riddick owns and operates the original Mk 5 E-Wing.
- "Well... Guess I as wrong. Never really expected this to be a gift that keeps on giving."
- —New Republic Veteran E-Wing pilot turned FreiTek engineer.
The Mk5 E-Wing was actually a Series 4 fighter bought by, then Gray Jedi Knight, Jaecyn Riddick on Tanaab before the major rumblings between the Jedi and the Sith. Over the course of it's life time, Riddick upgraded the craft to keep it in the skies and from being outclassed as much as possible. The first upgrades made, were in the cockpit, and the laser cannons.
With the founding of Ossus' main contracting firm OssusTech, the project took a new turn as developments in technology aimed at making just about anything as versatile as possible came about. The E-Wing's service record was enough to convince many an Ysanna that this fighter was worth keeping around for a while longer. It was certainly well rounded, but was being outclassed by fighters such as Incom's XJ-9 X-Wing, and BlueWave's G-306 Hawk. The E-Wing Mk 5 Project was intended to prove that the E-Wing was still a contender, with a few surprises. The Ysanna had applied the millennia old saying "adapt or die" to the project, installing systems that could do just that, thus allowing the pilot to switch between fighter/intercept roles and attack roles as needed, and with considerable ease.
The most notable improvements in the Series 5 E-Wing from the previous versions included armor, engines, weapons, and cockpit layout. Like previous E-Wings, however, it was modular, allowing for quick and easy repairs and modifications. During the first military swelling, which saw a total naval force of 3,163 ships, a total of 6,468 E-Wings were in service, not counting the one flown by Riddick. All of these fighters were upgraded to the Mk 5 standard, and now serve in the updated ODF Navy. Three wings of the craft are currently serving onboard the Ysannan battlecruiser Ferrin Sha.
Currently, only three groups use the Mark Five E-Wing; the ODF, the Borelias Defense Force and the Grey Jedi Military.
Improvements and Additions
The heavy laser cannons have selectable fire mechanisms, allowing it to fire at two different settings. The low-speed setting fires at 600 shots per minute, per cannon, and is designed for more powerful shots to be fired. The high-speed setting fires at 1,200 rounds per minute, per cannon. The shots are a little less powerful, as there isn't as much time between firing to charge up the rounds, but the resulting "firestorm" is still quite powerful.
To go significantly higher in terms of firepower, while still retaining it's punch per round, would have meant developing specialized multi-barrel guns, based on ancient slug-thrower designs known for rather prodigious rates and power, and the resulting devastation and depletion of ammo.
Eventually, the guns were replaced with guns that fired at a fixed rate of 900 rounds a minute, per cannon.
Early on, in the upgrading of the Mk 5, pylons were added to allow additional weapons, such as missiles and bombs, to be carried.
The main engines were much more powerful than the ones on the previous versions of the E-Wing, and were vectored-thrust enabled, allowing for the benefit of "super-maneuverability." In addition to the mains, two powerful, low-profile thrusters were built into the fuselage the construction of the fighter. In the event that one or both of the main engines were disabled or destroyed, the craft would still be able to fly. The down side to this was that there would be a decrease in maneuverability and thrust to typical Mk 4 standards, as the main engines' thrust vectoring added considerably to the performance. They were often employed along with the mains, giving at least a 1/3 speed bump over previous iterations of E-wings, and double the speed of the venerable T-65 X-Wing. The four engine set up also allowed for greater payloads to be carried into battle. They were made with specialized materials and coated in special thermal compounds to reduce the heat buildup inside the fuselage, and had special thermal bleed-off points that would disperse the excess heat in a fashion that would maintain the overall stealth of the craft. Also built in to each engine was a compressor section. Technically, all that was needed for a typical ion engine to work is a fuel source and the electromagnetically driven "ignition" section. The compressor section was added as a means to augment fuel capacity by scooping in gas, but also as a way to supplement other systems, such as A/C, breathing, and pressurization. These systems would switch between recycling and actual intake, depending on whether it was in atmosphere or space. As engine technology improved, the engines and thrusters of the E-Wing developed with it. This eventually culminated in the current set of power plants, each putting forth about 50,000 pounds of thrust each. It was determined during research, however, that at the speeds that the E-Wing would now fly, that the intake section to the main engines suffered from choking or stalls at high speed in atmosphere, due to the amount of gas being thrust into the intake. Due to that, the intake was redesigned to include a high-speed intake "shock" that would physically slow the gas down, and prevent significant damage to the compressors and other components in the intake section. Other improvements included a set of bypasses for atmospheric flight, that would send gas to the ion combustion section. This, functionally, allows for the same operation as the is normal, but at high speed.
Among other modifications was the craft's computer network. The entire system was broken down into the flight control, targeting, and the sensor subsystems. They were all linked and each subsystem was individually covered in a faraday cage, incase the craft's main cage was compromised. One notable feature of the computer network that each craft has is the Active Electronic Scanning Array, also known as a Phased Sensor Array. It was part of the Sensor package, but also did a lot of communication with the targeting system. It operates on a wide range of frequencies, making it hard to jam, and is also capable of tracking countless targets, and jamming incoming missiles and torpedoes, in addition to the typical countermeasures. The computer systems also had "Swarm Logic" systems built in, allowing each individual craft to share information with other starfighters, and even the rest of the supporting battle group. All electronic systems, from lighting, to displays, to computer systems, are solid state devices. This reduces the number of moving parts, increasing reliability, speed and brightness, while reducing maintenance considerably. Later on, visual systems were installed allowing the pilot to have basically a 360x360 degree view of the immediate area. Essentially letting the pilot see through the craft. A subsequent upgrade added a direct EM countermeasure package to the visual system, which will essentially shoot down incoming missiles and rockets before the need to use flares and chaff comes around. The DEMC system is highly responsive, but can be overwhelmed.
Though the fighter has no S-Foil mechanism, just like previous iterations of the E-Wing, it was equipped with a mechanism that would raise the wings when the fighter lands, giving more clearance to the rear landing gear, as well as easier access to the engines, lasers and weapons pylons located under each wing. This is also useful on board ships, where space can be limited, as wings can be risen very close to the sides of the craft, allowing the fighter to be parked very close to others in ship hangars, Thus maximizing on the fighter protection each ship would have. As each fighter is needed the wings would lower to a certain point, allowing for maintenance and ordinance crews to quickly and easily work on keeping the engines working, and loading the torpedo bay and under-wing pylons. The wings would lower completely when the craft made it an acceptable distance off the ground and the gear had been drawn into the fuselage.
The cockpit area was reworked, as well. The size of the cockpit was increased to give the pilot some measure of comfort and incorporate the "glass cockpit" panel. Armor plating was increased as well. The structure of the cockpit area, and basic design of the armor plating around the pilot, was dubbed by pilots as the blasterproof bathtub, or blasterproof bucket. Even the cockpit "glass" was armored. The whole cockpit was also designed to detach itself, along with the cargo bay, from the rest of the craft should the pilot be forced to eject.
As with most other military craft, major changes are given distinct designation, such as a version letter, or terms such as "Mark," designating a distinctly new version. Upgrades and modifications to that particular version that don't completely remake the craft, however, are given distinct "Block" numbers. The Mk-5 E-Wing has gone through eight blocks, each designated in groups of 10. The breakdown of the fighter is as follows:
Mark 5: Complete rebuild over the Series 4 fighter
Block 10: Computer systems upgrade (includes R9 droid and cockpit layout). Fit with completely glass cockpit, even the “dials” are completely digital. No LED "Lightbulb" indications as seen in previous starfighters, such as the T-65 X-Wing, making the gather of vital information quicker and more comprehensive. Also added compatability with the R9 series of droid.
Block 20: Weapons upgrade that added hardpoints for externally carried weapons, pods and other stores.
Block 30: Engine upgrade that brought the engines to 35,000 lbs of thrust per engine. Priorty was given to thrust vectoring, a function rarely seen on fighters, if it was ever seen before.
Block 40: Sensor upgrade that extended the range of all sensors, subsequently aiding in EM countermeasure range.
Block 50: Engine upgrade that bumped the engine thrust to 50,000 lbs of thrust. This gives the craft a thrust-to-weight ratio of 5.313 with a legacy load out (3x cannons and a full torpedo magazine), and 2.207 with a at its maximum take-off weight.
Block 60: Weapons and computer systems upgrades that updated system software, key system functions such as processing and memory, and added two forward pylons for external stores
Block 70: Communications and sensors upgrades that added additional communication bands, a sensor package that allow for even greater coverage of the immediate aerospace, and interface software.
Block 80: Countermeasure upgrades that added Direct ElectroMagnetic Countermeasures. This allows for the fighter to directly engage and destroy incoming rockets and missiles, sparing the need for flares and chaff, unless the system is overwhelmed.
Behind the Scenes
The E-Wing depicted as a Series 5 E-Wing has some small differences to that shown in the Essential Guide to Vehicles and Vessels (EGVV). For example, the rear of craft angles down slightly in the EGVV E-Wing, but not in the JVS E-Wing. The "In Character" explanation would probably be something along the lines of additional space, as small as it might be. In addition, the tips of the laser cannons bear resemblance to the air-cooling pipe used on real world weapons, like the Browning Machine Gun. There are other small differences, but essentially, the creation of the Series 5 depiction was created to be as true to the canonical form as possible, while still allowing for some mostly internal fanon additions. The Mk 5 E-Wing also draws from the Dark Horse comic version in that the DHC fighter had thrusters in the back of the craft, though the EGVV version doesn't.
The Mk 5 E-Wing was generally based on the Lockheed F-22, which has stealth capabilities, thrust-vector maneuvering, a "Phased Array" radar, "all glass" cockpit, FBW flight system, internal weapons (also SW canon) and the ability for high-speed. Some other smaller reference points go to the F-15E (high-cap for weapons and multi-role), the F/A-18 (multi-role), F-111 (ejector capsule) and F-16 (reclining ejector seat and control stick on the right, not center), and the A-10 (close air support, and the two different rates of fire for it's gun.) It's firing rate was vaguely based on the A-10's GAU-8 Avenger, where it went from a 2-mode firing setup to a single rate of fire.
A couple of the aliases used were based on real life things. Project Barka (aka The Barka Project) derived it's name from Hannibal Barka, known for using elephants in his unsuccessful, but impressive attack on Rome, in which he struck fear into the Romans. Walküre is the German word for angels in Norse mythology, Valkyries, who would swoop down from heaven and carry the honored dead in battle to the afterlife.
The engines of the latest version, aside from being partly inspired by the F-22's supercruise engines, also draw inspiration from the SR-71 Blackbird's J58 engines.