Vern Taylor's personal ship
Agi d10, Str d4, Vit d8, Ale d2, Int d4, Wil d2
Init d10+d2; LP 10
Fast Throttle (ma)
- Dimensions: 145 X 95 X 38 feet
- Tonnage: 942 tons
- Speed Class: 6 cruise/ 9 hard-burn
- Crew Quarters: 1 single, 1 double cabins
- Fuel Capacity: 12 tons (600 hours)
- Cargo Capacity/Maximum Deck Load: 100/113 tons
- Passenger Capacity: 6- 3 double cabins
- Price: 33,912 new, 16,956 at auction.
The Drakken Class transport was a labor of love from her inception. This was the last design to be worked on personally by Aric Kieran, an enigmatic and reclusive prodigy who began designing spacecraft before his sixteenth birthday.
The Drakken is a pilot’s spacecraft. The cockpit is snug and comfortable with a priority on ergonomics and ease of operation. The standard “ship’s wheel”, prevalent on most other spacecraft, has been replaced with fighter-type “side-stick” controls and the pilot is seated in a specially designed acceleration couch. Additionally, the Drakken is fast and extremely nimble, with three vectoring thruster assemblies (two on the wingtips and the third in the integrated tail assembly.
Although the Drakken is officially rated for six passengers, the reality is somewhat different. A single large double passenger cabin is provided near the portside wing root, but the other four passengers are accommodated in a pair of small double cabins each roughly the size of a Pullman sleeping compartment. Even with the reprieve of the ship’s lounge, these compartments are too cramped to make long voyages comfortable or desirable.
The Drakken production run was less than seventy ships (none were built under license) and fewer than three dozen survived the Unification War. Most of the Drakkens served in one capacity or another, but nearly all with the Browncoats. With their speed and agility, the Drakkens were assigned to medi-vac, blockade running, and scouting and interceptor missions which placed them at the sharp end of the spear. Their casualties reflect the danger of their missions rather than any flaw in the design. Most were also modified with a powerful terrain following sensors for nap-of-the-Earth flying.
Given the number of fast, capable Kieran-built ships serving with the Independents, the Alliance High Command decided that the Kieran Yards were sympathetic to their enemies and summarily nationalized the company, arresting its senior officials (the utter lack of evidence and the fact that the Kieran R&D department was immediately partitioned off to major competitors who had made major political contributions to the Alliance had no bearing on their decision).
Although the Alliance courts later cleared the company of any “wrongdoing”, the damage was done. Most of the corporate senior officers were dead or in hiding and the braintrust that made Kieran yards a going affair was broken.
Although they have restarted production following the war, Kieran is producing only limited numbers of older designs, and much of the innovation that marked their designs has been lost.
The surviving Drakkens can be found in surplus and salvage yards throughout the Outer Rim, with a few making priority runs between the Outer and Mid Rims. A few more are in the hands of several notorious smugglers and blockade runners. Their relatively small cargo capacity, coupled with their speed, maneuverability, and ability to fly low and fast are all red-flags to Alliance law enforcement and customs officials familiar with the ship’s capabilities.
For the most part, the Drakkens are an obscure and nearly forgotten contribution to celestine engineering, which is reflected in their “auction” price.