Greetings Aviators! As part of my ongoing fan mini-sourcebook "A Flyer's Guide To Hollywood," I present the latest 1937 design from Hughes Aircraft-the Angel!
"It's beautiful, no question about it, and it moves like a dream. But will it last in a fight, I wonder?" Jonathan Rally, commander, Rally's 7 militia, San Francisco.
Rumored to have been designed as a direct challenge to Utah's superb Davis Zion Mk.IV dogfighter, the Hughes Angel has become the talk of 1937 in aviation circles. The sleek new fighter was reportedly designed by Hughes in near-complete isolation after the billionaire read an unflattering comparison of his famous Bloodhawk to the Zion, after which it is rumored Hughes locked himself in his private offices at his Culver City plant, living off nothing but bottled milk, chicken sandwiches and vanilla ice cream left at his door.
Whether it was due to his competitive streak, engineering genius or sheer mad inspiration, no one can deny that the Angel's performance is as extraordinary as the plane is beautiful. Sleek and streamlined, with smooth, curving wings, early test flights have reported the Angel is a marvel of speed and maneuverability in the air, nearly a match for the record-breaking Hughes H-1 racer. The plane's performance is enhanced by a special pneumatic cushioning system that protects the pilot against high-g maneuvers and a brake chute that allows the Angel to deaccelerate rapidly in emergencies. The plane's fuel system is also a marvel of innovation, providing nearly 25 percent more range over other comparable fighters.
However, unlike the H-1, the Angel was designed as a combat aircraft...and it is here that potential buyers among Hollywood's elite militia and privateer squadrons have expressed serious doubts about the aircraft. Hughes refused to compromise the aircraft's performance with weaponry that would slow down or hinder maneuverability, and thus the Angel's only guns are three Sperry-Browning water-cooled .30 machine guns installed in recessed grooves along the underside of the plane's nose, which maintains the streamlining of the plane's body. While the reliability of the guns is not in question, pilots have questioned whether the light gun array combined with the three rocket hardpoints is sufficient. Further, the speed and turning radius of the plane prevented Hughes from adding armor--the Angel is unlikely to stand up to more than a hit or two from large-caliber weaponry.
These factors, combined with the steep price tag, mean that as of yet the two dozen or so Angels produced have met with a lukewarm reception from most of Hollywood's leading air combat squadrons, who prefer more robust designs when fighting pirate aircraft such as the Bandit or Firestorm. However, a few have been sold to wealthy private buyers eager to show that they fly not only the latest but the most stylish aircraft Hollywood has to offer. And in a surprise move, Hughes himself presented one of the first aircraft off the production line to Sasha Kamorova, commander of the Archangels militia. While officially the plane was given as a gesture of thanks for the Archangels' support defending a Hughes cargo zeppelin from the forces of the Red Dragons, rumor has it that Hughes hopes to attract the attention of Kamarova, a spirited pilot who has repeatedly rebuffed Hughes' amorous overtures and is one of the few female squadron leaders who appears indifferent to the aviation magnate's wealth and reputation as a ladies' man.
My design for the Hughes Angel was inspired by the description of the Davis Zion MK. IV from the "Crimson Skies Aircraft Manual." Since the Zion is a superb all-around dogfighter, and it is stated that the Angel was inferior to its performance in combat, I gave the Angel outstanding speed and maneuverability but sub-par armor and weapons. G-efficient cockpits seem pretty standard on modern Hughes designs, and I wanted to add a brake chute because I haven't recalled seeing one on any canon designs.
Also, I picture the Angel as strongly resembling the Bugatti 100 racer (Image from http://www.silodrome.com
What do you think? - Neo-TanukiHughes Angel
Max Speed: 4
Max Gs: 5
(Front:30, F/LW: 20, R/LW:20, F/RW:20, R/LW:20, Rear: 30)
.30 MG (Nose)
.30 MG (Nose)
.30 MG (Nose)
Rocket Hardpoints: 3
Superior Range (+1)
Premium Weapons (all)