Goodyear A-1 Apocalypse Heavy Fighter.

 Goodyear Apocalypse

  The apocalypse.   The name literally beckons doom.     Thus, the engineers at the Goodyear Aircraft division aptly named their new design.    

  The Goodyear Aerospace division was formed very early, well before the collapse of the United States.  It sprung up from co-operation with the German company Luftschiffbau, one of the largest zeppelin manufacturers in Germany.   During those early years zeppelin use was skyrocketing while construction was limited in Germany, opening new markets for both companies.

Goodyear focused on little else, the huge market opportunities only becoming bigger after the collapse, as the ISA and Germany both ordered combat zeppelins while civilian companies dumped their marine ships for airborne carriers of goods.

  The aircraft division was formed in early 1935.  Goodyear management decided that with their generous profits (bulging wallets) an interest in the aircraft side of the business would be a good idea.    The first design was a generic cargo airplane that was put into production, but sold relatively poorly against known competitors, many scoffing at the idea of the long-time zeppelin giant turning to the very aircraft they had ridiculed early on.

 The next design was for a heavy fighter.  A pair of engines and twin .70 caliber machine guns were the basis which it was formed.    It quickly morphed into what the prototype was termed "The Apocalypse fighter", a number of changes happening, while it's official designation was the A-1, it is rarely called that, even in Goodyear advertising.

 It quickly turned into a tri-hulled airplane, with an engine in each, two large 1,400 horsepower engines in each of the outer hulls, while a smaller 1,100 horsepower one was shoehorned in front of the pilot.      With three engines it can easily pull itself above it's 200MPH supposed maximum, while having good acceleration, and still retaining good range via it's large fuel capacity.

 The cockpit is cramped, due to the fuel tanks occupying the outer hulls, an engine shoehorned in front of the pilot, the tailgunner behind him with a .40 caliber swivel gun and the turret behind that.  Yes, turret.   Electrically powered and aimed and fired by the rear gunner, it contains a single .70 caliber heavy cannon.     Good accuracy combined with destructive powder contribute to the planes designation.

Combined with it's 12 hardpoints and forward firing armament of paired Sixty, Fifty and Forty caliber guns, it is a flying fortress.      At the time of it's construction (early 1936), the ISA was in a bit of a dilemma.    While it had the largest zeppelin fleet in North America, it had a gap in it's arsenal, heavy fighters.    The bulk of it's air force and militias was lighter aircraft,  Temepsts and Intrepids at the light end, with the heaviest in it's arsenal being F6 bandits and FW 140 Hellhounds, both impressive designs to be sure, but none matching up to the Kestral of Dixie, the Warhawk so common to the Empire State.      The few it had consisted of Whittley M210 and Beheamoth designs.    

If it has one downside is it's huge size and design make it extremely hard to maneuver, something that doesn't bother most of it's pilots considering it has the firepower of a second aircraft covering his size.    While the motor that was crammed in the pilot's fuselage doesn't intrude into the cockpit, it does reduce forward visibility, something not all pilots objec to, providing a fraction more cover during frontal attacks.

Ford and it's Stoutmetal aircraft division put forth the Ramrod, which garnered contracts, and indeed is proving popular in Dixie and the ISA both.   However within the ISA borders the Apocalypse is easily garnering the heaviest amount of buyers.    There is now several squadrons bordering the Empire State who have 4 of these aircraft apiece.  Flying in formation, it is nearly impossible for a aft attack to succeed, a single barrage destroying even Avengers and Furys.

Notable Users:  

Base Target Number: 1
Max Speed:2
Max G’s: 1
Acceleration Rate:2
Decelleration Rate:2

Armor Points:400
Port Wing Leading:70
Port Wing Trailing:60
Starboard Wing Leading:70
Starboard Wing Trailing:60

2X.50 Caliber in Positions 23
2X.40 Caliber in Positions 1,4
2X.60 Caliber in Positions 5,6
1X.40 Caliber in Position 7 (-3 to DE swivel-mounted)
1X.70 Caliber in Position 8 (-1 to DE powered turret)
Rocket Hardpoints: 12

Special Characteristics:
Heavy Stick
Superior Engine(-1)
Poor cockpit visibility.


About the Model:

It's pretty obvious what I did:     I cut the cockpit section out of the Boeing groundhog model and installed a Devastator (that had it's wings already trimmed), added a pair of blank/flat pewter in between and molded them.  And a pair of gun barrels mounted.   It'll look better when I get it painted (of course), but the rear turret is operated by remote and isn't glass-encased anyway.