Warning Spoilers through Straits of Hell.
|Seen|| Firestorm to|
Blood in the Water
|Type||Lighter than Air Craft|
|Loyalty||Grik & Grik/Japanese under Hisashi Kurokawa|
|People||Hideki Muriname Designer|
A dirigible is a term encompassing a wide variety of lighter than air aircraft. Within the world of the Destroyermen series the term is used to describe a type of airship in common use within the Grik EmpireThe Grik Dirigible is the design of Hideki Muriname. The Grik were the first, and only, peoples to incorporate Dirigibles (Zepplins) into their military, as of yet it serves no civilians use. It primarily serves as a bomber/patrol aircraft by the Grik Empire. It's design has been stated as being very crude but relatively reliable and the design (or idea) itself is based upon the philosophy of quantity rather than quality. They are capable of very long ranges, depending upon the prevailing winds, and are capable of achieving an altitude of 11,000 feet which is higher than the allied pilots of the PB-1 "Nancy" or P-1 Mosquito Hawk are accustomed to going nor are they originally trained for such altitudes. They have a maximum speed of 60 miles per hour [SoH Hb. p 420.]. Many Lemurian pilots encounter trouble combating Grik Dirigibles at their maximum height as Lemurians are much more susceptible to altitude sickness than Grik or Humans.
They require a crew of eleven to operate, including the pilot/commander, motor tenders, throttle-men, and riggers. Some of these are also trained as bombardiers. Six of the crew are stationed in the forward control gondola. Larger crews are required by those that are equipped for air defense, carrying their defensive armament in the aft gondola instead of a bomb load.
Service history Edit
They use a wooden frame made of an unidentified type of wood that has been noted to resemble a much sturdier type of Bamboo which makes them more similar to the Schüte-Lanz design of rigid airships than to the metal-framed Zeppelins. The layout of the frame has been described as simplistic with a few design configurations for the purpose of achieving rigidness such as diagonal cross-sectional bracing. The frame is however flawed, mainly due to the simplistic design and material and not all perfectly pertain to the original blueprints as they were made with the philosophy of quantity being more important than quality. A few have been observed to tear themselves apart while conducting extreme maneuvers or upon the release of bombs as the sudden decrease of weight causes them to gain a rapid upward momentum of lift, the latter remains as a lesson learned during the Grik bombing of Baalkpan as a sufficient amount of hydrogen must be released from their bladders in unison of the bomb drop in order to counteract the large increase in bouncy.
They use five opposed-two cylinder motors (80 HP each). One is located directly behind the forward control gondola with a small rudder directly behind it, the other four are located on the sides of the Dirigible. The engines were first fully observed in operation by Dennis Silva, in western Madagascar during the Shee-ree raid on advancing Grik forces, who noted their very crude performance. Sputtering, misfiring, and strong vibrations are not uncommon for the engines themselves though they remain relativity reliable.
They contain a large number of hydrogen filled bladders mostly made up of animal skin (and possibly animal organs) and gasoline bladders have been observed to be placed about at random locations within the Dirigible for the five engines.
The gondolas are made up of a wooden frame held within a wicker covering. Glass is not used aboard Grik Dirigibles as the view-ports within the gondolas remain open to the environment and many Grik experience altitude sickness as well as hypothermia if they are not clothed properly. It has been observed that the controls for the Grik Dirigible are quite simplistic in design, as mentioned above they are made with quantity rather than quality in mind and this remains the same for the crews aboard the Dirigible as many undergo very short training programs.
The control surface of the Grik Dirigible contain three rudders and two elevators. One small rudder is located behind the first engine directly behind the forward control gondola and the other two, much larger in scale, reside at the far rear of the ship. The two elevators reside at the rear of the ship with the latter two rudders and are equal in size. They appear to be made with a wooden skeleton frame covered in a canvas fabric.
Later models incorporate swivel guns (miniature cannons mounted on swivels which are mostly loaded with canister shot to make up for the very low rate of fire) in the gondolas. A few ships remove the bomb rack in an attempt to replace them with more swivel guns at random locations and are used for the defense of the bomber Zeppelins while in organized formations. Some formations of Grik Dirigibles incorporated a tactic which involves tethering one another together using a type of wire which has been seen to sever the wings of allied aircraft who venture into their formations. Another such innovation to be used by Grik Dirigible designers is the invention of suicide glider bombs (simular to the Ohka bomb used by the Japanese during the later stage of World war 2).
They have been noted to be quite flammable, this is more than likely due to a number of factors that can influence one another such as the easily puncturable hydrogen and gasoline bladders within the air-frame as well as the leaking of hydrogen and gasoline which is common. Another factor is the materials used for the frame (wood) and the skin covering the airship (canvas).