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Raptor

From Battlestar Wiki, the free, open content Battlestar Galactica encyclopedia and episode guide

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The Raptor is a vehicle utilized by the Colonial military. A versatile craft, it is designed to perform multiple roles, but the Raptor most commonly takes part in reconnaissance and scouting operations. There have been at least two variants of this design in use by the Colonials since the outbrake of hostilities with the Cylons.

Contents

Cylon War era Variant

Overview

Cylon War era Variant
Cylon War era Variant
Race: Colonial
Type: Military
FTL: Unknown
Propulsion: * 2x movable sublight engine pods
* RCS thrusters
Crew: 2 (Pilot and ECO)
Capacity: Approximately 5-10 passengers
CO: {{{co}}}
XO: {{{xo}}}
Role: * Reconnaissance and surveillance
* Battlefield logistics
* Search and Rescue
* Transport
Weapons: {{{weapons}}}
Armaments: * Ship to ship missiles
* Rear "Toaster Slayer" automatic cannon
Defenses: * Electronic countermeasures
Aircraft: {{{aircraft}}}
Aviation facilities: {{{facilities}}}
Fate: Decommissioned
Emblem: [[Image:{{{patch}}}|175px|Ship's patch]]
Other Images: Gallery
Dimensions
Length: {{{length}}}
Width: {{{width}}}
Height: {{{height}}}
Weight: {{{weight}}}
Wingspan: {{{wingspan}}}
Other: {{{otherdi}}}


The First War era Raptor (also known as "flying pillboxes", or "buses") is little changed from its later counterpart, but features a longer cabin with an aft-facing gun emplacement. This design also relies on the main sublight engines for maneuvering.

This design was considered by the Colonials to generally be slow, and an easy target for Cylon forces to attack and destroy. However, it was not impossible to eliminate enemy targets while flying one.

The Raptors of this type are eventually replaced by their modern counterparts (TRS: "Razor Flashbacks").

FTL Operations

It is not known if this design commonly carries FTL drives, like their later counterparts do. Ten years into the War (42 BCH), and Raptor 909 does not carry one, however, a statement by Galactica CO Silas Nash suggests that the Colonials do utilize smaller FTL capable ships. It is possible that the FTL drive and related components were removed in order to enlarge the cabin, and to accommodate the "Toaster Slayer" cannon.

Life Support

The main flight deck / cabin of a Raptor is fully pressurized. However, crews operate in flight suits and helmets to help protect them against any hull breach. The cabin can also be depressurized and used in space rescue operations.

Propulsion

  • 2x rotating sublight engine pods mounted aft.
  • RCS points

Armament

Raptors of this era are more commonly armed that the later design. This design can be outfitted with mission specific ship to ship missiles, incorporates a rear cannon, and is equipped with electronic countermeasures for defense (Blood and Chrome).

Gallery

Modern Raptor

Overview

Modern Raptor
Modern Raptor
Race: Colonial
Type: Military
FTL: Yes (short range)
Propulsion: * 2x fixed sublight engines
Crew: 2 (Pilot and ECO)
Capacity: Approximately 5-10 passengers
CO: {{{co}}}
XO: {{{xo}}}
Role: * Reconnaissance and surveillance
* Battlefield logistics
* Search and Rescue
* Transport
Weapons: {{{weapons}}}
Armaments: * 2x automatic cannons
* 8x Ship to ship missiles
* 2x rocket pods
* 2x missile based CIWS pods
* Communication drones
Defenses: * Electronic countermeasures
* Decoy drones
Aircraft: {{{aircraft}}}
Aviation facilities: {{{facilities}}}
Fate: Destroyed
Emblem: [[Image:{{{patch}}}|175px|Ship's patch]]
Other Images: Gallery
Dimensions
Length: 28 feet (8.6m)
Width: {{{width}}}
Height: 9.5 feet (2.9m)
Weight: 50 tons [1]
Wingspan: 18.34 feet (5.6m)
Other: {{{otherdi}}}


The Raptor is usually operated by a crew of two (one pilot and one ECO), has synthetic gravity on board, and is controlled by means of a fly-by-wire system (TRS: "Rapture"). It is capable of atmospheric flight and is also equipped with a short-range FTL engine, allowing it to make short faster-than-light hops. Due to its size and shape, a Raptor is not launched from a battlestar's launch tube, rather, it deploys from the forward end of a flight pod. The vehicle has been a mainstay of the Colonial fleet for over 40 years, having entered service sometime prior to the twelfth year of the first Cylon War (TRS: "Razor Flashbacks", Episode 3). Its versatility and reliability in various roles has likely prevented it from being phased out by newer Colonial craft.

As a scout, Raptors can:

  • Undertake short and medium-range scans to detect electromagnetic, heat or other signatures from other vessels
  • Scan planetary surfaces for signs of life, energy output, or to locate and assess mineral deposits (TRS: "Water", "The Hand of God")
  • Scout ahead of its parent warship in other planetary or celestial systems for any signs of hostile intent or stellar conditions prior to the parent ship's arrival (TRS: "Miniseries")
  • Undertake search & rescue operations after an engagement with Cylon forces.

When scouting, Raptors can operate independently, or in concert with other Raptors and Vipers (TRS: "The Hand of God").

As an ECM platform, the Raptor contains a full suite of electronic countermeasure and monitoring tools, enabling it to:

In addition to reconnaissance and scouting, the Raptor can also undertake the following roles:

In the transport role, a Raptor is capable of carrying around eight to ten adults in addition to the two-person crew. In the assault role, it can carry a squad of some eight equipped Marines (TRS: "Bastille Day").

Atmospheric Operations

The Raptor is designed for atmospheric as well as space-based operations. However, a critical element for atmospheric operations is that to remain airborne requires fuel: once in an atmosphere, the engines must be run constantly to maintain lift and to hover. Depending on the composition of the atmosphere itself, this can place severe strain on the Raptor's engines (TRS: "You Can't Go Home Again").

Due to their overall configuration and bulk, Raptors may also suffer from poor handling at low speeds, and rely heavily on directed thrust to remain airborne.

FTL Operations

The Raptor is fitted with a small, general purpose FTL drive. Unlike their larger siblings placed on capital ships, these drives are limited in distance.

A Raptor seems to be able to make at least ten, and probably at least 20 FTL jumps before refueling. However, these Raptors had been carrying more than a typical amount of fuel for that mission (TRS: "Lay Down Your Burdens, Part I").

Life Support

The main flight deck / cabin of a Raptor is fully pressurized. However, crews operate in flight suits and helmets to help protect them against any hull breach (TRS: "Miniseries"). The cabin can also be depressurized and used in space rescue operations. Re-pressurization takes 10 seconds (TRS: "You Can't Go Home Again", "A Day in the Life"). The forward pilot and co-pilot seats can eject in an emergency as the forward canopy is blown away prior to the ejection (TRS: "Dirty Hands").

Propulsion

  • 2x fixed sublight engines mounted aft
  • 1x small-scale FTL system
  • RCS points

Armament

Raptor weapon pods (Exodus, Part II).

Offensive

Raptors are normally unarmed as they make for a poor general-purpose fighter. The craft have an internal weapons bay capable of holding both offensive and defensive weapons. They are also capable of carrying heavy external armaments on four wing hardpoints, two wingtip hardpoints, and two fuselage hardpoints on the sides of the Raptor's body. Known weapons carried include:

  • nuclear missiles
  • bombs/munitions pods
  • quad racks of missiles
  • multiple-tube rocket batteries mounted on the fuselage points
  • dual Kinetic Energy Weapons

Defensive

The Raptor's contours provide it a reduced DRADIS signature to avoid detection. In addition, the craft carry an assortment of pods to aid in communications or defense as well as electronic countermeasures such as a jigger.[2]

Layout

Raptor 312 taking off from the ground (TRS: "Miniseries").

The Raptor is an angular vehicle built for function, not aesthetics. The forward section consists of a flight cabin with side-by-side seats for the pilot and ECO, with a large bubble canopy providing wide fields of view both forward and side. The flight cabin opens into the main compartment where a workstation containing early warning, electronic countermeasures, and other equipment is manned by the ECO when not co-piloting the craft.

Access to the Raptor's main compartment is primarily through a large port-side hydraulic door, and a floor-mounted hatchway provides access through the deck. A pressurized docking skirt can also be extended from the underside, enabling the Raptor to dock to the hulls of other vessels. In assault missions, marines can use this skirt to breech a hull and board a hostile vessel (TRS: "Bastille Day").

Aft of the pressurized area are the FTL drive and main sublight engines. Port and starboard stub wings provide additional lift during atmospheric flight, and winglets reduce drag and provide step access to the wings and hull. RCS thrusters are placed throughout the craft for landing, maneuvering and stabilization (TRS: "Miniseries").

Gallery

Civilian Variant

EVAC Raptor
EVAC Raptor
Race: Colonial
Type: Civilian
FTL: Unknown
Propulsion:
Crew: 2
Capacity: Approximately 5-10 passengers
CO: {{{co}}}
XO: {{{xo}}}
Role: VTO/L Transport
Weapons: {{{weapons}}}
Armaments: {{{arm}}}
Defenses: {{{def}}}
Aircraft: {{{aircraft}}}
Aviation facilities: {{{facilities}}}
Fate: Presumed destroyed
Emblem: [[Image:{{{patch}}}|175px|Ship's patch]]
Other Images: Gallery
Dimensions
Length: 28 feet (8.6m)
Width: {{{width}}}
Height: 9.5 feet (2.9m)
Weight: 50 tons [3]
Wingspan: 18.34 feet (5.6m)
Other: {{{otherdi}}}


Overview

The EVAC Raptor is utilized by medical facilities to airlift patients to nearby hospitals. These craft were used after the renewed Cylon attacks to evacuate injured persons from the rubble of targeted cities. After the attacks on Picon, John Cavil took an injured Ellen Tigh to one of these Raptors, which made its way to the Rising Star before escaping with Galactica at Ragnar. These craft have a red/white paint scheme which differentiates them with their military counterparts.

It is presumed that the remaining fleet is destroyed or captured by Cylon forces during their occupation of the Colonies ("The Plan").

Notes

  • "Raptor" is a Latin word meaning bird of prey.
  • The design of the Raptor originally began as this sketch. "Sketches like this are great for selling a concept," explains production designer Richard Hudolin. "The Raptor is derived from an Apache helicopter and we wanted to give it a retro feel, a nuts-and-bolts look, to give the impression that in its time it was the best of the best, but now its time is almost over."
  • The design of the Raptor was based on the US Army's Apache helicopter. Ronald D. Moore thinks of it "as analogous to the Navy's EA-6 Prowler (a variant of the A-6 Intruder popularized in Flight of the Intruder)."[4]
  • The joystick seen inside of the Raptor appears to be a Logitech Attack 3.

Making the Raptor fly

Shooting of the Miniseries.

Richard Hudolin explains: "The Raptor is made out of foam on a steel frame. We built it so that we could have people safely in there as a 100ft crane picks it up and swings it around. The actors were a little bit surprised: 'Oh, my God, it goes up that high!'"

It's custom-built and then it's painted. We have painters who are literally standing by on the day to add to it before the camera rolls [the wires are removed digitally later in post production]."

"The actors are rehearsing and we have people aging [the Raptor], adding the gunshot hits. One day we had to paint it up as if it had crashed and been on fire - the next day it had to be made pristine again." [5]

See Also

References

  1. In the Miniseries, Sharon Valerii tells Chief Tyrol "You're not the one out there trying to bring 50 tons of Raptor onto a moving hangar deck". However, given the relatively small size of the craft, this figure seems unrealistically high. In comparison, large military helicopters like the Mi-24 Hind or the CH-53 Sea Stallion weigh approximately 10-15 metric tons.
  2. A close-up of a Raptor display in the Miniseries (timestamp 57 m 41 sec) shows the name and number of these items.
  3. In the Miniseries, Sharon Valerii tells Chief Tyrol "You're not the one out there trying to bring 50 tons of Raptor onto a moving hangar deck". However, given the relatively small size of the craft, this figure seems unrealistically high. In comparison, large military helicopters like the Mi-24 Hind or the CH-53 Sea Stallion weigh approximately 10-15 metric tons.
  4. RDM Battlestar Blog (backup available on Archive.org) (in English). Retrieved on 18 April 2006.
  5. (October 2004) "Making the Raptor fly". Radio Times.


Ships in the Re-Imagined Series, Caprica, & Blood & Chrome


Historical

Ancient Kobolian: Galleon


Colonial Military

Battlestar Classes: Mercury class | Galactica-type | Valkyrie-type | Orion class

Battlestars: Galactica | Pegasus | Valkyrie | Columbia | Archeron
Osiris | Yashuman | Triton | All Named | All Unnamed

Support Ship Types: Loki type | Berzerk type | Defender type | Catamaran type | Watersled type

Support Ships: Loki | Berzerk | Brenik | All Unnamed

Auxiliary Craft: Viper Mark II | Viper Mark III | Viper Mark VII | Stealthstar | Blackbird | Raptor | Atmospheric Shuttle

Colonial Stations: Armistice Station | Colonial Fleet Headquarters | Ministry of Defense | Ragnar Anchorage
Scorpion Fleet Shipyards


Colonial Civilian

Pre-Cylon War: Air Force Viper | Blackhawk | Graystone blimp | Jump ship | Phoenix

Virtual aircraft: Autogyro | Dreadnaught | Vintage Viper

Post-Fall Civilian Fleet: Astral Queen | Cloud 9 | Colonial One | Daru Mozu | Demetrius | Gemenon Traveler | Gideon
Olympic Carrier | Prometheus | Rising Star | Scylla | Zephyr | List of all civilian ships

Civilian Ship Types: Passenger liners | Mining ships | Repair ships | Tylium refinery ships | Research ships

Civilian Operators: Gemon Liners | Pan Galactic | Saggitarian Spaceways | Eversun


Cylon

Basestar Types: Cylon War Era basestars | Modern basestar | Guardian basestar | Rebel basestar

Support Ships: Resurrection Ship | Reconnaissance Drone | Freighter

Auxiliary Craft: Cylon War Era Raider | Modern Raider | Heavy Raider

Cylon Stations: Cylon Refinery | The Colony | Resurrection Hub



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