Reaver Mk IX
Svord Empire Fighter
The Reaver Mk IX is the standard rocket-propelled fighter of the Imperial Svord Airfleet. It is designed to be launched from steam cannons aboard Imperial Ironclads. Once the Reaver is clear of its mothership, its rocket ignites and the fighter accelerates heavenwards.
The Mk IX has rocket fuel for approximately eight minutes of burn time after which the craft is a glider. Standard armament on the Mk IX consists of four nose mounted .50 caliber smooth bore muskets (cannot be reloaded in flight) and wing mounts for either four rockets or up to 250 pounds of bombs.
A favorite ground attack tactic of Reaver pilots is to launch at extreme range, gain as much altitude and speed as possible from the rocket burn, then silently swoop down on the target raining death on the unsuspecting foe.
Svord Ironclads are equipped with special landing decks for Reaver recovery, essentially large, flat upper decks with nets on the back and sides. Landing an unpowered glider on the deck of a moving gyrocopter while avoiding the copter’s lift-blades is the most dangerous feat attempted by Svord aeronauts outside of combat. Occasionally Reaver pilots have to crash land their craft in open fields and wait for recovery by their mothership. It is said that Reaver pilots protecting their ships from curious ground troops are possibly more lethal than Reaver pilots in flight.
The sample Steamship shown here is painted in the bright orange livery of the famous all female No. 13 Squadron, Freya, which is the flight section attached to the Ironclad Dredare. The Freya Squadron’s motto is “If you’ve seen us, you’re dead.”