Friday, October 25, 2013

Blue Thunder 2037 - Replica Chopper

Standard Chopper, Std. PP (26dp), Pilot & Gunner; AC with mag front, stealth mode, sound enhancement, 2 cyberlinks, IR sight, sound system, 2 ISC, radar, LDR, armored searchlight (some systems are in cargo); rotor DP: 6/4; 531 pts RPFP Plastic Armor: F 120 B 95 R 88 L 88 T 42 U 100; HC: 2 Acc. 5, 13,999 lbs., $194,420.00

Design Notes - Do the youngsters know about Blue Thunder?  Without question, this movie needed to be a source for Steve Jackson's design of choppers in Car Wars.   While every movie/TV show/book about armed vehicles can be seen a CW source, this movie - and the title character - displayed so many sci-fi extras, including the first time I had seen a cyberlink.

I'm so confident of this connection, that I suggest my same rules for James Bond cars: whatever is in Blue Thunder/Bond *must* be in Car Wars.  This isn't just the normal urge to add new stuff to the game (a process which may assume led to its disregard/demise... and affects almost every RPG) - these doodads should be core.

Replica Notes -Here's the data from the Wiki, for when I make the inevitable update:
  1. "The aircraft itself was a modified AĆ©rospatiale Gazelle helicopter."
  2. "1 inch (25 mm) 'no-lock metal armor' "
  3. "chin turret with an "electric" 20 mm (0.79 in) six-barrel Gatling gun able to deliver 4,000 rounds per minute"
  4. "twin cheek-mounted Nitesun spotlights"
  5. "infrared thermograph"
  6. "airborne TV camera with 100:1 zoom and night-vision capability"
  7. "cameras fed 34 in (19 mm) videotape, with a locker in the belly of the aircraft"
  8.  "External audio pickups were capable of hearing 'a mouse fart at two thousand feet'"
  9. "A 'whisper mode' granted her the ability to operate in silence" 
  10. "Blue Thunder's cannon was controlled by a Harrison Helmet in conjunction with a 'Harrison Fire Control System' (which is named after one of the special effects prop designers and not an existing fire control system)."  
  11. MISSING from the wiki is the turbo boost, seen at the end of the film [Spoiler Alert] which allows the chopper to do a loop-de-loop (normally physically impossible for a helicopter). 
Note, the "Harrison Fire Control System" is the Car Wars cyberlink.  The Wiki does explain: "The helmet-controlled gun turret and Target Acquisition and Designation System (TADS) was inspired by the AH-64 Apache, which uses an "Integrated Helmet And Display Sight System" (IHADSS), wherein the nose-mounted sensors and the 30 mm chain gun are linked to the gunner's helmet."

Other Sources
  1. This webpage gives some data, and the first picture above. 
  2. Flickr pictures of the filming here
  3. Another page here.
  4. Another page here, which gives us the second picture, a "car wars-esque" drawing, and explains:
The weight of the Blue Thunder modifications (the very angular canopy, gun turret, and additional "wings" on the side) made the weight very heavy, especially as the original Aerospatiale SA-341G Gazelle was never designed to fly with additional weight added to it. The first helicopter to ever truly do a complete 360 degree loop in real life was in fact, a Sikorsky S-52 in 1948. Here's a YouTube video clip to prove it. 
The last website gives these details for the chopper, which seems more 'accurate' (and fleshes out the Wiki data):
  1. Helicopter number: N77GH
  2. Jet turbine engine with boost capability, enabling 360° loops
  3. Heat sensing infra-red filter for night vision
  4. Closed circuit TV-camera with a 100:1 zoom-lens
  5. ¾" code-numbered video-system; the tapes can be erased on signal
  6. Wide-band scanner
  7. "Whisper Mode" for silent flights
  8. Three TV-monitors. The center monitor is connected to a vast array of data-banks
  9. Twin long-range, high-sensitivity shotgun microphones
  10. Cabin microphone; records cockpit conversations
  11. A Harrison helmet-mounted fire control/targeting system
As with most replicas from movies, there's military technology that's rare in our day but meant to be either (a) commonplace in CW-World, or (b) emphasizes concealability, which is not a factor in CW-World.

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