Monday, September 19, 2016

Virtual Wings: Koensayr Manufacturing BTL-A4 Y-Wing PIREP

"You don't actually fight use this bird anymore, do you?" the tech grimaced at the incredulous tone in my voice.

"Look, we mainly use them for heritage flights, yes, but they're still a valuable part or our aggressor flights. A lot of pirates still use them, and they have similar flight characteristics to some of the common Uglies."

I'm pretty sure I still looked skeptical though, as I lowered myself into the cockpit and pulled my helmet on. The BTL-A4 Y-Wing had been the heavy attack workhorse of the Rebel Alliance. A single-seat successor to the two seat BTL-B and BTL-S fighters that had been introduced near the end of the Clone Wars, it retained the two-seat models primary weapon armament, but reduced the shields in favor of a higher top speed.

Higher being a relative term in this case. The corporation kept their two Y-Wings in fantastic repair, even maintaining one with the oft-removed cosmetic hull plating, but it was still the same craft that X-Wing pilots described as "Blind, wallowing pigs, and SLOW!"

Cockpit visibility felt like sitting in a box with small windows cut out. The canopy rails are massive, cutting off sight in all sorts of directions. With a gunner this wouldn't have been so bad, particularly on the -B models where the gunner had a trans-parasteel bubble they were sitting in, but it was a serious issue in the single seat spaceframe.

Top speed with shields and lasers in maintenance charge levels was 80 MGLT. Fully charging both shields and lasers gave me 39 MGLT, while pushing max power to the engines gave 121 MGLT, just enough to keep up with an A-Wing at normal cruising speed. Combat configured, with an increased charge for weapons, gave 70 MGLT. Roughly comparable to the TIE Bomber, but significantly slower than either the TIE Fighter or the Empire's primary hyperdrive capable strike craft, the Cygnus Xg-1 Star Wing.

Taking the fighter through the corporation's obstacle course revealed slow, but stable, rates of yaw, pitch, and roll. Useful traits for a bomber and attack craft, but problematic in a dogfight. Weapon positioning proved another strong point, however. the twin Taim & Bak IX4 laser cannons in the nose grouped tightly together, as did the ArMek SW-4 Ion cannons in the fixed dorsal mount. Useful traits for maximizing hits against slow moving targets, although against fighters it becomes something of an all or nothing proposition.

Engaging in a similar dogfight scenario as I'd done in the X-Wing, I was only able to get through a two-on-one engagement without being taken down. While shields and tight weapon groups provided initial success against a single TIE Fighter, I was simply too slow to engage multiple faster enemies alone. During the Galactic Civil War, successful Y-Wing pilots developed a weave technique that allowed them to cover each other and engage whichever enemy fighters were attacking their wingmen.


To see the Y-Wing in action, you can always check out some of my Star Wars: X-Wing playthrough missions.

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