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Trabant-IV Budget Transport

design by Nick Bradbeer

This is the result of a personal challenge I set myself. Intrigued by the Revenue Calculator on Antti's spreadsheet, I set out to build the most efficient tramp freighter possible; scoring myself by minimising the time the ship would take to pay for itself. I limited displacement to 200 tons or under, to avoid diluting the expense of the controls and computer, but other than that pretty much messed with everything. Here's the result:

The ship can pay for itself in something under six and a half years, assuming the perfect conditions of the Calculator, and can generate revenue equal to three times its overheads.

An early AnraTECH product, the Trabant-IV was an excercise in design minimalism. By trimming back on all non-essential components (and AnraTECH's chief designer took a rather severe view of what was considered essential) the corporation managed to produce a ship retailing at just over 40 million credits which still carried up to 75 tons of cargo and nine middle passengers.

A crew of two (pilot and jump navigator) fly a streamlined box with few comforts, almost no sensors and a total reliance upon outside fuel sources. The ship has a power shortage requiring that artificial gravity and the laser comm be shut down before CG is engaged, requiring all passengers to strap down for landings and takeoffs.

Fully 44% of the ship's volume is cargo space, with another 10% being passenger accomodation and 35 of the remaining 46% being taken up by fuel tankage.

Using the T4 Business Planner on Antti's spreadsheet, this ship can pay for itself in six years, five months, generating a potential profit of 744 kCr per month with monthly overheads of only 217 kCr.

Trabant-IV Budge Transport

General Data

Displacement: 170 tons Hull Armor: 10
Length: 17.5 meters Volume: 2380 m3
Price: 40.52 MCr Target Size: S
Configuration: SL Box Tech Level: 13
Mass (Loaded/Unloaded): 1,577.5 / 469.4

Engineering Data

Power Plant: 99 MW Fusion Power Plant, 1 year duration (9.9 m3 fuel)
Jump Performance: 1
Jump Fuel: 238 m3
G-Rating: 1G HEPlaR (78.9 MW/G), High-Efficiency CG Lifter (17 MW)
G-Turns: 59 (83.1 using jump fuel), 9.9 m3 fuel each
Maint: 60


Computer: 3xTL-13 Standard computer (0.45 MW)
Commo: Laser (1000 AU; 0.3 MW), Radio (1 hex; 1 MW)
Avionics: TL-10+
Sensors: PEMS (1 hex; 0.03 MW)
Controls: No bridge, 2 normal workstations, High Automation


Offensive None
Defensive: None
Master Fire Directors: None


Life Support: Extended/Reduced (0.31 MW)
Grav Compensation: 4Gs (7.71 MW)
Crew: 2: Pilot and Navigator
Crew Accommodations:Small Stateroom (0.5 kW)
Passenger Accomadation: 9xSmall Stateroom (0.5 kW)
Other Facilities: None
Cargo: 1050 m3 3 Large Cargo Hatches
Small Craft and Launch Facilities: None
Air Locks: 1


Total Fuel Tankage: 829.8 m3 (59.3 tons).
Crew requirements are calculated by using 'Original FFS' crew model.
7.8 MW power shortfall.

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