"Roger. We're in the pipe, five-by-five." - Anonymous FM-1 pilot
The FM-1 "Accipiter" is, by definition, what denizens of pre-colonial earth would have termed a "helicopter". Though essentially the Directorate Army's counterpart to the Navy's landers and dropships, the FM-1 is vastly less expensive as well as more compact and flexible. Its powerful dual fuel cells and electric drive train provide plenty of lift, allowing for a reasonably-heavily armored chassis, onboard energy screen projectors and an integral suite of weapons. It is the most ubiquitous mode of transport in the Directorate Army as well as a formidable attack craft in its own right - a true workhorse. The smoldering carcasses of these venerable vehicles litter past battlefields on thousands of worlds.
Role and FunctionEdit
The design of the FM-1 is in contrast to those of most 21st century western nations, of which a famous example would be the UH-1 Iroquois (or "Huey") of Vietnam fame. The UH-1 was a versatile platform able to be refitted for various missions, such as troops insertion, medi-vac or any number of fire support missions. However, it was unable to act as a transport and provide substantial weapons platform capability at the same time. The FM-1, in contrast, is heavily armed in its basic form, and is capable of transporting a squad of Directorate soldiers into battle even while fully equipped as a gunship. However, full loadouts are not common during transport missions because the added weight tends to slow the vehicle down.
One of the vehicle's most interesting features, compared to a 20th century era helicopter, is its lack of a tail rotor. Instead, it boasts two main rotors on top of one another spinning in opposite directions. This does not appreciably increase the FM-1's mechanical complexity, but does improve its stability and lifting power. The FM-1's integral weapon systems are a 37mm magnetic coil chain gun in the nose of the helicopte - a "chin mount" - as well as a second rear-facing chain gun below the tail boom. Twin 65mm autocannons are placed on the front of the vehicle, one on each side, below the helicopter's cockpit. Further 65mm automated gunpods are normally fitted to the helicopter's wings, even when no other ordnance is loaded on the wing pylons, and the helicopter is further equipped with a folding 23mm automatic coil-accelerator gun position at each door.