Lightning Fighter

From 1d4chan
Old Lightning Fighter.

The Lightning is the Imperial Navy's premiere air superiority fighter, with agility unmatched by any other Imperial flyer thanks to its distinctive forward-swept wings. Though its primary weapons are a long-barreled autocannon and twin-linked lascannons for engaging enemy aircraft, it can be fitted with one of several varieties of missiles and bombs to specialize in anti-armor, anti-infantry, or anti-air operations.

Apparently, the STC data for the Lightning was discovered during the Saint-Saen Crusade, which liberated twelve worlds in Segmentum Obscurus. They were found on Karnak II by an Adeptus Mechanicus Explorator team and the designs were immediately given to the Mechanicus Lords of Cypra Mundi. It would take over five hundred years of research and trials, including readings of the Emperor's Tarot and cross-referencing with the archives of Mars, before the designs were finally approved for production in supplying fleet carriers and cruisers of Battlefleet Obscurus. Since then the designs have slowly been disseminated to the Navy worlds of Bakka and Hydraphur and Lightnings are now commonly seen alongside the Thunderbolt in both Segmentum Tempestus and Segmentum Pacificus.

As aforementioned, the main role of the Lightning was as an air superiority fighter, but it was quite the versatile plane, with a secondary mission of providing air escort for Marauder Bombers. For this reason, they are often based on orbiting ships or forward air bases, where their rocket booster allows them to quickly take off and engage enemy air forces. Ground-based Lightnings can also benefit from hydraulic "fast-launch" ramps which, in combination with their rocket booster engine, provides better acceleration and faster take-off time than conventional VTOL craft.

Voss Pattern[edit]

Voss pattern Lightning Fighter.

In December 2012, Forge World retired the old Lightning model and released a more advanced-looking "Voss Pattern" Lightning Strike Fighter (Also called the Primaris Lightning Strike Fighter). It features slightly sturdier-looking wings, a beefier, single engine intake, and a more streamlined nose (especially compared to the goofy "headlights" of the original). It is normally equipped with a potent armament of twin-linked Lascannons and six Hellstrike Missiles or Rad Missiles.

It uses plasma engines, allowing it to not bother with a big ass (literally) rocket and therefore should also go much faster due to the difference in weight as well as simply having far more powerful engines which also allow for it to function just as capably in space as in atmosphere. As usual, Voss-pattern whatever is made of common sense (wonder why they haven't been met with exterminatus yet). Consequently enough, they were mainly encountered during the Great Crusade and the Horus Heresy, and even at the time of its introduction, the pattern proved extremely costly to produce and could only be handled by the most experienced pilots.

Funnily enough, despite its sensible costume, the Voss Pattern is actually a worse design than the original Lightning. Its wings have been moved forward, which consequently has moved its center of lift forward, while the majority of the airframe has stayed the same. This would likely move the centre of lift ahead of the centre of mass, leading to an incredibly unstable craft with a tendency to flip itself ass-forwards and spin out of control. Of course, this is 40k we’re talking about, so all of these concerns can be explained with the words ”space magic”.

Lightning 'Strike'[edit]

The poor man's A-10 Warthog.

The 'Strike' variant Lightning has the same airframe, but with more missiles or bombs instead of the underslung autocannon. In effect, the Lightning Strike has been modified to fulfil a ground-attack role.

As aforementioned, the main difference between the Strike variant and the original is its weapons loadout. While it retains the twin-linked Lascannons mounted on the wingtips, the Strike removes the long-barreled ventral-mounted autocannon for two additional hardpoints, which carry either two Hellstrike Missiles or two Bombs. It also retains the four wing hardpoints, allowing it to carry four additional Hellstrikes or bombs, four Hellfury Missiles or six Skystrike Missiles. Like the normal Lightning, it can also mount additional equipment.

Lightning Strikes are used purely for dedicated ground attacks, primarily targeting enemy armour formations. During major operations in conjunction with the Imperial Guard, a 'taxi rank' of Lightnings will circle the battlefield awaiting requests from Guard commanders for assistance. Once received, the Lightning Strike will then swoop down on the enemy target and destroy it before climbing back into the rank to await the next request.

Real Life[edit]

Forward-swept wings have been tried on real experimental aircraft, and they do confer some benefits, like enhanced maneuverability, improved airflow and the possibility of a more compact airframe. It also comes with the drawbacks of instability (though modern avionics can make the minute corrections required to keep the aircraft steady) and a risk of the wings twisting themselves to pieces at high speeds. These issues meant that it took about 50 years from the idea's conception before prototype high-performance fighter aircraft with forward-swept wings could be built (the Grumman X-29 in 1984, and the Sukhoi Su-47 in 1997, and both of those ended up being scrapped anyway). For comparison, it took the Adeptus Mechanicus over five hundred years to fix these issues in the Lightning, and they didn't even come up with the idea themselves -- they had to find the STC first. On the flipside, the people who were trying to fix them were probably being shot at by their own colleagues, so it's rather notable they managed to fix them at all. On the other hand, Imperial aircraft doubtless work using gravitational and inertia manipulation along with the commonly mentioned vectored thrust. So, the shape of the wings is irrelevant.

Forces of the Imperial Guard
Command: Commissar - Enginseer - Imperial Guard Command Squad - Ministorum Priest
Primaris Psyker - Regimental Advisors - Tank Commander
Troops: Armoured Fist Squad - Breacher Squad - Infantry Squad - Field Chiurgeon
Heavy Weapons Squad - Militarum Veteran Squad - Ogryn Squad - Penal Legion
Psyker Battle Squad - Ratling Squad - Rough Rider Squad - Scout Squad
Sharpshooter - Special Weapons Squad - Stormtrooper - Whiteshield Conscript
Structures: Aegis Defence Line - Aquila Strongpoint - Firestorm Redoubt - Fortress of Redemption
Imperial Bastion - Imperial Bunker - Imperial Defence Line - Imperial Fortress Walls
Plasma Obliterator Platform - Primus Redoubt - Skyshield Landing Pad
Vengeance Weapon Battery - Void Shield Generator
Transports: Aurox Armoured Transport - Chimera - Crassus Armored Assault Transport
Gorgon Armored Assault Transport - Hades Breaching Drill - Hellbore
Mole - Taurox - Termite - Testudo - Trojan Support Vehicle - Pegasus AAV
Light Vehicles: Atlas Recovery Tank - Bike Squad - Bane Wolf - Cargo-8 Ridgehauler
Centaur Utility Vehicle - Cyclops Demolition Vehicle - Devil Dog - Hellhound
Land Crawler - Scylla - Salamander Reconnaissance Tank - Sentinel - Siegfried
Tauros - Venator - Pegasus AFV
Tanks & Ordnance: Basilisk Artillery Gun - Carnodon - Colossus Bombard - Deathstrike Missile Launcher
Griffon Heavy Mortar Carrier - Heavy Quad-Launcher - Hydra Flak Tank
Leman Russ Battle Tank - Manticore Launcher Tank - Medusa Siege Gun
Ragnarok - Wyvern Suppression Tank
Superheavy Vehicles: Baneblade - Capitol Imperialis - Leviathan - Macharius Heavy Tank
Malcador Heavy Tank
Flyers & Bombers: Avenger Strike Fighter - Lightning Fighter - Marauder Bomber
Thunderbolt Fighter - Valkyrie - Vendetta - Vulture - Chiropteran Scout
Spacecraft: Devourer Dropship - Tetrarch Heavy Lander
Forces of the Adeptus Mechanicus
Command: Magos (Tech Priest Dominus - Tech-Priest Manipulus)
Troops: Chrono-Gladiator - Combat Servitors - CATs - Electro Priest - Enginseer
Kataphron Battle Servitors - Myrmidon - Pteraxii - Secutarii - Serberys Raiders
Serberys Sulphurhounds - Servo-Automata - Skitarii - Tech Priest - Tech Thrall
Thallax - Ursarax
Castellan-class robot - Cataphract-class robot - Colossus-class robot
Conqueror-class robot - Crusader-class robot - Scyllax-class robot
Thanatar-class robot - Vultarax stratos-automata - Ambot
Walkers: Ironstrider Ballistarius - Onager Dunecrawler - Sydonian Dragoon
Vehicles: Chimera - Karacnos Assault Tank - Krios Battle Tank - Land Raider
Macrocarid Explorator - Minotaur Artillery Tank - Rhino Transport
Skorpius Hover Tank - Triaros Armoured Conveyer
Flyers: Archaeopter - Avenger Strike Fighter - Lightning Fighter - Storm Eagle
Other: Galvanic Servohauler - Ordinatus
Titans: Dire Wolf Heavy Scout Titan - Imperator Battle Titan - Imperial Knight
Reaver Battle Titan - Warbringer Nemesis Titan - Warmaster Heavy Battle Titan
Warhound Scout Titan - Warlord Battle Titan
Spacecraft: Fury Interceptor - Starhawk Bomber - Shark Assault Boat
Vehicles of the Imperium of Man
Walkers Contemptor-Galatus Dreadnought - Contemptor-Incaendius Dreadnought - Death Company Dreadnought
Deathwatch Dreadnought - Dreadnought - Nemesis Dreadknight - Doomglaive Dreadnought - Furioso Dreadnought
Ironstrider Ballistarius - Invictor Tactical Warsuit - Librarian Dreadnought - Mortifier - Mortis Dreadnought
Onager Dunecrawler - Penitent Engine - Redemptor Dreadnought - Sentinel - Space Wolves Venerable Dreadnought
Sydonian Dragoon - Telemon Heavy Dreadnought - Throne of Judgement - Wulfen Dreadnought - Paragon Warsuit
Ambot - Castellan-class robot - Cataphract-class robot - Colossus-class robot - Conqueror-class robot
Crusader-class robot - Cyclops Demolition Vehicle - CATs - Servo-Automata - Scyllax-class robot
Thanatar-class robot - Vultarax stratos-automata
Transports Aurox - Chimera - Coronus Grav Carrier - Crassus Armored Assault Transport - Goliath Truck
Gorgon Armored Assault Transport - Hades Breaching Drill - Immolator - Impulsor - Macro-Hauler
Pegasus AAV - Razorback Transport - Repressor - Rhino - Road-Wheeler - Taurox - Testudo
Titan Train - Trojan Support Vehicle - Triaros Armoured Conveyer - Tunneling Transport Vehicles
Atlas Recovery Tank - Achilles Ridgerunner - Bane Wolf - Bike Squad - Cargo-8 Ridgehauler - Centaur Utility Vehicle
Devil Dog - Galvanic Servohauler - Goliath Mauler - Hellhound - Invader ATV - Land Crawler - Pegasus AFV
Salamander Reconnaissance Tank - Scylla Light Tank - Siegfried - Squat Bike - Squat Trike - Tauros
Tectonic Fragdrill - Venator - Wolfquad
Castigator Tank - Caladius Grav-Tank - Gladiator Tank - Kratos Heavy Assault Tank - Krios Battle Tank
Land Raider - Leman Russ Battle Tank - Predator - Ragnarok - Repulsor Tank - Sabre Tank Hunter
Sicaran Battle Tank - Spartan Assault Tank - Vindicator
Ordnance Basilisk Artillery Gun - Colossus Bombard - Deathstrike Missile Launcher
Exorcist - Goliath Mega-Cannon - Griffon Heavy Mortar Carrier - Hunter - Hydra Flak Tank
Land Train - Legion Arquitor Bombard - Manticore Launcher Tank - Medusa Siege Gun
Rapier Armoured Carrier - Stalker - Thunderfire Cannon - Whirlwind - Wyvern Suppression Tank
Astraeus - Baneblade - Capitol Imperialis - Cerberus Heavy Tank Destroyer - Colossus War Machine
Cyclops War Machine - Fellblade - Leviathan - Macharius Heavy Tank - Macrocarid Explorator
Malcador Heavy Tank - Mobile Cathedral - Mastodon - Ordinatus - Typhon Heavy Siege Tank
Skimmers Dawneagle Jetbike - Escher Cutter - Gyrfalcon Pattern Jetbike - Imperial Jetbike
Javelin Attack Speeder - Grav-Cutter - Grav-Rhino - Kharon - Land Speeder
Land Speeder Vengeance - Pulpit of Saint Holline's Basilica - Skorpius Hover Tank
Stormrider - Storm Speeder - Pallas Grav-Attack
Flyers Archaeocopter - Ares Gunship - Caestus Assault Ram - Container Transporter - Corvus Blackstar
Fire Raptor - Iron Eagle Gyrocopter - Nephilim Jetfighter - Orgus Flyer - Orion Gunship - Overlord Gunship
Overlord Armoured Airship - Sky Talon - Space Marine Landing Craft - Storm Eagle - Stormbird
Stormhawk - Chiropteran - Stormraven - Stormtalon - Stormwolf - Thunderhawk - Valkyrie - Vendetta
Fighters &
Avenger Strike Fighter - Lightning Fighter - Marauder Bomber
Stormfang - Thunderbolt Fighter - Xiphon Interceptor
Spacecraft Aquila Lander - Arvus Lighter - Boarding Torpedo - Devourer Dropship - Drop Pod
Faustus Interceptor - Fury Interceptor - Gun-Cutter - Shark Assault Boat
Starhawk Bomber - Tetrarch Heavy Lander
Titans Imperial Knight - Warhound Scout Titan - Dire Wolf Heavy Scout Titan - Reaver Battle Titan
Warbringer Nemesis Titan - Warlord Battle Titan - Warmaster Heavy Battle Titan - Emperor Battle Titan