Mechwarrior Peregrine VTOL
The Peregrine falcon is a bird of prey that renowned for its speed, maneuverability, and grace. It has an incredible top speed of 320 k.m.h., making it one of the fastest living things on the planet. It needs to be fast because it hunts other birds. It kills its victims with a technique which is unique to it. It strikes them from the air by diving at them at high speed like a feathered air-to-air missile. The Peregrine falcon is the best at what it does—killing with speed, precision, and power. No doubt the makers of the Peregrine VTOL from the Battletech universe were inspired by these attributes when they gave the aircraft its name. Unfortunately, their ambitions were too grandiose because the Peregrine VTOL failed to live up to any of its expectations. It is an embarrassment to its namesake.
For every weapon system that succeeds, there are at least five which are regulated to the dustbin of history. The Peregrine VTOL should be one of the latter, except that its history takes place in the future. It was designed to be an attack helicopter. In the close air support role, it is required to attack ground targets to protect nearby friendly units. It order to succeed at this mission, it must have a fairly robust frame, as well as ample firepower. It must be able to take punches because close air support aircraft routinely mix it up with ground forces, which have a nasty habit of shooting at attacking aircraft. Small arms fire may be inconsequential to most aircraft, but a low flying helo can easily be brought down with small arms fire if it is well concentrated. This can be dealt with in two ways, by giving the aircraft enough armor to survive such encounters (the Russian Hind is a good example of this philosophy), or, by giving the aircraft long range weapons so that it can keep a safe distance from the ground forces which it is attacking (the U.S. army’s Apache). The Peregrine VTOL has neither.
The Peregrine VTOL’s armor is so weak that small arms ground fire can take it down with ease. Not good for an attack helo. Worse yet, its weapons have such short range that in order to do its job, it must get very close to ground the forces that it is attacking (and which are attacking it). More often than not, it is shot down before it can do any damage. Instead of being a hunter, it is a fat airborne target. The Peregrine has other problems, too, such as its unreliability, which in turn is amplified by its hellish maintenance procedures. The performance of the Peregrine VTOL was so dismal that almost all Inner Sphere units pulled it from front line duties. It is regulated to local police units, or transport duty, where its speed is still an asset.
The Peregrine VTOL Mech Aircraft Lego Model
The Lego model of the Peregrine VTOL below was designed by Ron Perovich, but is included on Primus’ website. We have created a new category for aircraft and vehicles, and the Peregrine VTOL will be the first model featured in this category. The Battletech universe is not just about mechs, but a wide assortment of other war machines. The mechs are the star of the show, of course, but let’s not ignore the supporting cast. In researching this post, I realized that the Peregrine VTOL Lego model looked nothing like any of the depictions of it within Battletech canon. I debated about posting it due to this serious inconsistency, but decided to do so anyway because it was a pretty cool looking helo Lego model. Keep this in mind if you are unhappy with the model’s appearance. When I have more time, I might build a better representative of the Peregrine VTOL, but for now, enjoy these pics with the above caveat.
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