Donar Attack Helicopter Background
The Donar, a Clan attack helicopter, is one of the strangely anachronistic vehicles which exist in the Battletech universe. It begs the question: Why in the world are these advanced military powers still deploying helos? I’ve been wondering this since I posted on the Peregrine VTOL. First, one would think that rotary aircraft would be obsolete since the advent of jump jets. I assume that the engineers have already perfected a better propulsion system than rotor blades since such systems are used to propel 90 ton mechs through the air. Although the need for vertical flight for military aircraft won’t go away anytime soon, helos (specifically their rotors and engines) are extremely inefficient and difficult to maintain. If there is a better system, why is it not being employed across the board? Second, helos can only operate within a narrow environmental band. For instance, if the air is too thick or too thin, it’s a no go. That means that the Donar can only fly on a planet that has an atmosphere (and gravity) that is almost exactly like Earth’s. Otherwise, it would make a good lawn ornament on airbases. For military forces which are bent on interplanetary conquest, it seems odd and shortsighted to deploy a support aircraft that can’t go to with the rest of their forces.
Most Clan forces field variants of the Donar. It was named after the Teutonic god of thunder (the German version of Thor). It was designed to attack targets at long range, and employs a single under slung large laser for this purpose. It is also armed with 2 SRM-2 launchers for close encounters. Three tons of armor gives it decent survivability, even if hit with a 40mm shell. However, like all helos, its weakest link is its fragile rotors, which can be taken out with small arms fire. Luckily, the Donar is a sturdy bird, and is designed to withstand low attitude crashes. If I were a Donar pilot, this would be cold comfort because I would be wondering why the mech pilots have jump jets but I am stuck in a vehicle with 20th Century technology that can easily be shot down with a rifle.
Donar Lego Model
Primus’ design of the Donar attack helicopter Lego model looks good, and resembles its depictions in Battletech canon. When building the model, I realized that it was missing the horizontal stabilizers on the tail. It would have been simple for me add the tail stabilizers to the design, but I actually like the tailless look. It resembles a flying guppy. I might rebuild it in the future with a tail, but for the time being, I like the results. There weren’t any unusual or hard to find pieces, so I think it could be constructed in almost any color. Oh yeah, the rotor blades do spin!
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