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Corsair MK4
Aerospace Fighter Design
Caption
ARMAMENT:
2 40mm Arkana Repeating Rail Guns Fixed Forward in Nose
6000 lbs of Wing Mounted Ordinance - Commonly A/SIM-9 Sidewinder III or 2.75" Rockets
CREW:
One Pilot

HISTORY:
The Matsumoto F-204 Corsair IV is the direct descendant of the F-176 Corsair III, and was designed and produced to meet the need for advanced airospace and transatmospheric capable combat fighters in an ever expanding reach of human colonization. After humanity's first encounters with the enigmatic Utan'ni, and later the very hostile Kro', it was clear that defenses and combat craft that were space only or atmosphere only were insufficient. A new craft was needed that would engage in space and follow targets into an atmosphere, or launch from a ground base and follow targets into space. While many designs and craft were created to meet this role, the Matsumoto F-176 Corsair III would cement itself as the premiere, first generation of this new breed of war plane. The heart of this craft is a mix of advanced Ramjet/Scramjet and Ion Fusion propulsion that allows the craft to reach stratospheric flight from a ground base, and then "boost" into orbital flight by switching over to the fusion driven ion engines. The overall profile of the craft draws visual inspiration from it's ancient ancestor that saw service in one of the great wars of Old Earth, with distinctive Gull Wings. While the Arkana 40mm repeating rail cannons have a much slower fire rate than traditional 20mm or 30mm autocannons, they pack a far more powerful impact and greater range, making the Corsair a threat to larger craft even once missiles have been expended. The most significant disadvantage is that during the transition from transatmospheric to sub orbital flight the controls of the craft are locked, making it vulnerable to attack and easily tracked. Additionally, the F-204 relies on more traditional reentry, requiring careful piloting and specialized thermal shielding on the underside that results in catastrophic failure if damaged. This thermal shielding also results in less effective armor coverage, giving the Corsair a definitive weak spot. Despite these shortcomings the F-204 Corsair in the hands of a skilled pilot is an effective combatant, and it has a long and distinguished career among many governments, corporate militias, planetary defense forces, and militaries.
Sadly, with the disolution and collapse of Matsumoto Industries during the Binary Wars, the F-204 was the last of its lineage. This did not, however, prevent the continued production of the craft. As a result of the ongoing war and enactment of wartime powers, the designs and specifications for this craft were siezed by the Fledling E.O.C. and released publicly to numerous aerospace ngineering firms to retool their factories for continued production. As a result, the F-204 has become the most widely produced and widely varried airospace craft in existance. Despite its age, it still sees production today across the expanse. There are far too many variations to detail in any short order, and in fact and entire guide could be dedicated to this craft and its decendants. The F-204 has seen service in 2 major wars, and is now a common site among pivate militias, mercenaries, security companies, small planetary governments, privateers, and even pirates. Because of the wide availability of the specifications and blueprints, as well as abundance of parts, it is unlikely the F-204 is going anywhere soon.

CREDITS: Davorama (a.k.a Davo, Beyondbent, Powerfusion3D, PoserFusion3D), All the great Kitbashers who have posted images of assemblies with Davo's sets that inspired me.
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