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The Iron Wolverine: A Steampunk Rebuild

 About the Iron Wolverine
The Iron Wolverine is a unqiue fighter plane in the Nikronian Defence Force.

Following one of the first air battles between the Axons and the C Quadrant Defenders over Nikros, the wreckage of a Wolverine fighter was found in the desert. Much of the space fighter's hull was salvageable, but it would likely never be space worthy again. As they say, one space force's trash is another air force's treasure. The best engineers on Nikros gathered up what remained of the Wolverine and set to work rebuilding it using the technology they had available, and the Iron Wolverine was reborn from the ashes.

The existing internal combustion engines and rocket engine had been destroyed beyond the possibility of repair with available metalurgy knowledge available. Nikros excels at steam-based technology, so it stood to reason that they would refit the fighter using that instead. A centralized wood-fired bronze boiler was installed in the center of the airframe, and the engine housings were rebuilt around a pair of steam turbines attached to large propellers using gear reduction. The quad machine guns in the nose were removed and replaced with a a spear cannon, connected to the boiler. A simple box was attached to the underside to hold a dynamite bomb payload, in place of where the rocket engine previously sat.

The boiler is fed from a central gravity hopper running through the rear fuselage, with air intakes behind the propellers. Crates of spare wood and barrels of additional water for the engine are carried on either side of the hull, behind the turbines. The exhaust from the boiler is then fed back through a dynamo at the rear of the aircraft, used to recharge a pair of lead acid batteries. The electrical power is provided for a two-way vacuum tube AM radio for the pilot. A central antenna mast is attached atop the boiler, with aerials running back to the tailplane.

You can still see the resemblance to the original Wolverine, but the Iron Wolverine is very much an aircraft unlike any other.

   The Iron Wolverine and it's pilot.

   The open cockpit provides great visibility for the pilot. The propellers are huge.

   The wings were made from a composite of the top and bottom wing of the original Wolverine.

   Unlike the original Wolverine, this one forgoes the usual T-tail. The AM antenna mast sits in the center of the plane. You can spot the crate of dynamite.

   Surprisingly, the plane is wood fired. The open-air crates of wood are important for long distance flights.

   The bronze boiler is centered in the airframe to keep weight evenly distributed. The dome collects steam, and air intakes for the boiler sit right behind the propellers to improve airflow.

   While it isn't recommended, you could refill the wood hopper mid-flight. The pilot's rifle is stored back here next to the lead acid batteries, and dynamo fed off of exhaust gasses for providing electricity for the radio.

   Spare wood in the bins, barrels of water for the engine, and the flywheel of the steam turbine that drives this propeller.

   The underside of the airframe shows the undercarriage, plus better detail on the dynamo and spear cannons, and the crate of dynamite.

   The spear cannon is fed with steam from the boiler. The nose has air intakes specifically to help cool the radio's vacuum tubes.

   The cockpit is quite unlike the aircraft it started out as. Long gone are any of the original computers or electronics, and all that remains is analog, including the two-way radio.

   The weapons loadout: spear cannon, box of dynamite, and the pilot's rifle.

   Water barrels, crates of wood, the vacuum tube radio, and lead acid batteries.

 Meta Description
This was the first steampunk creation I posted to MOCpages in June of 2007. I looked at the Wolverine fighter and thought "what if this was steampunk" then wrote the lore around that. This wasn't the first time I had done some really complicated rebuild of something to make it powered by something other than the default, the first time being the space shuttle carrier set as a kid.
General Characteristics
NameIron Wolverine
TypeExperimental Fighter
AffliationNikronian Defence Force, Nikros
Armament1 x Spear Cannon
10 x Dynamite Bombs
Propulsion2 x turbine-driven propellers, steam engine
Crew Compliment1

Gallery was generated using igal2 2.2
This page was last updated on 3/12/2023