|Meteos Manned Dirigible|
|Tech Base||Inner Sphere (Advanced)|
|Chassis Type (Size)||AirShip (Medium)|
|Power Plant||Electric (Battery)|
|Fuel (Type/Range)||Electricity / 33|
|Barrier Armor Rating (BAR)||BAR 7|
|Crew||5 (1 officers, 4 enlisted/non-rated)|
The Meteos family of manned dirigibles was designed and built by the HidaCorp Consortium of Robinson, with the Meteos 1 going into production in 2898. A compact, lightweight class of dirigibles, the Meteos was originally intended to be used for weather observations during the Succession Wars era, when satellite observation and stratospheric aircraft weren't necessarily always available as a reliable source of information.
The Meteos quickly proved that as a silent, long-endurance dirigible that could be easily redeployed, it would serve well in other roles, and was swiftly adopted for a range of purposes including observation by police and security forces, sports commentary, traffic management, sightseeing and town planning. By the 3070s HildaCorp had introduced nine different series of Meteos, although at heart the Meteos remained a platform for scientific instruments.
Although most Meteos travelled only short distances or remained on-station for the bulk of their deployments, those used for sightseeing would often travel notable distances. As the Meteos could be connected to a tether line up to 5km long, both anchoring it in place and acting as a power conduit, tethered Meteos could operate with effectively unlimited duration, and some of the Meteos dirigibles used for high-altitude reconnaissance or as communications relays had solar arrays incorporated into the exterior of their helium envelopes, significantly increasing their endurance. Those same high-altitude reconnaissance and communications airships were crewless, operating remotely by either onboard navigation computers or base stations.
The standard atmospheric ceiling of the Meteos was more than 15km, although the record was set by the Meteos 8, which reached a height of 20km in 3041; the pressurized cabin integral to the Meteos 9 class set the design apart from many other commercial dirigible designs, which were intended to only operate at low altitudes. This same pressurized cabin also allowed the Meteos to deploy on worlds with toxic atmospheres, where those atmospheres didn't diverge too far from Terran standards.
Weapons and EquipmentEdit
The Meteos is unarmed, but mounts five tons of infrared imager equipment, a five-ton look-down radar and two and a half tons of hi-res imager equipment, all located in the front of the dirigible. The Meteos comes with 6 passenger seats as standard, and can transport just over one and a half tons of cargo. The Meteos has the Environmental Sealing Chassis Modification.
A number of variants of the Meteos were designed; those variants used for sightseeing most commonly stripped out the scientific instrument package and replaced it with cooking and sanitation facilities, along with additional passenger seating.
- Meteos Manned Dirigible 8 - introduced into service in 3041.
- Meteos Manned Dirigible 9 (Sightseeing) - introduced into service in 3067.
As of this writing there are no canon Record Sheets for any of the Meteos Manned Dirigible designs.