One of the most important characters in the book is Orlando Jax’ ship – the Claw.
The Claw is a true spaceship, a galaxsia class vessel which means it capable of travelling to any part of the galaxy. I’ll write about my ideas of vessel class another time. The Claw is also an atmosphere capable craft which means it is not restricted to staying in orbit around a planet. It can withstand the forces generated by moving at speed through an atmosphere.
If the Claw can land on a planet’s surface how does it land? Does it descend and rise in a Harrier VTOL kind of a way? Well I think it has to, but the story at the moment doesn’t require that. Doing that gets us into a discussion about gravity and gravity plates which is for another time. Given that this is a pirate ship, and on Old Earth pirates were based on ships, it made perfect sense for the Claw to be a space ship – an updated and much more capable version of the great flying boats of the 1930s and 1940s. Of these my favourite is the Empire Class flying boat – it’s just a fabulous, bizarre but beautiful machine.
The design world has moved on a great deal, and boat design is no exception. Compare the lines of the Empire Class with the stunning lines of the Earthrace/Ady Gil
I think the Claw is a fusion of these two great designs. Once I get to grips with the Blender graphical user interface, I’ll have a go at producing a 3D model. In the meantime, this is where I’m going with this design: