The Au-400. Developed by Aier Unlimited (CA), it was notable for being the first aircraft to serve on the flying aircraft carriers of the mid 21st century. Prototype testing was started in 2061, and by 2063 there was a factory completed in Ontario for the production of the Au-350. Compared to other pre-existing carrier borne aircraft, the Au-350 was renowned for its speed, service ceiling and range. The design of the Au-350 was revisited in 2066 and by 2067, retooling began for production of the Au-400. The Au-400 boasted a higher top speed, higher service ceiling (due to new engines), an airbrake, redesigned air intakes and a set of reverse thrusters.
Design and Development
The somewhat unique design of the Au-400 was made out of an attempt to use the airframe of the Au-400 as a means to flood the compressors with slower air than would be found under the wings. In doing so, the engines could be lightened and shortened with less room needed for the engine to force the air into being subsonic. The placement of the engines is typical of a light fighter, where the actual engines are simply inline with the fuselage. The Au-400 was the first entirely original design by Aier Unlimited, uninfluenced by current American or European Aircraft of the time. Total time to design and produce the first Au-350 was just a month over 2 years, with the combat-ready Au-400 remodel rolling off the factory floor in October of 2068.
Operational History (Au-400F / Au-400F/A)
The Au-400 itself never saw any combat, and with only 87 in total produced (12 of which were Au-350s), only select few ace squadrons ever even saw one in the flesh. Two of these squadrons were the 233rd Highlands Fighter Wing and the rather legendary 7th Support Wing. As per request, both squadrons received special order Au-400Fs or F/As in 2091 despite the original remnant Au-400s being officially retired in 2088. Incorporating a multitude of new design elements including bubble cockpits, improved avionics and new engines. The 400F and 400F/A took part in the Second Korean War alongside NATO, from 2097 to 2102. Canadian ace James Mallard holds the Au-400F/A kill record at a total of 62 air to air victories in the second korean war. The Au-400 only ever fought from 2097 to 2102, and the F and F/A models were finally pulled from service in 2151.
Top Speed: ~4244km/h
Dimentions (m): 9.61 x 4.77 x 12.22
Service Ceiling: 20.1km