Thu, Feb 18, 2021 at 2:21 AM
Thank you very much for the prompt feedback.
Looks like I got it a bit bass-ackwards. Your SVG file explains a whole lot, even better than the description. (big smile here)
I had seen the description of the floor plan, but in my own truly stupid fashion had completely skipped over the leading description of the Box Haulers. Then when I read the description of area #22 somehow assumed that this was the 'entire' cargo area. In hindsight I see that my mistake turned this otherwise mammoth vessel into a tiny little trawler somewhat akin to that old steam powered vessel - the Clyde Puffer...
... a relatively large power unit pushing around not so very much freight. Ha! Ha!
The GM Cargo Hauler is apparently the space-going equivalent of the ubiquitous highway semi-trailer truck rig. Instead of having the greased pad at the rear into which the trailer pin slots/mounts, you have turned the concept around (and on its head), giving the locking/locating pin to this space tractor. Nice.
Having thus made this faulty leap in logic, I subsequently increased the volume of the fore portion of the middle deck so that the vessel could transport at least a bit more cargo than what I imagined would have been woefully little. I did wonder at the visual problems associated with trying to 'see' around this volume of cargo, but this is the future and all those remote data-linked cameras would have made up for this. My thinking of the fore portion as the cargo area also explains the cargo doors.
The top and bottom mounting of the weapons pods was meant to work around the potential line-of-sight hinder for the gunner around that large front cargo volume. In this retrospect I wasn't so far off the mark. I just have to extend that to mounting various pods on the cargo as well if it ever comes to that. In any case, you have pointed out that the weapons pods are modular and can be mounted most anywhere.
The change in volume of freight being moved also explains the need for the larger thrust cone at the rear. Much larger. No way to hide that one under protective clam shell doors. Just make it strong enough to withstand the occasional blast of space dust.
Those thrusters which I thought to be oversized are actually somewhat small for purpose. The logical placement for the thrusters is not on the hull of the box hauler, but rather out along the edges of the link integrity frame.
Time to take this vessel back to the shipyard for a refit.
Stay tuned for the thrilling second episode...