by John Fleming
Here is the Doenia Model 1011. Yeah, that name sucks, so it didn't take long for it to get a nickname from it's pilots. They call it the Crabby Eek Gull. It's an unflattering name at best, a big insult to the designers at worst. Its nickname is from a bird found on the home planet, Doenia. This bird is almost flightless. It can soar, if it has a cliff to dive off of, or a very strong head wind. Preferably both. And while it is trying to fly, it lets out an awful eeking sound. Wonder how it got it's name? Pilots found the 1011 hard to fly at first, hence the name. But once you have enough hours in it, you can make it dance, without stepping on too many toes.
The Crabby Eek Gull is a delta wing design, allowing it to save a lot of fuel when returning to ground side bases. It simply glides in. Although it does not need to glide, the engines can convert to air-breathers when in a suitable atmosphere. But it does require the engines to exit the atmosphere, and this is when it displays it most unruly flight characteristics.
Once in space, it's not a bad fighter. It wins most fights it gets into. Good design, or a worse enemy design? Still undecided. It has 4 large engines. Really, it has 8 engines, but each engine is a hybrid, incorporating an air breathing engine with a high thrust matter/antimatter reaction engine.
It has a gatling style phased laser gun in the nose. The gun delivers a very high intensity beam, but was prone to overheating. The system developed into a multiple barrel idea, allowing the previously fired laser to cool sufficiently enough to fire when it's turn is up again.