The Big Picture
VSS 002 is a large project. As I continue to work with it the more it seems to grow. It's very involved and I have reached a point where in order to continue I will need to finish a series of smaller concepts first. This is especially apparent concerning the upper hull and flight deck.
To recap a bit, the upper hull will be made using a jigsaw puzzle approach. This will give strength and enable easy manufacture of parts -- a few identical parts need to be replicated over and over until the hull is complete. VSS 002 will follow the original VSS with a flight deck, middle deck, and bridge area. However, 002 flight deck will have to be custom made in order to help it fit with the upper hull.
So now I'm going to take a little pause to step back a bit and see the whole ship. Some screen captures will show the standard flight deck, the standard middle deck, and the bridge. It is assumed, however, that the middle deck will also have to be redone, and the bridge positioned more in the center of the middle deck, and probably elongated a bit. A secondary bridge may be placed on top at some point.
There are some opportunities to have a raised flight deck: a catwalk system could be placed between the top hull and the flight deck. This catwalk could become a series of weapon battlements. A Phalanx CIWS type system could be placed there, the Harpoon missile system too, many sci-fi type energy weapons, even rail guns, could also be placed along a catwalk. So the flight deck could be surrounded by a ring of weapons. Such a catwalk could become a deck all it's own -- a mini deck. This is only a possibility, though, an option, not a definite thing. But I am leaning towards it. Raising the flight deck does seem to offer some aesthetics for VSS 002 being a space ship.
A New Flight Deck (Second Look)
An alternative flight deck can be designed using the jigsaw puzzle idea. The new flight deck would be a bit wider than the standard, about as wide to cover the port/starboard walkways. It is also a possibility that the new flight deck could be "covered". I write it in quotes because I'm on the fence about covering the deck. The idea is small space ships, such as fighter craft like the Cobra Stiletto, could be ready to launch at a moment's notice already on the flight deck. But the deck is exposed to battle and the harshness of space. It might be possible to construct a hangar-like structure protecting the Stiletto's. If so, then such a structure would be hinged so a person can access the inside.
The Middle Flight Deck
A normal VSS has a middle deck between the two primary flight decks. This middle deck functions as a small flight deck for aircraft such as a Cobra Claw or Fang, and some VSS configurations have this "deck" as a submarine. As a space carrier, VSS 002 will also have this middle area.
On a recent DioWarriors TV video (available in YouTube) (watch the video here) I took a look at the middle deck and the jigsaw top hull and noticed the jigsaw offers the possibility of open access to the lower deck. For example, an elevator system could be implemented into the jigsaw construction -- simply remove a tile and place an elevator there. I like the idea. So I am now leaning towards an elevator system to move aircraft/spacecraft to and from the lower deck. And so I am also thinking the middle deck area could be designed for maintenance.
There are some other areas to pause and look more closely at. But I will place these thoughts and observations in another blog post. The top hull will eventually get a grid system for support. Some of the newer screen captures will show this. There's also issues concerning the bridge and possibly multiple bridges, and the aesthetics of pulling all of this together. Working on this project I am amazed at how easy it is to seriously customize the standard VSS into something very unique.
Latest News blog thingy.