by Pieter Thomassen, with Peter Walker and Rob Morgenstern
edited by Tim Wing
- Pegasus reference file
- Pegasus gallery
Designation: Liège Industries Lourd AS-14 Pegasus Assault Shuttle
Names and disposition:
- Trans-orbital Assault Shuttle, about 800 craft built by Liège Industries Lourd in Belgium and under license by Lockheed in the United States.
- 5 crew, 32 troops maximum. 37 personnel total.
- Length: 77.7 meters.
- Height: 23.3 meters, 13.0 meters (without tails/antennas)
- Wing Span: 32.2 meters.
- Weight: 912 metric tons unloaded, 1140 metric tons at full load.
- Main Power Source (1): Monument Propulsion miniaturized Protoculture-cell energizer.
- Reaction Mass Thrusters (3): Turbomeca RT-56 reaction mass thrusters, with sufficient hydrogen fuel for 1.5 g of acceleration to be sustained for six minutes.
- Secondary Thrusters (6): lower-powered reaction thrusters (various designs) for VTOL and hover capabilities. These VTOL thrusters are designed for use on planets with 0.25g of gravity or less. Pegasus boosting to orbit
- Reusable Detachable Booster, containing four Turbomeca RT-56 reaction mass thrusters, with sufficient hydrogen fuel for 2.0 g of acceleration to be sustained for five minutes. Booster is 35m long, but only adds 11.5m to the total length when attached, and masses 220 metric tons. Booster is usually ejected after low orbital insertion, and can be recovered for reuse.
- Planetary Capabilities: The Assault Shuttle has, with its plasma engines, enough thrust available to fly in an atmosphere with a cruise speed of Mach 2.5. Orbital insertion requires the use of the detachable booster and take-off from an erector pad at an aerodrome with the required installations for launch.
- Sub-orbital flight is possible with runway take-offs.
- CIWS-L-40 Point Defense Laser Turrets (3): A laser system designed to engage enemy mecha. It can fire its laser gun every two seconds, and delivers 25 MJ of laser energy on target. The installation is housed in a compact turret mount. The Pegasus has three such turrets, one to the rear of the cockpit and two to the sides.
- CIWS-L-20 Point Defense Lasers (8): A laser system designed for anti-mecha and anti-missile operations. The Pegasus mounts four lasers per side surrounding the side turrets. Side weaponry
Air Group Complement:
- 6 mecha units.
The AS-14 Pegasi are primarily lightly armed space shuttles. They are designed to transport a small group of mecha (1/3 squadron) to space and then to launch these at the enemy. If necessary, the mecha or any other cargo, can also be transported to a moon. Their layout reflects these simple design goals. Like with the old pre-war shuttles, the Pegasus is launched vertically from a platform. The design mounts a cockpit in a blister up front, a small cargo bay behind that, closed by full-length hinged doors, and four main engines mounted at the stern. Two delta wings are mounted at the rear, and two large fins, almost as large as the wings, spring from the wing-roots in an angle of 45 degrees. Three medium laser turrets are distributed around the forward fuselage. The Pegasus often uses a liquid fuel booster package attached to the bottom to save on internal reaction mass, thus increasing its delta-v by 6 kps.
The United Earth Government (UEG) commissioned several new types of smaller combat vessels after the First Robotech War. Two of these were dedicated orbital combat shuttles for the United Earth Defense Forces (UEDF) and the Reconnaissance Expeditionary Force (REF, later re-designated the United Earth Expeditionary Force (UEEF)). While for a small duration it looked as if a common design could be produced, the vastly different requirements eventually created two separate classes, each capable of carrying a small attack force (six mecha or an Infantry platoon) to their battlefields. The UEDF commissioned the AC-14 Pegasus Assault Shuttle, a mecha transport that mostly relied on its small size and large numbers; The REF built the larger, abler and heavier Predator Assault Dropship, which had far better performance, but was almost half again as heavy and twice as expensive.
The UEDF needed little more than an armed space shuttle that had to carry its cargo into Earth or Lunar orbit. As all launches would be from permanent bases, no expensive terrestrial-gravity VTOL capability was necessary (though a lighter VTOL system was needed for lunar landings because of the lack of an atmosphere), and a liquid fuel booster package could be used as well. The result was the simple, reliable and light Pegasus shuttle. Almost 800 of these craft were built by Liège Industries Lourd in Belgium during the interwar years, and many were lost fighting the heavily armored and armed vessels of the Robotech Masters. The Pegasus was intended to be used against Zentraedi Fighter pods as they descended into the atmosphere; while the larger UEDF ‘Southern Cross’ ships were to engage the Zentraedi Battlecruisers, the shuttles were to ascend to orbit and deliver their mecha payloads, which they would then support against the Fighter and Re-entry pods. For this, the Pegasus was adequate, but as so often happens, the design did not see combat against its intended foes.
Instead, the shuttles were used to carry mecha up to the orbiting Motherships of the Robotech Masters, an enemy far deadlier to the shuttles than the Zentraedi were thought to be. Few Pegasus ships survived their Pyrrhic victories, and fewer still survived the UEDF’s many defeats.
Robotech (R) is the property of Harmony Gold. Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross (R) is the property of Big West Advertising, Tatsunoko Studio and Ammonite studio. This document is in no way intended to infringe upon their rights.
Original artwork by: Kogawa Tomonori, Hiroyuki Kitazume, Miyo Sonoda, Hiroshi Ogawa, Hirotoshi Ohkura and Takashi Ono
Acknowledgement is extended to Peter Walker, Pieter Thomassen and Robert Morgenstern of the unofficial Robotech Reference Guide. Peter Walker, Pieter Thomassen and Robert Morgenstern are given credit for all quotes and paraphrasing of the unofficial Robotech Reference Guide that has been utilized in this publication.
Images from – This is Animation #10 The Southern Cross, Unspecified Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross OSM
Content by Pieter Thomassen, with Peter Walker and Rob Morgenstern, edited by Tim Wing
Copyright © 1999, 1997, 1995 Robert Morgenstern, Pieter Thomassen, Peter Walker; 2016 Tim Wing