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Viscount Rhyl-class Provincial Packet

This design originally appeared in the February/March 2015 issue.

Viscount Rhyl-class Provincial Packets
PP-A341442-050000-50000-0 MCr 953.624 1500dT
Bat Bear    3     2       Crew: 30
Bat         3     2       TL: 14
Cargo: 200  Pass: 80  Fuel: 660  EP: 60  Agl: 1
Craft: 110T launch
Fuel Treatment:   Scoops, On-Board Purification
Architects:       Penruddock & Co.
Architects Fee:   MCr 9.536
Cost in Quantity: MCr 762.899

The Viscount Rhyl-class Provincial Packet was designed to spec to replace the Hamtramck-class Provincial Packet as the mainstay of the DiGroat Packet Line, which role it continues in to this day.

Viscount Rhyl: The lead vessel of her class, Viscount Rhyl was laid down before the 5th Frontier War. Despite having a MANS subsidy and being close to completion, her construction at the Bilstein Yards in Glisten was suspended for the duration of the war when the naval merchant shipping board felt the vessel wasn’t needed for the war effort. Construction was resumed when news of the armistice reached Glisten and Viscount Rhyl took her maiden flight within the year. The packet is a larger version of her predecessors; all are cylinders whose thrust is perpendicular to their decks. The packet’s passenger accommodations are separated from other parts of the vessel by two 100-dTon cargo bays. Forward/“above” the passenger and cargo sections are crew quarters and the bridge with most of the vessel’s fuel tankage further forward towards the bow. Aft/“below” the passenger and cargo sections are the ship’s engineering spaces and boat hangar.

Because they fly between large ports where interface craft are available, the vessels carry no small craft beyond a single launch and no cargo handling craft. The packets spend only that time necessary for refueling and the transfer of cargo in the Weiss and Havrosette systems. Passengers may embark or disembark in those systems, but they will need to arrange for transport between the packets and the planet. In the Grote, Glisten, and Strouden systems the packets will either dock at the system highports or passenger shuttles will be available.

In the packet’s three “terminus” systems, the 48 hour turn around period is hectic. Fueling will begin while the packet is still inbound, as will cargo transfers. New ship stores are brought aboard before all the passengers have disembarked. A large cleaning and repair crew also boards as soon as possible to being tackling a work list which was radioed ahead when the packet exited jump space. Crew rotations are also made at this time, but no crewman walks away from the packet’s work until the ship is outbound for the jump limit.

Because the packets officially sell only middle passages, and accommodate high passengers on only rare occasions, they can quickly unload and load passengers en masse. A single shuttle can handle all of a packet’s passengers. Embarking and disembarking occur at times that are convenient for the packet and typically “out of sync” with local clocks.

The continuous effort the DiGroat Packet Line to maintain their 400-hour schedule pays off as the ships make their scheduled departures well over 99% of the time.


Name Keel Laid 1st Flight Builder Fate
Viscount Rhyl 330-1105 183-1111 Bilstein in svc, DPL
Lord Montpensier 075-1111 211-1113 Herreshoff in svc, DPL
Baroness Keroualle 102-1112 173-1114 StrouFAB in svc, DPL
Viscount Kamoya 099-1115 232-1117 Herreshoff in svc, DPL