The Royal Dirigible Corps

 Anti-Pirate Tactics.

Since the appearance of the Air pirate around the world, the pirates have a certain way of capturing other Dirigibles. The Air Pirate wants to capture the Dirigible intact as a destroyed Dirigible with a dead crew is of no value.

The Pirate captain, will try to position his / her vessel as to take advantage of the sun and try their best to attain the weather gauge. A height advantage is also preferable allowing the pirates to either abseil onto the top of the canopy or use the steam boarding wings that have become so popular in recent years. 

On the busier trade routes, such as the Indies, groups of Dirigibles have started to form convoys to try to protect themselves from Pirate attack. The pirates have started to infiltrate convoys however, joining the convoys in the night (the pirate stealth capabilities are to be envied) attacking with their vessels silhouetted against the rising sun. This tactic has caused the loss of many a commercial Dirigible.

To combat these, the RDC has developed many different tactics and devices to help in their continual fight against their pirate foes.

The first tactic against the pirates in the addition to all RDC dirigibles of the Maxim and Vortex cannons, the first are used to strafe the decks clear of the enemy and the latter to collapse the envelope forcing the vessel to the ground.

If this is not possible then the deployment of the RDC marines for boarding actions would then be required. The boarding actions would then be carried out using the latest state of the art devices, namely the Nimbus Rocket pack, the newly developed French invention the Parachute - a large fabric canopy  underneath which the marine hangs and floats down onto the enemy vessel. The final 'Shock' attack is the use of marines on the end of Indian rubber cables who jump out of the gondola above the enemy and use the India rubber cables to stop their fall. (The latter has been used with limited success)

Another tactic, especially in locating the Pirate vessel is the use of the newly developed steam powered Ornithopter, A strange two seater  heavier than air machine that  has beating wings, like those of a bird, which allow the craft to perform marvels in the air. These machines are carried underneath the larger RDC Dirgibles (Imperial Class Cruiser) suspended underneath the gondola and launched when required by releasing their tethers. The pilot of these Ornithopters are able to scout around the area and report back to the 'mother ship' where the co-pilot can use the portable heliograph to signal course and speed details of any enemy thus observed. Once the Ornithopter has done its job it is recovered by the use of suspended cables underneath the Dirigibles gondola. These are attached to hooks on the Orithopter by the co-pilot and once secure the craft is brought into dock.

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