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Ultima Ratio Regum by MikeDoscher Ultima Ratio Regum by MikeDoscher
Distinctive in both their weapon systems and their ungainly profile, the Dorand DO.XXIII was a trans-atmospheric bomber built around the 'Hauteclare' program, which sought to produce remotely controlled weapons based upon feedback and navigation systems used by the invaders. Large, complex, and relatively fragile, the free fall and later (depicted here) rocket-boosted bombs required not only a large platform to bring them within range, but specialized transmission gear for their control. Existing vessels capable of operating at high speed at the edge of the atmosphere were either too small to carry the weapon, or not maneuverable enough to launch at an optimum height and angle while still avoiding the area of effect. The DO.XXIII was an unusual but effective solution. Taking advantage of the latest efforts to miniaturize the Martian gravity drives, the French scaled up one of their existing bomber prototypes while adding a third drive on an adjustable airfoil. This configuration allowed the craft to break cleanly from the path of their payload, without having the accuracy problems inherent in a larger source of artificial gravity.

While never regarded as a pleasant machine to fly, they exhibited good survivability and were an effective tool in the campaigns for Io and the Martian poles. The fitting of increasingly exotic warheads to the Hauteclare series was thought to have been one of the catalysts for the Babel Event, but both the Bourbon throne and the signatories of the Manchester Accords deny this.  

Edit: Replaced the original with one with tweaked colors and improved details and lighting.
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:iconyereverluvinuncleber:
yereverluvinuncleber Featured By Owner 1 day ago  Professional Interface Designer
interesting design :) (Smile) Nice job
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:iconironclad00:
Ironclad00 Featured By Owner 1 day ago  Hobbyist Writer
Looks like the Robert Goddard and Albert Einstein of this universe have their work cut out for them.  Not to mention Wernher von Braun, but that'll be a bit later.
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:iconmikedoscher:
MikeDoscher Featured By Owner 1 day ago  Professional General Artist
Yes, not to mention Lord Whitehead and Jacky Fisher.
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:iconlordomegaz:
LordOmegaZ Featured By Owner 2 days ago  Hobbyist Digital Artist
reminds me of the disney bomb
www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-8s6H…
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:iconraceproducer:
RaceProducer Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2017  Student Digital Artist
I like this steampunk retro-future theme. Reminds me a lot of crimson skies too (even though I never played that game)
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:iconbulletproofcheetah:
BULLETPROOFCHEETAH Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2016
I think the enemy laughed all the way to their grave when they saw this one! Some sneak attacks are just in your face.Twenty One Pilots emote: wait a minute 
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:iconpachumaster:
Pachumaster Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
this is great, is the book out?
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:iconmikedoscher:
MikeDoscher Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2016  Professional General Artist
Nah, I wish. Should be finished with the text soon though. =)
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:iconpachumaster:
Pachumaster Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
cool, thanks!
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:iconspringheel:
springheel Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2015
The weapon reminds of of the first anti-ship missiles used by Germany in WWII.
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:iconmikedoscher:
MikeDoscher Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2015  Professional General Artist
Oh yes, there's quite a lot of the Hs-293 in there, but the thinking if more like a hopped up version of the Kettering Bug.
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:iconspringheel:
springheel Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2015
Formidable job... and I pity whatever felt that warhead!
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:iconrob-cavanna:
Rob-Cavanna Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2015
So freakin' cool! 
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:iconmob19151:
mob19151 Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
It's kinda ironic that the bomb being dropped is a lot more aerodynamic than the actual plane. Not picking on you, just putting it out there. 
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:iconmikedoscher:
MikeDoscher Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2015  Professional General Artist
Well, there's some unusual things going on with the way these things 'fly'. Lift is secondary to the gravitational effect the central engine grants, and the wings function more as a combination rudder and dagger board to make the effect controllable. With improved aerodynamics comes greater speed of course, but many of the effects are poorly understood at the time of the story (compressability, etc.).

It's very strange, and one of the major challenges is being able to communicate it in the book.
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:iconmob19151:
mob19151 Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
:facepalm: Duh, I'm a moron. Obviously you've put more study into this than I have. Anyway, I can't wait for the book. Good luck!
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:iconmikedoscher:
MikeDoscher Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2015  Professional General Artist
No, you're not a moron at all. :) Glad you're looking forward to the book.
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:iconmightymec:
MightyMEC Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2015
This stuff needs to be in a movie.
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:iconmikedoscher:
MikeDoscher Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2015  Professional General Artist
I wouldn't mind. I better get the book done first, though.
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:iconquantumcrab:
QuantumCrab Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2014
I dream of the day when I can scoop up all this glorious art and world-building in some sort of physical book or something, and then fall asleep on it every night to dreams of sci-fi, World War goodness
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:iconmikedoscher:
MikeDoscher Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2014  Professional General Artist
Thanks. I look forward too selling it to you. :)

It'll probably be some sort of e-book first, but I really like the idea of some sort of hard copy, if I can find the right publisher.
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:iconquantumcrab:
QuantumCrab Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2014
Fuck yes. Meanwhile I'll fantasize about one day converting my copy of Leviathans to your setting :)
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:iconkillerweinerdog:
killerweinerdog Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2014
I like it! Does it use a prop/rocket configuration like the Curtiss JTN? 
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:iconmikedoscher:
MikeDoscher Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2014  Professional General Artist
A little like that. The gravity drives use a rotating element to help stabilize the local effect of the drive that looks a lot like a propeller, but they retract automatically when the drag is too high. The DO.XXIII does also have a chemical rocket for use in certain flight regimens, but the amount of fuel carried is limited.
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:iconkillerweinerdog:
killerweinerdog Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2014
I see. So the rocket is used for extreme situations where the craft needs to get out of trouble as quickly as possible?
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:iconmikedoscher:
MikeDoscher Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2014  Professional General Artist
That, but also where they don't want to run their gravity drives. Most common situation for this is when there's a Gravitational Impeder in effect in a gravity well. It's a device that causes gravity drives to malfunction and fail when within the area of effect. You see these set up in perimeters around important installations on the surface of planets, as it makes them harden to attack. One way to get around this is to dive in from higher up in the gravity well, and a conventional rocket gives you a little help.
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:iconkillerweinerdog:
killerweinerdog Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2014
Ah. That's pretty ingenious. How long has it taken to plan all of this out? 
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:iconmikedoscher:
MikeDoscher Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2014  Professional General Artist
Thanks. I guess I've been doing it for a couple years now, but I've been doing these sorts of thought games for longer than that, but I couldn't really say how long.
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:iconkillerweinerdog:
killerweinerdog Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2014
I know what you mean. When you get an idea, it tends to build up over the years into something complex and unique. 
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:iconmikedoscher:
MikeDoscher Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2014  Professional General Artist
Yeah, they're like private stories that you tell yourself, and they keep changing in the telling.
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:iconroen911:
rOEN911 Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
interesting design :) Nice job
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:iconroen911:
rOEN911 Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
interesting design :) Nice job
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