The Hapan Dragon Speeder, or Dragon Speeder for short, was a popular craft that used a powerful reactor. The speeder was popular among civilians as a hunting/joyriding craft, and bought by numerous police and military organizations for its speed and fighting capability. Numerous dragon speeders were integrated into the New Republic Grand Fleet, and saw much action in the Second Clone War and the Next Sith War. The craft was easily modified and was sometimes equipped with flachette missiles instead of laser cannons.
Though wider, heavier, and less aerodynamic than most vehicles of its size, the Dragon Speeder became the primary land-based reconnaissance vehicle for the Hapans in particular and several New Republic fleets. It lead to be considered a new class of vehicle, between a speeder bike and a landspeeder, though capable of higher altitudes than either. Some considered the Dragon Speeder to be a counterpart to the Hutt Battle Rover, which was used in similar ways, though the Dragon Speeder's repulsorlift made it tactically superior to the cheap Hutt-produced vehicle, which depended on wheels for movement.
The Dragon Speeders weren't cheap, but they were enough for civilians to purchase when there was a need for the vehicle. The speeder's price was much lower on the homeworld of Hapes, where the large surplus and the lack of interstellar transport made the military craft desirable for the Hapan Royal Security forces. Hence, while there were millions of Dragon Speeders used for reconnaissance and elite hit-and-run missions in combat throughout the Galaxy during the Second Clone War and the Next Sith War, nearly a majority of Dragon Speeders were in service on Hapes. The surplus of these vehicles was one of the factors that led the Hapans to win the Battle of Reef Fortress and the Battle of Queen's Palace.
The Hapan Dragon Speeder is a seat situated behind an aerodynamic body, with glowing orange wings on either side of the seat. The Dragon Speeder is known to be the smallest craft to ever have an astromech droid installed, and holds a shield generator that protects the exposed pilot and reactor. Two laser cannons, which emit brilliant blue beams, rest on either side of the cockpit, which protrude from small, yet powerful engines.
The Dragon Speeder uses a nuclear reactor core that absorbs and manipulates otherwise harmful radiation, which produces great amounts of energy for the speeder. The excess energy has to be radiated via glowing wings on either side of the cockpit. The wings were modified to let out a large stream of energy to make them the equivalent to lightsaber blades, and were effective against large targets that were stationary or extremely slow (example: walkers).
The Dragon Speeder is among the smallest craft to support a shield generator as well. The shield generator is placed right in front of the astromech droid, so it could easily be repaired. The shield generator mainly protected the area in front of the seat mount, so the pilot would be protected from crossfire. The shields also covered the reactor wedge, which would otherwise cause a deadly explosion if hit badly.
Process of designingEdit
The original Dragon Speeder design was entirely different, with the only components similar in any respect being the wings, which didn’t convert into a weapon. The original design was created by Prophit Delphiki, but the idea was discarded. The design, however, was posted on the Holonet as a vehicle possibility, which inspired a Hapan designer to take off on the idea.
The result was a nuclear reactor, tall and of small width, mounted in front of a step with protruding laser cannons, with radiator panels similar to a TIE fighter’s mounted on either side. The overall appearance was dismissed as a STAP and TIE fighter hybrid, which many of the manufacturing chair council on Hapes joked about. Though the project was not promising, the chief executive board of Hapan manufacturing permitted continuation of the project.
The newer design had longer radiator panels, with ends being an aerodynamic triangle instead of hexagonal, and the reactor being made chubbier and shorter. The pilot now sat instead of stood. The design was tested, and proved to be sub-standard because of the difficult handling. The project was threatened to be decommissioned by the Hapan executive board.
Persistent, the team of designers tried something completely experimental: the installation of an astromech droid. The reactor, and the rest of the front of the speeder, were then mounted horizontally instead of vertically, and proved the astromech droid could, with the right programming, make the craft quite possible to handle.
The next draft converted the radiator panels into wings, which gave further lift. The repulsorlift drives could then be weakened to divert more power to other functions. Though still a prototype, the project finally interested the Hapan Engineering council’s chairman, and he approved of continued funding for the project.
The perfection of the wings came next. The wings were made thinner to radiate excess heat in the form of radio waves, which proved less lethal than infrared and ultraviolet, and the wings were made aerodynamic, and reminiscent of a dragon’s wings. The final stages of the project then nicknamed the craft “Dragon Speeder.”
In the final draft of the project, the sensors were recalibrated and a shield generator was added, partially to protect the pilot from radiation. The design was taken to the Hapan Royal Palace, where Ta’a Chume dismissed the team immediately and told them to consult Tenel Ka. Tenel Ka grew excited at the design and suggested the speeders be armed and drafted into the Hapan Defense forces.
The Dragon Speeder was redesigned to be equipped with laser cannons and a stronger shield generator, and made an automatically downloadable program that could immediately inform an astromech droid how to work with the speeder. The radiator wings were then converted into disintegration wings, so at the touch of a button, the wings could emit energy with similar properties to a Condorian Slicer’s blades. The speeder was then mass produced and immediately drafted into the Hapan army.
Growth of popularityEdit
The Dragon Speeder was then noticed by several surrounding systems, which saw the speeder’s agility, maneuverability, and durability. Security forces of many New-Republic-allied systems purchased the speeders for high prices, and the speeders made their way into the New Republic overall fleet by 23 ABY.
When Tenel Ka became Queen Mother of Hapes in 24 ABY, she donated many Dragon Speeders to the Jedi Order. The speeders proved efficient in Jedi missions, and Luke Skywalker approved of the donation. Princess Leia Organa Solo, running for Chief of State of the New Republic, suggested the Galactic military take on these speeders as a more common vehicle. The New Republic, consequently, drafted immense amounts of Dragon Speeders into its forces.
The vehicle was also beginning to be advertised over the Holonet without the disintegration wings or laser cannons as a fast airspeeder. The Dragon Speeder could be sold to civilians as an armed vehicle, but various forms had to be filled out and many tests had to be completed, so virtually nobody important bought an armed Dragon Speeder.
Second Clone WarEdit
The Dragon Speeder saw combat quite a bit during the Second Clone War and served as a very useful weapon. The speeder could last very long in extended combat missions, as it carried a shield generator of considerable strength and an astromech droid for repairs, and was armed well enough to do effective damage against an enemy. Many battles that included New Republic commandos had Dragon Speeders participating.
Behind the ScenesEdit
The Dragon Speeder was originally created as a spaceworthy vehicle by I really love yoda. The main details and this article were created by C3PO the Dragon Slayer. The idea that the Dragon Speeder was a Hapan design did not arise until sometime after the Next Sith War was conceived.