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Modular Cutter: Storing & Switching Modules

This question is for a T20 build of a 1000t ship with an internally stored cutter and second module.

I assume a 30t space would be allocated for storing the additional module, but how to handle the switch out?

I detest the bulky method used by the Broadsword, where one is left free-floating while retrieving/storing the other.

Both modules will get constant use so the switch needs to be fast and hassle free.

I suppose a "loader" could be arranged just below the hanger, but this would probably consume an additional 30+ tons.

Any ideas?
I had a larger ship (cargo hauler, lighter fashion, unstreamlined) that used a single Cutter and modules for atmo interface with the extra modules arranged around the ship's spine much like the rounds in a revolver. Minimal extra lost volume (none in some design rules) and quick pick and choose of modules, just spin them around.

Other than something like that I think about the only way is what you have thought up. Either lost space to swap, your extra 30tons or drop one off to grab the other.
One thought on your ship idea. You could put that 30tons to use as a volume for a collapsible fuel bladder. Once the bladder is drained and stored (taking up 5% of it's full capacity) you have the space open for swaps. When you're done swaps and want the extra fuel just pump the bladder back up. So you have 36tons set aside with either 30tons of fuel or 30tons empty for moduel swaps or other uses.
I like that fuel idea, far-trader. Use it for jump fuel, and you'll be ready for a fast swap if you need it when you arrive. A definite improvement over the (IMHO)highly impractical manoeuvres required by the Broadsword.

Without that bladder, I don't really agree with the use of modular cutters aboard ships. Sure, in starport use they really shine, but on a ship I'd go with a multi-purpose smallcraft every time. Just think, that 30 dton module could be an extra ship's boat ...
I would design the modules for external load. That way, your drive and pilot sections could just be moved from one module to the other. I'm not sure you need 30dTons for that, but you might....
If you were willing to live without windows, you could even have the drives and bridge all in one stubby 20dton cylinder. Just clip the module to the front and off you go.

You would need pretty strong clamps, though, and the front of the module would have to be pointy.
Originally posted by far-trader:
One thought on your ship idea. You could put that 30tons to use as a volume for a collapsible fuel bladder. Once the bladder is drained and stored (taking up 5% of it's full capacity)
Where does the 5% come from? MT says that they take up 0 space collapsed, but I thought that was a little far fetched so I used .1%(.001 times tank size). I don't remember just where in CT these came in so I just retro-fitted them into CT myself.
Originally posted by Andy Fralix:
Where does the 5% come from?
FF&S1 iirc, and T4 as well I think. The costs escape me at the moment. You can't use fuel in bladders directly, it has to transferred to hard tanks first. There are hard temporary tanks that store at 25% of full volume capacity as well but allow direct use of the fuel. I think both get mention in T20 as well.

One thing that is not clear and kinda bugs me is if a tank of X volume requires X + % volume in the hold or if they are somehow magic or something and the actual tanks themselves require no volume beyond what they hold. That seems to be the way I see many such designs. In which case you'd be back to you zero volume when stored
Your 0.1% is pretty negligible in my opinion. I'd probably ignore it at that volume
Collapsible tanks vary between versions. In MT they cost Cr35/m3, but take no space when empty. In FF&S1 it's Cr100/m3, but take 5%. In FF&S2 it's Cr35/m3 and 10%.

You could argue that all fuel tankage includes pipes etc, which is why these still take space when empty.
Then maybe the answer is like bridges. There is a given minium size for connection,pumps and controls or a %age of the full tank which ever is larger. From my navy days, I think the hardware should fit into 1 ton and still have access to any valves and/or controls. Call it 1 ton or 1% which ever is largest. Also note that this approach will require setting aside 1 ton for controls if you install a collapsible tank.