Difference between revisions of "Ranger Wing"
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[[When Mice Were Men]]
[[When Mice Were Men]]
[[It's Bird, It's Insane, It's Dale!]]
Latest revision as of 23:02, 24 June 2007
The Screaming Eagle was, though modified by Gadget, already completed and ready to go when those who once were to be known as the Rescue Rangers went on their first case. The Ranger Plane is a creation of Gadget's and rather specialized for rescuing and crime-fighting missions, but it is a makeshift aircraft, put together out of a comparably small choice of materials and in way too little time. The Ranger Wing, however, was created under ideal circumstances. The Rangers already had a certain experience in their work which made it clearer what a new aircraft should be equipped with. Gadget was in no hurry conceiving and constructing it and getting parts for it. So it is no surprise that the Ranger Wing turned out as superior to the Ranger Plane and to a certain degree even to the Screaming Eagle.
Its maiden voyage, shown in Song of the Night 'n Dale, turned out to be a special one. Gadget wanted all her friends to be sufficiently good pilots to be prepared for anything, so the Ranger Wing's very first pilot was Dale. Lacking experience as a pilot, he sent the plane right into a jet stream which carried it to China at a very high speed—probably a record distance for any Ranger vehicle, if piggybacking on human aircraft and extraterrestrial upgrades don't count.
The Ranger Wing is the Ranger Plane's successor, but it didn't replace the old craft with the balloon. The best proof is the episode A Fly in the Ointment in which the Rangers use both crafts.
Like the Ranger Plane, the Ranger Wing has seen several foreign countries—apart from China, it has been in Spain in the episode When Mice Were Men, but this time most probably riding a human transatlantic flight.
A dark brown hull of unknown origin makes up most of the fuselage. The nose is a flashlight, probably shortened at the end, making the Ranger Wing the Rangers' first illuminated aircraft. The wings are rigid and shaped similarly to those of a human airplane. It is likely that they are nonetheless made of the same combination of fabric and framework as those of the Ranger Plane due to weight reduction. Near the wing tips, Rescue Rangers logos have been applied.
About halfway of the wings' lengths and on their rear sides, the two electric motors are mounted, moving popsicle sticks as two-blade propellers. A remarkable feature of the Ranger Wing is that these motors are not mounted firmly, they can be tilted upwards. This gives the Ranger Wing two modes of flying: the cruise mode with horizontal motors, and the hover mode with vertical motors. In the former, the Ranger Wing behaves quite like any other airplane and moves at a considerably higher speed than the Ranger Plane; in the latter, it hovers in the air and can be raised and lowered. To use the proper technical term: The Ranger Wing is a true VTOL craft.
However, this construction has one little flaw. In the hover mode, the motors point upwards, and the propellers have to push the Ranger Wing upwards. In the cruise mode, the motors point backwards, but the propellers have to push the craft ahead. To make this possible, the motors can reverse their sense of rotation.
The power source for all systems consists of three AA batteries, stored in the stern. Like the Screaming Eagle, the Ranger Wing can't have a tail for this reason. But unlike the Screaming Eagle which had a twin tail, Gadget has given the Ranger Wing no rudders at all, so it must be supposed that all changes of direction are achieved by moving the motors or changing their rotation speed. Although this can help slow down before switching to hover mode, switching to cruise mode is a bit hazardous. According to other sources and episodes, it is possible that Gadget has soon equipped the Ranger Wing with variable-pitch propellers so that the motors don't have to be stopped and reversed in flight anymore. Another possible solution for controlling the plane is wing warping, although there isn't much evidence supporting this theory.
Being a VTOL aircraft, the Ranger Wing doesn't need wheels on its landing gears. So these are simply two cylindrical bars which are connected to the plane by double metal legs, and which can be folded up underneath the wings during flights.
The layout of the dashboard is rather similar to that of the Ranger Plane with one important change: The Ranger Wing has a second set of controls for a co-pilot. Again, bottle caps are used as yokes, and the obligatory compass and wristwatch can be found on the Ranger Wing, too. The back seat is wide enough to provide space for three passengers, so the overall number of seats is five. Like the Ranger Plane, the Ranger Wing has no canopy to give the Rangers an increased liberty of action even in mid-air. The plunger feet of the Ranger Plane have been replaced by a plunger harpoon on the stern which can be aimed in almost any direction without having to turn the whole craft around.
Among the Ranger Wing's special equipment, there is a kind of gripper on an arm which can be unfolded from a hatch at the bottom of the plane. It may have been installed due to the inability of the plunger harpoon to shoot below the craft. This device is shown in Good Times, Bat Times, pulling Bud by his tongue.
The Ranger Wing appears in the following episodes:
Accepted Fan Fiction Conventions
Like in the later episodes of the TV show, the Ranger Wing is the Rangers' primary means of transportation in most fan fiction. Some writers even give it further upgrades. But it rarely replaces the Ranger Plane completely, because each craft has its advantages in certain situations.