An Airship [飛空艇|ひくうてい|Hikūtei|flying boat] is a form of aerial transport, although their appearance has differed widely between designs from various people. The designs that are used in the RSAF are several that have been made from models of ships taken from the human world and turned to life and augmented to run off of solidified and liquefied reishi.
The airship is generally allows the shinigami to both advance in their own tactical warfare and technology, as revisit places they've already been that may be out of reach in the Rukongai. Receiving free access to an airship is often a simple matter of speaking to the captain and/or lieutenant of the 8th Division. Depending on the various reasons, airships may be in common use over Seireitei or the individual shinigami's may be the only one. Some airships provide the shinigami with free ferry services using the lesser used airships, but this is much more restrictive compared to the shinigami flying anywhere they wish.
In the smaller and more compact designs, airships did not include any facilities, and were simply a way for the shinigami to travel around more quickly. Personal Airships frequently feature kitchens, bathrooms, living room areas, and some sort of bed or healing service for the party. Larger commercial airships are shown to include gambling tables for roulette and craps, though they cannot be used by the on-duty shinigami.
In the earlier designs, airships appear very much like carracks or galleons—wooden boats, but with propellers to give them lift, fashioned like helicopters. Generally propellers set vertically along the sides provide lift while the bow or stern rotors are used for maneuvering and propulsion. The craft may also possess wings on the sides to assist in lift. In essence, they were simply normal boats with wings and propellers, literal "air-ships". Airships of this type feature prominently in earlier designs but do still appear in newer ones as well.Another type of airship seen in only a few of the design installments actually resembles and occasionally behaves like real-life dirigibles. The BlackJack and the Falcon are such, along with the Highwind. The Falcon and the Blackjack are large zeppelins, with a balloon-like cavity filled with air and the actual airship hanging from below, propellers on both the balloon and the craft providing thrust. As with real airships, the Highwind utilizes moorings to "land", essentially remaining floating but tethered to the ground. In a few of the more recent designs the airships have taken on more technologically advanced appearances, with elements of sci-fi, steampunk, and fantasy being reflected in the hull architecture.
These same designs are greatly preferred in the RSAF as they are very easy to tell apart from other designs such as those that may be used in personal or commercial aircraft.
Not only are their designs easy to recognize, they also hold the 8th Division's insignia on the side in a raspberry and black paint.
The airship provides a quicker, easier way to travel throughout the Seireitei, enabling the bypass of large expanses without encountering any disturbances in the form of either ground issues or opponents. Some areas are altogether unreachable without the use of an airship, which may be needed to progress the mission further. Most airships can land on certain terrain, restricting access to some areas - they can land only on grassland and cannot land in mountains, deserts or forests due to not having the right equipment on board.
For example, the Excelsior can only land in water, because it was originally a boat. Often when an airship cannot cross these areas, a rented Division 8 Chocobo may be needed to so or the shinigami may have to walk on foot or rely solely on shunpo. In terms of personal airships, the owner can fly their airship freely, so this restriction doesn't apply.
Airships of the RSAFEdit
There are a good various airships that are associated with the 8th Division, some of which are larger than others and some that have a far more intricate purpose than some.
First and Overall Air Force Command Vessel: AdrammelechThe biggest of the fleet and probably one of the more unconventional designs in the entirety of it, the Adrammelech is one of the most noticeable, not to mention the easiest to recognize.
The design is most easy recognized as one of those modeled after a motorcycle in the World of the Living, a fact that the Captain has often overlooked in regards to the very wide movements of this vessel.
It's large size makes it very prominent, not to mention the bright red of the paint on it. This vessel can hold a large amount of people, upwards of 500+ as well as a large amount of cargo. On the sides, it can be seen that there are many playforms where the Helljumpers can move freely on the decks to begin their Primary Air Offense maneuveors.
Second Air Force Command Vessel: PalameciaThe second largest of the airship fleet, the Palamecia is a little harder to recognize than the Adrammelech. It's a beautiful silver and gold design that is in the shape of a large 't'.
The bridge of the Palamecia is in the middle branch of the 't'.
This vessel cannot hold as many as the Adrammelech and that's quite evident when one's inside. It can hold around 250 people at max. The secondary defense stays close to the Adrammelech and maintains radio contact at all times.
The lower decks for the Helljumpers are made of metal grating and can be dangerous if one isn't holding onto the railings as they walk. However, this open bottom makes it far simpler for the Palamecia to be of assistance to the Adremmelech.
First and Second Air Commander's Navigation Vessel: ShivaQuite possibly the smallest but most important of the fleet, the Shiva holds the Navigator of the RSAF.
This vessel can hold about 50 people and has a closed body, meaning that it cannot have many Helljumpers on board for assistance, this does not mean that there are none at all.
Since the Shiva has the Navigator, it holds several reishi powered computers on board that help in directing the large airships that are around it. This one also helps with managing the records of all the places the other vessels have been in, meaning that any ship in the RSAF cannot hide their whereabouts. This tracking does not include personal or commercial airships. This also helps when they are in the middle of battle and must have updates on changes in enemy position.
Air and Space Command and Control Vessel: Galbana LilyThis is possibly the smallest of the vessels in the RSAF. The Galbana Lily is the one that helps to manage the air and space control in the docking area of the 8th Division.
Because of it's size, this airship can get into very small spaces but it cannot hold more than 15 people. Five of those fifteen are Helljumpers and the rest work with managing the airship radios to communicate with the larger vessels.
Their Tenteikura is one of the mor powerful ones, a built in kido that is activated by the reiatsu of the Galbana Lily's commanding officer no matter what their Sei stat so that they can communicate with people that are outside of the airship. The amplification is a little less than the original Tenteikura but it still gets the job done.
Their job also includes keeping the air around the docks open so that the ships do not slam into one another mid-flight because no one wants to have to pick up or replace these big-ass things.
Force Command and Control & Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Vessel: IfritAn older model but one disguised as such so that the opponent will not realize what it is.
The Ifrit can carry up to 150 people on board and harbors a medical bay as well as a miniature barracks for the longer Reconnaissance missions. It is sometimes the one that can be found around Xcution but that's also another, the Leviathan. Along with the barracks and medical bay, there's also a very nice section where they can peform their intel and surveillance duties.
The Ifrit is small enough to be moved around rather easily but is much more speedy than is safe for it's easy movements. The one driving the vessel must be able to keep it under control at all times.
HelljumpersEditThe uniforms of the Helljumpers can be worn underneath their normal Division uniforms.
Upon first look, one will find that they're very much skin-tight uniforms that are a blue-grey with either red or blue highlights. The males getting blue and the females getting red.
These uniforms start as a small medallion with the Division 8 insignia on it; the Helljumper has to put their medallion onto the center of their chest so that they can allow their reiatsu to activate the uniform itself.
Upon being activated, the uniform will adhere to the Shinigami's skin.There's a harness around the chest and shoulders where the Helljumper has their reiatsu wings attached to the back. The little buds on the back of the harness aren't actually activated until they press a little trigger button on the inside of their harness as they perform their drop from the decks of the airships.
In addition to their wings, uniform and harness, they gain a helmet so that they can see where they're moving in the air. The wings are based on the color of the shinigami's reiatsu so that everyone has their own custom 'wings'; the only person whose wings are genuine are the captain's.
The Helljumpers use a various style of shunpo and Sho techniques to move in the air with their augmented fighting style.
E.A.R.U (Emergency Aerial Relief Unit)Edit
The only part of the RSAF under the jurisdiction of squad 4, the EARU is responsible for the evacuation and treatment of both citizen's and shinigami from warzones.
As the third largest ship in the fleet, being slightly small than the Palamecia, the Anqet is designed to hold as many people as possible while mataining both their safety and providing sufficient treatment of any injured. To do this, space usually reserved for weapons and other combat equipment has been used to house medical bays and sleeping quarters for both crew and passenger's alike. These changes allow the Anqet to function as a mobile hospital for up to 500 people and can carry a maximum of 650 people overall.
The Anqet also houses 25 holding bays for two different types of ship for when the terrain is too dangerous for it. The first of these ships being the Luna, a small transport ship meant primarily for ferrying passengers to and from the Anqet, they are also equipped with light weaponry for self defence in a warzone.