The Nubian Alpha 20 was the follow up to the widely used Alpha 10. Nubian
designers opted to use a completely different spaceframe from that of the
Alpha 10 and X-1 bomber, giving the ship a completely different appearance.
Broad and flat, with four Incom Ds-5 ion fission drives jutting from the
aft, the Alpha 20 looked a lot more impressive than it actually was. In
reality, the Alpha 20 was underpowered as the Nubians strived to gain sales
based upon the starship's appearance, and not its performance. This was a
Sales for the Alpha 20 started strong, but soon declined heavily as word
of mouth spread throughout the market. While some customers thoroughly
enjoyed their Alpha 20s, those who purchased the vessel for professional
reasons were highly dissatisified.
The Alpha 20 could barely power the engine drives that it mounted, and
many owners found themselves running on two of the drives and not the full
complement of four. The generators just couldn't handle the power demands
of all four engines. Some owners had the two inside engines removed completely
and either sold them or kept them in storage as spares, while others simply
"unplugged" them and kept them installed as emergency backups. The truth
was that the Alpha 20 could attain the same sublight speeds with its stock
generator on all four engines being partially powered as it could on just
two of the drives fully powered.
Sticking true to the Alpha 10, the Alpha 20 could be easily modified and
new systems were often quite easily and cheaply installed. However, many
upgrades to the ship required an upgrade or replacement of the generator
first - this sometimes cost thousands of credits in parts and labor.
Despite the improvements and advantages in the stock Alpha 20 over even
several modified Alpha 10s, it was never a widely popular design. For every
Alpha 20 that was ever built and sold, there were five Alpha 10s reselling
in used starship dealerships.
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