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VM-44 Pratchett

6,668 CaesarSeizer  3.6 years ago

The VM-44 Pratchett is a modern IFV with two deployable (and recoverable!) soldiers, equipped with RPGs to deal with any threats on the battlefield without danger to the vehicle itself!

Tested and optimized for combat within the world of SimplePlanes.

Historical Background

In 1984, after years of rising tensions resulted in increased military spending in the major powers of the world, the Colonial Republican Army needed a new IFV to replace the aging Aardvark IFV platform, which had reached the end of its effective service life. With the Ordnance Department unable to design a cost-effective vehicle, it was decided to lease the program to a private company. A design competition was announced, with requirements for a 30-ton wheeled IFV that would match the capabilities of contemporary systems around the world.

Harris & Co. eventually won the contract with their VT-44, which was later designated as the VM-44 Pratchett in honor of Henry Pratchett, a prominent early pioneer who was integral to the founding of the Colonial Republic.

While the new vehicle didn’t incorporate anything particularly groundbreaking, the Pratchett was a rugged, reliable, well-designed IFV that was more than a match for any comparable system it would’ve faced. Its 40mm autocannon and complement of anti-tank missiles gave it more firepower than most other IFVs, and its excellent frontal armor even served as partial protection against some older MBTs. As an IFV, it could transport 6 fully-equipped soldiers to the front line.

After 26 months of development, the VM-44 Pratchett entered service in October of 1986. Four months later, international tensions came to a head with the assassination of Peruvian President Ronaldo Alvarez by nationals from the United Maritime States. Within a few weeks, the entirety of the western hemisphere had descended into war, and the Colonial Republic found itself dragged into the conflict.

Over the next eight years, Pratchett IFVs fought with distinction from the Falklands to the Canadian tundra, and everywhere in between. They formed the backbone of the mobile infantry forces, and they were continuously upgraded to maintain parity with enemy IFVs. The Pratchetts were well-liked by their crews and respected by their enemies, and by the end of the war in 1993, a total of 34,755 vehicles had been produced, including variants fielded by allied nations. Their service continued past the war, but by 1998, even the upgraded Pratchetts were beginning to show their age, and they were completely phased out of Colonial service by 2004. With this long service life in the midst of the Pan-American War, the VM-44 Pratchett left its mark on history, and it is easily one of the most famous and recognizable military vehicles ever produced. Several thousand are still in service among various nations around the world.

This particular vehicle is a mid-war variant, with upgraded optics, missiles, and suspension. It comes fully loaded with 6 soldiers in the rear, along with stowed equipment for the crew. The variant, markings, and equipment are consistent with vehicles of the 14th Infantry Division at the time of their participation in the Battle of Atlanta.

Vehicle Statistics

Weight: 33 tons, fully loaded
Top Speed: 240mph
(this is highly unrealistic, but because SP doesn’t have a reliable system for limiting the top speed of vehicles without also destroying the HP/ton ratio, I opted for practical torque and power, rather than top speed. Careful management of the pitch control can produce a more realistic feeling.)

Main Gun: 40mm
—RoF: 200 rounds per minute
—Elevation/Depression: 20/15
Note: Destroys trucks in 2 shots, and AA Tanks with 3
Coaxial MG: .30 cal
—Standard wing gun
Anti-Tank Missiles: 6 Inferno Missiles, 2 upgraded Cleaver Missiles
—Infernos are standard
—Cleavers have a much wider acquisition angle, and acquire a lock much faster

2 Deployable Soldiers
—Equipped with RPGs
—Reload every 5 seconds
—Can 1-shot both trucks and AA Tanks

Vehicle Operation

There’s a lot here, especially with the soldiers! This will take a tad of time.

1— Detach and activate Soldier #1
2— Alternate Gyro control for Soldier #1. Seldom used.
3— Detach and activate Soldier #2
4— Alternate Gyro control for Soldier #2. Seldom used.
5— Activate turret controls and main gun
6— Activate Coaxial MG
7— Activate Missile Targeting System
8— Activate Engine and IFV systems

Pitch/Roll— Controls IFV movement and soldier tilt
Yaw— Not used, except in soldier tilt
VTOL— Turret traverse
Trim— Gun elevation/depression
Throttle— Lower hydraulic flaps for stable firing platform
Landing Gear— Raise/Lower rear door
Brake— Extend movement pistons in soldiers, standard brake function

1— Soldier 1 orbit view
2— Soldier 1 first-person view (used for aiming with RPG)
3— Soldier 2 orbit view
4— Soldier 2 first-person view (used for aiming with RPG)
5— Gun sight
6— IFV orbit view (on axis of rotation, so no offset)


Flat ground is preferable, due to the gyros in the soldiers.

To exit from IFV:
—Use landing gear to open rear door, deactivate group 8, activate group 1 or 3, and shuffle the soldier out the back.

Soldier movement:
—Camera 2 for orbit view.
—Standard pitch/roll/yaw controls apply.
—For delicate maneuvers, use pitch to shuffle soldier along the ground.
—For faster movement, activate brakes. This will extend two pistons in the soldier's legs, giving much greater movement speed.

RPG Controls:
—Camera 3 for first-person view.
—Red dot in center acts as aim guide.
—RPG fires once every 5 seconds.
—If controls get a bit sticky, going into slow mo can make aiming much more precise.

Recovering Soldier:
—Soldier is equipped with flares, to make finding him from far away as easy as possible.
—Recovery area must be as flat as possible, for ease of mobility.
—Move soldier so he's directly perpendicular to the rear door, with his feet slightly behind it.
—Use brake to fully extend pistons. This will lift the soldier into the cabin of the IFV.
—Before retracting the pistons, pitch forward, so they don't go through the floor.
—Make sure to deactivate the soldier AG before setting off! If you don’t and you brake, his pistons will extend and destroy the IFV!
—Proper recovery can take a while to get right, so if it doesn't work, just keep trying!

From here, the soldier can be deployed as many times and in as many places as you see fit! Have fun!

Some screenshots:

Destroying a tank with the 40mm

Using an anti-tank missile

Using the RPG

Open door


General Characteristics

  • Successors 2 airplane(s)
  • Created On Mac
  • Wingspan 15.9ft (4.9m)
  • Length 35.9ft (10.9m)
  • Height 18.6ft (5.7m)
  • Empty Weight 51,405lbs (23,317kg)
  • Loaded Weight 66,077lbs (29,972kg)


  • Power/Weight Ratio 2.04
  • Wing Loading 278.2lbs/ft2 (1,358.5kg/m2)
  • Wing Area 237.5ft2 (22.1m2)
  • Drag Points 16968


  • Number of Parts 824
  • Control Surfaces 0
  • Performance Cost 2,984
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  • Profile image

    I like how they look like resting on these comfy sofas and casually holds a RPg

    3.6 years ago
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    3.6 years ago
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    But do apply it at the right spot (like balance the scale on the left and right) or weird stuff will happen simply bc its simple planes @CaesarSeizer

    3.6 years ago
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    6,668 CaesarSeizer

    @logizAircrafts @Winstonlharambe I’ll try that— thanks for the info, guys!

    3.6 years ago
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    3.6 years ago
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    @CaesarSeizer Try the Overload Mod! It will provide you with in-game .xml modding!

    3.6 years ago
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    I love how you can actually deploy troops, very unique!

    +2 3.6 years ago
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    6,668 CaesarSeizer

    @mikoyanster Thanks! I actually used your tank test maps extensively while trialing this thing, so I’m glad you like it!

    3.6 years ago
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    6,668 CaesarSeizer

    @logizAircrafts Thanks for the info! I’m still working on getting the hang of XML, but I’ll definitely try that on my next build!

    3.6 years ago
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    Very nice work! Congrats!

    3.6 years ago
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    @CaesarSeizer You can set maxAngularVelocity if you .xml mod the wheels. That way, you don't loose HP per ton. I'd recommend limiting it to 15, or about 56 mph.

    3.6 years ago
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    6,668 CaesarSeizer

    Thanks for the upvotes/comments, everyone!

    3.6 years ago
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    6,668 CaesarSeizer

    @GeneralOliverVonBismarck Yep, I’m not entirely sure what causes the wheel shake, although I’ve tried to fix it at several points along the build process. The soldiers certainly take some getting used to; they don’t work well on terrain that has a high slope. I’m not sure what device you’re on, but the controls are definitely better suited for PC.

    3.6 years ago
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    And soldiers are way to hard to move

    3.6 years ago
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    It has the wheel shake bug

    3.6 years ago
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    5,049 GreatHenry


    3.6 years ago
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    Hell yes no track mod thanks m8 great build i would give 2 upvots if i could one for the build and 1 for not useing teh track mod

    +2 3.6 years ago