In the future, we’ll still want to move stuff around. We’ll need not just the spacegoing equivalents of container ships and long-distance haulage trucks, but also loaders, pallet jacks and forklifts.
Designing a forklift for the Classic Space future allows you all kinds of possibilities. You could make a semiconventional surface-bound one that’s futuristic in that it doesn’t need a driver, but that’s kind of boring. It’s much more fun to build one that flies.
The Grubb Corporation’s H19G hoverloader is a versatile, manoeuvrable antigrav vehicle employed by any number of agencies and companies who have a need to lift and stack goods crated in small to medium-sized canisters.
Utilising three powerful countergravitational motors for lift, stability and manoeuvre, the “G” is the seventh iteration of the successful H19 series, incorporating a number of refinements to its attitudinal sensors and handling controls.
The magnetic claw arrangement in front is designed to pick single standard-diameter holding canisters, and can also be used to lift old-style crates or larger items such as this fusion engine spool (tall, in the back), and H19s are a common sight in any loading bay or spacecraft maintenance facility.
Standard holding canisters are, of course, colour-coded according to their contents. Most containers are the yellow of general cargo, but other colours are also employed: white for liquid oxygen, grey with hazard striping for small engine parts (which may be contaminated with high-energy radiation), red for spacecraft fuel, black for oils and lubricants, and so on, just as astronauts in different branches of Federation Space Command wear different coloured spacesuits for easy identification. Green-suited astronauts like the one shown here are Space Command’s logistical support, including environment techs, general service ground support crews not directly involved with the engineering aspects of servicing a spaceship, some mech pilots (if the mechs are general service models and not combat variants) and so on.