The Place jet is a quadruple-decker space airliner owned and piloted by Thaddeus Cat. It is also the primary means of transportation for the 420 residents of The Place outside of the bus service provided for intra-Place travel.
The Place jet is known for its physics-defying enormity, although this obviously presents much less of a problem in space than it does on land. The only definite physical parameters given within the canon are that it is all white (perhaps retroactively representing the general "pureness" of Thaddeus as a character, compared to the more purposely colored black jets of the BEFOs), four stories high and reaches "at least six stories horizontally." If we compare this to the double-decker Airbus A380 or the similarly sized Boeing 747 and double their proportions, we get the following:
|Airbus A380||Boeing 747|
|Length||477.2 ft||500.3 ft|
|Height||160.4 ft||127.0 ft|
|Wingspan||523.2 ft||449.2 ft|
|Max cabin width||43.0 ft||41.0 ft|
This seems reasonable except for the maximum cabin width, when we consider that an entire ballroom resides within part of the second floor. If it were more like 80 feet wide instead of 40, we would have in one case a thousand-foot airplane that could be reaching nearly 4 million pounds at take-off (and that's in regular gravity – the gravity on Jeeog where the plane would actually be taking off is nearly twice that of Earth.) Then again, this plane is propelled by rockets instead of jet engines, thus the potential thrust is considerably greater.
Interior and amenitiesEdit
The interior of the Place jet is mostly described in Book I. The back of the second story has a spacecraft parking area, which is used multiple times by the SILPS trio and once in Book VII by Larry Limtek when he sneaks aboard in a (successful) attempt to capture Thaddeus. The floor is green and yellow checkered, and spacecraft among it include those assumed to be lost such as Apollo 1 and Challenger. The reasoning behind this is never addressed.
The second story also includes the ballroom, where Thaddeus first introduces the three as members of their "club." Gus Grissom and Christa McAuliffe are seen in the audience along with more alien creatures, including Thaddeus's onboard psychic.
On the bottom floor is Thaddeus's office which also serves as the cockpit. In Book VII it is also revealed that it can be converted into a military command center and houses a variety of laser shooters and high-tech weaponry. Otherwise it is assumed that the Place jet is well-armed, despite being able to plow though formations of BEFO attack jets and destroy them with sheer momentum. Its only weakness would be poor maneuverability, but this never seems to be a problem as the jet is equipped with a hyperdrive that can accelerate it to beyond light speed.
The top two floors serve as seating areas, more like a regular airplane, although they are apparently equipped with technology to remove barf bags directly from passengers' seats to the waste receptacle at the bottom of the aircraft.
Role in the seriesEdit
The Place jet first makes its appearance in Chapter 6 of Book I, when Thaddeus rescues them from a freak cosmic storm. They stay on the plane until Frank decides he wants to find the Phantasm and fight the BEFOs. Thaddeus lets them off on the planet Amnesia but quickly returns once they run out of gas in space upon the invicible fighter jet's retrieval at the beginning of Book II.
The BEFOs chase them down after they return (for the first time in the series) to The Place, and the jet it not seen again, save in holographic form after the trio temporarily breaches the time-space continuum at the beginning of Book III, until the outset of Book VII when it is being attacked by an envoy of BEFO jets sent by Darby to free Cornelius from imprisonment by the BOFOs. Although Thaddeus is taken prisoner in that instance, it is assumed that his jet returns safely to Jeeog.
Production models Edit
In the Space Voyages YouTube series, the Place jet is represented by a modified Beriev Be-2500 "Neptun," a super-heavy seaplane concept developed by the Beriev Aircraft Company of Russia, better known for its ground-effect "ekranoplan" vehicles. With a fuselage length of 380 feet and a wingspan of 410 feet, it would be the largest aircraft ever constructed. Its unusual design features a blended main wing, two vertical stabilizers positioned above landing struts at each wing tip, and four engines mounted atop a large horizontal stabilizer immediately above the cockpit. Two additional engines are mounted to the sides of the vertical stabilizers.
Two different versions have been used in the series thus far: one, for close-up still shots, consists of a set of high-resolution sample images for a 3D model created by Gandoza Models, and differs somewhat from the schematic drawings provided by Beriev. Notably, the fuselage is slightly more rounded and remains flush with the wings throughout its length, and the landing gear is mounted directly under the body of the plane. The engines also feature a more substantial exhaust nozzle that extends beyond the back of the nacelle. The second version was recently developed by Ben Boatwright in X-Plane and adheres much more closely to the original Beriev design. The fuselage curves up in the back, and the airfoil of the main wing sweeps downward. Four twelve-wheel landing gear bogies are mounted under the fuselage with an additional two eight-wheel bogies on each side under the wing. The X-Plane model is also mounted with rocket engines that provide one million pounds of thrust apiece. Running at half power is sufficient to fly directly to suborbital space; at full power the 2500-ton craft can accelerate from zero to Mach 1 in under a minute. Surprisingly, this converts to only ~5.5 m/s^2 of acceleration, or about 0.56 g, and the plane remains readily controllable at all speeds. A supplementary reaction control system for high-altitude flight is still in development.