Market Failure, Engineering Triumph
The Corellian Engineering Corporation's YT-490 series of light stock starfreighters are today almost unheard of in the galaxy, having been rapidly overshadowed by the later YT-1300 series. Freighter historians mark it as CEC's one true failure in the light freighter market. It could not carry as much cargo as its predecessor, the YT-350 (with which it shared a basic spaceframe configuration and, as such, a strong resemblance), and its eight axial fusion turbine engines, coupled with a central fusion reactor for operational power, made a temperamental, hard-to-maintain replacement for the YT-350's admittedly underpowered four-ion-fission-thruster array and decay-chamber reactor. The extra bulk of the turbines and reactor did increase the YT-490's sublight speed at the expense of reduced cargo capacity, but sublight speed was hardly considered important for a stock freighter by the buying public. Additionally, in sharing the YT-350's spaceframe, the YT-490 also shared its elder sister's biggest disadvantage, a somewhat unwieldy wide-and-thin shape which had problems fitting into the smaller docking bays of the time. (Today, with bays having been expanded for the newer-standard 500-ton freighters, this is no longer a problem at any but the oldest, most ill-maintained spaceports.)
The few 490s sold, for the most part, served out their operational lifespans uneventfully and were scrapped after a century or so of service. The type never achieved the stubborn immortality of the long-since-outmoded YT-1300 series, and was more or less extinct by the mid-21st century.
Still, a few examples do remain. Serial number 490-6062, which became the One-Hit Wonder, was a scrapyard derelict when Corwin Ravenhair and his parents found her - engines and computer systems removed, hull incapable of maintaining pressure, lacking power systems or even cockpit windows. The spaceframe was solid, though, and the people who remade 6062 knew a solid spaceframe was the only component they couldn't beg, borrow or steal elsewhere.
So it was that the One-Hit Wonder took her present shape, with new turbines of the same type as those that drive the Viper starfighter, a power converter/reactor set from a wrecked YT-2400, computer systems salvaged from a decommissioned Centurion starfighter, and a hyperspace motivator intended to drive a ship five times the mass shoe-horned into place, reducing the ship's small cargo capacity even more. Her resurrectors weren't concerned about reductions to cargo capacity, for the One-Hit Wonder was never intended to become a freighter again.
Now, thermocoated in glossy black and gleaming silver, the One-Hit Wonder serves as the personal transport of a young man who may well become a god someday, carrying him on his missions across the stars (which, nowadays, mainly involve visiting his sister at school on Earth). Despite this rather mundane mission profile, the ship is equipped for a great deal more, because Corwin and his parents all know that, when you're a member of their extended family, trouble tends to find you whether you're looking for it or not.
NAME/MODEL#: YT-490 Northrop Class (modified) DESIGNER/MANUFACTURER: Corellian Engineering Corporation COMBAT DESIGNATION: Light stock starfreighter (obsolete) CREW: 1-5 (1 pilot, 1 navigator, 1 engineer, 2 gunners) PASSENGER CAPACITY: 1-5 (depending on crew depth) CARGO CAPACITY: 20 mt (standard for type: 50 mt) POWER SYSTEM: CEC D-990 power converter and fusion reactor PROPULSION SYSTEM: Eight Rolls-Royce AF-15R axial fusion turbines (rated at 12000 KTU) SPEED RATING: 175 MGLT FLIGHT CONTROL SYSTEM: ExoSalusia FA.2 flight control avionics package MANEUVERABILITY RATING: 70 DPF NAVIGATION: ExoSalusia FH.4j computer system FTL: CEC 2240.402c motivator drive unit (hyperdrive) HYPERDRIVE RATING: 0.25 WEAPONS: Two WDF Armory G-320 strip-collimated phaser arrays Eight Taim & Bak KX5 blaster cannons (two quad-mount turrets) One WDF Armory Compact Class photon torpedo tube SHIELDS/ARMOR: Forward/Rear Projecting CEC shields (rated at 300 SBD) Titanium-polyalloy hull (rated at 450 RU)
Follow this link for a special image gallery showing the evolution of the One-Hit Wonder's design.
Follow this link to trace the evolution of EPU Discussion Forum user Jeffrey Crouch's wonderful render of the ship, developed with input from the ship's creators on the Forum.