One of the few things that really separates the Terran Dominion from other civilizations in the deWulf universe is their possession of Gravity Drives. While the normal drive field technology offers quite a few benefits compared to more “conventional” drive systems like chemical or charged particle systems, the gravity drive offers a similar leap in performance above the drive field.
While the gravity drive offers a somewhat slower initial speed compared to a drive field of comparable technical design, the gravity drive offers a host of improvements. While a higher sustained speed and slightly improved weapon ranges are welcome improvements, it is the drive’s substantially higher drive power that is most attractive. A battleship can expect to have approximately 12-15% of its volume devoted to drive field engines; with the gravity drive, it can spend 4%-6% instead and expect the same maneuver envelope.
And something so special and different about a ship required a different drive style. The “exhaust” for the drive field is a fairly generic “ISO standard square exhaust” that really doesn’t leave too much to the imagination. With this being something fancier, it needs something visibly different, and one of the classic rules of sci fi is that “spinning details are cool”. So I played with a couple of related ideas for how to visually depict how the drives would actually look when rendered. Personally, I’m leaning to the middle one, but I like the idea of having a kind of corkscrew exhaust instead of a more plain single plume. But at with most things, it’ll be a question of how good it looks when actually rendered. Sometimes good ideas don’t work out in practice.