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LL-924 Backhoe . The LL-924 Backhoe was a lesser known utility variant. . You are kindly invited to read the other articles concerning the LL-924 and many of its variants: - Part I: LL-924 & Variants - Part III: LL-924 TIE Cruiser - Part IV: LL-924 Arctic Cruiser Many people have sent us testimonies about the LL-924 after our previous article and thanks to some A.T. from the North (who prefers remaining anonymous), we were told about a new strange variant of the LL-924: the Backhoe. The LL-924 Backhoe was created by the public construction services to supply the lack of adequate vessels. The Backhoe is immediately recognizable because of its large bucket in the front and its bulky belly. The bucket allows to effectively help in moving bulk materials away. This transformation was made possible by replacing the front landing gear by the bucket engine and two powerful light projectors. Useless to say that this modification helped greatly, particularly during the expansion phase of the colonisation where there were constructions sites literally everywhere on the newly colonised planets and asteroids. The front bucket was only the first modification of the Backhoe. That ship was also full of anchor points where workers and crew could hang various tools: hammer, shovel, mattock and so on. But the Backhoe still had more secrets and the next really is probably what makes of it a unique vessel. Unlike other LL-924 variants, the Backhoe cockpit opened in full. The entire ship roof and engine compartment could rotate at up to 90 degrees, revealing a huge opening in the ship body. Needless to say that this impressive opening had a specific utilitarian usage. The opened Backhoe reveals a hidden crane. The on-board crane can be controlled directly from the cockpit but a remote control was also available. And the crane could then slowly get out of the Backhoe A subtle combination of hinges allowed the crane to move out of the ship and extend its reach slowly. The full reach of the extended crane was quite remarkable allowing to grap materials and other stuff up to a few meters away from the ship. The crane could easily be manipulated to load materials. Materials could then be carried inside the LL-924 Backhoe. This variant allowed to carry any load inside the ship thanks to its large belly. Even when the ship was loaded with materials, the crane could still fit back into the hold. The LL-924 Backhoe bulky belly revealed also with two panels that could open. First the rear panel opened progressively then the front panel followed, allowing for progressive evacuation of the bulk freight. When both panels were opened, the bulk materials could be dropped exactly where the pilot wanted it. The precision of the system was quite handy. Here comes an interesting top view from the LL-924 Backhoe with the open cockpit and panels. In conclusions, because of its front massive bucket loader and its bulky belly, the LL-924 Backhoe was always immediately recognizable. As such the Backhoe remains today one of the most heavily modified versions of the LL-924. Considering the number of its specific equipment, that version is without doubt one of the most particular variant but also one of the less known ones. You are kindly invited to read the other articles concerning the LL-924 and many of its variants: - Part I: LL-924 & Variants - Part III: LL-924 TIE Cruiser LL-924 & Variants on Flickr

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