- "I've never seen that Podracer before, and it sure looks pretty junky to me."
- ―Ark Roose
The BT310 Quadra was a Podracer produced by Balta-Trabaat and used around the time of the Invasion of Naboo. This racer was commonly referred to as the Quadra-Podracer due to its four turbine engines.
A machine that was able to turn heads due its uniqueness and performance, the BT310 was one of the better known but also one of the few mass-produced four engine podracers. Balta-Trabaat wanted to produce a craft that was superior in top-speed and they succeeded with the BT310 shattering numerous repulsorlift craft speed records of the time. Other, more obscure, custom podracers utilized a four-engine approach but were either unsuccessful or unpopular because the four separate engines connected through two or four energy cables, being a burden on energy/power. The BT310's engines were connected via two energy binders, and attached to the cockpit by quad-control cables. This meant four control ports for each engine; however the performance of all four could be synchronized, in a set of two pairs or all four together, to allow speed and cornering stability. It was this mechanism that allowed the set of four engines to have maximum potential in unison or allowed advanced/unorthodox pilots to control each engine separately, the advantage being one could perform more complex turns or over-correct a mistake more efficiently. However this method was only practical for multi-ped species, as the thrust of the engines overpowered the flight controls unless all of the instruments were operating at optimal capacity.
As over-bearingly powerful as this machine was its size was considered to be in the smaller category. Although the combined output of its engines was phenomenal the engines themselves were equivalent in size to the engines of the custom pod made by Anakin Skywalker. This model was known to be highly temperamental, and required constant upkeep. A fuel tank was located mid-way down each engine, and the vehicle could reach between 940kph and 1200kph (or more). The top boost threshold of the BT310 was also astoundingly high, adding roughly one third extra to the craft's already high regular top speed. However this top speed had its drawbacks. First, it was difficult to reach as the Podracer suffered from low acceleration. Secondly, the time between boosts was often lengthy thanks to an underpowered cooling system. Third, although the pod could reach great top speeds, it was very hard to slow down did not have good airbrakes.
A factory custom Podracer, the Quadra was known as one of the fastest and most dangerous Podracer on the market. Ben Quadinaros entered the Boonta Eve Classic of 32 BBY in his BT310 after he made a wager with Boles Roor, who bet the Toong would not have the courage to enter the race. Although the BT310's power coupling malfunctioned while it sat on the starting grid, resulting in the loss of all four engines during the second lap, Quadinaros won five million wupiupi from Roor—after all, he had turned up to the race, even if his racer had not made it past the grid.
During 1 ABY, when the Galactic Civil War was intensifying, a spacer acquired a podracer that looked very similar to the BT310. This podracer was believed to be a mere replica, but was coincidentally said to suffer from the very same technical faults as Ben Quadinaros' podracer.
- Star Wars Episode I: Racer
- Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace (First appearance)
- Podracing Tales
- Rebel Force: Target
- Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided (Replica)
- Star Wars: Episode I Insider's Guide
- Star Wars: Episode I The Visual Dictionary
- Star Wars: Episode I Podracer Punch-Outs
- The New Essential Guide to Characters
- The New Essential Guide to Vehicles and Vessels
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 24 (POD5-6, Ben Quadinaros' Podracer)
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia (As "BT310 quadra-Pod," "quadra-Podracer")
- Star Wars Galaxies Trading Card Game – Agents of Deception (Card: Balta-Trabaat BT310 Podracer) (content obsolete and backup link not available)
- Star Wars: Force Collection (Card: Ben Quadinaros) (Indirect mention only)
- Endless Vigil
Notes and references
- Endless Vigil
- The Official Star Wars Fact File