Actually I do have those planned too... see my gallery for the flying battleships and cruisers, I have a carrier being worked on by another artist and who knows, if Shimmering isn't sick of me yet, I might ask him to do some airborne subs... I love airships and naval combat.. ^^
I don't really see the boat, my immediate reaction whas "omg whale!". Then again it can go both ways. Feels very stealthy modern speedboat as well for something that is supposed to be a lumbering seige machine to deliver troops but again that can also work both ways.
If we had flying gunships (like the AC130 now) it would save even more. Breaking the front with a wall of infantry can't be done without cost. Heck, almost any modern day aircraft could have cracked the beaches for landing all on it's own.
Yeah and the Higgins was restricted to one plane, you're new version is still a delivery vehcile, but has multiple levels of approach.
Basically what I am saying is that if you're dropping altitude, the top mounted guns cannot fire on any enemy positions until after the vehicle has landed. Unless the vehicle is landing in front of a fortified mountain or underneath an airborne target.
Heh I'll explain the reasoning on the design. The entire interior of the hull is designed to carry troops, there is no room to have gunners sitting with troops in the bay area (think like the interior of the dropship from Aliens). Also, having a vulnerable opening on the sides would risk bullets ripping through the troops inside (the ship is more up-armored in order to ensure delivery). Also, it lands on the ground and the main 'crew' area is in the rear of the boat, so when it lands and opens up, it doesn't threaten the crew of the boat while the troops (usually armored or with shields) disembark. To board another airship, the rule of thumb is that the bottom of airships is the 'weakest' area of any ship (as they land in water to 'dock' for maintenance, they can't fly forever you know), so hence the hatch near the pilot's station in the rear.
The turrets are mainly designed to fend off enemy fighter attacks that may threaten the boat as it goes in for the landing and providing support fire once landed (or act as a gunship circling an area). In general, fighters and other airships would be covering the boat's landing or it deploys troops in safer drop zone areas to prevent it from being torn apart. Anyway, my reasoning on it so far ^^ Thanks for the question!
i am guessing this a WIGE craft ? thinking about this, it seems surprising that WIGE did not take off sooner. it seems to be about design rather than technology, the materials would be Mosquito/Horten level. D-day with WIGE...?
Seriously, you should work with the developers that make the Advance Wars games becuase your artstyle kinda goes that way. Your military vehicle and ship design are cool to look at and probably alot of fun to actually see in action.