Air Lord, Engineering Corps
I had an idea of Suspendium Projectors a while ago, don't know if I typed anything about it though:
Suspendium projectors are a type of advanced technology similar to the suspendium cannon. They come in the form of 2x2 devices that use charged suspendium manipulators to act on another ship's lift chambers, they require coal to function. They come in two flavors: Hostile and Passive.
Hostile Projectors: Hostile projectors need to charge before firing, and have a medium-short range. A Projector blast does no real damage to an airship but sends it flying away from the source of the blast. Has a chance to directly damage the affected enemy lift chambers.
Passive Projectors: Passive projectors are used on allied airships as support beams, and it acts similar to a tractor beam. This allows allied airships to carry or tow others. The effect works even if a lift chamber is destroyed as long as the room still exists and the projector has coal.
Suspendium Anchor: A block of solid suspendium that can interact with projectors with much stronger effect than with normal lift chambers, it's also cheaper than lift chambers and allows for engine/lift-less ships held along by passive projectors on other ships. This seems overpowered until you realize that hostile projectors also work on this too.
The physics effects of projectors work both ways, so hostile projectors have recoil and passive projectors may pull your tug airship downwards if it can't handle the added weight.
May or may not have been inspired by these ships that use tractor beams in hull design:
Airships using this type of technology for hull would just be awesome, you could have multiple specialized ships working as one. Or a main ship with some support ships that use no engines. A segregated multi-ship would also have great explosion and boarding mitigation, but with the disadvantage of having entire sections held together by equipment that could get damaged or run out of power and drop those segments. Many possibilities.
Interesting, I do love the idea of a tractor beam. It would be pretty cool to save friendly vessels that have had their suspendium fail. A lower tech version could be just be modified harpoons, that could be fired at friendly ships to save them from plummeting. These ideas could create a whole new form of support ship class.
That's the intention. A support ship archetype is mostly non existent and this could be the first step to having it be a thing.
Imagine 4 or 5 small ships lugging a large ship across the map with tethers/tractor beams.