The Capital Wasteland Brotherhood of Steel is known to have one Vertibird captured from the Enclave in Adams Air Force Base. The New California Republic also has limited access to Vertibirds they captured from the Enclave, using them for high-profile events.
The Vertibird has a heavily armored fuselage and can be outfitted with a variety of offensive weapons and defensive countermeasures, the most common being Gatling lasers, missile racks, and a mini nuke bed. It is unknown what powers a Vertibird but the Enclave required Navarro for refueling. It has a winch that can haul several tons of equipment - or a large deathclaw cage.
The Vertibird was still in prototype phase when the Great War struck in 2077, preventing it from entering full military service. However a prototype model in winterized camouflage pattern can be seen during the Operation Anchorage simulation dropping U.S. troops before taking off again. However, the trial aircraft that were already produced and in the field were seized by Enclave members and loyalists and either transferred to their bases or secured in shelters. The Enclave began mass-producing the design in secret, and now the Vertibird is the general-purpose delivery vehicle of the Enclave's military forces. Capable of surgical insertions, extractions and close air support alike, the Vertibird is synonymous with the Enclave in general, and a good representative of its power as a whole.
There are two known versions of the craft used by the Enclave:
- A transport-oriented version with a glass canopy, six legs, a large cargo bay, and seven blades on each rotor to provide extra lift.
- A dedicated gunship version with a more heavily armored hull, four retractable landing struts, and greater maneuverability.
- In 2241, Daisy Whitman's Vertibird crashed near the trapper town of Klamath due to a rotor malfunction; it was the first sign of the Enclave encountered by the Chosen One.
- The Chosen One stole the Vertibird Plans from the Navarro base, but it is not certain whether he gave them to the Brotherhood of Steel, the Shi, the Hubologists, or simply kept them for his own use.
- In 2277, after the destruction of Raven Rock, several Vertibirds evacuated the base, with some destroyed in the confusion. Other Vertibirds were destroyed by Liberty Prime. If the player character possesses sufficient energy or heavy weapons, they might well destroy some too.
- In the Fallout 3 add-on Broken Steel, you can fly in one for the first time as the last part of the quest Who Dares Wins. It is also a unique variant, as it has a Brotherhood of Steel (BoS) symbol on both sides, which means that they have acquired Vertibirds as spoils of war. This is confirmed by Scribe Vallincourt, who claims to have conducted the study and modification of that particular Vertibird.
- In the Fallout 3 add-on Operation: Anchorage, there are Vertibirds in the Anchorage simulation despite not being scheduled to be deployed until 2085. This may be due to General Constantine Chase hijacking the programming of the simulation.
- In 2281, NCR President Aaron Kimball visited Hoover Dam using a Vertibird (callsign "Bear Force One") as transport.
- In Fallout: New Vegas, a crashed Vertibird can be found in the Mojave Wasteland.
- In Fallout: New Vegas, there is an intact Vertibird parked in the hangar of the Remnants bunker.
- Lily's Vertibird blade was once the propeller blade off the Vertibird that Daisy Whitman crashed near Klamath. Apparently "Leo" showed her how to build it.
- More crashed Vertibirds can be found on the Long 15, if the NCR is nuked at the end of Lonesome Road.
West Coast OperationsEdit
Vertibird range was at least 175 miles distance between the Enclave Oil Rig and California. Accessible were Klamath, New Reno and Vault 13. According to the Shi, Vertibirds flew over San Francisco on the way from Navarro to the Enclave Oil Rig.
Vertibirds are mostly support craft, but they will attack in a few circumstances. They are a significant threat for a wide array of reasons, but the biggest is that they pack an enormous amount of firepower on an extremely well-armored chassis. Their weapons include a nose-mounted Gatling laser, a pair of missile launchers, and a bomb rack for mini nukes. All of these weapons are threatening; the missile launcher deals heavy damage and can knock an opponent back. The Gatling laser can deal a lot of damage from afar, and the mini nukes, used in airstrikes against heavy targets and emplaced defenses, can instantly kill a hostile.
Fortunately, the Vertibirds the player character faces are usually set for a specific assignment - either dropping Enclave troops off, or flying racetrack circles and providing fire support. Vertibirds on insertion/extraction duty are not capable of attacking, but their dropping off troops can be problematic, as Enclave soldiers are one of the toughest hostile factions in the Capital Wasteland.
Vertibirds tasked with fire support are the biggest threat, as they eliminate engaging hostile forces to back up Enclave troops on the ground. These Vertibirds often perform bombing runs, and make several passes to eliminate any resistance in the area. Vertibirds on these support flights may open fire with their missile launchers or Gatling lasers, though they do not use them as much as their mini nukes.
Vertibirds can sometimes be encountered on the ground. One noteworthy one is on the steps of the Capitol Building in the Capital Wasteland. In these cases, upon finding one of the parked Vertibirds, there should be a cage containing a deathclaw inside. When engaged in combat, the Enclave officer nearest to the cage will often let loose the deathclaw.
In Fallout 3, Vertibirds can be destroyed with heavy ordnance, though they cannot be targeted in V.A.T.S. The resulting explosion will scatter a great deal of debris, which will be visible to the player. A Vertibird explosion is significantly more powerful than that of a car or truck and will kill or seriously injure anyone nearby, including disembarking Enclave troops.
The largest concentration of Vertibirds the player will have to face is in the quest Take it Back!, and these will be automatically destroyed by Liberty Prime as it advances. The player character can, however, destroy them as they are hovering while engaging Liberty Prime.
|ITEM||HEALTH||ID||NAME||FORCE||DAMAGE||RADIUS||IS RADIUS||RAD LEVEL||RADIUS||DSPTN TIME||KNOCK DOWN|
- If a Vertibird is destroyed immediately after the Enclave troops have disembarked, the explosion will kill them. If they are still aboard, they—along with any loot—will be destroyed. However, Enclave soldiers will appear about 1.5 seconds after the Vertibird lands. The Vertibird will then start to take off. If the ship is destroyed during this narrow window, the soldiers on the ground may remain completely unscathed.
Behind the scenesEdit
- The name "Vertibird" is the trademark for a toy helicopter playset popular in the 70's.
- Many design aspects of this aircraft appear to be inspired by the hovering insect, the dragonfly. For example, the six legged landing gear and twin bulges in the forward fuselage.
- The technical concept of wingtip-mounted, tilting engine-pods with rotors featuring a diameter between a classic aircraft propeller and a helicopter's main rotor has been used in several real-world-designs like the experimental aircrafts Bell XV-3, Curtiss-Wright X-19 or Bell X-22.
- A prominent tilt-rotor aircraft in current military service is the Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey which is operated by both the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force.
The designation "VB-02" would, in real-world US military usage, indicate that it is a bomber aircraft. As the Vertibird's primary roles appear to be transport and ground attack, the "VB" prefix seems to be simply intended as an abbreviation of Vertibird. In post-1962 US Department of Defense nomenclature, the transport variation's designation would probably be CV-2, meaning "cargo/transport VTOL, design number 2", with the gunship variant being "A/CV-2", meaning "Attack Purposed, Cargo/Transport VTOL, design number 2".
Fallout: New VegasEdit