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Vertibird

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The VB-02 Vertical Take Off and Landing (VTOL) craft, codenamed Vertibird, is a U.S. military multipurpose tiltwing aircraft primarily used by the Enclave in the post-War United States.

The New California Republic also have limited access to the Vertibirds they captured from Navarro, such as Bear Force One, which is used for high-profile events. The East Coast Brotherhood of Steel own multiple Vertibirds, recovered from the Enclave at the conclusion of the Brotherhood-Enclave War.

BackgroundEdit

The Vertibird was still in the prototype phase when the Great War struck in 2077, preventing it from entering full military service which was scheduled for 2085.[1]. As evidenced by the crashed Vertibird on the roof of the Museum of Freedom an early prototype or version of the Vertibird seems to have been in use by the United States Armed Forces just prior to the Great War, though how widespread this use was is unknown. That Vertibirds were in use is further supported by the appearance of a prototype Vertibird with winterized camouflage during the Operation Anchorage simulation dropping U.S. troops before taking off again. However, whether any Vertibirds were ever used during the Alaskan reclamation is uncertain as General Constantine Chase was known to implement his own, fictional content to the simulation.[2]

Following the war 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 their power as a whole.

DesignEdit

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 bay. It is unknown how a Vertibird is powered, however, dialogue with the Enclave Remnants suggest that it runs on some kind of fuel. It has a winch that can haul several tons of equipment - or a large deathclaw cage.

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. This was the variant used before the Destruction of Control Station ENCLAVE.
  • A dedicated gunship version with a more heavily armored hull, four-bladed rotors and four retractable landing struts as well as greater maneuverability. This is the variant in use by the Enclave Remnants and the Enclave operating in the Capital Wasteland. This is the variant seen after the Destruction of Control Station ENCLAVE.

West Coast OperationsEdit

Vertibirds were used by the Enclave to transport personnel and materials between the mainland and the Enclave Oil Rig. 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.

After the defeat of the Enclave on the west coast and sacking of Navarro, the NCR captured several Vertibirds and started to operate them in a cargo transport role. One is known to have been converted to a presidential transport, labeled Bear Force One.

It is unknown if the West Coast Brotherhood of steel also recovered Vertibirds from Navarro.

East Coast OperationsEdit

Vertibirds are known to have appeared on the East Coast in 2277, when the Enclave came out of hiding to secure Project Purity. It is unknown if the Vertibirds were brought over by the Autumn Senior, when he led the Enclave forces east, or had been sequestered there by the Enclave before the war.

The East Coast Brotherhood of Steel acquire Vertibirds, and their related technologies, after defeating the Enclave at the end of the Broken Steel questline.

FlightEdit

AdvantagesEdit

The Vertibird's VTOL flight mechanics allow it to approach landing zones with the speed of a fixed-wing aircraft and transition into a hovering mode of flight, by tilting its rotors vertically upwards 90 degrees. Given this extreme amount of maneuverability, the VB-02 is regarded as a formidable force in the Fallout universe.

DisadvantagesEdit

While the design of a Vertibird is convenient, its dual rotor-blades serve as a flight hazard, for if the aircraft were to suffer a single rotary malfunction at a substantial altitude, the VB-02's airframe and distribution of down-wash would cause the aircraft to fall on its side in a dramatic and likely fatal crash.

CombatEdit

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 minigun on the left side of the Vertibird for passengers, 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, the minigun is used to mow down large amounts of infantry, 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 instance 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 the deathclaw loose.

In Fallout 4 Vertibirds lack the large armament package seen in Fallout 3 and are only armed with two fixed forward firing machine guns and a crew operated minigun mounted on the left hand side. When dropping the Sole Survivor off in an area inhabited with hostiles, the Vertibird will sometimes support the player by firing on the hostiles with its machine guns.

DestructionEdit

In Fallout 3, Vertibirds can be destroyed with heavy ordnance, however 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 character. A Vertibird explosion is significantly more powerful than that of a car or truck and will kill or seriously injure anyone nearby. The explosion can also kill disembarking Enclave troops, however this can be unreliable due to bugs.

In Fallout 4, Vertibirds are easily destroyed by all ranged weapons, and can be targeted in V.A.T.S. When a Vertibird is airborne and takes enough damage, it starts spinning on its Y axis, similar to how helicopters spin when they lose their tail rotor, before crashing into the ground and exploding, similar to a mini nuke explosion. The Vertibird usually breaks up into four large pieces upon crashing, releasing small amounts of radiation for a short while.

Realistically, the Fallout 4 Vertibird's death tailspin would be more commonly seen on helicopters instead of tilt wing's like the Vertibird and its real life cousin, the V22 Osprey, as failing helicopters can use a principle known as autorotation to spiral down, whereas critically damaged tiltwings and tiltrotors do not have this capability.

Explosive CapabilityEdit

ITEM HEALTH ID NAME FORCE DAMAGE RADIUS IS RADIUS RAD LEVEL RADIUS DSPTN TIME KNOCK DOWN
Vertibird 750 VertibirdExplosion Nuke Explosion 120 550 1324 4290 10 616 12 Sometimes

AppearancesEdit

Fallout 2Edit

Fallout2

Daisy Whitman's crashed Vertibird

Fallout 3Edit

Vertibirds appear in the Capital Wasteland, along with the Enclave, after The Waters of Life quest. They are used by the Enclave for transport and fire support. Vertibirds will appear through out the Capital Wasteland, deploying Enclave troops. A large number of Vertibirds are seen fleeing the destruction of Raven Rock, with some crashing in the confusion. Vertibirds are encountered on the ground and in the air during the quest Take it Back!, with Liberty Prime and the Lone Wanderer (if equipped with heavy weapons) destroying them along the way to Project Purity.

Vertibirds appear in the last stage of the Operation: Anchorage add on despite them not meant to be deployed for another eight years. This may be due to General Constantine Chase hijacking the programming of the simulation.[3]

In the Broken Steel add on, Vertibirds appear at Adams Air Force Base as well as a captured one called Pride One. This Vertibird was captured, studied and modified by the Brotherhood of Steel between the recapture of Project Purity and the final Broken Steel quest Who Dares Wins. Pride One was studied and then modified by Scribe Vallincourt, with the only visible modification is the Brotherhood logo on both sides.

Fallout: New VegasEdit

In FoNV the NCR uses Vertibirds that were captured from the Navarro during the NCR-Enclave conflict. One modified Vertibird, named Bear Force One, is seen transporting President Kimball to Hoover Dam. Destroyed NCR Vertibirds are found at Long 15 if the NCR are nuked at the end of Lonesome Road. These are likely used for cargo transport and not combat as they aren't seen fighting the Legion.

An ex-Enclave Vertibird is located in the Remnants bunker and be seen in the battle for the dam, if the Courier convinces them to support their cause.

A Crashed Vertibird also appears in the Mojave Wasteland, surrounded by leveled Sentry bots and Mister Gutsies

Fallout 4Edit

In Fallout 4 the Vertibird has under gone a redesign/face-lift from its previous appearances. It is larger in appearance and has a transparent cockpit, sliding doors on the cabin, a pintle mounted minigun on the left hand side and folding wings and rotors. The Vertibird also has a docking hook along the top near the tail, that links with the docking hook/arm on the flight deck of The Prydwen. Also different from previous models are the model's retractable landing gear, it is in a different configuration with one along the center line at the front of the aircraft and the other three in a tricycle layout at the rear of the fuselage. The Vertibird can also be docked to The Prydwen's flight deck by use of a docking arm, which hooks onto the Vertibird while its hovering in the docking zone and brings it in.

The Vertibird appears in the opening sequence of Fo4, one is seen flying over Sanctuary Hills and landing next to the entrance to Vault 111. Afterwards several crashed and wrecked Vertibirds are found throughout The Commonwealth, usually with some power armor nearby.

Operational Vertibirds are seen after the quest Reunions when a Brotherhood of Steel force shows up with The Prydwen. Afterwards BoS Vertibirds are seen flying ,sometimes in pairs, throughout The Commonwealth deploying squads or firing on hostiles. The player gains the ability to call in a Vertibird to transport them to a location after the quest Show No Mercy. The player also gains the ability to call a Vertibird after The Nuclear Option, when siding with the Railroad or alternatively after completing With Our Powers Combined for the Commonwealth Minutemen.

OperatorsEdit

EnclaveEdit

  • As the main producer of the pre-War design, the Enclave hold the world's largest fleet of VB-02's.

Brotherhood of SteelEdit

  • The East Coast Brotherhood of Steel has multiple Vertibirds, which they can launch and retrieve from their airship, The Prydwen.

New California Republic ArmyEdit

  • The NCR holds a presidential transport named Bear Force One. They also own a fleet of cargo Vertibirds, despite them being gunship models, as seen by wreckage on the Long 15 if it is destroyed.

GunnersEdit

  • In Fallout 4, the Gunners faction posses at least one Vertibird and will use it to attack the player at random near their positions on the southern part of the map.

Commonwealth Minutemen Edit

RailroadEdit

NotesEdit

Fallout 3Edit

  • 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 Vertibird is destroyed during this narrow window, the soldiers on the ground may remain completely unscathed.
  • A Vertibird can hold up to 6 Enclave soldiers and two pilots, as can been seen in the cinematic Vertibird sequence at the end of Who Dares Wins.
  • While the transport model was the first Vertibird used by the Enclave, gunship variants can be found in the Anchorage Reclamation simulation and at the Museum of Technology.
  • All Vertibird models seen by 2277 are of the gunship variant.

Fallout: New VegasEdit

Fallout 4Edit

  • In the Fallout 4 trailer, a flashback scene shows what must be a pre-War Vertibird Prototype.
  • The vertibird has received a significant facelift, with a sliding door and one door-mounted minigun on the left hand side.
  • The appearance of multiple crashed pre-war Vertibirds and helipads suggest the Vertibird had become operational, at least in the The Commonwealth, just prior to the Great War
  • When using the Vertibird to get to a location and you accidentally hit the land button, simply open up your Pip-Boy map just like you would once you boarded click the location you wish to travel and the Vertibird will cancel the land, but after doing this you cannot use the land button again.
  • During flight the Vertibird's wings keep changing position during the flight despite there being no visible change in speed.
  • Brotherhood Vertibirds can be seen flying around, alone or in pairs, engaging hostile forces or deploying and/or retrieving ground teams.
  • Brotherhood Vertibirds lack any Brotherhood insignia.
  • Vertibirds can fold their up their wing and rotor assemblies when not in use to reduce the space they take up. This can be seen when one is docked onto The Prydwen.
  • Traveling by Vertibird is significantly faster than walking or fast-traveling, even when factoring in the time for the aircraft to arrive. This can be beneficial for quests with deadlines.
  • Travel by Vertibird can add fast-travel locations to your Pip-Boy en-route.

Behind the scenesEdit

Design backgroundEdit

  • The name "Vertibird" is the trademark for a toy helicopter playset popular in the 70s.
  • Many design aspects of this aircraft in Fallout 1 and 2 appear to be inspired by the hovering insect, the dragonfly. For example, the six legged landing gear and twin bulges in the forward fuselage.
  • Both the design and designation VB-02 are inspired by the tilt-rotor Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey, as well as the tilt-wing LTV XC-142

Vertibird designationEdit

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".

BugsEdit

  • pcIcon pc In Fallout 4, The wreckage from a destroyed Vertibird may continue to move long after it has crashed, sending (harmless) fuselage spinning over and over around the crash-site [verified]
  • xboxoneIcon xboxone In Fallout 4, A Vertibird may become bugged when "destroyed" leaving it permanently at 0 HP and spinning in the air. This can be resolved by fast traveling away.[verification needed]

GalleryEdit

Fallout 2Edit

Fallout 3Edit

Fallout: New VegasEdit

Fallout 4Edit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Museum of Technology
  2. Outcast outpost terminal entries
  3. Outcast outpost terminal entries
Enclave Symbol (FO3)
Enclave Symbol (FO3)

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