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The XVB02 "Vertibird" is a VTOL ("Vertical Take Off and Landing") craft with an extremely durable armored fuselage and can be armed with a variety of offensive weapons and defensive countermeasures. This is the most advanced aircraft of its kind ever developed, and the military hopes to press them into service by 2085.

— Plaque at the Museum of Technology in Washington, D.C., Fallout 3

The VB-02 Vertical Take Off and Landing (VTOL) craft, alternatively called the XVB02, codenamed "Vertibird", is a U.S. military multipurpose tiltwing aircraft designed for the United States Armed Forces in the years leading up to the Great War of 2077. Despite never entering full-service, numerous models were disseminated into various federal and private applications, and saw use in armed conflicts across the globe.

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. It appears the Commonwealth Coast Guard was also in possession of one before the war, as a destroyed Vertibird with Coast Guard insignia can be found at the Coast Guard Pier. Additionally, one flies over Sanctuary Hills just as the sirens sound in Boston, ordering the evacuation to Vault 111 by megaphone.

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.

There is one known model used by the pre-war United States Armed Forces and Maxson's Brotherhood of Steel:

  • A bulkier transport model with a glass cockpit, retractable side doors, and collapsible wings. This model of vertibird was used pre-war by the United States Armed Forces. Such as the ones seen crashed in Fallout 4.

Based on evidence from the Museum of Freedom, the Vertibird (at least in it's early / pre-war versions) lacks shielding and is susceptible to an EMP. Its armarments consist of two frontfacing cannons and dual miniguns. The Vertibird's crew consists of two pilots, but can be piloted just as smoothly with only one. Based on the size of their deployment, it is possible this variant is a separate model than the VB-02.

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 acquired a fleet of Vertibirds, and their related technologies, after defeating the Enclave at the end of the Broken Steel questline.

As of 2287, The Brotherhood has a vast arsenal of Vertibirds at their disposal. They also possess the ability to manufacture more Vertibirds. The Vertibirds are also modified so that they can be docked on the Brotherhood airship, The Prydwen. It is also stated by Elder Arthur Maxson that there are a large number of gunship vertibirds in the East Coast Brotherhood Of Steels possession but they have not brought them to the Commonwealth.

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. However, if the Vertibird takes an immense amount of damage - such as a direct hit with a two-shot fat man mirv or an upgraded explosive minigun - the Vertibird will slowly fall to ground and pass through it. Marking with a recon scope can show its progress under the terrain.

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

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 can 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. Different from previous models are the model's retractable landing gear, 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 appears in the opening sequence of the game, flying over Sanctuary Hills and landing next to the entrance of Vault 111. Later, several crashed and wrecked Vertibirds can be found throughout the Commonwealth. Nearby the wrecked Vertibirds, power armor can commonly appear.

Operational Vertibirds are seen after the quest Reunions when a Brotherhood of Steel force shows up with the Prydwen. Afterwards Brotherhood of Steel Vertibirds are seen flying, sometimes in pairs, throughout the Commonwealth deploying squads or firing on hostiles. After the quest Show No Mercy, the player gains the ability to call in a Brotherhood of Steel transport Vertibird. 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 formerly hold the world's largest fleet of VB-02's.

Brotherhood of SteelEdit

  • The East Coast Brotherhood of Steel has vast supply of Vertibirds in their Arsenal, with the ability of manufacturing even more.

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 possesses 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 MinutemenEdit

RailroadEdit

  • During Rockets' Red Glare, the Railroad capture a Brotherhood of Steel Vertibird, with the designation of Claymore. After the quest is complete, the Sole Survivor will be able to call in the Vertibird with a Vertibird signal grenade.

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

  • 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.
  • While you are still in flight, you can change your mind and travel to a different fast travel destination simply by opening your Pip-Boy, selecting a different fast travel target and clicking 'Yes' in the confirmation pop-up. The Vertibird will change its course and take you there.
  • During flight the Vertibird's wings keep changing position, despite there being no visible change in speed.
  • Brotherhood Vertibirds lack any Brotherhood insignia.
  • Vertibirds can fold 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 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 the Pip-Boy while en-route.
  • Oddly enough, despite the Vertibird being a highly metallic vehicle, it can be easily shot down by enemies such as raiders.
  • Vertibirds in-game display weird flight characteristics and physics, being able to rotate instantaneously when engaging targets, pitch and remain hovering in place at an angle and clipping through objects.
  • Wearing power armor while traveling aboard a vertibird can drain said armor's fusion cores quite quickly. Even though the player character is not visually moving the vertibird is, however and still counts towards the depletion of the fusion energy.
  • Upon the arrival of the Prydwen the vertibirds that are flying beside the Prydwen are unmanned.

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 2 appear to be inspired by 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

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]
  • pcIcon pc xboxoneIcon xboxone In Fallout 4, boarding a signaled Vertibird that has landed in Boston Common Pond will cause you to remain irradiated, even after landing.[verified]
  • xboxoneIcon xboxone In Fallout 4, idling long enough inside the Vertibird to where the camera pans around the character in third person, then moving the camera after landing, may cause the player to become stuck inside, and the Vertibird will take off with the player unable to move. After a few moments, the player will fall out of the Vertibird.[verification overdue]
  • pcIcon pc In Fallout 4, killing the pilots of the Vertibird will not cause it to crash. Instead it will continue flying and engaging hostiles until its health is depleted. The same happens if one or more of its engines are destroyed. [verification overdue]
  • pcIcon pc In Fallout 4, When a vertibird runs out of health, it is supposed to spin wildly out of the air and crash into the ground. However, sometimes a glitch occurs where it gets staggered while this is happening, causing the vertibird to become 'zombified'. It will hover in the air and slowly drift towards the ground, sometimes even sinking into it rather than exploding like it should.

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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