| ||For an overview of vertibirds in the Fallout series, see Vertibird.|
Vertibirds are a type of Vertical Take Off and Landing (VTOL) aircraft designed for the United States Armed Forces in the years leading up to the Great War of 2077. The most advanced pre-war model was designated the XVB02, though other models of unknown designations were also developed both before and after the war.
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.
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.
In Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas the Vertibird is a dedicated gunship version with a 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.
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 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.
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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.
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.
The NCR uses Vertibirds that were captured from 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.
- 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
- 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.
- Despite the NCR's hatred of the Enclave, all NCR Vertibirds with the exception of Bear Force One retain an Enclave paintjob.
Behind the scenesEdit
- 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.
- Timothy Donley was the artist who designed the Vertibird model for Fallout 2.
Concept art and rendersEdit