|For an overview of vertibirds, see Vertibird.|
Vertibird is a designation for a series of vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft. These multipurpose tiltrotor aircraft were developed by the United States military and rapidly became a primary gunship and transport aircraft. Vertibirds are known to have appeared on the East Coast in 2277, when the Enclave came out of hiding to secure Project Purity.
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 supporting 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.
The vertibirds one 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 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 the Capital Wasteland, 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 throughout 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.
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 Vegas
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 unique to the location hardened sentry bots and Mister Gutsies.
- 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 a few seconds after the vertibird lands. The vertibird will then start to take off. If it is destroyed during this narrow window, the soldiers on the ground may remain completely unscathed.
- Vertibirds appear in the last stage of Operation: Anchorage despite their deployment being planned eight years later.
- A vertibird can hold up to six Enclave soldiers and two pilots, as can been seen in the cinematic 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 Vegas
- Lily's vertibird blade was once the propeller blade of a vertibird that crashed near Klamath. Lily tells the Courier that "Leo" showed her how to build it.
- All vertibirds on the Long 15 have an Enclave paint job.
Behind the scenes
When destroyed in Fallout 3, the wreckage uses a slightly different texture set, including rotor markings and the prototype emblem of the Enclave.
Concept art and renders
- Museum of Technology Vertibird placard: "This is a scaled model of a prototype military transport vehicle being developed by the U.S. Military. The XVB02 'Vertibird' is a VTOL ('Vertical Take Off and Landing') craft with an extremely durable armored fuselage and can be armored 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."
- Courier: "Where'd you get that sword?"
Lily Bowen: "This old thing? Oh, I scavenged it off a wreck in Klamath. Leo showed me how to make it all ready for chopping, didn't you, Leo?"
(Lily Bowen's dialogue)