For an overview of vertibirds, see Vertibird.

 
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Vertibird is a designation for a series of VTOL (Vertical Take Off and Landing) craft. These multipurpose tiltrotor aircraft were developed by the United States military[1] and rapidly became a primary gunship and transport aircraft.

Background

Developed by the Department of Defense as early as 2072,[2] the original Vertibird was created as a multipurpose tiltrotor vertical take-off aircraft. While utilized early on in the days before the Great War, certain companies got word of its development, and began planning the use of it for their own methods.[3] Following the success of the initial design, the military commenced work on a superior model, hoping to improve on virtually every aspect of the original: Better armor, better weapons, better speed and cargo capacity, everything. When the Great War struck in 2077, the XVB02 Vertibird was still in the prototype phase, scheduled to enter full military service in 2085.[1]

Characteristics

The Vertibirds utilized on the East Coast have transparent cockpits, 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 is the model's retractable landing gear, in a different configuration with one along the centerline at the front of the aircraft and the other three in a tricycle layout at the rear of the fuselage.

Its armaments consist of two front-facing cannons and dual miniguns. There is one known model used by the pre-War United States Armed Forces and Arthur Maxson's Brotherhood of Steel, a bulkier transport model with a glass cockpit, retractable side doors, collapsible wings, and two additional jet engines behind the main cabin.

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.

Vertibirds lack the large armament package seen in the Capital Wasteland 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 them by firing on the hostiles with its machine guns.

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 the ground and pass through it. Marking with a recon scope can show its progress under the terrain.

Although the Brotherhood of Steel operate nearly all functional Vertibirds seen in Fallout 4, the Gunners also possess one functional Vertibird, which can be encountered in the southwestern portion of the map. They at one point possessed at least one more, which crashed into the Mass Bay Medical Center. The Minutemen and the Railroad may also come into possession of a single Vertibird. The Good Fighters have also managed to repair two Vertibirds and make them flightworthy.

Locations

The first Vertibird appears in the opening sequence of the game, flying over Sanctuary Hills and landing next to the entrance of Vault 111. Another Vertibird hovers over the Old North Bridge. Later, several crashed and wrecked Vertibirds can be found throughout the Commonwealth. Near the wrecked Vertibirds, power armor can commonly appear.

  • The first Vertibird seen in the post-War Commonwealth if following the main story is one crashed on the roof of the Museum of Freedom. Michael Daly's power armor can be recovered there during the quest When Freedom Calls.
  • Operational Vertibirds are seen after the quest Reunions when a Brotherhood of Steel force shows up with the Prydwen. Afterward 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 character gains the ability to call in a Brotherhood of Steel transport Vertibird by using a Vertibird signal grenade. They also gain 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.

Travel

  • To travel by Vertibird: drop a Vertibird signal grenade in a suitable location, wait for the aircraft to land nearby, approach the aircraft until the option to Ride is shown, then select it. On board the Vertibird open the PipBoy's Map page and select a location for Fast Travel.
  • Regardless of whether the character approaches the left door or the right door, the boarding animation shows them entering the left door and taking up position on the left door's door gun.
  • The Vertibird will attempt to land as close as possible to the colored smoke signal. However in highly congested terrain, the game may report that it is not possible for a Vertibird to land at your location. The signal grenade is still expended.
  • In general it is not possible to request landings on the roofs of buildings, not even designated helipads.
  • However in landing to drop off at the destination (not for pickup) the Vertibird will attempt to land as close as possible to the Fast travel target, including if this is placed on a roof or similar surface, provided the surface is large enough and a clear glide path exists.
  • In moderately congested terrain the Vertibird may need to land some distance away, potentially out of sight. A landed Vertibird will always add a quest to the Miscellaneous section. Initially this is inactive. If activated, the quest marker can be used to locate the Vertibird. Once activated, this quest marker will automatically be activated for future landings, until it is deliberately deactivated.
  • En route you may select Land to land at the current location rather than the destination that was selected on the map.
  • If one selects Land by accident while traveling to a location, re-selecting the originally selected location (on the Map page) will result in arriving at that location.
  • The Vertibird can be made to change destination mid-flight at any time by selecting a new destination, at any time prior to final descent at the currently selected destination.
  • There appears to be no limitation on the Vertibird's airborne endurance.
  • Traveling by Vertibird is significantly faster than fast-traveling, even when factoring in the time for the aircraft to arrive.
  • Travel by Vertibird can add fast-travel locations and points of interest to the Pip-Boy while en route. It can also update incorrect or outdated settlement workshop data if passing sufficiently close to a settlement.
  • Travelling over radioactive areas is less dangerous than walking through them. The vertical distance from the surface of the ground (or other radiation source) reduces the radiation effect, meaning that for example, in the Glowing Sea radiation effects will be experienced only while crossing very high places (such as the ridges of the Crater of Atom) or during take-off/landing ascent/descent.

Combat

  • The door-mounted minigun may be fired when the aircraft is on the ground (after boarding and before take off, but not after landing) as well as while airborne.
  • By selecting a sequence of destinations in a crude counter-clockwise circle or polygon around a target, it is possible to 'orbit' that target indefinitely, for example to fire on the target with the door gun.
  • During travel, the player character cannot use VATS, grenades or any weapon other than the door gun. The player character can access the PipBoy screens and use inventory-equip shortcuts.
  • The aim point crosshair for the minigun is very wide when hip-firing (indicating a wide spread), and disappears when aiming in first person view. In third person view there is no aimpoint dot. It is only possible to aim down the door gun's barrel 'by eye' in first person view.
  • In Survival Mode, periodic damage from over-encumbrance does not occur while traveling in a Vertibird. Thirst and hunger effects, and periodic damage from disease, occur in the normal way.
  • There is no limitation on the ammunition capacity of the door gun.
  • The door gun cannnot do damage to the Vertibird it is mounted in. It can damage other Vertibirds, downing them quite easily.
  • Locations are still marked as CLEARED even when achieving combat objectives only by using the Vertibird's door gun.
  • Wearing power armor while traveling aboard a Vertibird will still drain the armor's fusion cores. Even though one is not physically moving the armor, the Vertibird travel still counts towards the depletion of the fusion energy.
  • While flying over a raider captured outpost, the turrets and raiders there will attack the Vertibird and its pilot, but will neither be able to hit it nor be hostile against the Sole Survivor.

Notes

  • During flight, the Vertibird's wings will change position.
  • Brotherhood Vertibirds lack any Brotherhood insignia.
  • The Vertibird's door-mounted minigun is always on the left hand side, despite a floor rail mechanism to slide it from one door to the other being depicted in the model.
  • 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.
  • The Vertibirds escorting the Prydwen upon its arrival are unmanned.
  • The Vertibirds used by the player character to ascend to, and descend from, the Prydwen do not have a door gun, or any flight animation.

Behind the scenes

In The Art of Fallout 4, the Fallout 4 Vertibird is described as the "result of a goldfish meeting a Hind helicopter."[4]

Bugs

  • Icon pc.png 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]
  • Icon pc.png Icon xboxone.png Boarding a signaled Vertibird that has landed in Boston Common Pond will cause you to remain irradiated, even after landing.[verified]
  • Icon pc.png Icon xboxone.png 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.[verified]
  • Icon pc.png Icon xboxone.png 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. [verified]
  • Icon pc.png The Vertibird can suffer from Wounding Legendary weapon effect (bleed). With enough sequential hits and using enough powerful weapon, like Pickman's Blade, the Vertibird's life can be seen diminishing from bleeding through V.A.T.S. [verified]
  • Icon pc.png Icon ps4.png The Vertibird can suffer from having the minigun disappear after the player has taken off, essentially making it defenseless for the remainder of the journey. there seems to be no set trigger. moving or not moving, panning the camera or not. zoomed in or out. [verified]
    • Icon ps4.png In the event of the minigun disappearing, it is then possible to select other weapons from inventory and fire them. [verification overdue]
  • Icon ps4.png The Vertibird and player character can glitch through the Prydwen while maneuvering to dock with the player character on board. [verification overdue]
  • Icon ps4.png The Vertibird and player character can glitch under the ground or under water while maneuvring to land with the player character on board. This is rectified by the time the player character is ready to disembark the aircraft. [verification overdue]

Gallery

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 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."
  2. Shanghai Sally: Chapter Closed
  3. Hornwright Industrial Headquarters terminal entries; CEO's terminal, Personal Entry 02
  4. The Art of Fallout 4, p. 270: "VERTIBIRD
    This design is the result of a goldfish meeting a Hind helicopter. It needed to be bulky to have enough room for power armor units to maneuver inside its cabin."
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