A parked VB-01 Vertibird
VB-01 Vertibird VTOL (Vertical Take Off and Landing) is a multipurpose tiltwing aircraft developed by the United States military for mainly transporting troops. It is the forerunner of the VB-02 Vertibird and was used extensively on the home front prior to the Great War.
Developed by the Department of Defense, 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. Following the success of what became known as the VB01 Vertibird, 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. Limited trial runs were developed and pressed into service, including winterized models during the last stages of the Anchorage Reclamation The Enclave would finish prototyping the VB 02 at the Control Station Enclave, along with the X-01 power armor, sometime after the Great War and begin producing the VB02 en masse.
The second generation Vertibird was produced into two distinct versions: a transport design, with a large glass canopy, six non-retractable landing struts, a spacious cargo bay and seven-bladed rotors for extra lift, and a gunship, with a heavily armored hull, four rotor blades, four retractable landing struts, and better armament. These were used extensively in field operations on the West Coast, which include trading with the Salvatore family of New Reno, capturing of test subjects for the FEV Curling-13 research programme from Arroyo and Vault 13 and more. Around 2242, the Chosen One stole the Vertibird Plans from the Navarro base, making it possible that the Vertibird plans ended up in the hands of various factions of the wasteland. The destruction of the oil rig later that year has likely destroyed a large number of aircraft in the Enclave's service. When the Navarro military base was later conquered by the NCR, a Vertibirds stationed at the base were put into military service, used for transportation duties. One aircraft was assigned for transporting the NCR President, receiving a special white and green paint scheme and the designation Bear Force One.
In 2277, Enclave forces that relocated to the Capital Wasteland deployed a large fleet of Vertibirds to support their ground operations in the region. These gunships were used in a decidedly military capacity. A large number of VB01 craft were once again pressed into service by the eastern division of the Brotherhood of Steel, having not been used since the days of the Appalachian Brotherhood of Steel, becoming widely used by 2287.
- United States Army: The principal operator of the pre-War production run of VB-01 Vertibirds.
- Brotherhood of Steel: Following the reclamation of a fleet of Vertibirds and the construction of The Prydwen, the Brotherhood under Elder Arthur Maxson is the sole known post-War operator of Vertibirds. Some units captured from the Brotherhood may be used by other factions.
The Vertibird has a distinctive design, resembling a large dragonfly. It is a double rotor assembly, with one proprotor and transmission nacelle mounted on each wingtip. For takeoff and landing, it typically operates as a helicopter with the nacelles vertical and rotors horizontal. Once airborne, the nacelles rotate forward 90° in several seconds for horizontal flight, converting the Vertibird to a more fuel efficient, higher speed turboprop aircraft. Rotor blades and the wings themselves can be collapsed along the main fuselage for storage or retrieval by specialized apparatus, such as The Prydwen's docking arms.
The main fuselage is armored, providing protection against small arms. Heavier munitions have no trouble defeating the armor. Notably, it lacks any kind of shielding against electromagnetic pulse radiation. As such, EMP discharges can and will fry the electronics of a VB-01 and send it plummeting to the ground. The cabin is cramped, as the primary power plant is mounted inside the fuselage itself alongside fuel storage. The default configuration of the Vertibird includes two pilot seats, a single seat for a passenger, and standing space for troops in power armor, as well as a door gunner manning a minigun on a fixed mount. The cabin can easily be used to transport goods, of course, easily capable of ferrying three T-60 power armor units for repairs over extended distances.
The Vertibird has a standard, analog cockpit designed for two pilots in a side-by-side seating configuration, with instrumentation placed in a forward-mounted control console and two sets of conventional flight controls below. The cockpit is enclosed by a large glass canopy, allowing excellent visibility while in flight or in combat operations. The crew consists of two pilots, although it can be reliably flown by a single pilot. A number of Vertibirds were converted into fully automated, autonomous drones, creating Vertibots.
The Vertibird has two weapon hardpoints located below the cockpit, usually fitted with a pair of 5mm machine guns for strafing enemy positions. The Vertibird design is efficient, but not without its disadvantages. Rotor failures effectively turn it into a plummeting coffin; such was the case with Daisy Whitman's Vertibird, which crashed near Klamath around 2241.
Prior to the arrival of the Brotherhood in the Commonwealth, Vertibirds are exclusively found as wreckage, usually in military areas or crash sites. One fully working Vertibird is used in the pre-War section of the game to broadcast an evacuation notice and fly select citizens out of Sanctuary Hills.
After the arrival of the Brotherhood, Vertibirds become a common sight in the wasteland, usually flying combat patrols and attacking hostile creatures, such as raiders or super mutants. These carry a pair of Knights in power armor, who deploy by jumping out of a hovering Vertibird and attacking the enemy, while the gunship remains on location providing fire support from its door gunner. The Vertibirds are also used prominently in quests, such as Shadow of Steel or Show No Mercy. A captured Vertibird is used by the Railroad to infiltrate The Prydwen during Rockets' Red Glare.
Vertibirds have four grades of difficulty and power and scale with the player's level. Obviously, none of them can be attacked by melee companions, they cannot also be paralyzed, disarmed, or disintegrated.
|EncVertibird01Template||20||900||10||Dual Vertibird front cannons: 2 x 1 Normal damage (2 DPS)||60||60||Immune to Poison and Radiation||Aggressive: Will attack enemies on sight.||Foolhardy: Will never flee or avoid anyone.||Helps allies: Will help allies.||30|
|EncVertibird02||30||1110||10||Dual Vertibird front cannons: 2 x 1 Normal damage (2 DPS)||90||90||Immune to Poison and Radiation||Very aggressive: Will attack enemies and neutrals on sight.||Cowardly: Will always avoid combat/flee.||Helps allies: Will help allies.||43|
|EncVertibird03||40||1310||10||Dual Vertibird front cannons: 2 x 1 Normal damage (2 DPS)||112||112||Immune to Poison and Radiation||Very aggressive: Will attack enemies and neutrals on sight.||Cowardly: Will always avoid combat/flee.||Helps allies: Will help allies.||57|
|EncVertibird04||50||1510||10||Dual Vertibird front cannons: 2 x 1 Normal damage (2 DPS)||135||135||Immune to Poison and Radiation||Very aggressive: Will attack enemies and neutrals on sight.||Cowardly: Will always avoid combat/flee.||Helps allies: Will help allies.||75|
Behind the scenes
- The name "Vertibird" is the trademark for a toy helicopter playset popular in the 70's.
- Many design aspects of this aircraft appear to be inspired by the hovering insect, the dragonfly. For example, the six legged landing gear and twin bulges in the forward fuselage.
- The technical concept of wingtip-mounted, tilting engine-pods with rotors featuring a diameter between a classic aircraft propeller and a helicopter's main rotor has been used in several real-world-designs like the experimental aircrafts Bell XV-3, Curtiss-Wright X-19, Bell X-22, Bell XV-15.
- A prominent tilt-rotor aircraft in current military service is the Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey which is operated by both the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force.
The designation "VB02" 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 "AV-2", meaning "Attack Purposed VTOL, design number 2".
Appearances in games
- The Art of Fallout 4: Front: Twin .30cal Ball Turret
- 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."
- The Art of Fallout 4: "[Prydwen's] complement of Vertibirds are of a different variety than the gunships used by the Enclave - better suited to troop transport but modified for deployment from the airship."
- Hornwright Industrial Headquarters terminals; CEO's Terminal, Personal Entry 02
- A winterized Vertibird can be seen during the Anchorage Reclamation simulation, dropping off troops.
- The Whitespring Bunker terminals; Schematic Archives, Prototype Power Armor Schematics
- Appearance of the craft in Fallout 2, Fallout 3, and Fallout: New Vegas.
- Help guard a secret transaction taking place in the desert.
- Events of Fallout 2.
- Vertibirds appear at Long 15, while another is used as Bear Force One by the NCR President.
- Fallout 76
- Fallout 4
- VB-01 Vertibird appearance.
- X6-88: "I'm not sure this is a good idea, sir. One raider with an RPG could end us."
- Log - SSG Michael Daly: "Personal log. United States Army Staff Sergeant Michael Daly. This past Saturday, October 23rd, while en route to West Stockbridge, our veritbird crashed into the roof of this museum. The cause: EMP following nuclear detonation. Several, in fact. From the intel I've gathered, this was a global event. The co-pilot was killed on impact. Pilot died of his injuries a day later. Day after that, Flaherty and Kanawa were shot by some scared, desperate, survivors. Flaherty took his helmet off when I told him not to, and was shot in the head by some scared little kid. Then Proznanski took off running. Haven't seen him since. Now it's my turn to go AWOL, if that concept even applies anymore. My armor's fusion core is burned out, so I guess my soldiering days are done. I'm heading into Boston, on foot, to see if my sister survived all this. She's got an apartment on Boylston Street. This is Mike Daly, signing out. Good luck. And God bless America. Or what's left of it."
- A pair of engine exhausts is clearly visible below the tail.
- VB-01 cabin arrangement and appearance in random encounters.
- Brotherhood Soldier: "Proctor Ingram, do you have a moment?"
Ingram: "Sure, I wasn't busy or anything."
Brotherhood Soldier: "We've got a Vertibird bringing in three Power Armor suits for repair. I'm afraid that the sludge in the bay is gumming up their joints."
Ingram: "Lovely. Looks like I'll be pulling extra duty hours again."
(Brotherhood soldiers' and Ingram's dialogue)
- All Vertibirds in Fallout 4 are flown by a single Lancer (or their equivalent in other factions).
- Vertibots in Fallout 76
- Vertibird weapons are exclusively 5mm miniguns.
- The Courier: "You were a pilot?"
Daisy Whitman: "Vertibird pilot. Seventy-one missions and only lost one chopper. Rotor malfunction over Klamath. Hard landing, but I walked away."
(Daisy Whitman's dialogue)