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The Vault - Fallout Wiki
The Vault - Fallout Wiki
VB02 Vertibird
Fo2 Vertibird Clean 2.pngVB02 Vertibird Composite.png
Transport (left) and gunship (right) Vertibird
WeaponsVertibird Gatling laser
Missile racks
Mini nuke launcher
General Stats750 Fallout 3Gametitle-FO3.png
LocationNew California
Capital Wasteland
Mojave Wasteland
base id00079fed Fallout 3Gametitle-FO3.png

The VB02 Vertibird VTOL (Vertical Take Off and Landing) is a multipurpose tiltwing aircraft that was developed by the United States military and heralded as the most advanced VTOL aircraft ever built,[1] succeeding the VB-01 Vertibird.

These Vertibirds were primarily used by the Enclave in post-War America, but since the defeat of the Enclave, Vertibirds have seen limited use from both of the New California Republic and the Brotherhood of Steel for transport of VIPs or for special missions.


Following the success of the VB-01 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 prototype phase, scheduled to enter full military service in 2085.[1] Limited trial runs were developed and pressed into service, including winterized models during the last stages of the Anchorage Reclamation[2]

At least two distinct versions of the Vertibird were created: 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.[3]

Vertibirds of both types have appeared in the hands of the Enclave after the War, indicating the development cycle reached a stage allowing to reliably produce the aircraft. These were used extensively in field operations on the West Coast, which include trading with the Salvatore family of New Reno,[4] capturing of test subjects for the FEV Curling-13 research programme from Arroyo and Vault 13[5] 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 Control station Enclave later that year has likely destroyed a large number of aircraft in Enclave's service. When the Navarro military base was later conquered by the NCR, Vertibirds stationed at the base were put into service in the Republic's armed forces.[6]

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. When the Enclave suffered a defeat at the hands of the Lone Wanderer, supported by the Lyons' Brotherhood of Steel, a large number of these aircraft were destroyed, both during the attack on Project Purity and the subsequent conquest of Adams Air Force Base.[7]


  • Enclave - principal operator of the Vertibird, with access to hundreds of units. These are extensively for field operations, including the capture of specimens from Arroyo and Vault 13 for experiments and trading with New Reno for chemicals on the West Coast, as well as troop insertion and fire support missions on the East Coast.
  • New California Republic - as of 2281, several dozen units captured from the Enclave on the West Coast are used by the NCR. One has been converted to transport the President of the New California Republic, callsign Bear Force One.[8]
  • Lyons' Brotherhood of Steel - has access to at least one captured Vertibird, converted for Brotherhood use, but its current status is entirely unknown.[9]
  • Enclave Remnants - the Devil's Brigade still retains their single Vertibird, secured in a refueling station.[8]


The analog, cramped cockpit

The Vertibird has a distinctive design, resembling a large dragonfly. It is a double rotor assembly, with one proprotor, engine 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. The Vertibird has excellent range (at least 175 miles[10]). Compared to the VB-01 Vertibird, it's smaller, faster, nimbler, better armored, better armed, and can carry considerably more troops or cargo.[3] However, rotor failures still effectively turn it into a plummeting coffin; such was the case with Daisy Whitman's Vertibird, which crashed near Klamath around 2241.[11]

The main fuselage is armored and extremely durable,[1] with a deceptively bulky appearance. The interior of the Vertibird is spacious for its size, as engine, fuel storage, and other systems that dominated the VB-01's fuselage have been distributed, miniaturized, or otherwise modified to accommodate a larger internal space. The cockpit transitions directly into the entryway and then into the troop section, located on an elevated platform in the middle of the craft, with six seats. Cargo and more personnel can be carried inside thanks to railings located inside the craft.[3][12] Transport variants instead use a cargo bay.[13]

The Vertibird has a standard, analog cockpit designed for two pilots in a side-by-side seating configuration, with instrumentation and flight controls integrated into consoles surrounding the pilots. In transport variants, the cockpit is made glass, providing excellent visibility. The gunship variant opts for a reinforced, armored cockpit with slits and external cameras for flight.[3] The crew consists of two pilots, although it can be reliably flown by one.[14] In transport Vertibirds, a Mister Handy unit is typically flown with the VTOL, for loading and unloading cargo.[15]

Weapon hardpoints are located in the front, near the cockpit. The Vertibird can be armed with a variety of weapons and defensive countermeasures,[1] with the most common loadout including Gatling lasers, missile racks, and a mini nuke bed.[3]

Gameplay attributes

In Fallout 3, Vertibirds are mostly support craft, but 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 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, and the mini nukes, used in airstrikes against heavy targets and emplaced defenses, can kill a hostile instantaneously.

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 will not attack, but the Enclave soldiers they drop off will. Vertibirds tasked with fire support are the biggest threat. 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 be destroyed with heavy ordinance, though 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. A Vertibird explosion is significantly more powerful than that of a car or truck and will kill or seriously injure anyone nearby, including disembarking Enclave troops.

The largest concentration of Vertibirds the player will have to face is in the quest Take it Back!, and these will be automatically destroyed by Liberty Prime as it advances. The player character can, however, destroy them as they are hovering while engaging Liberty Prime.

Vertibirds can sometimes be encountered on the ground. One can be found 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 near. When engaged in combat, the Enclave officer nearest to the cage will often let loose the deathclaw.

Explosion data

Vertibird 750 VertibirdExplosion Nuke Explosion 120 550 1324 4290 10 616 12 Sometimes


  • In Fallout 3, 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, the passengers appear about 1.5 seconds after the vehicle lands, as it is throttling up to take off; if the ship is destroyed during this narrow window, the troops may remain on the ground, completely unscathed.

Behind the scenes

The following section is transcluded from Vertibird. To modify, please edit the source page.

Cut content

Enclave Air Force insignia, from the destroyed Vertibird texture map

When destroyed, the wreckage uses a slightly different texture set, including rotor markings and the emblem of what is likely to be the Enclave Air Force.

Design background

  • 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.

Vertibird Designation

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".


The following section is transcluded from Vertibird. To modify, please edit the source page.

Fallout 2

Fallout 3

Fallout: New Vegas

Appearances in games

These Vertibirds appear in Fallout 2, Fallout 3, and Fallout: New Vegas.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 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. A winterized Vertibird can be seen during the Anchorage Reclamation simulation, dropping off troops.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Appearance of the craft in Fallout 2, Fallout 3, and Fallout: New Vegas.
  4. Help guard a secret transaction taking place in the desert.
  5. Events of Fallout 2.
  6. Vertibirds appear at Long 15, while another is used as Bear Force One by the NCR President.
  7. Events of Fallout 3.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Events of Fallout: New Vegas.
  9. Events of Broken Steel.
  10. Distance between the Enclave oil rig and Navarro
  11. 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)
  12. File:Fo3 Vertibird Cutaway.png
  13. NCHELI.MSG: "{000}{}{*Zztttt* The laser weapons are in our cargo bay. *Zzzttt**}"
  14. Daisy Whitman flies it solo during the Second Battle of Hoover Dam.
    Daisy Whitman: "I appreciate you keeping Orion in the group. Since I won't be needing my armor - makes the cockpit a bit cramped - you should take it. It'll take a few hours to show you how to use it properly, so let's get started."
    (Daisy Whitman's dialogue)
  15. In Fallout 2, the crashed Vertibird near Klamath and the secret transaction between the Salvatores and the Enclave feature a Mister Handy as part of the crew.
Enclave Symbol (Fallout 3).png
Enclave Symbol (Fallout 3).png