The XVB-02 VTOL Craft is a U.S Military Multipurpose tiltwing aircraft designed for the United States Armed Forces in the years leading up to the Great War of 2077. They were supposed to go into production in 2085 but never did, despite this, numerous models were disseminated into various federal and private applications, and saw use in armed conflicts across the globe.
The Vertibird was still in the prototype phase when the Great War struck in 2077, preventing it from entering full military service which was scheduled for 2085. As evidenced by the crashed Vertibird on the roof of the Museum of Freedom an early prototype or version of the Vertibird seems to have been in use by the United States Armed Forces just prior to the Great War, though how widespread this use was is unknown. It appears the Commonwealth Coast Guard was also in possession of one before the war, as a destroyed Vertibird with Coast Guard insignia can be found at the Coast Guard Pier. Additionally, one flies over Sanctuary Hills just as the sirens sound in Boston, ordering the evacuation to Vault 111 by megaphone.
That Vertibirds were in use is further supported by the appearance of a prototype Vertibird with winterized camouflage during the Operation Anchorage simulation dropping U.S. troops before taking off again. However, whether any Vertibirds were ever used during the Alaskan reclamation is uncertain as General Constantine Chase was known to implement his own, fictional content to the simulation.
Following the war, the trial aircraft that were already produced and in the field were seized by Enclave members and loyalists and either transferred to their bases or secured in shelters. The Enclave began mass-producing the design in secret, and now the Vertibird is the general-purpose delivery vehicle of the Enclave's military forces. Capable of surgical insertions, extractions and close air support alike, the Vertibird is synonymous with the Enclave in general, and a good representative of their power as a whole.
The Vertibird has a heavily armored fuselage and can be outfitted with a variety of offensive weapons and defensive countermeasures, the most common being Gatling lasers, missile racks, and a mini nuke bay. It is unknown how a Vertibird is powered, however, dialogue with the Enclave remnants suggest that it runs on some kind of fuel. It has a winch that can haul several tons of equipment - or a large deathclaw cage.
There are two known versions of the craft used by the Enclave:
- A transport-oriented version with a glass canopy, six legs, a large cargo bay, and seven blades on each rotor to provide extra lift. This was the variant used before the Destruction of Control Station ENCLAVE.
- A dedicated gunship version with a more 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.
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.
Based on evidence from the Museum of Freedom, the Vertibird (at least in its early / pre-War versions) lacks shielding and is susceptible to an EMP. Its armarments consist of two frontfacing cannons and dual miniguns. The Vertibird's crew consists of two pilots, but can be piloted just as smoothly with only one.
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. Given this extreme amount of maneuverability, the VB-02 is regarded as a formidable force in the Fallout universe.
While the design of a Vertibird is convenient, its dual rotor-blades serve as a flight hazard, for if the aircraft were to suffer a single rotary malfunction at a substantial altitude, the VB-02's airframe and distribution of down-wash would cause the aircraft to fall on its side in a dramatic and likely fatal crash.
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.
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.
- As the main producer of the pre-War design, the Enclave formerly held the world's largest fleet of VB-02's.
East Coast Brotherhood Of Steel Edit
- The East Coast Brotherhood of Steel has vast supply of Vertibirds in their Arsenal, with the ability of manufacturing even more.
NCR Army Edit
- The NCR holds a presidential transport named Bear Force One. They also own a fleet of cargo Vertibirds, despite them being gunship models.
- Sometime During 2287, the Railroad captured a Brotherhood of Steel Vertibird, with the designation of Claymore.
- A Vertibird can hold up to 6 Enclave soldiers and two pilots
- 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.
- The appearance of multiple crashed pre-War Vertibirds and helipads suggest the Vertibird had become operational, at least in the the Commonwealth, just prior to the Great War.
- During flight the Vertibird's wings keep changing position, despite there being no visible change in speed.
- 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.