Type-26 Ground Support Aircraft
|Type-26 Ground Support Aircraft|
2.25 metric tons (2.21 LT; 2.48 ST)
Ground support aircraft
|“||Banshees of legend warned of death, and today all UNSC veterans know the cry of this glittering alien terror.||”|
The Type-26 Ground Support Aircraft, more commonly known as the Banshee, is the Covenant's standard ground assault aircraft.
 Design details
The Banshee is a versatile single-pilot aerial assault craft in the Covenant's vehicular arsenal, piloted either by Sangheili or Jiralhanae. The cockpit, in which the pilot rests prone, is encased in a curved, reflective cowling with no discernible windscreen; one version features an enclosed cockpit and thus is capable of space flight.. It has two wing canards, each of which terminates in a boosted gravity propulsion drive, including a jet and an anti-gravity pod; these leave a vaporous exhaust trail behind the Banshee. The craft is capable of achieving a velocity of over 100 kilometers per hour (62 mph) and reaching an altitude of 300 meters. In addition to its versatile design, the Banshee is capable of performing complex maneuvers, such as aileron rolls and flips. The Banshee is also capable of hovering, though this ability is not often used.[note 1]
Several variations on the standard Banshee design exist, varying depending on the year in which it was manufactured and the branch to which it belongs. Combat performance is fairly standard across all variants of the craft. There are at least three major iterations of the Type-26 GSA.[note 2] The Covenant also use the Type-27 Exoatmospheric Multirole Fighter, a space-capable, vacuum-rated version of the Banshee, to support the more powerful Type-31 Seraph and to screen against enemy single ships.
The Banshee sports two weapon pods attached underneath the fuselage; each pod contains a Class-2 plasma cannon capable of firing in 100-250 kilowatts range and a Class-2 projectile launcher. The plasma cannons are deadly to infantry; one bolt can instantly kill a lightly armored target. Heavily armoured targets like the MJOLNIR-equipped Spartans can withstand only a few bolts before being killed. A direct hit from the Banshee's fuel rod cannon is fatal, even to armored infantry. Repeating plasma cannons, which have a greater rate of fire than the standard armament, can be installed on the front of the anti-gravity pods.
The Banshee is an extremely agile aircraft. Under the control of an experienced pilot, it can be extraordinarily difficult to destroy, making it an easy way to penetrate enemy lines and harass enemy infantry. The Banshee's plasma cannons are highly efficient at killing individual soldiers, and a single fuel rod can eliminate an entire group of infantry. The boosting capability of the vehicle allows for quick entry and exit from combat situations, or to catch up with a particular target. Boosting and evasive abilities allow a pilot to outpace a homing projectile or slip away from opposing vehicles and small arms fire. By utilising aileron rolls and flips, the Banshee is able to avoid slow-moving projectiles at medium or long ranges, while also facilitating quick turns around obstacles or close threats. As a support aircraft, the Banshee is able to pin down enemy forces until ground forces can move in, or destroy light structures that may be obstructing ground forces from advancing.
The Banshee is lightly armored and, thus, vulnerable to high velocity rounds, explosives, anti-vehicle weaponry, and even small arms fire from human projectile weaponry. The Banshee's low flight ceiling makes it very vulnerable to weapons like the M41 Light Anti-Aircraft Gun, which can easily punch through the armor of the Banshee and injure or kill the pilot. The Banshee is also vulnerable to EMPs, which can disable the craft temporarily.
Banshee variants that are not vacuum-sealed leave the pilot exposed from the rear, and the small gap between the cowl and fuselage can be exploited by a highly skilled sniper. Only Linda-058, one of the UNSC's best snipers, is known to have achieved such a shot.
The Banshee also cannot reverse unlike most aerial vehicles, forcing round trips to be made.
 Changes from Halo: Combat Evolved to Halo 2
- The Banshee is now capable of hovering in midair.
- The Banshee, as well as all the other Covenant vehicles, no longer has a health bar.
- The ability to boost the Banshee's engines was added, at the cost of maneuverability and weapon power. Overall, a Banshee that is not boosting moves at a slower velocity than in Halo: Combat Evolved.
- The ability to hijack an occupied enemy Banshee has been added.
- The Banshee is more maneuverable and capable of performing tricks, allowing it to strafe more effectively.
- High-velocity impacts will now injure the Banshee's pilot.
- The Banshee's plasma cannons are now more accurate but the bolts only travel half as far before dissipating.
- Banshees can no longer be flown backwards.
- The fire from the cannons is no longer linked and now fire alternately instead of simultaneously.
 Changes from Halo 2 to Halo 3
- The Banshee's boosting velocity has been increased.
- The Banshee's fuel rod cannon can now be used in multiplayer matches.
- The Banshee can no longer face any lower than 45 degrees to prevent it from overpowering ground players.
- The Banshee's wings cannot be fully shot off; canonically, without anti-gravity pods, the Banshee would not be able to stay aloft.
 Changes from Halo 3 to Halo 3: ODST
- The Banshee now hovers when it is not moving.
- The Banshee can now face nearly completely downwards.
- The Banshee can now rotate 360 degrees in mid air.
- The fuel rod projectile does not arc downward when fired.
 Changes from Halo 3: ODST to Halo: Reach
- The Banshee's wings are larger than its previous incarnations and can move individually.
- The Banshee's wings now turn in the direction the Banshee moves, acting like ailerons.
- The Banshee can no longer hover in place.
- The Banshee's tricks now cannot be used as often as in Halo 2 and Halo 3.
- A boost limit has been imposed.
- The Banshee now has two separate reticules for the fuel rod cannon and twin plasma cannons. The 'switch weapons' button (default 'Y') toggles which weapon is armed.
- The Banshee's fuel rod cannon can now home in on other vehicles, as well as any Shades or support weapons that are still mounted. To compensate for the fuel rod's ability to home in on vehicles, the velocity of the projectile has been severely reduced, so much so that a Banshee can actually go faster than its projectile.
- The Banshee now has a closed canopy so the pilot's legs can no longer be seen.
- The Banshee's hull is sturdier and is able to withstand two plasma grenade sticks.
- A Sniper Rifle can now be used to shoot the pilot through the tiny crack between the Banshee's body and canopy, just like Linda-058 did in Halo: First Strike. Doing so will not damage the Banshee.
 Changes from Halo: Reach to Halo 4
- Acrobatic maneuvers are much slower and more cumbersome.
- The gap between the front and back wing sections is far larger, in a style reminiscent of pre-Reach models.
- The fuel rod cannon no longer locks on to vehicles and turrets.
 Halo Wars
The Banshee appears in most Halo Wars levels and can be used by players in skirmish mode who play as any one of the Covenant leaders. It can be built at the Summit with 200 resources. The Banshee has three available upgrades:
- Boost: Enables the speed boost special ability.
- 200 resources
- Tech level 1
- Repeating Cannon: Increases fire rate of cannons.
- 400 resources
- Tech level 2
- Sacrifice: When critically damaged, the Banshee attempts to crash into ground targets and inflicts AOE damage.
- 700 resources
- Tech level 3
The Banshee is effective against ground troops and most vehicles. It is capable of hovering like in Halo 3: ODST and is the fastest unit in Halo Wars. A common strategy is to create an army of about twenty Banshees and swarm the opposing army, especially if their forces are mainly composed of vehicles. Banshees are extremely vulnerable to Wolverines or Vampires.
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- In Celtic Mythology, a banshee is a female spirit who wails for the death of a particular person before they die. Banshees must steal souls from people to continue their existence. The high-pitched sound made by the Covenant Banshee is a reference to this, especially while performing tight maneuvers making it easy to hear them before one sees them. This also fits the theme of Covenant vehicles, with the exceptions of the Scarab and the Locust, being named after supernatural entities.
- For some reason, after hitting the Banshee with an EMP burst, it cannot be hijacked.
- Likewise, if the Banshee flips over after being hit by an EMP, it will not eject the pilot. Rather, the Banshee will flip over once the EMP ends.
- In Halo: Reach, on the Firefight map Holdout, AI Banshees have been known to abruptly dive and boost straight into one of the platforms at full speed, destroying the Banshee, and often killing a player in the process. It is unknown whether this is a programmed "suicide attack" or a glitch. Oddly enough, the Banshees at the start of the campaign level Tip of the Spear have also been know to do this, even though they are scripted to destroy the warthog and fly away.
- The Banshee can be obtained as an avatar prop by purchasing the Halo: Reach controller for the Xbox 360.
- Skyjacking a Banshee in Halo: Reach campaign will reward the player the achievement "Banshees, Fast and Low".
- Banshees use anti-gravity pods on the ends of their wings to fly. However, in Halo 2, and appearing again in Halo: Reach a Banshee can have both of these pods shot off and still fly normally. It is unknown if Bungie intended for the Banshees to have an emergency propulsion system, or if this was simply overlooked in the making of the game.
- On the cover of the Halo: Combat Evolved, the two Banshees appear to be un-piloted as the top canopy enclosing the pilot is up. Also, the two Banshees that shot down Foehammer in the level The Maw also had open canopies. These were probably related to the Banshee's scripted movements.
- In Halo: Reach, if a player shoots or melees the Banshee to its damage threshold and attempts to turn the vehicle in the air, the Banshee will be unable to turn in midair because there are no wings to support its turns. It is possible that the pilot relies on the Banshee's rudders and the player's body weight when at this critical degree of damage.
- In Halo: Reach, with enough precision a rocket can be shot through the crack between the cockpit and hull and not harm the Banshee.
A heretic Banshee without its cowling in Halo 2.
A Banshee from Halo Wars' announcement trailer
Banshees stored in a SDV-class heavy corvette hangar.
Gabriel Thorne hijacks a Banshee in Halo 4's Spartan Ops.
 List of appearances
- ^ The Banshee's inability to hover in most games is more likely a gameplay conceit than an element of canon. Presumably all versions of the craft are capable of hovering.
- ^ The Banshees seen in Halo: Reach, Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, and Halo 4 look drastically different from those in earlier media, making it clear that they are different versions. Though the Banshees seen in Halo Wars resemble those seen in other pre-Halo: Reach media, the straighter, less backward-swept design of the wing canards and the drum-like design of the engine nacelles may suggest that they represent another distinct version. This is supported by the fact that repeating cannons can be installed on the wing canards, rather than on the fuselage as with the other versions of the Banshee.
- ^ Halo: The Essential Visual Guide, page 18
- ^ Diorama
- ^ a b c Halo Encyclopedia, page 265
- ^ a b Halo: Combat Evolved, game manual
- ^ Halo 2: Special Collector's Edition Manual, page 16
- ^ a b Halo: Reach
- ^ Halo: Reach and Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary - Banshee model
- ^ Halo 4, campaign level Dawn
- ^ The Art of Halo, page 128
- ^ Halo: The Essential Visual Guide, page 18
- ^ Halo Waypoint: The Universe - Tech
- ^ Halo: Reach, campaign level Long Night of Solace
- ^ Halo Waypoint: Banshee Fighter
- ^ Halo: The Flood, page 51
- ^ Halo Wars
- ^ Youtube: Halo Reach - Banshee Vital Spot
- ^ Youtube: Achievement Hunter : Halo: Reach - Fails of the Weak Volume 66