Type-26 Banshee

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This article is about the standard Banshee model used by the Covenant. For other Banshee models, see Banshee.
Type-26 Ground Support Aircraft
H2A T26ABanshee.png
Halo Reach Type 26 GSA.png
Production information


Assembly Forges (pre-Great Schism)[1]
Lodam Armory (post-Covenant War)

Product line:




Technical specifications


Approx. 7 meters (23 ft 0 in)[2]


Approx. 7.5 meters (24 ft 7 in)[2]


Approx. 3.5 meters (11 ft 6 in)[2]


2.5 metric tons (2.5 LT; 2.8 ST)[2]


Boosted gravity propulsion drive[3]


Unknown Covenant material



One pilot


In service:

Human-Covenant War
Great Schism
Post-Covenant War conflicts


Ground support aircraft


Banshees of legend warned of death, and today all UNSC veterans know the cry of this glittering alien terror.[5]

The Type-26 Ground Support Aircraft (T-26 GSA), more commonly known as the Banshee, was the Covenant's standard ground assault aircraft.


Design details[edit]

A blueprint of the Irdnekt-pattern variant.

The Banshee is a versatile single-pilot ground assault aircraft. It is usually piloted by Sangheili, though Jiralhanae pilots became common after the outbreak of the Great Schism. The cockpit, in which the pilot rests prone, is encased in a curved, reflective cowling with no discernible windscreen. Though the Oghal-pattern and Irdnekt-pattern variants leave the pilot partially exposed (particularly the feet and lower legs), the Is'belox-pattern version features an enclosed cockpit and thus is capable of space flight with the proper modifications.[6][7]

The craft 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).[5][Note 1] 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 2]


The Banshee sports two weapon pods attached underneath the fuselage; each pod contains a Class-2 plasma cannon capable of firing in the 100-250 kilowatt range and a Class-2 fuel rod cannon.[8][9] The plasma cannons are deadly to infantry; one bolt can instantly kill a lightly armored target. Armored targets such as the M808 Scorpion MBT can withstand only a few bolts before being destroyed. A direct hit from the Banshee's fuel rod cannon is almost invariably fatal, even to armored infantry. Repeating plasma cannons, which have a greater rate of fire than the standard armament, can be installed at the front of the anti-gravity pods.[10]

The fuel rod cannons mounted on the Anti-Air Wraith and the Banshee use the heavier Class-3 fuel rods, which have a greater range and a capability to track heat signatures.[11][12] The Seraph is additionally equipped with four fuel rod cannons, which are capable of locking onto air targets.[13]

Operational history[edit]

The Banshee was first used among Sangheili exploratory fleets prior to their war with the San'Shyuum. The Banshee's design is based on the 'sKelln, a predatory aerial animal native to Sanghelios. The earliest model of the Banshee was the Uztet'sKelln, which, along with other early models, was often used by the Covenant Honor Guard; Sangheili kaidons often commission such craft as their personal transports. The QezoY'asabu ("Obsidian Wing") is another ancient iteration used in stealth operations by Covenant Special Operations units. It is equipped active camouflage and sensor bafflers.[2]

After the retaking of Harvest in 2526 by Admiral Cole, the Covenant, attempting to scout and recover an artifact, deployed multiple T-26A Banshees to scout areas of interest and slow down advancing enemy forces, during the assault on Harvest.

In 2531, during the first assault on the colony world Arcadia, T-26A Banshees were used with Bkowe'nei-pattern Vampires to destroy human held positions, killing and causing panic among civilians attempting to flee the Covenant invasion. In addition, the Banshees were used against UNSC military forces attempting to assist with evacuation efforts.[14] During the Battle of Trove, the Covenant would deploy T-26A Banshees in efforts to stop not only the crew of the UNSC Spirit of Fire, but also the Flood and Sentinels too.[15]

T-26B Banshees killing human civilians during the Human-Covenant War.

As the war dragged on, ground campaigns conducted by the Covenant continued to employ the Banshee as their main attack aircraft. During the assault on Algolis, T-26C Banshees were called in to weaken military forces attempting to protect and destroy valuable data. The UNSC was able to hold off the Covenant just long enough and all ground forces were eventually destroyed with the detonation of a nuclear weapon attached to a prototype armor suit.[16]

Late into the war in 2552, the Covenant launched a surprise assault on Reach, humanity's heavily fortified epicenter of military and economic power outside of Earth. Multiple squadrons of T-26B Banshees were employed to scout and inflict casualties on civilian and military forces alike.[17] When the UNSC Pillar of Autumn escaped, many Covenant ships chased after it. Upon exiting Slipspace, the Pillar of Autumn arrived at Installation 04 and met with multiple enemy contacts. With the Magnetic Accelerator Cannon offline and sustaining extensive damage across all systems, the Pillar of Autumn was forced to crash land onto the construct. Covenant forces deployed T-26A,[18] T-26B and T-26C Banshees in order to hunt down the remaining UNSC personnel who escaped onto the ring and later engage both Flood and Sentinel forces.[19]

During the opening of the Battle for Earth, Regret's carrier Solemn Penance managed to land in the city of New Mombasa and deploy T-26A and T-26B Banshees.[20] T-26A Banshees were utilized in engaging John-117's M808B Scorpion in an attempt from the Covenant to stop him from getting to sections of the tunnels. With the UNSC entering the city and civilians cut off the Covenant began systematically destroying anything they could before the Prophet of Regret's ship jumped out of New Mombasa, devastating parts the city.[21] In the aftermath of Regret's retreat, the Prophet of Truth and the Jiralhanae forces assumed the command of the remaining forces of the initial Covenant fleet and employed T-26C Banshees to aid the Covenant in their occupation of New Mombasa until Truth's Jiralhanae-led forces arrived for the excavation of the long-buried massive portal complex that lead to the Installation 00.[22][23]

During the Raid on the Threshold gas mine Sesa 'Refumee's heretics utilized several T-26AZ Banshees against the Covenant Special Operations group led by Arbiter Thel 'Vadamee and Special Operations Commander Rtas 'Vadumee.[24]

As the Battle for Earth raged on, John-117, with the full support of the UNSC In Amber Clad, launched a counter-strike against Regret, who had jumped to Installation 05. T-26A Banshees were deployed in the same manner as they had on Earth.[25][26] Numerous Jiralhanae-piloted T-26A Banshees would attempt to stop Thel 'Vadamee and Sergeant Johnson as they assaulted Installation 05's control room, to no avail.[27]

With the uncovering of the Portal at Voi, the Covenant moved all their troops and armor to prevent the UNSC military from getting close to it. They deployed T-26C Banshees in the remnants of Voi to dispatch military forces attempting to break through their formation. This task was ultimately accomplished.[28] After the opening of the portal and the arrival at Installation 00 the Covenant deployed all their assets in a last-ditch effort to stop humanity and activate the remaining Halo installations. T-26C Banshees were used wherever possible to halt the UNSC and Fleet of Retribution advance towards the Citadel The Banshees failed to accomplish this mission and as a result, marked the end of the Covenant.[29]

During the post-war era, T-26 Banshees continued to be used extensively by the various Covenant remnants, although the Hesduros-pattern D'nomlhe-pattern Banshee was also adopted to widespread usage within the major splinter factions.[30] During the Battle of Draetheus V, Merg Vol deployed multiple T-26A and T-26C Banshees to support his troops.[31] Many T-26B Banshees were seen in action in use by Jul 'Mdama's Covenant during the Battle of Requiem and Requiem Campaign, in 2557 and 2558, respectively. T-26B Banshees were popular during War Games matches aboard UNSC Infinity during this time as well.[32] 'Mdama's troops used T-26A Banshees during the Battle of Installation 03.[33] During the Battle of Ealen IV Vata 'Gajat's mercenary group deployed several T-26B and T-26C Banshees against the peace delegation.[34]

During their occupation of Installation 00 in 2559, the Banished used several of their own Banshees against the crew of the UNSC Spirit of Fire.[35]


Several variations on the standard design exist, though combat performance is fairly standard among all variants. A given craft's architecture is based on its functionality,[2] the year in which is manufactured, the branch to which it belongs,[36] and even the aesthetic preference of the one who commissions the craft.[2] Amphibious attack and escort Banshee variants were commissioned throughout the Covenant's history for the Covenant's oceanic installations and during deep-sea artifact retrieval missions, although they have rarely been encountered by the UNSC.[2]


Main article: Banished Banshee

A modified Banshee variant utilized by the Banished. Incorporates design details more closely related to an aerial predator hailing from the Jiralhanae homeworld of Doisac. Many of the Banshees in Atriox's fleets have been modified with brutal and experimental weaponry, usually designed to inflict maximum damage from both a physical and psychological perspective.[39]

Non-canon and dubious canon appearances[edit]

Silver Timeline[edit]

Main article: Silver Timeline

Is'belox-pattern Banshees are used by the Covenant against humanity.[40]

In 2552, a surviving Sangheili escaped from Madrigal on a Banshee after witnessing John-117 activate the Forerunner keystone.[41]


  • 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 Excavators, being named after supernatural entities.
  • 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 known 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 shoot down Foehammer in the level The Maw had open canopies. In addition, the Escort Banshees used to escape Truth and Reconciliation in Keyes arrive and land in the hangar with their canopies open. These instances seem to indicate that a Banshee canopy opens during scripted events in Halo: Combat Evolved.
  • 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.
  • A well-aimed sniper shot can go through the crack between the canopy and the body of some incarnations of the Banshee, killing the pilot without doing damage to the Banshee itself.
  • In Halo: Reach, with enough precision a rocket can be shot through the crack between the cockpit and hull and not harm the Banshee.[42]


Concept art[edit]



List of appearances[edit]


  1. ^ The Art of Halo (page 128) list the Banshee's maximum flight ceiling as being estimated to be between 100 and 300 meters; Halo: First Strike (page 27, 2003 edition) also places the Banshee's flight ceiling at "about three hundred meters". Halo 2 shows Banshees operating roughly midway to the top of High Charity's dome (a height of several kilometers) as well as in the upper atmosphere of a gas giant. Halo 4 reveals that modified Type-26 Banshees can operate even in space, making the original data suspect.
  2. ^ 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.


  1. ^ Halo: The Essential Visual Guide, page 18
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Halo Waypoint - Banshee
  3. ^ Halo 2: Special Collector's Edition Manual, page 16
  4. ^ a b Halo: Reach
  5. ^ a b Halo Encyclopedia (2009 edition), page 265
  6. ^ a b Halo 4: The Essential Visual Guide, page 119
  7. ^ a b Halo 4, campaign level Dawn
  8. ^ Halo: Combat Evolved, game manual
  9. ^ Halo: The Flood, page 51
  10. ^ Halo Wars
  11. ^ Halo: The Essential Visual Guide, page 9
  12. ^ Halo Encyclopedia (2009 edition), page 283
  13. ^ Halo: Reach, Seraph in-game vehicle
  14. ^ Halo Wars, campaign level Arcadia City
  15. ^ Halo Wars, campaign level Beachhead
  16. ^ Halo Legends: Prototype
  17. ^ Halo: Reach
  18. ^ Halo: Fireteam Raven
  19. ^ Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary
  20. ^ Hunt the Truth
  21. ^ Halo 2, campaign level Metropolis
  22. ^ Halo Waypoint - Ten Twenty
  23. ^ Halo 3: ODST
  24. ^ Halo 2, campaign level The Arbiter
  25. ^ Halo 2, campaign level Delta Halo
  26. ^ Halo 2, campaign level Regret
  27. ^ Halo 2, campaign level, The Great Journey
  28. ^ Halo 3, campaign level The Storm
  29. ^ Halo 3, campaign level The Covenant
  30. ^ Halo 5: Guardians
  31. ^ Halo: Spartan Assault
  32. ^ Halo 4
  33. ^ Halo: Spartan Strike
  34. ^ Halo: Escalation
  35. ^ Halo Wars 2
  36. ^ Halo: The Essential Visual Guide, page 18
  37. ^ Joyride Heretic Banshee description
  38. ^ Halo 2: Anniversary, campaign level The Oracle: "Hot Pursuit" cutscene
  39. ^ Halo Waypoint - Canon Fodder: The Art of War(s)
  40. ^ YouTube - Paramount+, Halo The Series (2022) Official Trailer (Retrieved on Mar 14, 2022)
  41. ^ Halo: The Television Series, episode Contact
  42. ^ YouTube - Achievement Hunter : Halo: Reach - Fails of the Weak Volume 66