The SKT-9 Bumblebee, formally known as the Class-3 Enclosed Heavy Lifeboat, Controlled is a variant of the UNSC escape pod commonly known as the Bumblebee. It is a sixth-generation lifeboat, and features a pilot-operated guiding system similar to that of SKT-13 and SKT-21 shuttlecrafts.
Class-3 lifeboats are typically found on UNSC cruisers, which carry several sets of them, stationed at designated airlocks. Like Pelican dropships, each has a call sign, usually consisting of three letters from the Phonetic Alphabet, followed by a two-digit number. This Bumblebee can hold up to nine people (including the pilot) and it has enough supplies to last a week before it runs out of food and clean air.
The SKT-9 was designed to ferry up to nine people at a time. It has one pilot seat as well as eight side-facing crash seats. The seats have harnesses to keep people from injury when crash-landing. Though they are noted as being one of the safer methods of UNSC ship evacuation, the effectiveness of the safety features on this Bumblebee vary greatly, as can their reliability. During the Battle of Installation 04, some of these Bumblebees landed without any injuries to their passengers, while others suffered catastrophic failures while in mid-air, resulting in the deaths of most or all aboard upon impact.
SKT-9 Bumblebees are heavily armored, and feature thrusters and air-brakes to slow down during descent. They have little in the way of maneuverability, as they are not intended for extended atmospheric use; Jacob Keyes noted that a Bumblebee lifepod "flew like a rock". Normally after a landing, the pod can never be used again, as the pods will most likely suffer a great amount of damage, including the air brakes breaking off before or during the impact.
Though the Bumblebee has a pilot control station, by default it uses a simple escape-and-evasion autopilot routine after boosting away from its host vessel.
The UNSC Pillar of Autumn carried eighteen of these Bumblebees. Most of them were used to evacuate the vessel when it was shot down during the Battle of Installation 04 on September 19, 2552. Several SKT-9 Bumblebees were carried aboard Cairo Station.
Known SKT-9 Bumblebees
List of appearances