F-23 Falcata

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F-23 Falcata
A screenshot of the F-23 Falcata modded into Halo: Reach.
Production information


Technical specifications


  • 1 autocannon[1]
  • 1 missile bay[1]


1 pilot[1]



Atmospheric fighter


UNSC Air Force


The F-23 V/STOL Heavy Fighter, colloquially the Falcata, is an atmospheric jet fighter in the service of the UNSC Air Force.[1]


An F-23 Falcata using its VTOL mode.
The Falcata using its VTOL function and exposing the rotor blades.

Design details[edit]

The Falcata is a vertical and short take off/landing (V/STOL) craft for use in planetary security missions. They take the form of a single-seat aircraft with the cockpit at the front of the vehicle. Several thruster jets are positioned on the bottom of the craft, and can be used to aid its vertical movement for short periods of time; the aft pair are used to assist in flight acceleration while the fore pair are only used during vertical take-off/landing operations.[2]

The Falcata's main unique feature is the presence of a large rotor in the middle of the craft. In routine flight, a secondary pair of wings on the top of the aircraft are locked into place, but when in VTOL mode the wings retract and the rotor is activated. The vertical flight mode lets the vehicle hover on-station to provide air support in a similar manner to the UNSC's other VTOL craft like the AV-22 Sparrowhawk.[2]


The Falcata is armed with a single autocannon mounted on offset on the starboard side of the craft, underneath the cockpit. A missile launch bay is present on the ventral surface.[1]

Service history[edit]

The F-23 was operated by the UNSC Air Force in the early years of the Human-Covenant War, though was ultimately supplanted by the S-14 Baselard. Consequently, excess Falcata airframes were handed over to planetary defence units, who found a niche for an atmospheric fighter that was economical to maintain and service - even when lacking extensive airbase facilities. Following the war's conclusion, the design and production rights for the Falcata were sold by Ushuaia Armory to the Vestol Corporation, who began a program of offering reconditioned airframes, upgrade packages, and extended maintenance contracts for the already-deployed Falcatas.[1]

Production notes[edit]

Main article: Cut Halo Wars units#Falcon

"The UNSC Falcon is the primary air attack unit of the UNSC Army. With swift attacks and exceptional maneuverability a small squad of Falcons can be devastating to enemy vessels. Armed with sidewinder missiles and heavy armor piercing guns."
— Concept art description

The Falcata was originally created by Ensemble Studios artist Matthew Burke for inclusion as a UNSC aircraft in the game Halo Wars. At this time, the craft was known as the "Falcon", and was eventually cut from the game for unknown reasons.[3] This Falcon concept was unrelated to the helicopter of the same name later introduced into Halo canon in Halo: Reach, or the vehicle cut from Halo 2 and Halo 3.

In 2023, the Falcon was canonised as the F-23 Falcata, following a highly detailed model recreation made by 343 Industries 3D Character Artist Fletcher Kinnear under the alias Skaboodlydoodle. The model made by Kinnear was one of many done by him as part of a series of personal projects to bring several Halo Wars vehicles into the first-person shooter Halo games via modding, with other such recreations including the AV-22 Sparrowhawk, HRUNTING Mark III (S) Cyclops, M121 Jackrabbit, and Shua'ee-pattern Locust.[4] Thanks to the work of the concurrent Digsite project, Kinnear was able to use the original Ensemble-developed Falcon model for reference when making his higher-detail recreation, making it a drivable vehicle mod for Halo: Reach. This process was documented in several videos on his YouTube channel, here.

Due to the Falcon being a name taken by Reach's utility helicopter, the aircraft was instead designated the Falcata, after the pre-Roman Iberian blade of the same name. This naming convention follows the UNSC's tradition of naming fighter aircraft after blades, with the name literally meaning "falcon-shaped" - a callback to the original Halo Wars Falcon designation.[1]


Halo Wars Falcon[edit]