From Halopedia, the Halo wiki
The Type-26B is a newer model of Banshee employed by the Covenant, and one of the sleekest. Unlike its Type-26A and Type-26C brothers, the Type-26B features an enclosed canopy with a very different shape to the original models. The canopy has a sweeping form, curving upwards toward the back. Additionally, the Type-26B's wings are split, not retaining the signature antigravity pod of the Type-26A and C models. The back of the craft features two control valences which turn to allow the craft to make extremely rapid turns.
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] The Type-26B is capable of operating in planetary atmospheres, typically operating around 300 metres (980 ft) or less from the surface to maximise the effectiveness of its drive systems and evade enemy air defences. It is additionally capable of flying at least as high as around 2,500 metres (8,200 ft) with little observable drop in effectiveness and is capable of reaching orbit, albeit slowly. Although not equipped with any form of life support system, it is capable of being used in a vacuum as a space fighter in some capacity. However, its performance in space is considered adequate at best, particularly when compared to more specialised craft such as the Type-27 Banshee. Some post-war modifications to the craft have allowed for an improvement in its capabilities as a scout in space environments, though independent life support systems such as those found in the Ranger harness are still required.
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. 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.
The Type-26B model was seen in limited use by the Covenant, but until its war with humanity due to high attrition rates seen with older peacetime stocks of Banshees. They were deployed against the UNSC for the first time as early as December 3, 2525 during the final stages of the Battle of Alpha Corvi II, alongside many Type-26C Banshees, notably when the United Rebel Front forces led by Captain Whitaker were making their last stand against the overwhelming Covenant ground forces.
By 2550, the Type-26B Banshee was a commonplace vehicle in the Covenant's armed forces. It was deployed in an extensive use over course of the Fall of Reach and Battle of Installation 04. Again, numerous of these Banshees were later used during the Battle for Earth, notably by the Fleet of Sacred Consecration during the Battle of Mombasa.
A large number of new commissioned Type-26B Banshees was later extensively employed by Jul 'Mdama's Covenant in the Post-Covenant War conflicts, mostly at Requiem while the 'Mdama was building up his forces on the shield world during the Battle of Requiem and until Requiem Campaign. The Banshee variant used by the Banished and its local occupation fleet led by War Chief Escharum during the conflicts on Installation 07 in 2560 was likely based on the model of the Type-26B Banshee and it may be possible that several of these Banshees, if not most or all, were heavily-modified Covenant T-26B Banshees.
The Type-26B design pattern has a number of known variants. Differences in design variation can be attributed to specialised functionality and aesthetic preference, and can be used to identify specific military units.
Type-26BZ "Heretic" Banshee
The Type-26B variant employed by the Covenant, including during the Fall of Reach and Battle of Installation 04, features an iridescent green canopy similar to that of the Type-26C Banshee. Banshees used by Jul 'Mdama's Covenant in the post-war era features a dark blue-purple canopy, and is modified to perform better in space environments.
The Type-26B Banshee is the Banshee design introduced in Halo: Reach and later featured in Halo 4, Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary and Halo 2: Anniversary's multiplayer mode. The design was not given a formal designation difference until a 2015 Halo Waypoint universe entry.
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