The Dropship 77 Heavy-Troop Carrier/Infantry, abbreviated D77H-TCI, or more commonly known as the Pelican, is a newer model of the venerable D77-TC Pelican dropship, introduced into service within the UNSC Marine Corps and Navy in late 2552 and early 2553.
The D77H-TCI is a fleet-wide upgrade to the UNSC's Pelican dropships, used in active service for more than fifty years. First seen deployed in November, 2552, the D77H-TCI Pelican is the primary tactical support aircraft of the UNSC. Like its previous model, the D77H-TCI Pelican serves as a multi-role purpose aircraft. The dropship is fully capable of atmospheric and\or limited spaceflight and can land almost anywhere without difficulty making it the primary troop transport of the UNSC.
The D77H-TCI has several drastic design changes to both the interior, and exterior, although the exteriors changes are not as noticeable as the interior is. The first significant change is in the cockpit area of the D77H-TCI which instead of having the pilot and co-pilot sitting next to each other, the co-pilot is now seated behind and above the pilot, the control's and instrument panels have been rearranged and upgraded for the D77H. A small holo-tank is installed in the cockpit, allowing an Artificial intelligence to project its holographic form to the craft's pilots.
The pressurized payload area has also seen a design change, the D77H-TCI Pelican carries the same number of passengers as its predecessor. However, its troop-bay is more flexible, able to carry up to two M274 Ultra-Light All-Terrain Vehicle internally, in addition to ten passengers, also it has a hermetic door on its rear section for ship-to-shore orbital insertions. Its tail-mounted magnetic clamps are capable of carrying an M12 Light Reconnaissance Vehicle, an M12G1 Light Anti-Armor Vehicle, or an M831 Troop Transport, an M12A1 Light Anti-Armor Vehicle, an M808B Main Battle Tank, or four Type C Resupply Capsules rather than six Type B Resupply Capsules, to the battlefield, able to detach its payload without landing decreasing the chance of an attack while it unloads.
The D77H-TCI Pelican, like its predecessor, is compatible with the 40mm rotary cannon and the 70mm Chain Gun types. The Pelican is also able to mount an AIE-486H Heavy Machine Gun in its troop bay for supporting ground teams and covering the departure of its passengers, an improvement from the previous M247 General Purpose Machine Gun, although this prevents it from carrying a vehicle internally. The D77H can also be equipped with ANVIL-II Air-to-Surface Missile pods. The design of the pods has been changed, and now seamlessly blends with the Pelican. The new ANVIL pods can fire up to 12 missiles at once, six from each pod. A Gunship version of the D77H is in service as well, which is equipped with more chainguns, missiles, and a large cannon, mounted at the ventral-fore of the dropship.
The main engines are mounted in pairs in four nacelles, one situated on each wing and two at the rear and posterior. The nacelles can articulate independently, thus altering the direction of thrust, referred to as vectoring in aviation. This improves the Pelican's low altitude maneuverability. Four ventral thrusters are identified by markings and a rendered thrust effect, one on each wing nacelle and one on each aft nacelle, allowing the drop ship to land and take off vertically. These engines are capable of both space and atmospheric operation. It has eight jet intakes, three on each side and two on top.
The wings mounted on a Pelican seem extremely small, too small to support the weight of drop ship and payload alone. It is speculated that it utilizes at least some Lifting Body principles, using its own hull create most of the lift necessary for flight. It may also be that the Pelican partially relies upon thrust vectoring, referred to as jet-borne flight as opposed to wing-borne flight which can be further reinforced with the fact that down-ward aiming jets can be seen on the bottom of the thruster mountings. It should be noted that small wings are very efficient for high-speed flight, as demonstrated by the F-104 Starfighter. It is also a benefit for operations in the upper atmosphere, especially re-entry, as was the case with the X-15. The D77H-TCI, like the D77-TC, although fully capable of orbital insertion, is too small to be equipped with a Shaw-Fujikawa Translight Engine, and thus is incapable of Slipspace travel, except for the modified Tart-cart and Bogof.
Identified Pelican UnitsEdit
- A police version of the Pelican appears in Halo 3: ODST. This version is colored black and white, and has the front turret replaced by optic surveillance gear.
- In the cockpit it has a screen which in Hocus' Pelican reads "connected to UNSCDF via local grid Pz87-3383." It also has the insignia of the UNSCDF in the upper left corner. This screen is also used as a method of communication in scripted sequences.
- It is possible, through a glitch in Halo 3, to "crash" a Pelican by aiming a plasma grenade inside the cockpit. If done correctly, the plasma grenade will go through the glass, sticking and killing the pilot. The Pelican will then go through the floor. (You cannot finish the level once done).
- In Halo: Reach, the Pelican is actually the D77-TC model. With differences from the D77H-TCI such as the cockpit's seating with the pilot seat in the middle up front and the co-pilot seat just a little to the left of the pilot's seat.
- Mega Bloks has released a Pelican set.
- During the Halo: Reach campaign a D77-TC Pelican can be seen carrying a Portable bridge, proving it's strength. D77H-TCI Pelican's are also likely candidates to be able to do this.
- In Halo 3, during the campaign level The Ark, there is a crashed Pelican on a cliff near the Longsword. This Pelican can be knocked off said cliff and interacted with, unlike most other crashed ones. A tutorial of how to do this can be seen here.
- In Halo 3, during the campaign level Sierra 117, near the end when the Pelican shoots down the two Phantom dropships, the rocket pods seem to be dropped after shooting the Phantoms down as when the Pelican is waiting for the player to get in, the rocket pods are gone. This can be seen in theatre mode.
- The door that leads into the Pilot room doesn't seem to be solid in theatre mode, this is because the player can just fly through the door.
- This Pelican has a chin-mounted gun, but it is never seen in use during the game.
- Halo: Ghosts of Onyx (First appearance)
- Halo: Landfall
- Halo 3
- Halo: The Thursday War
- Halo: Mortal Dictata
- Halo: Spartan Assault
- D77-TC Pelican dropship
- D79H-TC Pelican dropship
- Albatross dropship
- Phantom-class dropship
- Spirit-class dropship
- UH-144 Falcon