The UH-144 Falcon is a versatile, tilt-and transverse-rotor, multi-purpose utility helicopter. Two Falcons can transport a fully-equipped fireteam faster than any other previous system, and provide overwhelming fire support in most weather conditions. In the campaign, the aircraft's crew consists of one pilot, two crewmen who may serve as door gunners, and three passengers. However, in multiplayer, there is only room for one pilot and two gunners. There are two versions of the Falcon, differed only by their armament: both have a chin-mounted autocannon, but the UH-144A has two side-mounted grenade launchers, while the UH-144S instead has two side-mounted machine guns. It should be noted that in the military system of aircraft designation, the letter "U" stands for utility, and the letter "H" stands for helicopter. This would make the Falcon the Utility Helicopter Model 144.
During Winter Contingency, Noble Team's Falcon (Charlie 1) can provide fire support during the first section of the mission.
The Falcon used in the level Tip of the Spear is equipped with semi-automatic grenade launchers which can produce an EMP effect when the trigger is held down, then released to manually detonate the grenade. This EMP can shut down enemy vehicles.
Pilot the Falcon during the level New Alexandria, as it is equipped with a pilot controlled chin-mounted chaingun that has a larger field of fire, is more accurate, and is more powerful than the side-mounted machine guns (this is not in multiplayer).
When piloting the Falcon, remember to face one side of the Falcon towards attacking Banshees, allowing an ally to open fire on them. Skilled pilots can coordinate with their gunners in co-op to keep the nose pointed directly at an enemy and focus each weapon's fire on a single target.
The Falcon's side-mounted machine guns are extremely short-ranged; keep your gunners in range of the targets.
The Falcon is fairly effective against enemy light armored vehicles.
Keep moving, to avoid being hijacked by players with the Jetpack.
The Cockpit area has roughly half of the damage resistance compared to the rest of the Falcon; A single sniper rifle round is fully capable of destroying a hovering or slowly moving Falcon. This applies to explosives as well; a single Plasma Launcher round stuck to the cockpit is enough to destroy the Falcon in most situations, as well as Plasma Grenades.
The Falcon provides enhanced range and functionality to the motion sensors of any crew; as long as players are inside the Falcon, their sensors will have greatly extended range, and will detect other players regardless of whether or not they are stationary, slow-moving, or camouflaged. This can be used to provide early warning and spotting support to ground forces.
Be cautious when engaging infantry at close range; Plasma Pistol overcharges and other EMP effects completely disable the Falcon's engines, and can leave it vulnerable to skyjacking. If the Falcon is at high altitude when hit by an EMP effect, the engine shutdown can result in a fatal crash if the pilot does not regain control soon enough.
While the Falcon can be used to insert players near objectives, it cannot be used to transport players carrying objective items such as flags or bombs, unless the player stands on top of the Falcon and "rides" it to their destination.
The Falcon can lock altitude to provide a stable fire support platform.
Remember to keep at least one side of your Falcon trained on opposing players to allow allies to provide fire support for teammates on foot. Skilled pilots can coordinate with their gunners to keep the nose pointed directly at an enemy and focus each weapon's fire on a single target.
The Falcon can be used to insert snipers, as it can reach otherwise inaccessible perches for the sniper. Other players with valuable power weapons such as the Spartan Laser, Rocket or Plasma Laucher and Focus rifle can also be dropped off into key locations, as well as picked up should they need to be relocated, or if they run out of ammo.
Do not engage Scorpions with the Falcon, as it possesses no heavy anti-vehicle weapons, and cannot carry passengers with such weapons. A single hit from the main gun will destroy the Falcon. Only Scorpions which have had their turrets blown off can be safely engaged by Falcons.
Wraiths can be engaged with a high degree of success by Falcon crews, due to the travel time of the Wraith's projectile, and the relative agility of the Falcon. Sustained gunfire is required to take down a Wraith, however, and other enemy forces can engage the Falcon while it is focused on fighting the Wraith. Additionally, it is best to keep some distance away from the Wraith, the closer the Falcon is, the more likely it is to get hit, even worse if the driver of the Wraith is good at leading his/her shots, otherwise, anticipate the predicting efforts of the Wraith and change direction.
Do not attempt to splatter an enemy, this may result in a hijacking.
The passengers of the Falcon are very prone to sniper fire, as there is little armor protecting them. However, most players would rather bring down the Falcon than kill its passengers.
Despite having Machine Gun Turrets, the Falcon is used more for recon and overwatch rather than attacking.
Flying an unarmed Falcon can be extremely dangerous, and players should always work together to provide air support with the Falcon.
A Falcon is, ironically, dangerous to another Falcon. Especially when both enemy gunners are focusing on the Falcon.
The Falcon is a very fast craft, use this to your advantage and develop your strategies around this. Avoid hovering, while instead making high to medium speed passes at your target being sure to give your gunners and clear shot without exposing the craft too much.
Although the Falcon is fast, when an enemy projectile such as a rocket is incoming it is better to use it's vertical agility to your advantage, quickly letting off the throttle and allowing the aircraft to quickly drop or and then suddenly applying power again and allow the aircraft to rise rapidly. This tactic is also very useful for engaging Banshees.
On Invasion: Spire, try and work with a player and allow them to collect the core. Then collect them from the top of the Spire by letting them jump on top of the Falcon, then slowly descend towards the Pelican and allow the player with the core to jump off. But be careful, if you are still moving, there is a chance you may throw the core carrier off the edge or splatter them.
It is advised that the Falcon be used against infantry, since with only machine guns as armament it isn't the best suited weapon against heavier vehicles such as the Wraith or Scorpion.
If you have a Banshee at your team spawn area, use it to try to aim the fuel rod cannon at the Falcon's cockpit. This will kill the pilot without damaging the Falcon. Then have your teammates swarm the Falcon, kill the gunners and take over the aircraft.
It's gun's can fire at more of an angle than those of a warthog so one can be safely engaged without taking any damage.
Unlike in Campaign, where it is possible to have as many as six people in the Falcon (one pilot, two gunners, and three passengers) the Multiplayer version can only hold a maximum of three people; a pilot, and the two gunners, even though it still has the seats in the troopbay for additional troops.
This is most likely for the same reason that the Transport Warthog is not available in Multiplayer, as it would be far too easy for a single player to net as many as six kills by destroying a single Falcon.
It is possible in Forge to knock the machine guns off a Falcon; However, this will not affect any other Falcons that spawn in, and the gunner positions are rendered unusable.
The Falcon is nicknamed the "Warthog of the skies" by fans and Bungie employees.
Superficially, the Falcon looks rather similar to the United States Marine Corps' V-22 Osprey tilt rotor. In popular media, the Falcon is similar to the "Vertibirds" of the Fallout series, as well as the Samsons and Scorpions in James Cameron's Avatar.
As seen in early concept art, it appears the Falcon would originally have possessed ducted air fans, like those of the AV-14 Hornet and D77-TC Pelican, rather than rotors.
Much like UNSC aircraft in Halo Wars, Falcons that cannot be piloted have yellow windshields. In campaign, if one punches out the windows of these Falcons, they'll notice that there is no pilot inside the Falcon. However if the area where the pilot would be is whacked or shot, there will be cries of pain from a Trooper. Also, when riding somewhere in a Falcon on Winter Contingency, despite there being no pilot, Carter will often have a conversation with the pilot throughout the level.
Two small jets are located toward the back of the Falcon, facing to the rear. These may contribute to the Falcon's forward propulsion.
Unlike most vehicle and craft in Reach, the smoke from a badly damaged Falcon blocks a substantial portion of the screen, increasing the difficulty of flying a critically damaged aircraft.
Unless the player jumps on top of a rotor hub, he/she cannot be killed by the Falcon's rotors. However, if the player touches the rotor hub, he/she will be killed instantly.
The Falcon is one of the fastest craft in the game moving in a straight line, able to reach a speed of 167 km/h. The Falcon is only outmatched by the Covenant Phantom, accessible through an easter egg on New Alexandria.
Noble Team's Falcon can be piloted by Noble Six if it is shot down by a plasma pistol and flipped over on Winter Contingency.
Interestingly, there are five seats in the troop compartment, but never more than four of the positions in the troop bay are filled.
There is an un-usable medical kit located in the troop bay.
All Falcons have the number "23" near the cockpit.
In the Campaign mission 'New Alexandria', the ordnance Falcons have a chance of being the same kind of Falcon as in Tip of the Spear, with grenade launchers instead of machine guns.
When firing the grenade launchers mounted on the Falcon, when using the alternate fire mode, the screen reads, "Ready", then changes to "linked". When the alternate fire button is released, and the linked grenade is detonated, the screen readout changes to "Boom!"
Due to balancing purposes, the Falcon in multiplayer lacks the chin-mounted autocannon that is normally usable by the pilot.
Although they can be clearly seen in pre-release campaign screenshots from Halo 4, they are not present in the final game. One explanation is that were originally supposed to be in the game but were cut. It is also possible that they were placeholders for other vehicles, like the Hornet, that were also cut.