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Natalia: Argh! Can't you shake them, Lieutenant?
Foster: Major, this is a dropship; it doesn't shake, it drops!

A common vehicle in Military Science Fiction: A Drop Ship is a craft used to carry troops, vehicles and/or supplies from an orbiting ship to the surface of a planet or natural satellite and back, sometimes while under fire. Some are effectively a Military Mashup Machine between a space shuttle and a transport helicopter, while others are full-sized landing craft that are substantially larger. If the ship is armed and/or the troops involved happen to be reinforcements, it may be the vehicle of a Gunship Rescue. Drop ships can go by many different names. These include, but are not limited to: drop ship, assault shuttle, landing craft. In a proper sci-fi setting, the size and configuration is limited only by the author's imagination.

Truth in Television, given the fact that the physical requirements of "getting from a planet to orbit and back" are far, far different than those of "getting from orbit around one planet to orbit around another". Think of the lunar lander as a kind of Drop Ship and you'll get the idea.

For when the vehicle is not designed to go back up, see Drop Pod. Sometimes, deployment results in a rain of men.

Often part of a Standard Sci-Fi Fleet. In video games, they will almost always be of the Defenseless Transport variety. Supertrope to Spheroid Dropship. Not related to Colony Drop.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • The Musai-class ships from Mobile Suit Gundam had a second, smaller ship inside of them called the "Komusai", and which served this purpose with Mobile Suits, typically Zakus.

    Comic Books 
  • Wonder Woman (1987): The Sangtee Empire operates cargo/personal transport ships of limited range on their prison planet known as "Hope's End". Diana and her initial group of revolting slaves capture one and use it to get into orbit to steal more space-worthy craft from the Empire before they become a full on revolutionary group.

  • The dropship from Aliens combines this role with that of gunship: it carries the Colonial Marines' armored personnel carrier in its main bay, but also has missile pods that could be used for air-to-ground bombardment.
  • Star Wars:
    • LAAT's and Acclamator-class ships both perform this role in the prequels, on different scales. The Acclamators are dropships for dropships, which is pretty impressive. There are also LAAT-derivatives and (off-screen) barges for dropping off AT-ATs and other walkers.
    • Sentinel ships are an EU greatly enlarged version of the lambda shuttle seen in the movie built as drop ships, one is actually seen in one of the Episode V remastered editions.
    • The Lambda shuttle itself is used like this in some EU works and is the inspiration for several drop ships in other works of fiction.
    • The Star Wars: Battlefront games use LAATs and other craft as ship-to-ship boarding dropships. There are various other kinds of dropship in the Star Wars Expanded Universe, primarily but definitely not exclusively belonging to the Empire. There are a lot of different classes, designed to ferry anything from stormtroopers to AT-ATs to and from the surface of the planet and the Star Destroyer drifting in orbit.
    • The Force Awakens continues the tradition with the First Order Transporters, also known as Atmospheric Assault Landers. They're tiny compared to Lambda shuttles, but each one still carries up to 20 stormtroopers and can unload them all in seconds.
    • Rogue One has the U-Wing, which functions as the Rebellion's main troop transport and gunship. The ship's design can be described as lovechild of a UH-1 Huey helicopter and a F-14 Tomcat fighter.
  • Edge of Tomorrow. Four-engined tilt-rotors are used for the Operation Downfall invasion force, with the soldiers in their Powered Armor dropping down on a cable which releases just before they hit the ground.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • In The Avengers, the Chitauri ground troops were transported to Earth by Leviathans which combine this trope with Living Ship.
    • Also making its MCU debut in The Avengers, but reappearing several times in the series are the various types of Quinjets used by SHIELD and later the Avengers themselves. The precursor prototype, the Quadjet, makes an appearance in Captain Marvel (2019).
    • In Avengers: Infinity War, the Children of Thanos attack Wakanda by summoning drop ships containing hordes of Outriders.
  • Starship Troopers: The Mobile Infantry's use of dropships is one of the many ways in which the movie differs from the novel. In the novel, the preferred method for deploying the Mobile Infantry was literally to drop them from orbit. However, drop ships were used when the deployment was on a more relaxed schedule, and dropships were also used to take the MIs off the planet. The movie, though, played it straight.

  • Used in Dune. There is also a briefly-mentioned literal variant called the "crusher", which is designed to fall on an enemy position and destroy it by direct impact.
  • "Drop shuttles" are standard equipment in the Vorkosigan Saga.
  • The spaceplanes and Kulu Ion Fliers in Peter F. Hamilton's The Night's Dawn Trilogy perform this on a regular basis, some with more success than others. Most notable being Ashley's last-second rescue of the Lady Macbeths crew and assorted others when an ironberg (yes, that's exactly what it sounds like) is about to fall on them from orbit. Another of the Lady Macs spaceplanes was used to sterilise a landing zone in a jungle with belly-mounted microwave lasers.
  • VTAs in the Confederation of Valor series.
  • A variation is used in The History of the Galaxy books in the form of Marine Assault Modules. Unlike a typical example of a Drop Ship, MAMs can be equipped with hyperdrives, although they aren't likely to have fuel for more than one jump. Besides carrying Space Marines and/or Real Robots, they also feature two powerful turrets to allow them to clear the deployment area or break down fortifications prior to the ground assault. They can either land to unload troops or deploy Drop Pods (basically, shipping crates with landing thrusters). Not designed for space warfare, they are invaluable during ground assaults.
  • The Eldraeverse brings us the Flapjack-class cavalry dropship, which uses a pair of Orion Drives - one to accelerate out of orbit, and one to brake hard on landing. The latter doubles as a nuclear daisy-cutter to clear the landing zone.
  • Chakona Space: Capt. Foster runs an interstellar freighter. His Cool Starship has several shuttles for various tasks. One of them is described as a retired military surplus assault shuttle.
  • The Radiant Dawn and the Wutner drop pods, though they are sort of a cross between this trope and Drop Pods. The ships themselves are only designed to go one way, though the orbital craft has a tractor beam that can lift them back off the planet's surface.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Colonial Raptor in Battlestar Galactica (2003) serves this role among others in the Colonial Fleet. They are mashups of the space shuttle and an Apache helicopter.
  • The Peacekeeper Marauder from Farscape is a heavy fighter/dropship hybrid operated by elite commandos. It has a large hatch on the bottom from which troops can egress. They seem to be used most often as boarding craft, scouts, and personnel transports.
    • The Scarran Stryker and the Luxan Penetrator serve similar roles. The Stryker has a unique, hyper-fast propulsion system and the Penetrator has a cloaking device. Like he Marauder, they can operate on their own or as support vessels for larger fleets of warships.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: the station's runabouts generally filled this role, with the Defiant providing a Gunship Rescue on more than one occasion. The Runabouts were small ships or long-ranged shuttles that station personnel used for missions in and beyond the Bajoran System. They could be carried aboard starships as well. They could land or use transporters to deploy personnel. The small Jem'Hadar Attack Ships as well were shown to have a large hatch for troop egress on the bottom, but this ability was never shown on-screen. There's also references to offscreen vehicles called "hoppers", which are implied to be dropships used specifically ground battles.
    • Standard shuttles fill this role in multiple Star Trek series. The more streamlined ones and especially the 22nd century shuttlepods from Star Trek: Enterprise could be considered in the Space Plane category too. Not all shuttles are armed but many have phasers.
  • Dropships are a common type of boarding/landing craft used on The Expanse, primarily by Earth and Mars, although the Belters are known to improvise them out of their cobbled-together ships as well. They are armed but serve relatively limited roles, primarily being used to deliver marines or land personnel.
  • The Space Pod on Lost in Space was a small lander vehicle carried aboard the Robinson family's ship, the Jupiter-2.
  • The Tel'Tacs on Star Gate SG 1 are dropships similar to the Peacekeeper Marauders or Colonial Raptors, but like Star Trek shuttles, they also have a transporter on board.
  • The Taelon Shuttle and its larger warship cousin on Earth: Final Conflict were frequently used as dropships for human "volunteers" in service of the aliens, and other human agents of the Taelon.

  • The Foundation Trilogy: In "Part Seven: The Mule Finds", Bail Channis explains to the Rossom governor that the transport they arrived on is merely a surface-to-ship capsule, and that their spaceship remains in orbit around the planet.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Battletech Dropship-category spacecraft are the primary means of conveyance from the Jumpships. They are routinely the size of large warehouses, necessary to carry the Humongous Mecha that are the stars of the franchise. They tend to be the home base for the units they carry; the jumpships that carry them from system-to-system aren't large enough to physically hold the dropships, they have to dock to the outside (Since they're spaceworthy craft by themselves, there's also no real reason to bring them inside). The key difference between a DropShip and any other sublight spacecraft is a component called a KF Boom, which extends the hyperspace envelope of a JumpShip's Kearny-Fuchida jumpdrive around the dropship. Other craft must be stowed in launch bays to jump, while DropShips dock in special large collars that interface the KF boom and drive.
    • The lightest 'Mech-carrying dropship, the Leopard, weighs in at 19 times the heaviest 'Mech, has enough weapons to match any assault lance it might encounter, and more armor tonnage than a light 'Mech weighs in total. Lighter designs like the Claymore and Avenger are actually more dangerous because they're the ones designed for a straight combat role. Heavier ones like the Overlord and Fortress are considered basically immoveable objects; the force required to take them out is simply too large to be worthwhile when there's other fighting to be done. That being said, the weapons and armor on transport dropships are purely for defensive roles. Dropships are massively vulnerable to attack due to their size and lack of maneuverability even when they're flying. It takes surprisingly little damage to render one un-spaceworthy, and that's an extremely bad thing if you were depending on that dropship to get you and your mechs out of a hostile system. The few dropships designed to assist in ground combat operations due so by means of having artillery cannons that they can use to provide indirect fire support at distant targets.
    • The main reason for the size of BattleTech Dropships is the fact that rather than travelling from orbit to the surface of a planet, they travel through an entire solar system; Battletech FTL limits the closest a JumpShip can get to a star's gravity well to a distance that, using the Sol system as an example, stretches out to around the orbit of Jupiter. On top of that, the faster-than-light drive on the average JumpShip takes up so much of its volume that their sublight maneuvering drives don't allow them to go anywhere in a hurry, so they tend to just hang out at the jump points where they arrived and recharge their K-F cores while the DropShips play taxi.
    • Less often seen in-game but mentioned regularly in the lore are "drop-shuttles", much smaller craft that could theoretically fit inside a DropShip. They're normally used to ferry passengers or small amounts of cargo relatively short distances, such as between a planet's surface and an orbital station, but some of the bigger ones can drop a few dozen infantry or a couple of tanks somewhere no regular DropShip could hope to land.
  • Dropzone Commander appears to have been built entirely around the idea that "dropships are cool." Every faction has them,note  in sizes ranging from little infantry-carrying gunships to giant monstrosities that can hold and deploy nine tanks at once. And, well, the name is a bit of a clue.
  • Transhuman Space doesn't feature many military dropships — they'd probably be too vulnerable to the setting's efficient automated point defences, for a start, and anyway nobody is looking to conduct many big space-to-ground invasions. However, one supplement for the line, Wings of the Rising Sun, features an unusual civilian use of the trope, as it describes a Rescue organization whose operatives can get anywhere on Earth within minutes — because they're based on orbiting space stations and use very impressive dropships.
  • Warhammer 40,000 has a lot of these, such as the Imperial Guard Valkyrie, the Space Marine Thunderhawk, the Eldar Vampire, or the Tau Orca.
    • Some factions prefer different methods — the Grey Knights favour teleportation, for example, and the Dark Eldar wander through mystical tunnels in the space-time continuum onto the battlefield.
    • Orks rarely bother with individual Drop Ships, preferring to bring their space transports to the planet. They use hollowed-out asteroids with huge engines for space travel, and sending thses Roks screaming through the atmosphere reults in on of two things: thousands of angry and armed orks emerging from the wreckage and crater ready to krump some 'eadz, or a titanic explosion visible from space as the rok detonates, which is slightly less desirable than the first result, but not by much.
  • In Rocket Age the Japanese have been deploying Flying Lotus Drop Ships in support of various tribes in the jungles of Venus, giving them a vicious edge.
  • Pathfinder blurs the line between this and Drop Pod with the Dominion of the Black. They have organic drop ships that are specially bred for descent to a planet, but it's a one-way trip. Once the Dominion arrives on a planet, they have no intention of leaving. Shortly after landing, the occupants establish a planet-side base, and the ship is left to die. The Iron Gods adventure path has the party exploring one such ship, and yes, a dungeon crawl through a spaceship-sized mass of decaying tissue is exactly as pleasant as you're imagining.

    Video Games 
  • StarCraft:
    • Dropships act as the standard Terran transport in the first game. The unit's voice is even a Shout-Out to Corporal Ferro from Aliens. The Protoss have Shuttles, and while the Zerg Overlords are initially control suppliers, you can later upgrade them to Organic Technology shuttles.
    • StarCraft II has Terrans using an upgraded Dropship, the Medivac, which doubles as a Medic, hence the name. An optional unit is the Hercules Transport, which is effectively a super Dropship. It has nearly four times the carrying capacity, can unload its units almost instantly, and even has escape pods, allowing units inside it to survive its destruction. The Protoss abandon the Shuttles for Warp Prisms, which convert the 'cargo' between physical and energy states for transport. Warp Prisms can also be used as makeshift Pylons, which coupled with Warp Gates allows the Protoss to transfer over far more soldiers than the Warp Prism itself can carry. Meanwhile, the Zerg Overlords remain more or less the same, but are now able to excrete creep onto the ground.
  • Halo:
    • The most ubiquitous ones seen in the franchise are the UNSC's Pelicans and their Covenant counterparts the Spirit and the Phantom.
    • The Falcon helicopter from Halo: Reach is often used as a transport.
    • The Pelican's lack of weapons in Halo: Combat Evolved was parodied in Red vs. Blue: "If we can put a tank on a ship, why don't we put guns on the ship?" Which, by the way, Halo: The Flood answered with the Pelicans having run out of ammunition for their weapons. In later games, the Pelicans do have guns, and use them quite effectively.
    • Some of the lesser known dropships: the Albatross (which can carry a lot more than the Pelican), the Pod (which is large enough to carry half a UNSC base), the stealth-capable Owl, the cargo-carrying Darter, and the FTL-capable Condor.
    • On the Covenant's side of the war, there are two variants: the Type-25 'Spirit' Troop Carrier, and the Type-52 'Phantom' Troop Carrier. The former being the tuning fork ship and the latter being the more rounded one; The Spirit's smaller size makes it more capable of sending small strike team to an area fast but has little in the way of fire power while the Phantom is pretty much the Covenant's answer to the UNSC's Pelican.
  • Orca Dropships were used in Tiberian Sun, the second Command & Conquer: Tiberian Series game. Bonus points for having Michael Biehn star in the game as one of the main characters.
    • In Tiberium Wars, the job is, in turn, filled in by the V-35 Ox transport. In an ironic turn of events, the Nod equivalent transport ship is the actual dropship, and is called by that term as well.
  • In the original Transformers game for the PS2 (not The Game Of The Movie), Decepticlones travel using dropships. They don't have weapons (but carry troops who do) and are at first near-indestructible- at least til you upgrade your arsenal...
  • Mass Effect:
    • Geth Dropships often show up in Mass Effect. Depending on the mission, they either fly away after you defeat all the geth they dropped, or somehow have an infinite supply of geth and must be destroyed with a turret.
    • You also have the Mako, which is awesome enough that it gets on the ground by being dropped from high altitudes without taking damage.
    • Mass Effect 2 and 3 replace the Mako with the UT-47 shuttle when Shepard needs to be deployed planetside. Various mercenary factions, Cerberus, the Systems Alliance, and the Asari and Salarian militaries use the A-61 Mantis gunship for similar purposes when it isn't simply being deployed as a gunship.
    • Occasionally you also use the M-44 Hammerhead, although it's very rare for it to be used in actual combat drops because it is basically a tissue box with a heavy seeker missile launcher bolted on top.
  • The COG uses Assault Derricks in Gears of War to ferry troops and Grindlifts (a drill Drop Pod) from the surface of the planet to the Hollow, a series of large underground caverns that serve as the home of the Locust.
  • Machines: Wired For War: The Machines don't mess around with drop ships, they use giant metal drop pods and build bases from them.
  • In PlanetSide 1, there are three; one that carries large vehicles and BFR's (Lodestar) and functions as a mobile repair and rearm point, another for carrying passengers and small vehicles (Galaxy) with a variant that carries automatic grenade launchers and chainguns, and one that carries 4 passengers and cloaks (Phantasm). Planetside 2 drops the Lodestar (its functionality is now on the Awesome Personnel Carrier) and Phantasm, but allows players to customize their Galaxy for combat roles, and adds the Valkryie, a slow but very agile helicopter-esque aircraft which can carry 4 passengers (plus the gunner and pilot) into combat, while the passengers can shoot out of the sides with their guns or repair the vehicle mid-flight.
  • Battlefield 2142 has drop ships for both factions that also have drop pods as well. A full drop ship with competent gunners can usually be effective enough to be a lethal threat to gunships, infantry and light vehicles.
    • Another use for the dropships, which was considered a Game-Breaker by many, was to pilot the ship directly into heavily armed vehicles a la kamikaze style. The kill was usually rewarded to the pilot, but sometimes the kamikazed would get the kill, or both parties would get a kill. Another way to do it was to eject out of the drop ship before the ship hit the vehicle, which allowed the pilot to survive, but would cost him the kill. This was done so much, that in one patch, the ability to maneuver the drop pods from a drop ship was taken out. It was reinstated in the following patch though, although the controllablility wasn't as strong as it used to be.
  • The craft to get onto Forbidden Island in Mega Man Legends 2 was called a drop ship.
  • Ground Control's Crayven Corporation dropships where rather square while the Order of the New Dawn were more triangular, and both seemed to have 'belly doors' that could drop off troops very quickly. By Ground Control 2 they were more similar to existing aircraft and could be upgraded with more powerful weaponry and extra armor.
  • In Master of Orion II the invasion with a ground combat is the only way to capture an enemy colony (except for a Telepathic race) and special single-use "Transport Ships" are the only way to deliver troops for the invasion.
  • The Sky Crane dropships and their un-named ARM counterpart in Section 8. It fulfills a similar role to the dropships in the Roughnecks: Starship Troopers Chronicles; soldiers are shot out of ports in the side for the classic It's Raining Men assault, and after the battle lands to extract the infantry. It also ferries in heavy armors and heavy tanks requisitioned by the player.
  • Dropship: United Peace Force, a launch title for the PlayStation 2.
  • Quake IV features dropships similar to those in Aliens and Halo, all though they tend to 'fall' rather than drop on several occasions, the game opens with the players drop ship hitting so hard it knocks them unconscious.
  • Titanfall begins most games with players from both sides dropping onto the battlefield from Drop Ships that jumped to the battlefield. The Epilogue of each game entails members of the losing team racing to a Drop Ship to escape the battlements while the winning team try to either kill everyone on the losing team or shoot down the Drop Ship.
    • Titans, when called onto the battlefield, arrive via dropship to break through the atmosphere. The dropship is explosively discarded as the Titan reaches the ground.
  • The Combine use the bio-mechanical variety in Half-Life 2. They generally carry pods full of troops, but are also capable of carrying non-standard loads, such as Striders and Gordon Freeman's jeep. Considering their biological components, they probably aren't space-worthy, but as all of the events of the game take place within the atmosphere, this isn't a big issue. They're even referred to as drop ships in-game by the Rebels.
  • Perfect Dark has two aircraft of this type, one referred to as a "jumpship" and used for urban insertion and extraction, and the other, which is actually called a dropship, used for VIP transport and agent insertion outside of urban areas. Neither goes into space, though.
  • The ISDF in BattleZone II uses large vectored-thrust dropships when carrying equipment from its enormous command ship down to the surface of planets.
  • The various MechWarrior games, set in the same universe as BattleTech, feature dropships. In the singleplayer games, they are often Stationary Boss battles due to their ridiculous amounts of firepower and armor. In MechWarrior Living Legends, landed dropships are sometimes used as spawn points, with mech bays and aircraft hangars on the inside ready to build mechs. Like in the singleplayer games, the dropships are typically armed with an array of vulnerable turrets - however, the dropships themselves are invulnerable.
  • Surviving Mars has the rockets used to carry supplies and people from Earth, but can also ship rare metals off of Mars for extra money.
  • XCOM: Enemy Unknown has the Skyranger, a boxy transport with VTOL capability and swing-wings that let it get into small places. It's also apparently capable of suborbital travel given its ability to get to the other side of the planet in about an hour. Interestingly, it doesn't bring troops down from space, but instead ferries them to and from your Elaborate Underground Base.
  • DUST 514 has two forms. The MCC is one of them, and the Skirmish game mode involves destroying the enemy's while defending yours. The other is the, erm, Dropship, a small transport that can carry six people and two gunners.
  • In Cortex Command two are available, and they are fairly important in terms of gameplay. Crates are cheap but total-loss delivery vehicles, and rockets are so very hard to fly that they might as well qualify as total-loss too (as the AI so efficiently demonstrates). The dropships are the only delivery vehicles that can be reasonably expected to make it back to orbit and give the player their purchase price back, but they’re also big, slow-moving targets, which incidentally means they’re also easier to use as disposable impact weapons than rockets.
  • Dawn of War only sees Drop Ships in the Imperial Guard stronghold level of Soulstorm, and even then they just drop troops on prescripted locations (one inside your base). Given the Game-Breaker nature of flyers in DoW, letting them carry troops would have been serious overkill.
  • The Salmonid Mothership in Splatoon 2 releases very small pods that land and start dispensing enemies. Overlaps with Clown-Car Base in that an implausibly large number of enemies come out of them, some of them larger than the pods themselves.
  • Vertibirds become this in Fallout 4, especially when deploying from the perpetually-floating Prydwen. Granted, they're Made of Explodium, so whether the troops ever actually reach the ground is debatable.
  • Earth Defense Force: Through out the various games in the series the alien invaders use ships to deliver the various enemies to the battlefield.
  • Several of these have appeared in the Ratchet & Clank games.
  • Warframe has several varieties of dropships. Each Tenno has their own landing craft with which they stealthily deploy on enemy territory. The Grineer deploy Tusk troopers on Plains of Eidolon in and out of battle using Firbolgs and Bolkors, the former being unarmed general purpose shuttles and the latter being warships in their own right. The Corpus use Condors to deploy their own troopers in the heat of battle.
  • Metroid has this throughout its games, mostly in the ones involving the Galactic Federation. Metroid Prime 2: Echoes introduced the Anhur-class ship, a versatile troop transport made for patrolling star systems and deploying Marine squads into combat. Metroid Prime 3: Corruption then showed the predecessor to the Anhur-class, the Aries-class transport, and showed it in action during the Federation's invasion of the Pirate Homeworld. Metroid Prime: Federation Force uses the straightforwardly named "dropship" to transport the Federation Force into and out of missions. And finally in Metroid: Other M, Adam Malkovich's unit arrives on the Bottle Ship using the military transport ship Hygieia, which looks to be a modified or future development of the Anhur-class model due to its strong resemblance with that ship class.
    • The Space Pirates have these as well, the first example of such is seen in Echoes with the "Shrike"-class Skiff which is little more than a flat metal platform with engines bolted onto it with room for up to four Pirate Troopers. In Corruption, when the Pirates are on full war footing, this vehicle is heavily upgraded as the Armored Tactical Carrier, with a proper armored shell and doors enclosing the platform and a triple beam cannon added to the nose.

    Web Original 
  • The Kovolis Systems Security from Nexus Gate has these in its fleet.
  • In Whateley Universe, the military forces of major nations have small groups of elite Rapid Response dropships, as well as orbital platforms for Powered Armor forces which can be inserted via a Drop Pod system, and can even mix in Empowered forces. However, due to the massive cost of these procedures, even the US can only field about a battalion strength of dropship forces. On the other hand, major supervillains such as Dr. Diabolik and Gizmatic also have similar forces, as do paramilitary groups such as the MCO, ARCHAMMER, and the Knights of Purity, and even mercenary units such as the Paramount Guard and The Syndicate's Tiger Guard. Some of these are notably superior to those run by the governments, and in some cases they can staff them with Super-Soldier and Empowered elites. This is partially justified on the basis that since this is all these groups do, they can allocate a larger portion of the budgets to it, but the costs of maintaining and fielding such forces has been discussed.

    Western Animation 
  • Averted for Rule of Funny in Futurama.
    Captain Zapp Brannigan: As you know, the key to victory is the element of surprise. [presses Big Red Button] Surprise!
    [bay doors open under soldiers, dumping them onto the planet below.]

    Real Life 
  • The closest real-life equivalents to this trope are military gliders. Granted, these works only in atmospheric conditions, but it was an accurate and pretty reliable way to get airborne soldiers and heavy equipment, such as artillery and vehicles, where they were needednote . Unlike normal gliders, they did not truly soar, and had to be cut loose from their carrier planes a short distance from their destination. They were only used during World War II, after which they were replaced by helicopters.
  • As mentioned above, the Lunar Lander used in the American Apollo missions could be considered a dropship at its most basic, simplified elements: A vehicle capable of transporting people and cargo from an orbiting ship to the surface and back again. Granted, however, that the complete Lunar Lander does not return, only the crew compartment, and as such the lower portion of the Lander along with any cargo is left behind.
  • Almost-Real Life Example: The Small Unit Space Transport and Insertion concept of the U.S. Marine Corps is a serious proposal (though one not likely to become reality any-time soon) to deploy Marines to anywhere on Earth via a small sub-orbital Space Plane. The flight profile would be similar to that of a military glider, but with a portion of the time spent in space under rocket power.
  • Ithacus was a 1960s single-stage rocket concept, fueled by liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen, designed to transport 1200 soldiers to a battlefield on another continent, where they would fly off with jetpacks (or slide down). There was a smaller version meant to launch from an aircraft carrier, with the propellant being made from seawater by the carrier's nuclear reactor.


Video Example(s):


The Allied Invasion of Europe

In this bonus gallery video, the D-Day Invasion is discussed, which includes the Allied forces landing on the beaches of Normandy, while glider troops are deployed behind the German defenses.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / StormingTheBeaches

Media sources: