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Helicopter Pack

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"With the Heli-Pack upgrade, you can perform a Boost Jump by jumping from a crouched position. You can also perform a Stretch Jump by pressing R1 while running, then immediately pressing X. To glide, simply press and hold X while in the air. Visit your local Robo-Shack dealer to equip this upgrade!"
Helpdesk, Ratchet & Clank (2002)

An alternative to the Jet Pack, basically an Awesome Backpack with helicopter blades.

There are two basic varieties:

1) The "rotor variant", which features (usually just one) helicopter rotor, usually sticking right out of the top of the pack, centered over the user's head. Tend to appear in Steampunk settings, in the hands of the Gadgeteer Genius, and in other situations where the author wants a more primitive-looking or whimsical design.

2) The "jet variant", which features (usually two) ducted fans or small jet engines, often stuck on the ends of long poles or wings. These tend to appear in more futuristic settings, or when the author wants a more realistic or military feel.

Compared to the Jet Pack, both varieties tend to be more maneuverable but slower (and there's no Toasted Buns issue).

A Sub-Trope of Flight and Awesome Backpack. See also Helicopter Hair, Heli-Critter (the biological versions of the rotor variant), and Future Copter (the vehicular version of the jet variant).


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! GX has Elemental Hero Stratos, who has rotor/wing hybrids.

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 
  • Rocketship Voyager: While in the cube-ship of the Psiborg Collective, Captain Janeway sees Psiborgs flying around a vast docking bay using contra-rotating rotor blades. When the docking bay is decompressed, they have to race to land before there's no more air to support them, and other Psiborgs with Jet Packs take over.
  • In Tales of a Reset Mind, Joy uses one of this to escape the Memory Dump in Part Two.

    Films — Animated 
  • The Rahaga in BIONICLE 3: Web of Shadows. It's non-canon, but the filmmakers thought it would look cooler than having them climb everywhere. Their toys use these "packs" (actually Rhotuka spinners) as projectiles, so they're not really part of their anatomy.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Agent Cody Banks: Cody uses the Solotrek XFV (see the Real Life folder), although the scenes in the movie were produced by special effects.
  • Sleeper: Miles tries to escape from the police by donning a helicopter pack and flying away. It doesn't work very well.
  • The Vulture's suit in Spider-Man: Homecoming uses two ducted fans in addition to wings.
  • The Whisperer in Darkness: The aliens wear an engine pack with vibrating wings to pursue the protagonist in his biplane.

  • In Black Mans Burden by Mack Reynolds, one character uses a heliohopper to impress the natives with his ability to fly, as it's basically this trope. On landing, it can be collapsed into a 75-pound pack.
  • At the end of The Last Hero, Leonard of Quirm is shown with a Da Vinci aerial screw strapped to his back.
  • Bernard Wolfe's science-fiction novel Limbo had a society where people willingly amputate their own limbs and replace them with artificial ones. In one scene, a group of such cyborgs fly into a jungle clearing, using contra-rotating helicopter blades attached to an extended Artificial Limb.
  • In Moon Of Ice by Brad Linaweaver, a Nazi assassin is implanted with a propaganda fantasy of him slaughtering giants using a four-bladed gauntlet that is both this trope and a weapon.
  • The Star Beast: Both John Thomas Stuart and Betty Sorenson use one of these (called a "flight harness" in the book). The cover of the 1954 edition.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the final episode of Come Back Mrs. Noah, The Plan is to lower the orbit of the runaway Space Station into the atmosphere so the crew can jump out wearing a heli-glidette. This leads to Mrs. Noah training how to use the device by jumping up and down on a trampoline in a wind tunnel, while wearing a silly silver costume and pulling the starter cord between her legs to start the engine. On live television.
  • Lady Fan, a TVB drama series set in the Tang Dynasty, has the supporting character, Ying-Lung, who is a rich playboy and genius inventor, creating a helicopter hat using Bamboo Technology, which can support an adult's weight and have it's wearer remain airborne for around ten minutes. Yes, in the Tang Dynasty. And because Reed Richards Is Useless, it never occurred to anyone in the show to mass-produce his inventions, instead dismissing Ying-Lung's various gadgets as "toys created by a bored rich playboy".
  • The MythBusters build one in season four but can't get it to lift off.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Fate Accelerated Edition sample character Dr. Bethesda Flushing's mobility-enhancing Experimental Helo Pack stunt, as prominently seen in her image on the back cover.
  • Spheres of Power features the Technician class, which can create a Propellor Pack with their Invention class feature by combining an ordinary backpack and some steampower.

  • In the UK in the 1970s, the Palitoy Action Man had the highly desirable TurboCopter backpack.
  • The G.I. Joe "Adventure Team" line had one. This was part of a shared "power-pack" accessory: you got the battery-powered pack, and you could attach things like the helicopter as well as drills and saws (for rescues), signal lights, etc. The Adventure Team also featured a character called "Mike Power: Atomic Man" (a Captain Ersatz of The Six Million Dollar Man), who could fly with helicopter blades attached to his bionic hand. The Real American Hero line has had a couple of these as well.

    Video Games 
  • The weak point of the Baron K. Roolenstein of Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!. King K. Rool brings it back for use as his recovery move in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
  • Roderick Hero, the playable character of the early Activision game H.E.R.O. wears one of the one-rotor variety, which he uses to get around the game's caves to find and rescue stranded miners. Even the title stands for Helicopter Emergency Rescue Operation, referring to the backpack.
  • In League of Legends, winged character Kayle has a skin option (Riot Kayle) that replaces her wings with helicopter rotors.
  • Mini Robot Wars: During the second episode, many of the land-based Mooks get one, allowing them to become Airborne Mooks.
  • The Sligs from Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee use a small variant that is attached to their lower spine and is controlled by two joysticks.
  • In the first game of the Ratchet & Clank series, Clank gets upgraded with the Heli-Pack, allowing him to assist Ratchet in platforming with high jump, long jump, and glide maneuvers. Whenever it's used, a large propeller pops out of his head and two more emerge from his chest. It differs from the Thrusterpack in that it can't dash in the air (in the first game and Ratchet & Clank (2016) only) and it's slower when gliding in both descent speed and movement speed. However, it gets more height than the Thrusterpack due to different animations; the Thrusterpack's high jump has Ratchet jump at the same time that Clank boosts him upwards, while the Heli-Pack has Ratchet jump first before Clank lifts him higher. In Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time, Clank, when on his own, can use the Heli-Pack to perform an aerial boost upwards three times before landing, increasing his platforming prowess significantly. The duo's appearance in PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale also allows them to glide using Clank's Heli-Pack.
  • Scathe has undead demons with helicopter packs organically grafted to their shoulders.

  • Girl Genius has a steampunk hybrid between this and Jet Pack, referred to as 'The Flight Raiment of King Darius the Incandescent'. Mk 2, of course. Used by Zola to escape from Castle Heterodyne.

    Western Animation 
  • Numbuh 2 of Codename: Kids Next Door has one in "Operation: P.R.E.S.I.D.E.N.T.". While the Kids Next Door are transporting the Fourth Grade President to City Hall in School Bus 1, Numbuh 2 makes use of this when he is sucked out of the bus by the Delightful Children from Down the Lane's robotic copy of the president. Numbuh 2 could only hopelessly look on as the bus flew out of sight after the fact, but then uses it to save the real Fourth Grade President from falling to his death and drop him off at city hall after he is kicked off the bus after duking it out with the robotic fake, while Numbuh 1 pilots the bus and the robot President to a junkyard, where he and the rest of the team destroy them in a trash compactor.
  • In The Tick, the quartet of Swiss thieves wears giant Swiss army knives on their backs, with deployable helicopter blades for flight.
  • The Venture Brothers: In the episode "Hate Floats", Brock Sampson and Phantom Limb try out a couple of these.
  • Jack Spicer from Xiaolin Showdown has a helicopter pack; he got it as a present when he turned evil.

    Real Life 


Video Example(s):


Boogie Pack

Rex can build a set of mechanical wings with turbines on them, allowing him to fly.

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