I was going to talk about the best GTA V mods this week, but then I realized how bad an idea that was on multiple levels. For starters, you
can’t shouldn’t use mods in GTA Online, which is what I should stick to covering on this website as opposed to the decidedly single-player GTA V campaign. Oh, and then the Rockstar modding brouhaha happened, though apparently it was all just a big misunderstanding. Either way, it’s a bit outside of our wheelhouse.
So let’s go for part deux of last week’s GTAO aircraft spotter’s guide.
Before we start on my list, let me share with you a couple of nuggets that I learned in the past seven days. First, while the aircraft spawns across GTAO’s vast world map are indeed random, they are also tied to your level. There appear to be a few other variables as well, including a Cuban 800 that spawns only during gang attack random events and a Titan that spawns only at night.
Fortunately, Reddit user Halfpint started a level-based list of what spawns where, and he (or she?) also created a couple of hi-res maps for those who’d like a quick visual reference the next time they go looking for a skyjack target. It’s worth noting that Halfpint’s list was created for the console versions of GTAO some months prior to the PC version’s April 2015 launch. Rockstar may have left well enough alone, but as I’m only level 30 at the moment, I haven’t been able to verify all of the location info on my platform.
GTAO’s Titan is based on the real-world C-130 Hercules, a Lockheed workhorse that’s been in active military service since its introduction in 1954. While it looks like a beast, it’s pretty easy to control both on the ground and in the air given its stability and slow speed.
As I mentioned earlier, you’ll occasionally see one spawn at the Fort Zancudo airbase in GTAO, but only if the sun’s gone down and only if you’re willing to risk an instant four-star wanted level and a boat load of military personnel firing in your general direction as you breach the base’s security. Alternatively, you can dial up our old friend Elitas Travel and purchase a Titan of your very own for a cool $2,000,000.
The Miljet is oddly named, since its meatspace inspiration is a Bombardier CRJ commonly used by regional airlines instead of the military. You’ve probably flown on one of these if you’ve taken a short hop in the United States sometime in the past two decades, and now you can put yourself in an arcade version of the pilot’s seat thanks to GTAO.
It’s kind of a dog to fly, though it does have a high top speed. It also carries a load of players, as you might expect from an airliner, so if you have a burning need to transport your crew from one end of Los Santos to the other in high style, the Miljet’s available on Elitas. I’ve yet to see it spawn randomly, and Halfpint’s list appears to corroborate that observation.
GTAO’s Mammatus is a goofy mashup of various real-world Cessna trainers. There’s some 172 in it, even though it’s big enough on the outside to be a 182 but cramped enough on the inside to be a 150/152. It seats four players, which can be useful for heist-related transportation or just messing around, but it’s so ugly that I have a hard time recommending it unless you’re just wanting a quick joyride.
Fortunately, I’ve seen it spawn all over the place, from Los Santos International airport to Sandy Shores airfield up in the desert. You’ll likely see one if you spend any time in GTAO, which makes spending $300,000 to purchase it from Elitas seem like a bad idea.
You’re probably familiar with the Mallard if you’ve progressed past the flight school challenge missions in GTA V’s single-player campaign. It’s a fun ride, and it ought to be since it’s modeled after the real-world Extra 300, which has been dazzling airshow audiences around the globe for the better part of 30 years.
It’s not straight-line fast, but boy will it get up and roll around in a hurry, which makes it ideal for those GTAO flight lobby races where packs of players are buzzing around Los Santos buildings, under bridges, etc. Heck, after a few hours of practice, you may even be able to do this with it. As usual you can buy it from Elitas if, like me, you haven’t leveled up high enough to see one sitting around the game world.
I’m currently saving my virtual pennies for this baby, both because it’s based on a real-world aircraft that I love (the deHavilland Beaver) and because two of my mates can stand on the pontoons and fire their weapons as I fly to and fro across GTAO’s vast game world. And there’s pretty much nowhere in said game world that we can’t go, since the floats allow us to land in the water and the wheels on the bottom of the floats allow us to land on, well, the land.
Did I mention that it looks like one of the world’s sexiest bush planes?
Once again, the Elitas Travel in-game website is the aircraft purchaser’s friend, but it’s probably going to be a couple of more weeks for me since I need a whopping $500,000 for this little bit of fun.
OK, I know I said last time that helicopters baffle me, and that’s still sorta true. GTAO’s helicopters are kinda fun, though, even if you’re flying them with the keyboard instead of your trusty Xbox 360 PC controller that picked a very inopportune time to run out of battery juice.
If I had a favorite chopper, it would either be Airwolf or the old Bell UH-1 Huey that’s been serving in the American military since the 1950s. And since Rockstar didn’t stick an Airwolf analogue in GTAO, I’ll go with the Huey/Valkyrie that reminds me of the A-Team’s opening credits every time I see it. Sadly I don’t have my own screenshot of this bird in action because it doesn’t spawn anywhere that I know of, and whoa is it expensive (nearly $3 million!).
You get literal bang for your buck, though, since it seats four players and tasks three of them with some heavy metal weaponry. The co-pilot gets his very own nose-mounted cannon while the two rear-seat peeps get a couple of side-mounted miniguns. Apart from all that functionality, it simply looks badass and I’ll most likely set it as my next monetary goal after I purchase the Dodo. If you’re aiming to own one, too, keep in mind that it won’t show up for purchase on the in-game Warstock website until you’ve unlocked the corresponding heist in GTA Online.
Don’t forget to check out part one in this GTA Online series!