VTOL (intro capture)

ES.W.A.T.'s AF5 VTOL, as seen during the opening credits of the film (courtesy

The G2E9 is the transport aircraft that was featured in the first Appleseed trilogy film. It's a twin engine turboprop tiltrotor design, capable of both horizontal and vertical flight, including takeoff and landing. A long-range utility aircraft, it features a large cargo bay and accommodates up to six Landmates, for which egress is through gullwing doors on the fore section of the fuselage, two to each side.

Based upon the wing positioning, it appears that the G2E9's weight balance is nearly central, allowing for heavy payload to also be carried in the aft on the same flight, like the Landmate's pilots and additional lightly-armoured paratroopers. The aircraft features two high-powered searchlights mounted aside of the nose cone, and a weather probe on the starboard side of the cockpit. For self defense, the G2E9 can be weaponized, usually with cannons or miniguns. VTOL thrust is assisted by means of two shoulder-mounted jet engines, which are ducted solely into repositionable nacelles behind the wings, and can be used to provide much needed downforce for takeoffs.

The name of the aircraft is mentioned just prior to the opening credits of the film by Briareos, confirming landing clearance from Olympus Regular Army air control. It could also be possibly known as the AF5, a name mentioned in the same scene by the co-pilot, but the context of the rest of the sentence suggests that "AF5" refers to something else, like a registration code, airport identifier, or a transponder callsign.

Similarities to other aircraft[]

VTOL (side)

Side elevation of the AF5, rotors in the upright VTOL position.

Tiltrotors, while a versatile concept, are rarely seen in both fictional and non-fictional environments. The only real-world equivalent is the Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey, which shares many similarities with the wing design of the G2E9, though the Appleseed craft uses partial forward swept wings similar to the Grumman X-29, but they differ by angling backwards conventionally after the tiltrotor pivot point. Unlike the V-22, the wing assembly cannot fold longditudinally along the fuselage for storage.

The fuselage, and the aircraft's overall likeness however, is purely that of the Locheed Martin C-130 Hercules, albeit in smaller scale and considerably shorter in length.

A similar VTOL appears in Shirow Masamune's later series Ghost in the Shell, and also the unrelated cyberpunk/disaster anime film Bubblegum Crisis, which featured mecha design by Shinji Aramaki, director of both the contemporary Appleseed movies.

Eventual replacement[]

Very much a design of the twentieth century, the propeller-powered and winged G2E9 appears to have been retired by the timeframe of Ex Machina. During it's last major period of use in 2131, gravity control technology by Poseidon Global Industrial Technologies was just debuting, making notable appearances in Hitomi's car, and a few of ES.W.A.T.'s prototype Guges D-class Landmates. By 2138, it had been widely adopted in all sectors of industry, and so VTOL insertion duties were handed over to a new class of insertion aircraft known as the Wasp. Powered by jet engines and held aloft by two Damysos gravity-control rails, the elimination of wings obviously benefitted ES.W.A.T., in allowing the much smaller aircraft to penetrate further and deeper into densely populated areas during urban hostage extraction and counter-terror operations. In terms of scale, the Wasp is more akin to a large helicopter, only lacking rotors.

Links and Trivia[]


The FS2004 flight model

  • Very few fixed-wing (in other words, non-helicopter) aircraft are featured in the original manga series, though a troop transport plane very similar to the G2E9 makes two brief appearances in The Scales of Prometheus, though it seems to be powered by four small jet engines and not twin turboprops.
  • A more common sight in every single installment of the saga, is a signature one-man police helicopter, which with minor changes, has been a key element of the story as recently as 2007's Ex Machina. A larger, twin-rotor military chopper design also gets some airtime in both the book and 2004 episode.
  • The Wasp insertion aircraft was frequently sighted in the Appleseed manga, appearing in the third volume through to the unfinished fifth volume. The design is almost completely unchanged when the craft is featured prominently in the 2007 movie Ex Machina, apart from the addition of the two Damysos gravity control rails.
  • Fanbase generated versions of the G2E9 have been made available for both Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004, as well as X-Plane.

See Also[]