A helicopter is a type of rotorcraft in which lift and thrust are supplied by one or more engine driven rotors. In contrast with fixed-wing aircraft, this allows the helicopter to take off and land vertically, to hover, and to fly forwards, backwards and laterally.
Helicopters or gunships were vertical lift aircraft used by the Race during their invasion of Tosev 3. They were armed with a nose cannon, missiles, and machine guns. They were capable of carrying infantrymales into battle, and were used to land many Race soldiers in the opening days of the war. They were also useful as search and rescue vehicles.
They were particularly useful against partisans and armor since the human soldiers often lacked the weapons to destroy these machines. A Race gunship wounded Rance Auerbach, an American cavalryman fighting in the Great Plains. However, Race gunships become more vulnerable as the war went on since human airplanes were able to down the slow moving machines much more easily than killercraft and also, mobile anti-aircraft guns mounted on vehicles would advance with armor, as to deal with the gunships. This tactic was so crucial, that the Race actually decided not to use the gunships, except in emergencies. After the war, the machines were used to supress uprisings and urban unrest in the areas of Earth which the Race controlled. During the second Chinese uprising in the 1960s, Soviet-supplied anti-air rockets were able to effectively neutralize Race gunships in Peking and other cities.