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The Police Helicopter is an aerial police vehicle used to aid local police forces during a pursuit. It appears regularly throughout the Need for Speed series.

Games

Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit

The first appearance of a police helicopter in Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit can be seen on the Empire City track, hovering above two of the turns on the track. The helicopter is placed along the track purely for aesthetics and is incapable of performing any pursuit activities.

Need for Speed: High Stakes

A flying police helicopter first appeared in Need for Speed: High Stakes, and is capable of helping cops locate racers in the PC release during Hot Pursuit races.

Jailbird 2000

NFSHS PS Jailbird2000.jpg

A flyable police helicopter appears as a bonus vehicle in the PlayStation release, and is named Jailbird 2000 according to the vidwall.

It is restricted to Test Drive mode only, and can be unlocked upon arresting 10 speeders with any version of the Pursuit Lamborghini Diablo SV, or with the cheat code "Whirly", although cheat codes disable all savings of the player's progress.

Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2

The police helicopter in Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 drops exploding barrels in a attempt to stop racers. The helicopter is also capable of dropping spike belts hidden within the barrels and firing rockets at players in the PlayStation 2 release.

Need for Speed: Most Wanted

The police helicopter appears at Heat Level 4 in Need for Speed: Most Wanted. The helicopter is capable of swooping down and blinding the player with dust whilst in open areas.

At Heat Level 5, the helicopter will try to ram the player off the road in open areas as well as keep the player in sight. The helicopter is also capable of keeping contact with the player during a pursuit at long range. The helicopter appears with a blue and white colour scheme.

The helicopter has a British aircraft registration despite the title being set in North America.

Need for Speed: Carbon

The helicopter can only be seen during cutscenes of Need for Speed: Carbon after the player is busted by the police during a pursuit.

Need for Speed: Undercover

The police helicopter in Need for Speed: Undercover will keep contact with the player if they evade pursuit units. The helicopter will attempt to disable the player by swooping down at Heat Levels 5 and 6 in the Sixth Generation console releases.

The model used in the PlayStation 3, PC, and Xbox 360 releases of the game is based on a different helicopter design compared to earlier releases, but the PlayStation 2 and Wii releases of the game feature the model present in Need for Speed: Most Wanted and Need for Speed: Carbon, although with a different texture.

Need for Speed: World

The Police Helicopter model could be found in initial released builds of Need for Speed: World, but the content associated with the mesh degenerated as later builds were released.

Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (2010)

The SCPD helicopter in Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (2010) is deployable Equipment available to the SCPD.

Need for Speed: The Run

A civilian helicopter owned by the Mob appears in the "Death From Above" course of Stage 7 in The Windy City in Need for Speed: The Run. It is equipped with a Gatling gun and will fire on the player in an attempt to stop them.

Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2012)

Development - Some content may have altered during development.

The FHPD Helicopter appeared in some early internal review builds of Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2012), but was never released as part of the game.

Need for Speed: Rivals

The police helicopter can be called in by Redview County Police Department units anytime during pursuits.

The helicopter will help maintain visual contact with racers attempting to escape. The helicopter can be upgraded with a spotlight to illuminate and blind racers, as well as the ability to drop spike strips to prevent racers from escaping. Like all other Pursuit Tech in the game, the helicopter is upgraded via spending SpeedPoints.

Need for Speed: Payback

The helicopter appears during the mission "Skyhammer."

Need for Speed: Heat

The police helicopter appears at high heat levels in Need for Speed: Heat. The helicopter is capable of keeping contact with the player during a pursuit at long range.

Trivia

  • The helicopter can be found in game files for the PlayStation 2 demo of Need for Speed: Most Wanted, however, it has no texture files. A similar helicopter model can be seen in a cutscene featured in the final game.
  • In the PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 releases of Need for Speed: Undercover, there are game file references to a second helicopter variant, although there is no mesh or texture content.
  • The helicopter in Need for Speed: Most Wanted, Need for Speed: Carbon, and Need for Speed: World is evidently based on the Eurocopter Tiger, albeit with a fenestron-style tail rotor, and a shortened fuselage.
  • In Need for Speed: Most Wanted, colliding with the helicopter during a pursuit counts as trading paint with a police vehicle.
  • An alternative helicopter model appears in the final cutscene of Black Box's Need for Speed: Most Wanted that resembles the Bell 206 Jet Ranger. It also sounds similar to its turboshaft engine.
  • In Need For Speed Undercover, the helicopter is most likely based off the Eurocopter HH-65 Dauphin, with a McDonnell Douglas 500's tail configuration.
  • In Need for Speed Rivals, Need for Speed Payback, and Need for Speed Heat the helicopter is most likely based off the Eurocopter EC135.

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