The electromagnetic cables are the standard lifting gear shared by several of International Rescue's machines. They are long ranged cables ending with a circular electromagnet, that can be fired out at speed or gently lowered. When attached to metallic surfaces, the rescue vehicles can hoist and carry objects, tear up constructions, stabilize vehicles, and more.
Thunderbird 1 has one cable stored on the roof of the cargo bay, which can be used when the bay doors open. The magnet is the standard item the cable ends with, but it can be swapped for a large clip, an airlift vest, and more.
Thunderbird 2 has four cables that are so long, they can be used for underwater missions to assist Thunderbird 4. They are all found within the hollow mid-section, and can only be used when the equipped Module is detached. Despite this, some Modules have their own cables that can be used when their bay doors open, meaning that Thunderbird 2 may not need to let go of a Module to use cables depending on which Module it has chosen. Modules 2 and 4 have such cables.
Thunderbird 3 has at least eighteen cables total, with six in the tips of each grapple arm. They were first seen in Space Race, where they were used to clear an area of space junk, and later in Colony, where they proved to be capable of softening the crash landing of the Helius.
Thunderbird S EditAfter the events of Touch and Go, in which a tank of Alsterene proves too heavy for Thunderbird Shadow to save with its underside claws, the ship's carrying capacity is vastly upgraded by Brains by the time it comes in use in Power Play, where Thunderbird S carried Module 5 all the way from Tracy Island to the danger zone using four new cables.
Pod Combos EquippedEdit
The Helipod has room for one cable, located to the port side of it. Since the Helipod has much less lifting power than the Thunderbirds, it is only useful for carrying smaller objects, or when its lifting power is combined with that of the Thunderbirds. It was used in Heavy Metal, in a desperate attempt to stabilize Thunderbird 2 when it was caught in a gravity well, to which it was not of much use until assisted by Thunderbird 1.