|Equipment & Vehicles|
|Type:||Heavy-Duty Equipment Transporter|
|Main Operator:|| Virgil Tracy|
Gordon Tracy (Co-pilot)
|Appearances:||List of Appearances|
Thunderbird 2 is International Rescue's heavy equipment transporter, used primarily for missions dealing specifically with the Earth's atmosphere.
It is the transport vehicle for several smaller rescue vehicles held in pods, although its capacity for heavy lifting makes it useful in its own right during many rescues.
The legs of Thunderbird 2 were made of brass. When the model of the main fuselage was lifted onto its telescopic legs, leaving its pod on the ground, the structure sometimes weakened, resulting in the front section of the craft breaking away.
Thunderbird 2 is comprised of two parts: a framed superstructure and a pod. Thunderbird 2's frame incorporates the cockpit, wings, and fuel tank near the vehicle's front, and at the rear the engines and the spoiler, which serves to aid lift and stability. Two stilts are located each at the front and back of the craft to hydraulically lift the craft upward, allowing for the clearing of the pod. Its middle is hollow, to fully accommodate one of the six (total) pods that is required for the mission. Each pod is equipped with undercarriage for a smooth landing for the ship, and contains a huge capacity for storing the rescue vehicle that is needed. The craft is, however, completely capable of vertical takeoff and landing without the pod, but has less integrity this way.
Cruising Speed: 2,000 mph
Height (without pod lowered): 60 feet
Height (with pod lowered): 110 feet
Length: 250 feet
Maximum Operating Altitude: 100,000 feet
Maximum Payload: 100 tons
Maximum Speed: initially 5,000 mph; later increased to 12,000 mph
Power Source: Atomic fusion reactor
Weight: 406 tons
Wingspan: 180 feet
- Main article: Thunderbird 2/Launch Sequence
- Main article: Pod machines
Equipment & Gadgets
- Main article: Thunderbird 2/Equipment Deck
- Four observation cameras; two port side and two starboard side and an over head missile launcher.
Thunderbird 2 has made an appearance in all but one episode (The Impostors), and also appeared in both feature films.
Its main use in the series is to transport the specialized equipment required to effect a rescue to the danger zone. It often plays a more direct role in rescues due to its heavy lifting capacity and great versatility.
Thunderbird 2's Missions
- Main article: Thunderbird 2/Missions
- Electromagnetic Pod Grabs are stored in Pod 2.
- Thunderbird 2's extendible legs are in different positions when on a mission than when in its hangar. If they were in the "mission" position in the hangar, they would be too close together to allow the pods to pass below the aircraft.
- The font of the word "Thunderbird 2" written on the side of the front section often changes dramatically between shots. This is most noticeable during the launch sequence: when Thunderbird 2 leaves the ramp, the "2" is the same size as the word "Thunderbird" (both are barely legible); in the very next shot, the "2" has grown to double its original size and dwarfs the word "Thunderbird".
- Thunderbird 2's retros are situated underneath the nose, right in front of the Pod. They were only used once, in the cable car rescue in The Cham-Cham.
- When Parker appeared on BBC1's The One Show in 2014, he said that the National Physics Laboratory wrote to Gerry Anderson saying that they thought something like Thunderbird 2 was aeronautically impossible in real life.
Behind the Scenes
A behind-the-scenes photo shows that Thunderbird 2's grabs used to pick up the Seascape Drilling Rig diving sphere were actually held by a crewman pulling it up (N/A / Filming Atlantic Inferno).