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The R-57 Vertical take off and landing craft, was an experimental hover craft by Republican developers to create a cheaper, more heavily armored helicopter than the Bell copter while maintaining its cost effective open air "Canadian Motors" Engine. Rather than traditionally place the rotor blades on the top of the craft, It instead has the uniqueness of having its rotor complex stationed on the bottom. However, this notion meant that without a well made stabilizer, a person could simply lean into a direction, and the entire craft could flip over and crash straight into the ground, something early prototypes had suffered from. Therefore a simplified Gyroscope was fashioned to the rotor compex allowing the fan to tilt allowing weight shift compensation and movement without tilting.
It soon became apparent that the bell helicopter, even with its large numbers and simplified construction, couldn't do anything to Junta soldiers from range with its 20mm Recoiless rifle. Its nerve gas emmiter could deal with said infantry up close, but it exposes chopper pilots to a flurry of MG fire to Junta out of the way of the Gas, If the gas reaches their position of course. So the R-57 was given a redesign, Instead of being a transport for quick air deployment, The R-57 was redesigned with a Stronger and Robust Ford engine to mount twin Vicious 50.cal MGs. These Heavy Machine guns have,for several months, proven their worth for being deadly AA and Anti infantry weapons, but they often lacked a suitable carrier for less expensive vehicles and infantry due to its extreme weight of 100lbs.
Now mounted on the R-57, lovingly named "The Hover Platform" by Pilots first introduced to it, The Platform took up the role of a highly mobile, defensive station that unwittingly replaced the Old BAR gunner teams in terms of firepower and mobility. Because of its brilliant VTOL manufacturing, Platforms could easily Drop in areas of intense combat zones let loose a storm of 50.cal rounds on its unfortunate targets, and immediately leave when Dedicated Anti-armor or Tanks show up to harm it. Its open Air design also means the Hover platform could engage air targets when no other Air support was available with relative success. Its only flaw was its price, costing almost the same as 4 Bells, due to its expensive 50. cals and Ford Engine.
The Hover Platform is the only unit in the game which can readily change its status from air to ground, making it a very versatile unit that may be rather hard to deal with for factions with little access to anti-air anti-armor weapons. Although rather slow and possessing a smaller range compared to the Bell Helicopter, the Hover Platform can be far more devastating against light air units. It can also be parked onto the ground (possibly on a resource point) to become the woe of all infantry units.
This, however does not come without faults. The Hover Platform does not have the advantage and luxury of being able to do damage against ground units without the worry of taking damage, forcing the player to either park or raise it to the air. This also raises the issue that the Hover Platform is fragile, meaning that the use of a basic anti-tank unit would be more than sufficient to take the Hover Platform down.