Appearance(s) - GTA San Andreas, Grand Theft Auto V [DLC], Grand Theft Auto Online [DLC]
Manufacturer - Mammoth
Vehicle class - Planes
Related vehicle(s) - Besra, P-996 Lazer
The Hydra is a military VTOL fighter jet featured in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. A similar vehicle (assumed to be named Hydra as well) is going to be featured in Grand Theft Auto V and Grand Theft Auto Online.
The Hydra is evidently a jet-powered military aircraft, bearing roundels of the United States Air Force on its wings, with armament containing 2 air-to-air missiles (evidently AIM-9X Sidewinders). The Hydra is suggestively based on the British Harrier fighter jet, a well-known fighter jet with Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) capabilities, which are featured as well in San Andreas. This is further proven by the code that is used to spawn it in the PC version, "Jumpjet", which is a nickname for the Harrier Jets. The air intake is on the underside of the aircraft and resembles that of a F-16 Fighting Falcon. The Hydra also features the Harrier's weaponry, including missiles and countermeasures, however the built-in machine gun does not appear ; instead, the machine gun is featured on another vehicle, the Hunter.
Features and performance Edit Edit
The Hydra is the most sophisticated aircraft in the GTA series, boasting a variety of equipment. One of its more prominent abilities is its VTOL (Vertical Take Off and Landing) capabilities, which allow it to hover, descend or ascend vertically like a helicopter, and travel horizontally like an airplane; these abilities are achieved by directing thrust from four jet outlets downwards or backward using specific directional controls (by pushing the right analog stick forward/back, or, on a PC, by holding down 2/8 on the number pad or Ins/Del, by default. Or, with the IOS version, snaps automatically forward at a moderate speed). Due to its excellent engine and maneuverability, the Hydra is the fastest and fail-deadly aircraft (and one of the fastest vehicles) in GTA San Andreas, with a fixed top speed of 200 kph, and one of the easiest to fly when the player learns the basics of fixed-wing flight. However, similar aircraft like the Rustler and the Stuntplane, are more agile. It is very complicated, one mistake can send it plummeting towards the ground.
The Hydra is the most preferred aircraft for its speed, agility, and weapons which make it an excellent choice for nearly any purpose requiring an airplane. Its chief disadvantage comes not from the vehicle itself, but the game engine - high-speed flight can allow the plane to hit objects, such as trees, before they've become visible due to model/texture loading being slower than the plane itself (this process is also nick-named 'pop-in'). Another drawback is that there is no passenger or co-pilot seat, restricting it to only carry one person, making it unsuitable for several-man transport.
Unlike the Hunter in GTA Vice City and GTA San Andreas, Vigilante side-missions cannot be started or performed using the Hydra.
Combat Edit Edit
The Hydra is well-known for being one of the most performing in-game vehicles in combat, on par with the Hunter. The Hydra comes with three sets of weapons which are :
- Countermeasures : When used, the Hydra will drop a white flare that has the ability to deviate upcoming heat-seeking missiles. It can be noticed however that deviating will not put the Hydra in safe situation, as sometimes the missile may deviate for a few seconds before heading towards the jet again. Countermeasures then, if deployed at the right time, can buy some time for the pilot to escape a missile or definitely deviate a missile, either redirecting it upward or downward. Countermeasures affect missiles fired from the Area 69 SAM sites, other Hydras or from a Heat-Seeking Rocket Launcher, however it will not deviate rockets fired from a Rocket Launcher.
- Missiles : When used, the Hydra will fire one unguided rocket per side. Despite unguided, if correctly aimed (deadly when used with the downward thrusts), it will make short work of vehicles, blowing them up on contact (except for the Rhino). The missiles, if they do not hit anything, will travel on a relatively long distance before blowing up.
- Heat-seeking missiles : This alternative fire mode of the Missiles is identical to the handheld Heat-Seeking Rocket Launcher. The Hydra can lock on vehicles, and once it is done, when a missile is fired, it will be heat-seeking and will head towards the target. It is however less powerful that the unguided missiles (requiring three missiles to destroy a car instead of a single rocket for the unguided missiles). When fired towards an aircraft, it will be much faster, and is likely to reach its target.
The Hydra was originally going to be in Grand Theft Auto V but was replaced by the P-996 LAZER for unknown reasons. It featured two tail wings and had a shorter fuselage. It is clearly seen due to the shapes that strongly resembles the Harrier jet (the vents near the cab) and a V-like tail like those on the Lazer. It is also seen using its missiles (in an old fashion, seen in GTA SA), but is unclear if the minigun was added.
It can be seen in the in-game TV Cunning Stunt Academy, with various features, such a black narrow nose, Harrier-like landing gears (which is oddly short) and 2 thrusters in a side (like a Harrier) and a rear main turbine (like the Lazer). It seems to be a bit heavy, because in the 2nd trailer, it shoots a Police Maverick and then, hits it with its entire right wing without being damaged.
In the GTA Online Heists trailer there is a plane that takes off similarly to a V-TOL. It is assumed to be the Hydra, given the similar design and VTOL features.