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A buzzard is a bandit aircraft featured in Borderlands 2. They are prominently featured in The Dust, Tundra Express, Sawtooth Cauldron, and The Forge.

Buzzards are also used by the Slabs gang, and their buzzards are featured in several storyline missions.

Types

Regular Buzzards are the most common variant encountered. They are armed with a Gatling gun and two missile launchers. Most variants can carry up to two Airborne Marauders who provide additional firepower and can be dropped to the ground at any time. Some variants have no jump seats but have additional armor plates fitted instead.

Badass Buzzards can also be fought but less commonly. They are more armored than their regular counterparts and can launch even more volleys of rockets. Just as their regular counterparts, they also can carry Airborne Marauders or have additional armor plating installed.

Cargo Buzzards are Badass Buzzards with huge turbocharger-like devices attached to the intake side of their engines. They have been converted for heavy-lifting missions where they can carry up to three cargo crates. They only appear in The Forge during the series of "Twelve O'Clock High" missions.

Slab Support Buzzards are operated by the Slabs gang, and there are three distinctive types:

  • Assault type is easily recognizable by its light-brown fuselage. They are armed with a Gatling gun and two missile launchers but have no jump seats fitted and can not carry additional personnel. They can also be seen dropping ammo and supplies during the fight with The Bunker.
  • Support type have light-grey fuselage and additional armor plates fitted. They are also fitted with a grappling hook with which they can pick up cargo crates but have no jump seats.
  • Bomber type is a regular buzzard with missile launchers and jump seats removed in order to increase the weight of the payload in form of a large bunker-buster bomb. They only appear and make a single run when the Vault Hunters go past the Competitor Deterrence Field in Thousand Cuts.

Strategy

The buzzard attacks mainly by using its machine guns or occasionally missiles. It can also drop two Airborne Marauders to the ground at any time, but usually when the buzzard is close to destruction. The weak points of the buzzard are its pilot and its engines. Shooting these areas with a corrosive weapon can deal massive damage. While the buzzard is very mobile, it will often stop and exposes the cockpit to gunfire, usually in an attempt to line up for an attack run.

Aside from the rocket barrage, single buzzards are not particularly deadly, but their mobility and tendency to attack in groups can make it harder to find cover from them than from land-bound enemies. Because of this, they can be extremely dangerous in groups of three or four, and if they focus fire, a character can quickly be overwhelmed. They are much less durable than other vehicles, and their weak points are relatively large; even a Badass Buzzard can take fewer body hits than a Bandit Technical, and critical hits will bring them down even faster.

If a buzzard has not yet dropped its Airborne Marauders, they can be killed separately from the main craft, commonly by explosive weapons. If the buzzard is destroyed before it can offload its two Airborne Marauders, they will die as well, but do not provide additional experience.

Weapons that do a lot of damage on a single shot are preferred for destroying buzzards; these include sniper rifles, shotguns, and pistols. SMGs and assault rifles are not as good, because each of their shots usually hits for lower damage, and a buzzard's mobility means that it can dodge most of the shots.

One good way to bring down buzzards is with a shotgun that has corrosive damage. Vault Hunters can wait until they are about to attack before shooting; this ensures that the buzzard takes maximum damage in only a few shots.

Axton can use his Sabre Turret to draw the Buzzard's fire while doing additional damage to the aircraft.

Maya's Phaselock, especially if supplemented with Ruin, can make short work of buzzards. As they cannot be constrained, they will take damage and Maya's action skill will immediately begin to recharge, allowing for more frequent use of Phaselock/Ruin.

Rather than shooting a Buzzard head-on, Zer0 can make use of B0re and shoot one of the Airborne Marauders from the side, causing increased damage to the buzzard if it connects.  Adding points in Vel0city will greatly help to reduce the amount of lead needed for this shot, too.

The Deliverance's special effect may prove useful against buzzards. When reloaded and thrown in the presence of a target, the Deliverance slowly flies and homes in, all while firing. Because of a buzzard's erratic flight pattern, the thrown Deliverance may spend more time in the air following its target, allowing for more shots to be fired. The spread of the shots may also often land multiple critical hits on the buzzard's engines or pilot.

Quotes

Normal

  • Tora! Tora! Tora!
    Refers to the code phrase sent by the leader of the Japanese aircraft attacking Pearl Harbor to the Japanese Navy indicating that they had caught the US fleet by complete surprise.
  • Air superiority! 
    A NATO term denoting the ability to conduct military operations without serious interference by opposing air forces. 
  • Duh-dada-da-dah...[singing Ride of the Valkyries from Richard Wagner's opera Die Walkure]
    This is a tribute to the classic helicopter assault scene from the movie Apocalypse Now.
  • Death from above! 
    Most likely a reference to the unofficial motto of US airborne forces during WWII.  Also possibly a reference to the motto painted on LTC Kilgore's UH-1 helicopter in Apocalypse Now, the official motto of the 7th Bomb Wing of the USAF, or the motto of the Mobile Infantry in the movie version of Starship Troopers.
  • Fear the skies!
  • You can't escape the eye in the sky!
    A minor paraphrase of a response by the character Zeus in the online RPG Defense of the Ancients, " Clinkz, you cannot hide from the eye in the sky. "
  • Scatter-bugs!
  • Finding an angle of attack!
  • 12 o' clock high!
    A reference to the classic movie and/orTV show about 8th Air Force B-17 crews bombing Germany during WWII.  The phrase is also a spotting report used in aerial warfare, meaning 'aircraft sighted, directly ahead (12 o'clock) and above us (high-er altitude)'.
  • Bogies!
    A bogey is a term used in air warfare to designate an unidentified airborne contact.  Once the contact's identity is determined, a bogey becomes a friendly or bandit (aircraft)/vampire (missile).
  • We got contact! 
    A contact call in air warfare means that another aircraft has been detected, either visually or by electronic sensor.
  • I see some ants need squishing!
  • Time to dust 'em with bullets!
  • Bombs away!
    A reference to the intercom call made by a bombardier telling the pilot that the ordnance has been released and the pilot is now free to maneuver the aircraft. 
  • I'm going in! (Trivia - Project IGI)
  • Come on, die!
  • Stop running, ants!
  • I see ya!

When coated in an element other than slag

  • It's eating through the metal!
  • My cockpit!
  • Damndamndamn!
  • It's killing the hull!

When coated by slag

  • Slagged!
  • Crap, slag!

Attacking

  • Finding an angle of attack.
  • Stop running away!

Launching Missiles

  • Bomb run!
  • Air drop!
  • Bombs away!
  • Who wants to explode!?
  • Droppin' a bomb!
  • Explosive drop!
  • 'Nade dropping!
  • Nagisaki!
    Reference to the Japanese city destroyed by an atomic bomb on August 9, 1945.
  • Open wide!

Spotting Action Skills

  • The Assassin teleported or something! (Fooled by Deception)
  • It was a decoy! (Fooled by Deception)
  • Where'd he go? (Fooled by Deception)
  • What'd he just do? (Fooled by Deception)
  • Auto-aim? That's no fun! (Sentry gun deployed)
  • Auto-turret! Be careful! (Sentry gun deployed)
  • Commando dropped something! (Sentry gun deployed)
  • Gunzerker's dual-wielding! (Gunzerking)
  • Gunzerker's doing something! (Gunzerking)
  • Why did we stop moving? (Phaselocked)
  • I've lost control! (Phaselocked)

Killing a character

  • Auf wiedersehen!
    A German term, usually used to mean "goodbye", but actually translating as "until we meet again" - a sly joke about respawning.
  • Maybe next time!
  • And stay outta my air space!
  • Score one bogie!
  • I can see ya bleedin' from up here!
  • Better luck next time!
  • That's what ya get for shootin' my ride!
  • Sucker!
  • Bye-bye!
  • You dead yet!?

Dying

  • Mayday!
    An international codeword indicating a life-threatening emergency in the air or on water.
  • Crapcrapcrap!!
  • GERONIMO!
  • Brace for impact!
  • You broke my baby!
  • You tail-dragging bastard!
    A tail-dragger is an aircraft with two main landing wheels and a small wheel under the tail which causes the nose of the aircraft to point up when it's on the ground.  Helicopter pilots use the term derisively to refer to a fixed-wing aircraft pilot.
  • I'm stalling out!
    In aviation, a stall is a condition in which the flow of air over a wing is not sufficient to generate the lift necessary to keep the aircraft from falling out of the sky.
  • Oh the humanity!
    Reference to the Hindenburg disaster

Notes

Media

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