High altitude reconnaissance
High speed and altitude
Cobra Air Force
|Designated pilot / driver(s)|
The Cobra Night Raven S3P, or “Raven” as it is more commonly referred to, is regarded by many to be the most advanced, most powerful aircraft used by either G.I. Joe or Cobra during the course of conflict by both sides. The plane is capable of 2,310 mph (Mach 3.5) making it the fastest land based aircraft in the entire world, even faster than the Lockheed SR-71 blackbird, upon which the plane is based. The Viper turbo-jets are based around a ram-jet design that only increase in power as the aircraft moves faster.
The one-word answer to the entire section of the Night Raven tech manual which instructs evading air-to-air missiles, surface-to-air missiles, and potential interceptions.
The most versatile aircraft in the Cobra Air Force. Developed by M.A.R.S. Industries in the early 80's, the Night Raven acted primarily as a reconnaissance jet, where its excellent high-tech cameras and surveillance gear allowed it to cover well over 100,000 square miles per hour, a VIP transport, where it ferried Cobra leaders and higher-ups all around the globe with unrivaled security, and an interceptor, where it's blistering speed and long-range air-to-air missiles could strike at enemy aircraft literally dozens of miles away. The least performed task of the Raven was as a supersonic strategic bomber, carrying a pair of M.A.R.S. developed thermonuclear bombs in its internal bay, it could lay waste to huge military installations in a single, high-speed pass.
The 2 man crew of the Raven consisted of the pilot and gunner/radio intercept officer, virtually every Strato-viper in the Cobra Air Force originated as an RAF pilot enticed to come to Cobra in exchange for doubling or even tripling salaries.
The entire frame and skin of the Raven is made of titanium, much like the SR-71 which the aircraft is heavily based on. The armor is also corrugated and coated with a polished stealth paint which renders the aircraft even more radar invisible than the python coating applied to the Cobra Python Patrol Division. There are no external weapons to create drag, even the rearward-firing infrared air-to-air missiles are mounted in aerodynamic pods.
Weaknesses: Poor maneuverability. Completely unable to dogfight at subsonic speeds. Armament for such a large aircraft is poor, many consider the Rattler to be a more effective bomber when stealth and high speed are not required. Much like the Soviet-built MiG-25, the Night Raven has design flaw which results in a catastrophic engine failure if Mach 3.5 is held for more than 3 minutes, resulting in the aircraft accelerating out of control causing the turbines to literally implode on themselves. The Night Raven is predictably expensive for Cobra to buy and almost as expensive to maintain and operate. As such, the number in service is thought to be fewer than 12.
|A Real American Hero (1986)|
- SR-71 Blackbird - Wikipedia article of the aircraft on which the Night Raven is based upon.