Top Gun passed out of the air force academy at the top of his class and has two girlfriends neither of who know anything about the other girl's assistance. He is handsome, brave and loyal to the other pilots in his squadron, but is also hot headed and a bit of a loose cannon at times, and could end up sparking an international incident or worse if he is not careful, as he occasionly flies over the border of a hostile country that is in a cold war with his without firm orders to do such a thing.
The Bomber Harris beleaves that the bomber will always get through, and that the way to win a war as quickly as possible is to bomb the enemy's cities, including the civilian areas, into rubble and kill or injure as many people as possible as quickly as possible. If his side loses the war, he is very likely to be hanged or jailed for life by the victors for what they consider to be war crimes. He is deeply hated by the people of the opposing nation for destroying several of their finest cities, something that has only made their will to fight stronger.
The James Bond works for the top-secret C Squadron that flies the best and fastest spy planes that his air force has access to. He considers his secret work to be vital. He has been issued with a suicide pill in case he is captured by the enemy (that he privately has no intention of doing) and has also been denied a parachute on his secret missions, but got a friend amongst the ground crew to sneak one into his plane for him. He loves his country and has never betrayed it, but he has no wish to die for it if he can stay alive.
4-The Golden Baron
The Golden Baron is infamous to his foes for having shot down over seventy pilots, and he commands the finest squadron with the best pilots in the air force, the famed and feared Golden Squadron of triplanes. They are plated with real gleaming gold, which gleams in the sun and makes it hard for anyone without sunglasses or special dark glasses to look at them for long enough to shoot them down. The Baron and all his pilots wear the needed goggles of course, to prevent their eyesight being damaged by the sun reflecting off their own planes on sunny days.
Once a genuinely skilled fighter pilot who flew and fought alongside the Golden Baron and shot down many of his foes, he was wounded in action and was lucky to be able to land safely. Unlike the Bader, he didn't lose any limbs, but an air force doctor gave him morphine for the pain of his wounds, and he was one of those who developed an addiction to it as a result. Invalided out of the air force with an Honorable Medical Discharge due to his excellent war record and clean disciplinary record, he turned to far right politics. Many years later when the party he was a member of got into power, he returned to the air force in command of it. His personal plane has an extra large cockpit as he is now too fat to fit into the average fighter cockpit, and although he can still fly a plane, he has lost all his old fighting skills, but has some good tactics for the air force as a whole.
Watson-Watt last flew as an active pilot a quarter of a century ago, but since then he has invented all sorts of handy things for the air force that he serves. Better parachutes, better weaponry, faster engines, and the vital tool of radar have been invented by Watson-Watt, and he is a valued person. So valued in fact, that he is not allowed to travel to certain countries that his home country dislikes, in case they kidnap him and force him to use his skills to improve their own air forces. He has the high rank of Brigadier-General of the Air.
Nuker flies a nuclear bomber with a couple of bombs each capable of destroying an entire city or if, dropped at sea, sinking any nearby ships and covering the rest with waves of highly radioactive seawater. He very much hopes that he will never be called into action, as it means that his own country will also be nuked as well and civilized life for the survivors will be at an end as their towns will be radioactive craters filled with the dying and the dead.
Leonidas's country is on the brink of takeover and is threatened as never before. The continent that it is next to has been conquered by a ruthless and greedy military dictator, and the only thing that has stopped the island that Leonidas defends from the air, is the narrow strip of sea in the way. Every day the grossly outnumbered air force that Leonidas serves in rises into the air to fight it's foe for the vital control of the skies. If it should be beaten down and destroyed, then the dictator's navy will be able to sail across and land troops and will soon conquer Leonidas's country and end it's democracy for good.
Despite being an air force officer MechTech has never flown in a plane, but what he does has just as much military value. He is in command of the small army of mechanics, loaders, fuelers, cleaners, and supply staff to keep the planes fit to fly. Without mechanics to keep the engines working and repair minor battle damage, loaders to reload the machine guns and missiles and put the bombs in the bomb bays, fuelers to fill the fuel tanks, cleaners to keep the cockpit window gleaming (as a speck of dirt could hide an enemy plane or missile until it is too late) and supply staff to keep the airmen fed and watered, the air force he is a member of would not be able to fly and fight for more then two days.
The Bader was shot down in the last war, back when air force pilots were not allowed to wear parachutes in action as it was feared that allowing parachutes would create cowardice and lead to pilots bailing out when that was not needed. He managed to land his plane behind his own lines despite his engine and undercarriage being shot up, but the crash landing broke both his legs. Tragically (some say through sheer bad luck, others say from an infection caused by scratching his cast-covered itchy legs with a knitting needle) he got blood poisoning and his legs had to be cut off to save his life. Most pilots would never have flown again but with some special artificial legs designed by the Watson-Watt he was able to return to the cockpit in only three years, and when his country had another major war seventeen years later he was allowed to enlist as a Wing Commander.
Mr Snooty is in fact popular with his fellow air force officers in his squadron, but he looks down on the army and navy and thinks that they are both inferior to the air force. As a result he was ordered to leave a party that officers from all three services were at, after he drank a bit too much and said some rather obnoxious things that nearly resulted in a fist fight.
The air force he is a member of is locked in combat with a larger air force, and so many pilots have been killed or injured that the six months of training that were normal in peacetime has been cut to just three weeks. He inwardly doubts he has the skills to survive. If he survives his first battle, he will have a much greater chance of surviving his next few battles too, but at this stage he could easily end up as just another name carved into a war memorial. It does help that his squadron commander has promised to help protect him.
The Royal is from a constitutional and powerless monarchy, and is seen by some of those in his squadron as a spoiled little snowflake who will never see active combat and who just sees his time in the air force as a bit of fun gallivanting around the sky before returning to his boring royal duties of opening hospitals and the like. In fact the Royal does want to take part in active combat, but the danger of death or worse, being taken hostage and used as a hostage, is far too great to allow him to do such a risky thing even under an assumed name.
For the past two semesters at his country's air force academy, this budding pilot has come last. Whilst he has made no major, career-ending mistakes, he has come last in the flying skills class, last in the aiming and firing class, last in the Physical Education lessons, last on the pistol range, last in hand to hand combat, and last in general. The Commandant of the academy has placed him on academic probation and given him sixty days to improve or he will be dismissed from the academy, his dreams of serving as a combat pilot at an end.
The Pirate is just that, a pirate who serves on a pirate aircraft carrier that flies the Jolly Roger when about to engage in piracy. Very few captains of merchant ships will not give in when the alternative is being blown out of the water with a missile or a barrel bomb. As a skilled pilot, his share of the loot is bigger then that of the average crew members.
The Traitor was once fully loyal to the dictator who rules his country, but his iron-hard loyalty slowly rusted when the country's economy started to fail and reached the point where even the armed forces now don't have enough food or enough power in their military bases and their families are suffering. He has decided to sneak out one night, slash the tires of all but one of the up-to-date warplanes in his squadron and fly to another country in the one remaining warplane. He hopes that giving a rival air force this plane will let him be given asylum and if the danger of his assassination is deemed great enough, a new identity in the country that he has decided to defect to.
Heave Ho is a bit of a practical joker who does things like secretly cutting through the straps of the hammock of one of those in his squadron.. He sent one man to get a 'long weight' (the man ended up waiting for over an hour for nothing) sent another man to ask a vice-marshal if there were any 'Peter Files' amongst his staff ( the man was sent to clean the latrines as a punishment) and as you might expect is the most unpopular man in his squadron.
Having been defeated in a civil war and flown out to an aircraft carrier belonging to an ally of his defeated government, he has had to watch the sailors push his plane into the sea on the orders of their superiors, who now want to bring the civil war to an end so that they can bring stability and open diplomatic relations with the new rulers of his country. He bitterly hates said new rulers and wishes that he could carry on fighting to liberate his country from them, instead of starting a new life in excile on civvy street.
PTSD was involved in a long grinding war and was shot down once and only just bailed out in time. He then spent two years in a nasty prison camp and was tortured for days. As a result he often has horrible graphic nightmares that he is back in the torture chamber, or is being towed around the sky by his foot being attached to a fighter plane. He is likely to be issued with an Honorable Medical Discharge from the air force soon as he is in no fit state to fly after his experience.
Feminist was the first woman to be admitted to the air force academy, but she has run into trouble after she turned down the attempted romantic advances of her drill sergeant. As a result the sergeant announced that whenever she messed up, the nine other cadets of her squad would be punished instead of her. Not long after that cadets wearing gas masks to hide their identities beat her up at night and threatened her with rape if she does not resign from the academy. The military police are looking into her case.
The Captain's Pet is nicknamed that behind his back as he and the captain of his squadron have been best friends since they were both young children playing with toy planes. He is unpopular in the squadron because many of the other pilots think that he only got through the air force academy because of the support behind the scenes of the squadron captain. And in fact they are right-he only scraped through because of his best friend's support, who called in a favor that another officer unofficially owed him for saving his life in a dogfight a few years ago. They don't call him the captain's pet to his face though, in case they get in trouble.
Not only does Sullen not want to be in the air force as a lowly (as he sees it) mechanic, (he would rather serve in the navy)-he would rather serve in the navy of the other side. But he had no choice, he was conscripted into the air force of the country he was born in when a war began. Of course, he keeps his true feelings to himself to avoid being interned or worse. Recently he has wondered to himself if he could get away with leaving a speck or two of dust on the cockpit glass that he cleans after every sortie, or if he dares to only partly fuel a plane so that it runs out of fuel in the middle of an air battle. If he is caught doing that, he will face being hanged as a traitor. He longs to steal a plane and fly to the other country, but fears they would shoot him down on sight, and he has no flying skills anyway.
Rugger is a sporty type who loves playing rugby, and fears being paralyzed or losing one or more limbs in an air crash more then he fears death itself. He is popular with the girls but boasts a bit too much at times.
Space Cadet earned that nickname as he has been chosen as one of the first people in his country to go into space and orbit the planet a few times. He is now famous, and many of the pilots in his squadron who did not make the cut to be chosen are rather jealous of him, although even they hope it goes right for him.
25-Naughty but Nice
Naughty but Nice is the worst behaved cadet pilot ever to enter his country's air force academy, and loves to play pranks, sneak out of bounds, smuggle forbidden items into the academy and make fun of his officers and NCOs behind their backs. Yet he is very careful to work hard, study hard, pass his classes, and become a good pilot. He knows exactly how naughty he can be without being expelled from the academy and he delights in going right up to that line but never beyond it. His terms last for three months, and anyone who gets a hundred or more demerits in a term is publicly expelled from the academy. At the end of each term everyone's demerits are set back to zero.
In one term he got ninety-seven demerits in a single month but went through the rest of the term without getting a single demerit. He is often seen marching back and forth with a rifle on his shoulder as punishment, but as the joker and class clown is very popular with almost all the other cadets in his class.
Kamikaze's country is on the verge of losing a war against a far stronger foe and being invaded. On top of that, the platoon doctor has diagnosed an incurable cancer in the Kamikaze's body. So the Kamikaze has decided that if he is doomed to die anyway, he will fly a fighter with a large bomb fixed to it at the waterline of one of the battleships of the enemy fleet. He hopes to sink it and die a heroic death in battle for his country and his monarch.
Instead of a fighter plane, the Mage flies a broomstick, and instead of bombs, missiles or machine guns, his weapon is a powerful magical staff capable of firing lightning bolts, fireballs and a few other types of potent combat magic. When his squadron acts as one, it is greatly feared by the ground troops that it fights against, but air combat is common as the foe in this high-powered magic world has many magical squadrons of sky mages and sky witches of it's own. He wears a parachute in case the worst should happen, and both sides generally refrain from shooting those who parachute having been shot down.
If something is internationally banned, be it machine-gunning refugees, bombing dams, hospitals, refugee camps, places of worship or national monuments, this pilot takes a special and evil pleasure in doing it. The rulers of his country regard any international rules of war as weak, and this pilot very much hopes that his country wins the long grinding war that it is in, as if it loses he will most likely face a war crimes trial and a hanging or a long prison sentence.
His task is not to fly a fighter or a bomber but to fly the drones. Some are small and equipped only with a camera and a microphone for spying missions only. Others are larger and equipped with missiles and machine guns, and are used for assassinations, and a few shoot tiny poison darts for when as assassination has to be completely covert. He thinks that he is fighting terrorists and has no doubt at all in the cause that he fights for.
30-Up or Out
Up or Out is a flight lieutenant in an air force with a strict promotion or resignation policy, meaning that if a pilot stays in the same rank for ten years, he will be asked to leave the air force. He has served over eight years in the same rank, and with the country firmly at peace, he seems to have little chance of a promotion. Secretly he is wondering if he should try and spark off an international incident in which he can 'play the hero' and get a promotion chance. If found out he will face a court martial.
31 - The Asuka Soryu
Asuka Soryu is a female pilot who transferred over from an allied country's airforce. She is a highly skilled pilot, and driven to the success. Her aircraft is cutting edge, and she is defiantly proud of it, and is more than willing to show everyone just how inferior their aircraft air, and how second line their skills are. As a narcissist, her self value is based almost entirely around her aircraft and her skill, so the loss of her jet, or failure in combat is catastrophic to her. Given her dedication to being number 1, this rarely happens.
Asuka is never off duty, her personal interests revolve around training and being the best. Most people find her abrasive and overbearing.
32 - The Rei Ayanami
Rei Ayanami is a female pilot who is very quiet and withdrawn. She doesn't associate with any of the other pilots in her squadron, and no one is really sure quite why she is in the air force. She is a top notch pilot, and is clinical and precise in her actions, but she rarely moves outside the proverbial box. This has lead to her being a prime choice for being a test pilot, and flying some aircraft that would boggle the mind. She is actually in the air force because her father is top brass and pushed her into the service. He is involved in developing experimental aircraft and is very pleased that his daughter is one of his prime test pilots.
Off duty, the Rei has strongly introverted interests, typically art, or literature. She doesn't drink, party, fraternize, or otherwise engage with other people. She is not very happy about being in the air force, and is only doing it for her father's approval.
33 - The Misato Katsuragi
The Misato Katsuragi is a female pilot, with years of experience in the cockpit. She is a competent pilot, but what sets her apart are her nerves of absolute steel, and her ability to improvise on a mission. Most of the time, she stays on the ground and coordinates operations and works with the younger pilots. When she does fly, it is to take on the dangerous missions, like drawing out enemy AA fire (Iron hand and Wild weasel) or to do exceptionally ballsy work like flying oversized aircraft very close to the ground, or other things that make the less experienced pilots hesitant. Few pilots have crashed and walked away from it as the Katsuragi.
Off duty, the Katsuragi is a mess. She is a slob, drinks to excess, and has what is more than the socially acceptable number of sexual partners. This is a striking contrast to her buttoned up, clean and square, image she presents when working. She is unapologetic, but few people have been through as much as she has, or walked away from as much as she has.
34 - The Mari Illustrious
The Mari Illustrious is a loon of a female pilot. She has pink decoration on her flight suit and inside her jet. She is a competent pilot, but is somewhere between a loose cannon and a loose screw. Prone to musical self expression, she works best as a wingman to a strong pilot, and works exceptionally with the Asuka. She is a versatile pilot, and there are very few things in the arsenal she cannot fly.
Off duty, the Mari Illustrious is a stereotypical air force brat and basic white girl. She fancies herself a potential singer, and is well versed in the singing talent shows.
35 - The Ritsuko Akagi
The Ritsuko Akagi is a female pilot and computer warfare officer. She is older, like the Katsuragi, and more accustomed to sitting in the electronics warfare position than actually taking the stick herself. As a pilot, her skill is average, but when working with electronics and communications, she is a sorceress.
Off duty, the Ritsuko Akagi is a chain smoking, shit talking, pessimist who probably needs to go to a therapist with her personal issues with her mother, and not having children of her own.
Right Guard is a pegusus pony whose body is his plane and whose armaments are a pair of large crossbows attached to his body. Privately, he wishes he really could go into battle, but his country has been at peace for nearly a century and his job is to help put off Griffins who wish to be illegal immigrants as his country is far safer and wealthier then theirs.
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? Responses (6)
It is a fairly good list of pilots, though it bounces around quite a bit in genre and era.
I am somewhat put off by the single female pilot being The Feminist, and includes rape. Female characters can exist outside of the domain of Feminism and sexual violence. While they are still rare, there are several decent female archetypes apart from The Victim.
added 5 female pilots, obviously drawn from Neon Genesis. None of them are feminists, and none of them involve rape anywhere in their description. It can be done, and easily
Added another pilot, making the total 36.
I like how each on is a little story, some are fun, but overall the list is unsatisfying to read and would be difficult to use a gaming tool. I think the main problem is what Valadaar pointed out, it jumps around a lot, and the content is inconsistent. For example, some of the descriptions of pilots reference other pilots in the list while others would not exist in the same time or universe. Thus, some of the entries combine to form a story or history of sorts why others are just random distraction. This also makes it a difficult, thought not a useless, gaming tool. Maybe if you had a more developed theme, thesis or setting to which all the pilots descriptions must be tied.