The Airtrain (name based on the model file), also known as Aeroplane (name based on the texture file) or Air Train (name based on in-game name), is a passenger airplane that appears in Grand Theft Auto III, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories and Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars.
It functions as a scenery prop in all of its appearances and can only be entered (but not directly controlled) using a glitch in Vice City Stories.
The Airtrain takes the appearance of a Boeing 727, with adjustments made to its design such as shorter outboard engines, differently designed wing aelerons, and a windshield design more reminiscent of that on older Airbus models. In all of its appearances, the airplane is featured in two different ways: Some are stationary solid props in airports and others are seen landing, taxiing and taking off. It seems to be the only kind of airliners that serve Francis International Airport and Escobar International Airport.
In Grand Theft Auto III and GTA Vice City, the flying airtrains are not solid, meaning the player can go through them without taking any damage. Simply spawning the Airtrain using trainers or modifications will crash the game as it's a vehicle that only relies in a path. The Airtrain's flight path is determined by the flight1.dat file.
In GTA Liberty City Stories, both the flying and parked airtrains differ from previous renditions, now having less and bigger windows, apparently an extra floor and an overall more cartoonish look. The flying versions are now solid, however, and touching their wheels will heavily injure the player and destroy his vehicle. The player can jump on its wing and "ride" on it while it takes off, yet he will be automatically ejected into the sea a few seconds later after reaching the game height limit.
In GTA Vice City Stories, the Airtrain is still solid and will once again make the player lose health should they make contact with its wheels. While its flying version uses nearly the same model from III and Vice City, the appearance of the stationary version differs from previous games - Like in Liberty City stories, it seems to have an extra floor for its cockpit, similar to a 747. Also, instead of being simply painted white with different airliner logos, it is now painted white with a red tail fin and blue nose (with a Plummet Airlines logo). The Airtrains that land and take off still look the same as their previous versions.
There are also 727-like airplanes in the GTA Chinatown Wars rendition of Francis International Airport. They can be seen parked around the airport and taking off and landing in the runways, yet never moving from them after landing, they replace the 747-based airliner found in Grand Theft Auto IV and its Episodes, however, unlike the 747 Jet, the Airtrain has no FlyUS decals.
Entering the Airtrain in GTA Vice City Stories
The flying version of the plane can be accessed in GTA Vice City Stories through a glitch - If the player gets on the wing while the plane taxis from one runway to the other, and presses triangle near the intersection point between the back of the wing and the fuselage, he will be transported inside of the airplane.
The player doesn't have any control of the vehicle itself and can only change the radio stations while it flies on its pre-defined route over Vice City, in a way resembling the purchase of a flight in GTA San Andreas. Oddly, the player can only exit the Airtrain when its back wheels are touching the ground but not the front one, which is when it takes off and lands. It can also be spawned using a cheat device, yet this is once again uncontrollable since there is no scripted handling.
- The name "Airtrain" is most likely a parody of Airbus.
- It could also be a parody of AirTran Airways, a North American low-cost airline which went defunct in 2014.
- The GTA III and GTA Vice City versions of the Airtrain feature a number of references to the game's developers, emblazoned on different parts of the aircraft.
- By the airplane door is the word 'ROCKSTAR', which is a reference to Rockstar Games and Rockstar North; GTA III's and GTA Vice City's publisher and developer respectively.
- On the landing gear doors is 'T2', which is a reference to Take-Two Interactive, Rockstar's parent company.
- The Airtrain's tailfins differ between the two games; the GTA III version shows "DMAir" which itself a reference to 'DMA Design', Rockstar North's former name. The GTA Vice City version simply shows a Rockstar logo (for Air Rockstar).
- If the player does a replay in the PC version of GTA III and GTA Vice City, a bug occurs where the flying version of the Airtrain doesn't appear.
- The Plummet Airlines Airtrain could be a loose reference to a Boeing project in the 1970s during the height of popularity for the trijet configuration which suggested a shortened trijet version of the company's iconic widebody 747. The project was abandoned, but the fuselage design was redeveloped into the 747SP.
Grand Theft Auto III
- In the GTA III beta, the Airtrain was destroyable, as seen in one of the trailers.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
- The Airtrain in GTA San Andreas is revealed to have performance stats similar to drivable vehicles in the game (see vehicle stats in GTA San Andreas), but does not appear in the final build of the game. This suggests the vehicle was originally to be developed into a controllable vehicle, but was dropped during development, with the AT-400 succeeding the Airtrain. It could also simply be a leftover from Vice City since the model's hierarchy remains the same and does not match that of San Andreas's. However, most of the Airtrain's data can be found within game files, including its model, texture, in-game text and the aforementioned handling code.
- The name "AT-400", which is the successor of the Airtrain that appears in San Andreas, could stand for "Air Train 400".
Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories
- In GTA Liberty City Stories, if the player is driving a vehicle toward the Airtrain, and bails out, the vehicle will not explode after crashing into the Airtrain. However, re-entering the vehicle will detonate it, and the player will die or lose a lot of Health.
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories
- In Vice City Stories, if the player glitches in the plane and puts the game on first person mode and looks backwards, they can see Victor. His model will start shaking when the plane takes flight, making it look like he was made of jelly. After the plane reaches a certain point, Victor's model will shake so violently, that it will glitch inside itself and it will not even resemble Victor anymore. This can be a fairly humorous effect.
- AT-400, the controllable airliner in the 3D Universe, based on a Boeing 737.
- Jet, the controllable airliner in the HD Universe, based on a Boeing 747.
- Twinjet, an uncontrollable airliner based on the 737 and Airbus A320 in GTA V, which can be considered a spiritual successor of the Airtrain.
- Miljet, a military passenger jet with a similar body design and engine configuration.