Thunderbird 2 is International Rescue's heavy equipment transporter, used primarily for missions dealing specifically with the Earth's atmosphere.
It is the transport vehicle for several smaller rescue vehicles held in pods, although its capacity for heavy lifting makes it useful in its own right during many rescues.
The craft's main pilot is Virgil Tracy, who is sometimes accompanied by some back-up crew members including Gordon, Alan, Brains, and evenJohn.
It appears in all but one episode of the Thunderbirds TV series, (The Impostors being the only exception) as well as every movie, making it one of the most iconic machines of the franchise.
Thunderbird 2 is comprised of two parts: a framed superstructure and a pod. Thunderbird 2's frame incorporates the cockpit, wings, and fuel tank near the vehicle's front, and at the rear the engines and the spoiler, which serves to aid lift and stability. Two stilts are located each at the front and back of the craft to hydraulically lift the craft upward, allowing for the clearing of the pod. Its middle is hollow, to fully accommodate one of the six (total) pods that is required for the mission. Each pod is equipped with undercarriage for a smooth landing for the ship, and contains a huge capacity for storing the rescue vehicle that is needed. The craft is, however, completely capable of vertical takeoff and landing without the pod, but has less integrity this way.
Starboard view of Thunderbird 2.
Cruising Speed: 2,000 mph
Height (without pod lowered): 60 feet
Height (with pod lowered): 110 feet
Length: 250 feet
Maximum Operating Altitude: 100,000 feet
Maximum Payload: 100 tons
Maximum Speed: initially 5,000 mph; later increased to 12,000 mph
Power Source: Atomic fusion reactor
Weight: 406 tons
Wingspan: 180 feet