The Fairchild F611 Brigand is one of the most highly regarded heavy-fighter aircraft available today. Equipped with a powerful 16-cylinder engine, the Brigand has a high top speed, surprising agility for its weight, and impressive offensive capability. It has a reputation as reliable and effective, but also for poor fuel economy, quirky handling and a mediocre acceleration.
The Brigand's high speed, poor acceleration and woeful fuel economy can be traced to the innovative Pratt & Whitney R-series engine. The R-series is the first heavy-duty engine to be equipped with a fuel-injection system, which does away with the need for a carburetor.
The Brigand is short for its wingspan, and the uneven distribution of weight due to the heavy engine gives it particularly quirky handling characteristics.
The Brigand does have an assortment of armament to help even these flaws. It has a pair of .50-caliber cannons on each wing, as well as a pair of rear mounted .30-caliber cannons. The Brigand is especially effective when loaded with a combination of explosive, armor-piercing or incendiary shells and a full load of rockets.
Given its relatively small size and heavy armament, the Brigand is most often found in an anti-zeppelin role, usually as part of a small group under escort from more nimble fighters. It is also an effective ground-attack fighter, although in this role it requires exceptional fighter cover as its poor acceleration hampers its ability to recover from a strafing run.
The Brigand was introduced in 1935 by the Arlington Angels of Columbia. It quickly earned a reputation and became enormously popular. Although all of Fairchild's plants are in Columbia, the company sells across North America and the Brigand is built with export in mind. The militias in the Confederation of Dixie are the largest buyers of Brigand, followed closely by Appalachian and Empire State militias. Deseret has also acquired the Brigand (the only national government to have). In addition, a single squadron is known to serve along the Navajo border.
Fairchild is proud of its policy of neutrality, and is willing to sell the Brigand to pirate bands. Notable criminal users of the Brigand include Jonathan Kahn's Red Skull Legion, the Medusas, and the mysterious Black Hats.
The Brigand features a pair of forward-firing .50-caliber machine guns, and a pair of .30-caliber machine guns mounted in its rear-firing turret. Though the turret adds considerable weight and further reduces the Brigand's maneuverability, it also ensures that the slow-moving heavy fighter will have an unpleasant surprise ready if another plane tries to attack it from behind.