The S.H.I.E.L.D. Globemaster was a modified Boeing C-17 Globemaster III military transport aircraft used by agents of the Strategic Homeland Intervention Enforcement and Logistics Division. While it is officially known as the CXD 23 Airborne Mobile Command Station and designated "S.H.I.E.L.D. 6-1-6", it is most commonly referred to as "The Bus". It served as a flying, mobile command center for Agent Phil Coulson and his team. It was most commonly piloted by Melinda May, and occasionally by Grant Ward and Antoine Triplett.
Although officially Coulson's, some form of compensation for his sacrifice in the line of duty, it becomes clear that there are certain aspects and modifications of which he is unaware, but which are known to Agent May, including the placement of listening devices.
The Bus continued to serve as Coulson's mobile command center in Season 2 - being stationed at the Playground when not in use - until it was sacrificed during S.H.I.E.L.D.'s attack on the Arctic HYDRA Research Facility.
Capabilities and Design Edit
In addition to the common features of the Boeing C-17, the Bus appears to have an additional pair of engines and half-length wings located at the tail section of the fuselage, below the conventional, elevated tail section. This gives the Bus a greater top speed, making it better able to transport the team to points of interest in a prompt amount of time. This also slightly reduces the range of plane.
While the majority of a conventional C-17's interior is open cargo space, the Bus has been modified to suit the needs of Coulson's S.H.I.E.L.D. team including a passenger area, an interrogation room, and a private forensics and research lab to accommodate Agents Leo Fitz and Jemma Simmons. The Bus retains a small cargo area at the rear of the plane where the team's SUV is stored along with Coulson's personal car, Lola.
The craft is powered by six Pratt & Whitney F117-PW-100 turbofan engines, while the traditional vehicle includes only four engines. These engines are also designed to pivot, giving the Globemaster vertical take-off and landing capabilities.
The Globemaster mobile commands "were in heavy rotation back in the Nineties", prior to the introduction of the Division's Helicarrier. One, designated S.H.I.E.L.D. 616 and nicknamed "The Bus," was commissioned again by senior agent Phil Coulson when he created a specialized field team in September of 2013.
According to the blueprints, the design was approved for production in August 1986. These planes were in heavy rotation back in the 90's before S.H.I.E.L.D. built a Helicarrier. Agent Coulson ordered it to be renovated (he spared no expense). It was put back into service in 2013.
Ward describes the room, in "The Well", as having walls "made of a silicon carbide-coated Vibranium alloy", surprisingly a material similar to Captain America's shield which was Vibranium, designed specifically to contain the super-powered, such as Elliot Randolph.
The Bus was shot down by HYDRA during a mission to infiltrate and destroy an Antarctic Hydra base in order to rescue Agent Mike Peterson and the Inhuman Lincoln, who were being held prisoner and being experimented on by HYDRA. Agent Coulson and his team used its destruction as a decoy, hiding a QuinJet among its falling debris allowing them to land near the base undetected.
All episodes unless otherwise stated.
- The "6-1-6" designation is an in-joke, since, in the Marvel multiverse, Earth-616 is the 'mainstream' comic book universe, in which the vast majority of stories take place.