In Pacific Rim (2013), one of the Jaegers - Gypsy Danger - has some arm mounted plasma guns, which seem to be really effective against the Kaiju. Is there anything in-universe preventing them from just mounting similar plasma guns on a fleet of helicopters which would be infinitely more mobile/cost-effective and probably also more successful than Jaegers?

Is there a official thing that says the guns need a lot of power to run - such as wouldn't be available on a helicopter - or something?

  • 16
    Dude, I like the Pacific Rim movies, but if you're looking for any common sense for anything in those movies you're going to be disappointed Commented Feb 19, 2019 at 13:06
  • Because that would be boring.
    – Valorum
    Commented Feb 19, 2019 at 13:51
  • 1
    @BinaryWorrier Yes I found that out after reading a few other questions; It's like Harry Potter questions about maths. Commented Feb 19, 2019 at 14:06
  • I guess weight could be an issue (both the weight of the weapon and any power system). You get some helicopters capable of lifting very heavy loads, but they tend to be much slower and less manoeuvrable.
    – delinear
    Commented Feb 19, 2019 at 15:57
  • @delinear But compared to the speed and manoverability of the Jaegers? Balanced against cost of building? Commented Feb 19, 2019 at 16:11

1 Answer 1


Exactly the same reason modern helicopters do not have massive canons on them.

A Jaeger is not just a way of transporting the gun, it contains the power source to power the gun (a plasma gun requires a lot of power to run) and dampeners so when the gun fires the recoil is held by the Jaeger.

By its very nature a helicopter is an unstable entity, in order to stay aloft and fly and move around the surface of the propellers need to be adjusted constantly changing pitch and yaw in order to ensure the helicopter stays where it needs to be.

If you could reduce the size of the power pack for a plasma gun enough that the gun and the power cell could be carried by a helicopter the first time it fired the laws of physics would make it extremely hard to keep control of the helicopter meaning you would have a very very low rate of fire with a large amount of time where the pilot was fighting to keep the helicopter aloft let alone avoid being knocked out of the sky.

The reason I say firing it would make the helicopter unstable, first of all the force of the shot by the gun would translate in directly the opposite direction to the direction of fire. In order to negate this the helicopter would have to be flying forward, which would mean its nose would be pointing down the sudden reverse force of firing the gun would slow the helicopter down meaning it would lose lift and probably stall. If it was hovering and level, when the gun was fired the kick back would again tip the helicopter suddenly meaning it lost control. If the direction of fire was perpendicular to the direction of travel (ie not directly in front or behind) the force applied by firing the cannon would be added to the force of the tail prop, this is designed to counter the rotational forces of the main propeller and so the effect could be to send the helicopter into a spin.

The gun could possibly be placed on a plane, in this case you can compare it to the a10 tankbuster, every time that plane fires its gun the plane itself slows down and, if the trigger is pulled to long, the force of firing the gun can make the plane stall. Now consider a "plasma gun" which would have even more force, you would need to make a giant plane to deal with the force of firing that gun.

In addition, the nature of a plasma gun is that the charge fired is super heated, this would heat up the air the plane or helicopter is flying into and would again affect the aerodynamics making it almost impossible to fly, especially in a combat situation.

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    Translation from a french comic : "heavy is the cinderblock of reality on the strawberry tartlet of our illusions"
    – dna
    Commented Feb 19, 2019 at 16:32
  • of course giant robotic armor like the Jaeger are highly impracitcal in real-world combat anyway, at least until we invent a type of missle-proof armor or shielding. They'd be sitting ducks. Hence why I believe this kind of combat gear (save for maybe a more soldier-sized exo-suit like Iron Man) will always remain SF. Just too impractical. Granted, if any giant monsters come around to destroy our cities, then LET'S DO IT!!!! Commented Feb 19, 2019 at 19:22

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