Hardware's primary means of transport is a "flying car" called the Skylark. This two-man aircraft can fly at speeds in excess of 400 mph thanks to a trio of rear-mounted 2500 horsepower Pratt & Whitney turbofan engines. Stability for the Skylark is provided by a pair of side-mounted 1200 horsepower Pratt & Whitney engines, which also grant it VTOL (vertical take off and landing) capabilities.
The Skylark's cockpit boasts state-of-the-art computer systems for surveillance. The craft can receive and monitor police-band, shortwave, AM, FM, TV, and CB signals. The Skylark is linked to Hardware's armor, enabling him to remotely control its systems. He often uses this link to activate the Skylark's autopilot when he needs quick extraction from dangerous situations.
The Skylark's chassis is manufactured from a special epoxy resin composite, making it light enough to be lifted by a normal man. Despite its low weight, this composite is highly bullet-resistant; the Skylark’s windows are similarly bulletproof.The aircraft's armor is augmented by its self-repair systems that use nano-robots to fix any damage suffered during battle. If the Skylark is too heavily damaged, Hardware can bail out using the ejector seat.
Another benefit of the Skylark's mostly non-metallic construction is its virtual invisibility to conventional radar. Furthermore, it has an active counter-radar matrix that absorbs and broadcast false signals, causing more sophisticated radar systems to mistake the craft for anything from a bird to a civilian or military jet. These features along with the Skylark's special noise suppression technology enable it to remain in place unseen and unheard for hours.
Though designed to avoid enemies, the Skylark is well prepared for battle. The craft has a pair of spindles under its fuselage on which Hardware can mount multiple weapons packages. For defense, the Skylark has chaff and flare dispensers to counter radar-seeking and heat-seeking missiles, respectively.
The Skylark was eventually destroyed by DMZ when Hardware unsuccessfully tried to evict the Blood Syndicate from their factory home. Hardware later completely rebuilt the aircraft with new features. Among these is cloaking technology that makes the Skylark as invisible to the naked eye as to electronic detection.
VariantsHardware sometimes uses a larger version of the Skylark called the Skytank. As implied by its name, the Skytank boasts heavier armor to withstand more punishment in battle. Because of its greater weight, the Skytank has six side-mounted 1200 horsepower Pratt & Whitney engines to provide stability and VTOL capabilities. If the Skytank is severely damaged in battle, the craft has an ejector seat that converts into a metal hang glider (a "soft landing module"). Apart from these differences, the Skytank shares many features of the standard Skylark.
Hardware has used two Skytanks in his crimefighting career. The first was destroyed by an armored SYSTEMatic sent to kill him. After defeating his foe, Hardware soon constructed a second Skytank, which is still in use to this day.
Hardware housed the Skylark and Skytank in a hangar adjacent to his underground lab beneath the Mason Building, headquarters for Alva Technologies. The hangar had a secret entrance that allowed him to launch the vehicles without attracting attention. (The noise suppression technology on the Skylark and Skytank further helped in this regard.)
- The Skylark is a refinement of the Moller Skycar M400, a real life flying car.
- The Hardware's Arsenal feature in Hardware #2 states the Skylark can seat four people, including Hardware. However, throughout the series, depictions of the Skylark's cockpit indicate that at best the vehicle can carry two people.
- In Hardware #2, the Skylark could deploy a tow chain from a ventral hatch in order to carry cargo and people. This feature has not been seen since nor does not appear in the cutaway drawing for the Skylark in the Hardware's Arsenal feature in Hardware #16.
- Appearances of Skylark (Vehicle)
- Vehicle Gallery: Skylark (Vehicle)
- Catalogued images related to Skylark (Vehicle)
Links and References