The initial hints that helicopters would be the next vehicle added to the game came in the Chapter 2 Season 2 launch trailer when some eagle-eyed viewers spotted a helicopter landing on the roof of the mansion.
(Credit: Epic Games)
Those suspicions were further bolstered when all the new POI's added to the map contained helipads.
Now with the release of the latest update v12.1, data miners have trawled through the files and found some information about how these helicopters might be used in-game.
Fortnite leaker HYPEX found a series of "shout" emotes, with one referencing Arnold Schwarzenegger's 1987 sci-fi action film "Predator" aptly named "Get To The Choppa".
You can hear the emote below.
Along with this he also unearthed info about the helicopters properties like HP, the damage it can deal and its ability to boost.
Some infos about the upcoming helicopter vehicle, (might be placeholders) [@spedicey1]:— HYPEX - Fortnite Leaks & News (@HYPEX) March 3, 2020
- HP: 1500
- Can boost
- Can damage players if it hits them
Flying a helicopter into a player could kill them in one hit. If the helicopter is at maximum speed and the unsuspecting player has no shields, as the files show that it can deal between 20-100 damage depending on the speed of the helicopter.
The helicopter may prove more useful for destroying builds. Crashing into an enemy structure will instantly deal 150 damage, and when the helicopter explodes it will deal 450 damage to structures and 70 damage to players meaning a kamikaze mission might be the way to go with the helicopter.
The helicopters are in the files:— Mikey (@FNBRHQ) March 3, 2020
Spawn rate: 0%
Damage to players: 50
Build damage: 150
Explosion damage to players: 70
Explosion damage to builds: 450
Damage from when it hits a player (Minimum speed): 20
Damage when touched: 100 #Fortnite
(Via @Yanteh_) pic.twitter.com/xWBBJ7dGhr
Some players might not be to keen to see the addition of helicopters to Fortnite.
Epic has previous for introducing game-breaking vehicles to the game, like the X-4 Stormwing and B.R.U.T.E mech, which were both removed from the game after players complained about them being too overpowered.
Epic may have learned from past mistakes as the new helicopters don't appear to have any guns attached it, though with 1500 HP it will take a lot to get it out the sky.
There is no date set for when players will be able to take to the skies in this new vehicle but given the amount of information in the game about it, it could drop as early as this Thursday (4 March) - the traditional day for Epic to introduce new items and game modes.
Additional leaks in the latest Fortnite update have also unveiled a number of new weapons and skins set to make their way into the game.