A Hydra in flight in GTA San Andreas, with its thrusters directed to the back.
A Hydra in flight in GTA San Andreas, with its thrusters directed to the back.
Appearance(s) GTA San Andreas
GTA Online
Vehicle type Military fixed-winged aircraft
Body style VTOL jet fighter
Capacity 1 (pilot)
Manufacturer Mammoth

The Hydra is a vertical take-off and landing jet fighter airplane in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. It was reintroduced in the Heists Update for Grand Theft Auto V and Grand Theft Auto Online, this time manufactured by Mammoth.



GTA San Andreas

The Hydra is evidently a jet-powered military aircraft, bearing (slightly modified) roundels of the United States Air Force on its wings. The Hydra is suggestively based on the McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing/BAe) AV-8B Harrier II, although the air intake is on the underside of the aircraft and resembles that of a Lockheed F-16. This is further proven by the code that is used to spawn it in the PC version, "Jumpjet", which is a nickname for the Harrier Jets.


The Hydra greatly resembles a combination of the F-35 Lightning II and McDonnell Douglas AV-8B Harrier II. It is a cousin of the JoBuilt P-996 LAZER.

Features and performance

The Hydra is the most sophisticated aircraft in the GTA series, boasting a variety of equipment. One of its more prominent abilities is its VTOL (Vertical Take Off and Landing) capabilities, which allows it to hover or descend or ascend vertically like a helicopter, and travel horizontally like an airplane; these abilities are achieved by directing thrust from four jet outtakes downwards or backward using specific directional controls (by pushing the right analog stick forward/back, or, on a PC, by holding down 8 on the number pad, or Del). Due to its excellent engine and maneuverability, the Hydra is the fastest aircraft (and one of the fastest vehicles) in GTA San Andreas, with a fixed top speed of 186 mph (300 km/h) and one of the easiest to fly when the player learns the basics of fixed-wing flight.

The Hydra comes with various armaments, including lock-on or manual-aimed missiles, and flares as countermeasures for oncoming missiles fired by enemies, which redirects lock-on missiles shot from enemy Hydras or SAM sites (like those guarding Area 69) away from the player.

The Hydra is rated by many players as their favorite aircraft, for its speed, agility, and weapons which make it an excellent choice for any purpose requiring an airplane. Its chief disadvantage comes not from the vehicle itself, but the game engine - high-speed flight can allow the plane to hit objects, such as trees, well before they've become visible due to model/texture loading being slower than the plane itself.

Unlike the Hunter in GTA Vice City and GTA San Andreas, Vigilante side-missions cannot be started or performed using the Hydra. This may be due to the danger of crashing into a building and exploding, especially if the player attempts it in the city where there are lots of tall buildings.


The lettering on the rear fuselage.
  • Once the player attains a 4-star wanted level or higher and is in the air, two enemy Hydras will pursue the player and try to shoot him down. The enemy Hydras should be no match, as they have a penchant for flying in lazy circles and not deploying flares.
  • Part of the text on the side of the aircraft features the letters "DMA", this is likely a reference to the fact that Rockstar North was formerly known as DMA Design. DMA is also a play on United States Marine Corps squadrons that use the AV-8B Harrier II (VMA).
  • Like the Leviathan, the Hydra is named after a mythological beast in Greek mythology, a 7 headed serpent-like monster that lived in Lake Lerna on the Pelopennese Island in Greece.
  • Like most other aircraft in GTA San Andreas, the Hydra plays K-DST by default.


GTA San Andreas


See also

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