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"Officially, it's an Airborne Mobile Command Station. But we call it the Bus."
Leo Fitz to Skye[src]

The CXD 23215 Airborne Mobile Command Station were specialized Boeing C-17 Globemaster III airplanes used by S.H.I.E.L.D. The planes were in heavy rotation from the 1980s to the 1990s until S.H.I.E.L.D. replaced them with Helicarriers. Following the Battle of New York, one of these planes, officially designated as S.H.I.E.L.D. 6-1-6 and informally known as the Bus, was given to Phil Coulson by Nick Fury to serve as the flying command center for his team.

Under Fury's orders, the Bus underwent a complete overhaul by Stark Industries. After being briefly stolen by Grant Ward and used by HYDRA, S.H.I.E.L.D. was able to reclaim the plane before sacrificing it during a mission. The Bus was then succeeded by Zephyr One.


Coulson's Plane

"Man, this is like the Playboy jet. I mean, a guy could get soft bunking in a space like this. How did Coulson swing such a sweet ride?"
"He died."
Antoine Triplett and Grant Ward[src]
This section requires expansion

In 2013, the plane was used by Coulson's Team as their mobile headquarters. After the Hijacking and Retaking of the Bus, the plane was severely damaged and it had to be renovated which made Jemma Simmons and Leo Fitz want to add a fish tank. A day later, Nick Fury blamed Phil Coulson for damaging it after six days in use and Coulson assured Fury that his team would not damage it again.[2]

In HYDRA's Hands

"Maria Hill to S.H.I.E.L.D. 6-1-6. You have 30 seconds to stand down and surrender."
Maria Hill[src]

To be added


"I miss my plane."
"Me, too. Though, if you think about it, mostly terrible stuff happened on that thing."
Melinda May and Phil Coulson[src]

The Bus was destroyed by a pair of missiles as Phil Coulson and the former members of his team was on approach to the Arctic HYDRA Research Facility, where Lincoln Campbell and Michael Peterson were being held. They managed to escape the destruction in the Quinjet and carried on with the assault on the base.[3]




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 three passenger decks replacing the forward cargo space. The passenger space includes living quarters, a common area with a mini-bar, a briefing room, a number of various storage rooms, and a private forensics and research lab[4] to accommodate Agents Leo Fitz and Jemma Simmons. The highest deck of the Bus, near the front of the plane, also houses agent Coulson's personal office. There is also an interrogation room/holding cell known as 'the Cage', whose walls are built with silicon-carbide vibranium alloy.[5] 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.[6]

The Bus also contains space near the front of the plane that can accommodate the addition of an interchangeable modular room, such as the Medical Pod which was used by Skye while she was recovering from a near-fatal gunshot wound.[7]

Command Deck

  • Phil Coulson's Office: To be added

Upper Deck

  • Cockpit: To be added
  • Living Quarters: To be added
  • Lounge: To be added
  • Briefing Room:
  • "The Cage": To be added

Lower Deck

  • Cargo Hold: To be added
  • Lab: To be added
  • Engine Room: To be added

Flight Systems

The Bus vertically taking off

A jump jet landing on the Bus

The Bus is a specialized Boeing C-17 Globemaster III modified to serve as an 'Airborne Mobile Command Station' for Agent Coulson's personal S.H.I.E.L.D. team. In addition to the common features of the Boeing C-17, the Bus has an additional pair of engines and half-length wings located at the tail section of the fuselage, below the conventional, elevated tail section. Additionally, the six engines are able to pivot upon each wing, allowing them to be angled at the ground, giving the Bus Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) capabilities.[8] This, along with an advanced set of "air brake" panels on each wing, gives the Bus greater aerodynamic and flight capabilities, such as allowing it to perform a full, mid-air stop before changing direction to pursue a new flight plan. On top of the Bus are mounts and an access way to allow a single, smaller S.H.I.E.L.D. aircraft to dock with, and later separate from, the Bus in mid-flight.

Weapons Systems

The Bus possesses some provisional offensive/defensive capabilities in the form of two retractable cannon turrets, located at the junction of between each main wing and the fuselage, which are capable of shooting down enemy aircraft.[9] The Bus also has a form of large, long barreled cannon mounted to the front underside of the fuselage that allows it to attack targets on the ground while in VTOL flight.[10]

Computer Systems

The Bus possesses advanced satellite, radio, and other wireless connections as well as a strong computer system that could connect to S.H.I.E.L.D.'s operational databases, as well as any other secure databases or other resources across the internet. This allows it to receive any mission briefings sent down from the Triskelion or the Hub. More prominently, the Bus' flight plan can be remotely altered by anyone with a high enough clearance level from any major S.H.I.E.L.D. facility, even forcing it to return to base.[9] Likewise, several of the Bus' functions can be remotely controlled by certain S.H.I.E.L.D. vehicles, such as the SUV that many agents use in the field, primarily allowing its cargo doors to be opened in the case of a quick retreat. The Bus also has encrypted lines to communicate with an agent based at a S.H.I.E.L.D. facility, as well as any agents or other allies in the field.

The Bus' computer systems independently stores all of the specs and information on the many operations that Coulson's Team have been involved with, including the various items and individuals that the team has come in contact with, in a separate data line individual from that of the main S.H.I.E.L.D. database.[9]

Stealth Systems

The Bus in stealth mode

Originally, the Bus did not have the stealth technology that some vehicles such as the Helicarrier and the Quinjet possessed, so it compensated by flying under radar.[11] After Coulson became the Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. and recaptured a Quinjet, [10], he had Alphonso Mackenzie to add cloaking technology to the Bus.[12]


Appearances for Bus

In chronological order:


  • The Bus' official designation as "S.H.I.E.L.D. 6-1-6" is a reference to the main Marvel Comics continuity, called Earth-616.

Behind the Scenes

  • The Bus is based on the U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III transport plane. The real C-17 does not have the rear wings and engines of the Bus, though. If the Bus was real, it would have some severe design flaws. The rear engines would suck in exhaust gases from the front engines, and the rear wings would not generate much lift due to being in the wake of the front wings.
  • According to the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. live auction site, the chairs of Zephyr Three was originally used on the Bus.[13]


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