Flying Tortoise (フライングトータス) is the name given to the floating platforms visible in the original Strider, during the second and third stage. A redesigned variation of the airship is also seen in the fourth stage of Strider 2, serving the same purpose.
The Flying Tortoise is a type of airship used by the Kazakh Federation. Full name "General Dynamics F-29 Flying Tortoise", it's a state-of-the-art small fighter aircraft developed by said American company.
They are simple in design: a long and flat platform to stand on that flies with the use of a propeller fan installed in its undercarriage, powered by a 12-cylinder air-cooling "Rolls-Royce Erlin" engine. They also have a 20mm vulcan cannon with an automatic tracking sight installed in the front, but this is exclusively for showing off and is never actually used in battle. Considered an extraordinary product with a 2-pilot deck capacity, it sees plenty of use with the Kazakh Federation's forces.
Hiryu encounters a fleet of Flying Tortoises in Siberia, taking off from the abandoned power station carrying a group of Russian infantrymen. Using them as stepping stones, Hiryu climbs his way through to reach the Sky Thunder Mk-II where he confronts the Kuniang team.
Flying Tortoises are also stored within the Flying Battleship Balrog: One appears carrying out a Mr. Elephant into the rear area of the ship, and one (labeled a "Executive Brand Catapult") is also used by Captain Beard Jr. in his attempt to escape the doomed warship.
A more advanced version of the original Flying Tortoise. These airships appear sturdier and better armored, now having a much heavier outside shell and even a cockpit in its front, though they can be destroyed. They have also replaced the propellers with jet thrusters for sustained flight, and the vulcan cannon has been removed.
A large fleet of Flying Tortoise serve as escort of the new Battleship Balrog, flying within its aerial "warning zone" and carrying a group of Balrog Marine Corps led by the Squad Leader. Much like before, Hiryu uses them as platforms in his attempt to reach the Balrog itself, eventually taking on the Squad Leader and using his personal airship to fly directly into it.
These Flying Tortoise can actually be destroyed either by Hiryu or by Balrog Infantrymen shooting from the background.
- The Rolls-Royce Erlin engine mentioned in its backstory is either a typo or meant as a reference to a real aero engine, the Rolls-Royce Merlin.
- As the Mega Drive/Genesis conversion of Strider was handled by Sega, their redrawn version of the propeller sprites appear to have been reused, in part, slightly modified for inclusion in their 1994 Genesis game, Sonic & Knuckles. The propellers can be found at the very end of Mushroom Hill Zone - Act 2.