The Aerospatiale SA-2 Samson is a human light ducted-fan craft designed to carry out mostly non-combat missions. The Samson is armed with door guns, detachable rocket pods, and is the workhorse of RDA operations on Pandora. It is used to transport cargo and personnel to and from isolated sites. A hook point for sling load operations allows the Samson to carry extra or oversized cargo.
The Samson has been in use on Earth for decades. Its various trial runs in Antarctica, the Himalayas, and Honduras proved the aircraft could fly well in thin or thick atmospheres or in extreme temperatures with minimal maintenance. When the RDA needed a reliable and sturdy aerial workhorse aircraft, they naturally chose the field-tested Samson and hardened its electrical systems to prepare it for the rigors of Pandora.
The rear cargo doors are normally left open for flight operations on Pandora, resulting in the need for exopacks for any occupants in the cargo area. The cockpit is separately pressurized at +0.3 psi, to prevent leak-back of toxic gases and the flight crew can operate without them even with the rest of the aircraft depressurized. In the event of an uncontrollable influx of toxic air, there are emergency breathing masks (BIBS) plumbed to each of the four seats.
As a utility craft, the Samson's primary defense is its speed and maneuverability. The armaments usually seen on the SA-2 are a pair of door-mounted MBS-9M Hydras, or M60 Machine Guns (which are also capable of being fixed forward to be remotely operated by the pilot), and missile pods on pylons immediately aft of the cockpit. An alternate configuration is one Hydra on the left pedestal and a .30 Caliber Machine Gun on the right pedestal.
The Samson uses a pair of ducted fans with coaxial propellers, increasing the lift efficiency while granting excellent maneuverability. Both fans are capable of rotating independently backwards and forwards. Left and right movement is possible by changing the speed of either one of the fans; the Samson moves forward by rotating its fans horizontally. As a result, the Samson is incredibly maneuverable.