The Helicarrier is a flying aircraft carrier that acts as a mobile HQ for SHIELD. It is powered by a fusion core, and partially supported by "repeller rays". At least six have been seen, with variants used by other organizations. They cost at least 9 billion dollars each.
In Mighty Avengers #1, Iron Man introduced Helicarrier Gold, basically a gold Helicarrier. Sadly, it was recently destroyed by Red Hulk in Hulk #2.
In "Blade", the Vampire-hunting SHIELD-offshoot Silvereye used a custom carrier called Blackeye-1, with a silver-impregnated hull and a cloud-generator for stealth. Destroyed in Blade: Vampire Hunter #6.
In Livewires, the mysterious villain codenamed "White Whale" (a hive-mind of Nick Fury LMDs) was stationed on a Helicarrier that had been recovered from wreckage and repaired.
The Aeromarine is a cluster of submarines with rocket engines bolted together, used in Nextwave. It is armed with Drop Bears and a squadron of H.A.T.E Pterosuits, Samuroid Batch 23, the very phallic-looking Armageddon Horn, and a lot of big @%^$# guns.
Ultimate S.H.I.E.L.D uses a fleet of airborne carriers, retrofitted from Naval sea vessels using a special rocket engine designed by Tony Stark. Most were destroyed by the Chitauri in Micronesia. They were also given a Helicarrier by Ultimate Galactus.
Colonel Fury had a Helicarrier commissioned and built by Tucker Ford, the Biogeneral. Fury is using it as the mobile headquarters of the new Squadron Supreme.
In a desperate attempt to save mutants and humans alike, Nick Fury summons all uninfected superheroes to the S.H.I.E.L.D Helicarrier to develop a cure and rescue as many humans as they can. During one of the evacuations, nearly all of the uninfected guarding the Helicarrier lead by Magneto become casualties by being eaten whole, or have been infected.
In Other Media
The Hellicarrier makes a major appearance in the film, where it is used as the primary headquarters of Nick Fury and the Avengers for most of the movie. The Helicarrier is critically damaged when a brainwashed Hawkeye leads an attack on the ship in order to rescue Loki, and as such is absent for most of the final battle.
The Helicarrier is also shown to house a fleet of Quinjets.
The Hellicarrier appears in Ultimate Avengers, Iron Man: Rise of Technovore, and Avengers Confidential: Black Widow and Punisher.
With the original model damaged beyond repair, three new Helicarriers are commissioned as part of Project Insight. It is later revealed that HYDRA has infiltrated S.H.I.E.L.D. and plans to use the ships to kill large swaths of people as part of a plan to force the world to bow to the organization as their new masters. The plan is thwarted when Captain America and his new ally, the Falcon, manage to destroy the three Helicarriers before they can begin firing.
Helicarriers have appeared in Marvel Ultimate Alliance and its sequel, Ultimate Spider-Man, Spider-Man: Friend Or Foe, Spider-Man: Web of Shadows, Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions, Iron Man 2, Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Avengers Alliance, and Lego Marvel Super Heroes.
The Helicarrier has appeared in Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends, Spider-Man: The Animated Series, X-Men: Evolution, The Super Hero Squad Show, Iron Man: Armored Adventures, The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, Ultimate Spider-Man, and Avengers Assemble.
- Hasbro released a massive Helicarrier toy for its line based off the Avengers live-action movie.
- Lego also released a "Helicarrier Breakout" kit for the movie, but the set only depicted the detainment center from inside the Helicarrier, rather than the ship itself