The Quetzal is a drone carrier aircraft used by Foehn, which carries several drones that marks enemy targets for a powerful orbital strike.
The Quetzal is a drone control airship, there is no simpler way to explain what it is. Underneath its body, three eye-shaped drones will continuously scan the area nearby for enemy threats, giving the Quetzal quite an impressive line of sight that exceeds most of the vehicles or aircraft currently in service. Additionally, these drones will conceal the Quetzal's presence on enemy radars.
The real purpose of the Quetzal's drone however, is target marking. The airship can send its drones at great ranges to scout and mark the spot where an orbital strike will be performed. These attacks, especially effective against enemy structures, involve hybrid bombs, which are released at high velocity and explode violently upon impact. The drones can be destroyed with anti-aircraft weapons, however the Quetzal will replace them shortly after the currently used set is no longer functional.
Quetzal is Foehn's Tier 3 siege aircraft. It is known for being the anti-structure aircraft with the greatest range, making it a grand substitute for terrestrial siege units. Each Quetzal is armed with a beacon drone that is easily replaced. The released drone can mark its target for an orbital strike. Once the drone marks it, the orbital strike can't be prevented. A single orbital strike can damage buildings quite effectively. Groups of Quetzals can flatten bases quickly. These drones also divert the attention of anti-aircraft defenses away from Quetzals, therefore allowing them to safely siege defenses from a distance most of the time. Left unattended, a squadron of Quetzals can flatten bases quickly.
Quetzals use stealth based technology similar to the Allied Barracuda, making them invisible on enemy radar. With their stealth, Quetzals are capable of leading surprise attacks even if the opponent is sharp in using the minimap. In addition, Wings of Coronia has the ability to temporarily boost all Quetzals' armor by using Quetzal Shield, which makes them much tougher to bring down, encouraging Coronian commanders to send their Quetzals to bombard important structures that are heavily defended.
However, Quetzals are not without weaknesses. If the drone failed to mark its target, the attack will never happen. If the drone gets destroyed, it would take some time to get a replacement. Alert enemy commanders will manually order their anti-air defenses to fire at the Quetzal itself instead of its drones, reducing the Quetzal's effectiveness against human opponents. Bombardments also have a delay, making them ineffective against fast, mobile units. Last but not least, they are expensive to build as well (its price is second only to the Kirov Airship).
- The Quetzal's name and some of its quotes draw references to the Nahua feathered serpent god Quetzalcoatl, who is also known as the god of the morning star.
- The Quetzal's internal name is also called Quetzalcoatl.
- The Quetzal bears resemblances to the Hammerhead in Tiberian Twilight.
- According to unused quotes (see Quotes), the Quetzal originally had an ability to drop mines.
- The Quetzal's sound when locking onto a target is actually a higher pitched version of the GDI Orbital Strike support power when the latter's target is selected from Tiberium Wars.
- The Quetzal has 2 "weapons", according to the code. The 2nd weapon's orbital bombardment will hit naval units and buildings instantly. This is because the Quetzal's damage is done through its animation. Water will neutralize this animation damage, as explosions in water areas are converted to water effects, so the first "weapon" will deal less damage against naval units and buildings than it should have.