Gnomecopter Tours was a special system which was released in the Gnomecopters update on 31 March 2008 and could be accessed by both members and non-members. The main point of the Gnomecopters was to show free players some of the popular members features such as Castle Wars, Pest Control, Hunting, and the Burthorpe Games Room. It could take riders from the cow field in Lumbridge to various members-only places, including:
At the date of release, this area was filled with people. A few weeks after the release, the popularity died down, due to loss of interest. Based on the Patch Notes released on 25 March 2009, the Gnomecopters were removed from the game and replaced by Beefy Bill and Farquie the Cleaner, as Jagex no longer wished to advertise members content on free-to-play worlds.
The area is located east of Draynor Manor and north of Lumbridge windmill. There is a sign like the ones you see on the ride just by Lumbridge Windmill. You enter the area through a cow pasture and then go to the back where Gnomecopters are spread out. Players must first speak to Hieronymus Avlafrim, a gnome sitting at the east side, to get the permission of using the Gnomecopters. Then, they must speak to another gnome, Sasquine Huburns, who sits in the middle of the area, to get a ticket to take a ride.
A Gnome Landing pad cleaner, Farquie the Cleaner, roams the area.
Players can trade Hieronymus Avlafrim items like a general store. He stocks the usual general store as well as other things like redberries, jugs of water and spinach rolls. Many players use this shop for redberries because they are cheaper than Wydin's food store in Port Sarim and there is an infinite supply unlike redberry bushes and the food shops. This is also the only general store in free play areas to sell jugs with water already in them (free players often use this method to speed up soft clay making, as they do not need to fill the jugs).
To the west, there used be some deposit bins, where you could deposit items into the bank, provided you have room. Together with the nearby cow farm, it was a good cowhide hunting area.
To the centre, you may see the landing area on the west and riding area on the east.
Players must be 5'6" tall to ride the Gnomecopters, but this is not a problem, since all players are tall adult humans. To take a ride, players must first speak to Sasquine Huburns in the centre of the row of Gnomecopters to get a ticket. In order to take a ride, all capes, helmets (except Bomber cap and Cap and goggles), weapons, and shields must be unequipped.
During the ride, players can view and chat with other players riding a Gnomecopter in that area. None of the areas that may be visited are an actual members area. Although characters that appear to be members appear in the various areas, they are not actual members, or even players. They are computer NPCs which have been programmed to complete certain actions and say certain phrases. Thus, visitors are merely viewing a simulation of a member's area, and not an actual P2P world. Viewing players are restricted as to the places they may go within each area, and cannot pickpocket, talk or attack the locals, or otherwise interact with them in any way. Viewers are also restricted from unlocking any music for the places they visit, although they may listen to the background music while in each area. All interfaces are disabled, except for the Friends and Ignore lists, Clan chat, and the Options menu. Players can activate run mode to make the gnomecopter fly faster, but it will not deplete their energy.
The players' Inventory interface is not removed, but it only displays the Gnomecopter controls along with various information about the current area:
- At the top
- The first button is for choosing manual or automatic riding
- The second button is for returning to the starting point (Lumbridge)
- In the centre
- Information about the current area
- At the bottom
- Arrows that switch pages of introduction
Certain places in the area you can only go to when your gnomecopter is set to manual riding. Signposts are located in each area which viewers may click to see extended information about an area or feature.
Occasionally, the Wise Old Man can be seen sledding down Trollweiss Mountain whilst looking at one of the signs in the Trollweiss Hunter area. He says "Hic senex, ludavit unum...ludavit knickumnackum", which is Latin for "This old man, he played one... he played knick-knack". Apparently, the Wise Old Man is on holiday in the area.
- Elfinlocks makes her third appearance in Burgh de Rott, she is walking around lighting fires for the villagers.
- Distantthin, a player found in Pest Control, is seen using a Dharok's greataxe with one hand, and an Unholy Book in the other.
- Cool Mom227 appears again in Rellekka Hunter area.
- Purepker895 appears again in Trollweiss Hunter Area.
- Qutiedoll appears for a brief moment in Lletya as a level 99 in full saradomin dragonhide and an untrimmed skill cape.
- 1337sp34kr appears again in the hunting area.
- Donkey Wrong is possibly a reference to the video game character Donkey Kong.
- Sarah Domin is a reference to Saradomin.
- Lapsang and Souchong refers to a type of tea. Many other Player NPCs in the game rooms; names also relate to tea, such as Milknosugar.
- Funorbrox is a clear reference to FunOrb, which was released by Jagex on 27 February 2008.
- Cow1337Killr can be spotted during a cutscene of the Animal Magnetism quest killing a cow with a Dharok's greataxe.
- 2scompany, 3sacrowd, and 4sjustsilly are named so based on their order of appearance. At first, 2scompany is shown standing on the top floor. Next, 3sacrowd climbs up the stairs and is attacked. Then, 4sjustsilly arrives, but is stopped by a barricade.
- Heresjohnny may be a reference to Stephen King's novel and film The Shining. It could also be a reference to The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.
- Knickknack, Paddywhack, Giveadog, Abone are references to the nursery rhyme This Old Man.
- It was possible to fight players on the Gnomecopters in PvP worlds. When the player would die, they'd die on the floor on the place the Gnomecopters are. This has been fixed.
- There was another glitch which allowed you to get a Saradomin/Zamorak cloak and bandages for Castle Wars in F2P worlds. The glitch also allowed players to fly around without the gnomecopter. This has been fixed.
- If you talk to the cleaner at the gnome copter, he will tell you that: 'Everyone has gone away on a honeymoon and left me here to clean up their mess.'
- If you flew the Gnomecopters to Pest Control, you could've seen players in the "running" animation, but were actually going at (or slower than) walking speed.
- After the Castle War glitch was fixed, Jagex had gotten rid of Gnomecopters altogether attempting to prevent any other 'mishaps'.
- The gnome cleaning the Gnomecopters stand seems to be cleaning the same station for the entire time Gnomecopters have been removed.
- Taking a ride with the Gnomecopters was a medium Lumbridge and Draynor tasks until Gnomecopter Tours were removed and replaced with Beefy Bill and Farquie the Cleaner. After that date (25 March 2009) using Beefy Bill to bank items is the new medium task.
- Although the gnomecopters have been removed from the game, the gnomecopter unit remains in Armies of Gielinor.
- If you followed someone while on a gnomecopter, then had the person leave the gnomecopter, you could return and have the gnomecopter leave the field and go about half-way to Lumbridge before you were forced to turn back if you positioned the returning person correctly.
- If you examined any of the fake players, it would say "a player" even though normal players could not be examined at the time.
- Gnomecopters were once used as fast skirmish units with a short range explosive attack, as seen in the FunOrb game Armies of Gielinor.
- Gnomecopters have returned to the game in the form of a Home teleport animation.