Dr. Cortex usually hangs his namesake dirigible from a rope tied to his current base within whatever location he is at.
Later, in the level select map, it is portrayed as the warping area for Cortex's boss fight. During the boss fight, Crash Bandicoot stands atop the airship to fight Cortex who rides on his hoverboard while shooting his laser gun, and when he is defeated, Crash and his girlfriend Tawna ride away on it.
Also, in the alternate ending when Crash and Tawna escape on a bird, it can be seen again tied to the castle.
In the boss fight with Cortex, Crash can also jump off the airship, causing him to lose a life.
Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back
The Cortex Airship can be briefly seen as Doctor Cortex falls in the intro scene before safely landed in the underground ruins beneath his Castle and discovered the Master Crystal, but the airship was a metal balloon instead of a purple helium-filled one.
The Cortex Airship plays a much larger role in the game. When the Psychetron malfunctions and Doctor Cortex suggests to go get his niece Nina to fix it, he points towards his airship for transportation, and they take off in it. Inside, they are ambushed by the Evil Twins and their Ants. Upon defeating them, they progress towards the Academy of Evil. After Crash Bandicoot travels through the school and meets up with Cortex, Cortex himself orders Crash to tie the Airship rope to somewhere secure, but he mistakes the order and attaches it to a school bus which it floats off carrying it. Later, Nina is chased by it and manages to secure it. It can always be seen in the Academy of Evil and the Iceberg Lab attached to it by a rope. This version of it has a machine gun attached.
Crash of the Titans
Dr. Cortex arrives in his Airship in the intro with an entirely different model, and he captures Coco and Aku Aku in cages and freezes Crunch with a freeze ray from a cannon. He carries off with Aku Aku and Coco, but Crash throws Coco's butter recycling device at Aku Aku's chain that is connected to his cage, thus severing the chain and freeing the benevolent witch doctor. Later, Dr. Cortex uses a Mojo pumping device from the airship to steal the Mojo from the Mojo Temple.
Crash: Mind Over Mutant
The Cortex Airship appears in one of the unlockable concepts where it is seen in one of the fan-made drawings in the picture of the islands, where its old variant can be seen attached to an unknown island.
- For some reason, in the intro scene of Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back, The Cortex Airship shifted from a helium-filled balloon into a metal balloon.
- In the Nintendo DS version of Crash: Mind Over Mutant, One of the mini-games involves Crash Bandicoot himself running down a path and kicking balls at the Cortex Airship for points.