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Variable Fighter Master File VF-19 Excalibur


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I tend to agree that we really only see the use of tactical long range missiles sparingly and usually against capital ship targets. As fleets get closer, fighter wing attacks and the typical Macross Cannon blasts then take over. It may not be realistic, but it is infinitely more dramatic, cinematically .

I keep wondering if there was ever an age of high maneuverable "Torpedoes" in the Mac universe? Nothing official mind you, but it makes one wonder if the weaponry was ever used. One could describe them just as easily as long range missiles I suspect.

As for the VF-19Cs, it's an interesting topic to discuss. IMO, I think it was a mistake to describe Project Super Nova to be the competition for the next gen main line fighter IF there was no serious attempt to show them as such in future productions. The story would have been just as well served by making it a competition to determine the next special operations fighter or better yet, "Interceptor" fighter, since both the YF-19 and YF-21 were astonishingly fast for the day.

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What the hell? Since when is combat beyond-visual-range a rarity in Macross or limited to reaction warheads or space fleets? Virtually every Macross production features several premiere set piece sequences with mecha vs. mecha battles beyond-visual-range. One of the greatest battles in the original SDF Macross is Hikaru in his VF-1J Armored Valkyrie vs. the Zentradi Theatre Scout, which is nearly all radar combat. The DYRL film opens with a classic beyond-visual-range missile attack against hordes of Zentradi Regulds. The X-9 Ghost engaged Guld's YF-21 and Isamu's YF-19 beyond-visual-range for both the initial attack and again during subsequent attack runs. Macross Froniter opens with squadrons of VF-171 Nightmare Plus valkyries firing beyond-visual-range upon the Vajra. In fact, if we look at how often Ozma uses his missiles, Canaria uses her rail guns and Mikhail uses his sniper rifle, Macross Frontier might even feature the most fighting beyond-visual-range in any Macross production yet. And these are just the examples I can think of off the top of my head.

I'll grant that more significant portions of Macross mecha battles are dogfights (for obvious visual and dramatic reasons), but battles beyond-visual-range are hardly seldom or neglected events in Macross. Battles beyond-visual-range are presented time and again as grand set pieces in the Macross productions and have been a recognizable staple of the franchise ever since the original series.

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Also, in the real world, long-range, i.e. Beyond Visual Range (BRV) missiles, are seldom used at beyond visual ranges, due to the mostly politically-driven Rules of Engagement (RoE), which require either (a) a firm visual ID of the target with the mark-one eyeball, rather than just an electronic Radar or IFF ID of the target and/or (b), that you be fired upon first by the enemy, before firing back.

Possibly, similar strict rules of engagement are frequently in place in the Macross universe?

Graham

That actually hasn't been true since the 70s. There's been a real revolution in IFF for BVR, in addition to long range optical systems like the Tomcat's TCS or the Rafale's OSF there's a rather shadowy world of what's called Non Cooperative Target Recognition. How it works is still classified but systems have been rumored to do anything from count the fan blades on engine faces, to picking up on the resonance of the various comms antennae on an aircraft. Regardless of how it works quite a few modern fighters have sprouted IFF antennae farms on their noses.

I think the bigger reason we see so much WVR combat is that the closing speeds of most fights are so damn fast. Just about every VF can reach Mach 3 and quite a few are able to get up to Mach 4 or 5. Given those kinds of speeds, you're not going to get off more than a handful of shots before things close to WVR and it turns into a furball. Most of Mr March's examples of BVR combat seem to bear this out. A few long range shots followed very quickly by a merge and devolution into a close range knife fight.

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I was just watching Dogfights again (true, not the most accurate source) but they talked about one of Rodriguez's encounters where he was ready to fire but the IFF indicated "friendly" so he did the infamous "is anyone in burner?" call to identify----and just minutes before they'd needed visual confirmation for the previous MiG, too.

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I was just watching Dogfights again (true, not the most accurate source) but they talked about one of Rodriguez's encounters where he was ready to fire but the IFF indicated "friendly" so he did the infamous "is anyone in burner?" call to identify----and just minutes before they'd needed visual confirmation for the previous MiG, too.

Well I never said it was fool proof, just really good. Besides compare your Dessert Storm engagement to some of the ones from Allied force where most of the time fighters were slinging AMRAAMs from long ranges, in awful weather at night.

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I think the bigger reason we see so much WVR combat is that the closing speeds of most fights are so damn fast. Just about every VF can reach Mach 3 and quite a few are able to get up to Mach 4 or 5. Given those kinds of speeds, you're not going to get off more than a handful of shots before things close to WVR and it turns into a furball. Most of Mr March's examples of BVR combat seem to bear this out. A few long range shots followed very quickly by a merge and devolution into a close range knife fight.

Also, with the 19, mach speed in space is over 10 IIRC, so getting to the merge wouldn't take long at all. Ditto for the 22.

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  • 4 months later...

This isn't necessarily related to the VF-19 but it does have to do with something I saw in the book the other night and started pondering. After looking at the pic of the two VF-17's flying in low-light on page 55 I can't help but feel that particular fighter would have existed at a time far closer to when the original VF's were issued. It makes sense they would attempt to fit the OverTechnology to existing designs, even if they didn't perform quite like the VF-17's in Macross already, it seems to me there would have been an attempt to create a bomber at the same time as the fighter's were being produced.

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This isn't necessarily related to the VF-19 but it does have to do with something I saw in the book the other night and started pondering. After looking at the pic of the two VF-17's flying in low-light on page 55 I can't help but feel that particular fighter would have existed at a time far closer to when the original VF's were issued. It makes sense they would attempt to fit the OverTechnology to existing designs, even if they didn't perform quite like the VF-17's in Macross already, it seems to me there would have been an attempt to create a bomber at the same time as the fighter's were being produced.

The VF-17 exists in M7 simply because the F-117 was recently publicly revealed at the time of M7's development.

There were bombers created to compliment the multi-purposefulness of the VF-1 (it drops bombs, too). Some of the more well-known Variable Bombers that predate the introduction of the VF-17 are:

VB-3000

VA-3

VB-6

It should also be noted that the VF-17 is not a bomber, but a space-optimized fighter. It *may* be able to carry out bombing missions, but it is designed as a special-forces space fighter.

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The VF-17 exists in M7 simply because the F-117 was recently publicly revealed at the time of M7's development.

Specifically, the F-117 was publicly revealed in late 1988, a few years before Macross 7 and Plus went into development. (I only mention Plus because the VF-17D and VF-17T have a cameo in the movie edition of it.)

The only reason the VF-17 exists is that the F-117 was in vogue at the time, that's why it has such a retro-look to it.

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Specifically, the F-117 was publicly revealed in late 1988, a few years before Macross 7 and Plus went into development. (I only mention Plus because the VF-17D and VF-17T have a cameo in the movie edition of it.)

The only reason the VF-17 exists is that the F-117 was in vogue at the time, that's why it has such a retro-look to it.

I'm like 99.9% sure that they're in the OVA version of macross plus.

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I'm like 99.9% sure that they're in the OVA version of macross plus.

I haven't seen them in the OVA yet, but here is the scene where they show up in the movie. Orange/white is the VF-17T, the black one next to them is the D.

http://www.macross2.net/m3/macrossplus/vf-17d-nightmare/mplusmovie-vf17.png

Here is what I believe is a cleaned-up version of the Macross 7 P*L*U*S* VF-14 in the same movie. The one under his elbow.

http://www.macross2.net/m3/macross7/vf-14-m7plus/mplusmovie-possiblevf14.png

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The VF-17 exists in M7 simply because the F-117 was recently publicly revealed at the time of M7's development.

There were bombers created to compliment the multi-purposefulness of the VF-1 (it drops bombs, too). Some of the more well-known Variable Bombers that predate the introduction of the VF-17 are:

VB-3000

VA-3

VB-6

It should also be noted that the VF-17 is not a bomber, but a space-optimized fighter. It *may* be able to carry out bombing missions, but it is designed as a special-forces space fighter.

While I understand when it was designed and why and it's function within Macross I was only commenting on the picture from the book and my feelings on when something like that could/should have emerged. It obviously was based on the F-117 and while it couldn't exist in the original animation because it wasn't publicly revealed until the late 80's (though it did exist back into the late 70's) those pictures made me think about what might have existed around the time original series occurred.

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Here is what I believe is a cleaned-up version of the Macross 7 P*L*U*S* VF-14 in the same movie. The one under his elbow.

http://www.macross2.net/m3/macross7/vf-14-m7plus/mplusmovie-possiblevf14.png

Ahh. Those infamous craft from the OAV (not added to the movie, but present in the movie). The last I heard was that Kawamori-san has not, repeat NOT identified what those craft are. IMHO, they look closer to the VF-4.

While I understand when it was designed and why and it's function within Macross I was only commenting on the picture from the book and my feelings on when something like that could/should have emerged. It obviously was based on the F-117 and while it couldn't exist in the original animation because it wasn't publicly revealed until the late 80's (though it did exist back into the late 70's) those pictures made me think about what might have existed around the time original series occurred.

I'm not disagreeing with the logic.

Though, Kawamori-san did go back and provide us with a more "realistic" VF based on real-world developments up to the time of production, in the VF-0; which predates the VF-1 (within the story).

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Ahh. Those infamous craft from the OAV (not added to the movie, but present in the movie). The last I heard was that Kawamori-san has not, repeat NOT identified what those craft are. IMHO, they look closer to the VF-4.

When I first started looking at them, I thought they were VF-4s too. I was adamant about that. If you look at it again, though, you can see where it's much closer to the VF-14. For starters, the canopy looks to have an angle in the front, there are half-cones above the engine intakes, no canards, and those fins under the VF-4's nose and engine nacelles are missing.

After looking at those sorts of things, I changed my mind and put myself squarely in the VF-14 camp.

Edited by Talos
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given the setting of time frame of macross plus I'm more inclined to believe that it's a VF-14 than a VF-4 although it does have some elements that are found on the VF-4 and not the VF-14 (such as the top and bottom intakes on the leading edge of the inner wing sections) and details that neither have (the fin/antenna sticking out the dorsal hump right behind the cockpit).

From a production stand point, I doubt that any of the jets visible in that shot are meant to be anything other than filler. all of them have fairly obvious elements lifted directly from the VF-11, YF-19 and YF-21.

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given the setting of time frame of macross plus I'm more inclined to believe that it's a VF-14 than a VF-4

True, the VF-14 was introduced from about the time of the introduction of the VF-11. BUT, that's no guarantee that the VF-14 was every used on Eden. The main customers of the VF-14 were "one portion of the emigrant planets and emigrant fleets" - usually those that are more remote. (Of course, this doesn't preclude their use on Eden for testing purposes).

The other thing to keep in mind is that we don't have clearly indicated points in the timeline when VFs were retired from active duty. So, it's just as likely that they are VF-4 retained for aggressor duties as they are VF-14 used for testing purposes (insert whatever reason one wants for having either craft on the airbase.)

and details that neither have (the fin/antenna sticking out the dorsal hump right behind the cockpit).

Later production models of the VF-4 have a beam machine gun at that location (I believe it's the VF-4G).

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Later production models of the VF-4 have a beam machine gun at that location (I believe it's the VF-4G).

Is that actually canon though? I thought that the VF-4G head with the YF-21 style laser was something created just for the Studio Halfeye kit. I've never seen it show up ANYWHERE other than within the context of that kit.

4-2.jpg

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given the setting of time frame of macross plus I'm more inclined to believe that it's a VF-14 than a VF-4 although it does have some elements that are found on the VF-4 and not the VF-14 (such as the top and bottom intakes on the leading edge of the inner wing sections) and details that neither have (the fin/antenna sticking out the dorsal hump right behind the cockpit).

From a production stand point, I doubt that any of the jets visible in that shot are meant to be anything other than filler. all of them have fairly obvious elements lifted directly from the VF-11, YF-19 and YF-21.

Yep, it does have some that aren't. The intakes in the inner wing (scramjet intakes on the VF-4) threw me off for a long time. You did remind me to mention the shading on the side of the fuselage, since it highlights a definite chine there, like the VF-14 has (taken from the SR-71).

From a production standpoint, yes, it's just filler. This one just has a little too-much recognizable detail to it. It's not like that white plane on the left.

True, the VF-14 was introduced from about the time of the introduction of the VF-11. BUT, that's no guarantee that the VF-14 was ever used on Eden. The main customers of the VF-14 were "one portion of the emigrant planets and emigrant fleets" - usually those that are more remote. (Of course, this doesn't preclude their use on Eden for testing purposes).

The other thing to keep in mind is that we don't have clearly indicated points in the timeline when VFs were retired from active duty. So, it's just as likely that they are VF-4 retained for aggressor duties as they are VF-14 used for testing purposes (insert whatever reason one wants for having either craft on the airbase.)

It's a test flight center, so I'm inclined to believe that, like Edwards AFB or China Lake in real life, New Edwards has basically every plane in service or recently in service represented there in some capacity. They support the development, flight testing, later mods to the aircraft, etc. Things like a new model (VF-4G for instance), or integration of a new missile, would happen in a base like that (China Lake in real life, less so with Edwards), so you would see that plane throughout its service life at the base. We know the VF-1 is still in use, and the VF-4 was at least recently so (Macross 7 Trash), so neither aircraft would be out of place there. Yes, I'm still keeping an eye out for VF-5000-shaped background filler after seeing the VF-17, which is in the TIA: Macross Plus movie edition. :lol:

Speaking of which, considering the number of VF-17Ts we see, those would probably be there for IOT&E or some other developmental work since it's only five years or so since the VF-17's initial introduction. I'd say (from what we see in the movie/OAV) the only actual unit stationed at New Edwards would be the SB-10s and the base defense/chase plane VF-11s, with the rest being the test fleet with a possible VF-17 training/conversion unit if that's what they're part of.

So yeah, it could realistically be either the VF-4 or VF-14, timeline-wise and considering the nature of the base.

Is that actually canon though? I thought that the VF-4G head with the YF-21 style laser was something created just for the Studio Halfeye kit. I've never seen it show up ANYWHERE other than within the context of that kit.

IIRC, the VF-4Gs in Macross M3 just use the regular FB2012 VF-4 design with no external differences.

Edited by Talos
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I haven't seen them in the OVA yet, but here is the scene where they show up in the movie. Orange/white is the VF-17T, the black one next to them is the D.

http://www.macross2.net/m3/macrossplus/vf-17d-nightmare/mplusmovie-vf17.png

OMG! How did I miss those VF-17s after watching Macross Plus a zillion times since 1994 and spending countless hours freeze framing every mecha scene.

And I'm supposed to be the biggest VF-17 fan. Shame on me!

Graham

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OMG! How did I miss those VF-17s after watching Macross Plus a zillion times since 1994 and spending countless hours freeze framing every mecha scene.

And I'm supposed to be the biggest VF-17 fan. Shame on me!

Graham

You're not the only person.

It's a pretty cool find, IMHO.

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  • 4 years later...

Hey I've read thru most of this thread and sketchley's translations of this master file.

Really fascinating stuff. Too bad discrepancies in the Macross publications have created all this debate (but what else is new!)

I'm posting here because I'm wondering if anyone has more info or translations on operation Phantom Sword?

Anyone...anyone..Beuller..Beuller..

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