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Super Macross Mecha Fun Time Discussion Thread!

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I thought that Since we seemed to lack a general Mecha discussion thread, I'd start one. Questions, Comments, Debates, whatever could go here. It would be really fantastic if this could get pinned, but I'll let the mods decide. Or they could decide that I'm just asinine and delete this thread. I hope not...

So to kick it off I'll toss a Question out there: What is the best Variable fighter in Macross?

I say the VF-11. It looks cool, Probably has the longest service life of any VF in universe and has been flown by more hero characters than any other (I think, I know that M&M flew the prototype, and also first run production models probably, Isamu, Kinryu, Ray Lovelock, Gamlin, and Mylene all flew variants of the VF-11). 

What say you?

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17 minutes ago, Valkyrie Driver said:

I thought that Since we seemed to lack a general Mecha discussion thread, I'd start one. Questions, Comments, Debates, whatever could go here. It would be really fantastic if this could get pinned, but I'll let the mods decide. Or they could decide that I'm just asinine and delete this thread. I hope not...

Seeing as the closest we had before was the Macross Delta Mecha and Technology thread, and that has outlived its usefulness... I can't see them objecting too loudly (if at all).

 

17 minutes ago, Valkyrie Driver said:

So to kick it off I'll toss a Question out there: What is the best Variable fighter in Macross?

For my money, "best" would have to be measured by a mixture of performance and operational versatility... which leaves the contenders as the VF-171 Nightmare Plus and VF-25 Messiah, both of which had enough modular option components to be quickly converted into most any role from fighter to bomber to reconnaissance plane...

"Most stylish"... well, my love for the VF-2SS Valkyrie II is well-known, but I have a fondness for the VF-31A and VF-4A as well.

 

17 minutes ago, Valkyrie Driver said:

I say the VF-11. It looks cool, Probably has the longest service life of any VF in universe and has been flown by more hero characters than any other [...]

Depends how you want to measure service life.

Longest tenure in actual service belongs to the VF-1 Valkyrie, which is still used as a training plane a whopping fifty-nine years after its introduction and was still in use with the New UN Spacy's special forces into the mid-2050s.  The VF-4 Lightning III also hung in there like a champ, still being used by the Special Forces at thirty-five years in service (2012-2047).  We know, via Macross R, that the VF-11 was retired and being sold off by the Frontier NUNS in 2058, so its run appears to have lasted just about thirty years exactly.

Longest tenure as Main Variable Fighter is no longer an easy thing to measure, since the individual emigrant fleets retire and replace their equipment at their own pace.  Best data suggests the VF-11 Thunderbolt's stint as main variable fighter was almost exactly twenty years (introduced 2028, with its replacement introduced 2048), and the VF-171 is narrowly edging it out by still being used in an isolated part of the galaxy with a replacement not slated to go into production until 2069-2070 (so, twenty-one to twenty-two years).

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1 hour ago, Valkyrie Driver said:

So to kick it off I'll toss a Question out there: What is the best Variable fighter in Macross?

"Best" is relative.

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25 minutes ago, Seto Kaiba said:

Seeing as the closest we had before was the Macross Delta Mecha and Technology thread, and that has outlived its usefulness... I can't see them objecting too loudly (if at all).

:D

27 minutes ago, Seto Kaiba said:

For my money, "best" would have to be measured by a mixture of performance and operational versatility... which leaves the contenders as the VF-171 Nightmare Plus and VF-25 Messiah, both of which had enough modular option components to be quickly converted into most any role from fighter to bomber to reconnaissance plane...

I guess I can see that. I was kinda at a toss up between the VF-171 and the VF-11, but the VF-11 has been a favorite for so long that it edged the 171 out. The VF-11 seems pretty versatile as well, though I'm a bit less of a fan of the multirole attitude. I actually think that the pairing of the VF-11 and VA-3 is really neat idea. I don't know if the VE-3 is a fan thing but that also intrigues me. I did do most of my growing up in the 90's and early 00's, so the pairing of F/A-18 and E/A-6 is what I grew up with. I always thought that a military aircraft should have a primary role, and a couple of secondary roles. AEW and EW should always be a primary role, and for the most part the Macross franchise has kept those separate. 

56 minutes ago, Seto Kaiba said:

"Most stylish"... well, my love for the VF-2SS Valkyrie II is well-known, but I have a fondness for the VF-31A and VF-4A as well.

I do like the VF-31A more than the Delta Platoon VF-31's (Though I do plan on buying a VF-31C Mirage Type, because Mirage is best girl). The VF-4 is a fantastic design, and I hope we get to see a callback to it in the next macross installment.

1 hour ago, Seto Kaiba said:

Depends how you want to measure service life.

Longest tenure in actual service belongs to the VF-1 Valkyrie, which is still used as a training plane a whopping fifty-nine years after its introduction and was still in use with the New UN Spacy's special forces into the mid-2050s.  The VF-4 Lightning III also hung in there like a champ, still being used by the Special Forces at thirty-five years in service (2012-2047).  We know, via Macross R, that the VF-11 was retired and being sold off by the Frontier NUNS in 2058, so its run appears to have lasted just about thirty years exactly.

Longest tenure as Main Variable Fighter is no longer an easy thing to measure, since the individual emigrant fleets retire and replace their equipment at their own pace.  Best data suggests the VF-11 Thunderbolt's stint as main variable fighter was almost exactly twenty years (introduced 2028, with its replacement introduced 2048), and the VF-171 is narrowly edging it out by still being used in an isolated part of the galaxy with a replacement not slated to go into production until 2069-2070 (so, twenty-one to twenty-two years).

I discounted the VF-1 and VF-4 in my estimation on service life. I knew that they had long service lives with special units after their official main service had ended. The VF-1 hanging on as a trainer was likewise discounted, as that's an auxiliary aircraft. 

I get that service length will vary so that's understandable.

1 hour ago, azrael said:

"Best" is relative.

In your estimation?

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53 minutes ago, Valkyrie Driver said:

In your estimation?

Relative to time & technology, use, pilot, etc. A machine made 50 years after the original could be light years better, but that's a product of time. A bomber can carry more ordnance than a superiority fighter. Pilots could pull maneuvers in older jets that modern jets would have difficulty doing. Newer may not mean better. So when people say "the best", I say relative to what.

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16 minutes ago, azrael said:

Relative to time & technology, use, pilot, etc. A machine made 50 years after the original could be light years better, but that's a product of time. A bomber can carry more ordnance than a superiority fighter. Pilots could pull maneuvers in older jets that modern jets would have difficulty doing. Newer may not mean better. So when people say "the best", I say relative to what.

Ok, well... Best Fighter from the 2030-2050 timeframe? Or how about best fighter in terms of in-universe impact? Best use of technology? Most innovative? How about those for a start?

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Since in the Macross Universe we are using Thermonuclear Turbine Engines, I want to confirm the following.

Does it use two sources? It burns the propellant for travel and nuclear matter for everything else. 

And during the time of Macross Zero, the Valkyrie is totally powered by the Aircraft Fuel burned by the Standard Engines?

Do we have an explanation for that in any Macross Mecha Manual?

Edited by Sir Galahad®

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6 hours ago, azrael said:

"Best" is relative.

So is Kaifun's romantic preference. ;) 

 

 

5 hours ago, Valkyrie Driver said:

I guess I can see that. I was kinda at a toss up between the VF-171 and the VF-11, but the VF-11 has been a favorite for so long that it edged the 171 out. The VF-11 seems pretty versatile as well, though I'm a bit less of a fan of the multirole attitude.

Despite the references to the VF-11 as the first "true successor" to the VF-1 as an all-regime multirole variable fighter, I don't think it really made it all the way there.  We never saw a dedicated trainer variant, or anti-ship hardware like a Strike Pack, etc.  It was just a dogfighter.  For my money, the VF-14 was actually the superior main fighter in its generation.  General Galaxy seemed to get that all the combat that was likely to go on for an emigrant fleet was going to be in space, and they designed for that appropriately in their VF-14.  A nice big space fighter with a lot of room for onboard fuel, optional hardware, and future upgrades that had good passive stealth design and internalized weapons.  IMO, the VF-11's Achilles heel is that they made it too small... so it was dependent on the extra propellant and thrust from FAST packs to have a sustainably long operating time in space.

 

5 hours ago, Valkyrie Driver said:

I actually think that the pairing of the VF-11 and VA-3 is really neat idea. I don't know if the VE-3 is a fan thing but that also intrigues me.

The designation for what you're thinking of is EVA-3, but yeah that's a thing.

 

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8 hours ago, Valkyrie Driver said:

So to kick it off I'll toss a Question out there: What is the best Variable fighter in Macross?

If you count versatility it would be the VF-25

You can outfit it with three FAST packs as needed. Alto's VF-25 normally uses a Super Pack but he was authorized to equip it with the Armor Pack for heavier battles.

- Super Pack

- Armor Pack

- Tornado Pack

Also as a squadron you have a configuration where two can be fighter/bombers, then you have a long range sniper and then you have a recon unit to alert you of incoming enemies as well as for electronic warfare.

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Just now, Sir Galahad® said:

Since in the Macross Universe we are using Thermonuclear Turbine Engines, I want to confirm the following.

Does it use two sources? It burns the propellant for travel and nuclear matter for everything else.

Nope, it's a single-fuel system.

The thermonuclear reaction turbine engine concept produces its thrust in atmospheric flight by pumping some of the heat from its compact thermonuclear reactor into the air flowing through the engine, that heat exchange works as a substitute for a combustion process in a normal turbine engine and cools the reactor in the bargain.  When operating in space, the engine works much like Star Trek impulse drive technology... that is to say, a fusion plasma rocket.  The thermonuclear reaction turbine engine uses its cryofuel slush as coolant as well as reactor fuel, and the propellant is a plasma stream bled off the compact thermonuclear reactor.  That's an enormous boon to logistics, but because the reactor is consuming fuel at an exponentially greater rate its continuous operating time is greatly reduced in space.  That's why many VFs employ FAST packs with high powered booster rockets and high-capacity conformal fuel tanks.  The throttle-able hybrid rockets let them put less of a burden on the main engines, and thus decrease fuel consumption to extend their operating time.

Later versions of the technology, like the 4th Generation's thermonuclear reaction burst turbine engine and the 5th Generation's Stage II thermonuclear reaction turbine engine improved fuel efficiency, heat exchange efficiency, and power generation ability considerably, reducing the need for FAST packs.  By the 5th Generation, FAST packs were more to carry huge amounts of weaponry without compromising performance than to extend operational endurance by a significant amount.

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24 minutes ago, Seto Kaiba said:

Nope, it's a single-fuel system.

The thermonuclear reaction turbine engine concept produces its thrust in atmospheric flight by pumping some of the heat from its compact thermonuclear reactor into the air flowing through the engine, that heat exchange works as a substitute for a combustion process in a normal turbine engine and cools the reactor in the bargain.  When operating in space, the engine works much like Star Trek impulse drive technology... that is to say, a fusion plasma rocket.  The thermonuclear reaction turbine engine uses its cryofuel slush as coolant as well as reactor fuel, and the propellant is a plasma stream bled off the compact thermonuclear reactor.  That's an enormous boon to logistics, but because the reactor is consuming fuel at an exponentially greater rate its continuous operating time is greatly reduced in space.  That's why many VFs employ FAST packs with high powered booster rockets and high-capacity conformal fuel tanks.  The throttle-able hybrid rockets let them put less of a burden on the main engines, and thus decrease fuel consumption to extend their operating time.

Later versions of the technology, like the 4th Generation's thermonuclear reaction burst turbine engine and the 5th Generation's Stage II thermonuclear reaction turbine engine improved fuel efficiency, heat exchange efficiency, and power generation ability considerably, reducing the need for FAST packs.  By the 5th Generation, FAST packs were more to carry huge amounts of weaponry without compromising performance than to extend operational endurance by a significant amount.

So how about the leak that Kakizaki was experiencing or that Hayate was losing propellant?

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Another question. Beam Technology. Ever since they Developed the VF-4, they have been using Beam Guns. How effective/ineffective were they since the projectile gunpod was still the weapon of choice until the VF-27 and YF-29 came with beam rifles.

Here are the Valkyries that use beam weapons

Fixed small-bore forward laser guns (VF-17)
Mauler RÖV-25 25mm beam machine guns (VF-25)
Mauler REB-22 beam cannons (VF-171)
Erikon AAB-7B beam cannons (VF-171)
Fixed internal laser cannons (VF-19)
Mauler REB-22 internal converging energy cannons (VF-22)
Mauler ROV-25 22mm beam gun turret (VF-9)

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37 minutes ago, Sir Galahad® said:

So how about the leak that Kakizaki was experiencing or that Hayate was losing propellant?

It's never been established what exactly was leaking from the battle damage on Kakizaki's VF-1A in that scene where Hikaru goes over Misa's head to send him back to the ship.  Given the location of the damage, I'd assume it's probably hydraulic fluid from the landing gear.

Hayate was warned about conserving propellant, presumably because he'd never trained in spaceflight before and his extravagant flying style would burn propellant like mad.  It'd be rather lethal to run out of fuel in mid-dogfight for all kinds of reasons, including being unable to maneuver and the complete loss of power to defensive systems.

 

26 minutes ago, Sir Galahad® said:

Another question. Beam Technology. Ever since they Developed the VF-4, they have been using Beam Guns. How effective/ineffective were they since the projectile gunpod was still the weapon of choice until the VF-27 and YF-29 came with beam rifles.

Well, arguably the VF-1 Strike Valkyrie beat the VF-4 to the punch there... 

Anyhoo, one of the main advantages that more traditional projectile guns had over beam weapons for most of Macross history is that OTM armor materials have exceptionally good resistance to heat and ablation, which is boosted by energy conversion armor technology and ablative anti-beam coatings.  Consequently, a beam weapon needs to overcome those by brute force, where your solid rounds from a conventional gunpod are only working against the physical strength of the armor (and specialized AP ammo can defeat energy conversion armor).  The gunpods also had the advantage of requiring very little power to operate compared to beam weapons, being more resistant to EMP attacks, and being more versatile as different types of shell can be employed... like how the VF-25's gunpod was upgraded from a high-explosive anti-ECA round to a more powerful HEACA round, and then to MDE rounds.

The limiting factors on beam weapon deployment were available surplus reactor power while in flight, and the maturity of human laser and particle beam technology.  Most fighter-mounted beam weapons are light, high-precision energy weapons meant to be secondary weapons.  To put it in perspective, the VF-1's ROV-20 laser cannon transferrred slightly more energy to the target on a per-second basis than one GU-11A round.

What finally promoted beam weaponry to gunpod level was a series of dramatic increases in generator output brought about by new generations of thermonuclear reaction turbine engine technology that enabled them to switch to more killy flavors of beam weaponry... specifically, dimensional weaponry.  It started on the YF-19 and YF-21, with the option to mount dimensional beam weaponry on the coaxial gun mount and wing root gunmounts.  They used heavy quantum reaction beam technology, so those guns were essentially tiny Macross Cannons.  When generator technology improved again in the Stage II engines, they had the surplus power to employ the somewhat simpler heavy quantum beam weapons as a gunpod-scale rapid fire weapon, and later advances enabled those to be upgraded to MDE beam weapons when sufficient quantities of fold quartz were available.  That series of advances finally put the brute force approach to overcoming the ever-improving energy conversion armor of VFs on a practical, workable level.

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I love this topic even if it mostly boils down to an AMA for Seto, lol. I don't mind, he's a gold mine. 

However in spirit of the topic including opinions as well as actual data, I'll not answer the best VF question as it is pretty subjective to criteria. I will add a new criteria though: multi role vs specialized VFs. 

Every iteration seems to have a say in this topic. The VF-1 is the most versatile likely with the VF-25 essentially becoming the current gen successor to that. Seto made clear why the VF-11 never quite managed that. Still it makes sense why you'd want a plane that can do it all. Like in real life though where this is debated, multi role craft often are not the best at any specific mission. 

VFs like the VF-4 exist because the need at the time was a space superiority fighter, and it was great for that. Not so much in atmosphere though, which is why the VF-5000 came about, and became a mainstay on planets before the VF-11.

The purpose of the YF-19 and YF-21 competition was specifically to make mission focused designs as the next main series for smaller production but greater specialization. This arguably worked but both ended up so specialized the VF-19 and VF-22 became special units next to simpler and more usable VF-171s (not to mention the VF-17 which was also specialized a generation before). 

So the real question is, with the constant back and forth, where do you stand on specialized units vs multi role VFs? Is the VF-25 with its many pack options the end result of this idea (additionally the less advanced VF-31A/B with its ordinance container options, regardless of the fact we've barely seen any of those options)?

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4 hours ago, Master Dex said:

So the real question is, with the constant back and forth, where do you stand on specialized units vs multi role VFs? Is the VF-25 with its many pack options the end result of this idea (additionally the less advanced VF-31A/B with its ordinance container options, regardless of the fact we've barely seen any of those options)?

Well, I feel the same way about it in Macross as I do about it in the real world. I have to imagine that the procurement process works similarly to the way it does in the real world. There would be a stated mission goal for the proposal. Then there would be a RFI (Request For Information) from manufacturers. After there are respondants, then a Project would be announced with the stated mission goals, after which an RFP (Request For Proposal) would be issued to the initial respondants. The Field would narrow as manufacturers decide if they can meet the stated goals at various stages. Then the proposals come back, and the designs are evaluated based on how well they meet criteria. The Field narrows again, as proposals are rejected, and development would begin. At this point manufacturers begin to build demonstrators, and flight test and refine the designs. Testing will narrow the field once more as designs fall short of requirements. and so on and so forth until it boils down to two candidates, after which something like we see in M+ happens. A winner is chosen and the design is revised over and over until it is ready to begin production. 

So, as a general philosophy I dislike the Jack-of-all-trades mentality. It's fine for an aircraft to perform multiple roles, but it should have one role at which it excels. Enter VF's like the VF-17, VF-19, and VF-22. They are intended to be high performance strike fighters, designed to penetrate enemy defenses and neutralize high priority targets. That would necessarily make them poor choices for a dedicated Fleet defense fighter, as their primary role lies far from the fleet, as projected airpower. Then there are VF's like the E/VA-3 which are slower attack oriented craft, designed for support operations. Again, that's projected airpower. Then there are VF's like the VF-4 and VF-11, which are best suited to Fleet defense. They are excellent dogfighters, but would be best served staying in range of the fleet, to shoot down whatever the defensive guns cannot. 

There are some oddities like the VF-171, VF-25, YF-29, YF-30, and VF-31 that for various reasons defy classification.

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5 hours ago, Master Dex said:

I love this topic even if it mostly boils down to an AMA for Seto, lol. I don't mind, he's a gold mine. 

This right here is why my keyboards only last about six months on average... :p 

 

5 hours ago, Master Dex said:

Every iteration seems to have a say in this topic. The VF-1 is the most versatile likely with the VF-25 essentially becoming the current gen successor to that. Seto made clear why the VF-11 never quite managed that. Still it makes sense why you'd want a plane that can do it all. Like in real life though where this is debated, multi role craft often are not the best at any specific mission. 

The New UN Government and New UN Forces go back and forth on whether specialized VFs or a jack-of-all-trades all-regime VF is better with every new generation of variable fighters.  The odd numbered generations always end up with the all-regime multirole ones, and the even numbered generations get the specialized ones.

(Funnily enough, this is a habit they appear to have inherited from Macross II: Lovers Again, who beat them to the punch on that little trend by a couple years.)

 

 

 

49 minutes ago, Valkyrie Driver said:

Well, I feel the same way about it in Macross as I do about it in the real world. I have to imagine that the procurement process works similarly to the way it does in the real world. [...]

It does, for the most part... though there are some cases of development teams carrying out their own pet projects and experiments independent of major military procurement programs.  General Galaxy had a whole team devoted to that, and later sold it to an Epsilon Foundation subsidiary by the name of Dian Cecht, which is responsible for the Sv-154 and Sv-262.

 

49 minutes ago, Valkyrie Driver said:

So, as a general philosophy I dislike the Jack-of-all-trades mentality. It's fine for an aircraft to perform multiple roles, but it should have one role at which it excels.

By design, a VF kind of bucks the idea of excelling in one role since every single one of them was designed to function as a combat aircraft, VTOL attack craft, and ground warfare robot.

 

49 minutes ago, Valkyrie Driver said:

Enter VF's like the VF-17, VF-19, and VF-22. They are intended to be high performance strike fighters, designed to penetrate enemy defenses and neutralize high priority targets. That would necessarily make them poor choices for a dedicated Fleet defense fighter, as their primary role lies far from the fleet, as projected airpower.

But that's only true as an absolute fact for one of those three... the VF-17 Nightmare, which was intended as a long-range strike fighter.  The YF-19 and YF-21 were supposed to be very good at long-range decapitation strikes against high priority targets, but it must be remembered that the both of them were developed to be the VF-11 Thunderbolt's replacement and fill the role of main variable fighter of the New UN Forces.

 

49 minutes ago, Valkyrie Driver said:

Then there are VF's like the E/VA-3 which are slower attack oriented craft, designed for support operations. Again, that's projected airpower.

Those are a small number of exceptions to the general rule of multipurposefulness though.

 

49 minutes ago, Valkyrie Driver said:

Then there are VF's like the VF-4 and VF-11, which are best suited to Fleet defense. They are excellent dogfighters, but would be best served staying in range of the fleet, to shoot down whatever the defensive guns cannot. 

Ironically, the technical writeup of the VF-4 puts its atmospheric utility chiefly in roles where it would be projected airpower (interceptor and attack roles) and the VF-11 was supposed to be a fighter that was to fill an assortment of strike fighter roles including long-range and anti-ship attacks.  The VF-17 was supposedly meant to address its shortcomings in that regard.

 

49 minutes ago, Valkyrie Driver said:

There are some oddities like the VF-171, VF-25, YF-29, YF-30, and VF-31 that for various reasons defy classification.

Hm?  The VF-171, VF-25, and VF-31 are all multirole strike fighters intended for fleet (and planetary) defense roles, the YF-29 is a cripplingly overspecialized ultra high performance dogfighter meant for anti-Vajra work and nothing else, and the YF-30 is a technology demonstrator that would be pretty much exclusively an air superiority fighter if its whole raison d'etre wasn't exploration of the Protoculture ruins on Uroboros and evaluating the Fold Dimensional Resonance system.

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And there’s the VF-27, which seems to be exclusively made for killing other Variable Fighters. 

And let me ask here: does the 31 have any fold quartz coating the canopy like the 29s do? Also, which of the 29s are actually canon?

Edited by Sildani

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1 hour ago, Sildani said:

And there’s the VF-27, which seems to be exclusively made for killing other Variable Fighters. 

And let me ask here: does the 31 have any fold quartz coating the canopy like the 29s do? Also, which of the 29s are actually canon?

The fold quartz is in the nose cone, not the canopy (and also those bits on the chest piece behind the cockpit in fighter mode, but the biggest piece is in the nose, at least on the YF-29).

The VF-31 does have fold quartz as it has a Fold Wave system, but it might have less than the YF-29 since it doesn't seem as ludicrously expensive (they made 5 of them after all, 6 if you count Hayate's second VF-31J, though they might have re-purposed parts from the VF-31F he'd been flying).

The YF-29's that are for sure canon are Alto's Durandal seen in The Wings of Goodbye, and the YF-29B Rod flies for Havamal in Macross 30. Though Macross 30 I think also showcases the Ozma Durandal as well.. not sure if it has the Isamu one. The only one that is entirely non-canon for sure is the anniversary toy that has somewhat Fokker-ish colors. It doesn't appear in any media.

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3 hours ago, Sildani said:

And there’s the VF-27, which seems to be exclusively made for killing other Variable Fighters. 

's more an anti-Vajra fighter than anything, but that capability to rival the Vajra in close range combat makes it a pretty damned effective dogfighter in general even if it is rather gun-centric.

 

Quote

And let me ask here: does the 31 have any fold quartz coating the canopy like the 29s do?

As far as I am aware, it does not... and I've never been clear on what, precisely, the granulated fold quartz coating on the YF-29's canopy was meant to accomplish.

 

Quote

Also, which of the 29s are actually canon?

At the very least, the initial YF-29 spec as developed by the Macross Frontier emigrant fleet and the New UN Forces upgraded type designated YF-29B.

 

 

 

1 hour ago, Master Dex said:

The fold quartz is in the nose cone, not the canopy (and also those bits on the chest piece behind the cockpit in fighter mode, but the biggest piece is in the nose, at least on the YF-29).

For reasons unknown, the official spec for the YF-29 lists the canopy as being coated in fold quartz... Macross Chronicle confirms this rather bizarre factoid on Mechanic Sheet MF Movie SMS 04A.

The YF-29 implements fold quartz in, as far as we know, eight distinct locations (not counting FAST packs).

  • The T022 inertia store converter located in the airframe nose.
  • As a coating on the canopy.
  • The two fold wave amplifiers located behind the cockpit (on the chest in battroid)
  • The four "Philosopher's Stone" 1,000ct class fold quartz pieces that make up the fold wave system, which are located on the leading edge of both wing roots and on the leading outboard edge of each outer engine nacelle.

 

Quote

The VF-31 does have fold quartz as it has a Fold Wave system, but it might have less than the YF-29 since it doesn't seem as ludicrously expensive (they made 5 of them after all, 6 if you count Hayate's second VF-31J, though they might have re-purposed parts from the VF-31F he'd been flying).

Variable Fighter Master File: VF-31 Siegfried, while useless, suggests the fold quartz in the VF-31's fold wave amplifiers is pulling double duty as the core of its fold wave system.  It's unclear where the YF-30's fold dimensional resonance system core was.

 

Quote

The YF-29's that are for sure canon are Alto's Durandal seen in The Wings of Goodbye, and the YF-29B Rod flies for Havamal in Macross 30. Though Macross 30 I think also showcases the Ozma Durandal as well.. not sure if it has the Isamu one. The only one that is entirely non-canon for sure is the anniversary toy that has somewhat Fokker-ish colors. It doesn't appear in any media.

Macross 30: Voices Across the Galaxy has several other YF-29s in addition to Rod's and Alto's... though their existence is somewhat debatable given that their pilots (and in one case, the person doling them out) are temporally displaced folks thanks to a seriously messed-up fold fault.  The game had a playable generic YF-29 Durandal for its main character Reon Sakaki, Rod Baltemar's NUNS Havamal YF-29B Percival, and character-specific YF-29 upgrades for Alto Saotome, Ozma Lee, and Isamu Dyson.

(This does not count the DLC YF-29 that was available to Japanese buyers of the Limited Edition.  The 30th Anniversary one is, IIRC, the only YF-29 color variant that doesn't show up in-game.)

Edited by Seto Kaiba
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21 hours ago, Sir Galahad® said:

Another question. Beam Technology. Ever since they Developed the VF-4, they have been using Beam Guns. How effective/ineffective were they since the projectile gunpod was still the weapon of choice until the VF-27 and YF-29 came with beam rifles.

Here are the Valkyries that use beam weapons

Fixed small-bore forward laser guns (VF-17)
Mauler RÖV-25 25mm beam machine guns (VF-25)
Mauler REB-22 beam cannons (VF-171)
Erikon AAB-7B beam cannons (VF-171)
Fixed internal laser cannons (VF-19)
Mauler REB-22 internal converging energy cannons (VF-22)
Mauler ROV-25 22mm beam gun turret (VF-9)

Didn't the VF-1 also use beam cannons (Mauler RÖV-20) in varying quantities depending on the model? And the VF-1 strike configuration also had an additional set of beam cannons. 

Still, the question of why a projectile gun pod is interesting. I'm no expert, but different munitions would have different levels of effectiveness against different kinds of targets, and as they faced different kinds of enemies over time, their weapon selections were tweaked to suit? The situation of a gun pod running out of ammo is demonstrated in multiple series, so perhaps they wanted to get away from that problem with beam rifles?

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I did not include the head lasers as they didn't behave like the other beam weaponry as they fired a continuous stream (except in two instances in Macross Zero and in DYRL). And I also think they were used short range.

Well beam weapons will also drain your power supply, which was shown in other anime. I don't think Macross has shown a Valkyrie that is low in power. Probably because most units get blown up before they lose all their power I guess.

Speaking of beam weapons, it's weird that the MC-17A which is a gatling gun can be outfitted with a beam cartridge that fires only one shot.

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57 minutes ago, Sir Galahad® said:

I did not include the head lasers as they didn't behave like the other beam weaponry as they fired a continuous stream (except in two instances in Macross Zero and in DYRL). And I also think they were used short range.

Well beam weapons will also drain your power supply, which was shown in other anime. I don't think Macross has shown a Valkyrie that is low in power. Probably because most units get blown up before they lose all their power I guess.

Speaking of beam weapons, it's weird that the MC-17A which is a gatling gun can be outfitted with a beam cartridge that fires only one shot.

The VF-1's weren't beam cannons like later VFs (I think it was the YF-19 and YF-21 that first did dimensional beam weapons in the head units, Seto says somewhere up there too), they were just lasers.. really powerful lasers mind you.. but less powerful than later beam weapons.

Most VFs have a stupid amount of power, but in space a lot of the fuel is used pretty fast, which is why super parts are a common theme in space until Gen 5, where they were really just an excuse for More Dakka and even more Itano Circus (and armoring). When they graduated to the heavy quantum beam gunpods on the VF-27, YF-29, and YF-30 they did need more powerful engines. The VF-27 prototypes I think needed four partly for the weapon but the final version had it easier... I'm probably mis-remembering the details but Seto's keyboard ain't broke yet, lol.

I always thought it could do more than one shot but we only ever saw that stock footage of Gamlin one-shotting Gabil... every time.

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2 hours ago, ScrambledValkyrie said:

Didn't the VF-1 also use beam cannons (Mauler RÖV-20) in varying quantities depending on the model? And the VF-1 strike configuration also had an additional set of beam cannons. 

The Mauler RÖV-20 is a "laser machinegun", not a particle beam weapon.

On the other hand, the Mauler RÖ-X2A on the Strike Pack is a proper particle beam cannon.

 

2 hours ago, ScrambledValkyrie said:

The situation of a gun pod running out of ammo is demonstrated in multiple series, so perhaps they wanted to get away from that problem with beam rifles?

All told, the most likely factor in making beam gunpods viable was that Stage II thermonuclear reaction turbine engines finally had the excess generator output to enable them to deploy a heavy quantum beam weapon that was more powerful in sustained firing than a projectile gunpod.  Generator surplus was always an issue in VFs, which is why energy conversion armor is not enabled in fighter mode and on at only a low level in GERWALK.

 

 

1 hour ago, Sir Galahad® said:

Well beam weapons will also drain your power supply, which was shown in other anime. I don't think Macross has shown a Valkyrie that is low in power. Probably because most units get blown up before they lose all their power I guess.

Macross has never, to the best of my knowledge, shown a VF on the verge of running out of fuel except in Macross Zero... where the fuel consumption rates were MUCH higher because the VF-0 and Sv-51 were using conventional turbine engines for thrust and as a generator.  On each occasion, the VFs in question returned to their mothership for refueling and rearming before they ran out.

That's much less of a problem for VFs with thermonuclear reaction turbine engines, which have an operating time of hundreds of hours in atmospheric service between refuelings.  (This is, per NASA, actually pretty realistic.)

 

1 hour ago, Sir Galahad® said:

Speaking of beam weapons, it's weird that the MC-17A which is a gatling gun can be outfitted with a beam cartridge that fires only one shot.

It is an odd touch, but it seemed to be fairly effective despite how HUGE the adapter was, and the fact that they had to give up a spare gunpod magazine to carry it.

 

24 minutes ago, Master Dex said:

The VF-1's weren't beam cannons like later VFs (I think it was the YF-19 and YF-21 that first did dimensional beam weapons in the head units, Seto says somewhere up there too), they were just lasers.. really powerful lasers mind you.. but less powerful than later beam weapons.

Powerful by modern standards, not s'much by Macross standards.  Even for the time, the VF-1's coaxial laser cannons were fairly low powered... mainly because they were a compromise in the design when the scale of the VF-1 made it impossible to fit a small bore machinegun in the head that would fire the same kind of high-explosive anti-ECA shells as the gunpod.  The VF-1's lasers are pretty middling for the era, the most powerful energy weapon mounted on a fighter in the First Space War had 150x the output of the Mauler RÖV-20.  (It was an anti-ship beam cannon, mind...)

 

24 minutes ago, Master Dex said:

Most VFs have a stupid amount of power, but in space a lot of the fuel is used pretty fast, which is why super parts are a common theme in space until Gen 5, where they were really just an excuse for More Dakka and even more Itano Circus (and armoring). When they graduated to the heavy quantum beam gunpods on the VF-27, YF-29, and YF-30 they did need more powerful engines. The VF-27 prototypes I think needed four partly for the weapon but the final version had it easier... I'm probably mis-remembering the details but Seto's keyboard ain't broke yet, lol.

Yeah, as noted above the YF-27-5 needed a separate thermonuclear reactor module slung on one wing to drive its beam gunpod because it was only a twin engine design.  Three seems sufficient to fire at full power, though, based on Macross Frontier.

It's worth noting that one of the reasons VFs don't spam beam weapons in atmosphere is that any way you shake it, flying in fighter mode is a HORRIFICALLY inefficient system... much of the energy is never used to generate electrical power becuase it's wasted as heat or high-energy plasma in the exhaust stream.  That's why energy conversion armor is off in fighter mode, and on at a low level in GERWALK mode.  Progressively more reactor output can be diverted to power generation as the demands for thrust are reduced, though most of that goes to defensive systems like energy conversion armor and pin-point barriers.

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What is the difference between VF-19ADVANCE and the VF-19EF/A. I have seen both models sporting Isamu Colors and mentioning Macross Frontier Sayounara no Tsubasa. The ADVANCE was made by Bandai and the EF/A by Hasegawa. Which version was in the OVA?

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29 minutes ago, Sir Galahad® said:

What is the difference between VF-19ADVANCE and the VF-19EF/A. I have seen both models sporting Isamu Colors and mentioning Macross Frontier Sayounara no Tsubasa. The ADVANCE was made by Bandai and the EF/A by Hasegawa. Which version was in the OVA?

There is no difference... they're the exact same plane.

One of the things that sends me 'round the twist about that design is that there are three separate names for the darn thing in the official publications.  The Macross Frontier: Sayonara no Tsubasa artbook calls it just "VF-19 SMS Ver.", the movie novelization has the fighter down as "VF-19ADVANCE", and the Macross Chronicle mechanic sheet for it has it as "VF-19EF/A Isamu Special". 

The Macross Chronicle sheet at least acknowledges the "VF-19ADVANCE" thing by making it the name of the VF-19 modernization project that spawned the VF-19EF/A.

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What is the average Valkyries average expected lifespan and how practical is it really compared to non-transforming mecha?

By this I mean can Valkyries be expected to run continuously with (I assume based on Klan's statement in Frontier) the same minimal to no maintenance required by Zentraedi mecha?

 

 

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6 hours ago, Podtastic said:

What is the average Valkyries average expected lifespan and how practical is it really compared to non-transforming mecha?

By this I mean can Valkyries be expected to run continuously with (I assume based on Klan's statement in Frontier) the same minimal to no maintenance required by Zentraedi mecha?

Assuming the unit is not tragically lost in combat or given a major refurbishment or customization, the typical service life of a variable fighter is averaging about thirty years before the technology in any given VF design becomes outdated enough that it's no longer viable as a frontline unit.  That's not quite the same as the actual structural design lifespan, which can exceed fifty years under the attentions of a properly trained maintenance team.

At least in the short term, Valkyries can operate for days or possibly weeks without maintenance... but generally don't, since an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  The 5th Generation VF designs aim to improve overall durability and reliability by using linear actuator technology in place of the small, fragile moving parts that previously governed transformation.

Zentradi mecha pay a price for their extremely low maintenance requirements, though.  They have very low survivability, being that they were designed to be cheaply mass-produced for the Zentradi Army and the Protoculture saw their clone soldiers as expendable.  There's very little automation of control, and even less redundancy providing a shield against systemic failure, so the burden on the operator is high.  They also have a very low operational versatility.  Humans attempted to address some of these issues, particularly improving survivability with better armor and defenses, and with the addition of system redundancies to prevent single-point failures from disabling the mecha.

On the whole, the only Zentradi Army mecha that really stood the test of time in the New UN Forces was the Queadluun-Rau, which was good enough that the NUNS kept operating them as-is until the capture of the Quimeliquola automated factory satellite and the plan to improve their survivability and performance that produced the Queadluun-Rhea.

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Given that the Zentradi and the Supervision Army were fighting almost forever, how old do you think is the Alien Star Ship that crashed into earth?

And do you think that the technology made by protoculture has been surpassed as of 2067?

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33 minutes ago, Sir Galahad® said:

Given that the Zentradi and the Supervision Army were fighting almost forever, how old do you think is the Alien Star Ship that crashed into earth?

Somewhere between 1 day and 500,000 years.  Assuming the Supervision Army is building to similar engineering standards as the Zentradi Army, their ships have only one near term limitation on their operational lifespan... battle damage.

 

33 minutes ago, Sir Galahad® said:

And do you think that the technology made by protoculture has been surpassed as of 2067?

Oh my, no... humanity's grasp of overtechnology has a ways to go before it's anywhere close to the level of the Protoculture before their civilization fell.

Humanity's come a long way in not-quite seventy years, but they're still energetically reverse-engineering Protoculture technology to derive advances in a lot of fields.  There's plenty of innovation going on, but by in large humanity is still reinventing the wheel here.  

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Seto is right there, just compare intact Protoculture devices. There is the ship on Windermere but they IMO pales in comparison to the Bird Human which was not only powerful beyond measure but appeared to be fully sentient (or at least sapient). That it was designed to mimic the Vajra which themselves are considered worthy of worship by the Protoculture. 

Then there is the Evil series weapons which are possessed by the Protodeviln and were practically unstoppable by any normal means. The Protoculture were seriously advanced, likely borderline Kardashev Type 3, but at least high type 2. Humanity by Delta is Type 1, with a good chance of scratching the surface of 2 within a century of they keep pace. 

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31 minutes ago, Master Dex said:

Then there is the Evil series weapons which are possessed by the Protodeviln and were practically unstoppable by any normal means.

At the time (2045-2046), yeah... though, via Macross 30, it would appear that humanity achieved a level of weapons technology able to inflict significant, debilitating harm on an Evil series bioweapon by late 2059.

 

31 minutes ago, Master Dex said:

The Protoculture were seriously advanced, likely borderline Kardashev Type 3, but at least high type 2. Humanity by Delta is Type 1, with a good chance of scratching the surface of 2 within a century of they keep pace. 

Classifying the ancient Protoculture on the Kardashev scale is a tricky proposition, given that we're still largely in the dark about the state of their civilization when it was at its peak and that we don't have anything like an explicitly stated output for a single shipboard generator or total output of the typical heat pile system cluster... further complicated by many of the Protoculture's more advanced biotechnological constructs using fold dimensional energy conversion for power instead.

Rough order estimates suggest each Zentradi Army main fleet constitutes a Type 1 civilization or a borderline Type 2 civilization all on its own thanks to their colossal size and fold reactor technology letting them milk far more energy out of a fusion reaction.

The only relics of the ancient Protoculture have been computer systems and civilian structures from their crystal spires and togas, sufficiently advanced aliens phase, so it's hard to say what the power demands of their civilization were.  Given that they've constructed things like permanent networks for fold travel and the like, I'd say they're on the high end of Type 2 or maybe a low Type 3.

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I went to post a VF Generation breakdown, but my initial list was somewhat incomplete. So I decided that I'd go a head and update it. This includes YF air frames, as well as half generation upgrades and designs. It does not, however, include one off variants (Like many of those from Macross the Ride). 

Gen 1 - VF-0, SV-51, VF-X-1, VF-1

Gen 2 - VF-4, VF-3000, VF-5000, VF-9

Gen 3 - VF-11, VF-14

    Gen 3.5 - VF-17 (could be gen 4), VF-1X+

Gen 4 - Y/VF-19, YF-21, VF-22, VF-171

    Gen 4.5 - VF-19EF series, Sv-154

Gen 5 - VF-25, VF-27, YF-29, YF-30, VF-31, Sv-262

This should be a bit more comprehensive than my original breakdown, and hopefully more accurate. I post this because I found myself not remembering what all was included in what generation, so I figured that I'd try and head off any confusion before it started (also, to make a handy reference as we go forward with our discussion).

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On 9/30/2017 at 10:31 AM, Valkyrie Driver said:

I went to post a VF Generation breakdown, but my initial list was somewhat incomplete. So I decided that I'd go a head and update it. This includes YF air frames, as well as half generation upgrades and designs.

Probably don't need to include YF airframes in it, since by definition those would belong to the same generation as the completed design (unless no completed design exists or the design number ended up changed).

 

Quote

It does not, however, include one off variants (Like many of those from Macross the Ride). 

Just as well, most of those are nigh-impossible to classify.

 

Quote

This should be a bit more comprehensive than my original breakdown, and hopefully more accurate. I post this because I found myself not remembering what all was included in what generation, so I figured that I'd try and head off any confusion before it started (also, to make a handy reference as we go forward with our discussion).

Oh boy, here I go rantin' again!1

For the sake of convenience, the following rant will be color-coded!  
VFs that officially exist and have appeared in a Macross official setting work
VFs that officially exist and have NOT appeared in a Macross official setting work.
VFs that exist solely in non-official works like Variable Fighter Master File
VFs whose placement is speculative.

 

Generation 0 - "Prototype Generation"
This generation is purely speculative and exists mainly to segregate designs that do not fully comply with the design qualifications for the First Generation Variable Fighter (e.g. thermonuclear reaction turbine engines) and were built principally for evaluation purposes rather than mass produced for actual combat service.

  • YVF-X-0
  • VF-0 Phoenix (YVF-X-0B)
  • VF-0-NF
  • Sv-50
  • Sv-51
  • Sv-51Σ (Unmanned Sv-51)
  • Sv-51Ω (Repurposed incomplete Sv-52 with conventional engines)

 

Generation 0.5 - "Upgraded Prototype Generation"
This generation contains designs that exist only in Variable Fighter Master File.  These VF designs are upgrades of the 0th Generation prototypes that were upgraded with technology from 1st Generation VFs or otherwise modernized to make them viable for long-duration operation.

  • VF-0+ Phoenix Plus
  • VF-0 Replica (Macross 30)
  • Sv-51 Replica (Macross 30)

 

Generation 1 - "First Generation"
The defining traits of this generation are the adoption of Overtechnology, including thermonuclear reaction turbine engines, laser weaponry, energy converting armor, etc. in a production variable fighter.

  • Sv-52
  • VF-1 Valkyrie
  • VF-X-2

 

Generation 1.5 - "Upgraded First Generation"
First Generation designs upgraded with Second Generation hardware drawn from the VF-4.

  • VF-1 Valkyrie Plus (Blocks 6 and later, incl. VF-1X)
  • VF-3000S Crusader
  • VF-3000B

 

Generation 2 - "Specialization for Emigrant Fleets"
The hallmarks of the Second Generation designs include the adoption of Zentradi overtechnology, refinements for regime-optimized performance in either atmosphere or space, "lessons learned" from the First Space War, and optionally the adoption of particle beam weaponry.  Most were intended for use by emigrant fleets, with low cost, simplified manufacturing, and parts-sharing.

  • VF-X-3
  • VF-4 Lightning III
  • VF-3000S Crusader
  • VF-3000B
  • VF-5000 Star Mirage
  • VF-5
  • VF-6
  • VF-7
  • VF-9 Cutlass
  • VF-X-10
  • V-BR-2
  • VA-X-3

 

Generation 2.5 - "Upgraded Second Generation"
Second Generation VFs that were modernized to keep them in service alongside Third Generation VFs.

  • VF-4G Lightning III
  • VF-5000G Star Mirage
  • VF-9E Cutlass

 

Generation 3 - "Project Nova and Diversification"
The Third Generation VFs are defined chiefly by the Project Nova design contest that decided the generation's main variable fighter as a true all-purpose successor to the VF-1 Valkyrie, but also by the continuing diversification of variable craft design into dedicated Attacker and Bomber roles.

  • VF-11A/B/C/D Thunderbolt 
  • VF-14 Vampire
  • VF-15
  • VF-17A-C Nightmare
  • VA-14
  • VAB-2
  • VA-3
  • VA-110 Variable Glaug
  • VB-6

 

Generation 3.5 - "Upgraded Third Generation"
Third Generation VFs that've been modernized or upgraded with technology drawn from Fourth Generation VFs to keep them viable or evaluate technologies meant for Fourth Generation implementation.

  • VF-11MAXL Thunderbolt 
  • VF-11C Thunderbolt Interceptor
  • VF-16
  • VF-17D/S/T Nightmare
  • XVF-19 (a modified VF-11)
  • Fz-109 Elgersoln
  • Az-130 Panzersoln
  • FBz-99 Zaubergern

 

Generation 4 - "Project Super Nova: the Advanced Variable Fighter"
The Fourth Generation's distinctive design traits are among the best known in Macross.  The adoption of the next-gen ARIEL airframe control AI, thermonuclear reaction burst turbine engines, fighter-scale pinpoint barrier systems, and native compatibility for fold boosters.  This generation was largely defined by Project Super Nova, the ultimately futile contest between the YF-19 and YF-21 at Eden's New Edwards Test Flight Center.  The insurmountable technological and performance complications of the two designs led to a third design, the VF-171, becoming this generation's main variable fighter.

  • VF-19 Excalibur
  • YF-21
  • VF-22 Sturmvogel II
  • VF-171 Nightmare Plus
  • VB-171 Nightmare Plus
  • RVF-171 Nightmare Plus
  • Sv-154 Svard
  • Feios Valkyrie
  • Fz-109G Elgersoln Gustaf 

 

Generation 4.5 - "Upgraded Fourth Generation"
The Generation 4.5 designs are few, and consist mostly of VF designs that were either upgraded to evaluate tech for eventual adoption by Generation 5 designs, or ones that were upgraded in extremis to make them more effective in combat against the Vajra.

  • VF-19ACTIVE Nothung
  • VF-19EF Caliburn
  • VF-19EF/A Excalibur ADVANCE
  • VF-22HG Schwalbe Zwei
  • VF-171-IIIF Nightmare Plus
  • VF-171EX Nightmare Plus
  • Queadluun Alma

 

Generation 5 - "Project Evolution and Decentralized Development"
The Fifth Generation of Variable Fighters started development as a response to the disastrous first contact with the insectoid alien race known as the Vajra.  Existing VF designs proved utterly inadequate to rival the performance of Vajra drones, and new programs were launched to develop countermeasures for the high-g forces and other major problems with the newly finalized Fourth Generation.  The hallmarks of the Fifth Generation are the adoption of fold quartz-based technology like the Inertia Store Converter, Fold Wave System, and Fold Dimensional Resonance System, as well as new technologies like linear actuators, Stage II thermonuclear reaction turbine engines, ARIEL II airframe control AIs, EX-Gear cockpits, advanced energy conversion armor, and heavy quantum beam weaponry.

  • YF-24
  • YF-24 Evolution
  • VF-24
  • YF-25 Prophecy
  • VF-25 Messiah
  • YF-26
  • YF-27 Shahar
  • VF-27 Lucifer
  • YF-28 (Existence speculative)
  • YF-29 Durandal
  • YF-29B Percival (NUNS Ver.)
  • YF-30 Chronos
  • YF-30B Chronos (NUNS Ver.)
  • VF-31 Kairos
  • VF-31 Custom "Siegfried"
  • Sv-262 Draken III
  • Queadluun Alma

 

1. If you could read that in the voice of Krombopulos Michael from Rick and Morty, that'd be great.

Edited by Seto Kaiba
Added VF-0-NF.
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On 9/26/2017 at 12:16 PM, Valkyrie Driver said:

So to kick it off I'll toss a Question out there: What is the best Variable fighter in Macross?

 

Clearly the SDP-1 Stampede Valkyrie. 

sdp-1-stampede-battroid.thumb.gif.0f644dd7dd31b00fc37e72be8fdb35ab.gif

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The stampede Valkyrie is sort of the Gundam Heavy Arms of Macross. 

That would really be cool though...

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