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I'm wondering about one thing in the Macross universe guys ...


Macross007
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This is my first post, so go easy on me guys. :p

While watching Macross Plus one week ago, I was wondering what kind of construction technics and materials are used in variable fighters. I just watched Macross Plus and Zero, so I did not watch yet the original series, Macross 7, etc. Did they ever mention that kind of information in Macross ? Thanks in advance for answering me.

P.S. : Excuse me for my poor english guys.

Edited by Macross007
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Welcome to Macross World, Macross007!

They don't specifically mention construction techniques or processes in the Macross anime shows or films. I suspect it would be difficult for anyone to write about such a fictional process with any kind of believability.

The official literature does make mention of two unknown materials use in the Macross universe; one is called "Space Metal" and another is called "Hypercarbon." Space Metal is specifically stated as comprising the frame of the variable fighters. The properties of this metal are unknown, but we know from the statistics that it's obviously light weight and we know from the anime that it's obviously very strong. Hypercarbon is mentioned in the 1984 Macross film Do You Remember Love?. It is stated the SDF-1 Macross is composed of this material, but again, no specifics are given.

Naturally, if you've already watched Macross Zero you know all about Energy Converting Armor :)

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And of course, there is OTM - Over Technology of Macross, the advanced alien technology that mankind gleaned from the crashed Alien Star Ship 1 (ASS-1), AKA what was later rebuilt as the SDF-1.

This is a great 'catch all', in that it allows everything to be explained away as advanced alien technology, without having to dig too deep into the actual practicalities of how something would really work with real world technology. :D

Graham

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Of all the retcon to come out of Zero I have to say I only hate SWAG!

It is described to be able to give a fighter the armor of a tank, yet the aircraft are easily taken down with a 55mm gun pod and missiles! IMO it would have made more sense to leave us with the idea that the Valk's skin was an OTEC alloy that was stronger and lighter than typical alloys, yet still conventional in its application.

SWAG opens up the pandora's box of energy barriers and such that the early days of Spacy would not know about yet. Remember they only had 10 years to reverse engineer the technology and then use it to design and build defenses against a possible attack by giants...

They stumbled upon the pin point barrier application of fold energy months after they left Earth.

That retcon raised more questions than any other IMHO...

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Of all the retcon to come out of Zero I have to say I only hate SWAG!

It is described to be able to give a fighter the armor of a tank, yet the aircraft are easily taken down with a 55mm gun pod and missiles! IMO it would have made more sense to leave us with the idea that the Valk's skin was an OTEC alloy that was stronger and lighter than typical alloys, yet still conventional in its application.

SWAG has the benefit of explaining durability variances between battroid and fighter, in that it's only active in battroid mode, allegedly because it uses surplus energy(though it falls apart when you consider the flying battroids in Zero use MORE energy than flying fighters).

It also explains why a Valk can run around on it's exhaust ducts without damaging them excessively.

SWAG opens up the pandora's box of energy barriers and such that the early days of Spacy would not know about yet. Remember they only had 10 years to reverse engineer the technology and then use it to design and build defenses against a possible attack by giants...

They stumbled upon the pin point barrier application of fold energy months after they left Earth.

Not necessarily.

SWAG could be akin to Trek's "structural integrity field." Rather than preventing a hit entirely, as Macross barrier technologies do, it strengthens the material being acted upon, making it more durable.

And given in ten years they managed to engineer transforming jetplanes, and then invent the pinpoint and omnidirectional barrier systems(not reverse-engineer, as barrier technology was completely unfamiliar to the zentradi)...

But honestly, I thought I remembered the SWAG concept being in the pre-Zero material too.

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Personally, I thought the SWAG Energy Converting Armor (ECA) was the most fitting explanation that made the most sense with the least contradiction. And most of all, I'm glad Kawamori and Co. finally said something about the armor of a Valkyrie. Up until Macross Zero we were apparently just supposed to "go with it" as the Valkyries plowed through buildings, bridges and crashed into the ground all while remaining in one piece and still functional. Fly a 10 ton fighter jet or 60 ton tank into the ground at high speed and what you get is a kilometer long trail of scrap parts strewn across Nevada :)

But using a technology like ECA not only makes sense in the context of the fiction but it also solves all the practical problems in a tight little package. The Valkyries are already unbeleivably over-powered by cheap, efficient reaction (fusion) engines. The VF-1 produces 1,300 MW of power (by comparison, a Nimitz Class Aircraft Carrier produces 194 MW of power). Something has to be done with all the extra power. Second, ECA solves the weight problem posed by a highly armored Valkyrie; how can a Valkyire be more durable than a tank, but weigh so little? If valkyrie armor is energy based, the weight doesn't matter and you can have a 13 ton transforming fighter more heavily armored than a 60 ton tank. Genius :)

A Note About...Weapons

Fan perception on the issue of weaponry in Macross has always confounded me. Here we have the Macross universe as our base of understanding: we have practical energy weapons, space ships, gravity control and space fold drives; we have practical transforming robots with athlete-like agility; we have Valkyries generating more power than a battleship, capable of flying in space and armed with practical laser weapons and particle guns. Eveything just screams "far more advanced."

Yet for many fans (no offense intended, just bear with me), the 55mm gun pod and the VF-1's missles are equated to conventional firepower levels. Why? Why would we fans happily suspend our disbelief for every other area of Macross technology EXCEPT ballistics and explosives. I mean, how can a micro-missile be considered in any way "conventional"? The real world A-10 Thunderbolt II is armed with the most devastating cannon ever mounted in an aircraft: the 30 mm gatling gun. Here's a 30 mm gun capable of shredding the heaviest tank armor, yet we're worried a fictional 55mm gun pod (already unconventional by virtue of being usable in space) might not penetrate the armor of another Valkyrie or Zentradi battle suit equipped with ECA? Why is it such a stretch to assume the GU-11 might use a superior type of bullet or even just have a faster muzzle velocity? Personally, I think ECA is the one getting the short end of the stick in this relationship :)

Moral of the story: I like SWAG Energy Converting Armor :)

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Welcome to Macross World, Macross007!

Thanks. ;)

They don't specifically mention construction techniques or processes in the Macross anime shows or films. I suspect it would be difficult for anyone to write about such a fictional process with any kind of believability.

You are surely right. Even a highly technical show like Star Trek did not mention any kind of construction techniques in 41 years of existence.

The official literature does make mention of two unknown materials use in the Macross universe; one is called "Space Metal" and another is called "Hypercarbon." Space Metal is specifically stated as comprising the frame of the variable fighters. The properties of this metal are unknown, but we know from the statistics that it's obviously light weight and we know from the anime that it's obviously very strong. Hypercarbon is mentioned in the 1984 Macross film Do You Remember Love?. It is stated the SDF-1 Macross is composed of this material, but again, no specifics are given.

This is a good start. ''Space metal'' does not seem to have any connection with known materials on Earth. But hypercarbon seems to be a composite material from Earth according to its name.

Naturally, if you've already watched Macross Zero you know all about Energy Converting Armor :).

Yeah, but I don't think they mentioned ''Energy Converting Armor'' in Macross Plus. Did they mention it in other Macross shows ?

Edited by Macross007
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Strictly speaking, I suppose that's true of Hyper Carbon. But I doubt the SDF-1 Macross was made of tennis racquet materials, so we should assume that Hyper Carbon in Macross is significantly different :)

Space metal is likely a minor homage to Gundam, since Kawamori was such a big fan. In the context of Macross, we just know its a lightweight, but incredibly strong material, certainly strongly than conventional materials given the events depicted in the anime.

I've seen all the Macross shows and ECA is mentioned only in Macross Zero. Apparently, it existed before Macross Zero (see the posts above) but as far as appearing in a Macross anime, it was first mentioned in that show in 2002.

Edited by Mr March
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SWAG/ECA isn't really a retcon. Shawn mentioned this that one of the many booklets he has mentions Kawamori talked about this long before M0 came out. It was only in M0 that he put a "name to the face".

Interesting, very interesting ... Slowly but surely the puzzle is taking shape.

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Personally, I thought the SWAG Energy Converting Armor (ECA) was the most fitting explanation that made the most sense with the least contradiction. And most of all, I'm glad Kawamori and Co. finally said something about the armor of a Valkyrie. Up until Macross Zero we were apparently just supposed to "go with it" as the Valkyries plowed through buildings, bridges and crashed into the ground all while remaining in one piece and still functional. Fly a 10 ton fighter jet or 60 ton tank into the ground at high speed and what you get is a kilometer long trail of scrap parts strewn across Nevada :)

But using a technology like ECA not only makes sense in the context of the fiction but it also solves all the practical problems in a tight little package. The Valkyries are already unbeleivably over-powered by cheap, efficient reaction (fusion) engines. The VF-1 produces 1,300 MW of power (by comparison, a Nimitz Class Aircraft Carrier produces 194 MW of power). Something has to be done with all the extra power. Second, ECA solves the weight problem posed by a highly armored Valkyrie; how can a Valkyire be more durable than a tank, but weigh so little? If valkyrie armor is energy based, the weight doesn't matter and you can have a 13 ton transforming fighter more heavily armored than a 60 ton tank. Genius :)

A Note About...Weapons

Fan perception on the issue of weaponry in Macross has always confounded me. Here we have the Macross universe as our base of understanding: we have practical energy weapons, space ships, gravity control and space fold drives; we have practical transforming robots with athlete-like agility; we have Valkyries generating more power than a battleship, capable of flying in space and armed with practical laser weapons and particle guns. Eveything just screams "far more advanced."

Yet for many fans (no offense intended, just bear with me), the 55mm gun pod and the VF-1's missles are equated to conventional firepower levels. Why? Why would we fans happily suspend our disbelief for every other area of Macross technology EXCEPT ballistics and explosives. I mean, how can a micro-missile be considered in any way "conventional"? The real world A-10 Thunderbolt II is armed with the most devastating cannon ever mounted in an aircraft: the 30 mm gatling gun. Here's a 30 mm gun capable of shredding the heaviest tank armor, yet we're worried a fictional 55mm gun pod (already unconventional by virtue of being usable in space) might not penetrate the armor of another Valkyrie or Zentradi battle suit equipped with ECA? Why is it such a stretch to assume the GU-11 might use a superior type of bullet or even just have a faster muzzle velocity? Personally, I think ECA is the one getting the short end of the stick in this relationship :)

Moral of the story: I like SWAG Energy Converting Armor :)

Said it better than I could, especially the last paragraph. Without swag there was no way in hell the VF-1 would have been able to smash through a concrete overpass like it did in DYRL without snapping like a twig. Moreover my guess is that its not very good against localizing itself against small points, which a very high velocity slug is.

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Well let's see a new alloy developed from the remnants of super advanced technology wouldn't have the durability to smash through concrete or carry it's own weight without an energy boost? It worked plenty fine for me for years... Considering the craft the technology was gleened from was largely intact after it's crash landing and not a trough of scattered metal peices on South Ataria Island...

However, since the 55mm gunpod is in itself science fiction on a practical level, I suppose SWAG is up there with it, although I never felt an energy boost was ever necessary.

Edited by Zinjo
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Arghh-let me think about where I had read this.

I'm almost positive it was in the video interview from the Mixx software. I had those interviews translated years and years ago, but the notebooks that contain that translated data are in some box somewhere in my garage.

http://www.macrossworld.com/macross/games/mixx_front.jpg

Anyhow it was absolutely in his VF-1 specs (although previously unpublished except from the interview) well before M0 came around.

S

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Arghh-let me think about where I had read this.

I'm almost positive it was in the video interview from the Mixx software. I had those interviews translated years and years ago, but the notebooks that contain that translated data are in some box somewhere in my garage.

http://www.macrossworld.com/macross/games/mixx_front.jpg

Anyhow it was absolutely in his VF-1 specs (although previously unpublished except from the interview) well before M0 came around.

This little blurb on the Compendium also has me wondering:

Macross co-creator and mecha designer Shoji Kawamori said that variable fighters in general employ surplus energy to strengthen armor in Battroid mode. The designation SWAG was specified for Macross Zero's VF-0, although Mr. Kawamori publicly described the general technology of energy converting armor before Macross Zero and actually conceived it longer before.

I wonder if SWAG is actually specific for M0 and that form of ECA doesn't apply to any other series.

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Considering the craft the technology was gleened from was largely intact after it's crash landing and not a trough of scattered metal peices on South Ataria Island...

Clearly, this vehicle is "largely intact."

SDF1island.gif

Man it almost seems as if you can fly away on it.

Given the size of the vehicle and its structure, its actually that not surprising that it is in the state it is in. Yes the ship is not completely in pieces, but we could likely construct a vehicle that could deorbit the earth with our own materials and end up in similar shape to what the ASS-1 looked like. For example take the mir space station, the largest man made object ever de-orbited. While its solar panels and the centre joint tore off while de orbiting, the large habitat modules constructed out of titanium remained intact. Add some "super carbon" structures and thats not surprising. Watch the following link.

http://history.nasa.gov/SP-4225/imagery/vi.../mirdeorbit.mpg

Build a massive space vehicle that has some aerodynamic properties, its likely to remain in one piece. This is not comparable to a valk careening into a concrete overpass however. In that scenario, the vehicle is much more susceptible to damage on critical systems, than the deorbit example. Its not just you're hitting a solid object, a fighter is made up of alot of smaller exposed subsystems (particularly in gerwalk) that you're putting tremendous stress on. While yes the vehicle itself is likely to survive, its difficult to imagine that something as complex as a wing pivot point or a shoulder joint could handle a direct impact of this type. Its too much anime magic for it to be just be metal. The only way anime magic can work is if there is some sort of energy field keeping it intact.

Edited by Noyhauser
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A Note About...Weapons

...

Yet for many fans (no offense intended, just bear with me), the 55mm gun pod and the VF-1's missles are equated to conventional firepower levels. Why? Why would we fans happily suspend our disbelief for every other area of Macross technology EXCEPT ballistics and explosives. I mean, how can a micro-missile be considered in any way "conventional"? The real world A-10 Thunderbolt II is armed with the most devastating cannon ever mounted in an aircraft: the 30 mm gatling gun. Here's a 30 mm gun capable of shredding the heaviest tank armor, yet we're worried a fictional 55mm gun pod (already unconventional by virtue of being usable in space) might not penetrate the armor of another Valkyrie or Zentradi battle suit equipped with ECA? Why is it such a stretch to assume the GU-11 might use a superior type of bullet or even just have a faster muzzle velocity? Personally, I think ECA is the one getting the short end of the stick in this relationship :)

...

IMO, the gunpod argument is stretching it a bit.

A slug thrower is a slug thrower is a slug thrower. It's still a basic kinetic energy weapon.

Power is a function of slug mass and velocity, and no advanced hyperalloys or exotic propellants will change that.

More power = more recoil = less accuracy, and in extreme cases a new form of maneuvering thruster.

The A-10's cannon, while devastating to tanks, ALSO generates enough recoil to totally negate half of the plane's total thrust. AND has to be mounted so that the firing barrel is aligned with the plane's centerline so as not to throw the aim off when it fires.

Even with friction and aerodynamic control surfaces recoil is a HUGE issue. Throw everything in space and tack it onto an impossibly light vehicle, and the situation gets far worse.

But working in space isn't overtech. There's a lot of airtight conventional cartridges that would work in space.

Speaking of Overtech.... the A-10's GAU-8 has a much higher rate of fire than the VF-1's GU-11.

Of course, if the GU-11 is loaded with explosive shells, they could have more yield(the GAU-8 is loaded with a "cocktail" of DU-tipped incendiary rounds and explosives). But 200 rounds isn't a lot any way you slice it(which lends weight to the argument that the head laser was intended to be a primary weapon).

That's what bothers me most about the sequels, though.

Energy weapons are long since perfected(Hell, the VF-4 was supposed to have integrated beam cannons as it's primary weapon), and there's simply no good reason that I can see for them to be carrying a slug thrower as the standard-issue primary weapon on the VF-19.

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That's the great thing about the YF-21/VF-22, it has pulse lasers that can effectively be used as a primary weapon in any mode, unlike the YF/VF-19. Hell, in episode one of Macross Plus, Guld wipes out those drones without a gunpod or missiles.

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I don't think it’s a stretch at all. It's important to note no one is suggesting a magical reworking of the physics of ballistics. At the same time, to assume OverTech had zero impact on the sciences of ballistics and explosives is absurd, IMO. A look at the last 100 years of ballistics and explosives tech demonstrates enough significant change. To suggest ballistic tech ends at APFSDS shells made of tungsten shot at 900 m/s seems unimaginative to me for a sci-fi show.

The VF-0 armed with a 35 mm gun pod dispatches SV-51s Battroids with Energy Converting Armor as hard as a tank. From there, firepower only increases up to 55 mm gun pods. So the benchmark for a gun pod is a weapon on par with the GAU-8 30 mm or better. In a comparison between the VF-1 and A-10, the A-10 weighs nearly two tons less than the VF-1 Valkyrie and has only a third of the VF-1’s thrust. So the VF-1 could mount a 30 mm GAU-8 cannon with the same firepower of the A-10 yet fly faster and enjoy more stable firing with the added benefit of vernier stabilization if required. If I recall, there are also methods to handle recoil more effectively such as muzzle brakes and venting (techniques considered for the A-10).

AFAIK, there is quite a difference between an air tight cartridge meant to resist water and dust versus a cannon made for extended use in a vacuum. There are numerous other design necessities to consider, not least of which is cooling.

I think it may be a misnomer to state energy weapons are perfected in Macross. The lack of universal adoption would suggest efficiency governs their use more than practicality. Perhaps ballistics are more stable, use less power, can fire more rapidly, handle heat management better, suffer fewer effective counter measures, cost less, easier to build, et cetera. The VF-4 was a beast of a variable fighter at 14 tons so perhaps practical beam weapons simply weight too much (the VF-1 strike cannon is anything but small). The UNS favored energy weapons only in small-to-medium bore configurations, perhaps because of numerous disadvantages with practical large-bore energy guns.

If memory serves the early gun pod is a medium to short-range weapon. Valkyries engage in long range combat using missiles, not gun pods. The one time I recall the gun pod used at long range is Max (big surprise) in SDF Macross firing upon battle pods at extreme range. As the variable fighters progress to the VF-11 Thunderbolt, we see the gun pod becoming a universal weapon. The VF-11 is a largely missile-less Valkyrie and is armed with a smaller caliber 30 mm gun and more ammo. Seems the gun pod is not only being improved but also expanded in the role as a practical weapon.

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Build a massive space vehicle that has some aerodynamic properties, its likely to remain in one piece. This is not comparable to a valk careening into a concrete overpass however. In that scenario, the vehicle is much more susceptible to damage on critical systems, than the deorbit example. Its not just you're hitting a solid object, a fighter is made up of alot of smaller exposed subsystems (particularly in gerwalk) that you're putting tremendous stress on. While yes the vehicle itself is likely to survive, its difficult to imagine that something as complex as a wing pivot point or a shoulder joint could handle a direct impact of this type. Its too much anime magic for it to be just be metal. The only way anime magic can work is if there is some sort of energy field keeping it intact.

It has just occured to me that your argument is based on a "fictional" movie in the Macross universe. "Movie magic" anyone?

Technically I don't recall that instance happening in SDFM. However, with Azreal's point about the SWAG coming into play in Battroid mode, is a lot more palatable and consistent with the produced anime than if fighter mode was included.

IMO, the gunpod argument is stretching it a bit.

Not really. We are talking not only about recoil, but weight. A 55mm shell is about 2.5 lbs per, do the math and that gun becomes quite a heavy beast! A 55mm cannon has only ever been deployed on ships on a limited basis and often replaced with smaller caliber guns that were just as effective. The Germans had a protoype jet with 55mm cannons, but I don't believe the weapons were ever fired or even fitted to the aircraft.

Energy weapons are long since perfected(Hell, the VF-4 was supposed to have integrated beam cannons as it's primary weapon), and there's simply no good reason that I can see for them to be carrying a slug thrower as the standard-issue primary weapon on the VF-19.

Kinetic weapons, particularly missiles are the best weapons for space combat. They require the least amount of resources to fire and in the case of missiles are self correcting. Beam weapons are line of sight weapons that require a substantial amount of resources to fire. They are faster than conventional weapons, however at distance their stopping power disipates and they cannot adjust their tragectory for evasive maneuvers of the target. The cost / benefit ratio is not the best with energy weaponry in a dog fight situation.

It is also a possibility that it was determined that you cannot have a barrier generator and beam weapons on the same fighter. Thus Spacy opted for the defensive barrier as opposed to the energy weaponry. None of the Zentreadi weaponry had barrier systems, only the directly PC built gear did (PD & AFOS).

Edited by Zinjo
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It is also a possibility that it was determined that you cannot have a barrier generator and beam weapons on the same fighter.

The VF-22 has both PPB and beam weapon systems. So I'm not sure what you mean by this.

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The VF-22 has both PPB and beam weapon systems. So I'm not sure what you mean by this.

True, but the beam weapons were not it's main armament, the gunpod and missiles still were and I don't recall the PPB and the beam weapons being used at the same time, however, I could be wrong since it's been a while since I've seen "Mac 7".

If they were used simultaneously, then I wouldn't dismiss the possibility that any issues could have been solved by the time the VF-22 came into production, being the latest state of the art fighter deployed.

It is also possible that beam weapons have progressed to the point of being regularly used armaments in the "Mac Frontier" era, which is beginning to look like the case from what we've seen.

Edited by Zinjo
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True, but the beam weapons were not it's main armament, the gunpod and missiles still were and I don't recall the PPB and the beam weapons being used at the same time, however, I could be wrong since it's been a while since I've seen "Mac 7".

If they were used simultaneously, then I wouldn't dismiss the possibility that any issues could have been solved by the time the VF-22 came into production, being the latest state of the art fighter deployed.

It is also possible that beam weapons have progressed to the point of being regularly used armaments in the "Mac Frontier" era, which is beginning to look like the case from what we've seen.

That remember me that the Ghost X-9 in Macross Plus only use missiles and beam weapons

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They aren't lazers, they're plasma. Lazers don't have a solid form :p

A. It's laser. Actually LASER, which is an acronym meaning Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation, but... that's too long.

Lazer is only a valid spelling when it's followed by Tag.

B. They ARE lasers.

http://macross.anime.net/mecha/united_nati...yf21/index.html

They may also be "beam guns" or "converging energy cannons" in some planes. But they are NEVER plasma cannons.

C. Lasers DO have a physical form. Maybe you've heard of the photon before?

There are REAL-WORLD cutting lasers in use NOW. The military has a FUNCTIONAL laser weapon prototype. I'd like to know how a beam with no physical form can interact so substantially with matter.

D. Plasma is a HOT GAS. How do you make a beam of it?

I don't think it’s a stretch at all. It's important to note no one is suggesting a magical reworking of the physics of ballistics. At the same time, to assume OverTech had zero impact on the sciences of ballistics and explosives is absurd, IMO. A look at the last 100 years of ballistics and explosives tech demonstrates enough significant change. To suggest ballistic tech ends at APFSDS shells made of tungsten shot at 900 m/s seems unimaginative to me for a sci-fi show.

The VF-0 armed with a 35 mm gun pod dispatches SV-51s Battroids with Energy Converting Armor as hard as a tank. From there, firepower only increases up to 55 mm gun pods. So the benchmark for a gun pod is a weapon on par with the GAU-8 30 mm or better. In a comparison between the VF-1 and A-10, the A-10 weighs nearly two tons less than the VF-1 Valkyrie and has only a third of the VF-1’s thrust. So the VF-1 could mount a 30 mm GAU-8 cannon with the same firepower of the A-10 yet fly faster and enjoy more stable firing with the added benefit of vernier stabilization if required. If I recall, there are also methods to handle recoil more effectively such as muzzle brakes and venting (techniques considered for the A-10).

AFAIK, there is quite a difference between an air tight cartridge meant to resist water and dust versus a cannon made for extended use in a vacuum. There are numerous other design necessities to consider, not least of which is cooling.

Fair enough.

There's still far less room for evolution than in other weapon technologies. Lasers are in their infancy, and we have yet to create a viable energy weapon.

And I remain convinced that a gun is a poor choice of prikary weapon for space combat once alternatives are available.

But then, the VF-1 was a poor space fighter. Otherwise the FAST packs wouldn't have been made.

I think it may be a misnomer to state energy weapons are perfected in Macross. The lack of universal adoption would suggest efficiency governs their use more than practicality. Perhaps ballistics are more stable, use less power, can fire more rapidly, handle heat management better, suffer fewer effective counter measures, cost less, easier to build, et cetera. The VF-4 was a beast of a variable fighter at 14 tons so perhaps practical beam weapons simply weight too much (the VF-1 strike cannon is anything but small). The UNS favored energy weapons only in small-to-medium bore configurations, perhaps because of numerous disadvantages with practical large-bore energy guns.

Perhaps the VF-4 reached too far too fast, but the VF-17 is a viable example. Same size as the VF-1, lighter than the VF-1.

Not the 1-shot super-beam Gamlin used as a finishing move, but the integrated chest lasers and arm cannons(and ye olde head turret, but everything has THAT).

It's possible zentraedi armor is more resistant to energy weapons than traditional kinetic weapons. That's the only logical argument I can think of that justifies the continued use of projectile weapons as primary armament.

On the VF-1 side of things, more head lasers would boost the effectiveness greatly. And we know that 4 such lasers can be mounted at apparently no performance loss.

Though it's quite possible each laser's support hardware is large enough to severely restrict plausible mounting locations, given the head unit volume increases dramatically with laser count. Lacking the opportunity to place them on the arms would make them far less useful in GERWALK or battroid mode.

...

I think I'm just rambling now.

Kinetic weapons, particularly missiles are the best weapons for space combat. They require the least amount of resources to fire and in the case of missiles are self correcting. Beam weapons are line of sight weapons that require a substantial amount of resources to fire. They are faster than conventional weapons, however at distance their stopping power disipates and they cannot adjust their tragectory for evasive maneuvers of the target. The cost / benefit ratio is not the best with energy weaponry in a dog fight situation.

A. We don't really know the energy consumption of the lasers used in Macross, so making claims about the resources needed to fire one is a bit iffy.

We DO know that a VF has an obscene power generation capacity, though. The VF-1 is claimed to have a near-infinite operational time. While I believe Focker to have been GREATLY exaggerating, the point is that it has power to spare.

There IS a clear resource limit on the gunpod. 200 rounds on the GU-11, which has no provisions for reloading in battle. Presumably higher capacities on later gunpods, as well as the animated perk of field-changeable magazines.

B. Beam weapons rapidly dissipate in atmosphere, but not space.

C. Trajectory adjustment isn't possible for bullets either. And lasers have the advantage of reaching the target MUCH faster. In fact, the laser will always be the first weapon to hit a target thanks to the 1c speed limit imposed by relativity.

If you NEED to correct trajectory with a laser, you're entirely too far away.

It is also a possibility that it was determined that you cannot have a barrier generator and beam weapons on the same fighter. Thus Spacy opted for the defensive barrier as opposed to the energy weaponry.

It is NOT possible, as both the YF-19 and YF-21, as well as their production variants, mounted pin-point barriers without sacrificing conventional lasers, "converging energy cannons," and "beam guns"(depending on which specific plane you look at)

There WAS an unknown interference between the first-gen barrier systems and the Macross' "super-dimension-energy cannon with beam polarizing converging system"(which I suspect to be the same technology as both beam guns and converging energy cannons, but which is rather obviously not a laser). That issue has apparently been ironed out in later years.

Even if it hasn't been fixed, I highly doubt the barrier could interfere with laser operation, as it'd have to seriously screw up basic physics, which would be detrimental to the people being protected by it.

"Activate the barrier!"

"I've gone blind, captain!"

"No you haven't the barrier just interferes with photon transmission. You'll be all right as soon as we cut it back off."

"This is stupid, sir!"

"I agree. Deactivate the barrier."

None of the Zentreadi weaponry had barrier systems, only the directly PC built gear did (PD & AFOS).

So the zentreadi found beam weaponry more useful than shields?

I find it more likely that the zentreadi mecha were simply designed before barrier systems were invented. Or at least before they figured out a way to get enough power in a reasonable size.

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I find it more likely that the zentreadi mecha were simply designed before barrier systems were invented. Or at least before they figured out a way to get enough power in a reasonable size.

Cmon, we all know that the Zents were basically cheap expendable soldiers that the PC didn't give a rats ass about. I saw the lack of shields as #1 a cost saving measure #2 an ability for them to ensure they're weapons were superior to the Zents. If I were to speculate I'd say that Reaction weaponry was another technology that the P.C. were keeping to themselves so that they could use it against the zents if they ever got a bit big for their britches.

Edited by Noyhauser
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Fair enough.

There's still far less room for evolution than in other weapon technologies. Lasers are in their infancy, and we have yet to create a viable energy weapon.

And I remain convinced that a gun is a poor choice of prikary weapon for space combat once alternatives are available.

But then, the VF-1 was a poor space fighter. Otherwise the FAST packs wouldn't have been made.

Perhaps the VF-4 reached too far too fast, but the VF-17 is a viable example. Same size as the VF-1, lighter than the VF-1.

*snip*

I think I'm just rambling now.

That's cool.

On the topic of the advancement of ballistic/explosive sciences, I'm sure we're not going so far as to expect destructive energies an entire order of magnitude different from conventional weapons (with the exception of warship and reaction weaponry). We'd probably do well to assume parity. For example, the prequel Valkyries (VF-0 and SV-51) were powered by conventional engines with armor equivalent to a tank. The gun pods of those Valkyries were slightly heavier than an A-10 and so the weapons were just a little above the destructive potential of the heaviest modern aircraft cannon.

When the VF-1 rules the battleground just a year later in Space War I, all the mecha use thermonuclear reaction engines, capable of powering energy converting armor to levels much greater than conventional tank armor like the VF-0 and SV-51. So, they needed a monster 55 mm gun to give Valkyries the firepower of a frigate in an age of super strong armor materials. Hence, the GU-11 would be useful against the most heavily armored mecha. The Valkyrie's missiles would also follow suit. OverTechnology would no doubt advance ballistic and explosive sciences enough to maintain parity.

It think this is all ultimately just rambling speculation, but it helps make sense of the anime fiction.

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I think there is a lot of artistic license going on with the gun pods.

200 r + extremely high cyclic rate + heroes pressing the trigger for long periods of time = doesn't add up.

Don't get me wrong, I love the gun pod. From a storywriting perspective, it adds a strong element of realism to the VF-1. Which is quite important for a ficticious transforming fighter plane.

Speaking of the VF-17, in VF-X2 it's gun pod was turned into a laser weapon with the appearance of a single, continuous beam (though as it "vibrates" it could be considered to be multiple shots being fired in rapid succession). It also has a tendency to deplete itself rather rapidly if the trigger is held down, though it recharges quickly too.

Though, I'm not sure how much stock can be taken in the game, as it has some rather liberal artistic licensing going on (regular gun pods have 9999 rounds, missiles, especially with the VFs with a lower rate of fire, have the appearance of being unlimited. But they're not and do tend to run out if one's not careful.)

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A. It's laser. Actually LASER, which is an acronym meaning Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation, but... that's too long.

Lazer is only a valid spelling when it's followed by Tag.

B. They ARE lasers.

http://macross.anime.net/mecha/united_nati...yf21/index.html

They may also be "beam guns" or "converging energy cannons" in some planes. But they are NEVER plasma cannons.

C. Lasers DO have a physical form. Maybe you've heard of the photon before?

There are REAL-WORLD cutting lasers in use NOW. The military has a FUNCTIONAL laser weapon prototype. I'd like to know how a beam with no physical form can interact so substantially with matter.

D. Plasma is a HOT GAS. How do you make a beam of it?

Obviously you didn't see "Starwars: behind the magic" and missed to point of that reply....

Edited by Exsedol
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