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Macross Δ (Delta) Mecha/Technology Thread - READ 1st POST


azrael
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From the description, it sounds more like the ISC system is temporarily displacing the energy into super dimension space rather than into a specific "capacitor"...

One of the key abilities of Ultra Capacitors is their ability to transfer large amounts of energy. They are not batteries as they are not capable of storing said energy for very long before it has to be transferred. Unlike batteries which are designed for energy storage..

Edited by Zinjo
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Well... the way it's described, the speaker pod launcher sounds like it's likely a cousin of the high-speed armor-piercing rocket launchers commonly found on Armored Pack. The line art for the speaker pods themselves shows they have a small rocket motor affixed to the rear, so the only major difference would be that the speaker pods aren't carrying a lethal load of OTM-based explosives.

As I recall from first few episodes, Basara seems to have good aim, as he hit most of the enemy by single shot (As opposed to the VF-11s which had hard time scoring hit).

Or it could be his VF-19 has better targeting system.

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Well... the way it's described, the speaker pod launcher sounds like it's likely a cousin of the high-speed armor-piercing rocket launchers commonly found on Armored Pack. The line art for the speaker pods themselves shows they have a small rocket motor affixed to the rear, so the only major difference would be that the speaker pods aren't carrying a lethal load of OTM-based explosives.

Ah, THAT'S what keeps a speaker pod from tumbling! Thanks!

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As I recall from first few episodes, Basara seems to have good aim, as he hit most of the enemy by single shot (As opposed to the VF-11s which had hard time scoring hit).

Or it could be his VF-19 has better targeting system.

Ah, THAT'S what keeps a speaker pod from tumbling! Thanks!

It doesn't have the thrust reverser ring, but it looks like the speaker pod's nozzle may be able to traverse a little... so they may be self-stabilizing.
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Was reading up on this recently about how the Battle class ships are actually 6 ships put together (including the cannon) and can all separate and operate independently. That is a really cool detail... except we've never seen it done. It seems almost an afterthought, and except for the cannon it isn't really obvious. I wonder why decide that if nothing is ever going to be shown of it.

This kind of leads me back to the thought that I want a next series or OVA to be once again more focused on the NUNS (colony or Federal, but I'd love to see the modern day Federal forces) where they aren't just the low skilled screw ups the past two shows have implied them to be (or, conversely, all evil and corrupt). I get Kawamori seems to have developed a love affair with PMCs because it is easier for him to the kind of hero characters he wants there than in a proper military organization... but I still want better representation on that side.

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Was reading up on this recently about how the Battle class ships are actually 6 ships put together (including the cannon) and can all separate and operate independently. That is a really cool detail... except we've never seen it done. It seems almost an afterthought, and except for the cannon it isn't really obvious. I wonder why decide that if nothing is ever going to be shown of it.

This kind of leads me back to the thought that I want a next series or OVA to be once again more focused on the NUNS (colony or Federal, but I'd love to see the modern day Federal forces) where they aren't just the low skilled screw ups the past two shows have implied them to be (or, conversely, all evil and corrupt). I get Kawamori seems to have developed a love affair with PMCs because it is easier for him to the kind of hero characters he wants there than in a proper military organization... but I still want better representation on that side.

I dont know...every time the actual military organization gets involved within the series they are portrayed as the big evil government. But i would love to see the fire power and the skilled pilots they would bring into a actual combat situation.

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Was reading up on this recently about how the Battle class ships are actually 6 ships put together (including the cannon) and can all separate and operate independently. That is a really cool detail... except we've never seen it done. It seems almost an afterthought, and except for the cannon it isn't really obvious. I wonder why decide that if nothing is ever going to be shown of it.

I think it's just their way of justifying it being a transformable warship... if it's modular like the Macross-class then the next logical step is to make every module its own ship rather than the main body of the ship and its arms.

We had the same thing going on with the Macross Quarter-class as well as the Macross Elysion... they're each five warships put together (the two BASTER gunships, the core body block and the two arms), but the only times we've ever seen one separate from the main ship is the Macross Quarter stowing its carrier on its back so it'd have both hands free for a shot from its gunship, and the Elysion sending one of its carrier arms ahead of it.

This kind of leads me back to the thought that I want a next series or OVA to be once again more focused on the NUNS (colony or Federal, but I'd love to see the modern day Federal forces) where they aren't just the low skilled screw ups the past two shows have implied them to be (or, conversely, all evil and corrupt).

To be fair, the last two series haven't actually depicted the local New UN Forces as being in any way unskilled or incompetent. They just keep getting asked to fight enemies who have some significant unfair advantage that renders the New UN Forces incapable of actually confronting the enemy. It's always just a plot device to justify the PMC being the heroes, rather than an annoying bunch of weekend warriors who are surplus to requirements.

In Frontier, it was the fact that the Vajra's energy conversion armor was so tough the VF-171's weapons weren't powerful enough to get through it. So, of course, SMS has to step in and save the day for no reason other than their main character status granting them access to the latest and greatest VF. (Why the military didn't just repo the VF-25s is beyond me, since they belonged to them in the first place.) A few episodes later they get better ammunition to defeat the Vajra's armor, and then all the sudden VF-171s are killing Vajra by the dozen.

In Delta, it was for no reason other than that Prince (later King) Ketchup was singing his freaky opera song and messing with their brains. The minute he takes a powder, the Aerial Knights get their clocks cleaned and are left literally begging for reinforcements by the New UN Forces troops on a half-dozen planets who weren't under mind control. All of the sudden we get treated to local NUNS forces in VF-171s shooting down Aerial Knights Sv-262s despite them being one generation older and substantially lower performance.

Don't get me wrong, I'd love to see a show that kicks PMCs to the curb and brings the military back to the spotlight... but the NUNS aren't being portrayed as slouches. They're just getting the short end of the stick because the writers have a love affair with PMCs. (Amusingly, since Delta portrayed Xaos as being barely competent at the best of times and hilariously and totally inept most of the time, the whole "PMCs are awesome" thing fell rather flat that time... made worse by the fact that, if they had cooperated with the NUNS instead of treating them with unjustified scorn, the war would've been over a LOT faster and with a lot fewer dead people. It was so bad at points that I kept expecting some NUNS officer who'd mentored Ernest or Arad to pop up and say "We trained him wrong on purpose, as a joke".)

In a move inspired by an episode of Red Dwarf, my RPG group's players started referring to PMC troops as "Canaries", for their status as expendable troops first into combat to see if it's too dangerous... and, in keeping with same, it's become an acronym for:

Corporate Army Nearly Always Retreating Inept and Extremely Sloppy.

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Good points, no argument here. I certainly do remember the NUNS kicking some ass here and there, such as the ever popular Machida punch in Frontier (which I consider the spiritual successor to 'Gamlin Kick!' lol).

But like you note, there is too much focus on PMCs and in reality PMCs are not that great really (which makes Xaos somewhat more realistic than SMS, heh). SDFM had only its main forces so of course they were the heroes so really the best comparison is Macross 7 where the military was both heroes and punching bags. You had some real pros and aces with Diamond Force and Emerald Force, not to mention sometimes Max and Milia got in there, plus it was made clear the first time Battle 7 transforms and fires its cannon, at 80% charge, that it can still wipe out most of an attacking fleet with ease. Really the only reason they seemed to be doing bad is because the VF-11Cs were being held together by string apparently. However they were an older model, much like the VF-171 in the later shows, so I guess it is kind of the same thing. Those VF-11 pilots aren't incompetent, they just can't match the Varuta fighters (which as far as I can gather, despite being based on the Gen 3 VF-14, are upgraded beyond that level somehow). Luckily the military also had more limited stock of VF-17Ds, VF-19s, and a few VF-22s. Not even mentioning Sound Force because they didn't really fight of course.

So if anything, the problem with NUNS representation is that they've given up all of their good stuff to local PMCs just to save money on testing and maybe skirt some safety regulations, heh. My only guess why they didn't repo the VF-25s was because of the contract clause where SMS was basically rolled into NUNS command once the war started. So even though NUNS pilots weren't using them, they still had control over their deployment (while still legally being able to ignore casualties, heh).

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SDFM had only its main forces so of course they were the heroes so really the best comparison is Macross 7 where the military was both heroes and punching bags. You had some real pros and aces with Diamond Force and Emerald Force, not to mention sometimes Max and Milia got in there, plus it was made clear the first time Battle 7 transforms and fires its cannon, at 80% charge, that it can still wipe out most of an attacking fleet with ease. Really the only reason they seemed to be doing bad is because the VF-11Cs were being held together by string apparently.

Yeah, I think a big part of that is the VF-11C itself... an economy model, and one that was up against enemy fighters that were theoretically equivalent to a Gen 3.5 or Gen 4 VF like the VF-17 or VF-19 (respectively). Of course, even the aces flying the VF-17s and VF-19s ended up clobbered, so that's probably Basara's Mary Sue factor kicking in.

So if anything, the problem with NUNS representation is that they've given up all of their good stuff to local PMCs just to save money on testing and maybe skirt some safety regulations, heh. My only guess why they didn't repo the VF-25s was because of the contract clause where SMS was basically rolled into NUNS command once the war started. So even though NUNS pilots weren't using them, they still had control over their deployment (while still legally being able to ignore casualties, heh).

Yeah, that's the real problem... we keep getting asked to excuse the plot involving enemies that can only be beaten by the latest and greatest VF out there, which is conveniently only used in small numbers by PMCs because they're testing it for the military.

Once was annoying, and raised the awkward question "Why didn't you just push the damned thing into production then?". Twice is simply obnoxious, especially when the fighter always seems to find its way into military hands a year or two after the war and the official material doesn't hide the fact that the fighter design and testing are basically done even before the series started.

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True, not like they are hurting for production facilities or capability. Macross 7 fleet could build a whole new Battle 7 in about a year, and they seemed to never run out of VF-11s despite them getting blown up so much the stock footage started making sense. We know not all the pilots could handle 17s and 19s so that is why 7 didn't produce them en masse probably (like you said, the 19 was hard to fly basically for the average pilot).

But in Frontier, the 25 was going to be the main line fighter... and it was something average pilots could use with basic training (I mean.. Alto figured it out and he was just a flight student, and Hayate got the hang of a 31 despite having no flight experience). Frontier is also way more massive and built up than 7, so... they could afford to make a bunch of VF-25As at least to give to the NUNS forces. At least you could argue the various Brisingr worlds might not be able to afford churning out VF-31s on their own right away... since they seemed a bit less capable somehow.

Edited by Master Dex
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But in Frontier, the 25 was going to be the main line fighter... and it was something average pilots could use with basic training (I mean.. Alto figured it out and he was just a flight student, and Hayate got the hang of a 31 despite having no flight experience). Frontier is also way more massive and built up than 7, so... they could afford to make a bunch of VF-25As at least to give to the NUNS forces. At least you could argue the various Brisingr worlds might not be able to afford churning out VF-31s on their own right away... since they seemed a bit less capable somehow.

It's certainly frustrating, especially given that the Macross Frontier side story/prequel Macross the Ride has the Frontier fleet go and have over 150 custom VF-19s put together on short notice. You'd think they could have put together a few squadrons of VF-25s before the war ended, especially considering they were raking in fold quartz like mad by killing Vajra.

... because the main heroes are basically indie music band, not another military group.

Actually, they were technically both... Sound Force was a military-sponsored irregular unit even before it was formalized. Basara was either savvy enough to realize that he didn't want to know how Ray got hold of a VF-19 Custom, or he was too thick and self-absorbed to care.
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Actually, they were technically both... Sound Force was a military-sponsored irregular unit even before it was formalized. Basara was either savvy enough to realize that he didn't want to know how Ray got hold of a VF-19 Custom, or he was too thick and self-absorbed to care.

And once Sound Force was formalized and he was forced to acknowledge it, he basically gave the military the middle finger and kept doing his own thing.

In fairness, his refusal to help set up the Jamming Birds was a combination of him literally not being able to teach music theory like they wanted him to, and the military appointing a group of singers that weren't capable of doing the job.

As I rewatch 7, I'm noticing Basara has a bit more nuance than I've tended to give him credit for. Not a LOT more nuance, but... a little bit.

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And once Sound Force was formalized and he was forced to acknowledge it, he basically gave the military the middle finger and kept doing his own thing.

That's why I tend to favor the interpretation that Basara was too thick or too self-obsessed to give any thought to Ray Lovelock suddenly turning up with a heavily customized 4th Gen VF that even the military doesn't have yet. If he had, he probably would've noticed early on he was a guinea pig in a secret military test program.

In fairness, his refusal to help set up the Jamming Birds was a combination of him literally not being able to teach music theory like they wanted him to, and the military appointing a group of singers that weren't capable of doing the job.

I've got a lot more respect for the Jamming Birds than I do for Basara... they were ordinary people who were, as any civilian would be, quite terrified at being sent into battle against brainwashed professional soldiers and actual goddamn monsters. Their problem was simply that they were inexperienced and lacked Basara's complete and utter fixation on singing that was likely all that was standing between him and messing his trousers.

By the end of the series, they were doing just fine... and indications are they enjoyed some success afterwards as an idol group.

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It's certainly frustrating, especially given that the Macross Frontier side story/prequel Macross the Ride has the Frontier fleet go and have over 150 custom VF-19s put together on short notice. You'd think they could have put together a few squadrons of VF-25s before the war ended, especially considering they were raking in fold quartz like mad by killing Vajra.

I think they could not afford the needed time to retrain pilots. Frontier mainly used Ghost Drones, and the VF-171 forces where an afterthought with on average little experience or training. So they already had a pilot shortage, meaning that not making VF-25's but instead rapidly pushing out a new VF-171 variant made the most sense. No precious pilots taken away from active duty to learn to fly a totally new plane, instead they just shoved pilots into an improved VF-171 where the training took only a fraction of the time.

Plus the fold quartz got used to build weapons. In the end even the basic bullets of a mook VF-171 used fold quartz. Frontier used an absolute fortune of fold quartz as nothing but standard ammo.

Edited by Charun
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Given what we had with the info about the YF-29B Perceval, the YF-29 entered production in a similar manner to VF-22S,a limited production variable fighter series reserved for NUNS Spec Ops while the Chronos and its mass produced VF-31 series entered mass production instead?

I thought NUNS spec ops of Delta period should not be using Nightmare Plus, they have those Durandals specifically reserved for them given how powerful those fold quartz engine performs in combat

Edited by thetrollphysicist
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I think they could not afford the needed time to retrain pilots. Frontier mainly used Ghost Drones, and the VF-171 forces where an afterthought with on average little experience or training.

While the official publications (e.g. Macross Chronicle) do mention the existence of emigrant fleets that have made the QF-4000 (AIF-7) Ghost the main (or only) fighter of their fleet's New UN Forces, the Macross Frontier fleet's not one of them. Their main fighter was the VF-171 Nightmare Plus, intended to be replaced in the near future by the VF-25 Messiah.

Moreover, they weren't inexperienced or poorly trained either... they'd fought anti-government terrorists and Zentradi before. They were just fighting WAAAAY outside their weight class against the Vajra. After all, that's what the VF-25 was for... to enable the Frontier fleet NUNS to effectively fight the Vajra.

With a more-or-less standardized control layout and EX-Gear that is said to be able to reduce training times significantly, I would have expected them to get VF-25s in the air before the end of the war.

So they already had a pilot shortage, meaning that not making VF-25's but instead rapidly pushing out a new VF-171 variant made the most sense. No precious pilots taken away from active duty to learn to fly a totally new plane, instead they just shoved pilots into an improved VF-171 where the training took only a fraction of the time.

Actually, when you think about it, the VF-171EX makes very little sense as its controls were overhauled to be the same as the VF-25's. You'd have troops with much the same learning curve either way. The changes to the controls and the aircraft's performance would've meant even experienced VF-171 pilots would be doing some serious retraining.

Plus the fold quartz got used to build weapons. In the end even the basic bullets of a mook VF-171 used fold quartz. Frontier used an absolute fortune of fold quartz as nothing but standard ammo.

They didn't start applying fold quartz to weapons until near the end of the war... initially they just switched to a higher-powered ammunition for their standard gunpods. It was only the VF-25s and VF-171EXs that were given those MDE shells and micro-missiles which used fold quartz.

Given what we had with the info about the YF-29B Perceval, the YF-29 entered production in a similar manner to VF-22S,a limited production variable fighter series reserved for NUNS Spec Ops while the Chronos and its mass produced VF-31 series entered mass production instead?

The YF-29 never entered official production... that's why it's still YF.

So far, the only party identified as having built even a small number of YF-29 units is the rogue New UN Spacy Special Forces 815th Independent Squadron (AKA "Havamal"), and even then they only issued those to their most elite top aces like Rod Baltemar. As bank-breakingly expensive as a fighter with a fold wave system is, it's profoundly unlikely that any production aircraft will ever be fielded with one. (It says a LOT about Havamal's clout that they were able to build more than one... the Frontier fleet could only afford the one they gave to Alto Saotome.)

What entered production as the next main fighter varies by region (or fleet). The Macross Frontier emigrant fleet and its allies adopted the VF-25 Messiah, Macross Galaxy adopted the VF-27 Lucifer, Earth and the federal NUNS adopted the VF-24, and the Brisingr Alliance adopted the VF-31 Kairos. (There is one mention of a VF-30 in Variable Fighter Master File: VF-4 Lightning III, but I'd take that one with a pinch of salt.)

I thought NUNS spec ops of Delta period should not be using Nightmare Plus, they have those Durandals specifically reserved for them given how powerful those fold quartz engine performs in combat

Thus far, we've only seen two New UN Spacy special forces units in this time period. The Macross Frontier fleet's NUNS special forces unit "Round Table" used the VF-19EF Caliburn, and the 815th Independent Squadron "Havamal" used several different aircraft including the YF-29B, VF-19F/S, VF-171EX, and VF-22S.
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I've got a lot more respect for the Jamming Birds than I do for Basara... they were ordinary people who were, as any civilian would be, quite terrified at being sent into battle against brainwashed professional soldiers and actual goddamn monsters. Their problem was simply that they were inexperienced and lacked Basara's complete and utter fixation on singing that was likely all that was standing between him and messing his trousers.

By the end of the series, they were doing just fine... and indications are they enjoyed some success afterwards as an idol group.

I don't recall them ever being strong enough to activate the sound boosters, which was the original goal. Basara wasn't alone in looking down on them, Dr. Chiba said if it was up to him everyone would've failed the audition.

They were definitely forced into the field before they were ready, though. No attempt was made to prepare them for the experience of combat, nor were their song energy levels high enough to be relevant. I get the feeling Basara knew it would end up that way.

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when you think about it, the VF-171EX makes very little sense as its controls were overhauled to be the same as the VF-25's. You'd have troops with much the same learning curve either way. The changes to the controls and the aircraft's performance would've meant even experienced VF-171 pilots would be doing some serious retraining.

True. Completely true. That raises an interesting issue, though: still, they did. We can wholeheartedly think that has to do with poor writing (oh, do we...), but that doesn't preclude a rational explanation.

Frontier bought those VF-25 and then leased them to SMS. VF-25 may very well be the expected main fighter in Frontier future. But the just mentioned fact and the aforementioned one point to some issue with the VF-25. If I have to make a wild guess (and I love those), I'd say it is premature engine wear. That would also explain why 10 years later the VF-31A have VF-25 performance (I am not counting YFs, because those are horribly expensive in maintenance by default).

On a side note, i found interesting to compare VF-1 with the VF-4, that took maintenance nightmare 'overboost' out of the equation and integrated engines and VF-1 super parts in the base VF-4 design. Also interesting is to compare VF-4 with VF-25/SPS-25. And then, VF-25/SPS-25 with base VF-31A.

Edited by Aries Turner
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True. Completely true. That raises an interesting issue, though: still, they did. We can wholeheartedly think that has to do with poor writing (oh, do we...), but that doesn't preclude a rational explanation.

Frontier bought those VF-25 and then leased them to SMS. VF-25 may very well be the expected main fighter in Frontier future. But the just mentioned fact and the aforementioned one point to some issue with the VF-25. If I have to make a wild guess (and I love those), I'd say it is premature engine wear. That would also explain why 10 years later the VF-31A have VF-25 performance (I am not counting YFs, because those are horribly expensive in maintenance by default).

In a side note, i found interesting to compare VF-1 with the VF-4, that took maintenance nightmare 'overboost' out of the equation and integrated engines and VF-1 super parts in the base VF-4 design. Also interesting is to compare VF-4 with VF-25/SPS-25. And then, VF-25/SPS-25 with base VF-31A.

I can't really say whether or not there was an issue with the engine or not because there is nothing to suggest that. Like you said, it is a wild guess.

Still, comparing it to the VF-31A is kind of pointless as there is basically no relation between them except that they are both children of the YF-24 design family (actually if you think about it the VF-31 is a grandchild since it is derived further from the YF-24 via the YF-30). The thing is that or the date the 31 was made does not make it inherently better than the 25. It is just a different take from a different local fleet/planet/cluster on the same basic design (well.. the simplified basic design). The VF-31A is not required to be better or more advanced than the VF-25, just at least comparable so no one has to ask the engineering design team why they couldn't design something as good as another fleet.

That being said, same engine aside, I think the 31A does have some advantages to the 25, among them looking much sexier, lol. I was merely just making a point, not saying the 31 isn't better necessarily. All about design needs, roles, and mission requirements. VF-25 was made to fight Vajra, which it did well enough. VF-31 probably could, but that's not what it is meant to do.

So really that the VF-31A uses that same engine, to me as an engineer, that tells me less that the engine had any issues than it says that that particular engine fit the requirements in the RFP (Request for Proposal) in both fighters when the Frontier and Brisingr NUNS originally put in to have them designed. In another way, the fact that the same engine works well for both designs is more of a testament to how well the engine works. So I think I'm going to go ahead and take the stance that there was no issue with the VF-25 engine.

Explaining then why Frontier NUNS still didn't go ahead and produce VF-25s instead of retrofitting the VF-171s might be a far more complicated thing though than any single explanation. For all we know it could be a matter of politics. Maybe some idiot in the Frontier government agreed to a clause in the SMS VF-25 testing contract that as long as SMS was testing the fighter NUNS couldn't move ahead to produce them. Though that would just open up the question of why they didn't repo them like Seto said to void out that contract, or even why the wartime agreement didn't nullify that. Like said, whatever the reason is, it is going to have to be pretty complicated.

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OK, not the engine. The only thing that did me point it was the huge jump on efficiency, that could lead to unforeseen stresses over the design and materials of the engine. I am glad there is people here with proper experience with engines. Still, there is something fishy about how the VF-25 contract was handled. On that, we both agree.

An idiot firing in his/her foot through a contract clause can't be discarded and points to bad writing, both in contracts and in score. But can't be assumed, either.

Edited by Aries Turner
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Well the real world reasoning is sloppy writing of course and because Kawamori needed the VF-25 to be the hero valk for the hero characters of SMS. If NUNS had it then it wouldn't be special anymore. The fact that he couldn't give a better reason than it being under testing is the proof of the sloppy writing.

The in universe explanation is what alludes us. The idea of there being an issue in a contract or a political blockage that caused thing to happen as they did is not that unrealistic though give how such things can get in the real world when it comes to defense contracts. I'd be willing to accept it as an excuse but I'd like SK or anyone involved in the show to say something of the nature basically just to fill in the discrepancy.

As for experience with engines, I suppose I count for that. I was merely just using my knowledge of how engineering design process works to come to that conclusion earlier. That being said, I also work as a jet engine mechanic so I do have first hand knowledge in that respect, heh.

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Actually, when you think about it, the VF-171EX makes very little sense as its controls were overhauled to be the same as the VF-25's. You'd have troops with much the same learning curve either way. The changes to the controls and the aircraft's performance would've meant even experienced VF-171 pilots would be doing some serious retraining.

Maybe the purpose is to familiarize the pilots with the new system first (using existing airframe), while VF-25A is being developed/produced/whatever. somekind of stopgap, before fully migrating to 25A

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I don't recall them ever being strong enough to activate the sound boosters, which was the original goal. Basara wasn't alone in looking down on them, Dr. Chiba said if it was up to him everyone would've failed the audition.

They did activate the sound boosters successfully at the end of the series.

Frontier bought those VF-25 and then leased them to SMS. VF-25 may very well be the expected main fighter in Frontier future. But the just mentioned fact and the aforementioned one point to some issue with the VF-25.

No, I think it really is just bad writing... because the available technical materials (official and otherwise) don't point to any actual technical issue with the low rate initial production VF-25s in service in 2059, unless you'd like to count the Master File view that SMS's VF-25A's were built with wings made from below-spec hypercarbon composites due to Macross Olympia missing a promised delivery date for the material.

On a side note, i found interesting to compare VF-1 with the VF-4, that took maintenance nightmare 'overboost' out of the equation and integrated engines and VF-1 super parts in the base VF-4 design.

... but they didn't remove overboost from the VF-4. The cockpit block used on the VF-1 Valkyrie from Block 6 onwards is identical to the VF-4's production-intent cockpit starting with the Block 0 trial production model. They stopped listing it in the stats, or at least stopped listing it separately around the time Macross 7 aired and they switched to listing engine outputs using "maximum instantaneous thrust in space", but even the VF-17's cockpit art has an overboost setting marked on the throttle lever. We haven't really had well labeled cockpit diagrams since Plus. Since that cockpit design was put into use on many different models of VF, it seems a fair assumption that they all have overboost.

(It's worth noting that the throttle lever on the VF-1A-6/VF-4A-0 cockpit has markings up to 240%, where the VF-1A-5 and earlier cockpit's throttle lever's markings only go up to 200%. I wonder if that means we have to amend our VF-1 entries for the DYRL section?)

Still, comparing it to the VF-31A is kind of pointless as there is basically no relation between them except that they are both children of the YF-24 design family (actually if you think about it the VF-31 is a grandchild since it is derived further from the YF-24 via the YF-30).

Actually, I would argue that it's perfectly fair to compare the VF-31 against any other production 5th Generation Main VF. After all, they're aircraft from the same generation and built to do the same job and even replace the same old aircraft.

The thing is that or the date the 31 was made does not make it inherently better than the 25. It is just a different take from a different local fleet/planet/cluster on the same basic design (well.. the simplified basic design). The VF-31A is not required to be better or more advanced than the VF-25, just at least comparable so no one has to ask the engineering design team why they couldn't design something as good as another fleet.

You'd be hard-pressed to argue the VF-31 was better than the VF-25 because of the amusing realization we had when the Kairos specs first came to light... a LOT of its systems are "off the shelf" hardware already used by the VF-25.

So really that the VF-31A uses that same engine, to me as an engineer, that tells me less that the engine had any issues than it says that that particular engine fit the requirements in the RFP (Request for Proposal) in both fighters when the Frontier and Brisingr NUNS originally put in to have them designed.

The one thing that has me scratching my head is that the FF-3001A engine used on the VF-31 is listed as "Stage IIC". NO clue what that means. The FF-2999/FC2 engine used on the Sv-262 is listed as "Stage IIG".

OK, not the engine. The only thing that did me point it was the huge jump on efficiency, that could lead to unforeseen stresses over the design and materials of the engine. I am glad there is people here with proper experience with engines. Still, there is something fishy about how the VF-25 contract was handled. On that, we both agree.

Oh, there was enough fishy business going on on Frontier thanks to the Bilra Transport Co. having its fingers in every damn pie in the fleet that one can probably be forgiven for assuming there was some inky-fingered pen-pusher on Bilra's payroll involved in screwing up procurement.

(I suppose the longer SMS could withhold the VF-25 from the New UN Forces, the longer they could remain an essential part of the fleet's tactical structure.)

Well the real world reasoning is sloppy writing of course and because Kawamori needed the VF-25 to be the hero valk for the hero characters of SMS. If NUNS had it then it wouldn't be special anymore.

I dunno, I think he did a good enough job of making hero units stand out even before they were flying different fighters... e.g. Skull Platoon.

(Or, if you're feeling fancy, Ray Lovelock's Pink Peckers.)

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Sorry, my bad: war emergency power would not be obsolete, ever. I should have been aware of that. Take care of your machine... unless not caring would give you the advantage. Then, don't.

You'd be hard-pressed to argue the VF-31 was better than the VF-25 because of the amusing realization we had when the Kairos specs first came to light... a LOT of its systems are "off the shelf" hardware already used by the VF-25.

Hard-pressed indeed, but you can. Weight, performance and systems are about the same or the same, but in that weight, the VF-31A has double the arm shields, 6-8 micro-missile launchers (counting the upper 'no Cygnus drone here' as one per leg) and a modular pod/ bomb bay. And double the forks. I mean spoons. Or letter openers. All in the clean configuration. Edited by Aries Turner
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Maybe the purpose is to familiarize the pilots with the new system first (using existing airframe), while VF-25A is being developed/produced/whatever. somekind of stopgap, before fully migrating to 25A

Seems a bit overelaborate when simulator training should do just as well with much less effort...

Hard-pressed indeed, but you can. Weight, performance and systems are about the same or the same, but in that weight, the VF-31A has double the arm shields, 6-8 micro-missile launchers (counting the upper 'no Cygnus drone here' as one per leg) and a modular pod/ bomb bay. And double the forks. I mean spoons. Or letter openers. All in the clean configuration.

Eh... I'm not sure it's as simple as one fighter or the other having more of any one thing. It'd help if we had more information about the VF-31 Kairos's design and construction... but such has not been forthcoming (yet).

Sure, the VF-31 has two antiprojectile shields instead of one. It's difficult to say without a scale comparison, but the shields look a bit smaller and not nearly as thick as the VF-25's shield. We also don't know what they were made from. The VF-31 seems to have been made on the cheap and the shields are part of the wing surface, they may have gone for a lighter and cheaper alternative like layering conventional energy conversion armor even if it didn't offer as much protection as a slab of advanced energy conversion armor.

Armaments-wise it's harder to say... the VF-25 has its eight underwing pylons while the VF-31 only has the four, but the VF-31 makes up part of that with a pair of internal ordinance bays and the micro-missile launchers (which, in an incredibly convenient turn of events, have the same capacity as your typical micro-missile pod). All told they're on a mostly even footing... just VF-31s apparently prize passive stealthiness over versatility, and the VF-25s prize versatility over passive stealthiness.

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By cramming micro-missile launcher + 'calf' bay on the lower leg, I wonder if VF-31's engine is more compact (but still stronger) than VF-25.

On the other hand, they have to move the landing gear to the knee-cap to accommodate all the above.

The VF-31's engine is identified as the FF-3001A, so I'd assume it's the same size as the one used on the VF-25.

I'd assume the micro-missile launchers were installed in the space the VF-25 dedicated to an airbrake and the fighter's countermeasure dispensers... while the missile bays (or the racks for Cygnus multidrones) are probably achieved by extending the back of the leg a bit to gain more clearance above the top of the airframe.

(This, of course, raises the awkward question of where the VF-31's chaff, flare, and smoke dispensers are...)

Edited by Seto Kaiba
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Now, that you mention it, VF-25's legs also have to accomodate mechanism to retract the ventral fins.

Overall, design-wise, I feel VF-31 is more 'compact'/space-efficient. Not counting the wing hardpoints, it can allocate larger percentage of its' mass to weaponry/ordnance.

While VF-25 might have to accomodate the swing-wing mechanism too

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Sure, the VF-31 has two antiprojectile shields instead of one. It's difficult to say without a scale comparison, but the shields look a bit smaller and not nearly as thick as the VF-25's shield. We also don't know what they were made from. The VF-31 seems to have been made on the cheap and the shields are part of the wing surface, they may have gone for a lighter and cheaper alternative like layering conventional energy conversion armor even if it didn't offer as much protection as a slab of advanced energy conversion armor.

...and still those are shown taking a lot of punishment.

Armaments-wise it's harder to say... the VF-25 has its eight underwing pylons while the VF-31 only has the four

No, we are talking about the one that has the VF-25 engine (ah... the 'C' variant), that is the VF-31A that has *two* pylons. However, the VF-4 had as much and turned to have eight, with a bigger payload than VF-1 impressive one. 6 UMM-7s, two more than VF-1. Macross sure has a tendency for IOC with less pylons, then adding more in later blocks. We have also seen optional VF-31 bigger shields using that hardpoint and adding rails for not one, but two RMS-size weapons. Those sure are HARDpoints.

So... not so sure about passive stealthiness assumptions, given the bulkiness of all external payloads shown used by the VF-31. It seems more about atmospheric reentry payload capability. That in turn reminds me about Michael showing above Gallia-4 with those huge sound boosters, and I am not sure how he managed the feat.

Edited by Aries Turner
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You have a point. I mean, the reason the shuttles and space capsules do is that having an ablative heat shield is cheaper than the amount of fuel you have to burn to decelerate that much, so you leave atmosphere friction do the rest. If you don't mind that, you can burn a helluva whole tank while still out of the atmosphere, while keeping some to not fall like a rock.

Still, I don't entirely buy it. Keep in mind that 'leaving' a planet means 'flying' faster than orbital speed. And that there is no such thing as 'terminal velocity' outside the atmosphere. You keep accelerating toward the planet as long as you don't do something to oppose gravity. I'd rather buy folding inside the planet atmosphere, using pinpoint barriers as shields, or using a not shown reentry capsule.

Edited by Aries Turner
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