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1 hour ago, Bolt said:

That sounds like one epic battle..!

Since I am tired, bored, and am heartily sick of arguing about shifter design... I'll summarize!

The source is a piece in Variable Fighter Master File: VF-25 Messiah called Lost Children, that starts on page 96.

Entertainingly, the article starts with a vaguely Douglas Adams-y reminder that Space is Big.  It then goes on to note that, because humanity's growing mastery of fold technology has shrunk the effective distances involved considerably that the odds of running into something like a Zentradi main fleet are not as small as we'd like to think they are.

In September 2061, the 46th Large-Scale Long-Distance Emigrant Fleet Macross Valiant was sailing through the Perseus Arm of the Milky Way as it traveled around the galactic outer rim.  This was thought/expected to be a more laid-back route than those of emigrant fleets charting courses through the galactic core (like Macross FrontierMacross GalaxyMacross Olympia, etc.), and the fleet had enjoyed an uneventful trip for something like twenty years.  That did not last.  One of the fleet's advance reconnaissance units discovered a Zentradi Main Fleet chilling out nearby.  Further reconnaissance conducted by VF-171s confirmed that the fleet was a scant 4 million kilometers (about 11x the distance separating Earth and Luna) from a multi-million warship Zentradi fleet.  At their relative cruising speeds, the two fleets would be in range of each other in ten days.  Valiant Fleet President Lazarus Heiden declared a state of emergency and announced a plan for the fleet to conduct an emergency space fold in 72 hours.  (This declaration apparently did quite a bit to calm the panic the populace had been feeling since the news broke.)  President Heiden also notified the New UN Forces General Staff Headquarters on Earth about the situation and sought advice.   A plan was formulated to jump to a point approximately a parsec away from the main fleet's current course, since the scale of a main fleet makes it's not possible to quickly gather the kind of reinforcements you'd need to actually fight it.  

To better monitor the situation, the New UN Forces Chief of Staff trawled through the list of available ships in range and dispatched the CV-455 Barbarossa for observation purposes.  The Barbarossa had been on special assignment conducting field testing of new technologies, with around 1/3 of the ship's internal space devoted to equipment under development and data collection hardware for carrying out tests.  The ship's crew was supplemented by a number of engineers from various firms incl. L.A.I.'s headquarters on Eden.  Armed escort for those VIPs was provided by three VF-25s from SMS.  

Barbarossa executed a precision space fold and emerged a short distance from the Macross Valiant fleet, though it had not come to support the fleet or even notified the fleet of its impending arrival.  The plan was that, since it was a single ship, if it were discovered all they had to do was... run away.  At 1200 hours on 13 September 2061, Macross Valiant and its 900 ship fleet began their fold jump out of the danger zone.  The Barbarossa deployed an experimental fold wave jamming device to mask the gravitational waves caused by such a large fold operation and it appeared the main fleet had been successfully avoided until the ship detected a mayday being broadcast from the vicinity of the main fleet.  Due to some route miscalculation of a malfunction of its fold system, one of the Macross Valiant fleet's environment ships had defolded in the middle of the main fleet.  The Barbarossa's captain, Colonel Darius Ilsen, sent an urgent fold communication to Earth asking for instructions.  The General Staff's orders were to avoid contact with the main fleet to prevent the Zentradi from obtaining any information about humanity.  Colonel Ilsen was then surprised to learn from the deck officer that Major Stanley Corbeck, the Barbarossa's flight commander, had ordered his troops to prepare to sortie for a rescue mission.  Colonel Ilsen gave his consent, and at 12:50 the Barbarossa changed course to intercept the main fleet.

The Barbarossa's goal was to rendezvous with, and evacuate the crew and passengers of, the Macross Valiant fleet's 97th Environment Ship Sentosa.  A resort, ship, the Sentosa was lucky to have only a small number of employees and guests aboard because it was a weekday.  Their goal was to approach under the concealment of electronic countermeasures, retrieve the civilians, and de-arse the area with the quickness.  Because most of its internal spaces were given over to test equipment and data collection hardware, the 2,000 man capacity of the Barbarossa was cut in half and it was only carrying two squadrons (40 aircraft in total) of the new VF-25 Messiah.  The evacuation was expected to take hours, since the Sentosa's crew had followed safety guidelines and instructed the civilians to take shelter in the ship's emergency shelters.

Colonel Ilsen ordered the Barbarossa to conduct a short-ranged fold jump to within a few kilometers of the Sentosa, and immediately upon arrival began jamming Zentradi sensors with the Barbarossa's powerful ECM.  The 40 VF-25s from SVF-173 and SVF-509 were launched to create a defensive cordon around the evacuation.  The Zentradi ships nearby put two-and-two together and realized the Barbarossa was there to rescue the other ship's crew, and launched their own attack with over 100 Regults.  The Barbarossa's VF-25s were outfitted with Super Packs in anticipation of a prolonged fight and area control was managed by a RVF-25 feeding data to Major Corbeck of SVF-173 and Captain Gados of SVF-503.  Working in a flexible rotation to replenish ammunition and fuel, the defense network managed by the two VF-25S's and one RVF-25 were able to coordinate an effective and surprisingly low-stress defense.  The three SMS members who'd accompanied L.A.I.'s engineers also participated in the operation despite being told that doing so was voluntary (and unpaid).  At around 16:40, three and a half hours into the rescue operation, Captain Gados of SVF-509 asked permission to deploy reaction weaponry against Zentradi ships nearby.  Colonel Ilsen declined, and instead requested the SMS platoon to rush the bridge of the nearest ship, where they were able to capture its captain and buy the operation another two hours. 

Near the end of the operation, a civilian from the Sentosa reported that his pet dog had been left behind after he was separated from it by one of the ship's emergency bulkheads and a member of SVF-173 volunteered to go find it before the Barbarossa's retreat.  Using a fold booster, 1st Lt. Sato boarded the Sentosa's resort area to begin the search.  Five minutes later, one of the Barbarossa's two VF-25Gs providing fire support reported having located the dog with his high-precision cameras, and the pet was safely recovered by Sato's VF-25C.  With the evacuation complete and the enemy Regults falling back as larger Zentradi warships entered gun range, Colonel Ilsen gave Major Corbeck the order to destroy the Sentosa with MDE weaponry to prevent the Zentradi from acquiring any information about humanity from it.  

The detonation of two MDE warheads destroyed the Sentosa utterly, and caused the Zentradi to pause in their advance.  The Barbarossa successfully withdrew from the combat area without further incident, with her two squadrons having secured a record-setting 482 confirmed kills during the 6 hour long engagement and with no losses of their own.  Only two aircraft were damaged badly enough to require repairs, and those were minor enough that they were completed during the battle in less than an hour and the aircraft returned to the fight. 

It's noted at the end that despite the VF-25's price tag being as high or higher than the VF-19's, it has a good reputation for cost-effectiveness.  27 of the 40 pilots involved in the operation had never seen actual combat before, which was a testament to its ease of operation.  All forty pilots were awarded either the Roy Focker Medal or Titanium Medal for their exceptional valor.  It's noted that, despite the departure of the Vajra, the VF-25 shows clear promise as a new weapon to defend humanity.

(It ends with a final aside that 1st Lt. Sato, later Cpt. Sato, was later gifted with one of puppies of the rescued dog.)

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5 minutes ago, Seto Kaiba said:

The source is a piece in Variable Fighter Master File: VF-25 Messiah called Lost Children, that starts on page 96.

Very nice, summary. Honestly, I wouldn't want to fight a fifth generation fighter like the Messiah in a Regult of all things. I almost feel sorry for those Zentradi pilots.

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9 minutes ago, deathzealot said:

Very nice, summary. Honestly, I wouldn't want to fight a fifth generation fighter like the Messiah in a Regult of all things. I almost feel sorry for those Zentradi pilots.

All things considered, the fact that that amazing result was accomplished by a force where nearly 3/4 of the troops had never seen live combat before just makes it more impressive.

One has to wonder how Major Corbeck and Captain Gados's VF-25s even get off their ground with their massive, massive balls aboard.

 

Spoiler

(It REALLY hammers home how amazing the Jenius family is, though.  Just imagine, Therese Jenius - alias Mariafokina Barnrose - took on a VF-19A flown by the leader of one of the elite VF-X Special Forces squadrons in an old VF-1 and absolutely spanked him.  The difference in performance there is nearly as big as the one between the Regults and the VF-25, but with a much higher skill cap and no advantage of numbers.)

 

EDIT: For those wondering, the Sentosa is named for an island off the southern coast of Singapore's main island.  It's anyone's guess which Barbarossa the CV-455 Barbarossa is named for.  My money's on the Ottoman Admiral.

Edited by Seto Kaiba
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7 hours ago, Seto Kaiba said:

(It ends with a final aside that 1st Lt. Sato, later Cpt. Sato, was later gifted with one of puppies of the rescued dog.)

That's it, we've hit the peak. No Macross story can ever top this one.

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11 hours ago, Seto Kaiba said:

Since I am tired, bored, and am heartily sick of arguing about shifter design... I'll summarize!

That was honestly one of the most intriguing stories I've heard from this franchise. Thanks a ton Seto for sharing that for us. Things like this are why I'm so eager to see your site one day, if only you had the time to devote (though I fully understand being busy).

I think the best part of the story for me, even though it doesn't have all the usual traits of a classical Macross story (namely music used to overcome conflict and a love triangle, which being a short story makes sense), it still isn't a gritty Gundam style war drama that it feels like some fans want. It's not about a desperate war glorifying violence and strife, it's about the NUN Spacey doing what it does best to save lives. The fighting was just a means to that end.

Really hammers home the excellence of the NUNS that we have lost sight of with recent series focus on PMC groups. These people are the real deal.

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4 hours ago, JB0 said:

That's it, we've hit the peak. No Macross story can ever top this one.

Wholesome, isn't it?

The New UN Spacy gets to engage in some downright Starfleet heroism complete with a "Screw the rules, I'm doing what's right" moment, everyone makes it out alive thanks to some epic planning and technological shenanigans, and even the mercenaries who'd been hired to bodyguard VIPs volunteered their services at no charge in the name of saving lives.

 

10 hours ago, Bolt said:

Thanks for that translation! I really enjoyed that.  We get to benefit when you're bored, lol.😁
It's interesting to note the Barbarossa was carrying VF-25's and not 24's..

Ah, there's a reason for that.

The Barbarossa was a ship from the planet Megara's New UN Spacy garrison force.  When the General Staff HQ on Earth was looking for ships in range that could go observe the main fleet Macross Valiant discovered, they were the best-equipped ones in range.

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7 minutes ago, Seto Kaiba said:

Ah, there's a reason for that.

The Barbarossa was a ship from the planet Megara's New UN Spacy garrison force.  When the General Staff HQ on Earth was looking for ships in range that could go observe the main fleet Macross Valiant discovered, they were the best-equipped ones in range.

Ah so..

Great story !

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Honestly, I'm rather keen to tackle the section in the VF-0 book that talks about the restoration of a pair of VF-0s that someone dug up at Edwards AFB in 2019.

From a quick skim, it seems like the New UN Government recovered five wrecked VF-0A airframes from Edwards that were shot down during the events of Macross Zero, and the staff at Shinsei Industry decided to work off-the-clock to do a full/proper restoration job on the two of them that were intact enough to restore.

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Somehow managed to double-post hours apart... that's a new one.

EDIT: Rather than let the post go completely to waste, there's some interesting peripheral detail in there about one of Shinsei's lead developers... a fellow named Bill Damrosch, who was apparently deeply involved in the development of the VF-3000 and VF-5000.  Also some directional estimates about when Shinsei started development of the YF-11 (early 2025). 

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4 hours ago, Seto Kaiba said:

Wholesome, isn't it?

The New UN Spacy gets to engage in some downright Starfleet heroism complete with a "Screw the rules, I'm doing what's right" moment, everyone makes it out alive thanks to some epic planning and technological shenanigans, and even the mercenaries who'd been hired to bodyguard VIPs volunteered their services at no charge in the name of saving lives.

 

Ah, there's a reason for that.

The Barbarossa was a ship from the planet Megara's New UN Spacy garrison force.  When the General Staff HQ on Earth was looking for ships in range that could go observe the main fleet Macross Valiant discovered, they were the best-equipped ones in range.

*cue the Wallflowers We Could Be Heroes*

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Hmmm... Both of your posts Sato were different from one another though both mentioned the two VF-0 Phoenix found under AFB Edwards. The second went into a bit more detail.

That said, I would love to see someone taking these small hidden pearls and make them into a full on story.

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11 minutes ago, deathzealot said:

Hmmm... Both of your posts Sato were different from one another though both mentioned the two VF-0 Phoenix found under AFB Edwards. The second went into a bit more detail.

Eh... maybe I'm just losing my mind.  I always said my colleagues in Italy would drive me mad one day...

 

Anyway... Restored Phoenix is a fun little non-combat writeup that runs for several pages starting on page 82 of Variable Fighter Master File: VF-0 Phoenix.

The foreword, which is written from the perspective of a writer in 2040, notes that five years ago in March 2035 the restored VF-0 Phoenix flew over Macross City as a part of the New UN Government's ceremony to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the First Space War Armistice.  It's described as having been a rather impactful moment in cultural terms, since the VF-0 was believed to have been one of the many things lost in the war.  It then notes that this was no sudden, spur of the moment event.  Rather, this was the culmination of 15+ years of effort and the opposing concerns of restoration work and the government's desire to keep certain aspects of the VF-0's history classified.  The rest of the article is framed as being a condensation of a much more complex tale told in another (fictive) publication called The Men Who Made Zero: Repair of the VF-0 Phoenix

 

On the 26th of October, 2019, investigators from the New UN Government's Culture Reconstruction Agency were surveying the ruined remains of Edwards Air Force Base in what was once California when they made an unexpected discovery.  They found several large transport containers in an underground warehouse that contained what appeared to be wrecked variable fighters.  The record is sketchy on exactly how many aircraft were there due to the severity of the damage (est. 3-5).  The investigators were not military experts and Edwards Air Force Base had not been used for variable fighter development according to surviving records, so per established protocol regarding recovered weapons and military technology the materials were preserved on site and a request was filed for expert analysis with the relevant surviving defense industry firms.  On June 12th, 2020 Shinsei Industry dispatched its in-house expert to the site to identify the find and the wreckage was positively identified as the remains of several VF-0 Phoenix units.

Ordinarily, the Culture Reconstruction Agency's mandate require them to publish the data on any recovered prewar cultural artifacts for public consumption.  Because this find was a sensitive military matter tied directly or indirectly to still-classified matters, news of the find was not publicized and the containers were brought to the warehouse at Shinsei Industry headquarters in relative secrecy.

After being delivered to Shinsei Industry's headquarters, the VF-0 wreckage was removed from the containers piece by piece for study.  The goal was only to identify at catalog the wreckage for a report to the New UN Government and Culture Reconstruction Agency.  By checking the analysis of the parts against surviving data, the Shinsei experts able to  find the identities of two of them: VF-0A's #7 and #13.  Initial examination of the damaged parts concluded they had been destroyed while in Battroid mode, albeit with some damages not explicable by normal means.  Further analysis of the damage sustained by the energy conversion armor concluded that both VF-0's had been shot down by normal means and then suffered additional damage from being caught in the blast of a fuel-air explosive device that caused secondary explosions when the jet fuel in their tanks cooked off.  Aircraft No.13 was discovered to have sustained missile hits to its right shoulder, the right side of the nose, and right engine nacelle as well as several gun hits to its tail.  X-ray scanning of the wreckage was able to recover identifying markings including the canopy stencil identifying the pilot as USAF Captain Keats A. McRandy, an officer seconded to the UN Spacy's VF-0 Test Team aboard the CVN-99 Asuka II.  No.7 had had an arm shot off and armor fractures showed signs of repeated bombing pressures.  Its exterior suffered worse damage, but unlike No.13 its cockpit remained mostly intact.  The other aircraft recovered were crushed beyond recognition.  A hypothesis was formed that these aircraft were recovered in the wake of the Mayan island incident, though the reason they were sent to Edwards AFB remained frustratingly unclear.  

VF-0A No.7 and VF-0A No.13 spent the next five years languishing in storage in Shinsei Industry's warehouse complex.

Five years later, around the time the YF-11's development kicked off in March 2025, a senior Shinsei Industry engineer named Bill Damrosch poked his oar in.  Bill Damrosch was a major player in Stonewell and Bellcom's VF development, and post-merger continued in that capacity with Shinsei Industry.  He wielded quite a bit of influence inside Shinsei, and had been angling for some time for permission to restore the VF-0's.  Because of the classified nature of the Mayan Island incident, it was considered politically undesirable to ask the government about it, so that ambition went unfulfilled until 2025.  Shinsei's president had managed to retain possession of the wreckage by arguing that, as with other found military technology, it should be retained in case something that might assist in the development of future VFs could be wrung from it.  Using the clout Shinsei had gained by the success of the VF-5000, Damrosch began full-scale lobbying of Shinsei's management for permission to begin a restoration effort.  This proposal was greeted with a considerable level of enthusiasm by the younger engineers, and while the company president gave the go-ahead it was with the caveats that the work couldn't be publicized, that because no government contract existed to pay for it it'd have to be done off the books, and that if the military stepped in and said "No" it had to be stopped immediately.  So Bill Damrosch asked for volunteers, and the restoration of the VF-0 Phoenix became a sort of after-work club activity for the Shinsei engineering staff.  According to Damrosch's memoir, he got approval to commence work on the 29th of March, 2025.

Aside from the lack of funding, one of the biggest obstacles the project faced was that recreating the VF-0's prewar technology and materials was going to be extremely difficult because many of them simply weren't produced anymore.  Alloys and composites could be reproduced easily enough, but plastics, cloth, and leather would prove difficult or just flat impossible to procure.  The idea of recreating the VF-0 using VF-5000 parts was entertained, but ultimately discarded by Bill Damrosch in favor of an authentic restoration of that unfinished design as a sort of display of the utmost respect to Earth's culture and history.  His lofty goal was to restore the VF-0 to full operational condition.  

Detailed planning for the reconstruction began with the meticulous disassembly and study of every part that could be disassembled, and each was subjected to photographic and holographic scanning to produce a detailed record.  Some parts were heavily distorted due to damage, and this scanning enabled digital reconstruction of the original parts.  The VF-0's materials were badly outdated, but still within the ability of the factory satellite and offworld installations to manufacture.  Due to the use of rare metals in the VF-0's outer skin, the cost of reproducing the materials soared because those materials were either not mined anymore or had been replaced by cheaper alternatives.  Because the restoration project was being carried out without government or military support, the project ran into financial problems.  Its confidential nature meant that soliciting private donations was forbidden as well.  

 

 

<I'm gonna split it here, since this is a loooooong one.  The next sections talk about each individual area of restoration work.>

 

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Continuing where I left off with Restored Phoenix...

 

Analysis of the VF-0 wreckage concluded the ratio of the mass of the outer panel and frame to the entire body is about 60%.  Using lighter and stronger modern materials would have skewed the aircraft's balance considerably, so Damrosch's team of volunteers bent over backwards to meticulously recreate the materials needed and where possible remanufacture its surviving parts.  Needing to remanufacture so many structural components due to excessive damage led to a significant increase in costs.  The wings, in particular needed to be rebuilt from scratch because of the damage sustained by the FAE bombs and secondary explosions they triggered.  What could be reused was, and it was discovered that some components from the back, the nose (excl. the radome), left arm, and left leg could be used almost as-is after cleaning and repainting.  The right side of the aircraft was almost a complete loss, so Damrosch's team were forced to construct replacements including at least six EGF-127 turbofan jet engines, from scratch referencing the intact left leg and arm to avoid throwing off the VF-0's balance.  The transformation mechanism used old-fashioned electric motors as superconducting electric motors other more advanced technologies weren't available at the time of the VF-0's construction.  Damrosch's team reached out to the VF-5000's motor supplier and arranged for replacement actuators to be paintstakingly recreated.  However, the individual minor differences accumulated and made the "feel" of the transformation completely different, so expert consultation was sought from Lt. Colonel Takita, a former test pilot from the VF-0 program.  He produced an enormous report after various tests, and resulted in over a year of trial and error to faithfully restore the performance of the original VF-0's transformation system.  

Restoration of the nose and cockpit block was noted to be one of the most difficult parts of the project, mainly due to the avionics and onboard computers that were responsible for actually operating the fighter.  Henri Merton, the youngest engineer on the Shinsei VF-0 reconstruction team, had been just 15 years old at the time of the First Space War and had a great deal of "geek" knowledge about older processors.  For three years, Merton masterminded the analysis and reproduction of the components in the VF-0's avionics and control systems in parallel with his normal routine.  With about 20% of the hardware being shared with the VF-1, Damrosch's team was able to simply order replacement parts that'd been produced for the VF-1.  Despite the extensive damage, Merton was able to reconstruct 85% of the VF-0's computer hardware through analysis of surviving components and filled in the remaining 15% with his expert knowledge of the technology and systems analysis skills.  Special data recovery tools developed by a Zentradi engineer named Budalanica Alvarez were used to recover stored data from the memory banks of No.7 and No.13, and in combination with the sophisticated supercomputers available to Shinsei for design work they were able to reconstruct much of the VF-0's onboard computer software in 4 years.  

Reconstruction of the radome was done in partnership with a private movie prop production studio that had the tools to work with the older materials needed.  Damrosch preserved project secrecy by claiming that the reproduction VF-0 radome was to be used for a TV special.  The original VF-0 canopy was a composite of acrylic and a transparent metal derived from overtechnology, which the engineers were unable to reproduce accurately.  A replacement canopy made with the materials and process used for VF-5000 canopies was quickly made and fitted, with modifications to its thickness and weight distribution to precisely copy the original VF-0 canopy. 

The original ejection seat could not be reproduced due to safety standards, so a VF-1 Valkyrie ejection seat was modified for the purpose.  The VF-0's seat was heavier, so the design difference was made up for by affixing plates of high-density metals like tungsten to its frame.  As tungsten was a precious metal after the First Space War, the tungsten for this was sourced from recycled waste from First Space War-era wreckage.  The plastics used in the cockpit were milled from blocks and plates using 3D scan data.  Original liquid crystal screens couldn't be sourced, so modern graphics boards were used instead and tailored to match the correct appearance.

Cockpit wiring diagrams were lost to history, so the cockpit wiring had to be reproduced through laborious guess-and-check work as each restored module was fitted.  

The landing gear mechanisms were also unable to be accurately reproduced due to safety standards, so modern equivalents were made and the designs adjusted to match the shape and weight of the original hardware.  Another VF-5000 supplier was tapped to provide custom landing gear tires since the VF-0 used a non-standard size different from the VF-1's.  

The energy capacitors also proved difficult to recreate, and so were exchanged for newer models developed for the VF-5000.  An emulator was installed to tune their performance back to VF-0-appropriate levels.  The data to do this was compiled from reverse-engineering of the VF-0 flight control software recovered by Henri Merton's team.  The restoration reproduced the poor performance of the VF-0's capacitors, though this performance limitation can be lifted at any time by the pilot.  However, due to the restrictions on the VF-0's transformation mechanism and other systems the limiter is always in operation and requires servicing by a qualified mechanic to enable the ability to disable it.  However, due to the improved technology the capacity is approximately five times what the original spec called for and provided the capacitor was charged in advance it became possible to provide the required power for a long time regardless of the output.  The coaxial laser cannon on the head was a repurposed Mauler ROV-20 with a restored original barrel.  (The weapon was disabled during the flight exhibition in 2035.)  The team generally refused permission to use the laser system for fear that it might cause damage to other components and require more expensive restoration work.

 

<LONG ARTICLE IS LONG!  I'll pick up with the engines in Part III.>

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OK, third part.

Restoration of the EGF-127 Custom turbofan engine was as difficult as the rest of the aircraft, due in no small part to it being a conventional overtuned turbofan jet engine rather than a thermonuclear reaction turbine engine.  The mechanical differences in the engine concept made reproduction difficult due to design tolerances.  Turbine blades proved to be majorly problematic, since the material was very similar to what was used in reaction turbine engines but the shape and number of blades were completely different... which meant, hey hey, more budget problems.

< At this juncture, I'd like to provide my own baseless conjecture that the guy responsible for maintaining the budget for this project probably developed PTSD from the seemingly near-constant budget issues >

The casing was combined with portions of the outer fuselage, and to save money the necessary panels were beaten into shape by hand with giant Zentradi engineers with mallets.

< OK, who... who needs a ****ing press when you can just hand a full-sized Zentradi a hammer? >

However, it took more than two years to produce the required precision in the plating.  The piping was also produced manually with pipe-bending jigs or punching and welding plate metal.  The EGF-127 Kai was an engine that pushed the limits of what a combustion turbine could do, and so the level of accuracy required was utterly uncompromising and required micron-level precision in manufacturing.  The engineers responsible for the engine polished all the parts by hand and assembled a pair of new EGF-127s over a period of three years.  Testing under power was conducted on 24 occasions starting in July 18, 2032 to early 2033, but unfortunately undiagnosed vibration problems necessitated more rework and one of the engines was destroyed in the 6th test.  Engine design lead Severino Fizcoli wept openly when the engine tests finally produced acceptable results.  Using the data from the No.7 engine rebuilds, the surviving engine from No.13 was refurbished and safely reactivated as well.  The actual fuel is difficult to procure because it's produced only in limited quantities for the military.

Study of the VF-0 uncovered several interesting revelations that were not in surviving documentation.  Particularly the extensive use of cut-outs that were used as strain relief areas and arranged to provide structural cushioning in high-frame-stress maneuvers as a way to compensate for less than ideal material strength.  However, due to the limitations of materials at the time, there was still a fair amount of cracking evident in many parts.  Piecemeal reinforcement was applied to address weak spots caused by this incomplete design and the simple inadequacy of the structural materials used in the central fuselage, tail, and engine nacelles.  

< There is a curious remark in this section that suggests that energy conversion armor is used at a very low level even in fighter mode as a sort of structural integrity boost. >

At the time the two airframes were completed, the weight ratio of original to newly manufactured parts stood at approximately 5:5.

Outside experts were consulted on a number of occasions, including Alexei Kuryakin, who at the time had recently founded Shinsei Industry's new rival General Galaxy.  He was an old acquaintance of Bill Damrosch's, and generously shared a large amount of knowledge from the development of the VF-4 immediately after the war. 

The paint of No.7 and No.13 had been stripped during the analysis phase, so experimentations in markings and surface treatments were attempted.  It was known that the two VF-0's had not been built in the same factory, with No.13's parts having some interior markings in Japanese.  From examination of the manufacturing differences, the Shinsei engineers came to believe No.13 had a different head at the time it was produced.  The identification number for No.7 was given as 312, and No.13 as 301, in accordance with the former UN Forces practice at the time.  The Asuka II probably had two VF-0 units on board, and it was considered likely that No.13 had been one of the squadron commanders.  There was a theory that No.13,with its modex of 301, belonged to the legendary ace Roy Focker but there was no evidence found to confirm or deny that theory.

< ... at this juncture, I'd like to point out that 301 was the MODEX of Roy's VF-0S. >

 

The restoration project was supported by the service spirit of the engineers, but as mentioned previously ran into a number of deadlocks due to financial problems.  The project was subjected to many audits, and the members of the project team labored on with their limited budget rather than risk cancellation by resorting to illegal means like diverting funds from other projects.  Shinsei's board of directors issued quite a few warnings, worrying it would interfere with normal operations and trying to account for the activity costs.  In the project's 5th year, it was finally questioned at a general shareholder meeting.  To avoid disclosing potentially confidential material, Shinsei's president assured shareholders that the mystery project would definitely benefit the company in the long run.  Shinsei's president treated the VF-0 project as a means to nurture the engineering talents and passion of the new generation of engineers, and trusted management of the entire project to Damrosch.  It's believed that, at a few points, supplemental funds provided by the president were out of his own pocket.  The companies who assisted in the confidential reconstruction project were also rewarded by having their corporate logos emblazoned on the airframe.  It's also implied in Damrosch's memoirs that the project had the tacit support of a number of extremely senior individuals in the military.  

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< ... okay wow, still not done. >

The VF-0 Revival Project did not end with the announcement and demonstration of the reconstructed VF-0 at the 25th Anniversary ceremony.  Team members have since begun to also reproduce the VF-0A+, which was introduced later as an actual battle-ready version outfitted with thermonuclear reaction turbine engines.  Research had revealed the VF-0A+ required an entirely new leg to accommodate the new engine, which included retooling of the intake.  Upgrades were also required to the avionics and control system to manage the reaction engines.  With few surviving documents, the Shinsei revival project team are mostly groping in the dark and experimenting with simulation data to figure out how to properly reinforce the airframe to withstand harsh use.  Several more dramatic plans were rejected b members who wanted to preserve the original VF-0 to the greatest extent possible.  Talks are underway (c.2040) regarding production of a replica aircraft separately and a fund-raising campaign is being developed.

The VF-0, which was restored over a period of nearly 10 years, pulled out onto the runaway of the test airfield adjacent to Shinsei Industry Headquarters on October 22, 2033.  The first flight was carried out by a Shinsei in-house test pilot, a former New UN Forces pilot named Erugei Ordos.  For the purposes of the test flight, Ordos operated under the alias Benjamin E. Cunningham... the name of one of the original VF-0 test pilots.  Ordos/Cunningham logged over 300 hours of simulated flight time before the test and also attended lectures by a pilot experienced with old jets. 

The biggest area of concern was the reliability of the EGF-127 turbofans.  Bench tests had verified their safe operation and reliability, but no one could predict how the obsolete tech would perform.  Testing was carried out with support from two VF-5000A chase planes to either recover the aircraft or at least its pilot in the case of an engine failure.  Nobody on the team wanted to risk actually losing the restored aircraft they'd spend ten years on, and there was considerable anxiety during takeoff until the pilot reported achieving an altitude of 25,000 feet.

<Done!>

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That was such a fun read, and really provides a lot of insight into the technological changes over time in the decades we so quickly skip through in the different Macross entries, not to mention a virtually apocalyptic war effectively destroying civilization we know before that along with all the information of the age.

Feel free to do more of this anytime lol.

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3 minutes ago, Master Dex said:

That was such a fun read, and really provides a lot of insight into the technological changes over time in the decades we so quickly skip through in the different Macross entries, not to mention a virtually apocalyptic war effectively destroying civilization we know before that along with all the information of the age.

IMO, there's a major takeaway in Restored Phoenix that has more impact on the setting than the actual story does but barely gets touched on.

The New UN Government established a government agency for the specific purpose of searching around in the ruins of pre-war Earth for cultural and technological relics for physical and digital preservation.

I know this article isn't strictly relevant to Macross II, but Culture Park makes a LOT more sense if there's been an organization like that running around behind the scenes.  When you think about it, that also probably explains how the shipwrights and architects working on emigrant ships have been able to recreate so many destroyed pre-war landmarks and copy legacy architectural styles from destroyed cities.  And why they've gotten better at it as time has gone on instead of worse.  Esp. if, as mentioned in that piece, they have technology that can recover data from damaged-to-the-point-of-inoperability solid state storage media.  

(Makes you wonder if they went and recovered Voyager 1 or Voyager 2 to recover the golden records for the music and encoded photography.)

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10 hours ago, Seto Kaiba said:

Honestly, I'm rather keen to tackle the section in the VF-0 book that talks about the restoration of a pair of VF-0s that someone dug up at Edwards AFB in 2019.

From a quick skim, it seems like the New UN Government recovered five wrecked VF-0A airframes from Edwards that were shot down during the events of Macross Zero, and the staff at Shinsei Industry decided to work off-the-clock to do a full/proper restoration job on the two of them that were intact enough to restore.

If that story is 'cannon', why did they not actually talk to the Zentradi Fleet? Is it a prime directive gimmick? Or just a major bought of preservation because they think the Zent fleet will just go rambo on any aspect of the NUNS because of existing Protoculture Rules? Could they not absorb them into the NUNS?

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I imagine NUNS would want a major tactical advantage before approaching a  Zentradi main fleet with open arms. From the sound of it, it seems the priority was to get Macross Valiant out of harms way. 
Why didn't NUNS pony up and say hey afterwards? Maybe the main fleet took off or maybe the powers that be decided to use an avoidance protocol..

I would imagine, under ideal conditions, another (mostly) main fleet could be integrated..

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21 minutes ago, TehPW said:

If that story is 'cannon', why did they not actually talk to the Zentradi Fleet? Is it a prime directive gimmick? Or just a major bought of preservation because they think the Zent fleet will just go rambo on any aspect of the NUNS because of existing Protoculture Rules? Could they not absorb them into the NUNS?

So, in the Lost Children article in the VF-25 Master File, they never directly address why they don't attempt to communicate with the main fleet that Macross Valiant nearly ran into.  It's sort of talked around in the brief mention of why they don't fight them.  A Zentradi main fleet is a military force of such stupidly massive and unstoppable might that you absolutely do not do anything that carries a risk of drawing its attention (or aggro) unless there is absolutely no other option on the table.  If they decide to start shooting, there's really nothing that can stop them.  A main fleet's as much as mobile extinction event looking for someone to happen to as it is a military formation.  

The only way you even consider confronting a main fleet is if you have 1. no other choice and 2. stupid amounts of reinforcements waiting in the wings with enough reaction weaponry to make a wrathful god's self-confidence shrivel up like it's a cold day in the locker room.

Branch fleets are formations small enough to deal with... either on a personal or strategic level.  Main fleets aren't, and the Lost Children article implies that avoidance is the norm if you're unlucky enough to run into one.

Mind you, that story isn't official setting material.  Nothing in Variable Fighter Master File is... unless corroborated elsewhere.*

Spoiler

* ... and the reason we have to qualify that statement is because Macross Chronicle and one or two other publications have been caught adopting ideas from that unofficial material in the past.  Things like the meaning of the acronym "ARMD", the history and capabilities of the SF-3A Lancer II and QF-3000E Ghost, and ANGIRAS are drawn from preexisting unofficial works on which mechanical setting coordinator Masahiro Chiba had previously collaborated like the Sky Angels tech manual.

 

Edited by Seto Kaiba
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It's worth noting that the only Macross story in which contact with a Zentradi (or Meltrandi) main fleet is considered to be an inevitable/regular occurrance is Macross II: Lovers Again.

The UN Forces in Macross II had encountered five more main fleets after the events of Macross: Do You Remember Love?, and while they did progressively better each time all of them except the last were major "Oh ****" moments where disaster was only narrowly averted.  

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32 minutes ago, Seto Kaiba said:

So, in the Lost Children article in the VF-25 Master File, they never directly address why they don't attempt to communicate with the main fleet that Macross Valiant nearly ran into.  It's sort of talked around in the brief mention of why they don't fight them.  A Zentradi main fleet is a military force of such stupidly massive and unstoppable might that you absolutely do not do anything that carries a risk of drawing its attention (or aggro) unless there is absolutely no other option on the table.  If they decide to start shooting, there's really nothing that can stop them.  A main fleet's as much as mobile extinction event looking for someone to happen to as it is a military formation.  

The only way you even consider confronting a main fleet is if you have 1. no other choice and 2. stupid amounts of reinforcements waiting in the wings with enough reaction weaponry to make a wrathful god's self-confidence shrivel up like it's a cold day in the locker room.

Branch fleets are formations small enough to deal with... either on a personal or strategic level.  Main fleets aren't, and the Lost Children article implies that avoidance is the norm if you're unlucky enough to run into one.

Mind you, that story isn't official setting material.  Nothing in Variable Fighter Master File is... unless corroborated elsewhere.*

  Hide contents

* ... and the reason we have to qualify that statement is because Macross Chronicle and one or two other publications have been caught adopting ideas from that unofficial material in the past.  Things like the meaning of the acronym "ARMD", the history and capabilities of the SF-3A Lancer II and QF-3000E Ghost, and ANGIRAS are drawn from preexisting unofficial works on which mechanical setting coordinator Masahiro Chiba had previously collaborated like the Sky Angels tech manual.

 

In other words, Kyle Reese's dissertation from The Terminator should suffice here (substituting the Zentraedi Main Fleet for the Terminator in this instance):

"Listen, and understand. That Main Fleet is out there! It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop... ever, until you are dead!"

 

 

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Lol. That sounds about right right. So instead of John Conner.. we have Minmei  😉

Instead of MDE's , NUNS could deploy tens of thousands of cluster bombs full of little, singing Minmei dolls 😅

In addition to the Minmei defense ..

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6 minutes ago, Bolt said:

Lol. That sounds about right right. So instead of John Conner.. we have Minmei  😉

Instead of MDE's , NUNS could deploy tens of thousands of cluster bombs full of little, singing Minmei dolls 😅

In addition to the Minmei defense ..

I don't know if the Minmei Defense would work against all of the Main Fleets; I recall Seto Kaiba saying something about it not, unless my memory needs another RAM card or two...

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I think the only way to deal with a main fleet is exploiting the cultural shock but from inside... likely infiltrating the fleet and start pumping culture (songs and erotic media) among the soldiers to undermine moral and unity. Then a culture shock attack may be worth the risk

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So with this bumping into Zentradi fleets, where is the (non-Varauta non-Mac7) Supervision Army? Weren't they the main enemies of the Zentradi and stands to reason there is still a significant number of them out there in a non-trivial proportion to the Zentradi fleet? No fleets ran into them?

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1 hour ago, aurance said:

So with this bumping into Zentradi fleets, where is the (non-Varauta non-Mac7) Supervision Army? Weren't they the main enemies of the Zentradi and stands to reason there is still a significant number of them out there in a non-trivial proportion to the Zentradi fleet? No fleets ran into them?

No one knows (to my knowledge), but with that said: I imagine they may not be very cordial either. In this instance "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" may very well not apply! O.o

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2 hours ago, aurance said:

So with this bumping into Zentradi fleets, where is the (non-Varauta non-Mac7) Supervision Army? Weren't they the main enemies of the Zentradi and stands to reason there is still a significant number of them out there in a non-trivial proportion to the Zentradi fleet? No fleets ran into them?

I get the impression they were fairly well-routed by the time of the original series. Throwing away functional ships after rigging them up as mines smacks of desperation.

 

I could be wrong, of course. The other obvious interpretation is that the meltrandi fleet in DYRL was a "reskinned" Supervision Army fleet, and the narrative conceit that the movie is a fiction that exists within the setting provides a good excuse for that reskinning to happen.

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15 hours ago, pengbuzz said:

In other words, Kyle Reese's dissertation from The Terminator should suffice here (substituting the Zentraedi Main Fleet for the Terminator in this instance):

"Listen, and understand. That Main Fleet is out there! It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop... ever, until you are dead!"

Very nearly, yeah.  The reason that trying to communicate with a main fleet is so dangerous is that its leaders absolutely can feel fear, and that fear makes them more dangerous. 

Boddole Zer's order to destroy Earth was motivated by his fear of the alien influence causing his soldiers to disobey orders and lose their will to fight.  In Macross 7, we get to learn how well-founded this fear was when we learn about how the Protodeviln used mind control to subvert Zentradi and Protoculture to their cause.  Culture shock tactics can work on Zentradi if you get good saturation, but if you don't you stand a chance of accidentally invoking their biggest fear.

 

 

14 hours ago, pengbuzz said:

I don't know if the Minmei Defense would work against all of the Main Fleets; I recall Seto Kaiba saying something about it not, unless my memory needs another RAM card or two...

14 hours ago, Bolt said:

It failed against the Marduk. Of course there may be other instances of it not working..i just don't recall..

14 hours ago, pengbuzz said:

Yeah...hey Seto!! Can we get a "Deculture check" on this one?

There were a few occasions where the Minmay Attack failed in the Macross II timeline.

In 2036, the Zentradi Neld main fleet proved resistant to the Minmay Attack because they'd been "inoculated' against it via limited exposure to Earth's culture courtesy of Quamzin and other Zentradi who'd lived among humans briefly before fleeing back into space to rejoin their forces.

In 2037, the Zentradi Burado main fleet appeared immune to the Minmay Attack... but only because they had acquired a sophisticated Protoculture communications system which made it impossible for the UN Forces to turn their own communications network against them with broadcasts of Minmay Attack materials.  Once that obstacle was removed, that fleet proved as susceptible to the Minmay Attack as any other.  (In a rare moment, the use of the Minmay Attack and other evidence convinced the Meltrandi fleet that'd been hot on the Burado fleet's heels to conclude that Earth was a Protoculture enclave and withdraw from the system per their ancient standing order to not interfere with the worlds of the Protoculture.

In 2092, the Mardook proved to be actually immune to the Minmay Attack because their culture already had concepts like "love" and "music".

 

 

6 hours ago, Gerli said:

I think the only way to deal with a main fleet is exploiting the cultural shock but from inside... likely infiltrating the fleet and start pumping culture (songs and erotic media) among the soldiers to undermine moral and unity. Then a culture shock attack may be worth the risk

You'd have to be very careful how you did that.  If you recall, the standard approach the Zentradi take when they believe part of their forces are compromised is (un)friendly fire.

 

 

5 hours ago, aurance said:

So with this bumping into Zentradi fleets, where is the (non-Varauta non-Mac7) Supervision Army? Weren't they the main enemies of the Zentradi and stands to reason there is still a significant number of them out there in a non-trivial proportion to the Zentradi fleet? No fleets ran into them?

That is an excellent question... we have no idea.

Between the original series and DYRL?, we get a vague picture that the front lines of the war between the Zentradi and Supervision Army are still actively at war with each other but the battle lines are not visible to humanity or the audience.

In "Boobytrap", in Vrlitwhai and Exsedol's very first scene it's mentioned that "they" (the Supervision Army) should have been withdrawing from the unspecified region of space that Earth occupies in whatever Zentradi astrocartography system is in play "eight terms" ago.  The Zentradi glossary provided by the show's creators indicates that a term is a Zentradi unit of time equal to approximately five Earth years.  

So... somewhere around 1969, the Supervision Army started retreating from the general stellar neighborhood around the Sol system in the face of a Zentradi advance.  How far did they fall back?  We don't know.  There hasn't been any word of anyone running into them.  On the other hand, it's possible humanity HAS run into them and just didn't recognize them for what they were since the Supervision Army was made up in no small part of captured Zentradi assets.

 

In Do You Remember Love?, Earth had been well away from the front lines for quite a long time once the Protoculture established their colony there and were forced to abandon it once the warring Zentradi and Meltrandi started to move into that region of space thousands of years ago.

 

 

2 hours ago, JB0 said:

I get the impression they were fairly well-routed by the time of the original series. Throwing away functional ships after rigging them up as mines smacks of desperation.

Sort of?  The Macross 7 chronology would probably lend some support to the idea since it established that the Supervision Army suffered a pretty significant defeat when the Anima Spiritia were able to defeat, capture, and seal the Protodeviln.  

I'm not sure throwing away functional ships after booby-trapping them smacks of desperation or someone with enough production capacity to really not care if they sacrifice a few ships to catch the Zentradi off guard.  Both sides are presumably benefitting from the use of automated factory satellites and cloning facilities to mass produce their soldiers and all their war materiel. 

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