A Variable Fighter
is one of a series of fictional transforming aerospace fighters
primarily designed by Studio Nue
's Shoji Kawamori
and Kazutake Miyatake for the animated series The Super Dimension Fortress Macross
and later related projects.
Their most notable feature is the ability to transform—usually into a humanoid giant robot called Battroid and an in-between mode called GERWALK (Ground Effective Reinforcement of Winged Armament with Locomotive Knee-joint), in which the nose and wings have a pair of "chicken walker" legs extending underneath enabling VTOL, and two arms reaching forward from the sides. Another prevalent (but not universal) design point is the use of a detachable gun pod instead of an internally mounted gun. This allows it to be used as a hand-held weapon in GERWALK and battroid modes. They usually also have one or more trainable head-mounted lasers in battroid mode, stowed internally or used as fixed armament in fighter and GERWALK modes.
In the original series, the reason behind the development of the variable fighters' Battroid mode was the discovery of the existence of the Zentradi race, giant humanoid aliens genetically engineered for military conquest. Although at the time the humans hadn't met any actual Zentradi, the discovery of the SDF-1 Macross and its accommodations for humanoid giants justified the development of a weapon that could enable mankind to fight the aliens on their own environment (Battroid mode), on the ground (Gerwalk mode), and the air (Fighter mode). Thus, research into Overtechnology culminated in the development of the variable fighters for the U.N. Spacy.
List of Variable Fighters
(Items in Parentheses indicate where they first appeared)
- Stonewell/Bellcom VF-X (non-transformable flight test vehicle)
- Northrop Grumman/Stonewell/Shinsei VF-0 Phoenix (Macross Zero)
- Sukhoi/Israel Aircraft Industries/Dornier SV-51 (Anti-UN Forces variable fighter not in the UN designation sequence) (Macross Zero)
- Stonewell/Bellcom VF-1 Valkyrie series (SDF Macross)
- Stonewell/Bellcom/Shinnakasu VF-3000 Crusader - (Macross Digital Mission VF-X)
- Stonewell Bellcom VF-4 Lightning III (Macross Flashback 2012)
- Shinsei Industry VF-5000 Star Mirage - (Macross Digital Mission VF-X Missions)
- Zentradi Variable Glaug - Zentradi variable mecha which is based on old Office Battle Pod.
- General Galaxy VF-9 Cutlass- (Macross Digital Mission VF-X Missions)
- Shinsei Industry VF-11 Thunderbolt (Macross Plus & Macross 7)
- General Galaxy/Messer VF-14 Vampire (Macross 7) - fighter designed was adapted by Protodevils army.
- General Galaxy VF-17 Nightmare (Macross 7) updated into the VF-171 Variable Fighter.
- Neo Glaug - human designed variable drone fighter.
- Shinsei Industry YF-19 (Macross Plus) Prototype for VF-19 Excalibur.
- Shinsei Industry VF-19 Excalibur (Macross 7)
- General Galaxy YF-21 (Macross Plus) Prototype of VF-22 Sturmvogel.
- General Galaxy VF-22 Sturmvogel II (Macross 7) Used a special forces/ace pilot fighter.
- General Galaxy/Messer-Varauta Fz-109 Elgerzorene (Macross 7) - Protodevil Fighter Craft based on UN Space design. Equipt with laser extract Spiritia energy from pilots.
- General Galaxy/Messer-Varauta Az-130 Pantserzorene (Macross 7) - Protodevil Attack Craft based on UN Space design.
- Northrom & Grumman/Mikoyan-Varauta FBz-99 Saubergeran (Macross 7)
- Zentradi Variable Device "Pheyos Valkyrie" (Macross Digital Mission VF-X, Macross VF-X2)
- General Galaxy VF-171 (Macross Frontier) N.U.N.S Fleet's main standard issue variable fighter.
- YF-24 Prototype Variable Fighter - Prototype for the VF-25 Messiah variable fighter.
- VF-25 Messiah (Macross Frontier) (Includes, variants VF-25F, VF-25G, VF-25S, & RVF-25.)
- VF-27 (Macross Frontier) - Fighter's armament include: a down-scale 1 x heavy quantum beam gun pod (rifle), 4xlasers, arm-mounted shield, internal fold-system, cybernetic interface to allow for Virtual Reality type controls which allows for remote control use. It can only be piloted safely by cyborgs during its maximum speeds.
- General Galaxy VF-171EX (Macross Frontier) - Fighter's armament include: mini-dimension eater (MDE) missiles / thruster booster packs and a powerful beam cannon. Fighter is more maneuverable than the standard VF-171 Variable Fighters. Is unclear if these aircraft are converted/updated standard fighters or newly constructed spacecraft. First seen in episode 23 of Macross Frontier.
Variable Attack/Bomber Aircraft
- Northrom Grumman VA-3 Invader - This is aircraft is built similar to real-life A-6 Intruder. It intended to be a bomber for U.N. Space Forces between Macross Plus timeline to Macross Frontier.
- VB-6 König Monster - First appearing in Macross Digital Mission VF-X2, the VB-6 is a transformable version of the MAC II Monster Destroid seen in the original Macross series. The bomber was seen used by S.M.S. Skull Squadron in Macross Frontier Colonization Fleet time line (2059 AD). Unlike its predecesor, it can fully transformable from armored shuttle/bomber, GERWALK (original Monster's appearance), and Battroid form.
The following variable fighters are from the parallel world of Macross II
- VF-XX Zentradian Valkyrie - Valkyrie designed for use for micronized Zendraedi pilots.
- VF-2SS Valkyrie II - Standard U.N. Space Variable Fighter. Which can be equipt with add-on modules: (SAP - Super Armor Pack: includes large beam cannon, railgun & additional missile pods.)
- VF-2JA Icarus
- Metal Siren Variable Fighter - latest variable fighter technology. Very few are deployed by the time Marduk/Mardook attacked in 2092. This fighter arament's include, powerful particular beam weapon which it can only fire in its battleroid form, new versions of its Valkyrie's traditional rifle, and large range mini-missile & stand launchers armaments.
- VC-079 Civilian Valkyrie - (unarmed varable fighter only capable of changing to GERWALK mode. Known to be used by News Agencys.) The VC-079 can be equiped with a Space Booster to escape atmosphere.