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Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2020 1:52 pm
  

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Knight

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Seto wrote:
At the point we see the Alpha in Sentinels, it's already at least in low rate initial production and more likely has already cleared operational evaluation and entered mass production given that the UEEF is already training its rank-and-file pilots on them. It's profoundly unlikely that the UEEF would consider anything more than the most minor changes to the aircraft at that point.


I agree about the Alpha's production status. I do agree that for the given models produced by 2022 minor changes are more likely than major changes. I do disagree that the aircraft can not see major changes for the next model(s) that might come along, and some of these might have been produced for testing but did not procede to production. (Given all the work that goes into a new model, Edwards could co-opt such work in the open to reduce the load on his Shadow Fighter Development team).

Seto wrote:
In the original/correct specification, this is just a thrust vectoring nozzle connected to the main turbines used for VTOL. Removing it will not free up ANY internal space for propellant storage or anything else because the ducting it's connected to still needs to be there to feed main nozzles in the feet. It's not like you're going to get a radically more efficient nozzle either because it doesn't need to be complex to do either of its main jobs.

The Nozzles are 3-D structures, we know this from the cutaway. Using 2 profile views from AotSC (pg78, side and bottom view), and scaling them the Forward nozzles (hidden behind the square area with the delta marking) are ~0.70m x ~0.58m and the rear is ~0.35m x ~0.35m, the main issue as I said before is their depth. If all are ~0.23m in depth (which can not exceed ~1.1m, the height of fuselage in F mode sans arms/canopy/landing gear) one ends up with ~95L and ~28L respectively (1cubic meter = 1000L), and the ~0.23m depth is pessimistic I would think and is based on the undercarriage center-line protrusion. That is 123L in total, even if we cut the depth in 1/2 for ultra pessimistic that is 61.5L vs a best case scenario of 72L if the HBT/PC-cells are the only source. That is hardly a trivial improvement as you've nearly (if not out right) doubled the capacity.

There is room for improvements in the nozzle design of the VTOL.

Seto wrote:
What it amounts to is proof that the Shadow Fighter CANNOT be using the same docking system used on the regular Alpha because the people who spent years developing this movie literally couldn't figure out how to make the existing docking connector work on the Shadow Fighter's design. The omission itself in light of their inability to get it to work could be called an animation error, then again you've been clinging to an equally-fallacious scene as gospel truth so... are they both animation errors, and therefore your entire premise is faulty or is this evidence that the Beta docks differently to Shadow Fighters because they couldn't get the existing design to work, and therefore your entire premise is faulty?

This is something different given we know they could not get the CGI to work, but the handdrawn H/I/Zs in the 80s could get it to work and the only real applicable difference between them and the -S/X in this matter is the nature of the battloid's groin area (vented vs non) which would mean this is an AE given the docking beam is visible in other media that preceded it. There is also no indication officially that the docking system changed on the Shadow Units, nor is there an indication that the Regular versions can not dock with a Shadow version (due to docking incompatibilities, not negating the Shadow Device), and we know the H/I/Z use the same Beta model (just painted to match the Alpha) given MS & KP's attempted switch in Sentinels and IIRC "Birthday Blues" with the -I docked to the Beta. The Docking Beam still exists and visible in Fighter Mode, at best you might have a case for a SEPARATE system added for Battloid Mode only.

The scene in question is also taken at face value in terms of implications, which DO NOT line up with the background info which has aspects we agree don't make sense, aspects that don't add up (even w/o TSC), and aspects that are poorly defined.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2020 4:38 pm
  

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Knight

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ShadowLogan wrote:
I do disagree that the aircraft can not see major changes for the next model(s) that might come along, and some of these might have been produced for testing but did not procede to production. (Given all the work that goes into a new model, Edwards could co-opt such work in the open to reduce the load on his Shadow Fighter Development team).

Realistically speaking, if an aircraft design has reached the point where it's in low rate initial production and operational evaluation it's WAY past the point where major changes to the design would even be considered. The only exception to that would be if some previously-undetected issue were discovered in service that created a significant safety risk. You would see occasional feature additions, but nothing that would entail any design changes to the airframe itself or addition/removal of major features.

The development of something like the Shadow Fighter would be handled as an entirely separate aircraft development program, not as a variant. Sometimes - very rarely - you see cases where major new development programs that are heavily derivative of aircraft that are still in service will be given an aberrant/non-systemic designation that incorrectly lists them as a variant either as a deliberate bit of misdirection intended to make it easier to secure funding (e.g. Boeing's F/A-18E/F Super Hornet) or to preserve a terrible pun (McDonnell Douglas's AV-8B Harrier II). Handled correctly, Shadow Fighters would have received a new design series number and been the start of a new variant letter sequence... it would have been something like VF-11A, given that its planned replacement that was cut from RTSC in the development phase was set to be VF-13[A].



ShadowLogan wrote:
The Nozzles are 3-D structures, we know this from the cutaway.

But if you're removing them, you're not gaining any internal space... what you're talking about is not removing them, but REPLACING THEM with some kind of bolt-on fuel tank. That's different, and is something that would add significant additional complexity.



ShadowLogan wrote:
This is something different given we know they could not get the CGI to work, but the handdrawn H/I/Zs in the 80s could get it to work and the only real applicable difference between them and the -S/X in this matter is the nature of the battloid's groin area (vented vs non) which would mean this is an AE given the docking beam is visible in other media that preceded it. [...]

What it is is a fairly excellent proof that the design of the Shadow Fighter's docking connector would HAVE to be different to work... even the way the docking connector is drawn in Fighter mode on the Shadow Fighter and Shadow Beta is incorrect, visibly clipping through the body of the Shadow Fighter, and for Battloid mode they were unable to figure out how to make it work at all given the design's differences. The total absence of the docking connector in Battloid mode is an animation error of sorts, but one caused by having no reference material to work from in the animation process... as they never figured out how to make the connector work with the Shadow Fighter's different design.



ShadowLogan wrote:
There is also no indication officially that the docking system changed on the Shadow Units, [...]

Other than all the indications that it'd HAVE to be, you mean? :roll:



ShadowLogan wrote:
[...] nor is there an indication that the Regular versions can not dock with a Shadow version (due to docking incompatibilities, not negating the Shadow Device), [...]

This is an irrelevant line of reasoning, due to the en masse replacement of Alpha fighters with the newer Shadow model... this would not have been a concern because there were no Alphas left in the UEEF inventory outside of units stranded on Earth that had already been written off.



ShadowLogan wrote:
[...] and we know the H/I/Z use the same Beta model (just painted to match the Alpha) [...]

IIRC, the Shadow Beta is officially considered to be a different model/variant from the standard model used by the Alpha... VF/B-9X.



ShadowLogan wrote:
[...] given MS & KP's attempted switch in Sentinels and IIRC "Birthday Blues" with the -I docked to the Beta. The Docking Beam still exists and visible in Fighter Mode, at best you might have a case for a SEPARATE system added for Battloid Mode only.

Incorrect. We know for a fact from the original production line art that was used in Genesis Climber MOSPEADA, Robotech II: the Sentinels, and is even reprinted as reference in the official Robotech: the Shadow Chronicles artbook, that there was no separate docking system for Battloid mode. The primary connection was, and is, the VTOL nozzle in the mecha's pelvis. DR MOVIE's CG models for RTSC animate the docking connector as though it were a normal Alpha in Fighter and Guardian modes, as if that nozzle were still present... which is why the docking connector is seen to clip through the differently-shaped body of the Shadow Fighter.



ShadowLogan wrote:
The scene in question is also taken at face value in terms of implications, which DO NOT line up with the background info which has aspects we agree don't make sense, aspects that don't add up (even w/o TSC), and aspects that are poorly defined.

Just because you do not wish to accept the objectively-demonstrable evidence does not make it "poorly defined".

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Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2020 11:52 am
  

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Knight

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Seto wrote:
Realistically speaking, if an aircraft design has reached the point where it's in low rate initial production and operational evaluation it's WAY past the point where major changes to the design would even be considered

Major changes to that model/variant all at once I agree is unlikely (and safety issues can crop up long after LRIP, the F-15A-D had a defect not present on the F-15E found in 2007 the hardway), but future variant/models could see major changes which might only exists as demonstrators or concepts (F-15 has several of both). I do not think replacement of the VTOL thruster with fuel tank constitutes a minor change, but such a change would result in a new model/variant of the Alpha family (weather it would be consider a VFA-6 or not is a more a matter of semantics than anything).

Seto wrote:
But if you're removing them, you're not gaining any internal space... what you're talking about is not removing them, but REPLACING THEM with some kind of bolt-on fuel tank. That's different, and is something that would add significant additional complexity.

Fuel tank complexity vs VTOL complexity? The Fuel Tank seems infinitely less complex than the alternative of a movable VTOL system. If we replace the VTOL system, it isn't just the nozzle that is going to be replaced but also the valves that direct the thrust from the engines, along with actuators that open the nozzle (it isn't always open) and reposition it for transformation. Nor do we have to replace both VTOL ports (forward and backward) for propellant storage, but it would make sense to remove the docking hardware on the Alpha when the Beta is shelved (if nothing else the small amount of mass removed would give a small boost to the range of the unit). Given HG views the nozzle as a full thruster, that could simplify the complexity in terms of changes given a propellant tank could exploit the fuel lines for the thruster.

Seto wrote:
The total absence of the docking connector in Battloid mode is an animation error of sorts, but one caused by having no reference material to work from in the animation process... as they never figured out how to make the connector work with the Shadow Fighter's different design.

The absence of the docking beam in battloid mode is an Animation Error, but one that has numerous other similar instances of things appearing/disappearing that haven't resulted in canon changes. HG has not given the VF-1 or Alpha (or VR-041) the ability to self-replicate missiles on demand, or gunpods for that matter and there are numerous shots that could support this.

Scaling issues have resulted in some mecha/ships receiving incorrect sizes based on the OSM background data (Garfish, Ikazuchi, etc) though it is not universally done for units with more screen time (ex. Prometheus). This is closer to what we see in the Alex/Marcus recon flight, an issue of incorrect size depiction for the distances involved.

Seto wrote:
Just because you do not wish to accept the objectively-demonstrable evidence does not make it "poorly defined".

"Short Legs in Space" is poorly defined.

Seto wrote:
IIRC, the Shadow Beta is officially considered to be a different model/variant from the standard model used by the Alpha... VF/B-9X.

It is a separate model, but the only known changes involve the addition of a Shadow Device. The docking system is never identified as an item of change, but they have a pretty comprehensive list for the Shadow Alpha Fighter (VTOL thruster removal, removal of shoulder sensor pod, redesign of hand, redesign of other features, improved passive sensors, etc) which is why I find it odd that a change like this wouldn't get even a passing mention if it did happen as it should get a mention somewhere if it was done.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2020 1:37 pm
  

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ShadowLogan wrote:
Major changes to that model/variant all at once I agree is unlikely (and safety issues can crop up long after LRIP, the F-15A-D had a defect not present on the F-15E found in 2007 the hardway), [...]

Bad example, that was an isolated manufacturing defect not an issue with the actual design... a case of an aircraft's structural frame not meeting design specifications.


ShadowLogan wrote:
[...] but future variant/models could see major changes which might only exists as demonstrators or concepts (F-15 has several of both).

Those are, generally speaking, cases like those I had previously described where they would/should be considered separate programs but for "convenience naming".


ShadowLogan wrote:
Fuel tank complexity vs VTOL complexity? The Fuel Tank seems infinitely less complex than the alternative of a movable VTOL system. [...]

Realistic assessments of hardware requirements would point in the opposite direction of your conclusion.

The VTOL nozzle isn't that mechanically complex. All you really need is a value - probably an electrically-driven iris valve - connecting the nozzle to the pressurized airflow, an electrically-driven actuator to rotate the nozzle housing, a smaller electrically-driven actuator to rotate the thrust vectoring slats, and some twisted pair to run the control system through. It's larger, but otherwise not much more complex than the active intake shutters on modern minivans.

Whereas a fuel tank requires more sweeping changes, being a pressurized tank that needs transfer piping throughout the airframe to load-balance the fuel tanks, bidirectional valves for refueling, self-sealing systems in case of rupture, pumps to transfer fuel and maintain tank pressure, etc. It's a much more complex undertaking in terms of the mechanical and computer resources needed.


ShadowLogan wrote:
[...] but it would make sense to remove the docking hardware on the Alpha when the Beta is shelved (if nothing else the small amount of mass removed would give a small boost to the range of the unit).

At significant additional cost for retooling, twice over considering they would need to then retrofit existing Alphas to reinstall this hardware for the Beta... a significant loss for trivial short-term gain. It isn't hard to see why they wouldn't do that.


ShadowLogan wrote:
The absence of the docking beam in battloid mode is an Animation Error, but one that has numerous other similar instances of things appearing/disappearing that haven't resulted in canon changes. HG has not given the VF-1 or Alpha (or VR-041) the ability to self-replicate missiles on demand, or gunpods for that matter and there are numerous shots that could support this.

That's quite different... the absence of the docking connector was a question of a mechanical impossibility of making the existing design work on the Shadow Fighter. It wasn't a simple error, it was an aspect of the design they were literally incapable of reconciling.


ShadowLogan wrote:
It is a separate model, but the only known changes involve the addition of a Shadow Device.

Has it occurred to you that the design change in the docking connector wasn't listed because the people writing the book didn't know the animators had given up on it as an unresolvable problem?

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Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2020 1:05 pm
  

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Seto wrote:
Those are, generally speaking, cases like those I had previously described where they would/should be considered separate programs but for "convenience naming".

This is getting into semantics though, those separate programs still fall under the family heading for a given design and could be considered variants. An Alpha variant that trades away its VTOL thruster is still part of the Alpha family, it might be classified as a VFA-6? or VF-#. Robotech has used both approaches (Alpha and Beta) leaving no indication on which approach they would take with any future incidents of variants to guide fan discussion. And it isn't like the real world doesn't have examples of both either. We'll just have to agree to disagree on how a non-VTOL Alpha variant would be handled in terms of classification, but it would still be considered part of the Alpha family.

Seto wrote:
The VTOL nozzle isn't that mechanically complex [...]

If this was an OSM discussion sure, HG considers it a "thruster" which means it is an engine in robotech.

Seto wrote:
At significant additional cost for retooling, twice over considering they would need to then retrofit existing Alphas to reinstall this hardware for the Beta... a significant loss for trivial short-term gain. It isn't hard to see why they wouldn't do that.


Except the UEEF has no idea on how long Beta will be shelved and what if any changes may appear in the docking system given the test flight. They might have to retool and replace anyway. By not installing the docking system during production they could save time down the road when the Beta comes available. And it isn't like the there is an indication that every Alpha is/was intended to have a Beta counter part.

Seto wrote:
Has it occurred to you that the design change in the docking connector wasn't listed because the people writing the book didn't know the animators had given up on it as an unresolvable problem?

I am not saying this can not be the case that the docking system is altered. What I am saying is that officially the docking connector is not listed/mentioned anywhere as having received changes. My personal view is that it wouldn't be altered because of issues the UEEF seems to have encountered in perfecting the system so it is operationally reliable and now someone is going about changing the system after they got it working right in the first place. I am also starting to think the docking system in general has the same issue, but that should really be a separate discussion on the docking system itself instead of a side discussion.


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Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2020 8:57 pm
  

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ShadowLogan wrote:
This is getting into semantics though, those separate programs still fall under the family heading for a given design and could be considered variants.

Not really, no... this is more a case of an aberrant designation masking the true nature of the program to the uninformed observer.

We know for a fact that the Shadow Fighter is a product of a separate, all-new development program because we know it wasn't even developed by the same group who developed the Alpha.



ShadowLogan wrote:
Robotech has used both approaches (Alpha and Beta) [...]

The Beta is actually a different case entirely, as that was a rejected prototype that was rejected for production and the design underwent further development. That's different from what we're talking about here with the Alpha.

(The Beta's case broadly parallels the Northrop YF-17 Cobra, which was rejected as a prototype and later revisited and further developed into the YF-18 that was approved for production as F/A-18, where the Alpha and Shadow Fighter broadly parallel the F/A-18 and F/A-18E/F, the latter of which being essentially an all-new aircraft given an aberrant designation deliberately to sneak it past the talking heads in congress by pretending it was an upgrade to the Hornet and not an all-new plane.)



ShadowLogan wrote:
If this was an OSM discussion sure, HG considers it a "thruster" which means it is an engine in robotech.

As we've noted on several previous occasions in the course of this discussion, incorrect use of terminology abounds in Robotech materials.

A strong case could be made on the basis of the OSM design that this is one such terminology gaffe, so we can't completely discount it. Given how the Beta docking system works, it would make much more sense for the "thruster" to be the thrust-vectoring nozzle for the main turbines that it properly is. Never mind that 2x47.07kN wouldn't even get the Alpha off the ground in VTOL, 1x47.07kN will do very little to offset the additional mass of the Alpha when docked... a good deal less than the full output of the two main engines. :wink:



ShadowLogan wrote:
Except the UEEF has no idea on how long Beta will be shelved and what if any changes may appear in the docking system given the test flight. They might have to retool and replace anyway. By not installing the docking system during production they could save time down the road when the Beta comes available. And it isn't like the there is an indication that every Alpha is/was intended to have a Beta counter part.

While it is undeniably true that the UEEF had no way of knowing how long it would take to resolve whatever the technical issues plaguing the Beta were, they really don't have a reason to remove that VTOL nozzle. The VTOL feature was highly convenient in the field, mechanically simple, and already fully validated on the aircraft itself. Updating a system in place is a good deal less complex than a program to remove and later re-add a capability. Unless the problem was with the docking connector itself on the Beta side, they would have no reason to expect the design on the Alpha side to need alteration.

As to not every Alpha being intended to have a Beta counterpart... so what? Why go to the extra trouble and expense of making two different models, one that can connect and one that can't, when you can simplify production by just having the one model. To continue harping on the F/A-18 parallel, that's how it ended up F/A-18... it was originally supposed to be an order for F-18s, A-18s, and some TF-18s. This was simplified by merging the attacker-specific hardware into the fighter model so that one aircraft could be produced instead of three.



ShadowLogan wrote:
I am not saying this can not be the case that the docking system is altered. What I am saying is that officially the docking connector is not listed/mentioned anywhere as having received changes.

That's not evidence that it didn't change... it would've had to, given design changes between the Alpha and Shadow Fighter that would make the connection impossible otherwise. Yeah, Palladium does not mention it in RT2E, but it's likely they never actually noticed the design problem. I'm sure they're in excellent company in that regard, with many people having not even noticed how Betas in RTSC have their docking connectors simply vanish during transformation because the animators couldn't make it work. The RTSC artbook is mostly copypasta from the Infopedia, which was written back at a time when there was no "Shadow Beta" and thus the docking question was never really given proper consideration until DR MOVIE tried to do it and discovered it didn't work.



ShadowLogan wrote:
My personal view is that it wouldn't be altered because of issues the UEEF seems to have encountered in perfecting the system so it is operationally reliable and now someone is going about changing the system after they got it working right in the first place. I am also starting to think the docking system in general has the same issue, but that should really be a separate discussion on the docking system itself instead of a side discussion.

As an engineer, I have to differ... the Shadow Fighter is effectively a whole new aircraft. The connection point for the docking system was outright removed, meaning that a new docking system would have to have been constructed or the two aircraft would simply bounce off each other the way Karen's did during that malfunction. It would very literally be like trying to plug corded headphones into the latest-gen iPhone or Android that doesn't have a headphone jack anymore. You have to revise your method of connection or it just won't work.

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Zer0 Kay wrote:
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Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2020 11:18 am
  

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Knight

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Seto wrote:
We know for a fact that the Shadow Fighter is a product of a separate, all-new development program because we know it wasn't even developed by the same group who developed the Alpha.

Perhaps, but given the HG numbering scheme any hypothetical variant may end up attached to the VF/A-6 moniker by default because there is no where to place it anymore in a logical order until the 2040s. Any hypothetical variant of the 10s/20s and into part of the 30s has no where to go in that sense even if it is radical enough to ordinarily require new number.

Seto wrote:
The Beta is actually a different case entirely, as that was a rejected prototype that was rejected for production and the design underwent further development. That's different from what we're talking about here with the Alpha.

I liken the Beta program to the B-1A program that was essentially shelved in the Carter administration to be resurrected with the Regan administration a few years later as a new model (B-1B).

Seto wrote:
While it is undeniably true that the UEEF had no way of knowing how long it would take to resolve whatever the technical issues plaguing the Beta were, they really don't have a reason to remove that VTOL nozzle. The VTOL feature was highly convenient in the field, mechanically simple, and already fully validated on the aircraft itself. Updating a system in place is a good deal less complex than a program to remove and later re-add a capability. Unless the problem was with the docking connector itself on the Beta side, they would have no reason to expect the design on the Alpha side to need alteration

Re: Docking system
Yes they would if the Beta's end receives changes the Alpha could need changes, but it depends on what actually gets changed. Docking systems are hardly universal: Apollo could not dock to Soyuz without a 3rd party module (which also acted as an airlock given differing environmental gas mixture/pressures to), Soyuz family has had atleast 2, the US Shuttle could only dock at Mir on 1x of its 3 available ports (other 2 configured for Soyuz current), IINM the ISS has like 3 separate docking port systems which dictates what can dock where, Apollo and Gemini could not dock with each other.

Re: VTOL
While I agree keeping it comes with some benefits, it isn't necessarily essential to operations and it depends on how the UEEF wants to balance requirements moving forward. Robotech Veritech development programs aren't fully fleshed out in the sense we don't know what form testing articles will take. IINM this type of VTOL hasn't been done before using multi-main engines, which might have the UEEF procuring non-VTOL and VTOL versions for testing purposes (a parallel exists with the X-35 and X-32, both utilized a separate conventional version and S/VTOL version).

Seto wrote:
That's not evidence that it didn't change... it would've had to, given design changes between the Alpha and Shadow Fighter that would make the connection impossible otherwise. Yeah, Palladium does not mention it in RT2E, but it's likely they never actually noticed the design problem. I'm sure they're in excellent company in that regard, with many people having not even noticed how Betas in RTSC have their docking connectors simply vanish during transformation because the animators couldn't make it work. The RTSC artbook is mostly copypasta from the Infopedia, which was written back at a time when there was no "Shadow Beta" and thus the docking question was never really given proper consideration until DR MOVIE tried to do it and discovered it didn't work.

Officially it is evidence that it didn't change though. The question might be worth asking if DR Movie could have gotten it to work with the regular Alpha (H/I/Z) and just given it the -S head/hands/lack-shoulder-pod instead of the reverse?

Hypothetically lets toss out written OSM material regarding the linkup details and just go with the lineart/depictions for this next suggestion, at least as it applies to RT. What if the docking connection location is based on the Alpha Mode: F-Mode uses the rear facing forearm plane as the linkup site with the docking arm acting as a sort of supporting "shelf pin/bracket" (that doesn't connect to the shelf itself), but in B-Mode the docking connection is on the docking arm between the legs. G-mode would require the connector to "pop-up" to reach the same location on the B-mode from the docking arm (if it wasn't for TSC full-G mode wouldn't even have to be considered, the 1/2-G could use the F-Mode). Such a scheme avoids the issues with the Shadow Fighter alterations if that is how its supposed to work even on the regulars.


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Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2020 6:01 pm
  

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ShadowLogan wrote:
Perhaps, but given the HG numbering scheme any hypothetical variant may end up attached to the VF/A-6 moniker by default because there is no where to place it anymore in a logical order until the 2040s. Any hypothetical variant of the 10s/20s and into part of the 30s has no where to go in that sense even if it is radical enough to ordinarily require new number.

... I'm not sure where you got this idea, to be honest. To be frank, I am not sure I'm even interpreting this statement correctly so if my interpretation is wrong please let me know.

Robotech derives its aircraft designation system from Macross, which in turn derived its system from the 1962 United States tri-service aircraft designation system. The design numbers for aircraft are a separate sequence from those used in the designations of things like different classes of ground vehicle or small arms. The design numbers used for the various models of Cyclones, etc., have no bearing on the design numbers available for use by aircraft. The highest assigned number in the VF design number sequence is 10, which was assigned to the AGACs. There should not be an obstacle to using any number from 11 on up. Exactly how the Shadow Fighter was stuck with VF/A-6S - later retconned to VF/A-6X - ended up designated as a variant is a question for the people who provided the "research" (and I use the term VERY generously) that went into the Infopedia. Possibly they weren't familiar with correct practice. It's not like they would have gotten any guidance from the OSM in that respect given that the Unmanned Legioss, Dark Legioss, and Unmanned Dark Legioss all have no designation given in official materials.

(Given their demonstrated affection for military history, I'd like to think MOSPEADA's writers would have handled it correctly...)



ShadowLogan wrote:
Re: Docking system
Yes they would if the Beta's end receives changes the Alpha could need changes, but it depends on what actually gets changed. Docking systems are hardly universal: [...]

Yes, but that's not relevant... we're talking about two aircraft specifically designed to dock with each other, not two random aircraft developed separately.



ShadowLogan wrote:
Re: VTOL
While I agree keeping it comes with some benefits, it isn't necessarily essential to operations and it depends on how the UEEF wants to balance requirements moving forward. Robotech Veritech development programs aren't fully fleshed out in the sense we don't know what form testing articles will take. IINM this type of VTOL hasn't been done before using multi-main engines, which might have the UEEF procuring non-VTOL and VTOL versions for testing purposes (a parallel exists with the X-35 and X-32, both utilized a separate conventional version and S/VTOL version).

Granted, this argument is theoretically sound... but the few test articles we have seen in official media have generally conformed closely to the final designs they would become (e.g. the VF-X-1, YF-1S, and VF-X-6).

Assuming the RPG's take is correct and the Alpha was originally developed as an unmanned fighter to replace the QF-3000 Ghost, the initial unmanned prototypes and possibly even the manned VF-X-6 Genia prototype may have not have the VTOL capability. Looking at it from an engineer's perspective, my expectation would be that the VTOL capability was added at approximately the same time that the Beta became a part of the Alpha's requirements. My suspicion would be that it was conceived as a docking interface first, to allow the Beta to supplement its engine power with the Alpha's to offset the extra weight, and that some enterprising soul noticed it could be made multifunctional by putting another nozzle forward and installing thrust-vectoring vanes in the connector. Since the Beta was a part of the Alpha's requirements for most of its development, I would expect there was probably never a true Alpha prototype without VTOL.



ShadowLogan wrote:
Officially it is evidence that it didn't change though. The question might be worth asking if DR Movie could have gotten it to work with the regular Alpha (H/I/Z) and just given it the -S head/hands/lack-shoulder-pod instead of the reverse?

We can demonstrate from the production materials that it would have to change, because the part of the airframe used in the docking system no longer exists on the Shadow model. That the change is not specifically mentioned doesn't mean it doesn't exist, it simply means Palladium's writers failed a spot check.



ShadowLogan wrote:
Hypothetically lets toss out written OSM material regarding the linkup details and just go with the lineart/depictions for this next suggestion, at least as it applies to RT. What if the docking connection location is based on the Alpha Mode: F-Mode uses the rear facing forearm plane as the linkup site with the docking arm acting as a sort of supporting "shelf pin/bracket" (that doesn't connect to the shelf itself), but in B-Mode the docking connection is on the docking arm between the legs. G-mode would require the connector to "pop-up" to reach the same location on the B-mode from the docking arm (if it wasn't for TSC full-G mode wouldn't even have to be considered, the 1/2-G could use the F-Mode). Such a scheme avoids the issues with the Shadow Fighter alterations if that is how its supposed to work even on the regulars.

This hypothetical exercise would be at odds with how the transformation is shown in the line art and the first episode of the New Generation, which clearly shows that the docking connector that links to the aft VTOL nozzle is the primary connection point... we clearly see it extend outwards, carrying the Alpha on it, to facilitate transformation out of fighter mode.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2020 12:48 pm
  

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Seto wrote:
Robotech derives its aircraft designation system from Macross, which in turn derived its system from the 1962 United States tri-service aircraft designation system. The design numbers for aircraft are a separate sequence from those used in the designations of things like different classes of ground vehicle or small arms. The design numbers used for the various models of Cyclones, etc., have no bearing on the design numbers available for use by aircraft. The highest assigned number in the VF design number sequence is 10, which was assigned to the AGACs. There should not be an obstacle to using any number from 11 on up. Exactly how the Shadow Fighter was stuck with VF/A-6S - later retconned to VF/A-6X - ended up designated as a variant is a question for the people who provided the "research" (and I use the term VERY generously) that went into the Infopedia. Possibly they weren't familiar with correct practice. It's not like they would have gotten any guidance from the OSM in that respect given that the Unmanned Legioss, Dark Legioss, and Unmanned Dark Legioss all have no designation given in official materials.

I agree the Cyclone, Silverback, and VHT are separate sequences from the fighter and I'm not considering them.

Timeline (from a 2E RPG timeline I constructed years ago, does not include Marines, actual dates from RPG):
2012: Wraith Program (Alpha)
2015: YF-6 Alpha Testing, Wraith Canceled and YF-4 shelved
2017: Alpha plans for final prototype
2018: VF-8 Logan production and deployment. No real information when VF-X-8 started
2020: Alpha enter flight testing, VFB-7 Beta counterpart to Alpha quickly developed as attachment
2022: Beta tested, along with VF-x-5 intended to replace the Conbat, both Beta/VF-X-5 shelved (Condor nt-B spun off). No real information when VF-X-5 started
202x: in ill defined mid 20202s date for the AGAC, initially as the XV/H-1 (pure helicopter)
2028: Prototype YVFH-10 AGAC flown
2029: AGAC becomes operational
2030: ASC switches from the Logan to the AGAC
2031: Alpha mass production begins
2035: specifically by, renewed interest in Alpha booster and replacement for Conbat (ie Beta)
2036: VFB-9 put into testing
2037: VFB-9 declared operational

Timeline (from RT.com for series events, includes infopedia mecha and timeline for first appearances):
2015 Alpha (Genia) in testing
2022 Alpha/Beta are in testing (VF-6/7 in use)
2029-30 VF-8 and VFH-10 in use
2042: VFA-6 and VFB-9
2042-4: Prelude reveals the Shadow Fighter Model(s)

What these timelines show is that if an Alpha variant is created for the 2010s -7/8/9/10 numbers would not be available due to future assignments (some they can't know about), in the 2020s the -7/8/10 are in use (and we can't use the -9). Basically the farther back we push any hypothetical variant of the Alpha, the harder it is to give it a new number assignment that can be easily dropped in because it can't always just go to the next available number for that year. Yes the Shadow Fighter could be dropped in as the VF/A-11A, but that really isn't an option for a possible variant created in the 2010s or just after the Beta is shelved since they should get the -9 or -10 assignment but can not.

Seto wrote:
we're talking about two aircraft specifically designed to dock with each other, not two random aircraft developed separately.

The main issue is we don't know what went wrong with the docking system, so we have no way to know what needs to be fixed or was changed between versions of the Beta. We don't even know if the Docking System in use in '42 by 21st MD is the same-as/compatible-with '22 test flight. This is going no where because we don't know anything specific regarding changes to make a call either way.

Seto wrote:
Looking at it from an engineer's perspective, my expectation would be that the VTOL capability was added at approximately the same time that the Beta became a part of the Alpha's requirements. My suspicion would be that it was conceived as a docking interface first, to allow the Beta to supplement its engine power with the Alpha's to offset the extra weight, and that some enterprising soul noticed it could be made multifunctional by putting another nozzle forward and installing thrust-vectoring vanes in the connector. Since the Beta was a part of the Alpha's requirements for most of its development, I would expect there was probably never a true Alpha prototype without VTOL.

From the Series Timeline we know about 7 years exists between known first appearances of both vehicles. It would also not be unheard of for the Alpha to have non-VTOL variant, if only for development purposes (which could be adopted/basis for future model variants*, like the -S/X, to lack the system, and such a version would greatly simplify Edwards/UEEF test program for the changes made in -S).

If the designers are looking to supplement the Beta's thrust from the Alpha, wouldn't they want to draw it directly from the Alpha's foot area to maximize the thrust (JG+ATF instead of just the JG)? Such an approach wouldn't require modifying the Alpha, just designing such a feature into the Beta from the start.

*we know the VF-X-5 is the basis for the MBR-10, possibility exists the YF-4 forms the basis for the S/F-5 in RT, we have Maxwell's drones being related to the Alpha, VHT-1 being related to the VHT-2, VR series, UEDF MBR-4s having common lower section, etc

Seto wrote:
This hypothetical exercise would be at odds with how the transformation is shown in the line art and the first episode of the New Generation, which clearly shows that the docking connector that links to the aft VTOL nozzle is the primary connection point... we clearly see it extend outwards, carrying the Alpha on it, to facilitate transformation out of fighter mode.

Not necessarily the only interpretation of that scene in Ep61*. Veritech transformations by all indications are automated correct. The Alpha can not transform to battloid (or full guardian) while connected, it has to pull forward so the arms have room to swing into position or else they'd hit the missile bay covers. The beam extension then is nothing more than the automated sequence to move the new docking spot into position to dock with the B-mode Alpha quickly and bring it back into proper position once the connection is made.

*IINM one animated shot and the lineart of the A/B in the Battloid-Jet linkup state do show the groin thruster exposed while connected. Which brings into question if the rear/groin thruster is even the connection point.


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Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2020 6:11 pm
  

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ShadowLogan wrote:
What these timelines show is that if an Alpha variant is created for the 2010s -7/8/9/10 numbers would not be available due to future assignments (some they can't know about), in the 2020s the -7/8/10 are in use (and we can't use the -9). Basically the farther back we push any hypothetical variant of the Alpha, the harder it is to give it a new number assignment that can be easily dropped in because it can't always just go to the next available number for that year.

But this is, ultimately, an irrelevant line of reasoning because there were no derivative models of Alpha that would normally/correctly have been assigned a different number until ~2043. The Alpha is, all told, apparently a model of aggressive standardization that apparently passed something like twenty years in service without any noteworthy updates or variants with divergent capabilities.

Naturally, if there were a hypothetical non-VTOL Alpha that actually reached program approval as a separate aircraft it would have knock-on effects for all downstream developments in terms of design numbers... but this is a strictly hypothetical scenario we're talking about, so the current design number assignments that were set in a world where no such derivative model exists would be irrelevant there.



ShadowLogan wrote:
The main issue is we don't know what went wrong with the docking system, so we have no way to know what needs to be fixed or was changed between versions of the Beta. [...]

Our only real clue is that the Beta's side of the docking system could become unresponsive during docking maneuvers and trigger a collision...



ShadowLogan wrote:
We don't even know if the Docking System in use in '42 by 21st MD is the same-as/compatible-with '22 test flight. This is going no where because we don't know anything specific regarding changes to make a call either way.

Quite... the only thing we could even hope to point to was that HG used the existing MOSPEADA line art for the Sentinels as well, suggesting that whatever the changes were they were all internal to the airframe. As I've been saying, your entire line of reasoning here essentially lacks supporting evidence.



ShadowLogan wrote:
From the Series Timeline we know about 7 years exists between known first appearances of both vehicles.

A point of order... that their first depicted appearances are 7 years apart really means very little. There's no such thing as a uniform development cycle, and what we see in those two instances are two prototypes that appear to be at vastly different levels of completion. The VF-X-6 Genia seen in 2015 is an early and very rough prototype, while the VF-X-7 Beta seen in 2022 is clearly a vastly more polished test article that is very close to the actual production-representative version. The scene in 2022 is not established to be the Beta's first test flight, merely the first live test of the docking system, which suggests the aircraft has already undergone considerable amounts of practical solo flight testing. The scene in 2015, by contrast, is one of the earliest (if not THE earliest) test flight of the very first VF-X-6 rough proto.



ShadowLogan wrote:
It would also not be unheard of for the Alpha to have non-VTOL variant, if only for development purposes (which could be adopted/basis for future model variants*, like the -S/X, to lack the system, and such a version would greatly simplify Edwards/UEEF test program for the changes made in -S).

To be frank, you're mischaracterizing this... it would not be a variant, but rather a prototype that was not feature-complete.

There would be no rational basis for using an old, rough prototype as the starting point for developing an all-new derivative model given the severity of the other design changes involved. Edwards had an unspecified but apparently long time to work on Shadow Technology behind the UEEF's backs, so there is no reason to suspect he would resort to reproducing incomplete early prototypes in a bid to design the Shadow Fighter.



ShadowLogan wrote:
If the designers are looking to supplement the Beta's thrust from the Alpha, wouldn't they want to draw it directly from the Alpha's foot area to maximize the thrust (JG+ATF instead of just the JG)? Such an approach wouldn't require modifying the Alpha, just designing such a feature into the Beta from the start.

Simply put, foregoing access to two of the Alpha's four sub-engines was a design tradeoff that preserved the Alpha's ability to transform while docked and the Beta's ability to access the Alpha's engine output when it transformed while docked.

Accessing the engine thrust through the nozzles in the "feet" would create one of two undesirable situations:
  1. The Alpha would be mode-locked in Fighter mode while docked to the Beta to prevent loss of access to that engine power.
  2. The Beta would lose all access to the Alpha's engine power when the Alpha transformed while docked.



ShadowLogan wrote:
Not necessarily the only interpretation of that scene in Ep61*. Veritech transformations by all indications are automated correct. The Alpha can not transform to battloid (or full guardian) while connected, it has to pull forward so the arms have room to swing into position or else they'd hit the missile bay covers. The beam extension then is nothing more than the automated sequence to move the new docking spot into position to dock with the B-mode Alpha quickly and bring it back into proper position once the connection is made.

We know that isn't correct, so let's not waste any more time on demonstrably false theories. :roll:

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Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2020 12:01 pm
  

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Seto wrote:
Naturally, if there were a hypothetical non-VTOL Alpha that actually reached program approval as a separate aircraft it would have knock-on effects for all downstream developments in terms of design numbers... but this is a strictly hypothetical scenario we're talking about, so the current design number assignments that were set in a world where no such derivative model exists would be irrelevant there.


But in this hypothetical scenario does HG change the number assignments to fit this hypothetical unit in OR do they go with preserving the existing number assignments and plug it in under the VF-6 assignment much like the F-35/FA-18. Though I suppose HG could reveal/establish that all 3 eras have their own numbering scheme for their respective organizations, or the later arcs are forked from the early arc and independent of each other but come from the TMS.

Seto wrote:
Our only real clue is that the Beta's side of the docking system could become unresponsive during docking maneuvers and trigger a collision...

That isn't much of a clue, we need to know why the system became unresponsive. Without knowing why the Beta's system became unresponsive, that isn't much of a clue since the source isn't known.

Seto wrote:
A point of order... that their first depicted appearances are 7 years apart really means very little. There's no such thing as a uniform development cycle, and what we see in those two instances are two prototypes that appear to be at vastly different levels of completion. The VF-X-6 Genia seen in 2015 is an early and very rough prototype, while the VF-X-7 Beta seen in 2022 is clearly a vastly more polished test article that is very close to the actual production-representative version. The scene in 2022 is not established to be the Beta's first test flight, merely the first live test of the docking system, which suggests the aircraft has already undergone considerable amounts of practical solo flight testing. The scene in 2015, by contrast, is one of the earliest (if not THE earliest) test flight of the very first VF-X-6 rough proto.

I agree for the most part, but first appearances are all we have and they are at different stages of development. Infopedia does state that the Beta "was first tested as early as 2022 as the VF-X-7", which suggests the Beta itself was fairly early in its test-flight phase in the OVA.

Seto wrote:
To be frank, you're mischaracterizing this... it would not be a variant, but rather a prototype that was not feature-complete.

There would be no rational basis for using an old, rough prototype as the starting point for developing an all-new derivative model given the severity of the other design changes involved. Edwards had an unspecified but apparently long time to work on Shadow Technology behind the UEEF's backs, so there is no reason to suspect he would resort to reproducing incomplete early prototypes in a bid to design the Shadow Fighter.

While it might be an incomplete-feature prototype at one time that doesn't mean the UEEF could not see value in the design and develop it to a feature-complete design. Even you have suggested the VTOL might have been added until later in the design phase, so depending on when the Beta docking system was conceived and such there might be at-time Feature-complete design/prototypes.

I agree Edwards has unspecified time to develop, but one might wonder why even use the Alpha at all instead of a clean sheet design given the various known shortcomings the Shadow Device does nothing to address (from an in-universe POV). The fact Edwards used the Alpha suggests his resources where limited in terms of developing the Shadow Fighter in secret, which means if he wants to maximize his resources he would have to look at an Alpha without VTOL capability (apparently) as the basis for the Shadow Fighter, that means either using one of the development "incomplete" prototypes or having the UEEF develop a model without it (and then modify it with the Shadow Device).

Seto wrote:
Simply put, foregoing access to two of the Alpha's four sub-engines was a design tradeoff that preserved the Alpha's ability to transform while docked and the Beta's ability to access the Alpha's engine output when it transformed while docked.

The Beta can not access the Alpha's engine output in Battloid as depicted. The Battloid's groin thruster is not covered in what lineart that I have seen for the Legoiss Solider/Tread Fighter linkup state, and is depicted this way in the 85ep animation at least once (but the reverse is also true, so which is AE and which isn't AE is why I bring up the lineart in the first place). Lineart for the indicated state would be the 4 pannel depiction of the transformation sequence (found in 1E REF Filed Guide, off hand I do not know the title for GCM to look at) and the lineart depicting the wing hardpoints of the Beta in use.

Seto wrote:
We know that isn't correct, so let's not waste any more time on demonstrably false theories.

While we know it isn't correct for GCM, Robotech might be another matter due to TSC's production deviating from how it was done in the original depictions (which has all A/B combiners mode limited).


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Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2020 1:33 pm
  

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ShadowLogan wrote:
But in this hypothetical scenario does HG change the number assignments to fit this hypothetical unit in OR do they go with preserving the existing number assignments and plug it in under the VF-6 assignment much like the F-35/FA-18.

Well, that would depend on a number of different criteria.

For instance… for the purposes of this hypothetical scenario, are we assuming Harmony Gold is getting its technical consultation from someone like me who actually understands the material or are they getting their consultation from the uRRG did-not-do-research clown college that simply pretends to have a clue?

We’d also have to ask other important contextual questions like:
  • Are we starting completely from scratch in classifying these aircraft?
  • How much hardware commonality is there between this hypothetical non-VTOL Alpha and the regular VTOL-capable one? (i.e. do we have an F-35A/B dynamic?)
  • Are they intended to operate in different roles? For example, is one intended for fleet defense and the other for close air support, creating an F-18/A-18 dynamic?



ShadowLogan wrote:
Though I suppose HG could reveal/establish that all 3 eras have their own numbering scheme for their respective organizations, or the later arcs are forked from the early arc and independent of each other but come from the TMS.

Unless Harmony Gold is disassembling Robotech to rebrand it as a Force Five-esque anthology series, that wouldn’t really make sense.

The UEDF and UEEF are supposed to essentially be two branches of the same military, so them using two or more separate designation systems for the same class of equipment wouldn’t make sense.



ShadowLogan wrote:
That isn't much of a clue, we need to know why the system became unresponsive. Without knowing why the Beta's system became unresponsive, that isn't much of a clue since the source isn't known.

Given that the Beta’s development was put on hiatus due to unresolvable technical issues while the Alpha proceeded into service as a main fighter for the next 22 years, we can safely assume it was an issue localized to the Beta.



ShadowLogan wrote:
I agree for the most part, but first appearances are all we have and they are at different stages of development. Infopedia does state that the Beta "was first tested as early as 2022 as the VF-X-7", which suggests the Beta itself was fairly early in its test-flight phase in the OVA.

I would like to reiterate at this juncture that entering practical field testing at different times does not, in fact, give any indication of when they entered development.

The Infopedia’s statement also doesn’t quite scan against the actual content of Robotech II itself, which explicitly indicates that the Beta had already been tested extensively and that what we’re being shown is just the first non-simulated test of the docking system. That the testing of the Beta had been so extensive prior to that was what made Lang and co. so surprised that the test failed so spectacularly.

That said, it would not be at all surprising for a more complex vehicle to take longer between its start of development and the start of testing on a production-representative prototype. I have to deal with that kind of development environment an awful lot in my day job, and I’ve worked on a number of projects where parallel development of a particular architecture ran at different paces leading to introduction on one platform a year or more later than another. (I’ve got one that was started at the same time as production models entering the market this year but won’t even start practical testing until 2024.)



ShadowLogan wrote:
While it might be an incomplete-feature prototype at one time that doesn't mean the UEEF could not see value in the design and develop it to a feature-complete design. Even you have suggested the VTOL might have been added until later in the design phase, so depending on when the Beta docking system was conceived and such there might be at-time Feature-complete design/prototypes.

Without a lot more information about the Alpha’s development, we have no way of knowing that any Alpha prototype was ever produced without VTOL. We can’t even say the Genia prototype from 2015 didn’t have it. If they decide to err towards the OSM take - which we know is a highly likely maneuver - then the Beta will have always been a part of its program plan and thus it’d be unlikely a non-VTOL prototype would ever have been considered feature-complete.



ShadowLogan wrote:
I agree Edwards has unspecified time to develop, but one might wonder why even use the Alpha at all instead of a clean sheet design given the various known shortcomings the Shadow Device does nothing to address (from an in-universe POV). The fact Edwards used the Alpha suggests his resources where limited in terms of developing the Shadow Fighter in secret, [...]

An alternative interpretation would be that, rather than working with limited resources, Edwards’s R&D group was reusing as many “off the shelf” parts as they reasonably could to avoid filing any requisitions that might draw unwanted attention to their covert development program. Asking for factory resources to build an all-new airframe or engine design would surely have drawn a ton of scrutiny to the program from supervisory positions that report to the Hunters.



ShadowLogan wrote:
The Beta can not access the Alpha's engine output in Battloid as depicted. The Battloid's groin thruster is not covered in what lineart that I have seen for the Legoiss Solider/Tread Fighter linkup state, and is depicted this way in the 85ep animation at least once (but the reverse is also true, so which is AE and which isn't AE is why I bring up the lineart in the first place).

It’d be helpful if you looked at production line art… there is one piece of promotional art that was done by Kimitoshi Yamane that shows a Legioss in Armo-Soldier mode with a TLEAD that’s in its Armo-Diver mode and the “groin” VTOL nozzle is visible due to the art being off-model, but that’s not production reference material. (That isn’t even the only way that art is off model, the Legioss has its 80mm beam gunpod drawn off-model, a second gunpod that doesn’t exist in-series, and the TLEAD is drawn with wing pylons it officially doesn’t have.)

The production line art clearly shows the two aircraft connected at the VTOL nozzle, including the 4-panel transformation diagram.



ShadowLogan wrote:
and the lineart depicting the wing hardpoints of the Beta in use.

There is one piece of concept art showing a TLEAD in Armo-Bomber mode with two triple rack underwing pylons, but the feature never made it into the final design… which is why it isn’t seen in the actual animation anywhere. The uRRG “experts” apparently never bothered to read any of the official spec, and just assumed that one piece of concept art meant there were points on the wing for pylon mounting (there aren’t). Hardly surprising from a group that, on the very same aircraft, consistently failed to tell the difference between the numbers 3 and 8… introducing some interesting scale problems as a result.



ShadowLogan wrote:
While we know it isn't correct for GCM, Robotech might be another matter due to TSC's production deviating from how it was done in the original depictions (which has all A/B combiners mode limited).

That conclusion doesn’t logically follow… the problem in RTSC is that they tried to animate it in precisely the same manner as Genesis Climber MOSPEADA had, only to discover that the “anime magic” used in the transformation and the lack of the requisite connection point on that aircraft thanks to every Alpha using the Shadow Fighter CG model meant that they couldn’t get the “Battloid” mode to work correctly.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2020 7:45 pm
  

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Seto wrote:
That conclusion doesn’t logically follow… the problem in RTSC is that they tried to animate it in precisely the same manner as Genesis Climber MOSPEADA had, only to discover that the “anime magic” used in the transformation and the lack of the requisite connection point on that aircraft thanks to every Alpha using the Shadow Fighter CG model meant that they couldn’t get the “Battloid” mode to work correctly.


I sort of agree this is the problem: the Shadow Fighter's Battloid mode doesn't work as depicted, but as I said such a configuration (Alpha-B/Beta-F modes) is never actually done in Ep83-5, all the Shadow A/Bs are technically only ever depicted in Fighter Mode (if I'm wrong about Ep83-5, timecode please). Had HG/DR-Movie just stuck to Combo in F-mode, they would never have run into the issue in the first place for TSC, this is a problem of their own making and one they could have avoided even after it became apparent it couldn't work the way they wanted it to.

Seto wrote:
An alternative interpretation would be that, rather than working with limited resources, Edwards’s R&D group was reusing as many “off the shelf” parts as they reasonably could to avoid filing any requisitions that might draw unwanted attention to their covert development program. Asking for factory resources to build an all-new airframe or engine design would surely have drawn a ton of scrutiny to the program from supervisory positions that report to the Hunters.

This is why I think the VF/A-6S is based on an existing non-VTOL Alpha Model that Edwards was able to procure. A good portion of the development would already have been handled, leaving Edwards R&D to focus on Shadow Device integration (and possible some additional small-time changes). What the letter model designation of this hypothetical is I don't know, it might still be VF/A-6S but this is just a new Block # (ala F-16 Block =0/2 due to different engines) or it could be a VF/A-6 (pick an open letter).

Seto wrote:
The UEDF and UEEF are supposed to essentially be two branches of the same military, so them using two or more separate designation systems for the same class of equipment wouldn’t make sense.

And what did the US military designation system look like pre-1962 with the respective branches? I agree though it is highly unlikely that the UEEF and UEDF adopted such a thing, but if HG is looking (unlikely as it is) for a way to shoe-horn in new designs they might have to adopt such an approach unless they want to recton the VF-#s to allow for more retro-participants or go with something outlandish (similar to how SDF-M has the VF-5000 that is outside of the main line sequence of VF-#s)

Seto wrote:
Given that the Beta’s development was put on hiatus due to unresolvable technical issues while the Alpha proceeded into service as a main fighter for the next 22 years, we can safely assume it was an issue localized to the Beta.


I'm not so sure about this, I think what we can safely assume is that the Beta could not be salvaged like the Alpha. They couldn't even justify procuring the Beta as a stand-alone mecha (disable/remove linkup), which would fit some mission parameters the Alpha can not do or do them better, essentially creating a mix-fleet of VFs. From a 2E RPG perspective (if not current Infopedia, though IIRC the Infopedia at one time was similar to the 2E RPG), the Condor and Beta are designed with similar missions in mind (to replace the nt Conbat with a VF, as initially they are competitors in this role)

Seto wrote:
We’d also have to ask other important contextual questions like:

Are we starting completely from scratch in classifying these aircraft?
How much hardware commonality is there between this hypothetical non-VTOL Alpha and the regular VTOL-capable one? (i.e. do we have an F-35A/B dynamic?)
Are they intended to operate in different roles? For example, is one intended for fleet defense and the other for close air support, creating an F-18/A-18 dynamic?

I agree there are contextual issues and other aspects to work out, but even at this stage it should be evident we really do have limited ability to insert new VF-#s into the list until a post 2030-time period. The easiest way would be to keep variants in the letter model area when possible rather than requiring a number change which would be limited to those that actually have to go this route (ex. Sylphid, as unlikely as it is IF it where canonized wouldn't be able to use the uRRG's VF-7 designation and it can't use the VF-1/4-10, but a non-VTOL Alpha model could get away with staying a VF/A-6).


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Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2020 9:39 pm
  

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Knight

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ShadowLogan wrote:
I sort of agree this is the problem: the Shadow Fighter's Battloid mode doesn't work as depicted, but as I said such a configuration (Alpha-B/Beta-F modes) is never actually done in Ep83-5, all the Shadow A/Bs are technically only ever depicted in Fighter Mode (if I'm wrong about Ep83-5, timecode please).

That’s in the ballpark with what I’ve been getting at... but the actual point I made was that, due to the difference in design between the Legioss and Dark Legioss, the TLEAD can’t actually link up with a Dark Legioss in any mode without fundamentally changing how the connector works since the connection point (the VTOL nozzle) is MIA on the Dark Legioss.

To wit, the way the Legioss and TLEAD link up is impossible for the Dark Legioss in any mode… that it doesn’t work is only made more obvious by Robotech: the Shadow Chronicles having failed to even animate the docking connector in one mode due to the impossibility of it.

The original creators did not even consider the possibility of the Dark Legioss connecting with a TLEAD in the production materials. There’s no line art for it whatsoever. The shots of the Third Earth Recapture Fleet leaving Luna don’t show any TLEADs leaving with the fleet, even docked to Horizont-class descent shuttles. Virtually all the 3rd ERF fighters depicted during the last two episodes worth of battle scenes are Dark Legioss and unmanned Dark Legioss units that’re operating solo. There is one “blink and you’ll miss it” shot about 4:50 in the final episode where we see a trio of unmanned Dark Legioss units with TLEADs for a second or two… but those are the only ones and as noted earlier wouldn’t work mechanically. I suspect that of being a typical “throw it in” to fill screen time in the final episode.



ShadowLogan wrote:
Had HG/DR-Movie just stuck to Combo in F-mode, they would never have run into the issue in the first place for TSC, this is a problem of their own making and one they could have avoided even after it became apparent it couldn't work the way they wanted it to.

The problem would still exist - as the VTOL nozzle is gone - but it wouldn’t be as obvious as it is in the finished film where the connector simply vanishes into the aether, leaving the two aircraft hovering near each other but not actually connected in any way.



ShadowLogan wrote:
This is why I think the VF/A-6S is based on an existing non-VTOL Alpha Model that Edwards was able to procure. A good portion of the development would already have been handled, leaving Edwards R&D to focus on Shadow Device integration (and possible some additional small-time changes).

Personally, I doubt that there was ever more than one non-VTOL prototype of the Alpha… likely the VF-X-6 Genia… and that Edwards’s R&D group completed the design as quickly as they did not by picking up some ancient prototype but rather by leveraging the same advanced computer simulation tech used to prove out the Beta as described in Sentinels. Modifying and flying a decades-old prototype would naturally get a lot of attention, whereas designing in in a computer simulation means that you can repeatably test under a variety of conditions without ever flying a single aircraft that someone might spot or putting in requisitions for new part fabrications that an eagle-eyed functionary might raise concerns over. It’s also far more realistic.



ShadowLogan wrote:
What the letter model designation of this hypothetical is I don't know, it might still be VF/A-6S but this is just a new Block # (ala F-16 Block =0/2 due to different engines) or it could be a VF/A-6 (pick an open letter).

I’d raise the point about “why an out of sequence designation”, but really… when it comes to the MOSPEADA stuff, that’s a question we need to ask the original creators too. Why Eta, Iota, and Zeta. What happened to Theta and all the letters between Alpha and Epsilon?



ShadowLogan wrote:
And what did the US military designation system look like pre-1962 with the respective branches?

They actually still had a multi-service system, but it was a little clumsier… and it helped that the only ones who didn’t follow it were the Army Air Service. We are, of course, not looking at early days of aviation here.



ShadowLogan wrote:
I agree though it is highly unlikely that the UEEF and UEDF adopted such a thing, but if HG is looking (unlikely as it is) for a way to shoe-horn in new designs they might have to adopt such an approach unless they want to recton the VF-#s to allow for more retro-participants or go with something outlandish (similar to how SDF-M has the VF-5000 that is outside of the main line sequence of VF-#s)

That, of course, is only true if HG is looking to do so without shifting other numbers around. The assumption in our hypothetical exercise was that they were willing to do said shifting.

Aberrant, non-systemic designations are another way around it… like Macross’s VF-3000, VF-5000, and VF-171 that all took the manufacturer’s model number and made it the military’s designation in the same way the USAF did for the KC-767. That particular approach won’t be workable for RT, given that private enterprise is dead and the military develops its own gear by employing “military scientists” in that setting. There are likewise no enemy VFs to capture, so Robotech can’t copy the Constant Peg approach and give them 110-series numbers as in the case of the Variable Glaug which became VA-110.

Admittedly, there is one cheap and cheerful way to add new designs without having to worry at all about this… simply stop designating everything a VF. The VF/A designation for the Alpha is, if we’re getting technical, an indicator that it was originally two different role-specific models (a VF-6 and a VA-6) that were combined to streamline production. Some of these new aircraft can be bombers, attackers, electronic warfare planes, you name it. Problem solved.



ShadowLogan wrote:
I'm not so sure about this, I think what we can safely assume is that the Beta could not be salvaged like the Alpha. They couldn't even justify procuring the Beta as a stand-alone mecha (disable/remove linkup), which would fit some mission parameters the Alpha can not do or do them better, essentially creating a mix-fleet of VFs.

There’s nothing to indicate that there was any issue with the Alpha… the malfunctions exhibited in the course of the failed test can be easily attributed to damage sustained in the crash. If they had to rework the Alpha to address some issue, then surely they would have delayed its rollout to mass adoption in the UEEF… yet it went straight into service and stayed there for 22 years.

There is insufficient evidence for me to agree with your supposition here, though one does have to wonder why they wouldn’t carry forward the Beta as a standalone units if all that was wrong with it was a docking system problem.



ShadowLogan wrote:
I agree there are contextual issues and other aspects to work out, but even at this stage it should be evident we really do have limited ability to insert new VF-#s into the list until a post 2030-time period. The easiest way would be to keep variants in the letter model area when possible rather than requiring a number change which would be limited to those that actually have to go this route (ex. Sylphid, as unlikely as it is IF it where canonized wouldn't be able to use the uRRG's VF-7 designation and it can't use the VF-1/4-10, but a non-VTOL Alpha model could get away with staying a VF/A-6).

As noted above, there are some fairly straightforward ways around this. IMO, a non-VTOL take on the Alpha would be VF-6 and the VTOL version would be VA-6 because it was used mainly to offer close air support.

Mercifully, the only situation where adding new model numbers would really be a thing would be in the 2040s, when we have the Shadow Fighter that really should have been VF-11, and then a true next-gen fighter that was VF-13 in concept art.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2020 1:21 am
  

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Knight

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Seto wrote:
That’s in the ballpark with what I’ve been getting at... but the actual point I made was that, due to the difference in design between the Legioss and Dark Legioss, the TLEAD can’t actually link up with a Dark Legioss in any mode without fundamentally changing how the connector works since the connection point (the VTOL nozzle) is MIA on the Dark Legioss.

And I get that, but what is the actual nature of the connector in this area. Because when I thinking of docking systems I look at real world systems, and this just doesn't seem to follow them (I could be wrong, but the majority of systems...). The only real way a Alpha-in-F-mode could connect to the docking arm or the H/I/Z and the S/X models without alterations would be something akin to "magnalock" (unless its supplemented by physical connectors elsewhere it might not work with animation).

Seto wrote:
Personally, I doubt that there was ever more than one non-VTOL prototype of the Alpha… likely the VF-X-6 Genia… and that Edwards’s R&D group completed the design as quickly as they did not by picking up some ancient prototype but rather by leveraging the same advanced computer simulation tech used to prove out the Beta as described in Sentinels. Modifying and flying a decades-old prototype would naturally get a lot of attention, whereas designing in in a computer simulation means that you can repeatably test under a variety of conditions without ever flying a single aircraft that someone might spot or putting in requisitions for new part fabrications that an eagle-eyed functionary might raise concerns over. It’s also far more realistic.

I don't think the non-VTOL has to be ancient prototype, sacrificing said feature could in theory go a long way to addressing the Alpha's range issue afterall (and if the Beta is "new-ish" in NG, then there could be old model Alphas that don't get updated if they did go this route). Using computer simulations IS possible, but as the Sent. OVA clearly illustrated in the docking sequence those simulations are fallible. Which means some levels of actual testing would have to have occurred (B and G mode could probably be tested easily enough, F mode is far more problematic), though using an existing design is more likely to cut down on development and allow some "in the open" testing (with precautions).

Seto wrote:
I’d raise the point about “why an out of sequence designation”, but really… when it comes to the MOSPEADA stuff, that’s a question we need to ask the original creators too. Why Eta, Iota, and Zeta. What happened to Theta and all the letters between Alpha and Epsilon?

That's also present in the VF-1A/D/J/S/R AFAIK in RT, along with the Beta, Cyclone, and VHT IINM. So this aspect is less of an issue I think to even in the real world, but something like out of sequence numbering assignments would seem out of place.

Seto wrote:
Aberrant, non-systemic designations are another way around it… like Macross’s VF-3000, VF-5000, and VF-171 (...)

True, while their are no contractors/non-UEG actors to help, they might have some political aspect to it to help in the "sell" to get funding/resource-allocation that just sticks to get the program rolling. If the UEDF/UEEF is anything like the US military, there are probably numerous paper concepts that get studied.

Seto wrote:
There’s nothing to indicate that there was any issue with the Alpha… the malfunctions exhibited in the course of the failed test can be easily attributed to damage sustained in the crash. If they had to rework the Alpha to address some issue, then surely they would have delayed its rollout to mass adoption in the UEEF… yet it went straight into service and stayed there for 22 years.

I agree the source of the externally visible damage on KP's Alpha is the collision, but differ on the cause of the collision. If the cause was the Beta, Karen should have been able to abort that she wasn't able to indicates a problem in the Alpha.

As for reworking it depends on what they have to rework and the political backing to survive the incident. Someone must have spent a lot of political capital on the Beta concept to get it to testing given we can both agree there would be far easier to implement methods than the Beta.

Seto wrote:
Admittedly, there is one cheap and cheerful way to add new designs without having to worry at all about this… simply stop designating everything a VF.

For sure there are ways around this, one of them would be to just stop using any classification numbering scheme and just use the show name (which most people do anyway). That would give maximum flexibility from certain view points, though annoying to others.


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Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2020 12:40 pm
  

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Knight

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ShadowLogan wrote:
And I get that, but what is the actual nature of the connector in this area. Because when I thinking of docking systems I look at real world systems, and this just doesn't seem to follow them (I could be wrong, but the majority of systems...).

There’s no available information about how the actual docking connector remains seated on the VTOL nozzle. I’d assume it’s some kind of physical clamp, given how the connector itself fits on the nozzle. The connection for the forearm sub-engines definitely appears to be a physical seal.



ShadowLogan wrote:
The only real way a Alpha-in-F-mode could connect to the docking arm or the H/I/Z and the S/X models without alterations would be something akin to "magnalock" (unless its supplemented by physical connectors elsewhere it might not work with animation).

They definitely don’t generate enough power for that in the OSM, and it’s unlikely that they do in the Robotech version. The simple fact that the connection point on the fighter side just isn’t there on the Dark/Shadow model would tend to put paid to the idea in general.



ShadowLogan wrote:
I don't think the non-VTOL has to be ancient prototype, sacrificing said feature could in theory go a long way to addressing the Alpha's range issue after all (and if the Beta is "new-ish" in NG, then there could be old model Alphas that don't get updated if they did go this route).

For reasons previously elaborated upon, I don’t think your argument that a non-VTOL variant is going to offer range improvement holds water. Removing a nozzle and replacing it with a large bolt-on fuel tank are two completely different ideas. It’s additional weight, cost, and complexity will counteract most if not all gains from the small amount of additional fuel. Likewise, all of the additional unnecessary cost of retrofitting all Alphas in service twice takes the idea all the way down to ridiculousness.



ShadowLogan wrote:
Using computer simulations IS possible, but as the Sent. OVA clearly illustrated in the docking sequence those simulations are fallible.

No simulator is perfect, but you can save a LOT of real-world on-vehicle testing time through a well-designed modeling environment. In the case of Edwards’ covert development program, it also offers a way to conduct testing that involved zero risk of exposure.

That said, the dialog in Sentinels sounds like they never bothered with proper FMEA testing and just went with “perfect world” performance. They don’t seem to have ever considered that a hardware defect might crop up during practical tests.



ShadowLogan wrote:
Which means some levels of actual testing would have to have occurred (B and G mode could probably be tested easily enough, F mode is far more problematic), though using an existing design is more likely to cut down on development and allow some "in the open" testing (with precautions).

There would have to be some practical testing on an actual vehicle, but by doing the design and a good portion of the initial testing in a virtual environment you can skip a lot of the physical test work and several phases of rough prototype.



ShadowLogan wrote:
That's also present in the VF-1A/D/J/S/R AFAIK in RT, along with the Beta, Cyclone, and VHT IINM. So this aspect is less of an issue I think to even in the real world, but something like out of sequence numbering assignments would seem out of place.

Ah, yes… but in the case of the Macross designs the out-of-sequence variant letters have a proper explanation. I’ve done a fair amount of digging, and found no indication that the creators of Genesis Climber MOSPEADA ever offered an explanation for why they skipped so many letters in the designation of the Legioss.

Robotech’s take is that the “D” is for “Dual Cockpit”, the “J” denotes “Junior Officer use”, the “S” denotes “Senior Officer use”, and the “R” denotes “Retrofitted” or “Refurbished”.

The Macross OSM’s original reasons for those out-of-sequence variant letters were more on the realistic side. The VF-1A was, obviously, the initial mass production variant. The production of the VF-1 Valkyrie was contracted out to numerous local manufacturers all over the world in an effort to avoid any accusations of favoritism and maximize production volumes, and a number of the local manufacturers took the opportunity to reserve variant letters for local specifications that differed from the base A specification. The VF-1J is one such local specification, developed and built by Shinnakasu Heavy Industry of Japan as an “enhanced firepower” type pitched to the UN Forces as a better VF-1A though Shinnakasu’s low production capacity would ultimately mean it never saw widespread adoption. D was the next available letter in sequence when the order for model conversion trainers came down, so the initial-type training version was designated as the VF-1D. The out-of-sequence S variant letter was used for the VF-1S to denote that it was made as a special-build variant with superior performance with squadron leaders and CAGs. Kind of an in-joke to the way letter ranks in some circumstances have S as a rank above A. There are others that are out of sequence for similar reasons, like Macross’s VF-1R being essentially the Macross II timeline’s Super Hornet equivalent for the VF-1, a “Refined” Valkyrie.

The Beta’s designation in Robotech is a product of Robotech’s pigheaded insistence on calling it a Fighter when it isn’t. Originally, it was the AB-01 Armo-Bomber. However, since they keep calling it a fighter in Robotech and designated it as one, it got stuck with 9 as the next available number in sequence. The Cyclones presumably have the same reason for all of their skipped numbers as unsuccessful prototypes between production models and the variant letter choices appear to be non-sequential to reflect their specific equipment. The Spartas was not a design impacted by this, being “VHT-1” in Robotech and ATAC-01-SCA in Southern Cross.



ShadowLogan wrote:
I agree the source of the externally visible damage on KP's Alpha is the collision, but differ on the cause of the collision. If the cause was the Beta, Karen should have been able to abort that she wasn't able to indicates a problem in the Alpha.

The inability to abort was a consequence of damage sustained in the collision, though.



ShadowLogan wrote:
As for reworking it depends on what they have to rework and the political backing to survive the incident. Someone must have spent a lot of political capital on the Beta concept to get it to testing given we can both agree there would be far easier to implement methods than the Beta.

To be fair, the UEDF/UEEF brass demonstrably aren’t the sharpest spoons in the drawer… they do a lot of things that make no sense even in context. Titan Comics seems to be lampshading it with Dana’s remarks about how the Alpha simply doesn’t make sense as a next-gen main VF to replace the VF-1.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 1:46 pm
  

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Knight

Joined: Thu Mar 30, 2006 10:50 am
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Seto wrote:
There’s no available information about how the actual docking connector remains seated on the VTOL nozzle. I’d assume it’s some kind of physical clamp, given how the connector itself fits on the nozzle. The connection for the forearm sub-engines definitely appears to be a physical seal.


There is NO ACTUAL information on HOW the docking arm connector works ("remains seated")? Wouldn't that mean any/many of the scenarios discussed so far could actually be the case (aside from anime magic/SEP-field), not to mention said clamp system (you favor) could avoid the nozzle issues (we both have, though not agree on) by clamping to a section of the undercarriage protrusion that runs the torso section?

Seto wrote:
For reasons previously elaborated upon, I don’t think your argument that a non-VTOL variant is going to offer range improvement holds water. Removing a nozzle and replacing it with a large bolt-on fuel tank are two completely different ideas. It’s additional weight, cost, and complexity will counteract most if not all gains from the small amount of additional fuel. Likewise, all of the additional unnecessary cost of retrofitting all Alphas in service twice takes the idea all the way down to ridiculousness.

In terms of mass, if we assume they can keep the change in mass between them equal (nozzle/associated = fueltank/associated mass) for simplicity (going with this given the -S/X is the same mass as the -H/I/Z), with a total of ~123L of propellant (might be more or it might be less). Since we don't know the propellant or efficiency of the engine or the Delta-V (range in space), I'll go with SLMH (the fusion fuel of the 2E RPG) as the assumed propellant and look at different Specific Impulses and the resulting Delta-V from just this propellant source:
@17,000sec = ~1.0kps of Delta-V
@75,000sec = ~4.6kps of Delta-V
@100,000sec = ~6.1kps of Delta-V (roughly equal to range of a VF-1 w/o FAST Pack and not using overboost)

And these Specific Impulses are within "conventional" fusion system range (maybe not near term examples we might be able to build sometime this century, but within the range the math says is possible). Delta-V ignores payload (cyclone, weapons, pilot, etc), which will press it downward. Given PC is more energy dense higher values might are possible (@150k sec = ~14kps, @200k sec = ~28kps, using the 2E RPG's backup fusion system as a baseline of 1/3 nuclear of PC performance).

And None of these Delta-V's consider the stock propellant reserve (assumed to be just the 16 Canisters) or any other potential internal locations (cyclone bay, wings, sensor pod, etc), all of which when factored in would press the value upward.

The main problem is we don't know what the Delta-V of the Alpha is, nor do we know what qualifies as "short legs in space", but we know its somewhere between Earth-SSTO and allowance for Lunar "flyer" missions (minimum) given 85ep animation (though this conflicts with non-suborbital capable).

Seto wrote:
No simulator is perfect, but you can save a LOT of real-world on-vehicle testing time through a well-designed modeling environment. In the case of Edwards’ covert development program, it also offers a way to conduct testing that involved zero risk of exposure.

I agree simulation testing is a valid approach, I am merely pointing out that simulations aren't perfect even in Robotech requiring some level of practical testing. A non-VTOL Alpha being in existence would allow Edwards to test the shadow fighter (w/SD off and painted to look like its conventional counterpart) and not arouse suspicions.

Seto wrote:
The inability to abort was a consequence of damage sustained in the collision, though.

You'd want to be able to abort in this situation. I could see something extremely unlikely happening, but a vehicle collision is a very likely abort situation given we are talking about a docking maneuver. I also find the use of the Alpha as the "active" partner questionable given the approach (though the backing into position might explain how the Garfish and Ikazuchi in the OSM recover their Alphas).

Seto wrote:
To be fair, the UEDF/UEEF brass demonstrably aren’t the sharpest spoons in the drawer… they do a lot of things that make no sense even in context. Titan Comics seems to be lampshading it with Dana’s remarks about how the Alpha simply doesn’t make sense as a next-gen main VF to replace the VF-1.

I agree about he brass, which is why I think a lot of the choices they make are politically in nature. Dana though... I think the Alpha can make sense as a next gen main VF in the right force structure (other units taking over some roles, not requiring the Alpha "to do it all") for the most part (it probably helps that I think given the change in energy source from the OSM the RT stats should be improved).


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Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2020 9:42 pm
  

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ShadowLogan wrote:
There is NO ACTUAL information on HOW the docking arm connector works ("remains seated")?

Well, we know where the docking connector connects (the aft VTOL nozzle) and why it connects there (to tap into main engine power and offset the weight increase)... we just don't know the precise mechanism by which the docking connector remains attached to the nozzle during maneuvering. It's almost certainly some kind of physical clamp given the potential torque stresses.



ShadowLogan wrote:
Wouldn't that mean any/many of the scenarios discussed so far could actually be the case (aside from anime magic/SEP-field), not to mention said clamp system (you favor) could avoid the nozzle issues (we both have, though not agree on) by clamping to a section of the undercarriage protrusion that runs the torso section?

Well, no... the shape of the Dark Legioss airframe leaves nowhere to clamp onto, which is why the docking connector clips through the CG model instead of properly joining up on DR MOVIE's shooting model.

Plus, y'know, if you don't have that VTOL nozzle to lock onto then docking is actually detrimental to both aircraft because they both get heavier and less agile without offsetting the additional weight by adding additional engine power.



ShadowLogan wrote:
In terms of mass, if we assume they can keep the change in mass between them equal (nozzle/associated = fueltank/associated mass) for simplicity (going with this given the -S/X is the same mass as the -H/I/Z), with a total of ~123L of propellant (might be more or it might be less). Since we don't know the propellant or efficiency of the engine or the Delta-V (range in space), I'll go with SLMH (the fusion fuel of the 2E RPG) as the assumed propellant and look at different Specific Impulses and the resulting Delta-V from just this propellant source:

Having examined the art and taken a set of calipers to several models in my possession, I project the actual volume at more like 36-50L, not 120L+. Not a lot to work with, mind.



ShadowLogan wrote:
And these Specific Impulses are within "conventional" fusion system range (maybe not near term examples we might be able to build sometime this century, but within the range the math says is possible). Delta-V ignores payload (cyclone, weapons, pilot, etc), which will press it downward. Given PC is more energy dense higher values might are possible (@150k sec = ~14kps, @200k sec = ~28kps, using the 2E RPG's backup fusion system as a baseline of 1/3 nuclear of PC performance).

There are, of course, several obvious underlying faults with this set of assumptions... like assuming that a more energetic fuel automatically means higher output, whereas in this case it seems to only mean greater endurance. There's also the strong possibility that decoupling power generation from engine operation also makes the Alpha's very small engines less efficient. There will always be loss when you're converting one type of energy to another, and if you're going through multiple conversions you're going to see compounded losses. Less efficient engines would also go a ways to explain why the Alpha is incapable of suborbital flight and its short range in space.



ShadowLogan wrote:
The main problem is we don't know what the Delta-V of the Alpha is, nor do we know what qualifies as "short legs in space", but we know its somewhere between Earth-SSTO and allowance for Lunar "flyer" missions (minimum) given 85ep animation (though this conflicts with non-suborbital capable).

We know it's well south of SSTO capability given that that's a huge part of the Beta's raison d'etre and that the Alpha can't manage suborbital flight.



ShadowLogan wrote:
I agree simulation testing is a valid approach, I am merely pointing out that simulations aren't perfect even in Robotech requiring some level of practical testing. A non-VTOL Alpha being in existence would allow Edwards to test the shadow fighter (w/SD off and painted to look like its conventional counterpart) and not arouse suspicions.

Extensive use of computer modeling and HIL simulation testing is a very valid way to skip a lot of component and integrated system validation on a physical test article. Painting a Shadow Fighter in the colors of a stock Alpha won't do much to disguise the different airframe shape and lack of certain hardware that would otherwise stand out quite easily to anyone who got a look at the underside or of its alt-modes. The radically different shape of several parts of its body would not be concealable with a simple paintjob, and unfortunately you can't put pleather camo on an aircraft the way you can on a prototype car. Dazzle camouflage likewise would only draw attention to it, rather than achieving the desired result of disguising its contours, since it would raise the question "what are you hiding from who?".

(In case you're wondering why I'm so insistent on this, I had to sit through a very long, very tedious mandatory annual training session on how to properly camouflage prototype vehicles to conceal all kinds of important details from reporters and other assorted looky-loos.)



ShadowLogan wrote:
You'd want to be able to abort in this situation. I could see something extremely unlikely happening, but a vehicle collision is a very likely abort situation given we are talking about a docking maneuver. I also find the use of the Alpha as the "active" partner questionable given the approach (though the backing into position might explain how the Garfish and Ikazuchi in the OSM recover their Alphas).

The whole docking idea was kind of poorly thought-out, since the original design for the TLEAD was a disposable FAST Pack-like booster similar to the one the Inbit/Invid scout got called a Span Loader. It only mutated into a transformable aircraft itself when the toy company making the toys wanted to get more of a piece of Takatoku's transforming airplane action.



ShadowLogan wrote:
I agree about he brass, which is why I think a lot of the choices they make are politically in nature. Dana though... I think the Alpha can make sense as a next gen main VF in the right force structure (other units taking over some roles, not requiring the Alpha "to do it all") for the most part (it probably helps that I think given the change in energy source from the OSM the RT stats should be improved).

The way they're headed, I don't see the Alpha as a viable contender... it just isn't versatile enough, and I think that's what Future Dana is getting at too.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 2:35 pm
  

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Knight

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Seto wrote:
Well, no... the shape of the Dark Legioss airframe leaves nowhere to clamp onto, which is why the docking connector clips through the CG model instead of properly joining up on DR MOVIE's shooting model.

??? I think we have different notions of clamping onto going on here. While your "clamp" can't work on the -S because the nozzle is non-existent, my clamp avoids the nozzle itself and goes for the module itself (to use the forearm as a proxy instead of clamping to various points on the nozzle on the forearm module the clamping action is the external module housing the nozzle). The -S doesn't have the exact module layout the -H/I/Z does, but it does have protrusion that could stand in for it.

Seto wrote:
Plus, y'know, if you don't have that VTOL nozzle to lock onto then docking is actually detrimental to both aircraft because they both get heavier and less agile without offsetting the additional weight by adding additional engine power.

The Nozzle isn't necessary as a locking point, all you really need is a an opening to channel the nozzle exhaust through if you've connected properly elsewhere. That the nozzle isn't there on the -S means the Beta has to do all the work anyway (which is how I've seen the linkup working in the first place).

Seto wrote:
Having examined the art and taken a set of calipers to several models in my possession, I project the actual volume at more like 36-50L, not 120L+. Not a lot to work with, mind.

The main issue with the volume estimation IMHO is that while we can get the area of the nozzle pretty easily, its the depth that is a lot harder to determine (~120L is for both bays, the rear one is ~28L and the forward is ~94L). As it is I have a depth of ~.23m (23cm) for both with length and width for the forward being ~.70m x ~.58m and rear ~.35m x ~.35m. 1cubic meter = 1000L.

Seto wrote:
There are, of course, several obvious underlying faults with this set of assumptions... like assuming that a more energetic fuel automatically means higher output, whereas in this case it seems to only mean greater endurance. There's also the strong possibility that decoupling power generation from engine operation also makes the Alpha's very small engines less efficient. There will always be loss when you're converting one type of energy to another, and if you're going through multiple conversions you're going to see compounded losses. Less efficient engines would also go a ways to explain why the Alpha is incapable of suborbital flight and its short range in space.

Technically though I do not assume a single energetic level for the fuel (hence the different specific impulse values), I do assume the fuel is used in a fusion level system in terms of efficiency. I also assume a specific propellant type, but more dense propellant would mean you can go with lower efficiencies and get the same result. Less dense propellant would require more energetic levels to get the same result. I would also find it very implausible that the Alpha's PC engines are not in the fusion range in terms of efficiency given the 2E RPG's backup system and Infopedia/aotsc statements about energy density.

Seto wrote:
We know it's well south of SSTO capability given that that's a huge part of the Beta's raison d'etre and that the Alpha can't manage suborbital flight.

As I've said the Alpha doesn't track given conflicting footage/statements. Giving the Alpha an Earth-SSTO capability doesn't negate the Beta (the Beta's range carrying the Alpha is demonstrably larger than Earth-SSTO, it also would potentially open up orbital trajectories that aren't necessary viable depending on how much margin an Earth-SSTO Alpha would have).

Seto wrote:
Painting a Shadow Fighter in the colors of a stock Alpha won't do much to disguise the different airframe shape and lack of certain hardware that would otherwise stand out quite easily to anyone who got a look at the underside or of its alt-modes

Well in this scenario though one is assuming the Shadow Fighter IS based on a Alpha Model that is not the known H/I/Z but otherwise known. Call it an -N, call it an -S Block 10 (with Shadow being Block 20). The point is that a lot of the Shadow Fighter's external features would not attract attention and what features do attract attention put it down as "testing" (obviously you don't test the SD).

Seto wrote:
The whole docking idea was kind of poorly thought-out, since the original design for the TLEAD was a disposable FAST Pack-like booster similar to the one the Inbit/Invid scout got called a Span Loader. It only mutated into a transformable aircraft itself when the toy company making the toys wanted to get more of a piece of Takatoku's transforming airplane action.

Preaching to the choir here that the TLEAD/Beta is poorly thought-out design. It might be an interesting thought experiment on what the variable form TLEAD/Beta would look like if it was better thought-out, but that would be for another discussion and not here.

Seto wrote:
The way they're headed, I don't see the Alpha as a viable contender... it just isn't versatile enough, and I think that's what Future Dana is getting at too.

I agree there is a limit to the Alpha's versatility, but with the right force structure those limitations would not be as big of an issue if they are handled by another platform(s).


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Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 1:36 pm
  

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ShadowLogan wrote:
??? I think we have different notions of clamping onto going on here. While your "clamp" can't work on the -S because the nozzle is non-existent, my clamp avoids the nozzle itself and goes for the module itself (to use the forearm as a proxy instead of clamping to various points on the nozzle on the forearm module the clamping action is the external module housing the nozzle).

The way the connector is designed, it’s essentially a socket that slides over the VTOL nozzle… just randomly clamping onto the airframe isn’t something it’s shaped to do. Shape-wise, if you look at the docking connector as a whole it’s essentially shaped like a tobacco pipe, where the VTOL nozzle slots into the bowl so that high-pressure exhaust from the main engines could be used as precompressed exhaust to boost the power of the downstream engines.



ShadowLogan wrote:
The -S doesn't have the exact module layout the -H/I/Z does, but it does have protrusion that could stand in for it.

But you’ve been arguing that the shape of the connector didn’t change… which would make it impossible to connect like that.



ShadowLogan wrote:
The Nozzle isn't necessary as a locking point, all you really need is a an opening to channel the nozzle exhaust through if you've connected properly elsewhere.

But that’s been eliminated… the Dark Legioss/Shadow Fighter doesn’t have anything like that, so it can’t connect.



ShadowLogan wrote:
That the nozzle isn't there on the -S means the Beta has to do all the work anyway (which is how I've seen the linkup working in the first place).

Which just doesn’t make any sense… if you’re not compensating for the additional 16,700kg of mass represented by the Legioss/Alpha, then there’s absolutely no point in docking since you’ll just make both aircraft slower, less agile, and less effective in combat. That’s the precise polar opposite of how the docking is presented. Both MOSPEADA and Robotech treat it like it’s a Super Pack, improving the range, engine power, and armament of the individual aircraft.

If the essential docking mechanism actually makes both aircraft worse, why bother? Why not just design a better TLEAD/Beta that’s aerodynamically sound and throw the Legioss/Alpha in the trash?



ShadowLogan wrote:
Technically though I do not assume a single energetic level for the fuel (hence the different specific impulse values), I do assume the fuel is used in a fusion level system in terms of efficiency. I also assume a specific propellant type, but more dense propellant would mean you can go with lower efficiencies and get the same result. Less dense propellant would require more energetic levels to get the same result. I would also find it very implausible that the Alpha's PC engines are not in the fusion range in terms of efficiency given the 2E RPG's backup system and Infopedia/aotsc statements about energy density.

It would be worth noting that the RPG’s backup system does not exist in canon, and that what is said about energy density is essentially a completely meaningless statement because it can’t be put into a usable context. Your computations are, consequently, little more than wild guesses as a result of insufficient information. We’ve gone over why the energy density statement cannot be put into a usable context at length already, so I see no reason to reiterate it again.



ShadowLogan wrote:
As I've said the Alpha doesn't track given conflicting footage/statements.

We have, likewise, gone over the MANY flaws in your reasoning at great length already… so I’d rather not revisit a debunked claim again if it’s all the same to you.



ShadowLogan wrote:
Well in this scenario though one is assuming the Shadow Fighter IS based on a Alpha Model that is not the known H/I/Z but otherwise known. Call it an -N, call it an -S Block 10 (with Shadow being Block 20). The point is that a lot of the Shadow Fighter's external features would not attract attention and what features do attract attention put it down as "testing" (obviously you don't test the SD).

The design changes in the Shadow Fighter are flagged as new and novel changes in the official materials… that would tend to make this assumption unworkable. Up close, the Shadow Fighter would attract a LOT of attention for its obvious differences from the stock Alpha airframe, which is kind of my point.



ShadowLogan wrote:
I agree there is a limit to the Alpha's versatility, but with the right force structure those limitations would not be as big of an issue if they are handled by another platform(s).

Perhaps that might be a viable approach if you were working with less limited storage space and a less vulnerable logistical chain… but we’re talking about a fleet out in deep space that did not (initially) have any kind of support. You’d want to keep your logistics as simple as possible in an environment like that, and make everything as multipurpose-ful as possible.

(There’s a beautiful example of this in how modern militaries use jet fuel. Fuels like the JP-8+0 that the VF-0 in Macross uses are used for a variety of other things besides being burned in turbofan jet engines. They can be used as coolant in aircraft engines and other components, as substitute diesel fuel in most types of ground vehicle and in stationary generators, and even put to use as heating fuel for camp stoves and heavy duty space heaters.)

Having a half dozen different aircraft to handle different aspects of a single role would be a huge problem for an isolated operating environment like that. Better to have as few types of aircraft as possible, each of which can handle many different roles.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2020 12:19 pm
  

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Seto wrote:
The way the connector is designed, it’s essentially a socket that slides over the VTOL nozzle… just randomly clamping onto the airframe isn’t something it’s shaped to do. Shape-wise, if you look at the docking connector as a whole it’s essentially shaped like a tobacco pipe, where the VTOL nozzle slots into the bowl so that high-pressure exhaust from the main engines could be used as precompressed exhaust to boost the power of the downstream engines.

The socket sliding over the VTOL nozzle is precisely the type of setup I COULD see working, your previous statements have not implied/invoked that setup. The easiest fix then would be to have the Shadow Fighter with a stand-in structure in place of the nozzle for the purpose of the connection unit itself (does nothing about the engine power) unless it has to physically enter the exhaust channel. I did an overlay of the Battloid Mode -S and -I, and such a stand-in could be added easily enough though one either has to invoke AE (for past depictions) or make the feature "retractable" and only deployed for docking (we know that nozzle pivots on the H/I/Z for G-mode).

Seto wrote:
Which just doesn’t make any sense… if you’re not compensating for the additional 16,700kg of mass represented by the Legioss/Alpha, then there’s absolutely no point in docking since you’ll just make both aircraft slower, less agile, and less effective in combat. That’s the precise polar opposite of how the docking is presented. Both MOSPEADA and Robotech treat it like it’s a Super Pack, improving the range, engine power, and armament of the individual aircraft.

Upto a point I can agree with this type of thinking, but there are holes in it. I'd also point out that you still get the improved range, engine power, and armament compared to the stock Alpha (which from a certain POV would match statements). The reason for the docking is also thrown out for the Shadow Fighter given it lacks a VTOL nozzle to divert engine power, which means the Shadow Beta either has upgraded engines (to compensate, and unstated to date) or it takes the performance hit (doens't seem to) or the system was already powerful enough to handle the job without the Alpha (though needs the Alpha for stable/safe VTOL operation).

Seto wrote:
t would be worth noting that the RPG’s backup system does not exist in canon, and that what is said about energy density is essentially a completely meaningless statement because it can’t be put into a usable context.

I agree to both these points, but we know the existence of fusion systems in general is not an RPG-ism for the setting as whole, what the 2E RPG allows is some type of comparison in output (even if we are comparing backup to primary).

Seto wrote:
The design changes in the Shadow Fighter are flagged as new and novel changes in the official materials… that would tend to make this assumption unworkable. Up close, the Shadow Fighter would attract a LOT of attention for its obvious differences from the stock Alpha airframe, which is kind of my point.

But as I've said if they are doing "in the open testing" they would be piggybacking on an existing program/design. If they don't do "in the open testing" that isn't an issue they just need to work out how to do Fighter Mode testing in secret, because I can't see the changes done without some level of flight test to verify the changes work as predicted or other unforeseen issues (case in ponit A/B-linkup in 2022).

Alternatively are we sure Edwards Shadow Fighters are identical to the UEEF Shadow Fighter? I looked at Prelude, and the only undercarriage shots of the Shadow Fighter I could make out are from the UEEF.

Seto wrote:
Perhaps that might be a viable approach if you were working with less limited storage space and a less vulnerable logistical chain… but we’re talking about a fleet out in deep space that did not (initially) have any kind of support. You’d want to keep your logistics as simple as possible in an environment like that, and make everything as multipurpose-ful as possible.

The Logistics Argument does make sense and would be one worth supporting, BUT that does not appear to be the actual case given the UEEF operates 4 VFs (3 at time of SDF-3 departure) and 4-5 more non-transformable aircraft (at various times shown in canon) PLUS 15 Destroid/Battloid units (IINM, this doesn't count the Z-series or Bioroid for the Zentreadi) over a 20+ year mission. Most of the Destroid/Battloids and two of the VFs aren't in canon depictions, but are connected via various media (old comics and/or 2E RPG).


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Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2020 8:08 pm
  

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ShadowLogan wrote:
The socket sliding over the VTOL nozzle is precisely the type of setup I COULD see working, your previous statements have not implied/invoked that setup.

It's super obvious from the art and even the toys used essentially the same system to connect... I assumed it was self-evident.



ShadowLogan wrote:
The easiest fix then would be to have the Shadow Fighter with a stand-in structure in place of the nozzle for the purpose of the connection unit itself [...]

But the Shadow Fighter doesn't have anything like that, and if it did then wouldn't it just be easier to put the bloody VTOL nozzle back and solve three problems for the price of one?



ShadowLogan wrote:
Upto a point I can agree with this type of thinking, but there are holes in it. I'd also point out that you still get the improved range, engine power, and armament compared to the stock Alpha (which from a certain POV would match statements).

The thing is, the only one of those three things you actually get is the improved range. You lose the vast majority of the engine power you gain by throwing another 16,700kg+ onto the aircraft, which has significant detrimental effects on its thrust-to-weight ratio, and you gain almost nothing in additional armament because the bomb bay isn't usable in space, the rotary cannons are blocked, and its missiles are mostly blocked on the Robotech version. You get what, 16 additional SRMs total? It'd be a more compelling argument if RT hadn't screwed up its research and you instead had all 48 missiles available while docked as they do in the original MOSPEADA. You basically attach yourself to a brick and gain almost nothing.



ShadowLogan wrote:
The reason for the docking is also thrown out for the Shadow Fighter given it lacks a VTOL nozzle to divert engine power, which means the Shadow Beta either has upgraded engines (to compensate, and unstated to date) or it takes the performance hit (doens't seem to) or the system was already powerful enough to handle the job without the Alpha (though needs the Alpha for stable/safe VTOL operation).

And this is why it basically wasn't a thing in the original animation... without both aircraft literally pulling their weight, what you've got is less effective than either would be on its own.

By your own earlier arguments, we know they don't have improved engines... so we're left with a gaping plot hole because some genius didn't do research. Yay.



ShadowLogan wrote:
I agree to both these points, but we know the existence of fusion systems in general is not an RPG-ism for the setting as whole, what the 2E RPG allows is some type of comparison in output (even if we are comparing backup to primary).

We don't know what the difference in efficiencies or fuel mass is, so it's still largely useless for comparison purposes.



ShadowLogan wrote:
But as I've said if they are doing "in the open testing" they would be piggybacking on an existing program/design. If they don't do "in the open testing" that isn't an issue they just need to work out how to do Fighter Mode testing in secret, because I can't see the changes done without some level of flight test to verify the changes work as predicted or other unforeseen issues (case in ponit A/B-linkup in 2022).




ShadowLogan wrote:
Alternatively are we sure Edwards Shadow Fighters are identical to the UEEF Shadow Fighter? I looked at Prelude, and the only undercarriage shots of the Shadow Fighter I could make out are from the UEEF.

The UEEF made its Shadow Fighters by copying from Edwards's homework... so I don't see any reason to suspect they're different TBH. The UEEF ones are the ones causing the problem anyway, since they're the ones using Betas.



ShadowLogan wrote:
The Logistics Argument does make sense and would be one worth supporting, BUT that does not appear to be the actual case given the UEEF operates 4 VFs (3 at time of SDF-3 departure) and 4-5 more non-transformable aircraft (at various times shown in canon) PLUS 15 Destroid/Battloid units (IINM, this doesn't count the Z-series or Bioroid for the Zentreadi) over a 20+ year mission. Most of the Destroid/Battloids and two of the VFs aren't in canon depictions, but are connected via various media (old comics and/or 2E RPG).

Canonically? They've got one VF - the Alpha - and upped it to two with the addition of the Beta. They had a few different types of non-transformable fighters and at least two types of Battloid-type unit (the Bioroid Interceptor and Condor). The specifics of the Sentinels arc aren't canon, so a lot of the stuff the RPG is rolling with is basically fanfic-tier and makes for good game expansion material (even if the art stinks) but may not actually exist in the setting proper. Goodness knows the UEEF Destroids in the Marines book are kitbashes of parts from existing VF models, some of which the UEEF shouldn't have had access to like the AGACs.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 16, 2020 12:17 pm
  

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Seto wrote:
It's super obvious from the art and even the toys used essentially the same system to connect... I assumed it was self-evident.

That is why I said your statements implied something else, "clamp" to me does not invoke "socket".

Seto wrote:
But the Shadow Fighter doesn't have anything like that, and if it did then wouldn't it just be easier to put the bloody VTOL nozzle back and solve three problems for the price of one?

This is why I said it would have to be either treated as an AE for to date productions (TSC, Ep83-5, lineart, comics, etc) OR make the docking connector an undocumented retractable feature on the Shadow Fighter. The Retractable Feature would work in theory, though why they elected to make it retractable I don't know.

Seto wrote:
The thing is, the only one of those three things you actually get is the improved range. You lose the vast majority of the engine power you gain by throwing another 16,700kg+ onto the aircraft, which has significant detrimental effects on its thrust-to-weight ratio, and you gain almost nothing in additional armament because the bomb bay isn't usable in space, the rotary cannons are blocked, and its missiles are mostly blocked on the Robotech version. You get what, 16 additional SRMs total? It'd be a more compelling argument if RT hadn't screwed up its research and you instead had all 48 missiles available while docked as they do in the original MOSPEADA. You basically attach yourself to a brick and gain almost nothing.

I agree with some of this.

Internal Missiles yes, though they might be augmented by the canon Wing Hardpoints (more for Infopedia/AotSC spec than 2E RPG spec). The cannons, only the center cannon is blocked, the intake guns do have clearance to fire and the arm guns could theoretically fire to the rear (not shown to in F/G-mode). The Bomb-bay is an issue we've explored in the past several times (though perhaps HG should reclassify it as a weapon's bay officially so it can be configured to use missiles or bombs).

Thrust. That is true that the dead weight of the Alpha would be a negative in this area. However the Beta could have been designed to handle the weight and provide all the thrust necessary and still be an improvement for the Alpha. Though given teh "short legs in space" aspect of the Alpha, I have to wonder how much thrust the Alpha can actually contribute before running out of propellant (unless the Beta also acts to refuel the Alpha), it might just be easier to have more powerful Beta engines.

Range. Even if the Alpha contributes to the Beta in terms of thrust, the Alpha would actually degrade the Beta's range since it has to do most of the work.

Seto wrote:
We don't know what the difference in efficiencies or fuel mass is, so it's still largely useless for comparison purposes.

Only to a point. The UEEF would not adopt PC for its mecha over fusion if it wasn't more efficient (H2 is just to readily available), and we know PC > nuclear energy density.

I do agree we don't know the fuel mass, but we know the VF-1 is larger and gets 2days worth of fuel. The Logan is smaller and gets 350% more endurance than the VF-1, though weather that is because of improved efficiency OR larger fuel supply isn't known. From here one could extrapolate (4.2% of the VF-1 or ~1.2% if the Logan is more efficient), though we get into the issue of how the RT VF-1 SLMH converts from the OSM VF-1 Slush being done by mass or volume (mass in this case would be much easier to fit into the Alpha, regardless of which VF is more efficient).

Seto wrote:
The UEEF made its Shadow Fighters by copying from Edwards's homework... so I don't see any reason to suspect they're different TBH. The UEEF ones are the ones causing the problem anyway, since they're the ones using Betas.

UEEF copying from Edwards is the general take. But looking at Prelude itself, the story doesn't establish they are identical (in fact Edwards files are stated to be incomplete, but it took Haydonite assistance to fill in the blanks). And yes the UEEF are the ones using the Beta, but that hardly matters in terms of prelude/TSC since such a configuration is also in the 85ep. By allowing Edwards Alpha-SF to be different than the UEEF's Alpha-SF, it's possible to avoid some of the issue of testing (they could just look like repaints for an existing model, where the UEEF created a new model).

Seto wrote:
Canonically? They've got one VF - the Alpha - and upped it to two with the addition of the Beta. They had a few different types of non-transformable fighters and at least two types of Battloid-type unit (the Bioroid Interceptor and Condor). The specifics of the Sentinels arc aren't canon, so a lot of the stuff the RPG is rolling with is basically fanfic-tier and makes for good game expansion material (even if the art stinks) but may not actually exist in the setting proper. Goodness knows the UEEF Destroids in the Marines book are kitbashes of parts from existing VF models, some of which the UEEF shouldn't have had access to like the AGACs.


Re: Marine.
It isn't just kitbash with parts they shouldn't have its also an issue of scale. Though the kitbash (not scale) impression does make sense from certain POVs.

As far as canon: Alpha, Beta (late), plus the Carpenter Fighter, Wolfe Flash Back Fighter, Conbat Fighter, wreckage at Point K (may or may not be distinct), and the Phantom Recon unit (Prelude), plus the Condor and Bioroid. A non-canon case exists for the Logan and VF-1 (common), plus various Destroids (which could probably be simplified down to variant-type of one or two units) have been associated with Sentinels for a long time. A case might even exist for the AGAC (via careful recton). Even without the non-canon stuff, we see that the UEEF has a diversity that doesn't lend itself to single multi-purpose design.


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Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 16, 2020 1:53 pm
  

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ShadowLogan wrote:
This is why I said it would have to be either treated as an AE for to date productions (TSC, Ep83-5, lineart, comics, etc) OR make the docking connector an undocumented retractable feature on the Shadow Fighter. The Retractable Feature would work in theory, though why they elected to make it retractable I don't know.

Given that Robotech: the Shadow Chronicles is just another cancelled project like Robotech Academy, Robotech 3000, and Robotech II: the Sentinels, I would be inclined to take the easy route and dismiss the entire Shadow Beta concept as a fundamentally unworkable production mistake.



ShadowLogan wrote:
Internal Missiles yes, though they might be augmented by the canon Wing Hardpoints (more for Infopedia/AotSC spec than 2E RPG spec).

... you mean the hardpoints that don't actually exist in the animation?



ShadowLogan wrote:
The cannons, only the center cannon is blocked, the intake guns do have clearance to fire and the arm guns could theoretically fire to the rear (not shown to in F/G-mode).

That their sightlines aren't blocked doesn't indicate that those weapons can fire... if their aiming systems are obstructed, say, by an entire aircraft parked in front of them, they may still be unusable in the docked configuration.



ShadowLogan wrote:
The Bomb-bay is an issue we've explored in the past several times (though perhaps HG should reclassify it as a weapon's bay officially so it can be configured to use missiles or bombs).

They won't, because OSM-ly it is a gravity bomb bay that is unusable in space.



ShadowLogan wrote:
Thrust. That is true that the dead weight of the Alpha would be a negative in this area. However the Beta could have been designed to handle the weight and provide all the thrust necessary and still be an improvement for the Alpha.

It's not a trivial loss of performance... we're talking a 63% degradation in the Beta's performance from the additional mass of the Alpha if the Alpha's engines aren't contributing.

At that level of detriment, it is literally significantly more advantageous to just send Betas and forego the Alpha entirely.



ShadowLogan wrote:
Only to a point. The UEEF would not adopt PC for its mecha over fusion if it wasn't more efficient

... wouldn't they?

We've agreed at a number of points in this thread that the UEEF brass were prone to making obviously irrational, detrimental, counterproductive, and self-destructive decisions and were apparently too surrounded by Yes-Men to give them a second thought. Are we sure this isn't just another UEEF cock-up?



ShadowLogan wrote:
(H2 is just to readily available), [...]

Unless our wonderful writers have fallen victim to the VOY/ENT fallacy and started believing that hydrogen isotopes are extremely rare... :roll:



ShadowLogan wrote:
[...] and we know PC > nuclear energy density.

They actually use "power density" in the official definition, which is a slightly different term... but, as ever, the definition is worded so vaguely that it's meaningless. What are the "conventional nuclear sources" protoculture has greater power density than?



ShadowLogan wrote:
I do agree we don't know the fuel mass, but we know the VF-1 is larger and gets 2days worth of fuel. The Logan is smaller and gets 350% more endurance than the VF-1, though weather that is because of improved efficiency OR larger fuel supply isn't known.

Or is it a completely arbitrary number an RPG writer chose by throwing darts at a wall? Was it given any consideration at all? Does that greater endurance reflect that the Logan is vastly less powerful and capable than the VF-1 in every respect, a Toyota Prius next to a Dodge Challenger SRT Demon?



ShadowLogan wrote:
From here one could extrapolate (4.2% of the VF-1 or ~1.2% if the Logan is more efficient), though we get into the issue of how the RT VF-1 SLMH converts from the OSM VF-1 Slush being done by mass or volume (mass in this case would be much easier to fit into the Alpha, regardless of which VF is more efficient).

We really can't, because you're assuming performance is equal here... but it's not. Greater performance costs more energy.



ShadowLogan wrote:
UEEF copying from Edwards is the general take. But looking at Prelude itself, the story doesn't establish they are identical (in fact Edwards files are stated to be incomplete, but it took Haydonite assistance to fill in the blanks).

Assistance from the same Haydonites who assisted Edwards, you mean? There's no reason to suspect that Edwards's Shadow Fighters are different from the ones used by the UEEF.



ShadowLogan wrote:
As far as canon: Alpha, Beta (late), plus the Carpenter Fighter, Wolfe Flash Back Fighter, Conbat Fighter, wreckage at Point K (may or may not be distinct), and the Phantom Recon unit (Prelude), plus the Condor and Bioroid. A non-canon case exists for the Logan and VF-1 (common), plus various Destroids (which could probably be simplified down to variant-type of one or two units) have been associated with Sentinels for a long time. A case might even exist for the AGAC (via careful recton). Even without the non-canon stuff, we see that the UEEF has a diversity that doesn't lend itself to single multi-purpose design.

That's more a demonstration of my point than a refutation of it... the UEEF screwed up massively and created a complicated logistical chain where a double handful of overspecialized designs attempted to (and failed to) cover each other's shortcomings.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2020 9:17 am
  

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The Zentraedi vs. Unicron; just saying!

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Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2020 9:44 am
  

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Palladin

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I'll take Zentraedi any day of the week.......twice on Sunday if it is the Macross Zentraedi instead of the Robotech Zentraedi......

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Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2020 1:18 pm
  

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Knight

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Seto wrote:
Given that Robotech: the Shadow Chronicles is just another cancelled project like Robotech Academy, Robotech 3000, and Robotech II: the Sentinels, I would be inclined to take the easy route and dismiss the entire Shadow Beta concept as a fundamentally unworkable production mistake.

While that is the ultimate easy route, it isn't necessary given one can do the "retractable" route.

Seto wrote:
... you mean the hardpoints that don't actually exist in the animation?

It is true they are not used in the animation, but is in the official canon specs for Robotech (GCM is another matter). Their existence does make sense, if their absence of use doesn't.

Seto wrote:
That their sightlines aren't blocked doesn't indicate that those weapons can fire... if their aiming systems are obstructed, say, by an entire aircraft parked in front of them, they may still be unusable in the docked configuration.

I agree the leg intake ports MAY BE unusable with a docked Alpha, but we have no way of knowing. For all we know the guns are useable, but have a restricted field of fire.

Seto wrote:
It's not a trivial loss of performance... we're talking a 63% degradation in the Beta's performance from the additional mass of the Alpha if the Alpha's engines aren't contributing.

At that level of detriment, it is literally significantly more advantageous to just send Betas and forego the Alpha entirely.

56.6% actually (Beta is officially several tons more massive than the TLEAD), still not a trivial loss of performance given you've lost just over 1/2 the available thrust. However what if the Beta isn't used solo (by the UEEF) because it is difficult to control due to excessive thrust such that solo operations require the mecha to restrict output. Rand had difficulty controlling the Beta on his first flight (admittedly the first time we see him operate any airvehicle so who knows how he compares to Scott or Lancer), where Scott would have known and briefed the others later on operations.

Technically the thrust in vacuum of space will be greater than sea level atmospheric pressure given the Beta uses conventional nozzle design (along with the Alpha, Logan, and AGAC, the VF-1 appears to use aero-spike type which would ajust), though I can't say how much off hand. If the Beta's engines are optimized for Sea level (not saying they are), then in vacuum they would deliver more thrust which would lesson the performance drop.

And yes I agree it makes more sense to just send Betas and drop the Alpha, but that isn't what we have to work with.

Seto wrote:
We've agreed at a number of points in this thread that the UEEF brass were prone to making obviously irrational, detrimental, counterproductive, and self-destructive decisions and were apparently too surrounded by Yes-Men to give them a second thought. Are we sure this isn't just another UEEF cock-up?

That would be one big cock-up given what the UEEF should know about the Protoculture situation in 2013 (available supply is what they have, they don't have the ability to acquire more, they don't know where Tirol is, they don't know how long it will take to find Tirol, space folding takes large sums of energy, etc).

Seto wrote:
They actually use "power density" in the official definition, which is a slightly different term... but, as ever, the definition is worded so vaguely that it's meaningless. What are the "conventional nuclear sources" protoculture has greater power density than?

I agree it is poorly worded. Given the Protoculture is a fuel itself, we should be looking at the power density of conventional nuclear fuel sources. We also know PC is used to replace Fusion systems, which could be seen as falling under the "conventional nuclear" heading for the setting which means Hydrogen Isotopes (though not D+He3, which is more energetic).

Seto wrote:
Or is it a completely arbitrary number an RPG writer chose by throwing darts at a wall? Was it given any consideration at all? Does that greater endurance reflect that the Logan is vastly less powerful and capable than the VF-1 in every respect, a Toyota Prius next to a Dodge Challenger SRT Demon?

I agree it probably is an arbitrary number given little consideration, and there are a variety of angles one can take to get to the desired result. The Logan's mass is lighter than an Alpha/AGAC, but per the 2E RPG the units are close in size as opposed to the Infopedia's canon stats where the Logan is ~2m shorter in height/wingspan and ~4m shorter in length in Fighter Mode (they did get the Guardian/Battloid mode correct though).

Seto wrote:
Assistance from the same Haydonites who assisted Edwards, you mean? There's no reason to suspect that Edwards's Shadow Fighters are different from the ones used by the UEEF.

We know the UEEF had some input in terms of what they did given a safety feature Vince Grant says they (UEEF) put into the Neutron-S Missiles (which led to Vince/Scott's Cyclone ride to the N-S warheads at SSL). This might be an isolated thing, but it might not be.


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Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2020 10:38 pm
  

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ShadowLogan wrote:
While that is the ultimate easy route, it isn't necessary given one can do the "retractable" route.

There’s no evidence of a retractable VTOL nozzle, though… and it wouldn’t really make sense to add complexity like that for no real reason. It’d be especially strange given that the airframe was otherwise simplified in the development of the Shadow Fighter.



ShadowLogan wrote:
It is true they are not used in the animation, but is in the official canon specs for Robotech (GCM is another matter). Their existence does make sense, if their absence of use doesn't.

Eh… if I had a dollar for every easily disprovable error in Robotech’s stats, I could go out for a very nice steak dinner.



ShadowLogan wrote:
I agree the leg intake ports MAY BE unusable with a docked Alpha, but we have no way of knowing. For all we know the guns are useable, but have a restricted field of fire.

That they’re unusable is the most likely option, given that they’d be shooting out the back of the Legioss/Alpha’s knees in any mode other than Fighter.



ShadowLogan wrote:
56.6% actually (Beta is officially several tons more massive than the TLEAD), still not a trivial loss of performance given you've lost just over 1/2 the available thrust.

Fair enough, I forgot Robotech arbitrarily increased the weight of the TLEAD/Beta from the original 26,400kg to 29,500kg. Still, 60% +/- 3% is a hell of a degradation in performance for a combat aircraft.



ShadowLogan wrote:
However what if the Beta isn't used solo (by the UEEF) because it is difficult to control due to excessive thrust such that solo operations require the mecha to restrict output. Rand had difficulty controlling the Beta on his first flight (admittedly the first time we see him operate any airvehicle so who knows how he compares to Scott or Lancer), where Scott would have known and briefed the others later on operations.

All things considered, that seems very unlikely to me. No qualified pilot ever seems to struggle with it, and given how poor its aerodynamics are it would need to be able to exert its full engine output to stay aloft. It has all the aerodynamic properties of a log cabin.

It seems a lot more sensible to attribute Rand’s difficulties to the fact that he wasn’t simply not a trained pilot, but had never been in an aircraft before even as a passenger. His only experience with vehicles of any type prior to that was a 50cc motorbike and a crash course on the Cyclones during a fight.



ShadowLogan wrote:
Technically the thrust in vacuum of space will be greater than sea level atmospheric pressure given the Beta uses conventional nozzle design [...]

Not by enough to matter, the bell nozzle’s efficiency gains aren’t actually all that significant and the nozzles on the TLEAD/Beta are are too small to take full advantage of it.



ShadowLogan wrote:
[...] (along with the Alpha, Logan, and AGAC, the VF-1 appears to use aero-spike type which would ajust) [...]

The Logan’s in the same boat as the TLEAD/Beta per the above, while the Auroran/AGACs and Legioss/Alpha engines are behind slatted covers so they don’t appear to have bell nozzles, with the forearm sub-engines on the Legioss/Alpha being the only exception but also falling into that case described above (the bell nozzle too small to matter).



ShadowLogan wrote:
And yes I agree it makes more sense to just send Betas and drop the Alpha, but that isn't what we have to work with.

We’re getting somewhere slowly, at least… chipping away at the fallacies to reveal how little sense the Alpha and Alpha-Beta combiner idea actually make.



ShadowLogan wrote:
That would be one big cock-up given what the UEEF should know about the Protoculture situation in 2013 (available supply is what they have, they don't have the ability to acquire more, they don't know where Tirol is, they don't know how long it will take to find Tirol, space folding takes large sums of energy, etc).

Yeah, but hey… these are the same people who jumped at the chance for universal adoption of suspicious alien technology their own top scientists said obviously didn’t add up while ignoring a terrifying amount of criminally obvious evil foreshadowing from the people who gave it to them in questionable circumstances, and then had the nerve to act surprised when the very obvious and blatantly telegraphed doublecross happened. They aren’t winning any prizes for intelligence or genre-savvy.

It made only slightly more sense when you needed the stuff to make giant robots work at all.



ShadowLogan wrote:
I agree it is poorly worded. Given the Protoculture is a fuel itself, we should be looking at the power density of conventional nuclear fuel sources. We also know PC is used to replace Fusion systems, which could be seen as falling under the "conventional nuclear" heading for the setting which means Hydrogen Isotopes (though not D+He3, which is more energetic).

Hydrogen fusion isn’t exactly what you’d call conventional… indeed, it’s pretty damned exotic in Robotech post-reboot. So what’s conventional? An RTEG? A uranium fission reactor that uses a steam turbine generator? There’s a lot of room for interpretation here.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2020 10:50 am
  

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Seto Kaiba wrote:
It made only slightly more sense when you needed the stuff to make giant robots work at all.


That is a line I never thought I'd read from you. :D
For the record... I still think it makes a whole lot more of sense with the plot.
Even if it is technologically dubious.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2020 12:12 pm
  

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xunk16 wrote:
That is a line I never thought I'd read from you. :D

"Slightly more" than zero still isn't very much... but when Tommy Yune unveiled the official fact that mecha from the first two sagas ran on fusion I had an argument with him about it because it more or less completely undermined the entire reason protoculture is supposedly plot-critical. If you can build all this advanced technology without it, why bother having it when everyone wants to kill you for it?

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Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2020 1:09 pm
  

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Seto wrote:
There’s no evidence of a retractable VTOL nozzle, though… and it wouldn’t really make sense to add complexity like that for no real reason. It’d be especially strange given that the airframe was otherwise simplified in the development of the Shadow Fighter.

No argument that it adds complexity to the design and needing in-universe justification for doing so, but if one is looking for an explanation that can "work" giving the Shadow Alpha a retractable docking structure to explain it's ability to dock without reinventing the wheel seems like an easy fix. You just need an in-universe justification.

Seto wrote:
That they’re unusable is the most likely option, given that they’d be shooting out the back of the Legioss/Alpha’s knees in any mode other than Fighter.

True Fighter-Fighter Mode would be the only mode they could fire in, then again general Beta weapon usability goes down with the Alpha's alternate modes so nothing new there.

Seto wrote:
All things considered, that seems very unlikely to me. No qualified pilot ever seems to struggle with it, and given how poor its aerodynamics are it would need to be able to exert its full engine output to stay aloft. It has all the aerodynamic properties of a log cabin.

I agree Scott and Lancer do not struggle with it, but Scott likely would have some prior training/experience with the craft and would know to handle it properly. Knowledge he could impart to Lancer and Rand later explaining their displays of "not struggling with it". The basic problem is we only really have a sample size of 3 pilots for the solo Beta, unlike hundreds for the Alpha/VF-1/AGAC.

Rand does seem to have some "flight training" given he has no issue piloting the Alpha at the end of the same Episode (along with Rook) by all indications.

Seto wrote:
Not by enough to matter, the bell nozzle’s efficiency gains aren’t actually all that significant and the nozzles on the TLEAD/Beta are are too small to take full advantage of it.

Based on the profile shot of the combiner in AotSC pg80, I calculate a ~2.12m diameter of the nozzle exit which gives it an exit area of ~3.54m^2. Assuming the nozzle is optimized for Sea Level (101.235kPa would be the exhaust pressure at exit) and operating at Vacuum Pressure (0kPa) that means each of those engines is receiving a boost of ~357,935.3N (or ~36,501.7kg) but in atmosphere at sea level there would be no boost (and if optimized for Vacuum that boost becomes a penalty). Last time I check 36,000kg of thrust FROM ONE ENGINE is almost as much thrust as all 6-Alpha Engines (H/I/S) put out together (and more than a single VF-1 engine in overboost). And the Beta has 3 of these engines (though the 3rd might be slightly smaller), obviously if any value changes it will impact the result.

Seto wrote:
The Logan’s in the same boat as the TLEAD/Beta per the above, while the Auroran/AGACs and Legioss/Alpha engines are behind slatted covers so they don’t appear to have bell nozzles, with the forearm sub-engines on the Legioss/Alpha being the only exception but also falling into that case described above (the bell nozzle too small to matter).

While I agree the Alpha/AGACs have difficult to identify nozzle shapes, what can be made out is not a Bell Nozzle, but it also does not appear to be an aerospike-type either. The basic rocket thrust equation works for them just as well.

Seto wrote:
Hydrogen fusion isn’t exactly what you’d call conventional… indeed, it’s pretty damned exotic in Robotech post-reboot. So what’s conventional? An RTEG? A uranium fission reactor that uses a steam turbine generator? There’s a lot of room for interpretation here.

I think though we can say that "fusion" is "conventional" for Robotech by 2009 in TMS, there are just to many fusion plants that we know of in the setting, and if not 2009 then certainly by 2029 it could certainly be. Remember in this time frame HG has all the VFs and nt-Battloids/Destroids being fusion powered, along with who knows what else (in 2E RPG we have SF-3, QF-3000, a shuttle and both space "cruisers", plus 4 ASC aircraft and 3 shuttles).


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Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2020 2:13 pm
  

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ShadowLogan wrote:
No argument that it adds complexity to the design and needing in-universe justification for doing so, but if one is looking for an explanation that can "work" giving the Shadow Alpha a retractable docking structure to explain it's ability to dock without reinventing the wheel seems like an easy fix. You just need an in-universe justification.

Generally, an explanation should actually make sense... and an arbitrarily retractable VTOL nozzle doesn't.



ShadowLogan wrote:
True Fighter-Fighter Mode would be the only mode they could fire in, then again general Beta weapon usability goes down with the Alpha's alternate modes so nothing new there.

To be fair, the Beta becomes Mostly Useless the minute it's docked to the Alpha... but that's what you get when you let your show's toy partner dictate your designs to you. It would have been a good deal less problematic if they'd stuck with a simple bolt-on booster unit like the Span Loader or the even earlier version that looked like a human-made version of the Inbit Iigaa booster.



ShadowLogan wrote:
Rand does seem to have some "flight training" given he has no issue piloting the Alpha at the end of the same Episode (along with Rook) by all indications.

Unlikely... like Rook, Rand grew up on Earth after the Invid occupation. He had no opportunity to learn to fly an aircraft like that, which would surely have attracted the (violent) attentions of the Invid during any training flight. He had trouble even managing a Cyclone after trading up from his 50cc motorbike. Exactly how Rook became so skilled with hers is unclear as well, given that she was also only a teenager and someone who'd had little formal education at all as a member of a biker gang in a slum.



ShadowLogan wrote:
Based on the profile shot of the combiner in AotSC pg80, I calculate a ~2.12m diameter of the nozzle exit which gives it an exit area of ~3.54m^2.

You can't apply the same assumptions for a conventional bell nozzle to these, because the taper is linear and they're much shorter.



ShadowLogan wrote:
And the Beta has 3 of these engines (though the 3rd might be slightly smaller), obviously if any value changes it will impact the result.

Two. It has two of those engines. The third is a sub-engine nozzle with lower output than even the Alpha's sub-engines... and where the thrust from the Alpha's engines is most likely routed.



ShadowLogan wrote:
I think though we can say that "fusion" is "conventional" for Robotech by 2009 in TMS, there are just to many fusion plants that we know of in the setting, and if not 2009 then certainly by 2029 it could certainly be. Remember in this time frame HG has all the VFs and nt-Battloids/Destroids being fusion powered, along with who knows what else (in 2E RPG we have SF-3, QF-3000, a shuttle and both space "cruisers", plus 4 ASC aircraft and 3 shuttles).

I'm not so sure we can... typically when someone says "nuclear" they're referring to fission power only, which is usually differentiated as "thermonuclear". Likewise, the technology is limited to use by the military and requires an exotic fuel source (in the RPG). That's not exactly conventional.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2020 7:34 pm
  

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jaymz wrote:
I'll take Zentraedi any day of the week.......twice on Sunday if it is the Macross Zentraedi instead of the Robotech Zentraedi......


The more I think about this, the more it's gonna happen; Dolza, prepare to have your command-ship eaten!

I might covert it to Mekton.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2020 11:08 am
  

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Seto wrote:
Generally, an explanation should actually make sense... and an arbitrarily retractable VTOL nozzle doesn't.

Not a retactable VTOL nozzle, something to stand in for it. I agree it has to make sense, which means it was done for either "Stealth" reasons (not likely to work past surface impression) or aesthetic reasons or to protect the connection site or to "match" the Beta (which has retractable beam).

Seto wrote:
Unlikely... like Rook, Rand grew up on Earth after the Invid occupation. He had no opportunity to learn to fly an aircraft like that, which would surely have attracted the (violent) attentions of the Invid during any training flight. He had trouble even managing a Cyclone after trading up from his 50cc motorbike. Exactly how Rook became so skilled with hers is unclear as well, given that she was also only a teenager and someone who'd had little formal education at all as a member of a biker gang in a slum.

Theoretically Scott & Lancer could have instructed them in Alpha operation between NG#3 and NG#10, even if it was only "classroom" with no actual solo flying (what with no second seat). We know they had to train Rand on the Cyclone. As for Rook, who knows.

Seto wrote:
You can't apply the same assumptions for a conventional bell nozzle to these, because the taper is linear and they're much shorter.

Actually you can. The basic rocket thrust equation is "Thrust = ([Mass Flow Rate] * [Exhaust Velocity]) + (([Exit Pressure] - [Ambient Pressure]) * [Exit Area])"

The above equation applies to bell nozzles, conical nozzles, aerospike nozzles, etc. We know what the MFR*EV value is, and we can find the EA pretty easily, and can look up AP. If we assume the attitude the nozzle creates EP=AP, then we know what EP is.

What the nozzle dictates is the MFR, EV, EP, and EA.

Seto wrote:
Two. It has two of those engines. The third is a sub-engine nozzle with lower output than even the Alpha's sub-engines... and where the thrust from the Alpha's engines is most likely routed.

I know the engines themselves are different, but is the nozzle's exit area any different than the other two.

Re: Alpha output, technically they might be able to route engine power (JG only) into the forward VTOL nozzle in the right configuration (directed as if in Battloid mode instead of Fighter Mode). This doesn't work for the -S, but the other setup doesn't work either (unless it directs all thrust into the forearms).

Seto wrote:
I'm not so sure we can... typically when someone says "nuclear" they're referring to fission power only, which is usually differentiated as "thermonuclear". Likewise, the technology is limited to use by the military and requires an exotic fuel source (in the RPG). That's not exactly conventional.


While that is true typically "nuclear" means "fission" in this day and age since "fusion" is still exotic. Even "nuclear" depending on the application can be exotic (nuclear powered rockets be it NTR or NEP).

It probably also depends on what HG considers "conventional", it might also depend on the time frame even with in RT that it would be "conventional" (RT spans nearly 50years of history after all).

Peacebringer wrote:
The Zentraedi vs. Unicron; just saying!

Unicorn. Zentreadi ships won't even qualify as crunching moons for him.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2020 3:37 pm
  

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jaymz wrote:
I'll take Zentraedi any day of the week.......twice on Sunday if it is the Macross Zentraedi instead of the Robotech Zentraedi......

Ten times before breakfast if it's the Macross Zentradi in their original state before the fall of the Stellar Republic...

Unicron's barely bigger than Boddole Zer's mothership from Super Dimension Fortress Macross according to the only reliable size I've found for him... the Zentradi could take him easily with just one main fleet, but 5,000 would make for one hell of a lightshow between 2.5 billion ships and 5,000 mobile fortresses with near-Death Star levels of firepower.



ShadowLogan wrote:
Not a retactable VTOL nozzle, something to stand in for it. I agree it has to make sense, which means it was done for either "Stealth" reasons (not likely to work past surface impression) or aesthetic reasons or to protect the connection site or to "match" the Beta (which has retractable beam).

It wouldn't provide any stealth benefits, the VTOL nozzle was already flush to the underside of the stealth nightmare of an aircraft... and the stealth is now an active stealth "cloaking device" and not a passive stealth setup.



ShadowLogan wrote:
heoretically Scott & Lancer could have instructed them in Alpha operation between NG#3 and NG#10, even if it was only "classroom" with no actual solo flying (what with no second seat). We know they had to train Rand on the Cyclone. As for Rook, who knows.

This ain't exactly Victory Gundam, they can't get away with claiming she grew up playing with military-grade flight and combat simulators...



ShadowLogan wrote:
The above equation applies to bell nozzles, conical nozzles, aerospike nozzles, etc. We know what the MFR*EV value is, and we can find the EA pretty easily, and can look up AP. If we assume the attitude the nozzle creates EP=AP, then we know what EP is.

Pretty much everything you've got on pressure and aperture is sourceless guesswork though.



ShadowLogan wrote:
While that is true typically "nuclear" means "fission" in this day and age since "fusion" is still exotic. Even "nuclear" depending on the application can be exotic (nuclear powered rockets be it NTR or NEP).

It probably also depends on what HG considers "conventional", it might also depend on the time frame even with in RT that it would be "conventional" (RT spans nearly 50years of history after all).

The definition was also written well before it was established that early gen mecha used fusion power... making it even more unlikely that they meant to include fusion in it.

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Last edited by Seto Kaiba on Thu Feb 20, 2020 3:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2020 9:11 pm
  

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"Unicorn. Zentreadi ships won't even qualify as crunching moons for him."

But their worlds will!

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Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2020 3:11 am
  

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You do know that by destroying Unicron's physical manifestation, the Zentraedi would actually free it's chaos god essence and rupture the link between their universe and the rest of the multiverse though, right? Condemning themselves to a big crunch / fatal entropy cascade effect to their whole universe?
Unicron's body might not be that hard to break, but that is mostly because it is its own prison.

I'm just saying... You might want to have a better plan to dispose of it's spark.
The Master's only know what would happen, if one was to fill its laser core with Protoculture.
Or the general reaction of protoculture with Anglomois / dark Energon.
(Of course, on that front, you have even less options if you get the Macross version of the Zent.)

I'm not doubting they would destroy the shell...
But the result of such action and the fallout coming after; well...
Best case scenario, you end up having the Zentraedi re-living the endgame scenario of the human species in Transformers.
Anglomois energy contaminate them, pushing them to use it. (Somehow similar to the way Protoculture does...)
In the long run, the emanations from the stuff pushes them toward more chaos and destruction, until they turn against themselves.
Leaving only ruins to prove their existence. (See Beast Wars II, Beast Wars Neo.)

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Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2020 2:25 pm
  

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Seto wrote:
Unicron's barely bigger than Boddole Zer's mothership from Super Dimension Fortress Macross according to the only reliable size I've found for him..

I don't think it necessarily the size of Unicron that's the issue, and it will depend on the contiunity one uses (none was specified) since in some you have things like "It is the one thing the only thing that can stand in my way", and the Zentreadi fleet isn't that one thing or worse Unicron is an energy being that can not be destroyed.

As for size, depending on continuity used he is 1/4 the size of Cyberton (which is Saturn size) to Earth-size to what ever the story demands of it. The two sizes I found depend on the continuity, but would imply he is many times larger than Dolza's base ship (@1400km that puts Unicron at ~9x to ~21x the size).

Seto wrote:
It wouldn't provide any stealth benefits, the VTOL nozzle was already flush to the underside of the stealth nightmare of an aircraft... and the stealth is now an active stealth "cloaking device" and not a passive stealth setup.

I agree for stealth reasons is not going to hold up for a variety of reasons if one digs below the surface impression (ie it smooths out the undercarriage). There is some indication of passive stealth being part of the design*, but making the linkup retractable isn't really going to help.

*Shadow Fighter Infopedia entry "Late in the Third Robotech War, the -S variant was introduced, combining radar stealth and a sophisticated protoculture cloaking device to minimize detection cross-section".

Seto wrote:
This ain't exactly Victory Gundam, they can't get away with claiming she grew up playing with military-grade flight and combat simulators...

Not saying that.

We know Rand is essentially given a crash course at some point in operations by Rook and/or Scott in NG#3 during the trip to rescue Lunk's friend. Where Rook learned to pilot a Cyclone and acquired one is anyone's guess at this point. Given stuff that is said in "Hard Times" I think Rook hooked up with another group after the Blue Angels disbanded and that is the origin of her Cyclone and improved riding skills, but that is my fan theory on the matter.

With regard to the Alpha, R&R both likely received a crash course from Scott and/or Lancer (IIRC "Enter Marlene" also establishes Lunk can fly a VF). How they trained them of course is open to debate (what form the hands-on took), but we know it happens off screen.

Seto wrote:
Pretty much everything you've got on pressure and aperture is sourceless guesswork though.

Not entirely, nor do I view these values as set in stone. There is always the possibility of a measurement error (or error in the image used). The exit pressure is based on what altitude the engine configuration is optimized for, Sea Level is the default unless otherwise specified.

Seto wrote:
The definition was also written well before it was established that early gen mecha used fusion power... making it even more unlikely that they meant to include fusion in it.
[/quote]
Either:
-HG essentially has recton what "nuclear" encompasses due to changes over time
-HG even after fusion is later added to the setting as a recton they still switched from fusion, so even if we consider fission the implied meaning PC is still superior to exotic fusion.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2020 3:23 pm
  

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xunk16 wrote:
You do know that by destroying Unicron's physical manifestation, the Zentraedi would actually free it's chaos god essence [...]

Jeez... when he debuted, back when I was a kid and he was voiced by Orson Welles, he was just a REALLY big Transformer of unknown origin with an ego sized to match.

They must've hardcore run out of ideas ages ago if he's been retconned into a god. Can't imagine he'd be all that much of a threat to a species that weaponized entropy control and traps galaxy-destroying extradimensional horrors entirely by mistake.



ShadowLogan wrote:
I agree for stealth reasons is not going to hold up for a variety of reasons if one digs below the surface impression (ie it smooths out the undercarriage). There is some indication of passive stealth being part of the design*, but making the linkup retractable isn't really going to help.

*Shadow Fighter Infopedia entry "Late in the Third Robotech War, the -S variant was introduced, combining radar stealth and a sophisticated protoculture cloaking device to minimize detection cross-section".

Yeah, in there, they're copying from the Critical Research Failures in AotSC. It's not a passively stealthy design by any stretch of the imagination. If anything, the design is so inimical to the very idea of passive stealth it's more like passively anti-stealth. (The Dark Legioss was only passively stealthy because of a design change to its powerplant that eliminated the emissions the Inbit tracked... and otherwise it was not a stealth aircraft.)



ShadowLogan wrote:
Not saying that.

I was just giving an example... Victory Gundam justifies Uso's ability to pilot a state of the art Gundam as well or better than trained soldiers at the tender age of 13 to him having had simulators as toys growing up on League Militaire bases. They can't even get away with that much in RT (or MOSPEADA, for that matter).



ShadowLogan wrote:
Either:
-HG essentially has recton what "nuclear" encompasses due to changes over time
-HG even after fusion is later added to the setting as a recton they still switched from fusion, so even if we consider fission the implied meaning PC is still superior to exotic fusion.

In all likelihood, the answer is actually a third choice... HG never considered the implications for this long-forgotten definition when they established that the mecha of the Macross Saga and Masters Saga used fusion power. There doesn't seem to be a real argument for protoculture as used definitively being superior to fusion systems.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2020 11:12 pm
  

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I was reading up on Unicron today; yes, it has a special-essence, but, is that what it thinks?

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Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2020 11:24 am
  

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Seto wrote:
They must've hardcore run out of ideas ages ago if he's been retconned into a god.

He's been a "god" in TF for a very long time, shortly after the G1 '86 Movie (in the S3 cartoon he gets a different backstory) in the Comics ('88).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RjbeCfsWWaQ

Seto wrote:
Yeah, in there, they're copying from the Critical Research Failures in AotSC. It's not a passively stealthy design by any stretch of the imagination. If anything, the design is so inimical to the very idea of passive stealth it's more like passively anti-stealth. (The Dark Legioss was only passively stealthy because of a design change to its powerplant that eliminated the emissions the Inbit tracked... and otherwise it was not a stealth aircraft.)

There is actually a way to improve the "stealth" characteristics of an existing platform, I know around the mid 90s the US military was looking at RAM coatings for the A-10. And IINM things like Boeing's Stealth F-15 (Silent Eagle) use some changes to the aircraft design itself, but also include Radar Absorbing Materials (RAM) and conformal expansion pods (fuel & weapons) to all reduce RCS. So technically you can "stealthize" a design like the Alpha, but such efforts will never be as good as a clean sheet designed from the start with stealth in mind.

Seto wrote:
I was just giving an example... Victory Gundam justifies Uso's ability to pilot a state of the art Gundam as well or better than trained soldiers at the tender age of 13 to him having had simulators as toys growing up on League Militaire bases. They can't even get away with that much in RT (or MOSPEADA, for that matter).


I agree it really doesn't work for NG era Earth (2040s), they might be able to pull something like that off with TMS and even TRM, maybe even early NG (early 2030s). This is why I say for the Alpha it has to be Scott/Lancer teaching R&R, though how they get any hand's on training I'm not sure given the Alpha is a single seater, but it would make sense that they would receive some training to use the teams biggest asset in the event that Scott was unavailable to pilot the thing (maybe not NG#4-5, but certainly by NG#10 they had the time).

Given Sent. OVA Alpha Simulator, perhaps the full-size mecha have built-in "simulator" (more on par with Driver's Ed simulator/video game rather than the feed back setup we see in the OVA and the VHT's in TRM).

Seto wrote:
In all likelihood, the answer is actually a third choice... HG never considered the implications for this long-forgotten definition when they established that the mecha of the Macross Saga and Masters Saga used fusion power. There doesn't seem to be a real argument for protoculture as used definitively being superior to fusion systems.

That HG never considers implications doesn't surprise me.

I do think there is an argument for PC > fusion given no one switches over once they start using it. The Masters didn't supplement their energy production with Fusion (H2 availability being what it is), nor did the UEEF upon discovering Invid PC sensing technology switch to fusion powered mecha.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2020 1:48 pm
  

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ShadowLogan wrote:
There is actually a way to improve the "stealth" characteristics of an existing platform, I know around the mid 90s the US military was looking at RAM coatings for the A-10. And IINM things like Boeing's Stealth F-15 (Silent Eagle) use some changes to the aircraft design itself, but also include Radar Absorbing Materials (RAM) and conformal expansion pods (fuel & weapons) to all reduce RCS. So technically you can "stealthize" a design like the Alpha, but such efforts will never be as good as a clean sheet designed from the start with stealth in mind.

Except that those are examples of NOT being able to successfully "stealth-ize" an existing aircraft... those that made it past the drawing board were high-profile disasters that never got past the initial prototype.

AotSC and RT2E's remarks about stealth are Critical Research Failures. They're products of that Hollywood-induced misconception that stealth is as simple as making a design angular and then painting it black. Just making a design angular doesn't make it stealthy, there's some complex frame shaping involved in ensuring that the radar beam's angle of incidence will result in most or all of the beam's energy being deflected away from the sending radar. The Legioss/Alpha design is an absolute nightmare for stealth. Its frame has so many 90 degree angles that it's practically made of retroreflectors, it'd have an ENORMOUS radar cross-section. Simply slathering on radar-absorbent material won't make an aircraft stealthy either. RAM has to be combined with low-observable stealth airframe shapes to be effective, otherwise the return reduction isn't significant enough to provide a worthwhile reduction in radar cross-section.

Essentially, the only way to make an aircraft like the Legioss/Alpha stealthy is to adopt a stealth technology that functions independent of airframe shape. The original MOSPEADA's Dark Legioss accomplished it with design changes to the fighter's HBT control rod that reduced the radiative emissions the Inbit had been tracking. Since the Inbit weren't tracking the aircraft using radar or other conventional means, that was an effective stealth design change. Macross's approach to stealth - active cancellation via destructive interference - is another way to provide stealthiness without concern for airframe shape but it's power- and computation-intensive. Going straight to an actual bloody cloaking device is another way to go about it, though that has its own problems as we saw in RTSC.



ShadowLogan wrote:
I agree it really doesn't work for NG era Earth (2040s), they might be able to pull something like that off with TMS and even TRM, maybe even early NG (early 2030s). This is why I say for the Alpha it has to be Scott/Lancer teaching R&R, though how they get any hand's on training I'm not sure given the Alpha is a single seater, but it would make sense that they would receive some training to use the teams biggest asset in the event that Scott was unavailable to pilot the thing (maybe not NG#4-5, but certainly by NG#10 they had the time).

Odds are it's something that wasn't really meant to be thought about, since the series wasn't supposed to focus on the Legioss at all... until the toy partner poked its oar in and demanded they get far more exposure in order to cash in on the trend Macross started. The tech pretty obviously doesn't exist in Robotech, but one way around it would've been something like the support AI the VF-1EX Valkyrie EX had in Macross Delta that allowed a one-seater to be used as a training plane by having the AI assert control over the aircraft if the trainee pilot did something dangerous and allowed the instructor aircraft to remotely issue commands to the trainee aircraft. (See Macross Delta Ep.3 "Stormy Dogfight")



ShadowLogan wrote:
Given Sent. OVA Alpha Simulator, perhaps the full-size mecha have built-in "simulator" (more on par with Driver's Ed simulator/video game rather than the feed back setup we see in the OVA and the VHT's in TRM).

The simulator we see in Sentinels seems to be far more external to the Alpha we see hanging in it than built into the Alpha itself. The projection systems for sure seem to be external to the Alpha, if that's even a real Alpha and not a mockup. It doesn't seem to have enough space to transform inside that ring, and as a curious incident when the simulation ends we see Rick Hunter fade into some kind of dummy but then the craft is mysteriously in Fighter not Guardian mode a second later so the arm and dummy have vanished too. I'm honestly not sure if they were part of the simulation too or if the animation team's right hand didn't know what its left hand was drawing. :?



ShadowLogan wrote:
That HG never considers implications doesn't surprise me.

Would it surprise ANYONE? I doubt it. :lol:



ShadowLogan wrote:
I do think there is an argument for PC > fusion given no one switches over once they start using it. The Masters didn't supplement their energy production with Fusion (H2 availability being what it is), nor did the UEEF upon discovering Invid PC sensing technology switch to fusion powered mecha.

Really, there's only one case I can think of where protoculture can be pointed to as definitively superior to fusion power and that's that apparently ONLY protoculture can power a fold drive...

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Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2020 4:29 pm
  

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Seto wrote:
Except that those are examples of NOT being able to successfully "stealth-ize" an existing aircraft... those that made it past the drawing board were high-profile disasters that never got past the initial prototype.

They where successful from the POV that one could reduce the radar signature of an existing vehicle. In essence they "stealth-ized" the design, definitely not as well as a clean sheet design but from their original base line they could be said to be 'stealthy'.

This means the Shadow Alpha could incorporate some "radar stealth" in its design that would be good from the POV of the baseline unit, but not a proper ground up clean sheet design. That would be the best they could hope for.

Seto wrote:
The simulator we see in Sentinels seems to be far more external to the Alpha we see hanging in it than built into the Alpha itself. The projection systems for sure seem to be external to the Alpha, if that's even a real Alpha and not a mockup. It doesn't seem to have enough space to transform inside that ring, and as a curious incident when the simulation ends we see Rick Hunter fade into some kind of dummy but then the craft is mysteriously in Fighter not Guardian mode a second later so the arm and dummy have vanished too. I'm honestly not sure if they were part of the simulation too or if the animation team's right hand didn't know what its left hand was drawing.

To an extent there is stuff about the Sent. OVA simulator I've never quite figured out, but that is 2022 and by 2042 they might have been able to condense it down to offer if nothing else a "low quality immersion experience" compared to the 2022/9 "high quality immersion experience" with a full blown simulator.

Seto wrote:
Really, there's only one case I can think of where protoculture can be pointed to as definitively superior to fusion power and that's that apparently ONLY protoculture can power a fold drive...


I agree in terms of actual use there are a limited number where PC would actually be necessary, but that in itself shows that fusion output is less than protoculture output if there are applications where PC is necessary to provide power.


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Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2020 6:07 pm
  

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ShadowLogan wrote:
They were successful from the POV that one could reduce the radar signature of an existing vehicle.

Except that they weren’t… the idea of putting RAM on the A-10 was a complete boondoggle and the F-15SE Silent Eagle was an embarrassment that performed so poorly compared to the other stealth aircraft it was marketed as a rival to that it never made it past the initial prototype. To get even minor stealthiness improvements, the F-15SE had to sacrifice performance and endurance and even after all the compromises the improvement was limited to a very narrow forward arc so small that it was effectively no improvement at all.



ShadowLogan wrote:
This means the Shadow Alpha could incorporate some "radar stealth" in its design that would be good from the POV of the baseline unit, but not a proper ground up clean sheet design. That would be the best they could hope for.

It’s EXTREMELY unlikely both from the perspective of the Alpha’s design being as ill-suited to an application of passive stealth technology as it’s physically possible to get and the perspective of battlefield requirements against an enemy that doesn’t really use radar at all. It’s a combination of “why bother?” and “why waste time attempting the impossible?”.



ShadowLogan wrote:
To an extent there is stuff about the Sent. OVA simulator I've never quite figured out, but that is 2022 and by 2042 they might have been able to condense it down to offer if nothing else a "low quality immersion experience" compared to the 2022/9 "high quality immersion experience" with a full blown simulator.

But there haven’t been any upgrades to the Alpha in its 22 year history. They’re using the exact same models in 2043 that they were using in 2022.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2020 11:42 am
  

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Seto wrote:
It’s EXTREMELY unlikely both from the perspective of the Alpha’s design being as ill-suited to an application of passive stealth technology as it’s physically possible to get and the perspective of battlefield requirements against an enemy that doesn’t really use radar at all. It’s a combination of “why bother?” and “why waste time attempting the impossible?”.

The Alpha design is ill-suited to some aspects of stealth technology, but it can certainly chive some degree of stealthiness via use of radar absorbing materials or using less-radar reflective materials in its construction. Such an effort will not be as good as a clean sheet design (or major overhaul of the Alpha's external design, which would push it toward being a new VF-#). What it might be is good enough (in terms of stealth) for UEEF purposes in 204x when they start the program, they might not have had the time to do a clean sheet design as the UEEF appears to think they are on the clock with the Invid at Earth.

As for the need for passive radar stealth, that I agree with that is a "why bother" thing given the Shadow Device already covers it (or is the SD not as encompassing as we've been led to believe with some radar frequencies vulnerable given they still allow radio communications and presumably radar). Unless of course the Shadow Device came later to a "Stealth" Alpha the UEEF already had or was working on, new/changing capability requirements aren't unheard of being added to designs.


Seto wrote:
But there haven’t been any upgrades to the Alpha in its 22 year history. They’re using the exact same models in 2043 that they were using in 2022.

No, aside from tossing out the -Z (late 3RW variant) that seems very unlikely just from a logical perspective. Some 20+ years with no upgrades, even to avionics seems very unlikely (to the basic airframe/engines is more likely, but it would be unlikely to not upgrade the avionics over this time frame).


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Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2020 12:58 pm
  

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ShadowLogan wrote:
The Alpha design is ill-suited to some aspects of stealth technology, [...]

Well, more like “all aspects of stealth technology”... it really is incomprehensible to me that there would be someone who would look at that flying retroreflector and think “that’s a stealth plane”. It’s about as stealthy as an easily-startled elephant wrapped in sleighbells and prism tape on a spotlight salesman’s showroom floor.



ShadowLogan wrote:
[...] but it can certainly achieve some degree of stealthiness via use of radar absorbing materials or using less-radar reflective materials in its construction. Such an effort will not be as good as a clean sheet design (or major overhaul of the Alpha's external design, which would push it toward being a new VF-#). [...]

You could theoretically achieve some trivially small degree of improvement that way, but it won’t be enough to even offset the horrifically detrimental-to-stealth design of the aircraft. Like as not, painting that flying brick in radiation-absorbent material just means you’ll be flying a warmer and slightly heavier matte black or low-viz grey brick. You’re not even going to get the Alpha into the same ballpark as a competently-engineered aircraft that way… never mind achieving any actual workable stealth from it.

Then again, they don’t really NEED to… so y’know… why put in the effort?



ShadowLogan wrote:
[...] What it might be is good enough (in terms of stealth) for UEEF purposes in 204x when they start the program, they might not have had the time to do a clean sheet design as the UEEF appears to think they are on the clock with the Invid at Earth.

But that still doesn’t make any sense. Their enemy doesn’t use radar, so the amount of passive radar stealth needed for the UEEF’s purposes in 202X-204X is Zero. Why would they invest all that time, effort, and resources into a feature that has no actual application on the battlefield the aircraft will be on?



ShadowLogan wrote:
[...] Unless of course the Shadow Device came later to a "Stealth" Alpha the UEEF already had or was working on, new/changing capability requirements aren't unheard of being added to designs.

No such program is ever mentioned or alluded to, so assuming such a thing existed would be a bad idea. The Shadow Fighter is, in AotSC, treated as an unprecedented and quite unforeseen development by Edwards that catches the UEEF completely off-guard. That suggests there was no intermediate model.



ShadowLogan wrote:
No, aside from tossing out the -Z (late 3RW variant) that seems very unlikely just from a logical perspective.

That is not an upgrade to the Alpha fighter, though… that’s a new, limited production variant that was made for a specific operational role and its only real improvement was engines that offered slightly better atmospheric performance.



ShadowLogan wrote:
Some 20+ years with no upgrades, even to avionics seems very unlikely (to the basic airframe/engines is more likely, but it would be unlikely to not upgrade the avionics over this time frame).

Developed by who? The UEEF was cut off from Earth for almost its entire mission and the story strongly indicates that they were experiencing high attrition rates. Who has time to worry about non-essential updates when your forces can barely put enough fighters in the air to do their job?

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Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2020 6:41 pm
  

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Seto wrote:
You could theoretically achieve some trivially small degree of improvement that way, but it won’t be enough to even offset the horrifically detrimental-to-stealth design of the aircraft.

This assumes of course modern Radar Absorbing Materials, however RT might have more advanced materials that outclass them (RT does have super fuel in the form of PC, it stands to reason they could have materials we don't have but still consider RAM that outperform modern RAM).

Seto wrote:
But that still doesn’t make any sense. Their enemy doesn’t use radar, so the amount of passive radar stealth needed for the UEEF’s purposes in 202X-204X is Zero. Why would they invest all that time, effort, and resources into a feature that has no actual application on the battlefield the aircraft will be on?

While we like to think the Invid as THE ENEMY of the UEEF, the Invid in reality may not be the only enemy the UEEF faces in this period. TRM saga (2029) hints at other factions out there like Space Pirates and micronized Zentreadi offshoots, then we have AotSC's history on Space Colonization (the program is put on hold yes, but the Invid are not technically identified as the cause only 'hostile forces' which could be just the Invid and/or other aliens). Then we have the DoZ mentioned by the Masters in TMS, possibly even Children of Zor (antagonsts for canceled Academy). All/any of whom might require Radar Stealth development before Shadow Device introduction.

It might also be woth considering when the UEEF learned of Invid Protoculture Sensors? Prior to this the UEEF might look at conventional stealth as a way to try and beat Invid sensors even if they didn't understand them.

Seto wrote:
No such program is ever mentioned or alluded to, so assuming such a thing existed would be a bad idea. The Shadow Fighter is, in AotSC, treated as an unprecedented and quite unforeseen development by Edwards that catches the UEEF completely off-guard. That suggests there was no intermediate model.

I know it is never mentioned or alluded to, but given we can agree the Radar-Stealth retrofits are unnecessary with the Shadow Device their reason for existence would seem to indicate the UEEF has or was developing a "Stealth" Veritech that the Shadow Device was piggy-backed onto. That or the Shadow Device has additional EM-frequencies it doesn't protect against (we know it doesn't protect against EM-frequencies in the visible light part of the spectrum).

Seto wrote:
That is not an upgrade to the Alpha fighter, though… that’s a new, limited production variant that was made for a specific operational role and its only real improvement was engines that offered slightly better atmospheric performance.

". It was expected that this fighter would become the standard variant late in the 3rd Robotech War, but this was superceded by the Shadowfighter, which did not incorporate the improved engines."-RT.com Infopedia file on the -Z. This would fly in the face being intended to be a limited production variant with specific operational role.

The changes made to the -Z are an upgrade of the Alpha Fighter design.

Seto wrote:
Developed by who? The UEEF was cut off from Earth for almost its entire mission and the story strongly indicates that they were experiencing high attrition rates. Who has time to worry about non-essential updates when your forces can barely put enough fighters in the air to do their job?


The same people that developed the various Cyclones (-038,-041,-052,-055/7), Silverback (designed in 2030s per Prelude GN's SB sections), developed the VFB-9 from the VFB-7 (Infopedia on the Beta " the Beta concept was revived with significant updates and upgrades"), created the VFA-6Z (introduced late in 3RW), created the Bioroid Interceptors (integrated human and tirolian technology), the Shimakaze-class ship, the Horizon-V (AotSC, not to be confused with the Horizon-T of the NG arc), the Tokugawa's upgrades (mentioned in Prelude's GN's SB sections states it did receive updates/upgrades as RTnology advanced during campaigns against the Invid), Crusader-class dropships (new in prelude), Ark Angel-class (Rick doesn't recognize them in Prelude tour of SSL), the syncro-cannon (Scott knew of the technology in 2042, someone had to do the R&D to produce the hover-cannon platform in Ep83), the railgun on the VR-055/7, the Valiant Rifle. These are canon examples. We also know that some research was still ongoing (Zand assured Lang of technical impossibility of Shadow-like technology in Prelude).

So yes, the UEEF has people available to modify and/or design hardware.


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Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2020 7:06 pm
  

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ShadowLogan wrote:
While we like to think the Invid as THE ENEMY of the UEEF, the Invid in reality may not be the only enemy the UEEF faces in this period. TRM saga (2029) hints at other factions out there like Space Pirates and micronized Zentreadi offshoots, then we have AotSC's history on Space Colonization (the program is put on hold yes, but the Invid are not technically identified as the cause only 'hostile forces' which could be just the Invid and/or other aliens). Then we have the DoZ mentioned by the Masters in TMS, possibly even Children of Zor (antagonsts for canceled Academy). All/any of whom might require Radar Stealth development before Shadow Device introduction.


Yeah... What do we know of those?
I've found some fan speculation on the subject, but not much else.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2020 9:34 pm
  

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ShadowLogan wrote:
This assumes of course modern Radar Absorbing Materials, however RT might have more advanced materials that outclass them (RT does have super fuel in the form of PC, it stands to reason they could have materials we don't have but still consider RAM that outperform modern RAM).

Maybe, maybe not… stealth doesn’t seem to have been a going concern in the Robotech version of Earth’s history. Barring the airshow in the From the Stars limited comic, we’re never shown anything like a passively stealthy aircraft and active radar stealth doesn’t exist in the Robotech setting the way it does in Macross.



ShadowLogan wrote:
While we like to think the Invid as THE ENEMY of the UEEF, the Invid in reality may not be the only enemy the UEEF faces in this period. TRM saga (2029) hints at other factions out there like Space Pirates and micronized Zentreadi offshoots, [...] Then we have the DoZ mentioned by the Masters in TMS, possibly even Children of Zor (antagonsts for canceled Academy).

Do any of those possibilities actually exist in-setting, though?

Granted, Leonard mentions mutated Zentradi and space pirates exactly once… but are they real threats, or is a famously racist, xenophobic commander spitballing whatever comes into his head to explain the unexplained alien invasion? The New Generation implies the Zentradi are at least functionally extinct c.2042, which would tend to rule out the idea of rogue Zentradi. We’ve never met any aliens outside the Masters former empire, who are basically useless, so from where are these alleged pirates coming? Moreover, wouldn’t it be a bit suicidal to attempt acts of piracy on the Robotech Masters turf when the Zentradi are their go-to problem solvers?

The Disciples of Zor are what the Masters come up with to explain the SDF-1’s activity, but there were no survivors aboard when she crashed. They’re either all wall gazpacho or they’ve legged it and are basically powerless without the macguffin they stole.

Do the Children of Zor even exist? They’re from a cancelled series that never made it to a first actual teaser trailer.



ShadowLogan wrote:
All/any of whom might require Radar Stealth development before Shadow Device introduction.

If those were the case, we’d expect to see passive stealth being included on UEDF equipment too...



ShadowLogan wrote:
It might also be woth considering when the UEEF learned of Invid Protoculture Sensors? Prior to this the UEEF might look at conventional stealth as a way to try and beat Invid sensors even if they didn't understand them.

Given that we know that in 20+ years they came up with bugger-all explanation-wise, I think that says all that needs to be said there.



ShadowLogan wrote:
I know it is never mentioned or alluded to, but given we can agree the Radar-Stealth retrofits are unnecessary with the Shadow Device [...]

Which suggests Palladium Books didn’t quite follow the notes from the OVA’s creators that all of the Shadow Fighter’s stealth came from the shadow device. I don’t really think it needs to have more of an explanation than that.



ShadowLogan wrote:
". It was expected that this fighter would become the standard variant late in the 3rd Robotech War, but this was superceded by the Shadowfighter, which did not incorporate the improved engines."-RT.com Infopedia file on the -Z. This would fly in the face being intended to be a limited production variant with specific operational role.

The intention and actuality of the model are two different things. It was intended to become the new standard type, but ultimately never made it into large-scale production before the Shadow Fighter came along and stole its thunder while also reverting its changes.



ShadowLogan wrote:
The same people that developed the [...]

This is kinda what I’m getting at… the UEEF seemingly doesn’t DO minor upgrades. If a variant or model isn’t working out, they just go whole hog on an all-new design. They don’t sit down and try to fix what’s wrong with the existing model, they replace it with a totally new model that might have its own issues. Lather, rinse, repeat.

VR-038 and VR-041 not working up to expectations? Replace the entire fleet with the VR-052.

Instead of just updating the existing -H and -I variant Alphas with the new engines, they opted for planning wholesale replacement of the entire Alpha fleet with the new variant despite them being little different from the existing Alphas outside of those new engines. Then when they obtained a Shadow Fighter spec, they went whole hog on replacing all Alphas with Shadow Fighters instead of retrofitting existing models with shadow devices.

Horizon-T not as survivable as they’d like? Replace it with a whole new aircraft instead of trying to improve the existing fleet.

Zentradi mecha failing? Replace the lot with secondhand Bioroids.

Your unused colony ship not defensible enough? Throw it away before the paint’s even dry and build a completely different class that’s twice as big, complex, and expensive.

The only time we see them actually upgrade something rather than just replace it outright is the upgrade of the fleet to shadow device-equipped versions… it had to be THAT gargantuanly high a cost of resources for them to upgrade things rather than just throw them away and get new ones.




xunk16 wrote:
Yeah... What do we know of those?
I've found some fan speculation on the subject, but not much else.

Exactly nothing. The project was canned before any real details were revealed.

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Zer0 Kay wrote:
Damn you for anticipating my question. I've really got to unfoe you, your information is far more valuable than my sanity when dealing with your blunt callousness. :)


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Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2020 1:48 am
  

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Knight

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@xunk16
What we know of the "Children of Zor" is not much. Sentinels-era DVD extras does include designs created for Sentinels but not used by the RPG or other incarnations (AFAIK), you'd have to check the "Elements of Robotechnology" (IIRC the name) from the Legacy DVDs (I don't know if they where carried forward with any later DVD/Blue-Ray bundles). Other than this, they might get a mention in one of the old Art Books (one for Sentinels, but I can't confirm this as I don't have the book) or any official promotional material you might find for Academy (which is probably very limited in scope IIRC).

Seto wrote:
Maybe, maybe not… stealth doesn’t seem to have been a going concern in the Robotech version of Earth’s history. Barring the airshow in the From the Stars limited comic, we’re never shown anything like a passively stealthy aircraft and active radar stealth doesn’t exist in the Robotech setting the way it does in Macross.

I think this is really a product of the times that RT/OSM was written vs today. Some one looking at RT today (or even recently in past 10-15years or so) is bound to ask "where's the [passive] stealth", but back then it wasn't a big thing (acknowledged stealth aircraft only came out in the open in 1988, 3 years after RT and a few more from the OSM perspective). It's like looking at new designs that entered public awareness in 2000s vs back in the 1970s, stealth just wasn't the thing at the time.

Seto wrote:
Do any of those possibilities actually exist in-setting, though?

1st, Leonard is the only one to mention mutant Zentreadi, Space Pirates was introduced by one of Emerson's aides (sorry can never keep them straight).

All I can say is that these are possible enemies that have been brought up in the show (or planned in case of Acedemy, but IIRC those exist in Sent. OVA per-production materials on the DVD extras, which also includes additional races to boot). Beyond that its speculation, we know the "exist" in the sense they are put out there as possibilities which suggests they are "real". How probable they are within is not known as they have never been fleshed out AFAIK.

Seto wrote:
Which suggests Palladium Books didn’t quite follow the notes from the OVA’s creators that all of the Shadow Fighter’s stealth came from the shadow device. I don’t really think it needs to have more of an explanation than that.

Except we know that this one is not on Palladium, at least not fully given HG says the Shadow Fighter " combining radar stealth" (Infoepdia entry). Palladium does say its RAM, but we know they aren't the only RT product to say RAM is involved in the Alpha design (MPC Alpha).

Seto wrote:
This is kinda what I’m getting at… the UEEF seemingly doesn’t DO minor upgrades. If a variant or model isn’t working out, they just go whole hog on an all-new design. They don’t sit down and try to fix what’s wrong with the existing model, they replace it with a totally new model that might have its own issues. Lather, rinse, repeat.

The VR-038 Infopedia entry " it saw numerous variants, culminating with the -038 version". We do not have descriptions of these numerous variants of the VR-030 series (or even all the VR-050 series). This can be extrapolated out to various mecha, including the Alpha (letter variants). Its these "new variants" that would count as "upgrades" to the Alpha Fighter, which is a family of variants (known being Genia, -H/I/Z/S/X, Shadow Drone) that could be considered upgraded over other variants due to features/abilities not present on the others.


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