The VF-19 Excalibur Custom (VF-19改 エクスカリバー 熱気バサラスペシャル（ファイアーバルキリー） VF - 19 Aratame Ekusukaribā Nekki Basara Supesharu (Faiā Barukirī)), commonly referred to as the Fire Valkyrie, unofficial codename Karaoke Ninja 
, is a special next-generation variable fighter used by Basara Nekki, lead singer of the band Fire Bomber in the television series, Macross 7. Unlike the standard VF-19, the Fire Valkyrie was outfitted with special sound broadcasting equipment, and had a removable face plate. It was easily stood out in the battlefield, due to its red paint scheme.
The name "Excalibur" came from the name of the holy sword that appears in King Arthur stories. Meanwhile, Shōji Kawamori had the fighter's airframe reference the real-life Su-27 Flanker and the experimental Grumman X-29.
VF-19F Excalibur was developed to phase out the aging VF-11B Thunderbolt, which had been in operation since A.D. 2040. However, due to its limited production number, only the most skilled and capable pilots were allowed to use it. Ray Lovelock, using his connections with the military aboard the 37th Long Distance Colony Fleet, procured a standard VF-19. He gave Basara Nekki free reign to modify the fighter as he saw fit, and soon, the "Fire Valkyrie" would play a major role in the evaluation and formal adoption for the Macross 7 fleet. Despite the presence of the military with the use of the Fire Valkyrie, is still classified as a civilian unit and is frequently used during Fire Bomber concert events.
Technology & Combat Characteristics
The VF-19 features a fighter-scale pin-point barrier system allowing for armor simplification and a lighter weight.
Special Equipment & Features
The VF-19 Custom used by Basara Nekki features minimal offensive weaponry and is armed with only a pair of laser cannons (mounted in the wing roots) and two internal missile launch systems (mounted in the engines/lower legs). The primary armament of the VF-19 Custom is an external Speaker Pod-firing launcher pod.
It is also equipped with an "Environmental Cockpit" active at Battroid mode, allowing a full 360-degree view. The flight steering system is also specially modified, with no cockpit control and no throttle lever present, instead a guitar-type control stick is used. The body of the guitar is the fighter's control stick, and moves based on the pilot's movements.
The rear auxiliary seat first installed on the YF-19 was removed, and the Fire Valkyrie's pilot seat is slightly receded, so more room could be secured fro the inside. Later, the control stick and the seat is converted a Song Energy conversion device.
VG wing with forward-swept standard cruising configuration; Forward-swept delta-wing combination main wing (VF-19F, VF-19S); canard forward wing (replaced by high-maneuverability verniers in VF-19F and VF-19S; vertical T-O and landing (VTOL); supersonic cruise and maneuvering in region of Mach 5+ below the stratosphere; sufficient thrust for attaining orbital velocity over a Earth-class planet; wrap-around imaging monitor screens in all variable modes; two-dimensional thrust vectoring with two independently pivoting exhaust nozzles; vernier slit; anti-projectile (bulletproof) shield for Battroid mode use; active stealth system; fighter-carried pin-point barrier system allows for armor simplification and light weight; medium-range high maneuverability missiles stored in internal weapons bays on the side of leg/engine nacelles; option of external fold booster and conformal propellant tanks. In the prototype YF-19, conformal type FAST packs were developed simultaneously but progress of active stealth technology has relaxed the restrictions, reinforcing the basic performance.
- Landing Gear: Retractable tricycle undercarriage with catapult hook. Two steerable nose-wheels retract rearward into nose and twin coupled main wheels forward into fuselage.
- Wing span dimensions:
- VF-19 Custom (fully swept forward): 14.92 m
- VF-19 Custom sound booster, fully swept forward: 15.41 m
- Length overall:
- VF-19 Custom, F, P, S: 18.47 m
- VF-19 Custom sound booster: 11.83m
- VF-19 Custom, F, P, S: 18.47 m
- Height, overall
- VF-19P: 3.94m
- Height, overall
- VF-19 Custom, without sensor fin: 15.48 m
- Two 82500 kg class (maximum output in outer space) Shinnakasu Industry/P&W/Roice FF-2550F [Shinsei Industry/P&W/Roice FF-2500F] thermonuclear turbine engines in VF-19 Custom.
- Two pentagonal under fuselage air intakes with retractable covers for Battroid mode or space use. Two rear afterburner intakes encircling lower leg/engine-pod sections' nozzles. Two two-dimensional independent vectored exhaust nozzles, for enhanced V/STOL performance and maneuverability.
- P&W HMM-6R high-maneuverability vernier thrusters with two vernier slits encircling lower leg/engine-pod sections' nozzles (VF-19 Custom).
- Three special equipment hard point stations for space/atmospheric fighter fold booster mounted above fuselage and two space/atmospheric conformal propellant tanks mounted on either side of the fuselage in Fighter mode or on lower leg in GERWALK and Battroid modes.
- Optional sound booster unit (VF-19 Custom).
Pilot only; pressurized canopy; standard side-stick controller (removed and customized with functioning guitar sound sitck control mounted on gimbal-and-joint system and throttle and options control on slider for HOTAS use in VF-19 Custom). Wrap-around imaging monitor screens in all variable modes.
Super AI control avionics. Active stealth system precludes the need for passively stealth silhouette. Four conformal hybrid sensor units directly below and to the the fore of the canopy. HUD (projected onto canopy), side-stick controller, radar, two hybrid sensors and panel sensor mounted on head turret. Sensor fin on head turret (VF-19 Custom). Standard Sound Energy Conversion seat installed in VF-19 Custom. High performance audio system and speaker system with speaker units in shoulder/dorsal nacelles (VF-19 Custom). Lightup projector system in shoulder/dorsal nacelles (VF-19 Custom). Sensors embedded in conformal soft pads lining manipulator. Optional sound booster unit with hybrid sensors, two sound energy converters and two sound aura amplification systems (VF-19 Custom).
- Fixed pin-point barrier (PPV) system.
- External speaker-pod-shooting launcher pod with sensor, foregrip, and stock magazine mounted under center dorsal section in Fighter mode or in manipulator in GERWALK and Battroid mode (VF-19 Custom). After penetrating the target's armor, speaker pods are fixed with a stopper and filler.
The VF-19 was originally intended as a first strike weapon for use against non-cultured Zentradi still engaged in hostilities across the galaxy with the Supervision Army. With this variable fighter, the U.N. Forces could directly assault and confuse the Zentradi forces by exposing them to culture through music, a completely foreign experience that proved very disruptive to their strictly military life. However, the VF-19 Excalibur Custom and Basara Nekki in particular played a much larger role during the Protodeviln War in 2045.
Notes & Trivia
- The VF-19's original purpose as a culture shock tool was demonstrated to effect in Macross 7: Encore's first episode where a fleet of rogue Meltrandi were driven wild by Basara's song.
- Basara generally did not use the GERWALK mode of his VF-19 until Milia Fallyna Jenius taught him to do so.
- The mouthguard of Basara's VF-19 usually opens in Battroid mode, but remained closed after he lost his voice following Geperuniti's attack. When Mylene cures him with her Sound Energy, it opens once again with Basara screaming the intro of "Holy Lonely Light".
- Macross 7 Episode 10,