Old versus NewThe VF-19F maximum air speed is still published in the Macross Chronicle as Mach 5+ while the VF-19S maximum air speed is Mach 5.1+, apparently ignoring the fact that the new VF-19S engines have far less thrust than the new VF-19F engines. The Chronicle also confirms the weight of the VF-19S (8.62 tons) is heavier than the VF-19F (8.55 tons). Since both the F and S airframes are virtually identical, it would be physically impossible for an aircraft with less engine thrust and more weight to achieve a superior speed. The Chronicle also confirms the climb rate of the VF-19F is 65,000 meters per second while the VF-19S climb rate is 68,000 meters per second. Again, this information creates a contradiction in which the newly rated VF-19S is supposed to have inferior engine thrust to the VF-19F and yet the S type is achieving an impossible superiority. Macross Chronicle issue 41 attempts to acknowledge the problem with a sentence which reads: While the F-type has superior engine thrust compared to the S-type, it has inferior cruising speed and rate-of-climb from sea-level. However, rather than provide a solution the sentence only serves to highlight the contradicting performance ratings between the two VF-19 types. Thus the issue remains unresolved.
There are two issues that arise from the trivia published in Macross Chronicle issues #27 and #41:
The new engine ratings provided in the Macross Chronicle appear to contradict established literature for variable fighter thrust ratings. Until publication of Chronicle #27, the performance of a team leader/commander type variable fighter was always superior to the standard mass-produced model variable fighter, either by higher engine ratings or descriptive trivia. This can be verified by official trivia for the VF-1 Valkyrie (VF-1S written description), the VF-17 Nightmare (D/S engine ratings), the original VF-19 Excalibur (F/S engine ratings) and VF-25 Messiah (VF-25S written description). The Chronicle also adheres to established performance ratings between standard and leader models for all other valkyries with the only exception being the VF-19 Excalibur.
What Ever Happened to Excalibur?
In summary, it appears most likely the engine thrust rating for the S type VF-19 Excalibur variable fighter provided in Macross Chronicle #27 is a simple error on behalf of the writers. When the Chronicle features a profile for the F type VF-19 Excalibur later in issue #41, it appears the writers discovered the problem created by their error in issue #27 and attempt to explain away the error with a poorly rationalized line of trivia.
Rather than perpetuate this problem I have decided to detail the genesis of the error and document it in this dedicated section. The change of engine thrust rating can be easily explained as transposition errors on behalf of the writer of Chronicle issue #27. The Chronicle rating for the VF-19F engines previously rated at 72,500 kg become rated at 78,500 kg in the Macross Chronicle, which transposes the second digit of the VF-19S atmospheric thrust rating (68,500 kg). Further, the new VF-19S thrust rating of 68,950 kg listed in the Macross Chronicle appears to be the result of a transposition error of the first digit of the atmospheric thrust rating (again, 68,500 kg) with the old maximum thrust rating of the VF-19S (78,950 kg). With that in mind, the original VF-19 Excalibur engine thrust ratings (72,500 kg for the F type and 78,950kg for the S type) will remain on the Macross Mecha Manual and footnotes will direct curious fans to this section for an explanation of the Macross Chronicle figures.
Addendum: Unfortunately, the Variable Fighter Master File: VF-19 Excalibur (June 2010) book has perpetuated the VF-19 engine errors from the Macross Chronicle. Amazing what one little typo can do.