The VF-17 Nightmare is a fictional variable fighter from the anime television series Macross 7 and Macross Frontier. It was designed by General Galaxy for the U.N. Spacy special forces to support space colonization fleets. The VF-17 is equipped with stealth technology much like the real-life F-117 Nighthawk used by the USAF. It does not require Fuel And Sensor Tactical (FAST) Packs for space combat, although it can be equipped with FAST Packs depending on its mission requirements. The reconnaissance version of the craft is equipped with a rotary advanced sensor radome.
The VF-17 Nightmare has better performance in space than most variable fighters. With two 55,000 kg main engines and over 30 vernier thrusters, the mecha can reach speeds and maneuvering levels far superior to those possible by VF-11 Thunderbolts equipped with space boosters. However, the performance of the mecha greatly decreases in an Earth-type atmosphere.
Using its internal engines, the VF-17 can reach satellite orbit without FAST packs or extra booster rockets, much like later VFs including the VF-19 Excalibur and VF-22 Sturmvogel II.
The VF-17's gunpod is mounted in the starboard wing in Fighter mode, in the section which becomes the right leg in Battroid mode. From here it can be ejected into the Battroid's hands and used as a handgun. An gunpod beam adaptor similarly stored within the left leg can be fitted into the gunpod to transform it into a powerful beam gun.
In the most recent Macross television show, Macross Frontier, an updated version of the VF-17 Nightmare named the VF-171 Nightmare Plus was introduced. This is the latest version of the VF-17 which has become now the main fighter of the New U.N. Spacy (N.U.N.S.) and the Macross Frontier fleet. The design is clearly based upon the VF-17 Nightmare, but it also has design lines that resemble those of the VF-19 and the VF-22. The VF-171 was originally developed as a multipurpose heavy space fighter. Highly versatile and easy to pilot, the VF-171 is the most popular manned variable space fighter/bomber as of 2059. In the production of Macross Frontier, the VF-171 was chosen as the main fighter of the New U.N. Spacy because it was felt that the previous main fighter, the VF-19 Excalibur, looked too much like a "hero" fighter, and also too similar to the "hero" fighter of Macross Frontier, the VF-25 Messiah.
As the new series progresses, the fighter is upgraded even more to a VF-171EX Nightmare Plus EX variant. This version is faster, more maneuverable and is equipped with anti-Vajra weaponry, such as a powerful beam cannon as well as MDE ("Mini-Dimension Eater") missiles in its packs/boosters.
Introduced in episode 22 of the series, the design of the VF-171EX features a number of new components, as a comprehensive systems upgrade over the preceding standard VF-171 fighters. The most immediately visible modifications and improvements (seen on-screen) include the following:
- New front-fuselage (up to the wing-roots), effectively equivalent to that of the VF-25 Messiah.
- Ability to accept armoured/missile FAST 'Super Packs' similar to those of the VF-25 Messiah.
- Updated cockpit avionics, and greatly improved pilot FOV in all modes, in keeping with the VF-25 and YF-24 fighters. In addition, this model accommodates the EX-Gear personal armor, which transforms into the fighter's cockpit seat and controls.
- Uprated ELINT VF-171EXRF variant is able to accept a rotating Fold-RADAR dome similar to that of the RVF-25 ELINT variant, and can integrate operations with multiple drone fighters.
- Uprated maneuverability, now very close to that exhibited by the VF-24 Concept Study.
- Uprated weapon systems, designed to make the fighter a more credible defense against the Vajra threat. These include the Beam Cannon.
- Macross 7 DX 1/65 VF-17D Stealth Valkyrie (1995)
- The first toy replica of the VF-17 series to be released. Transforms into Fighter, Gerwalk and Battroid modes. Comes with Gun Pod and sticker sheet.
- Macross 7 DX 1/65 VF-17S Stealth Valkyrie (1995)
- Uses the same mold as the VF-17D, except with a different head sculpt. Comes with Gun Pod and sticker sheet.
- Macross 7 DX 1/65 VF-17D Stealth Valkyrie Limited Edition (1996)
- This limited edition toy is painted in chrome silver and packaged in a plain, windowless box.
- Macross 7 DX 1/65 VF-17S Stealth Valkyrie Limited Edition (1996)
- Same as VF-17D Limited Edition.
- Macross 7 1/144 VF-17S Stealth Valkyrie (1995)
- A non-transforming snap-kit of the VF-17S in Fighter and Battroid modes.
- "Series Section. Macross 7. Mecha Section: VF-117 Nightmare". Macross Official Web Site. Big West Advertising. Retrieved 2009-04-24.
- "VF-171 Nightmare Plus". Official Macross Frontier Page: Mechanic Section. Mainichi Broadcasting System. 2007-12. Retrieved 2009-04-24. Check date values in:
- VF-171 Nightmare Plus Variants. Retrieved on 04-24-09.
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