The General Galaxy YF-21 was built for the Project Super Nova Advanced Variable Fighter (AVF), a competition for a contract with the United Nations Air Force (UNAF) and United Nations Spacy (UNS) to replace the older VF-11 Thunderbolt main variable fighter. When the UNAF announced General Galaxy as one of two final demonstration/validation phase contractors, the company produced two prototypes and a ground based avionics test bed. Development on the YF-21 began in 2034 and produced prototype No. 1 for first flight in 2039. However, it was the first flight of the YF-21 prototype No. 2 at New Edwards Test Flight Center on Planet Eden in January 2040 that General Galaxy revealed the true nature of their next generation fighter. The second prototype eschewed the conventional control cockpit of protoype No. 1 and was integrated with two experimental systems designated brain direct interface system (BDS) and brain direct image system (BDI) in an attempt to achieve unification of pilot and airframe. The BDS allowed the pilot of the YF-21 to operate every control at will and BDI offered an unprecedented view around the craft. Equipping the YF-21 with this unique control system that improved pilot response time and situational awareness, as well as an airframe of advanced composite material that could alter wing shape/size, it was clear General Galaxy was determined to win the competition with a technologically superior craft with a key characteristic being an emphasis on high mobility performance.
The YF-21 was built with several technologies common to itself and the competing YF-19 from Shinsei Industries; notably an active stealth system, an optional fold booster for interstellar travel and arm-mounted anti-projectile shields (doubling as tail stabilizers in fighter mode). Both variable fighters also employed a new fighter-scale pin-point barrier system, which produced movable spheres of super dimension energy upon the exterior hull of the craft for repelling incoming fire. Zentradi Technology was also implemented in the YF-21 Battroid mode by adopting an enhanced version of the Quimeliquola Queadluun-Rau special inertia vector control system (the YF-21 shares a similar silhouette to that Zentradi mecha). The offensive weaponry of the YF-21 includes a rearward firing super-miniature anti-aircraft laser turret, two forward/rearward laser beam guns, four internal all-environ rapid-fire micro-missile launchers and lastly two Howard/General GV-17L cartridge-less Gatling gun pods featuring retractable grips and stealth covers. In test sorties the YF-21 achieved performance results far beyond last generation variable fighters and the BDS/BDI system was clearly a recognizable improvement over conventional control systems. The YF-21 made use of variable wing cant for incredible speed and, like the YF-19, could achieve satellite orbit unassisted. While most VFs have traditionally situated the main engines within the legs of the Battroid, the YF-21 arranged the engine block in the main body with independent legs. By discarding the mostly dead weight of the arms and legs, the limiter-release mode can attain performance reaching the fuselage design limits and attain high manueverability combat performance exceeding other VFs. However, the pilot operating the limit-release mode bears the effect of dangerous G-forces which exceed the limits of the human body. While the YF-21 was a groundbreaking fighter, development of the craft was hindered by several misfortunes and technologies of questionable practical worth that were either unreliable (BDI/BDS) or too expensive for mass production (composite material wing).
In January 2040 the problems of the YF-21 began appearing more frequently. Test pilot Guld Goa Bowman suffered temporary loss of control of the YF-21 prototype No. 2 in the first fire control system test, which some attributed to failings inherent in the delicate BDS/BDI systems in which control can be lost when mind feedback fails. An investigation by UNAF Super Nova AVF project director, Colonel Millard Johnson, determined later that month that Bowman may have had a neurochemical imbalance attributed to the pilot's Zentradi-Human genetics. Ultimately Colonel Millard suppressed these findings, choosing to retain Bowman as the YF-21 test pilot. In March 2040, Bowman piloted the YF-21 and was ordered to pursue the YF-19 when it was stolen by Isamu Dyson; Dyson planned to disrupt the introduction of the X-9 Ghost on Earth in protest over the February halting of Project Super Nova AVF by the UNG. In what became known as the "Sharon Apple Incident", the YF-21 and X-9 Ghost were both destroyed in a collision following an intense air battle. In 2041, the UNG announced the YF-19 (re-designated VF-19) as the next generation main variable fighter. Though the YF-21 fighter lost Project Super Nova and it production cost was high, the performance of the YF-21 was highly praised and General Galaxy did secure an important contract with the UNS that produced the similar VF-22 Sturmvogel II. In 2042 a small number of VF-22 Sturmvogel II variable fighters were deployed as the special operations units.
Equipment Type: UNAF/UNS prototype main advanced variable fighter
Unofficial codename: Omega One Government: U.N. Air Force, U.N. Spacy
Manufacturer: General Galaxy
Operational Deployment: 2039
Accommodation: pilot only in General Galaxy/Marty & Beck specially-developed g-endurance zero/zero ejection seat (pilot wears Tactical Life Support System with upper and lower g-suits and pressure breathing); YF-21 No. 2 features completely shielded, pressurized cockpit (minimal external view through overhead spherical canopy/two side panels)
- Battroid Mode: unknown, estimated height 15.5 meters
- Fighter Mode: wingspan 15.36; height 4.04 meters; length 19.62 meters
- GERWALK Mode: wingspan 15.36 meters
Mass: empty 9.55 metric tons; max T-O mass in atmosphere 39.207 metric tons; max lift-off mass in space with fold booster 48.305 metric tons
Structure: space metal frame, energy converting armor, stealth composition.
Power Plant: two Shinnakasu Industry/P&W/Roice FF-2450B thermonuclear engines.
Propulsion: 41,200 kg [x g] x 2 class maximum instantaneous thrust in atmosphere (65,200 kg [x g] x 2 class in space) (639.61 kN x 2 in space); engines utilize air as coolant/propellant in atmosphere, but problems with cooling efficiency (attributed to exceeding output and melting the core) limit maximum thrust to 40% to 60% of thrust in space; 2 x three-dimensional independent convergent/divergent turning exhaust nozzle vanes; 4 x dorsal sub-nozzles above main exhaust nozzles; 2 x banks of pivoting slit nozzles (ventral fuselage) for GERWALK mode VTOL; many x P&W HMM-6J high-maneuverability vernier thrusters.
Thrust-to-weight ratio: (empty) 13.65 (ratio is 8.19 when limited to 60% thrust in atmosphere)
- Fighter Mode: cruise speed Mach 1.75; max cruise speed at 10,000-21,500 m Mach 5.06 [Mach 5.06+]; max crusie speed at 30,000+ m Mach 21+ [Mach 24+ (8.1 km/sec)]; max rate of climb at S/L 61,500 meters/minute.
g limit: +32.5/- 17.2
Design Features: 3-mode variable transformation; variable camber wing; enhanced version Quimeliquola Queadluun-Rau special inertia vector control system; two flight configuration modes (cruise and high speed) achieved via varying the cant of wing/tail surfaces; vertical take-off and landing (VTOL); supersonic cruise and maneuvering in region of Mach 5.0+ below the stratosphere; three-dimensional thrust vectoring with three exhaust nozzle flaps on each engine (independent pivot); capable of attaining unassisted orbital velocity over an Earth-class planet; brainwave control system (BDS); brain direct image system (BDI); 2 x arm shields/trapezoidal combined variable-cant tail stabilizing surfaces; internal launchers for micro-missile weaponry (central dorsal section); fighter-scale pin-point barrier system (PPB); active stealth system; transformation mechanism factors into high performance as shown in simulated combat against the YF-19; soles of the feet contain nozzles for VTOL for Battroid and GERWALK modes; 6 x multi-mode sensors (one on the top, one on the bottom and four on the sides of the nose); 1 x special equipment hard point station for optional 1 x Shinnakasu Industry/OTEC FBF-1000A external prototype fighter fold booster (not certified for performing folds beyond a one-way limit of 20 light years); optional 4 x all-environment FAST Pack weapon packs with micro-missiles (two mounted ventral fuselage in fighter mode, on leg storage bay cover panels in GERWALK/Battroid modes; two mounted on rear stabilizers in fighter mode, on lower arms in GERWALK/Battroid mode).
- Armament -
- 1 x fixed rear Erlikon AAB-7(.5) super-miniature anti-aircraft laser turret (mounted center dorsal section in Fighter/GERWALK mode, becomes head turret in Battroid mode)
- 2 x semi-fixed internal Mauler REB-22 laser beam guns featuring forward/rearward barrels (mounted underneath tail stabilizers in Fighter mode, lower arms in GERWALK/Battroid modes)
- 2 x Howard/General GV-17L new standard cartridge-less Gatling gun pods featuring retractable grip/stealth covers in Four hard point weapon stations (mounted left/right ventral fuselage in Fighter mode or leg storage bay cover panels and/or manipulators in GERWALK/Battroid modes)
- 1 x fixed Howard PBS-03F fighter-carried pin-point barrier system (due to engine output restrictions the pin-point barrier can only be used in Battroid mode)
- 2 x arm shields (tail stabilizers in fighter mode, lower arm in GERWALK/Battroid modes); function in concert with barrier system
Bombs & Missiles:
- 4 x internal Bifors BML-02S YF-21-exclusive all-environment rapid-fire micro-missile launchers featuring exit ports from forward dorsal section to the sides of the engine nacelles (mounted in central dorsal section).
- 4 x hard point weapon stations for all-environment FAST Pack weapon packs with micro-missiles (mounted on arm/tail and hip/underside panels) each capable of equipping 4,000 kg.