Is the VF-5 "Condor" necessary? 

(Version 1.00 - Last updated: 08/13/01)  
Written by Kenneth Olson
Posted on,,, and RDF Communications HQ on August 13, 2001 

I have been having difficulties with the technical reference for the VF-5 “Condor” that has been placing together.  Although the finalized technical file for the unit has not been posted, there is information on the VF-5 in the Beta fighter technical file associated with the Robotech Infopedia.

I do not have any idea why the decision was made, in my opinion, to make up the VF-5 and create a “cannon” mecha out of thin air.  This blessing of the VF-5 is all the more curious to me because of the fact that most of the technical information from was developed in conjunction with the Robotech Reference Guide which until a couple of months ago listed the Condor as a non-transformable Destroid.

First and foremost, I have examined two primary Mospeada source books, Animedia’s Genesis Climber Mospeada Color Graffiti and the B-Club Special #9:  ARTMIC Design Works,.  Although, I am willing to concede that my Japanese is quite poor and I have a hard time translating the captions, the photos contained do not point to a transformable mecha. Robotech Art 3, only shows a picture of the Condor under the caption, Robotech Defenders.   The Condor makes its only appearance in Robotech during Episode #71 The Secret Route.  The scene is very brief but does not contradict any of the previously discussed sources. 

Both Robotech Art 3 and the Sentinels Video point to the fact that the “Beta” fighter was to be an integral part of the Expeditionary Forces Veritech mecha compliment.  The Sentinel video clearly shows that the Beta fighter was in developmental stages along with the alpha as late as 2022.  The Condor is not shown in any fashion during the entirety of the Sentinel video.

As for the supposed developmental problems with the Beta fighter that describes, the Sentinel video does not lend any credence to this theory.  Max’s summary of the Karen Penn accident placed the blame squarely with the alpha and not the beta fighter:

"You should take a look at that fan tail of the alpha, it must have been out of shape on the transport which brought it up here."

The Robotech Infopedia does not appear to be consistent even internally in regards to the Beta fighter.  The VF-12, according to the Infopedia, was only operational a few years before Mars Division launched their reclamation attempt on Earth.  This places the initial date of operation for the Beta fighter approximately around 2040. This date is somewhat curious because Scott finds a Beta fighter stored in a transport in the ruins of the ill-fated point ‘K’, which according to the Robotech Infopedia was established on Earth during 2031.  The next REF reinforcements, and hence the first reclamation attempt with Beta fighters, do not arrive until September 2042 with the arrival of Mars Division.  The Invid destroy point ‘K’ in March 2043. 

A reasonable question one might ask is where did that Beta fighter come from.  I am willing to concede that it is possible that the Beta was in a transport from Mars Division, which escaped the general destruction of the rest of the fleet over Earth.  A second possibility is that the beta escaped the destruction of the Mars fleet and managed to make it to point ‘K’ where the REF forces promptly placed it into a transport ship that was destroyed when the Invid attacked.  However, I believe that animation makes it clear that all of the capital ships were destroyed from Mars Fleet over Earth and the second seems overly convoluted.   The more likely solution for the ‘lost beta’ is that it was part of the point K forces stationed on Earth from 2031 onward. 

The simplest solution, and hence by Occam’s razor the more likely theory, is that the Beta fighter was a member of the REF from the beginning.  The Condor is just a non-transformable Destroid that was part of the REF but was not a replacement for the VF-X-7 Beta.


Back to Articles Home