by Pieter Thomassen, with Peter Walker
edited by Tim Wing
- Frandlar Tiluvo reference file
- Frandlar Tiluvo gallery
- Frandlar Tiluvo Logistics Dropship
- SCA-29 Kitsune Logistics Dropship (LSL)
Names and disposition:
These vessels were built throughout the Robotech Mercantile Empire an entered service from 1630 through 2012. An exact number cannot be given due to the loss of records in the Invid invasion of Tirol and the destruction of the final remnants of the Tirolian fleet over Earth. However, an educated guess puts their numbers at 100,000,000+ individual units.
The United Earth Expeditionary Force (UEEF) refitted 70 of these vessels for “micronian” operation and used them as cargo dropships and temporary bases. During the hostilities, 6 were destroyed by enemy action, and the remainder were retired in 2039, when they had been replaced with the Horizont.
- Crew (5 men),
- Troops (80 men),
- Life support limits are for a full combat complement and about 10 supernumeraries (95 men total). For short periods of time, a multiple of this number could be carried.
- Flight crew (5 men),
- Troops, passengers and mission specialists (480 men),
- Life support limits are for a full combat complement and about 2900 supernumeraries (3420 men total). For short periods of time, a multiple of this number could be carried.
- Diameter: 94.8 m over all.
- Height: 35 m over all.
- Mass: 1,720 metric tons operational (typical) without cargo.
- Cargo mass: 1,830 metric tons maximum.
- Fuel mass: 1,030 metric tons maximum (typical).
Main power system: Zorrelev-4628-Kaurlitzs protoculture-fueled Reflex furnace cluster. The powerplant can nominally deliver up to 1720 megawatts of power, and can operate for 34 minutes at maximum power before overheat initiates auto-shutdown.
Fusion turbines (4): 4 Varretuwh fusion-plasma and air/reaction mass reaction thrusters with protoculture energizer mounted in the lower sides of the vessel. The thrust openings are located in quadruple strips running along the entire aft side of the vessel, in a smaller quadruple strip in front of the flight deck, and in 4 dorsal and 4 ventral turret mounted moveable exhaust ports. This redundancy, near limitless moveable exhaust and gyro stabilization supplant the need for separate secondary and maneuvering thrusters.
The air intake for the fusion turbines is located above the turbines proper, in the lower side of the vessel.
Anti-gravity System: 2 Lebequonma anti-gravity pods.
Planetary Capabilities: The Frandlar Tiluvo-class has atmospheric capabilities through its reaction thrusters and anti-gravity system. In fact, the vessel is optimized for atmospheric use. The craft is equipped with four landing legs and can use these for cold landings. In an ocean, the vessel will float with the main hatch above the waterline; or alternatively, by letting water into the main hold, the vessel can submerge. However, it cannot maneuver underwater, although mecha ingress and egress is possible.
Endurance and mobility limits:
The dry stores endurance is three days maximum; after that, the Frandlar Tiluvo needs to restock. The Kitsune Terran variant carries enough supplies to last a standard crew for 21 days.
The mecha consumables supplies (mainly missiles) are non-existent; the dropship cannot rearm any mecha it carries. If used as a bulk transport, the vessel can transport vast quantities of various munitions, but usage depends on the number of troops and intensity of fighting.
The Reflex furnace can function for about 20 years at normal usage levels before an energizer rebuild is necessary.
At full power, the main propulsion systems can nominally produce up to 0.19 Giganewtons of thrust. Reaction mass endurance is 40 minutes at 1.0 g, 16 minutes at 2.3 g, and 8 minutes at 3.0 g.
The maximum sustained atmospheric speed is Mach 1.8. This can be exceeded during orbital ascends for the time needed to reach orbit. The maximum hover time on the anti-gravity systems is limited only by the protoculture supplies and maintenance requirements.
Air group and mecha complement:
- Up to 25 Zentraedi mecha of all types.
- Up to 25 of the heaviest mecha can be carried, or, as often happens with the lighter Terran mecha, a larger number of smaller mecha. A maximum of about 35 Terran mecha could be fitted on the floor of the dropship.
The Frandlar Tiluvo was the closest Zentraedi equivalent to the ‘flying saucers’ so often alleged to have visited the Earth. The dropship was far larger though than most ‘UFO sightings’, a quality forced by the sheer size of the Zentraedi and their mecha.
For a Zentraedi vehicle, the vessel had a unique propulsion system. Rather than the ubiquitous plasma-shock reaction engines, the dropship used fusion turbines, although turbines of a scale and power not seen before either on Tirol or elsewhere. The exhaust system was unique as well; the four turbines had their exhaust ejected at four dorsal or ventral vectorable exhaust pipes for vertical thrust and extremely fast attitude changes and evasions, and through a quadruple exhaust strip running bow and stern, for horizontal propulsion. This system was adopted to limit the damage the exhaust from a plasma-shock engine would do to its landing surfaces. The cooler exhaust coupled with the use of anti-gravity pods achieved this goal; the Frandlar Tiluvo had few landing restrictions.
The forward part of the vessel was dominated by a large drop-down hatch through which the interior cargo bay was accessible for even the largest mecha. The hatch itself would then serve as boarding ramp, and the cargo bay interior was only obstructed in the sides by three transverse frames. The propulsion and power generation installations were worked away in the sides of the vessel and behind the inner walls. The flight deck was located in the roof of the cargo bay, and seated three members of the crew. The flight deck access was in the Zentraedi version by a drop down ladder, controlled from a panel inside the vessel.
The Terran variants were salvaged Zentraedi Frandlar Tiluvo vessels, adapted for micronian crews. The flight deck was rebuilt, with the control area shrunken to human dimensions, and the remaining space used for a three level passenger compartment. Access was no longer by a drop down ladder but by an elevator and walkway on the walls and in the ceiling. The large cargo bay surface could easily be used to set up repair shops, headquarters buildings, hospitals and the like. Other adaptations were docking clamps to connect to the exterior of the larger Terran ships, and airlocks in the back and top so that mecha and personnel could be brought on board without depressurizing the entire cargo bay.
An additional note must be made of the use of Frandlar Tiluvo hulks as emergency housing after the Zentraedi Holocaust. The immense destruction on the Earth’s surface and the large habitation requirements of the new Zentraedi populace caused a severe housing shortage. The rebuilding proceeded apace, but until the more normal housing was finished, many less-travelled areas, especially in tundra, desert and jungle regions, needed cheap housing. Many gutted Frandlar Tiluvo hulks were adapted for micronian or Zentraedi sized permanent habitation and used as such. Within 10 years though, housing was again sufficient and the immobile hulks were scrapped.
The Frandlar Tiluvo was designed as a general replacement for the various series of orbital transports then in use with the Zentraedi. As such, it served as both a general transport in the rear areas and as a combat transport, even though the Frandlar Tiluvo was not intended for the front line, and landed its troops away from enemy resistance (if necessary, under water) or in areas already secured by troops landed with cavalry power armors or by large ship fly-by.
This design was especially liked for its reliable operation, large cargo capacity and phenomenal maneuverability for an aircraft of its size. The eight vectorable exhausts enabled the Frandlar Tiluvo to execute aerobatics if required, although this was somewhat unwise if there was cargo on board during the maneuvers. In space especially, the nimbleness of the vessel made docking operations relatively easy, even when the available space was limited.
After the Zentraedi Holocaust the vessels were ubiquitous, and transported most of the aid shipments over the planet, as well as most of the evacuations. Several craft were fitted as hospitals and flown to disaster areas. Being a proven design, capacious, reliable, existing and cheap, the UEEF adopted the vessel as its main logistics and base vessel for the first decade and a half of its existence. They served as the main transports between ships and surface, and also as repair, hospital and HQ bases until ground facilities had been set up. They were too large to fit inside all but the largest UEEF ships, and were carried with the other sub-light vessels between systems in the fold bubble of a larger ship, or attached to the outer hull of a larger ship such as a Tristar or Ajax class vessel.
Robotech (R) is the property of Harmony Gold. The Super Dimension Fortress Macross (R) is the properties of Big West Advertising and Studio Nue. This document is in no way intended to infringe upon their rights.
Original artwork by: Miyatake Kazutaka
Acknowledgement is extended to the work of Egan Loo and the Macross Compendium. Egan Loo is given all credit for all quotes and paraphrasing of the Macross Compendium that has been utilized in this publication.
Acknowledgement is extended to Peter Walker, Pieter Thomassen and Robert Morgenstern of the unofficial Robotech Reference Guide. Peter Walker, Pieter Thomassen and Robert Morgenstern are given credit for all quotes and paraphrasing of the unofficial Robotech Reference Guide that has been utilized in this publication.
Content by Pieter Thomassen with Peter Walker
Copyright © 1999, 1997, 1995 Robert Morgenstern, Pieter Thomassen, Peter Walker