General Dynamics VC-27 Tunny VTOL Medium Cargo Aircraft

General Dynamics VC-27A Tunny 2

ROBOTECH Technical Files

by Rob Morgenstern, Peter Walker and Pieter Thomassen

edited by Tim Wing


  • VC-27 Tunny reference file
  • VC-27 Tunny gallery

Designation: General Dynamics VC-27 Tunny VTOL Medium Cargo Aircraft

I. Dimensions.

  • Length: 65 meters
  • Wingspan: 67.89 meters
  • Height: 19.8 meters
  • Dry Weight: 140 metric tons

II. Type.

  • Long-range medium military tactical VSTOL transport aircraft.
  • Crew of 5: 2 Pilots, 2 Observers, Load Master
  • Up to 120 Passengers with full combat gear

III. Propulsion.

  • 4 P&W F117PW-100 (PW2040) turbofan engines with two-dimensional vectored thrust nozzles providing 181 kN of thrust each.
  • 4 secondary P&W F200 turbojet engines with vectored vanes for vertical take off and landings capable of providing 32.3 kN of thrust each. There is a large intake on the top of the fuselage with four vanes on the bottom-side under the canards. These engines provide vertical lift for the front of the aircraft during VTOL and STOL operations.

General Dynamics VC-27A Tunny 8

IV. Performance:

  • Maximum speed: 925 kph at 8,535 meters
  • Maximum speed: 648 kph at low altitudes
  • Airdrop speed, sea level: 213-463 kph
  • Airdrop speed, 7620m: 241-463 kph
  • Service Ceiling: 13,700 meters
  • Maximum range: 8890 km, runway takeoff with no payload and no refueling; 4417 km, runway takeoff with 118 metric ton payload and no refueling
  • Maximum range: 741 km, VTOL operation
  • Maximum Take-Off Weight: 296.1 metric tons.
  • Maximum payload: 118 metric tons
  • Maximum payload for VTOL operation: 79.3 metric tons

V. Sensory Systems:

Radar System:

  • AlliedSignal RDR4 (TTR-SS) X-band (9.375 GHz) multi-mode frequency-agile pulse-Doppler radar, providing forward-looking weather, terrain mapping and beacon homing.

Optical tracking:

  • Thomson DOS-2000f multi-band digital camera system, for medium range forward-looking traversable UV, infra-red imaging;

Tactical Electronic Warfare System (TEWS):

  • Elettronica Radar Warning Receiver (RWR)
  • OlDelft Infra-red Warning Receiver (IRWR)
  • Westinghouse ALQ-200(V) active radar jammer
  • Chaff dispenser
  • Flares
  • Multiple HF, VHF, UHF and SatCom antennas.

VI. Armament:

  • None.

VII. Armor:

Full nuclear and chemical protection as long as the cargo door are closed. Limited protection from hand fired solids and energy beams, shrapnel and other fragments.

VIII. Development:

The Tunny was developed to be able to haul heavy loads to rugged areas. As an improvement to the McDonnell-Douglas C-17, this aircraft provided VTOL capabilities to ensure that the aircraft could land anywhere. However, use of this capability limits the cargo capacity and range severely. Normally, the additional engines are used for STOL operations allowing the aircraft to haul a full load off of a 300 meter runway.

General Dynamics VC-27A Tunny 11



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: Shoji Kawamori, Miyatake Kazutaka, Haruhiko Mikimoto and Hidetaka Tenjin

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. 

Images Courtesy of Chad Wilson (Marchly) and the Macross Mecha Manual. Chad Wilson is given all credit for all images from the Macross Mecha Manual that have 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. 

Images From – Macross Perfect Memory

Content by Robert Morgenstern, with Pieter Thomassen and Peter Walker, edited by Tim Wing

Copyright © 1999, 1997, 1996 Robert Morgenstern, Pieter Thomassen, Peter Walker; 2015 Tim Wing



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