The God Phoenix (ゴッド・フェニックス, Goddo Fenikkusu) is an aircraft used by the Science Ninja Team and is mainly piloted by Ryu, often serving as the main base of operations for the team. Dr. Kozaburo Nambu also briefs the team on their mission while everybody is aboard it. It serves as a carrier for all of the team's vehicles. The ship can also go underwater and travel in space. It features a VTOL fan and air suspension system for vertical take off and landing.
It was replaced by the more powerful New God Phoenix to combat a revived Galactor in Gatchaman II.
The ship was briefly brought back into service in episode 47 of the sequel series. During an emergency where the New God Phoenix and the team were trapped in their undersea base by icebergs, Dr. Sylvia Pandora had to pilot the ship and use the Firebird to rescue them.
The God Phoenix is a large red and blue jet with the G-5 unit on top shown by its identification number on its wings. Its design had components resembling aircraft of the 1970s era with a bulky body, twin afterburners in the rear and VTOL thrusters for maneuvering.
In the 1994 OVA, the ship was redesigned to resemble a sleek futuristic version of more modern aircraft, using design elements such as variable sweep wings and twin hyper-sonic jets with rocket afterburners. It is larger in scale than its previous incarnation.
The cancelled Imagi Film
From sketches and promotional material found online, the ship's design resembled a mix of its 1972 and 1994 counterparts with three cylindrical jet afterburners.
2013 Live Action Film
The Live Action version of the God Phoenix is entirely rendered in CGI. Apperance wise, it resembles an advanced hybrid of an SR-71 Blackbird and a fighter jet with twin variable sweep wings on each side.
- Maximum Speed: Mach 5 (in air), 40 knots (underwater)
- Heat Resistant Temperature: 3000 degrees Celsius
- Highest Pressure Resistance: 200 ATM (in air), 2500 meters (underwater)
- Engine: Hybrid Jet and Rocket
On the top of the vehicle and near the center is a retractable dome that the Science Ninja Team can enter or exit from. Inside the cockpit is a navigation system as well as a monitor that shows images from a camera mounted on the outside. It can also be disguised as a large transport vehicle and is able to hold 200 people on board.
- Bird Missile: The main offensive weapon of the God Phoenix, said to be able to level a city. The ship can house more than 30 of these missiles.
- Super Bird Missile: A strengthened version of the Bird Missile made to penetrate the armor of Galactor ships. It includes a timed fuse that explodes when the timer ends as well as other enhancements. These enhancements also available with the regular Bird Missiles, but Jun had to manually rig them. As demonstrated in Swarm! A Plague Of Mini Iron Beasts and Counter Attack! The Under Ground Torpedo Operation, The God Phoenix stores only 2 Super Bird Missiles.
- Mirror Dish
Located in the same compartment as G2, a folding satellite dish shape of mirrors can reflect the sun's various rays to destroy enemy mecha. Unfortunately, the weapon is highly sensitive to cloud cover, which can limit the weapon's reliability.
- Reinforced Hull
The Godphoenix can crash into almost anything (including the hangar door of the Crescent Coral Reef) while remaining undamaged. Several episodes have The Godphoenix painted gold to provide even more strength. On the other hand, several episodes have Galactor damaging The God Phoenix, but usually does not break apart entirely.
- Science Ninja Technique: Firebird (Kagaku Ninpo: Hinotori): A special move that has the God Phoenix move at a very high speed with the exterior burning up as it moves through the atmosphere in the form of a giant bird. It is used as a means of entry or escape in hostile atmospheres. The Science Ninja Team has to be held down from the immense speed that is able to penetrate through Galactor's monsters. The Science Ninja Team is in immense pain during The Firebird Mode. Any passengers accompanying them are knocked unconscious. Use of the Firebird however is a double-edged sword as the God Phoenix could break apart. These vulnerabilities were exploited by Galactor. Eventually, they adopt a technique called Shadow Separation, where each Mecha can temporarily act as a young Phoenix.
- Smoke Screen
The God Phoenix is equipped with a smoke screen as well as other radar jamming devices.
The God Phoenix can be split into separate mecha, also known as G Machines.
The God Phoenix uses G1 Mecha's vertical fin as its own but can fly when G1 Mecha isn't docked. G1 Mecha is a high speed fighter jet disguised as a propellor plane. It can fire laser beams.
This is a strictly Land Based Mecha, but can glide briefly. The engine is in the trunk, with a machine gun weapon under the hood. It is a race car disguised as a 1970s style sports car. Its weapon can also be used when docked.
This mecha is a motorcycle that can also function as either a jet ski or an ordinary motorcycle. It can fire lasers.
This mecha is a miniature tank that can fly and submerge. It has the most weapons such as a net, a circular saw, and typical bombs.
The God Phoenix has a limited arsenal stated above, and is otherwise reliant on the Team's G Machines and their own pocket weapons.
- Technically, it is not the same God Phoenix, but are multiple rebuilt models. A few episodes involve the complete destruction of The God Phoenix. Each time is quickly replaced with a replica that has subtle upgrades. This model of ship is still in use even in the sequel series whenever a backup ship is needed.
- Numerous people who aren't trained to be The Science Ninja Team often ride with them. These include Miss Nakahara in episode 4, the girl from The Magma Giant: Emperor Of Hell, Dr. Nambu, Director Anderson, G6, children from The Grand Insect Operation, Little Gatchamans, and A Christmas Present Of Death, a seal, beauty contest contestants, prisoners of war in a couple of episodes, some guy that had a Saint Bernard, Maria, Red Impulse, and Dr. Maxim. These people are unfazed as long as The God Phoenix is flown gently. However, if they go into combat they will be affected. For example, other people can survive Ninja Technique Firebird, but are knocked unconscious. Dr. Maxim would likely be unfazed, as he easily survived an electrocution chamber.
- Ryu is the main pilot, and has no assistance with the original model of The God Phoenix. He is later assisted by PiMa. While Ken does not know how to fly The God Phoenix by himself, Joe learns quickly and can fly in severe pain, and Jun can fly The God Phoenix effortlessly. So can Dr. Pandora.
- The God Phoenix can briefly fly in space. (In Battle Of The Planets, they have interstellar flight.)
- The entire ship and the mecha can survive underwater. G5 Mecha, G4 Mecha, and a mini submarine can navigate underwater.
Alterations in English Adaptations
"Battle of the Planets" refers to it as simply "The Phoenix", removing any "God" reference. Its Firebird technique was renamed to "The Fiery Phoenix".
"G-Force: Guardians of Space" also retained the Phoenix name, though erroneously referred to it as a "rocketship" in the opening credits. The Firebird technique was referred to as "Firebird Mode".
"Eagle Riders" referred to the original Phoenix as "Ultra Eagle 1", whenever it was mentioned.
- Main article: God Phoenix/Gallery