The God Phoenix 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.
- 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. The Science Ninja Team has to be held down from the immense speed that is able to penetrate through Galactor's monsters. Use of the Firebird however is a double-edged sword as the God Phoenix could break apart.
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