Connection For Flight Interface is a type of control system where a human can use an aircraft with their thoughts or body movements. Such aircraft do not feature glass canopies or front windows; instead, sensors on the aircraft's body transmit live pictures of its surroundings to either interior screens or the pilot's mind. The standard neural connection used to develop these systems in Ace Combat 3: Electrosphere is the Electro-Neuron-Synapse-Interface (ENSI).
Due to the narrow space in aircraft cockpits equipped with Connection For Flight Interfaces, and the inability to look outside through glass in such cockpits, these aircraft were commonly referred to by slang terms including COFFINs[note 1][a], Aero Coffins[b], and "flying coffins".
The earliest forms of COFFIN were rudimentary; they only featured exterior cameras that would transmit images onto screens inside the cockpit, and they were still controlled with mechanical buttons and sticks. The XFA-27 was the first aircraft to feature this setup, though it retained a glass canopy and only used cameras below its nose.
Gründer Industries' ADF-01 FALKEN was the next aircraft to utilize COFFIN. It was the first aircraft to feature a completely-enclosed cockpit with no glass canopy. A sensor array surrounded the cockpit that could receive visible light, infrared light, and radio waves. The cockpit's mechanical controls were replaced with leg- and arm-rests. However, input from the pilot was still in its early form; eye movement and voice commands were required to control the aircraft. This iteration of the ADF-01 FALKEN was first seen in 2011.
As the 2010s progressed, the ADF-01's adaptation of COFFIN was used on other experimental aircraft. This included the XFA-33 Fenrir, XR-45 Cariburn, YR-302 Fregata, and YR-99 Forneus (and its bomber variant, the YRB-89). In particular, the YR-302 featured the first attempt to minimize the COFFIN equipment while maintaining similar combat performance since the airframe's design required regular maintenance. The Aurelian Air Force's experimental test unit, Falco Squadron, had access to prototype versions of the XR-45 and YR-302, and shot down YRB-89s deployed by the Leasath Air Force in the early stages of the Aurelian War in 2020. The Leasath Air Force's Alect Squadron flew multiple Fenrirs at the end of the war, and Aurelia later reproduced them.
Eye movement and voice commands were the only way to control COFFIN aircraft until at least 2020. Sometime in the 2020s, General Resource Limited developed the ENSI standard for COFFIN control, and most aircraft developed in this time period were built using ENSI electrode sensors. These sensors established a neural connection between the aircraft and the pilot, achieving the goal of using thoughts to control an aircraft. In addition, fly-by-wire systems were developed into a new "fly-by-opto" system that could take automatic control of an aircraft to assist an ENSI-connected pilot.
In 2028, General Resource initiated the Darkness of Enigma program; as part of the program, General Resource developed an Opto Neuron (オプトニューロン) control system to be used in the X-49 Night Raven instead of an ENSI system. The artificial neural network would be directly implanted into a pilot's nervous system and connected by wires to the aircraft. While this allowed for more advanced maneuvering, there was a possibility of brain damage to the pilot. In addition, the artificial nerves, which had to be surgically applied, could not be removed. Rena Hirose was the only person who received the artificial nerves and piloted the X-49 before Darkness of Enigma was shut down amidst fears of the system's potential damage.
United Galaxy Space Force
Hundreds of years later, during the era of space exploration, Neucom Incorporated lagged behind General Resource in developing new aircraft. To gain the upper hand in avionics, Neucom developed a new COFFIN system called Navigate-by-Biosignal (ナビゲート・バイ・バイオシグナル) or N.B.B. that became the new standard of space fighter control. In this way, Neucom became the market leader in avionics, while General Resource continued to lead in aircraft development.
N.B.B. continues using closed cockpits as ENSI did; both systems convert biological movements into electrical signals to perform a command; and both systems send airframe data to the pilot via nerve signals. Where the two systems differ is in external surroundings: ENSI sends images of the airframe's surroundings to the pilot through the nerve signals, but N.B.B. displays the images in the circumference of a spherical screen around the pilot. While ENSI appears more efficient, the method of sending external data to the pilot is susceptible to other external influences such as nerve attacks. N.B.B. prevents this by only using nerve signals for the airframe's internal data, which is more difficult to hack from the outside.
In the Infinity universe, the COFFIN system was developed in the early 21st century after the Ulysses Disaster. Based on neuromuscular connections, the system contained a hexagonal graphical interface, allowing the user to view an internal data library or configure operational parameters. As well, it could monitor solar wind and temperature conditions and contained a life support system.
Unlike the original technology from the Strangereal universe, COFFIN was used as an experimental system to remotely control aircraft from anywhere in the world. A prominent user was Camilla, who used it to operate modified CFA-44 Nosferatus known as "QFA-44 Carmilla" during the 2019-2020 USEAn War.
- A/F-117X NAV Hawk
- AH-66B Comanche II
- B-1C Lancer II
- C-17B Globemaster III
- EC-17U Hornet
- F-15S/MT Eagle+
- F-16XA Sakerfalcon
- F-16XF Gyrfalcon
- F-22C Raptor II
- F/A-18I Hornet ADV
- F/A-32C Erne
- MiG-33 Fulcrum SS
- R-101 Delphinus #1
- R-102 Delphinus #2
- R-103 Delphinus #3
- R-201 Asterozoa
- R-211 Orcinus
- R-311 Remora
- R-352 Sepia
- R-501 Rhincodon
- R-531 Mobura
- R-701 Triakis
- R-808 Phoca
- RF-12A2 Blackbird II
- Su-37 Super Flanker
- Su-43 Berkut
- UI-4054 Aurora
- XFA-36A Game
- XR-900 Geopelia
- The basic operating principles of a COFFIN system—particularly the camera-based nature and mental control system—bear a resemblance to the MiG-31 Firefox, the eponymous fictional Soviet interceptor from the 1977 novel Firefox and its 1982 film adaptation.
- COFFIN (コフィン)
- Aero Coffin (エアロコフィン)
- The abbreviation "COFFIN" comes from the following capital letters in the official term: COnnection For Flight INterface.
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- ACE COMBAT X Website.
- File:ACE-X XFA-27 Cockpit.jpg.
- File:20160804 004221 0.png.
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- File:ADF-01 Infinity Cockpit.jpg.
- Aces At War: A History, page 009.
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- Ace Combat Xi: Skies of Incursion Official Website. Retrieved July 14, 2015.
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- Ace Combat X: Skies of Deception - The Complete Guide, page 210.
- XFA-33 Fenrir hangar description, Ace Combat Infinity.
- Ace Combat 3: Electrosphere - Mission & World View Guide Book, page 037.
- Ace Combat Infinity