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"Something's weird here ... The Butterfly Master’s craft is transmitting a massive quantity of data. I think it’s likely that nobody’s in that unit at all."
Goodfellow[1]

The QFA-44 Carmilla (see § Name) is a modified, unmanned CFA-44 Nosferatu from the Infinity universe. A series of QFA-44s are remotely connected to the Butterfly Master's satellite through her Connection For Flight Interface (COFFIN) system.

The QFA-44 maintains the CFA-44's speed and maneuverability, as well as its ability to fire All Direction Multi-Purpose Missiles. In addition to its remote satellite connection, the QFA-44 can also network with multiple MQ-90L Quox bis, which can use their lasers to defend the main craft in a similar manner to CIWS.

Name

QFA-44 COFFIN system display in the Butterfly Master's satellite

Two distinct reporting names are provided for the QFA-44:

  • Carmilla (カーミラ)—as spoken and spelled in Japanese thrice[2][1][3] and in English twice[1][4]
  • Camilla—as spoken and spelled in English twice[2][3]

Both Carmilla and Camilla are female names; the latter was used for Camilla Almeida in Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy. In this instance, Carmilla is most likely to be the aircraft's name. In real life, Carmilla is an 1872 novel about a female vampire named Carmilla and is one of the earliest works of vampire fiction. The QFA-44's base aircraft, the CFA-44, is named Nosferatu after the term used in popular culture to refer to vampires; its development in the Strangereal universe strained the Estovakian economy, leading critics to compare it to a vampire sucking taxpayer money.[5]

The vampire connection is further represented by the Connection For Flight Interface system that connects the Butterfly Master's satellite to the QFA-44s. Aircraft equipped with these systems in the Strangereal universe were referred to by the slang term "flying coffins", and the system itself abbreviated as "COFFIN", due to the inability to look through the cockpit glass and the narrow space in the cockpit.[6] Coffins are one of many traits associated with vampires in fictional works.

Design

A close-up on the QFA-44's cockpit from the outside

At a glance, the QFA-44 appears almost identical to the CFA-44. Both are twin-engine aircraft featuring a delta wing configuration and forward canards, the latter of which provides greater maneuverability. Both aircraft can be stationed on and deployed from an Aigaion-class heavy command cruiser[2] and feature the same weaponry, including three internal weapon bays that house All Direction Multi-Purpose Missiles.[1] Both aircraft also feature networking capability with a swarm of smaller drones: the UAV-45s for the CFA-44 and the MQ-90Ls for the QFA-44.[2][1] The QFA-44's livery is very similar to the CFA-44 -PROTOTYPE- livery with the only major difference in the QFA-44's nose, which is painted silver as opposed to purple.[2]

The largest difference between the two aircraft is in the cockpit area. The QFA-44 is designed to be unmanned and controlled remotely; instead of a typical cockpit, the front of the aircraft houses a COFFIN system capable of transmitting large amounts of data packets to low-orbit satellites.[1] While the connection allows the Butterfly Master to pilot the QFA-44 with precise accuracy, too many commands can result in brief moments of latency where the aircraft will not respond,[1] instances that Kvasir refers to as "the lag issues with data transfer".[7] For unknown reasons, the Butterfly Master can only control each QFA-44 for 300 seconds, after which the aircraft's autopilot will take over and fly in a static and level pattern, making it an easy target to shoot down.[2][1]

History

A QFA-44 over Tokyo during Operation Override

The QFA-44 Carmilla was developed from the CFA-44 as part of the Papillon Project initiated by Wernher and Noah Enterprises. The Butterfly Master repeatedly flew QFA-44s against the United Nations Forces during their conflicts with the Sons of Troia and the USEA Federation.

The earliest-known deployment was to oversee an attack on Tokyo on May 1, 2019. The QFA-44 did not engage and remained at high altitude.[8]

Three months later, a QFA-44 and a small formation of MQ-90Ls launched from an Aigaion-class heavy command cruiser over Tokyo and engaged Bone Arrow Squadron and Ridgeback Squadron, who were attempting to defend the city from the USEA Federation. During the ensuing dogfight, Ridgeback's leader, Slash, was killed by one of the MQ-90Ls. His murder enraged his wingman, Edge, to attempt to engage the QFA-44 solo. Bone Arrow Squadron came to her support and Reaper soon shot down the QFA-44.[2]

A QFA-44 over Area B7R during Operation Battle Axe

In May 2020, the Butterfly Master flew another QFA-44 over Area B7R, Nevada during the UNF's Operation Battle Axe. Goodfellow detected large amounts of data being transferred from the QFA-44 and determined that it was unmanned. Reaper shot down the QFA-44 again, exasperating the Butterfly Master about "[losing] a life". The UNF interrogated its prisoners and discovered the aircraft's full name and its satellite connection; an operation to destroy the satellite network was conceptualized but would have been impermissible with the Comprehensive Space Warfare Ban Treaty in effect.[1]

With the satellite network remaining operational, the Butterfly Master continued to fly QFA-44s during the USEAn War. They were spotted over Moscow,[7][9] the Adriatic Sea,[10] and the reactivated Stonehenge Type-3 in Turkey.[3]

Gallery

References

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