"INCOMING CONTACT, UNKNOWN CLASSIFICATION!"
The CFA-44 Nosferatu is a single-seat, twin-engine fifth-generation jet fighter designed during the early 21st century, but never put into production. Designed primarily as an air superiority fighter, the Nosferatu is equally-capable of performing ground attack, reconnaissance, and air defense missions. At some unknown point prior to the Human-Covenant war, Evangeline A.K. McDowell acquired the plans to the Nosferatu and initiated construction of the aircraft to serve as the primary atmospheric dominance fighter for her flagship, the UNSC Yamato. Considered antiquated by the majority of the UNSC, the Nosferatu is nevertheless superior to every Covenant competitor in existence.
A single-seat, twin-engine jet fighter with a delta wing schematic. The Nosferatu looks like most fifth-generation fighters of its time, build for speed and for combat. Typically manufactured in gunmetal gray, it is no an uncommon sight that a Nosferatu is customized by its pilot in a myriad of patterns or colors.
The initial point in time in which the CFA-44 was designed, as well as exactly which nation designed it, has been lost to history, though many speculate that it was developed between 2004 and 2010 by Russia or China to gain a fifth-generation superfighter in answer to the multinational Joint Strike Fighter. Unlike the Joint Strike Fighter, which saw limited production and use in combat, the outbreak of the Unification War halted research and production of the CFA-44. Following the resolution of the Unification War, with the various world powers united in a single government, the Joint Strike Fighter became the staple combat aircraft of the Unified Nations, and the CFA-44 was forgotten for centuries.
At some point, presumably during the 2400s, during the period of time in which Evangeline A.K. McDowell was preparing an armed response to the soon-to-arrive threat of the Covenant, she looked back at fighter aircraft of centuries past, using numerous simulations to evaluate their effectiveness against Covenant forces for surface battles. This led to her selection of the Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II as a ground attack aircraft, but still left her lacking a suitable air superiority fighter intended primarily to destroy Covenant dropships and deny the enemy's ability to use Banshees with impunity in combat airspace.
The solution to this problem came in digging deeper into pre-Unification War databases maintained by the member states of the United Nations Space Command, provided either willingly by the nations involved who owed favors to Evangeline, or remotely hacked via Chachamaru Karakuri. These investigations brought to her attention design schematics for a prototype superfighter that seemed nearly tailor-built for her purposes. The original plan of the CFA-44 had called for a magnetically-accelerated weapon system that, at the time, had been far beyond the scope of development for either China or Russia, as the only functional magnetically-accelerated weapon of the time was owned by the United States, and required a full-sized battleship for transportation and power source. Another reason the CFA-44 never saw 21st-century development was the schematic design for a weapon system that could deploy a large number of air- or ground-seeking missiles capable of independently-seeking targets, something no country at the time could feasibly produce.
Production and Procurement
Following the acquisition of the CFA-44 schematics, Evangeline brought them to Mundus Magicus, delivering them to the same armory company that had also handled the functions and systems upgrades of the UNSC Yamato. The prototype unit was completed within several months, with multiple test flights both before and after the development of the weapons systems. The M68 Gauss cannon was chosen for the fulfillment of the magnetically-accelerated weapon requirement, but there was no existing weapon system to fulfill the second requirement.
For this, the technicians created an entirely-new system, combining mundane weapons with magical systems to employ a Hammerspace and micro-miniaturizing system allowing storage of potentially hundreds of independently-tracking missiles in a single weapon pod stored internally to maintain stealth characteristics. The result was the SUU-33 All-Directional Multipurpose Missile weapons pod, three of which can be installed on the CFA-44.
With all testing of the prototype CFA-44 complete, Evangeline designated the fighter "Nosferatu" and placed a procurement order of 400 units plus replacement parts, while allowing full procurement rights to the four major powers of Terras Magicus. The first operational units of 24 CFA-44 Nosferatus were delivered to the UNSC Yamato on 26-October-2499, with the full 400 fighters delivered before 2520.
- Crew: 1
- Length: 62 ft 1 in (20 m)
- Wingspan: 44 ft 6 in (14 m)
- Height: 16 ft 8 in (6 m)
- Wing area: 840 ft² (78.04 m²)
- Airfoil: NACA 64A?05.92 root, NACA 64A?04.29 tip
- Empty weight: 43,430 lb (19,700 kg)
- Loaded weight: 64,460 lb (29,300 kg)
- Max takeoff weight: 83,500 lb (38,000 kg)
- Fuel capacity: 18,000 lb (8,200 kg) internally, or 26,000 lb (11,900 kg) with two external fuel tanks
- Maximum speed:
- At altitude: Mach 2.25 (1,500 mph, 2,410 km/h
- Supercruise: Mach 1.82 (1,220 mph, 1,963 km/h)
- Range: >1,600 nmi (1,840 mi, 2,960 km) with 2 external fuel tanks
- Combat radius: 410 nmi (471 mi, 759 km)
- Ferry range: 2,000 mi (1,738 nautical mile, 3,219 km)
- Service ceiling: 65,000 ft (19,812 m)
- Wing loading: 77 lb/ft² (375 kg/m²)
- Maximum design g-load: -3.0/+9.0 g
- Guns: 2× 30 mm (1.18 in) GSh-6-30 Gatling 6-barreled gatling cannon in both wing roots, 10,800 rounds
- Air to air loadout:
- 4× AIM-9X Sidewinder
- 1× M68 Gauss cannon
- Air to ground loadout:
- 4× AIM-9 Sidewinder for self-protection, and one of the following:
- 1× M68 Gauss cannon or
- 3× SUU-33 ADMM pods
- 4× AIM-9 Sidewinder for self-protection, and one of the following:
- Hardpoints: 4× under-wing pylon stations can be fitted to carry 600 US gallon drop tanks or weapons, each with a capacity of 5,000 lb (2,268 kg).
- RWR (Radar warning receiver): 250 nautical mile (463 km) or more
- Radar: 125–150 miles (200–240 km) (estimated range)
- Chemring MJU-39/40 flares for protection against IR missiles
Combat and Tactics
The Nosferatu is a versatile plane, the tactic at hand depends entirely on the engagement. The Nosferatu is equipped and was manufactured to be a ground-attack unit,to excel in air dominance, to be used for the suppression of enemy air defense, and as an interception unit.
Evangeline's 3rd Marine Special Operations Division Air Combat Wing was the first unit to receive 24 combat-ready units of the CFA-44 Nosferatu on 26-October-2499, with the first operational squadron, the 14th Fighter Squadron, standing up less than a month later. Following the initial delivery of first operational units, remaining production sets were delivered on a 2-1 basis, where for every two aircraft delivered to UNSC service, the next unit would be delivered to one of the nations of Terras Magicus.
Service in Terras Magicus
As per the design agreement between Evangeline and the nations of Terras Magicus, the nations of Megalo-Messembria, New Ostia, Ariadne, and the Hellas Empire adapted a modified version of the CFA-44 Nosferatu as the primary fighter of their air forces. Modifications from the original design include cockpits tailored to fit a number of humanoid species, and the replacement of all mundane weapon systems with magical equivalents.
- Main article: Human-Covenant war
The CFA-44 Nosferatu saw limited use during the Human-Covenant war, limited only to engagements participated in by the UNSC Yamato due to the unwillingness of the UNSC to adapt a jet fighter for combat use against the Covenant. Despite the near-flawless success rate of the Nosferatu in its engagements against the Covenant, maintaining a 700-1 kill ratio, the UNSC determined the cost outweighed the benefits of the fighter in planetary engagements.
- The Unsung War (First appearance)