Aircraft were added to the game in an update in November 2012. They are fast, fairly accurate, and can do a lot of damage, but can be shot down. The heavy hitters of the group are a one shot at a time sort of affair, so more than one of each class is required if you want the job done in short order. There are three classes: Dive Bombers, Torpedo Bombers, and Fighters. New jet aircraft will be implemented in to the aircraft featuring a new firing system, greater range (10 KM), and increased damage. Torpedo Bombers and Fighters cost one rare metal each, only Divebombers can be bought with Resources.
These are only effective in swarms, and can cripple the largest ships with a few succesful hits. Their greatest drawbacks are their low speed, single bomb payload, and inaccuracy. As tested by a previous member, their accuracy seems to decrease depending on how fast the enemy is moving. Thus a still ship should get hit 40 percent of the time.
The standard procedure for a dive bomber (that's what these are) is to take off, fly to attack altitude, dive, and release their bomb. The aircraft will then circle back and land on your carrier. When they have released their bomb, they are very vulnerable to the MK 45 inch gun, due to their low altitude. Once landed the aircraft can take off again. These are the hardest-hitting planes. They are not very accurate but can deliver damage onto the weaker decks of the ships, able to hit gun mounts, boilers and other vital installations onboard. Once dive bombers reach their cruising altitude, they are very difficult to hit until they drop their bombs unless you have large numbers of the Type-96AA/AT Gun or Mk45 5 inch guns with the SPY-1 Radar. Note that this does not apply in Drill levels, as the computer is able to shoot down planes with a high degree of accuracy.
Current dive bombers available:
- Douglas SBD Dauntless dive bomber
- Type 99 carrier bomber
Note: Only the dive bombers are purchasable with Resource, at 50,000 each.
These aircraft drop a single torpedo about 2 km away from the enemy ship. if the ship is well into a turn or sailing broadside at a speed of more than 70 knots, the torpedo will likely miss. That said, if a hit is scored most ships with no armor under the water go down. A large ship, like the Yamato, can survive upward of ten direct hits. Due to the low speed and single attack, it is advisable to have more than one of these in your air attack group. While possessing greater attack strength than divebombers, they are very vulnerable in the attack run. A player with an Mk 45 5 inch Gun could and will destroy scores of these planes. Since conventional gunfire at combat ranges are often directed at the sides, these sections will be very heavily armored. However, when combined with divebombers, their greater precision, higher damage and the fact that with them the opposing skipper must prioritize between the divebombers and the torpedo bombers will become a lethal combination.
Current torpedo planes available:
- Grumman TBF Avenger
- Nakajima B5N
Fighters are fast and agile planes. They are not suited for attacks against ships, as any sort of armor will easily deflect the damage. They will, however wreck any unarmored warship, including the Air Bases. They are designed to shoot down enemy aircraft, and are the defensive insurance to any good carrier. When launched a fighter will head for the nearest enemy and will open fire when in range. Also like torpedo bombers, fighters are vulnerable to the MK 45 inch gun's fire, due to their low altitude.
Treat these as escorts.
Current fighters available:
- Grumman F4F Wildcat
- Vought F4U Corsair
- Mitsubishi Zero
- Messerschmitt BF 109
- Supermarine Spitfire
Note that you'll need to buy at least one "Runway" for 40,000. In addition, note that you'll have to put your plane on the same floor of the ship as the runway. Once this is done, its ALWAYS a big bonus if you can fit some anti-aircraft weapons on your ship. If you're rich enough, buy a SPY-1 radar for real money on it along with a MK45 gun. If not, just buy plenty of the Type 96s in order to have an adequate defense and put at least 4 of them. To protect yourself against those pesky fast ships, place 30.5+ and 30.5 (old) guns on your ship. A simple recommendation would be 6 fighters and 20 bombers. If you don't want to spend money, just put 30 bombers, and make sure you've got a few extra 30.5+ and 30.5 (old) guns. When fighting with an aircraft carrier, launch all of your planes as fast as possible and fight the enemy at full throttle. DO NOT RETREAT because it is VERY annoying to your opponent. If you don't want to go in at the enemy at full throttle, zig zag, it makes you harder to hit.
Here are a few tips and tricks that you may want to know before building your aircraft carrier. More are coming soon!
- Multiple Decks/Runways: These are great things to have. Basically, make floors in your ship. Build upwards. This way, you can launch more planes at a time, and not increase the size the enemy has to hit. (Building sideways gives the enemy a larger surface area to hit). However, it is advisable that you don't make any more than 3 layers though, as too many layers will make your ship too tall, and thus unstable and easier to get hit as well as capsize and sink.
- Protected Boilers: Definitely something you will want. Hollow out small sections of your ship, and put into these sections gas turbines if you can afford it, or large boilers (angled boilers are too large). Then layer up the armor above them. This saves deck space and protects your boilers from damage, which can be catastrophic if you're trying to escape.
- Gun Platforms: Adding to the multiple deck trick, make sure the very top deck is made with 600mm lightweight armor, and then maybe add a few guns onto it if you like. Also, an advisable idea is to protect your runways from damage and to have guns to counter enemies with. You can also design your carrier to have its flight deck sit high above the water, Doing this could make enough room to cut off some hull and give your carrier some space to place some 40 cm guns in front of the Runway. However your stability will be dangerously low.
- Rare Metal Planes: If you plan on buying any special planes remember that they all have a weight difference. So if you bought some special planes and you line them up into groups and your carrier starts tipping then the weight difference is why. Color coding each plane is a good idea.
- Close Emplacement: By this it means that aircraft should be placed as close as possible to the runways. Since aircraft on-deck must travel to the runways before it could take off and clear the runway, aircraft being launched off the decks farther away will take longer to take off than planes closer to the runways. While a non-issue with smaller carriers and their smaller air fleets, this can become a serious issue with ships carrying larger air fleets. Since aircraft launched earlier in the wave will be more likely to survive the glut of antiaircraft weapons, it is wise to widen the decks or add more runways for carrier use.
- Balanced Ship: If battling a ship like the Yamato with 46 cm guns. If you don't have a balanced ship you will capsize in probably one hit. Try to make your ship symmetrical to balance the weight: have a stability of at least 100 and angle of 0 degrees. If you can't make your ship symmetrical put ballast's to balance your ships weight. If you tip over your planes will float away and die.
The programmers at Phyzios work feverishly on new weaponry. Aircraft are not excluded. Possessing a strike range longer than the first battleships we receive, aircraft carriers will be undoubtedly more lethal. What will make of many carriers unsuited to jets? Many were unceremoniously scrapped, including the USS Enterprise (CV-6), the most decorated American warship in World War II. A few may linger on to operate new warplanes, such as the American Midway-Class carriers or the British HMS Victorious. Many new carriers, whether through new players or more experienced ones needing new ships, will be built. Nonetheless, aircraft have been introduced to Battleship Craft, and they do not look like they will leave anytime soon.
Shin Wei Chiou's Hack
There is a Hack available by Hack Expert Shin Wei Chiou. In the hack includes 6 new Aircraft Types, along with 4 Aircraft Carrier Accessories.
- Sometimes a dive bomber may go in low altitude (lower than the fighter and torpedo bomber) then crash. It is unknown what causes this behavior.
- A common bug has occurred to players when a plane lands while smoking (had been shot and is going down). This bug can be exploited by having the plane get hit by a cannon shell or by enemy fighters, then going in for a landing when close to a friendly runway. The plane will be repaired and fresh to destroy enemy ships when taken off again.