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LGCaptain

Types of Aircraft

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What is your favorite type of aircraft currently aboard the ingame CVs?  Why?  In which situations do you use each type of aircraft?

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Beta Testers
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Given your other topic, I'm guessing you want a Newbie's Guide to Carrier Aircraft, rather than being a pollster.  So:

Grouped by attack pattern, there are four types of attack aircraft on current CVs:  rocket planes, dive bombers, level bombers, and torpedo bombers.


Rocket Planes

Rocket planes (which some might refer to as "fighters" or "attack aircraft" - please don't, the former does not describe them accurately and the latter not uniquely) fire a spray of small rockets down at the surface.  These are probably the easiest aircraft to land hits with - the delay between clicking to fire and the rockets hitting the ocean is VERY short - but offer the least damage potential, with each rocket hitting with about the same damage as a destroyer-caliber HE shell.  They are also the fastest aircraft in the CV portfolio.

  • American rocket planes are probably the best.  They fire the most rockets per aircraft, have the most aircraft in the attacking flight, and starting at tier 8 have the option of swapping over to Tiny Tim rockets (which hit more like cruiser HE, at the cost of only firing a few).  Their oval attack pattern favors broadside attacks.
  • British rocket planes are middling.  While they fire similar numbers of rockets, their attacking flight is smaller than the Americans.  Their attack pattern is oval in the opposite direction from the Americans', so they slightly prefer bow/stern attacks.
  • Japanese rocket planes are the worst.  They fire the fewest number of rockets.  Like the British, they slightly prefer bow/stern attacks.

The primary job of rocket planes is to hunt destroyers.  DDs, with their nonexistent armor, are highly vulnerable to rocket hits, and many's the DD player who has cursed all sky cancer after an (un)lucky barrage has taken a third of their health off.  That said, rocket planes can do a little damage to practically any target, and a quick strike to chip off the last bit of HP, or to start a fire after the target uses its damage control, are all valid uses for rocket planes.


Dive Bombers

Dive bombers fly high above a potential target, before arcing down and dropping bombs on the target from (hopefully) directly up.  This unfortunately means that DBs must penetrate the target's entire antiaircraft suite before they can drop their payloads.  Also, the relatively few bombs being dropped means dispersion is a problem - it's not uncommon to see bombs splash to either side of a perfectly-centered target.

  • American DBs drop high-explosive bombs - one per plane until you get the Lexington's upgraded SB2C Helldivers, then two per plane.  These hit like battleship HE - big blast, lots of damage, high fire chance.  The premium Kaga's DBs also drop HE bombs.  The attack pattern is a "fat" oval, wider than the typical battleship, which favors bow/stern attacks.
  • Japanese DBs drop armor-piercing bombs.  These, unfortunately, do not hit as hard as battleship AP - their damage and penetration are both substantially lower.  Still, citadels are possible, and will make cruiser captains cringe.  The premium Enterprise's DBs also drop AP bombs.  The attack pattern is a "narrow" oval, slightly narrower than typical battleships, but wider than cruisers, which favors bow/stern attacks.

I feel that the primary target of dive bombers is cruisers.  These tend to be maneuverable enough to avoid torpedo attacks, so the higher precision of DBs helps them get ordnance on target.  Don't be afraid to drop on DDs and BBs, however;  a well-placed dive bomber attack can send a DD to the bottom and leave a BB reeling.


Level Bombers

The British replacement for the dive bomber, these fly above a target and drop a series of bombs while in level flight, hopefully "carpeting" the target with bombs from one end to the other.  While the need to carry many bombs means each individual bomb is smaller, the sheer number makes hits (and therefore damage) more likely.

  • Hermes (the tier 4) and Ark Royal (a premium tier 6) drop small 60lb bombs which hit like destroyer HE.
  • Every other British CV drops larger bombs that hit more like cruiser HE.  Both drop in a "fat" oval pattern, which favors bow/stern attacks.

The problem with level bombers is the delay in the bombs hitting the ocean.  If you're good at predicting enemy evasion, then you can land lots of annoying hits.  Otherwise, you'll just raise lots of splashes.  I'm not sure whether I'd prioritize CAs or BBs with level bombers;  the former has less armor to absorb damage, while the latter is easier to hit.


Torpedo Bombers

Torpedo bombers fly low and level to the ocean, dropping torpedoes that then speed through the water like ship-launched torpedoes.  On the plus side, this means that they can attack from the furthest away;  on the minus side, they are very easy to dodge, as they do have a required arming time.  Being smaller air-dropped torpedoes, they don't hit anywhere near as hard as ship-launched torpedoes, nor do they travel as fast.

  • American TBs are decent, if unspectacular, performers up to the Lexington's upgraded SB2C Helldivers (why they didn't use "TBM-3 Avenger" instead, I don't know).  A Midway's TBs only have one strength - they drop two torps per aircraft - and a lot of weaknesses.
  • The torpedoes from Japanese TBs hit hard and fast, and their speedy-but-fragile aircraft are excellent at delivering them from unexpected angles.  Too bad they never upgrade from two airplanes dropping at a time - I dare say there ain't a Hakuryu driver out there who wouldn't trade their 6x2 squadron for a 3x3 squadron, reserves included, in a heartbeat.
  • British TBs perform somewhere in between.

As you might guess, the primary target for torpedo bombers is battleships.  The preference is, obviously, to hit targets from their broadside, so that the torps will strike along the length of the ship.  Hopefully, one will avoid the torpedo protection, hit, and cause flooding;  however, the poor flooding chance on aerial torpedoes makes this painfully difficult.  Japanese torps travel fast enough to scare DDs, but the others can be outrun, if only by a little.

  • Cool 2

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39
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18 hours ago, DeMatt said:

Given your other topic, I'm guessing you want a Newbie's Guide to Carrier Aircraft, rather than being a pollster.  So:

Grouped by attack pattern, there are four types of attack aircraft on current CVs:  rocket planes, dive bombers, level bombers, and torpedo bombers.


Rocket Planes

Rocket planes (which some might refer to as "fighters" or "attack aircraft" - please don't, the former does not describe them accurately and the latter not uniquely) fire a spray of small rockets down at the surface.  These are probably the easiest aircraft to land hits with - the delay between clicking to fire and the rockets hitting the ocean is VERY short - but offer the least damage potential, with each rocket hitting with about the same damage as a destroyer-caliber HE shell.  They are also the fastest aircraft in the CV portfolio.

  • American rocket planes are probably the best.  They fire the most rockets per aircraft, have the most aircraft in the attacking flight, and starting at tier 8 have the option of swapping over to Tiny Tim rockets (which hit more like cruiser HE, at the cost of only firing a few).  Their oval attack pattern favors broadside attacks.
  • British rocket planes are middling.  While they fire similar numbers of rockets, their attacking flight is smaller than the Americans.  Their attack pattern is oval in the opposite direction from the Americans', so they slightly prefer bow/stern attacks.
  • Japanese rocket planes are the worst.  They fire the fewest number of rockets.  Like the British, they slightly prefer bow/stern attacks.

The primary job of rocket planes is to hunt destroyers.  DDs, with their nonexistent armor, are highly vulnerable to rocket hits, and many's the DD player who has cursed all sky cancer after an (un)lucky barrage has taken a third of their health off.  That said, rocket planes can do a little damage to practically any target, and a quick strike to chip off the last bit of HP, or to start a fire after the target uses its damage control, are all valid uses for rocket planes.


Dive Bombers

Dive bombers fly high above a potential target, before arcing down and dropping bombs on the target from (hopefully) directly up.  This unfortunately means that DBs must penetrate the target's entire antiaircraft suite before they can drop their payloads.  Also, the relatively few bombs being dropped means dispersion is a problem - it's not uncommon to see bombs splash to either side of a perfectly-centered target.

  • American DBs drop high-explosive bombs - one per plane until you get the Lexington's upgraded SB2C Helldivers, then two per plane.  These hit like battleship HE - big blast, lots of damage, high fire chance.  The premium Kaga's DBs also drop HE bombs.  The attack pattern is a "fat" oval, wider than the typical battleship, which favors bow/stern attacks.
  • Japanese DBs drop armor-piercing bombs.  These, unfortunately, do not hit as hard as battleship AP - their damage and penetration are both substantially lower.  Still, citadels are possible, and will make cruiser captains cringe.  The premium Enterprise's DBs also drop AP bombs.  The attack pattern is a "narrow" oval, slightly narrower than typical battleships, but wider than cruisers, which favors bow/stern attacks.

I feel that the primary target of dive bombers is cruisers.  These tend to be maneuverable enough to avoid torpedo attacks, so the higher precision of DBs helps them get ordnance on target.  Don't be afraid to drop on DDs and BBs, however;  a well-placed dive bomber attack can send a DD to the bottom and leave a BB reeling.


Level Bombers

The British replacement for the dive bomber, these fly above a target and drop a series of bombs while in level flight, hopefully "carpeting" the target with bombs from one end to the other.  While the need to carry many bombs means each individual bomb is smaller, the sheer number makes hits (and therefore damage) more likely.

  • Hermes (the tier 4) and Ark Royal (a premium tier 6) drop small 60lb bombs which hit like destroyer HE.
  • Every other British CV drops larger bombs that hit more like cruiser HE.  Both drop in a "fat" oval pattern, which favors bow/stern attacks.

The problem with level bombers is the delay in the bombs hitting the ocean.  If you're good at predicting enemy evasion, then you can land lots of annoying hits.  Otherwise, you'll just raise lots of splashes.  I'm not sure whether I'd prioritize CAs or BBs with level bombers;  the former has less armor to absorb damage, while the latter is easier to hit.


Torpedo Bombers

Torpedo bombers fly low and level to the ocean, dropping torpedoes that then speed through the water like ship-launched torpedoes.  On the plus side, this means that they can attack from the furthest away;  on the minus side, they are very easy to dodge, as they do have a required arming time.  Being smaller air-dropped torpedoes, they don't hit anywhere near as hard as ship-launched torpedoes, nor do they travel as fast.

  • American TBs are decent, if unspectacular, performers up to the Lexington's upgraded SB2C Helldivers (why they didn't use "TBM-3 Avenger" instead, I don't know).  A Midway's TBs only have one strength - they drop two torps per aircraft - and a lot of weaknesses.
  • The torpedoes from Japanese TBs hit hard and fast, and their speedy-but-fragile aircraft are excellent at delivering them from unexpected angles.  Too bad they never upgrade from two airplanes dropping at a time - I dare say there ain't a Hakuryu driver out there who wouldn't trade their 6x2 squadron for a 3x3 squadron, reserves included, in a heartbeat.
  • British TBs perform somewhere in between.

As you might guess, the primary target for torpedo bombers is battleships.  The preference is, obviously, to hit targets from their broadside, so that the torps will strike along the length of the ship.  Hopefully, one will avoid the torpedo protection, hit, and cause flooding;  however, the poor flooding chance on aerial torpedoes makes this painfully difficult.  Japanese torps travel fast enough to scare DDs, but the others can be outrun, if only by a little.

Thank you so much!

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