Heroes in the Sky Aircraft Basics Guide by kabukikitsune
This is a short guide to help you better understand just what each type of plane is designed for, and how they best operate. It?s not something that will give you good ?builds? for PVE or PVP, but instead will teach just the basics.
We all start out with these, whether it?s the funky little Bi Planes we pick up at the start, or the early mono planes (that?s one wing) that crop up around level six. These planes are better known as fighters.
In a combat world, fighters are the duelists. These planes are fast, agile, and typically do not carry a whole lot of firepower. That doesn?t mean that some don?t have substantial firepower on their own, what with cannons and all, but generally speaking the fighters have the weakest firepower.
What a fighter lacks in punch, it makes up for it in two places. Speed and agility. The fighter is designed to out fly other planes, through sheer skill or in some cases speed. In doing so the pilot gets behind the other plane, and can hammer away at it to get a kill. Fighters rarely have long range weapons, and rarely have much armor on them. In fact, as planes go, most fighters are the ?weakest? link.
Now, I know what you?re thinking. What about ?Firepower? fighters that you see in the plane trees. Even these fighters, when compared to larger planes like gunners, are light on the weaponry. Firepower fighters are typically called Ground Attack fighters, and were designed to act as (for lack of a better term) Tank busters. They packed a heck of a punch, but traded off for this in speed and agility.
Players who stick to fighters tend to be those who like to get upclose and personal in battles. If you don?t mind chasing someone down, then a fighter is for you.
Gunners look like bombers at first glance, but looks can fool you. In truth, Gunners are special built heavy fighters that trade agility for firepower. Of all the planes in HIS, only the gunner class can carry guided missiles. In combat, a gunner acts in a kind of support role. Their job is to weed out the fighters, picking targets that are either wounded, damaged, or just too slow to get away.
In the real combat world, the gunners would properly be called ?night fighters?. They would operate only at night when stealth was key. Due to their size and build, the planes could stay airborne for some time (loiter) and would hunt down enemy bombers, using their radar guided missiles to strike from a distance.
In HIS, gunners do some of the same, though often you see them used more as Strike Fighters. This means that they often carry bombs, and will use their speed and heavier armor to punch through the lines of fighters to drop their payload on targets well behind enemy lines. Since most gunners have tail gunners, the plane doesn?t have to be as agile, with that rear machine gun protecting the plane from most of the more agile fighters.
In terms of survivability, the gunner takes second, since while it can pack a good deal of firepower and armor, sadly the planes do not fly as well as regular fighters. This is something that each gunner pilot must trade off, with most of them prefering to stay well out of the battle, using the range of their missiles to kill from afar.
Do not mistake however, and think that they can not dogfight. In the hands of a skilled pilot, a Gunner can be equally (if not more so) deadly than the average speed fighter. Due in no small part to the fact that the planes can carry a heavier armor and more cannons and machine guns.
The last line of planes is the bomber. Like the Gunner, bombers typically have two or more engines, though some dive bombers do only have one. As combat goes, bombers are known for packing large payloads of unguided bombs, having many machine guns for defense, and are able to carry ?air mines?.
However, what they make up for in firepower and defense, Bombers lose in agility and speed. Of all the planes out there, bombers are the slowest, least agile planes. In true combat, they are expected to slug their way through waves of fighters, stay level (excluding dive bombers of course) and drop massive loads of bombs over a large area. They?re not really intended for aerial combat, and this shows in the ways the planes handle and behave.
To put it simply, most every bomber handles like a brick. They aren?t agile, turning rates are very slow, and they can be easily picked off at range by most pilots, if due care is given in the attack. In open combat, the bomber will either wait till a path has been cleared for it to attack, or will move in with an escort, since the plane can?t always defend itself against others. (Just because it has several machine guns, doesn?t make it invulnerable.)
Bombers are a rarity in PvP, though as with gunners, in the hands of a skilled pilot they can be just as dangerous.