Heroes in the Sky Know Your Plane Guide

Heroes in the Sky Know Your Plane Guide by kabukikitsune

Note: This FAQ is written based off of personal experience, and is more a guide to help players better sort out which plane to use for what task. No offense intended, but to some degree it’s an “Idiot’s Guide” to aircraft.

The format will be thus:


Question: Which nation should I pick?

Answer: Nationality is totally up to you. In the long run it doesn’t really mean much, since the aircraft are pretty well even. There are exceptions to this, but for a starting player it’s only your personal tastes that matter.

Question: What do you mean exceptions to that?

Answer: Some nations, like the Soviet Union for example, have planes which carry cannons earlier than other nations. This gives them something of an advantage in aerial combat earlier than other nations.

Question: What is a “cannon”? Is it like a pirate type cannon?

Answer: No. Cannons on airplanes refers to 20mm cannons which were carried by some aircraft. Planes such as the BF109 had them in the centerline of the prop, while others had them in the wings. The cannons were used against heavier aircraft (typically) and ground targets which could be resistant to machine guns. They are very effective against lightly armed aircraft such as fighters.

Question: Why do I keep overheating when I shoot my guns?

Answer: Most likely, you’re firing in a single long burst. Your guns are overheating, and placing you in a weak position. Instead you should fire in a “burst” type pattern.

Question: Burst? What do you mean by that?

Answer: Burst firing means that you only shoot short bursts at your target, and then only when you’re certain you’re going to hit it. In WW2 Aerial combat, pilots were taught only to fire short bursts when directly behind their targets. This was for two reasons. First, planes of the day only had about thirty seconds worth of ammunition on board, so every shot had to count. Secondly, even bombers (with their defensive guns) are weak to fire from the rear. Thus, teaching pilots to conserve ammo and only firing at the weak rear of a plane, was found to be best.

Question: Are Gunners bombers?

Answer: Yes and no. Gunners are strike fighters, and can operate as bombers. However they’re more at home as night fighters and support craft. Meaning that they work to support the other units in a squadron, and aren’t exactly geared for dogfighting. They can do it, if they need to, but that’s not their actual design. The same goes for bombing. While they can do it if pressed into service, this isn’t what they work best at. Consider them something of the middle ground between a fighter and bomber.

Question: What is a “Firepower Fighter”?

Answer: In HIS, a Firepower Fighter is a ground attack fighter. These planes were built during the war to act as a medium fighter, or one step below a gunner. They used stronger firepower to allow them to hunt ground targets, while at the same time kept the speed needed to allow them to chase after more nimble aerial targets. While never perfect at either job, they were still better than other planes which could be tasked to take this job on. A good example of this is the Thunderbolt.

Question: What is a “Speed Fighter”?

Answer: In HIS, a Speed Fighter, is an interceptor. These planes were built during the war with one mission in mind. To stop opposing fighters and bombers from reaching their targets. Interceptors were fast, in some cases VERY fast. (The ME262 Jet, and Komet come to mind) However, with that speed came some weaknesses. As fighters go, speed fighters were not as heavily armed or armored, making them very vulnerable to long pitched dogfights. As a rule, the plane’s speed made up for this, with hit and run tactics being more the norm as opposed to turn based dogfighting.

Question: What is a “Manuverable Fighter?”

Answer: In HIS, A Manuverable Fighter” is simply a Fighter. These planes were built during the war in large numbers and filled pretty much whatever role they were tasked with. While they lacked the speed of the interceptors, and the power of the ground attack planes, they made up for it in their sheer agility. Some planes were better at this than others, with a perfect example of this being the Mitsubishi Zero. This type of fighter would trade armor and speed for agility, and is used to out fly the enemy as opposed to simply out gunning or out running them.

Question: What is a Dive Bomber?

Answer: A Dive bomber was WW2’s answer to the modern laser guided bomb. In practice, Dive bombers were small, somewhat slow aircraft that resembled your every day fighters. Using special speed brakes on the wings, dive bombers would “nose” over into a steep dive from a high altitude. As they neared the ground, the pilot would release the single large bomb (or two small ones…depended on the plane really) from underneath the plane, and then pull up on the stick. The bomb would continue in a near straight line; impacting the target exactly where the pilot had aimed it. (Or at last reasonably close.) Dive bombers were the terror of tank crews and ground forces, since they could put a bomb on a target within several feet of where it was aimed; as opposed to several blocks with carpet bombing tactics. The best known dive bomber is perhaps the German Stuka.

Question: I see people calling for me to “Cover” another player in Occupational War. What does this mean?

Answer: Good question. When someone calls for you to cover them, they’re basically calling for you to help and protect them. The reason for this can be multifold, but the typical cause is this person is in a slower moving plane like a bomber or gunner, and wants you to help them out. Flying cover means that it’s your job to keep fighters away from the other plane, either by shooting them down, driving them off, or luring them away. In any case, effective cover means that it’s your responsibility to protect the other player, so they can concentrate on bombing or destroying whatever target they are after.

Question: Will you be part of my Squadron/Fleet?

Answer: Thanks for the offer, but no. Currently I’m trying to organize my own strike squadron. (Check the fleet recruiting for details)

Question: I see players referring to themselves as being “Support”. What does this mean?

Answer: Support is when a pilot, usually a gunner (though bombers can as well) opts to act in a role that supports the rest of the team. This means that they stay out of combat as much as possible, and use their buffs and abilities to help the team. In this role they serve to buff or boost the other players, more so than to act in a combat role.

Question: Why can’t I put missiles on a fighter?

Answer: Because that would make too much sense. I’m kidding here. The answer is actually kinda interesting. While in the modern era, fighters do carry missiles, it wouldn’t be until well into the 1950’s that such would happen in the real world. Prior to this, the controls for the missiles were large bulky affairs, and really couldn’t fit into the size of a small fighter. Bombers and multi role planes (like gunners) however, were large enough to fit. So, you saw missiles being used in these types of aircrafts. However, these weapons were as their name suggested “miss” iles. Meaning that they were just as likely to miss as hit. This not withstanding, Germany did manage to field a number of guided missiles, which were proven in battle. In fact, one particular missile was used in a strike against a captured Italian battleship, and managed to sink the vessel.

Question: Are Premium Planes worth the cash?

Answer: To be honest that’s up to you. Some really are nice planes, such as the pink spitfire and zero, but others are just eye candy. If you want to shell out the money to get them, feel free to do so. Like I said, whatever plane you pick is totally up to you. Some are worth it, some less so.

Question: I flew really high and stalled. What happened?

Answer: Stalls are, in case you haven’t figured out yet, a very bad thing. Stalling means that your plane slowed down to the point that the air wasn’t travelling over your wings fast enough to support you. HIS displays this another way by saying you lose manuverability and your engine cuts out, but in truth a stall would cause your plane to drop like a stone. To counter act this, about all you can do is nose over and dive. As you pick up speed, your plane will gain lift and agility will return.

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