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Alacard’s Guide to the Aircraft of Battlefield 1942


Note: This document could also be titled How to shoot Alacard down, so do not expect for me to divulge every trick I know…


I have written this guide to dispel some of the myth and mystique of those “Ace” pilots who never seem to die. I have written it to assist those who are not pilots in evading them and I have written it as a means of internalizing all the information contained therein.


New comments in Maroon


1.                  Golden Rules of Flying

a.       Dogfights are never won, they are lost. Whoever loses least goes home.

b.      Your enemy can hear you approaching; expect him to be waiting for you.

c.       Your goals are:

                                                               i.      Kill the enemy

                                                             ii.      Stay alive

                                                            iii.      Help your team

d.      The order of the rules is not open to debate; He decreed it and it was so. Deviate from any of the above rules = Death.

2.                  Terminology:

a.       Pitch: refers to the angle of the aircraft in the up or down direction.

b.      Yaw: refers to the angle of the aircraft in the side to side direction

c.       Roll: refers to the rotation of the aircraft around its centerline (one wing up and one wing down).

d.      Angle of Attack: The difference between where the wing is pointed and the direction of the air flowing over the wing is the angle of attack

e.       Angle Off: The difference in your heading to the person you are attempting to kill’s heading. If your opponent is perpendicular to you, his angle off would be 90 degrees.

f.        Energy Fighter:

                                                               i.      Potential Energy: A plane with high altitude and low speed

                                                             ii.      Kinetic Energy: A plane with low altitude and high speed.

g.       E-Fight: (Energy Fight): What a plane with low intrinsic energy does to defeat a more maneuverable adversary. This is the fight that will assure a Corsair a victory over a Zero. This theory stipulates that the plane in question will win or lose based on who has more energy and who utilizes their energy more efficiency.

h.       A-Fight: (Angle Fight): What a more maneuverable plane does to a less maneuverable plane. This is the fight that will assure a Spitfire a victory over a Me109.

i.         Tank Plinking: The act of knocking out tanks. This term came into being during Desert Storm from A-10 pilots who gunned down Iraqi tanks. Plink is the sound shells make on the side of armor.

3.                  Concepts:

a.       Speed:

                                                               i.      Speed in Battlefield 1942 is relative. There is no direct measurement of speed in MPH or KPH. The only accurate measure is distance traveled from one location to another. This is due to the map being of variable sizes. Each grid square in Midway is several times larger than a square in Berlin.

b.      Distance:

                                                               i.      Similar to speed, distance is also relative. Walking from one spawn to another in Kursk is many times faster than if the same could be done on Midway; though both are 64-square maps.

c.       Altitude:

                                                               i.      This is where things get dicey. I prefer to measure altitude in four terms.

1.      Low: You are half-way between the ground (not mountains, but the actual ground they are modeled on) and the cloud layer as observed from the ground. (This is where newbies fly)

2.      Medium: You are in the cloud layer, just barely unable to see the ground.

3.      High: You are above the 2nd layer and unable to see anything in it. Here or slightly lower is where you want to be. This will allow you to dive at enemy planes with enough speed to quickly retreat to the clouds if things do not go your way. In addition, ground targets have an extraordinarily difficult time shooting nearly vertical targets (more will be explained later)

4.      Stupid-High: This is the altitude where your plane begins to stall. You know you’re there when you feel your engine begin to seize and your wings feel like they have lead weights attached to them.

a.       If you bail from this altitude, you can easily cover a full map square, if not two on some of the smaller maps before you open your parachute.

b.      One interesting note about this altitude is that its effects set in very quickly. This means that a plane that is directly below you, close enough to gun you down, will be substantially more maneuverable than you.

c.       If you are not careful, you will find that you are unable to return to the map as it takes a Me109 (with its powerful engine) a full square to turn at this altitude.

d.      The Highs and Lows of the Clock:

                                                               i.      The quickest way to reference where a plane is relative to another object (per military doctrine) is to use a clock. If you imagine that the front of your plane is twelve o’clock, then your right wing would be three o’clock, your rear six o’clock, and your left wing would be nine o’clock.

                                                             ii.      In addition to using The Clock system, you also call out targets based on their relative altitude, with high and low being the most common.

1.      Low is from the plane in question to the ground, along an imaginary X axis.

2.      High is from the plane in question to Heaven, along an imaginary X axis.

                                                            iii.      For Example:

1.      A plane climbing toward you from your right would be 3 o’clock low

2.      A plane diving on another plane from the rear would be 6 o’clock high.

                                                           iv.      These terms are easily understood by all and allow for quick communication between two parties.


a.       These guys are absolutely critical

                                                               i.      Chase – Self explanatory, though you can see down as well as ahead so this is nice for flying higher up.

                                                             ii.      Reverse Chase – Great for seeing what’s behind and below you. I check this allot. While all views are useful, this one is obviously important as you are most likely to be shot down from the rear (at least, once you figure out how to not get shot from above, more on that later) I tend to use my flyby camera more for monitoring for aircraft in pursuit as it presents me with a stationary view much more quickly than the Reverse chase. This view is extremely useful for adjusting bombing accuracy.

                                                            iii.      Flyby – Someone (BigE) taught me to use this view and it’s wonderful. I use it to check the direction I am turning, I drop it after I bomb an enemy flag to see infantry, and use it for other stuff as well. I think this is the 2nd most useful view.

1.      One interesting note about this view is it is the anti-turning fight view. When your opponent has turned to evade you, you simply swing around directly behind them and wait for their next move, or a better idea would be to begin firing.

2.      This is the view that really good pilots use to predict your flight path after you have left their immediate six or twelve o’clock position.

b.      I have all my views mapped so I can flip between them quickly and efficiently. I was playing around with BulletStopper and I think I gave him a headache when I was talking about these.

5.                  Maneuvering:

a.       This is not a subject to be taken lightly. It is incredible that people still believe the most intelligent thing to do is try to point the nose of their aircraft at the tail of their enemy’s aircraft. This works against very green pilots, but experienced ones know better and will tear you to shreds.

b.      The basics:

                                                               i.      Lag Pursuit

1.      Turning behind your enemy but not directly so. You maintain the same degree per second turn of your opponent, but he frantically attempts to outturn you and reduces his turn radius to its absolute minimum. In doing so, he is also sacrificing ALLOT of airspeed (kinetic energy) and generally losing altitude to do so (potential energy). If you play your cards right, you will emerge directly behind your opponent with both a potential and kinetic energy advantage over him after he has exhausted his energy reserves.

                                                             ii.      Lead Pursuit:

1.      This is how you shoot people down. You never aim directly at the enemy plane, but where the enemy’s plane will be when your bullets hit it. For example, if your enemy is at max visual range (in BF1942) you need to lead your target by around four or five seconds (and probably not hit him) Lead pursuit, even though not generally thought of as ACM, is indeed a standardized maneuver.

                                                            iii.      Barrel Roll:

1.      We have all seen many a newbie try to roll to escape bullets; generally without success. Their implementation was wrong for they simply rolled the plane along its X axis and expected their engine to not take the hits… This is NOT the desired implementation of this maneuver and is NOT effective. Personally, I call this the n00b-roll It is annoying but not effective.

a.       Offensive: As an offensive tool, the barrel roll can be used to reduce closure rate on an enemy; provided you maintain adequate rudder control.

b.      Defensive: Similar in function to the offensive barrel roll, this maneuver will quickly force an opponent to overtake you, if used properly. Be sure he is close; or you will reduce your own speed just enough to become a very easy target.

                                                           iv.      Yo-Yo

1.      As cool as this move sounds, it does not look like a yo-yo. There are two derivatives of this maneuver.

a.       High-Speed Yo-yo: If you have a high closure rate on your target, pull up then turn after him while executing lead or lag pursuit. This will give you precious extra seconds to line him up in your gun sights and allow you to stay behind him, instead of overshooting and becoming the target.

b.      Low-Speed Yo-Yo: Use this maneuver if your airplane has superior maneuverability. After beginning lag pursuit, begin a dive under your opponent, trading altitude for airspeed. After (if) your opponent rights himself, pull up and you will be in a perfect position to fire on him and he will probably have lost you due to the blind spot beneath his aircraft.

                                                             v.      Scissors:

1.      This is what should happen in Battlefield 1942 instead of the endless turning battle that most newbie pilots prefer. Simply, this is a defensive maneuver designed to force an adversary who has incorrectly judged closure rate.

a.       You see an attacker turning towards you from one of your sides.

b.      Immediately turn towards him.

c.       When he corrects for your course change, immediately change course again.

d.      Repeat this process

2.      Keep in mind that the most maneuverable, slowest plane usually wins. Attempt a gentle climb (I use my rudder when I am banking) while performing this maneuver to gain the advantage.

3.      In most planes, reducing speed is the quickest way to die. Only in the direst circumstances should a pilot ever reduce speed. If you find that you have to reduce your speed, be ready to select a spawn point.

6.                  Dog fighting:

a.       I believe that the best pilots in the game play allot of flight sims.

b.      Lead your target appropriate to your lag and the trajectory of your bullets.

                                                               i.      Lag – If you have a ping of 100, lead more than if it’s 20. Nuff said.

                                                             ii.      Bullets from all planes are not created equal. If you haven’t noticed, fighter’s bullets cross at about ½ of max view distance. I try to engage targets there with fighters. With dive-bombers, I prefer to be VERY close, preferably in a dive so I have the power to maneuver if my first run doesn’t hit home.

c.       I played ALLOT on the =TAW= Battle of Britain server to refine my dog fighting techniques. I like to hide right next to the runway drop-off and pick off planes as they fly over. While this might seem foolish, they don’t get the chance to make it across the channel.

d.      Some have said that the plane makes the pilot and other believe that the opposite is true, but in all actuality, both are right and both are wrong. You will be unable to shoot down a more skilled pilot even with a superior aircraft. This leads to the natural conclusion that will be expanded upon later; always leave an avenue of escape open and never have to make a second pass.

7.                  Bombing

a.       Horizontal bombing

                                                               i.      This is my preferred method for dealing with tanks. While I am working on my dive-bombing, I find that I am more comfortable “skipping” my bombs into their target. I like to attack tanks from the side and slam bombs into their tracks. This is actually pretty easy if you practice bombing the floors of the observation towers in Guadalcanal.

b.      Dive-Bombing

                                                               i.      I am not as good at this yet, but I am quickly getting there. My only real gripe about this is that it takes what feels like eternity for a pilot to get to cloud level. I have also found that bombs dropped in this fashion are more easily avoided by the experienced tanker.

c.       Circular-Bombing:

                                                               i.      A takeoff on horizontal bombing, this technique is very effective against ships. Fly in a circle next to a ship and whenever you are at your bomb-release point, release your bombs. You can do significant damage to a ship very quickly. Be warned, this does NOT work well against manned ships for obvious reasons.

d.      Loop-Bombing:

                                                               i.      Fly at VERY high altitude in a dive-bomber. Begin your run on a naval asset (this technique is useless against anything but ships) but instead of pulling directly up, initiate a loop. With most bombers, you can make three to five passes before you run out of airspeed. It is important that you position yourself directly over the ship as anti-aircraft fire is least effective there. Also, you want to aim for the deck of the ship, not the superstructure (the buildings) of the ship so you do the maximum amount of damage in the shortest amount of time.

1.      12 bombs (6 runs) with a dive bomber will sink the Axis Carrier.

2.      16 bombs (8 runs) with a dive bomber will sink the Allied Carrier.

8.                  Interesting notes:

a.       Practice

                                                               i.      For Dog Fighting, I noted that I play on the =TAW= Battle of Britain server. I play as Allies and am usually earn a medal. I prefer to fight over the channel as this eliminates the possibility of the other player bailing over my territory and garners me quite a following among the other team, usually resulting in multiple targets (more points for me)

                                                             ii.      For bombing, I play on the Orion Faction Outpost on Guadalcanal. I repeatedly bomb the floors of the towers (the part where infantry go). I do not bomb the roof, the base or the supports, only the floor. I have found that this is good practice though I could use more. I choose the Corsair for its lack of maneuverability and low climb rate, both things that make bombing more difficult.

b.      Anti-Plane

                                                               i.      There are three types of pilots.

1.      The n00b

a.       Nothing further will be said. Drive around in circles and they crash into the ground. Problem solved.

2.      The good

a.       I fall into this category.

b.      If you are being dive-bombed, try to drive under the aircraft. Pitching down is what planes do worst, especially at high speeds. Use this to your advantage.

c.       If you are being level-bombed, your best bet is to play the “Wall Game” by jumping on the opposing side of a wall as I make my run

3.      The Ace (Guy who dreams about this game)

a.       Not much you can do about these guys except turn towards them and hope you survive the first pass; though you usually won’t. When you would normally break to begin the inevitable turning battle, instead nose your plane down, build up airspeed and try to run for it. Do not try this in a Spitfire as you will quickly return to your spawn. A good E-Fight with these guys will bring them down. These guys play when they wake up, play all day long, and can’t sleep at night because they want to play more. They are the guys who only kill infantry with their prop and save their bullets for more important targets.

c.       I fly right at the border of the clouds where you can just make out the ground. This altitude is great for spotting moving armor and such (I generally don’t mess with infantry, they are just too much trouble to chase down) and you have a power advantage over most other players. Being at this altitude gives you enough power to run or fight, depending on the situations

9.                  Battlefield 1942 Math:

a.       This section will seem a bit dry, bit is worth mentioning…

                                                               i.      Have you ever wondered why the Axis seem to always win on El Alamien or why the Allies always seem to win on Kursk?

                                                             ii.      While there are many explanations for why, such as the Illysion and Yak being better aircraft than the Stuka or Me109, a much simpler answer is probably the right one.

                                                            iii.      The answer to this question is who can bring the most force to bear on the enemy at when it’s needed.

                                                           iv.      All other things being equal, the ‘average’ player has a Kill-To-Death (KDR) of 1:1, meaning for every kill they get, they also die one time.  The law of averages states this to be true.

1.      With that said, on most full maps, you will have 16 players versus 16 players.  Now, half those players will die before they get their 1st kill, half will die after; all other things being equal, this will also be true for the other team. 

2.      Now, to extrapolate on this further…  Whoever gets there 1st wins the day, there are no points for 2nd place.  This means that while you may be invulnerable in that Tiger tank, you will have to drive it for a long time to reach the eastern outpost, aka, a net loss for your team as you are effectively ‘dead’ while you’re not doing anything productive for your team.

10.              Things to keep in mind:

a.       Remember, your enemy is somewhere down there in all that mess. You have to find him, identify him (friendly fire isn’t friendly), orient yourself to engage him, and finally, destroy him. All the while, you are making enough noise to be heard for miles.

b.      Attack the enemy base only if you wish to fully appreciate how much damage concentrated anti-aircraft guns can do.

c.       He’s camouflaged, silent, and sees you. You are the in the big blue (white) sky, loud as hell, and do NOT see him. It’s time to leave.

d.      Always think twice before killing an Engineer with your prop. Mines hurt planes too.

e.       The captain goes down with the ship and the pilot goes down with the plane. Get shot down? Be a pal and give him the kill. Find out how he did it then go kick his butt. Beats bailing out over Tahiti and walking the rest of the round.

f.        Contrary to popular belief, running two fighters into each other will NOT create a two-seater; though the wreckage does damage things on the ground.

g.       If you’re in a bomber and routinely see the ground, you’re WAY too low.

h.       If you’re in a fighter and never see the ground, you’re WAY too high.

i.         There is no such thing as a “draw” in a dogfight. Try to call a truce and you won’t be happy with the outcome.

j.        Never let bailers escape. Not only is bailing quite rude, but they always show up at the worst times.

k.      Never EVER mock a good pilot. Good pilots are by nature aggressive and will kick you all over the map.

l.         Calling a good pilot a cheater is a wonderful compliment. Not only are you stating that they are so incredibly good that you never hope to equal them; you are totally mystified by their performance. Next time, just tell them to quit using “magic” in game.

m.     The buddy system. The military use it and people in game do as well; with devastating effect. While you can be the single best flier ever to grace the air, you are fewd to multiple mediocre ones. Two can be handled, three is almost certain death and four… just choose your spawn now. Keep this in mind. Strafe him once, climb back up, rinse and repeat is the road to victory or conversely, sucker a friend into flying with you as bait…err... a wingman ;)

11.              The Decision

a.       I give this topic its own section because I deem it to be the most important thing I can write about. The decision is just as it sounds; a decision.

                                                               i.      When you first approach an enemy plane, what do you do?

                                                             ii.      When you first approach an enemy tank, what do you do?

                                                            iii.      When you first approach an enemy anti-aircraft gun, what do you do?

b.      The answer to these questions should be “Attack the mofo” without hesitation or delay. If you do not agree, you need to be in a tank, on foot, in a ship or something; anything but an airplane. A PLANE HAS NO DEFENSIVE ABILITY. Let me say that again. PLANES ARE DEFENSELESS, THEY ARE EXTREMELY VULNERABLE. Planes survive by eliminating opposition before it becomes a threat. If a threat emerges, the plane destroys it.

c.       In a plane, there is no place to hide. There is no place to run and you are VERY loud. Enemies hear you LONG before they see you. A good player will have a very good idea where you will emerge form long before you even know he’s there. A good pilot destroys this threat IMMEDIATELY.

d.      Before you hop into that new Spitfire or Me109, ask yourself this question: “If I were flying a Stuka and saw a Mustang, would I attack it?” If your answer is “No,” then you need to just pass that plane on to the next guy. Take a tank, you can run away or hide. Take a plane only if you have no fear and believe YOU and YOU ALONE are ordained by God to kill the enemy wherever he rears his ugly head.

e.       Once you have committed yourself to the fight, do not attempt to disengage. I see many pilots who attempt to flee only to get flamed as they escape. If you must run, then run, but do not attempt to fight then run.

12.              The Break:

a.       I have also given this topic much consideration due to the mechanics of flight in Battlefield 1942 (and to a lesser degree, Battlefield Vietnam and most other flight simulator games)

b.      Normally, you see your opponent, he sees you and you both turn towards each other, guns blazing, playing a game of chicken. The first person to pull out dies if the other is a good shot. If both are good shots or both are brave enough, both get to die. Sound dumb? Well, it is. If you find that you are making a head-to-head pass on your opponent, review the Maneuvering section of this guide because you did something wrong. If you are in his gun sights, you did something wrong. If you manage to shoot him down on a head-to-head pass, again, you did something wrong.

c.       The problem here lies in that you are both wrong.  Both you of you made a severe miscalculation and now you are both probably going to die.  Both of you should review this guide in more detail before flying again.  A frontal pass is a no-win situation.

13.              Beginner’s Q&A:

a.       Question: Why do I get killed on takeoff by planes that seem to magically appear?

                                                               i.      Answer: Those pilots are using the mini-map to spot when you hop into your plane. If you haven’t already noticed, whenever you pass into a certain range, vehicle, gun emplacements and the like are shown on your mini-map as tanks, planes, dots, etc. When you get in, the enemy no longer can see your dot, tank, plane, etc. on the map. This is how they are spotting you. Once you hop into your new plane, you must takeoff in a very predictable direction.

1.      One interesting note about this is that being able to spot empty vehicles and guns is truly affected by altitude. Tanks can view unmanned, “mannable” objects farther on their mini-map than pilots can in the clouds. If you fly too high, you will no longer be able to see anything on your mini-map at all, save the terrain itself.

b.      Question: I always seem to lose the turning fight. The other pilot seems to see me no matter where I am. What am I doing wrong?

                                                               i.      Answer: Review section 4, Views. You are not using all of your views correctly. While mouse look is of dubious usefulness, the others are nothing short of essential. Learn to use them constantly. I cycle through my views once every five to ten seconds while I’m not on a bombing run; I will have (being conservative) changed my view roughly 5000 times over the course of an hour.

c.       Question: Anti-Aircraft guns (tank guns or APC guns) tear my plane to shreds. How come I always die when I man them yet always die when I bomb them?

                                                               i.      Answer: You should have noticed this by now; those pilots came straight down OR they gunned you before you saw them. If an anti-aircraft gun is engaging you, the gunner sits directly to the left of where you see the flash. With a tank or APC, they are directly on top of the flash. Gun for there. For bombing them, you want to come straight down. I mean if you are not vertical, prepare to be walking for that is what’s in your future. Take a minute and play around with an AA gun. Try to aim it directly up. Then perform a rotation. If you fire while doing so, you will notice the gun leaves a circle in the sky. Anything inside that circle cannot be hit by the gun. Get your plane inside that circle.

d.      Question: I shoot at planes and I see pieces falling off, yet the plane never seems to go down. Why?

                                                               i.      Answer: You need to aim for the engine of the plane, not the wings, tail, etc. Similar to being on the ground, your goal is to “light up” your crosshairs similar to how they “light up” when you shoot infantry. If you don’t understand what I’m saying, go shoot someone, and then you will.

e.       Question: I fly with UberPilot and we go attack the enemy base. Why do I get shot down while he always survives?

                                                               i.      Answer: There are a few good reasons for this. For starters, he’s probably at a higher altitude than you, so he kills the anti-aircraft guns before they can shoot him. Also, he is using the mini-map to hunt for enemies. When he sees a tank/AA/APC disappear from the mini-map, he destroys it. Finally, he probably knows when to leave.

1.      One of my biggest pet peeves is not antagonizing the enemy at their base. If you like to reminisce about those pictures of the nights over Baghdad, go bomb the enemy base. By your fourth or fifth pass, you can be virtually assured that most of the intelligent players will be shooting everything they have at you. Never doubt that guy on the ground; he’s just as good at what he does as you are at what you do. He will kill you given the opportunity.

2.      Seriously, the enemy base can have enormous amount of coordinated fire. On Gazala, the Allies have three tanks, one APC, and three flak guns. If you make them really mad, you can even through in a few planes to make things more interesting. Do not antagonize the enemy in their base!

14.              Planes (my thoughts)

a.       Fighters

                                                               i.      Zero

1.      The Zero is by far one of the best planes in the game. While it feels somewhat flimsy, this fighter is about as nimble as they come. Having a totally white paint scheme also makes finding it somewhat more difficult than many of the other aircraft.

2.      Things to keep in mind:

a.       This plane has a superior roll rate to its only real competition, the Corsair.

b.      On maps where this plane is present, ground fire will be your largest problem. Getting shot down by enemy planes will rarely happen; it’s that odd tank hiding under trees that’s your real threat.

c.       Due to this aircraft’s extreme maneuverability, it is easy to get disoriented and find yourself directly over anti-aircraft guns, the bane of this plane. Paying attention to your situation and your mini-map are essential.

3.      This plane is present on 5 maps, Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima, Wake, Coral Sea and Midway. Its only real competition is the Corsair. Against the Corsair, quick turn reversals will win the day. Maneuvers like The Scissors are the key to victory. Do not attempt to follow the Corsair into a dive, as you will quickly be outrun by your opponent and find yourself in the unpleasant predicament of waiting for another plane.

4.      This plane is an Angle Fighter. Do not be afraid to get in close with other planes.


                                                             ii.      Corsair

1.      Of late, I have taken a real liking to this plane. Many people do not like it and I can understand why. Its detractors include a seeming lack of power and maneuverability. Also, this plane’s handling changes dramatically at different airspeeds. All of this adds up to what many consider to be the ugly duckling of Battlefield 1942 aircraft.

2.      Never fear, for once you force yourself to fly this aircraft, you will be no less lethal than someone flying a Zero. There are a few things to keep in mind when flying a Corsair:

a.       This plane loves airspeed and will reward you pleasantly if you maintain it.

b.      This aircraft’s wings generate tremendous amounts of lift. This translates into a wonderful vertical flier and an elusive target. Many believe this plane is not maneuverable due to the fact that this plane cannot quickly reverse a roll.

c.       With this airplane, it is essential that you think a few steps ahead. Maneuvers like the Split S and the Yo-Yo are wonderful. Others, like the scissors, are to be avoided at all costs. If someone attempts to force you into the Scissors, simply loop a few times. They will either stall (if they aren’t very good) or break off and try a different approach.

3.      The Corsair does not like to have its nose pushed down. Keep this in mind when beginning a bombing run. It is generally simpler to simply invert and dive than to push the nose down.

4.      Lag pursuit is the name of the game with this plane. Keep your airspeed up until your opponent loses theirs. Many a new pilot overshoots their target with a Corsair; do not be a new pilot.

5.      This plane is a mixture between an Angle Fighter and an Energy Fighter. While you can hang in there for awhile with an enemy, your best bet is to perform a flawless Energy Fight against your less methodical opponent. Dive, Strafe, fly away, repeat as necessary.

                                                            iii.      Me109

1.      I like this plane. It seems to me to be a nice mix of everything that I am looking for. While not as maneuverable as the Spitfire, Zero, Yak or Mustang, this plane can hold its own quite well. Decent bomber, decent fighter, etc. I will never brag about its handling but I never complain about it either.

2.      One of the more subtle advantages of this plane is its engine. Many believe that the spitfire is a superior aircraft and they would not be incorrect, the Spitfire has superior roll and yaw to the Me109, but the Me109 always has the option of climbing out of the fight, whereas the Spitfire does not. The conclusion is never following this airplane along its Z axis, aka, never dive or climb after it. You will find that you have stalled right as the Me109 comes around for a killer pass.  A much better method (since you will be flying the more maneuverable Mustang, Yak or Spitfire) is to continue your turn around the Me109.  As he returns to normal flight, you will both be back where you started, which is far better than stalling out your less powerful plane in pursuit of the Me109.

3.      For “plinking” tanks, this is my preferred aircraft. While Spitfires fly circles around it, a well-flown Me109 bombs its target and leaves before the enemy knew what hit them.

4.      When in a dive, be ready for this plane to pickup tremendous amounts of airspeed. The engine in this plane really shows its colors in a dive. Your control surfaces will become very responsive very quickly.

                                                           iv.      Spitfire

1.      Never get into a turning battle with one of these. Most players have the false assumption that this plane is less maneuverable than the 109. They are mistaken. This plane, especially at slow speeds, is incredibly maneuverable. I like to linger over a location at just above stall speed and pick off planes.

2.      One thing worth noting about this plane is there is no escape from an enemy if you’re in a Spit. You are slower than everything else in the world, including that girl on skates who just passed your plane. Seriously, this plane does not go fast; only engage targets where victory is assured.

                                                             v.      Yak

1.      This plane seems to want to go everywhere. High roll rate but not the same pitch rate as the Mustang gives this plane a substantial advantage over the 109. I feel like its bombs are slightly off, but this plane quickly swings back around for a second run so it’s not a big deal.

2.      In a dogfight, this plane has a tendency to overcorrect. Keep this in mind.

                                                           vi.      Mustang

1.      This is everyone’s favorite plane and for good reason. It has insanely sensitive control surfaces which make it difficult to control in a dive but a wonderful dogfighter. The only manner I can fathom to defeat this plane is to shoot it on takeoff of play the energy fighter game with it.

b.      Dive-Bombers

                                                               i.      Illusion

1.      As most of you are aware, this is my favorite plane. You can drop bombs without really paying attention and they hit something.

2.      Also, this plane has better roll and yaw, in my opinion, than a Corsair at high speeds. I love this plane but speed is essential with it. This plane misleads people into a false sense of security. While it handles well at speed and holds speed well, once it has slowed down it’s a sitting duck. Building up airspeed with this plane seems to take an eternity.

3.      This plane is very forgiving. As such, it is a wonderful aircraft to learn on. As long as altitude as energy is maintained, this plane seems to perform the impossible. I have shot down many Me109s and Yaks with this aircraft simply because it is a fighter at high speed. If you follow a plane into a Split-S and don’t think you have room to pull up, this plane will surprise you more often than not. I highly recommend this aircraft to anyone learning the basics of flight in Battlefield 1942.

                                                             ii.      SDB

1.      Also another favorite of mine, this plane handles well in dives and can turn quickly for a dive-bomber. Just make sure you keep your speed up or be prepared to fly a tank with wings.

2.      Due to the close proximity of its guns, this plane also performs adequately in a knife-fight. While unable to run from any other aircraft (except maybe the Spitfire) this plane can usually hold its own in a dogfight if the pilot maintains his discipline and energy. Envisioning where you will be and how you will proceed next is critical for this aircraft.

                                                            iii.      AichiVal

1.      Mediocrity at its finest, this plane is about as middle-of-the-road as dive-bombers come. Its bombs fall relatively close to each other; it has decent handling in a dive, etc. If you like it more than I do, more power to you.

                                                           iv.      Stuka

1.      I hate this plane. It is the equivalent of the Corsair for dive-bombers. I feel like a Ju88 can out turn it. Its bombs fall too far apart, making accurate bombing difficult unless you aim your right or left bomb at a target.

2.      About the only redeeming thing about this aircraft is it’s tail gun or it’s presence on maps. I like to steal it on El Alamein or Gazala, land it on top of the Axis hangar and gun people down with the rear-facing gun.

c.       Heavy Bombers:

                                                               i.      Ju88

1.      I love this plane. This is quite possibly the most impressive dive-bomber in the game if used correctly. In the Battle of Britain, it is essential that you get this aircraft high enough in the clouds that you can no longer see unmanned vehicles and gun emplacements, then dive-bomb your target. Done properly, you can deliver six bombs in a very small radius.

2.      Sadly, this aircraft is only present on one map.

                                                             ii.      B-17

1.      Call me unpatriotic, but I don’t care for this plane. While it is wonderful for bombing the enemy’s base it is useless for just about everything else. Taking insane amounts of time to line up properly and totally lacking in maneuverability only detract from this plane’s appeal.

15.              Credits:

a.       Thank you very much goes out to, in no particular server:

                                                               i.      The Orion Faction (my clan)

                                                             ii.      BigE (he still shoots me down allot)

                                                            iii.      -HC²- Schadenfreud (this guy is awesome with a Spitfire)

                                                           iv.      TAW for running a great Battle of Britain server all the time

                                                             v.      DoubleE

                                                           vi.      Abaddon

                                                          vii.      Several others who wish to remain anonymous for various reasons


15.              Contact Me:

a.       Please feel free to contact me with any comments/suggestions you might have

                                                               i.      Email


                                                             ii.      MSN


b.      Alacard’s BFTracks Ranking


Last updated 10Feb05