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Blazing Angels: Squadrons of WWII

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Blazing Angels: Squadrons of WWII
BlazingAngels
Developer(s) Ubisoft Romania
Publisher(s) Ubisoft
Release date PC, Xbox, Xbox 360:
March 24, 2006 (NA)
March 31, 2006 (EU)
Wii:
March 20, 2007(NA)
March 30, 2007(EU)
PS3:
December 12, 2006(NA)
March 23, 2007 (EU)
Genre Flight combat
Mode(s) Single player, multiplayer
Age rating(s) ESRB: T
Platform(s) Xbox, Xbox 360, PC, Wii, PlayStation 3
Media CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, BD-ROM
Credits | Soundtrack | Codes | Walkthrough

Aircraft

British Built Aircraft

GLOSTER GLADIATOR
Speed:--------------------3.0/5.0
Acceleration:-----------3.0/5.0
Agility:--------------------5.0/5.0
Firepower:---------------2.0/5.0
Durability:---------------1.0/5.0
Total Capability:-----14.0/25.0

The aircraft that the player is introduced to on the first mission for use in training, it was legendary for its role in the defense of Malta where its agility allowed it to engage superior Luftwaffe aircraft on reasonably equal terms. It performs fairly well against other fighters due to its maneuverability, but its lack of firepower draws out dogfights with heavily armored enemy aircraft. This can potentially expose its lack of armor which makes it light up easily if hit by the heavier weapons often employed by more advanced German aircraft.

SHORT SUNDERLAND FLYING BOAT (Not Available To Player)
Seen parked in the airfield during the first mission, this aircraft saw service mainly as an antishipping, antisubmarine, and search and rescue platform used to pick up crews from torpedoed ships or downed aircraft as well as to engage enemy shipping. Due to the nature of its operations it could carry a wide variety of weapons and equipment which ranged from bombs, mines, and depth charges to flares, sea markers and smoke floats. It could also maintain up to sixteen 7.7 MM machine guns as well as a pair of 12.7 MM machine guns. This aircraft is not available to the player.

HAWKER HURRICANE
Mark I
Speed:--------------------3.5/5.0
Acceleration:-----------3.5/5.0
Agility:--------------------4.5/5.0
Firepower:---------------3.0/5.0
Durability:---------------2.0/5.0
Total Capability:-----16.5/25.0

Mark II
Speed:--------------------3.5/5.0
Acceleration:-----------3.5/5.0
Agility:--------------------4.5/5.0
Firepower:---------------5.0/5.0
Durability:---------------2.0/5.0
Total Capability:-----18.5/25.0

The actual aircraft predominately used in the defense of the British Isles during the Battle Of Britain, this aircraft is available in two variants. The Mark I is an extremely capable and well balanced aircraft but it was eventually overtaken by the Spitfire in speed and capability. The Mark II, being outclassed by newer and more advanced German and British fighters in production, traded in its machine guns for quad 20 MM cannons and was adapted to a close air support and ground attack role in the skies of the African campaign, where its cannons and bombs devastated ground forces. These cannons were also quite useful for knocking less maneuverable aircraft such as the Stuka out of the sky, and in the hands of a skilled pilot even the BF-109 could be brought down in a Mark II Hurricane.

SUPERMARINE SPITFIRE
Mark I
Speed:--------------------4.0/5.0
Acceleration:-----------4.0/5.0
Agility:--------------------3.0/5.0
Firepower:---------------3.0/5.0
Durability:---------------2.5/5.0
Total Capability:-----16.5/25.0

Mark V
Speed:--------------------5.0/5.0
Acceleration:-----------4.5/5.0
Agility:--------------------4.0/5.0
Firepower:---------------5.0/5.0
Durability:---------------3.0/5.0
Total Capability:-----21.5/25.0

Mark IX
Speed:--------------------5.0/5.0
Acceleration:-----------5.0/5.0
Agility:--------------------4.0/5.0
Firepower:---------------5.0/5.0
Durability:---------------3.0/5.0
Total Capability:-----22.0/25.0

Possibly the best known and most iconic British aircraft, the Spitfire comes in three flavors throughout the campaign. The Mark I carries quad 7.7 MM machine guns in each wing, allowing it to devastate lightly armored fighters and slow moving bomber aircraft. The Mark V trades in four of its machine guns for a pair of harder hitting 20 MM cannons, and undergoes subtle improvements in other areas for improved overall performance. The Mark IX, being the final frontline variant of the Spitfire, was fitted with a universal wing configuration that in this example is equipped with four 20 MM cannons and boasts impressive improvements over the Mark I in speed, acceleration, and maneuverability, which combined with its survivability over the Mustang, make it possibly one of the best fighters available to you.

SUPERMARINE SEAFIRE
Speed:--------------------4.0/5.0
Acceleration:-----------4.0/5.0
Agility:--------------------4.0/5.0
Firepower:---------------5.0/5.0
Durability:---------------3.0/5.0
Total Capability:-----20.0/25.0

A naval version of the Spitfire armed with the Mark V's gun configuration, though the arrestor hook and other adaptations for carrier operations drove up the aircraft's weight slightly with the penalty being a dropoff in speed. However it is still a very capable dogfighter in the hands of a skilled pilot and perfectly capable of going up against the German opposition and winning on a fairly consistent basis.

FAIREY SWORDFISH
Speed:--------------------0.5/5.0
Acceleration:-----------5.0/5.0
Agility:--------------------3.5/5.0
Firepower:---------------3.5/5.0
Durability:---------------2.0/5.0
Total Capability:-----14.5/25.0

Considered sorely obsolete by the start of the Second World War, this wood and canvas built biplane was affectionately nicknamed "Stringbag" by its aircrews. It was able to score some astonishing successes in service by completely destroying the Italian Navy in harbor during a daring night raid on the port town of Taranto. A flight of Swordfish also crippled the German battleship Bismarck by torpedoing and destroying its rudder and steering gear, rendering the vessel unable to return to port for repairs with the ship eventually being sunk by British fire and German sabotage to prevent its capture. The Swordfish has excellent acceleration, but its less than stellar maneuverability and armament make it vulnerable to attack from fighters, and its pitiful top speed make it incapable of running from a fight or easily evading ground or naval defensive emplacements.

BRISTOL BEAUFIGHTER
Speed:--------------------3.0/5.0
Acceleration:-----------3.0/5.0
Agility:--------------------4.0/5.0
Firepower:---------------6.0/5.0
Durability:---------------3.0/5.0
Total Capability:-----19.0/25.0

Designed as a heavy fighter for the close air support and bomber role this aircraft is lacking in speed and somewhat in agility, but more than makes up for these shortcomings with its array of six 7.7 MM machine guns buried in the wings and two pairs of 20 MM cannons fitted in the nose. This combined with its capacity to carry bombs gives the aircraft a "Big Stick" to inflict massive lethality against ground and naval forces, but its lack of maneuverability and speed in comparison to smaller single engine aircraft make it very vulnerable to attack from fighters.

HAWKER TYPHOON
Speed:--------------------5.0/5.0
Acceleration:-----------4.0/5.0
Agility:--------------------3.0/5.0
Firepower:---------------5.0/5.0
Durability:---------------3.5/5.0
Total Capability:-----20.5/25.0

An excellent ground attack and close air support aircraft, the Typhoon saw significant active service in the European Theater where its quad 20 MM cannons and provision for either a pair of bombs or up to eight RP-3 HVAR unguided rockets shredded ground forces, and it has sufficient maneuverability to engage in air to air combat on fairly equal terms with its German opposition. About equivalent to the Spitfire Mark V in speed and slightly superior armor but suffers from slightly lower agility rating.

HAWKER TEMPEST
Speed:--------------------6.0/5.0
Acceleration:-----------5.0/5.0
Agility:--------------------3.0/5.0
Firepower:---------------5.0/5.0
Durability:---------------4.0/5.0
Total Capability:-----23.0/25.0

An evolutionary variant of the Typhoon, the Tempest offers many of the benefits that the Spitfire Mark IX has to offer in acceleration and an all 20 MM cannon loadout, though it trades its diminished agility by comparison for improved survivability, and its superior speed made it the fastest piston powered aircraft fielded by the British during the war.

GLOSTER METEOR
Speed:--------------------5.0/5.0
Acceleration:-----------5.0/5.0
Agility:--------------------3.5/5.0
Firepower:---------------6.0/5.0
Durability:---------------3.0/5.0
Total Capability:-----22.5/25.0

The first operational Allied jet propelled fighter to see active operations, it was primarily used to intercept the numerous V-1 and V-2 flying bombs launched at British cities from occupied France. Comparable in performance to the German built ME-262 though it enjoys a slight advantage in agility at the cost of inferior top speed. Equipped with a quartet of 20 MM cannons it can easily destroy lightly armored opponents and can also knock down armored foes with well aimed bursts.

BOULTON PAUL DEFIANT (Available In Wii Version)
Speed:--------------------4.0/5.0
Acceleration:-----------4.5/5.0
Agility:--------------------3.0/5.0
Firepower:---------------2.0/5.0
Durability:---------------3.0/5.0
Total Capability:-----16.5/25.0

An example of early World War II fighter technology, the Defiant is essentially a Mark I Spitfire with weakened offensive capability and as a result of its inferiority to German aircraft it was reassigned to the night fighter role where it enjoyed much greater success against German bomber aircraft. Interestingly enough, though it is depicted in the game with a pair of forward firing 7.7 MM machine guns in the cowl as well as the manned turret containing its other machine guns, the real world aircraft had no forward facing armament of any kind with all four guns fitted into the turret. This likely contributed to its failure against German fighters and would have made the aircraft worthless in the game as a dogfighter.

DE HAVILLAND MOSQUITO (Available In Wii Version)
Speed:--------------------5.0/5.0
Acceleration:-----------3.0/5.0
Agility:--------------------3.0/5.0
Firepower:---------------4.5/5.0
Durability:---------------3.0/5.0
Total Capability:-----18.5/25.0

Earning the monikers "The Wooden Wonder" and "The Timber Terror" due to its construction largely from laminated plywood and nicknamed the "Mossie" by some of its air crews, the Mosquito excelled in any role it was tasked with performing from day and night fighter to ground attack, antishipping, precision bombing, and reconnaissance duties. Its astonishing speed make it an elusive target for all but the fastest the Luftwaffe has to offer, and it is capable of punishing both air and ground forces with a large payload of bombs and no less than four 20 MM cannons and four 7.7 MM Browning machine guns in the nose. As a result, it is essentially a faster albeit slightly less agile and heavily armed counterpart to the Beaufighter.

American Built Aircraft

CURTISS P-40C WARHAWK
Speed:--------------------4.0/5.0
Acceleration:-----------3.5/5.0
Agility:--------------------3.0/5.0
Firepower:---------------2.0/5.0
Durability:---------------2.5/5.0
Total Capability:-----15.0/25.0

Though it was considered by many who did not have proper experience with the aircraft as a poor performing machine, it is actually a good aircraft in the hands of a skilled pilot and if played to its strengths, as the volunteer squadron "The Flying Tigers" proved over China. Because it cannot turn with the Japanese built Zero and Hayabusa, the best tactics to use are to take advantage of its high speed, superior roll rate, and better survivability to attack head on from an angle where being struck by return fire is less likely, or possibly take the fight into the vertical plane to try to negate the Japanese fighter's turning advantage. Has reasonable armament against the lightly armored Japanese aircraft in the form of six 12.7 MM machine guns but more heavily armored foes deserve a step up to something like a Spitfire or Mustang which packs more firepower and more balanced attributes.

BELL P-39 AIRACOBRA (Xbox 360 Exclusive Aircraft)
Speed:--------------------4.0/5.0
Acceleration:-----------4.0/5.0
Agility:--------------------3.5/5.0
Firepower:---------------5.0/5.0
Durability:---------------3.0/5.0
Total Capability:-----19.5/25.0

A small and fast aircraft that could manage to compete with the Zero on reasonably equal terms despite the "Zeke's" superior turning, its 37 MM cannon firing through the propeller hub absolutely devastated ground targets and could blow an enemy aircraft out of the sky often with a single shot in addition to it being able to chew targets up with its four 12.7 MM machine guns and assortment of bombs. Instrumental in the defense of Guadalcanal, where it ripped up Japanese armored and infantry forces attempting to retake Henderson Field. As a player aircraft it quickly demonstrates it's superiority over the Wii's Brewster Buffalo in the defense of Wake Island during the Midway Opening Moves mission as it's cannon eats the Japanese aircraft alive compared to the Buffalo's weaker machine guns which take a little more time to knock out the enemy aircraft swarming the island. It does suffer somewhat in maneuverability but not enough to be of consequence.

GRUMMAN F4F WILDCAT (Xbox 360 Exclusive Aircraft)
Speed:--------------------3.5/5.0
Acceleration:-----------3.0/5.0
Agility:--------------------3.0/5.0
Firepower:---------------2.5/5.0
Durability:---------------3.0/5.0
Total Capability:-----15.0/25.0

Although it was outclassed by the more agile Zero, its ability to take far more punishment than its lightly armored Japanese rivals kept the Wildcat in the fight despite the parity in maneuverability and contributed to its legendary tales of survival in combat. In the hands of a skilled pilot however the aircraft could prove a dangerous rival even for the superior Zero. Armed with six 12.7 MM machine guns, it has reasonable offensive punch and it like the Airacobra also found itself defending Guadalcanal as well as Wake Island earlier in the Pacific Theater of the war, providing invaluable service in keeping the American war effort alive until the introduction of the more capable Hellcat that succeeded it.

GRUMMAN F6F HELLCAT (Xbox 360 Exclusive Aircraft?)
An evolution of the Wildcat, the Hellcat improved on all of the previous aircraft's shortcomings, giving it balanced speed, acceleration, maneuverability, firepower, and durability. Because of all these improvements this aircraft was one of the two machines that were instrumental in eliminating the air superiority the Zero had enjoyed prior to the Hellcat's introduction to the Pacific Fleet.

VOUGHT F4U1 CORSAIR (Xbox 360 Exclusive Aircraft)
Speed:--------------------5.0/5.0
Acceleration:-----------3.5/5.0
Agility:--------------------4.5/5.0
Firepower:---------------3.5/5.0
Durability:---------------4.0/5.0
Total Capability:-----20.5/25.0

One of the most advanced aircraft of the Pacific Theater, the Corsair was the other major contributor to the reclamation of air superiority, enjoying a twelve to one kill ratio by the end of the war. However despite it's great qualities it also had some early teething problems that prevented carrier operations until some modifications could be effected, and as a result it also gained the reputation of being an "Ensign Eliminator" and a "Widowmaker" among some early pilots that found it to be an unforgiving aircraft to take into combat. It became known as the "Sweetheart" to the Marines that it bailed out of dicey situations however, proving itself a formidable opponent to all who challenged it due to its speed, maneuverability, armor, and six 12.7 MM machine guns which could chew up the lightly armored Zeroes and other Japanese opposition it faced and easily outflew. Many Japanese pilots reflect on the Corsair being one of the best American machines they encountered during the war. One of the most distinctive features of the aircraft is its bent gull wing which is similar in appearance to the German built Stuka but without the poor performance characteristics.

DOUGLAS SBD-3 DAUNTLESS
Speed:--------------------3.5/5.0
Acceleration:-----------3.5/5.0
Agility:--------------------2.0/5.0
Firepower:---------------1.0/5.0
Durability:---------------3.0/5.0
Total Capability:-----13.0/25.0

The primary dive bomber and torpedo bomber used by the U.S. Navy until the introduction of better aircraft, the Dauntless was nonetheless guaranteed its place in history with its role in the Battle Of Midway, where a flight of these aircraft sank four Japanese flattops and damaged or destroyed several other ships which forever crippled Japanese naval strength in the Pacific. Though not known for its agility and only equipped with a pair of forward facing 12.7 MM machine guns in the cowling and a pair of 7.7 MM machine guns on a flexible mount for the rear gunner, a Dauntless could manage to stay airborne against the superior Zero if in the hands of a skilled pilot even though it was anything but a dogfighter. A story tells of a pilot by the name of "Swede" who managed to outfly three Zero pilots, with two attacking from opposite directions on the horizontal and one on the vertical, and he managed to shoot down all three aircraft despite his machine's inferior capabilities.

GRUMMAN TBF AVENGER (Xbox 360 Exclusive Aircraft?)
Built as a replacement to fill the torpedo bomber role for the outdated TBD Devastator, the Avenger did not really see service until after the battle of Midway. Essentially it is statisically speaking an improved Dauntless with better armor, and it is armed with a pair of 12.7 MM machine guns in the wings, a flexible dorsal mount with a single 12.7 MM gun, and a ventral location with a 7.7 MM machine gun giving it slightly better firepower overall in addition to its torpedoes or bombs.

DOUGLAS TBD DEVASTATOR
Speed:--------------------3.0/5.0
Acceleration:-----------3.5/5.0
Agility:--------------------2.0/5.0
Firepower:---------------1.5/5.0
Durability:---------------2.0/5.0
Total Capability:-----13.0/25.0

Built before the beginning of World War II to fill the torpedo bomber role it was quickly replaced by the vastly superior Avenger and Dauntless, but played it's part in distracting Japanese fighter groups allowing the smaller flights of Dauntlesses to attack the Japanese carrier group steaming toward Midway Islands unchallenged. This resulted in the almost complete elimination of the Devastator from Navy inventory due to heavy losses during the raids. Completely inferior to both the Avenger and the Dauntless in terms of agility, durability, and lacking in firepower with only three 7.7 MM guns for defense with two of them tied up with the rear gunner, if you have the option stick with a better aircraft unless you're looking for a challenge.

BREWSTER F2A BUFFALO (Wii Exclusive Aircraft)
Speed:--------------------2.0/5.0
Acceleration:-----------3.0/5.0
Agility:--------------------4.0/5.0
Firepower:---------------2.0/5.0
Durability:---------------1.0/5.0
Total Capability:-----12.0/25.0

Another aircraft that was obsolete by the beginning of World War Two, the Buffalo was a very agile aircraft and could perform well in the hands of a skilled pilot, but for most average aircrew the Buffalo was derided as little more than a flying coffin due to poor construction and the fact that it was easily outperformed by the faster and more agile Zero and Hayabusa. This is reflected in its poor survivability rating, and combined with its weak armament of only a single 12.7 MM machine gun and a 7.7 MM machine gun it does not fare well against heavily armed and armored opponents such as most of the German aircraft and later Japanese machines. Interestingly enough however it was responsible for the most aerial victories in the war, being used against the Soviets with great success by the Finnish Air Force. If you're looking for a true challenge then this aircraft is for you, otherwise look elsewhere if possible.

BREWSTER SB2A BUCCANEER/BERMUDA (Wii Exclusive Aircraft?)
Speed:--------------------1.0/5.0
Acceleration:-----------4.0/5.0
Agility:--------------------2.5/5.0
Firepower:---------------4.0/5.0
Durability:---------------4.0/5.0
Total Capability:-----15.5/25.0

Built as a bomber and scout aircraft for the United States Navy and exported to allied nations, this aircraft features high survivability, fairly respectable armament in the form of two 12.7 MM machine guns and four 7.7 MM guns with a pair of them on a flexible rear mount, and decent agility. However despite its high acceleration the Buccaneer is extremely slow which makes it a sitting duck for faster fighters and smaller anti aircraft emplacements. If you do not expect much resistance from surface forces and there is no air cover to contend with then this aircraft might be able to fit the job. If otherwise however look for something with a better speed to durability balance.

CURTISS SB2C HELLDIVER (Wii Exclusive Aircraft?)
Speed:--------------------4.5/5.0
Acceleration:-----------3.5/5.0
Agility:--------------------2.5/5.0
Firepower:---------------3.5/5.0
Durability:---------------3.0/5.0
Total Capability:-----17.0/25.0

This aircraft was designed as the successor to the venerable Dauntless, but due to both manufacturing problems and other issues pilots at first disliked the aircraft, calling it the "Beast" due to its considerably larger size and the less polite "Son Of A Bitch 2nd Class" on occasion as well. However, as it continued operational service it began to prove its worth and by the end of the war was responsible for sinking more enemy shipping than any other Allied aircraft. Equipped with a pair of 20 MM cannons in the wings and a pair of 7.7 MM guns on a flexible rear mount, it is a step up from the Dauntless in firepower and speed, as well as modest improvements in agility and acceleration.

REPUBLIC P-47 THUNDERBOLT (Xbox 360 Exclusive Aircraft)
Nicknamed the "Jug" by its aircrews due to its distinctive shape and its ability to absorb incredible amounts of damage, the Thunderbolt was arguably one of the best close air support and ground attack platforms of the war, with the ability to engage most Luftwaffe pilots on fairly equal terms. Indicative of its durability, it has one of the best survivability ratings of any fighter available with modest speed and agility. Armed with eight 12.7 MM machine guns and provision for rockets or bombs, it can obliterate most ground targets with little effort. To illustrate its durability, a story was told of a pilot who had his aircraft hit by enemy fire but managed to level the plane off despite an engine fire which went out and control surface damage. He was then engaged by a German ace while trying to limp the aircraft home, who proceeded to shoot the hell out of the plane. At one point the ace even used rudder control to shoot the aircraft up from wingtip to wingtip while tailing it until he ran out of ammunition and the "Jug" stayed airborne despite the amount of punishment it received!! The German pilot could do nothing but pull up alongside afterward and stare at the plane in disbelief, then he saluted the "Jug", rocking his wings in respect before heading for home.

NORTH AMERICAN P-51 MUSTANG
P-51D
Speed:--------------------6.0/5.0
Acceleration:-----------4.5/5.0
Agility:--------------------3.0/5.0
Firepower:---------------3.5/5.0
Durability:---------------2.5/5.0
Total Capability:-----19.0/25.0

P-51H
Speed:--------------------6.0/5.0
Acceleration:-----------5.0/5.0
Agility:--------------------3.5/5.0
Firepower:---------------3.5/5.0
Durability:---------------2.0/5.0
Total Capability:-----20.0/25.0

Considered by many to be the best all around fighter built during the war, the Mustang was the first American aircraft capable of escorting the B-17 and B-24 raids deep into Germany which mitigated the incredible losses the bombers were suffering at the hands of Luftwaffe pilots. The D model was of the razorback design and has slightly better durability than the later bubble canopied H variant, which is faster and is in fact the fastest piston powered fighter available to the player; only the Mark IX Spitfire might be a better aircraft overall. Both variants are armed with six 12.7 MM machine guns, three in each wing.

NORTH AMERICAN P/F-82 TWIN MUSTANG (Wii Exclusive Aircraft)
Speed:--------------------5.5/5.0
Acceleration:-----------4.5/5.0
Agility:--------------------3.5/5.0
Firepower:---------------3.0/5.0
Durability:---------------3.0/5.0
Total Capability:-----20.0/25.0

Conceived as a high altitude high speed escort fighter for the Boeing B-29 Superfortress during its raids on the Japanese islands, the Twin Mustang resembles two Mustangs fused together which explains its name. It was the last fighter built by the U.S.A.F. using piston propulsion since later fighters were taking full advantage of the dawn of the jet age. Armed with six 12.7 MM guns and a provision for HVAR rockets, it is a potent aircraft but it is not quite as fast or agile as its single engined cousin and compensates for this with better armor. Incidentally the game depicts the P-82 as having taken part in the attack on Rabaul during the month of November, 1943, but the first prototype of the real world aircraft didn't fly until July, 1945, one month before the end of the war!! The Xbox 360 Rabaul Raid mission is more historically accurate, depicting the Corsair as the player aircraft which would have been operational during the timeframe the mission took place.

DOUGLAS A-1 SKYRAIDER (Wii Exclusive Aircraft?)
Speed:--------------------6.0/5.0
Acceleration:-----------4.5/5.0
Agility:--------------------4.0/5.0
Firepower:---------------4.0/5.0
Durability:---------------2.5/5.0
Total Capability:-----21.0/25.0

The last American piston powered bomber built, the Skyraider is a very well balanced aircraft with superior speed capabilities and packs a punch with four 20 MM cannons as well as provision for rockets and bombs. Its only real drawback is its modest ability to absorb combat damage. Despite its outdated technology in the jet era it served with distinction even during the Korean and the even later Vietnam conflicts as a close air support and precision bombing platform.

NORTH AMERICAN B-25 MITCHELL (Wii Exclusive Aircraft?)
Speed:--------------------2.0/5.0
Acceleration:-----------2.0/5.0
Agility:--------------------1.5/5.0
Firepower:---------------3.0/5.0
Durability:---------------5.0/5.0
Total Capability:-----13.5/25.0

A medium bomber that gained its claim to fame for its famous raid orchestrated by Colonel Doolittle on Tokyo and other Japanese cities from carriers in the Pacific, with the aircraft being stripped down so they could get off the flight decks of ships never meant to launch them. Considered very easy to fly and forgiving at the controls, it enjoys modest advantages in acceleration and maneuverability as a result of its smaller size. It came armed with a pair of 12.7 MM machine guns in a dorsal or top turret, two single guns in waist positions, and two in a tail position, meaning it could fair reasonably well defensively but it was not as heavily armed and armored as the larger four engined B-17 and B-24. The later J model which sadly is unavailable to the player had a provision to fit the nose with up to eight 12.7 MM guns plus another pair in a cheek blister on each side below the cockpit for a total of twelve forward facing guns, making it almost impossible to survive against if enemy infantry, armor, or shipping was caught in a strafing run.

BOEING B-17G FLYING FORTRESS
Speed:--------------------3.0/5.0
Acceleration:-----------1.5/5.0
Agility:--------------------0.5/5.0
Firepower:---------------4.0/5.0
Durability:---------------6.0/5.0
Total Capability:-----15.0/25.0

The largest aircraft that can be crewed by the player, the B-17 achieved fame over the skies of Germany as a daylight bomber, but due to its large size, poor agility, and difficulty engaging fast moving targets with the bomber's numerous 12.7 MM defensive guns bristling from eight different emplacements, it is a sitting duck for fighter aircraft without escort. However its durability allows it to absorb insane amounts of damage and still keep flying; stories abound of aircraft that managed to return to England after losing their nose section, their tail section, having holes shot in the wings, losing three of their four engines, or various other catastrophic damage. During the one mission you fly the aircraft, you can man one of four positions during the defensive sequences which are the Top Turret, The Ball Turret, The Tail Gunner, Or The Nose Gunner. During the attack sequences you fly the aircraft and release the bombs manually as you would on other missions. However, do not even think about trying to circle around to hit missed targets or you will be blown away by AA fire. In this mission there are technical inaccuracies as well; the B-17G which is featured generally did not have a gun fitted into the Plexiglass nose since the chin turret covered the space ahead with the turret being computer controlled. Also during a bomb run, the bombardier actually flew the plane using the bombsight, not the pilot and the bombs automatically released upon the bombsight calculating a release point from much higher than is depicted in the game. Lastly, when a bombing run was conducted it was usually the responsibility of the lead aircraft in an element to sight the target with the other aircraft in the element dropping their weapons when the lead aircraft did.

CONSOLIDATED B-24J LIBERATOR (Not Available To Player)
Seen in the opening cinematic, this was another American built heavy bomber designed to complement the B-17 and conduct daylight bombing against the German industrial complex. Like the B-17 it was a four engined heavily armed aircraft that suffered from the same problems due to inadequate fighter protection until late in the war; with the advent of aircraft that could escort them all the way to their targets and back to their home bases in England it became more survivable though still not as well known as the more popular B-17 despite it's superior number of aircraft produced.

German Built Aircraft

MESSERSCHMITT BF-109
BF-109E
Speed:--------------------4.5/5.0
Acceleration:-----------4.0/5.0
Agility:--------------------3.5/5.0
Firepower:---------------3.0/5.0
Durability:---------------2.5/5.0
Total Capability:-----17.5/25.0

BF-109G
Speed:--------------------5.0/5.0
Acceleration:-----------4.5/5.0
Agility:--------------------3.5/5.0
Firepower:---------------5.0/5.0
Durability:---------------3.0/5.0
Total Capability:-----21.0/25.0

BF-109K
Speed:--------------------5.0/5.0
Acceleration:-----------5.0/5.0
Agility:--------------------3.0/5.0
Firepower:---------------5.0/5.0
Durability:---------------3.0/5.0
Total Capability:-----21.0/25.0

Nazi Germany's most numerous and well known fighter aircraft is available in three variants, with the E model matching up against Hurricanes and early model Spitfires in the Battle of Britain. An advanced aircraft for that time, it was actually superior in some respects to its British opposition but was reined in by its poor fuel range, it's inability to venture far from the slow and heavily armed bombers it was tasked with escorting, and it's light armament of four 7.9 MM guns with two buried in the cowl and a single gun in each wing. Realizing the handful of shortcomings of the E model and the requirements of keeping pace with Allied aircraft capability and expanding mission requirements, the G model was built by Germany with heavier armament in the form of twin 13 MM guns in the cowl in addition to the 7.9 MM guns in the wings, and a 30 MM cannon was installed firing through the propellor hub. A more powerful engine and tougher armor were also added, with all of these improvements being needed to combat bomber formations and more durable British and American fighter aircraft. Finally, toward the end of the war in Europe the K model was introduced which refined the design a bit further and modified the balance of the aircraft with increased speed from two stage turbocharging being prioritized at the cost of agility. The only thing that kept the K model from being effective late in the war was lack of pilot training as it was a comparable aircraft to all of its Allied adversaries. In the hands of a skilled pilot, any of these variants are a formidable foe against their contemporaries of the time period.

MESSERSCHMITT BF-110 ZERSTORER (DESTROYER)
BF-110C
Speed:--------------------4.0/5.0
Acceleration:-----------3.5/5.0
Agility:--------------------3.0/5.0
Firepower:---------------4.0/5.0
Durability:---------------3.0/5.0
Total Capability:-----17.5/25.0

BF-110E
Speed:--------------------4.5/5.0
Acceleration:-----------4.0/5.0
Agility:--------------------3.0/5.0
Firepower:---------------4.5/5.0
Durability:---------------3.0/5.0
Total Capability:-----19.0/25.0

BF-110G
Speed:--------------------4.5/5.0
Acceleration:-----------3.5/5.0
Agility:--------------------3.0/5.0
Firepower:---------------5.0/5.0
Durability:---------------3.0/5.0
Total Capability:-----19.0/25.0

Built with the concept of being flown as a heavy fighter and light bomber, the BF-110 was at first quite successful in the early days of the European campaign where it often faced antiquated and inferior opposition. It's weaknesses were very quickly exposed during the Battle of Britain however where it's inability to maneuver and turn with British single engine fighters became apparent and it's rear turret which had been an effective weapon during the First World War was not enough to deter an attack from Spitfires and Hurricanes wielding an eight gun arsenal. It's speed and fairly heavy armament being comprised of a pair of 20 MM cannons and five 7.9 MM guns with one in the rear turret position were the aircraft's only redeeming qualities. After the disaster of the British invasion attempt, the aircraft was reassigned to night fighting where it found more success. Later variants of the aircraft saw modest improvements, with the E model receiving upgraded engines and harder hitting cannons over the C model as well as slightly improved armor for the pilot, and the G model traded in its 20 MM cannons for heavier 30 MM cannons for knocking down bombers and cracking armored vehicles as well as adding a gun to the rear turret for a pair of guns for defense.

HEINKEL HE-111 (Not Available To Player)
The premier bomber used by the German Luftwaffe for a good portion of the war, the HE-111 became almost synonymous with the Blitzkrieg strategy and was heavily present in the Battle of Britain, which is reflected in the game as well with it being seen in large numbers. Heavily armed with up to seven 7.9 MM machine guns with some aircraft being field modified with a 13 MM or even a 20 MM cannon, it is quite capable of defending itself and it's heavy armor allows it to take a beating before falling. After the campaign against the British Isles, the aircraft found itself being reassigned for cargo and troop transport duties as well as other missions as necessary for the German war effort. An interesting note is that this aircraft was born from a design that was to have originally been a passenger aircraft.

JUNKERS JU-87 STUKA
Speed:--------------------2.0/5.0
Acceleration:-----------1.5/5.0
Agility:--------------------3.0/5.0
Firepower:---------------1.0/5.0
Durability:---------------1.5/5.0
Total Capability:-----9.0/25.0

An aircraft that was intimately associated with the tactics of Blitzkrieg warfare and became an infamous symbol of German air power, it was instantly recognisable due to its inverted gull wings and fixed undercarriage, and it's wailing siren became legendary as a psychological terror weapon in the skies of Europe. Despite these qualities however, the aircraft was slow, could not maneuver well, and was lightly armed with only a single 7.9 MM machine gun for a rear gunner and a pair of guns in the wings, and it's light armor was not enough to stand up to heavy fire from enemy aircraft. Following the Battle of Britain the Stuka (Short for Sturzkampfflugzeuge or Dive Bomber) was reassigned to the Mediterranean and Eastern fronts where it did not have to contend with advanced aircraft that outclassed it. As a player aircraft, only use it if you're looking for a challenge as better aircraft are available for the role.

FOCKE WULF FW-190 WURGER (SHRIKE)
FW-190A6
Speed:--------------------5.0/5.0
Acceleration:-----------4.0/5.0
Agility:--------------------4.0/5.0
Firepower:---------------6.0/5.0
Durability:---------------3.5/5.0
Total Capability:-----22.5/25.0

FW-190D9
Speed:--------------------6.0/5.0
Acceleration:-----------5.0/5.0
Agility:--------------------4.0/5.0
Firepower:---------------5.0/5.0
Durability:---------------3.0/5.0
Total Capability:-----23.0/25.0

At the time of its inception the FW-190 was one of the most deadly opponents to challenge in aerial combat, with it obtaining aerial superiority over occupied France for a period of time before the British managed to capture one due to the pilot mistakenly landing on a British airfield. This allowed the British and the Americans to study the aircraft which revealed that it could easily outperform the Spitfire Mark V and the new P-51A Mustang that was being developed. It was even found that it in some circumstances it could outperform the Hellcat and Corsair with the exception of turning capability. Armed with four 20 MM cannons in the wings and a pair of 7.9 MM guns in the nose it packs massive firepower earning it the infamous nickname "Butcher Bird" and it's speed, agility with notable attention to roll rate, and durability make for a dangerous adversary and an excellent performing player aircraft. The FW-190D9, called the "Long Nose" or "Dora Nine", was built in response to the FW-190A's poor performance at altitude and incorporated a different engine which resulted in the lengthened airframe. It also traded down a pair of 20 MM cannons for 13 MM machine guns since it was built more for fighter combat than for the bomber interception that the A model was employed for quite often. Though it sacrified some of its rolling capabilities and durability, the Dora Nine gained considerable speed and turning capabilities and is often considered among some circles to be one of the best German fighters produced during the war.

MESSERSCHMITT ME-262 SCHWALBE (SWALLOW)
Speed:--------------------6.0/5.0
Acceleration:-----------3.0/5.0
Agility:--------------------3.0/5.0
Firepower:---------------6.0/5.0
Durability:---------------3.0/5.0
Total Capability:-----21.0/25.0

The first operational turbojet powered fighter aircraft, the ME-262 was a masterpiece of German engineering and is the fastest aircraft available to the player, and it is also the most heavily armed, fielding four 30 MM cannons fitted in the nose and a provision to carry R4M HVAR rockets for use against heavily armored targets. Nicknamed the Sturmvogel (Stormbird) by German pilots it was faster than any aircraft the Allies had available, and is only vulnerable in a turning fight where piston powered aircraft have an advantage or when landing or launching from their bases. Occasionally though an Allied aircraft might be able to catch them by diving on top of them from altitude or by taking advantage of their poor acceleration. The aircraft is fairly durable, but if it is chosen as a player aircraft it would be advised to avoid a turning fight at all costs as it cannot outturn slower piston powered aircraft which will quickly make short work of its durability. Despite it's strengths though it came too late in the war to have any significant effect against Allied efforts.

MESSERSCHMITT ME-163 KOMET (Available In Wii Version)
Speed:--------------------6.0/5.0
Acceleration:-----------4.5/5.0
Agility:--------------------1.5/5.0
Firepower:---------------2.5/5.0
Durability:---------------2.0/5.0
Total Capability:-----16.5/25.0

Designed and built during the closing stages of World War II, the ME-163 Komet was a last ditch effort by Nazi Germany to counter the Allied offensive using experimental technologies. It was a rocket powered flying wing with a single vertical stabilizer and had it seen widespread operational service it might have been able to turn the tide of the conflict as it could easily outperform anything the Allies had in their inventory, and it's pair of nose fitted 30 MM cannons were absolutely devastating for the bomber formations it was tasked with intercepting in a point defense role. Unfortunately fuel shortages, the aircraft's short loitering time of seven minutes in powered flight, an unskilled pilot's inability to hit anything with the cannons, and the aircraft's fairly late introduction into the war meant it did not have any noticeable impact on the Allied aerial campaign. It also was not all that maneuverable though it was easier to fly than expected, and it was dangerous at best to try to land or launch the aircraft, with many being lost to freak accidents such as aircraft inexplicably exploding on the tarmac which was likely due to their volatile fuel loads. Nonetheless, the Komet did have the effect of heralding the end of piston propulsion as a means of powering military aircraft.

HENSCHEL HS-129 PANZERKNACKER (TANKCRACKER) (Available In Wii Version)
Speed:--------------------2.0/5.0
Acceleration:-----------2.5/5.0
Agility:--------------------2.0/5.0
Firepower:---------------5.0/5.0
Durability:---------------3.0/5.0
Total Capability:-----14.5/25.0

Built from the ground up as a close air support and antitank platform, the Panzerknack (German for safecracker, meant to be a pun) was an idea that sounded great on paper, but in practice was poorly executed. It was supposed to be able to support ground forces and knock out enemy armor with its pair of 20 MM cannons and 7.9 MM machine guns in addition to a heavy bombload, but poor command decisions resulted in the aircraft being fitted with poor performing engines which greatly diminished it's speed and maneuverability and made it all but a sitting duck for enemy pilots. A later variant was fitted with a 75 MM cannon which gave it the ability to obliterate any armored vehicle hapless enough to get caught in its sights, but it sacrificed even more of what little agility and top speed it had, making the aircraft little more than a flying howitzer and almost unpilotable. Both aircraft entered service too late into the war to be of any military value despite the worth that the 75 MM cannon was shown to have on the battlefield. With such low speed and agility, and unremarkable armament on the version available which does not have the large cannon, the armor it is equipped with does not warrant flying it due to its performance shortcomings.

DORNIER DO-335 PFEIL (ARROW) (Available In Wii Version)
Speed:--------------------5.5/5.0
Acceleration:-----------5.0/5.0
Agility:--------------------3.5/5.0
Firepower:---------------2.0/5.0
Durability:---------------2.5/5.0
Total Capability:-----18.5/25.0

Another one of Germany's advanced technology concepts, the Pfeil was unique in that it was a twin engine aircraft with the engines fitted in a pull pusher configuration. This had the decided advantage of endowing the aircraft with the positive characteristics of a standard twin engine aircraft's speed and acceleration, without the negative attributes associated with a loss of maneuverability and drag. It would have been able to easily outperform anything the Allies had available at the time, with excellent turning and roll rates as well as speed that would have been difficult to compete with in a contemporary Allied fighter. The real world fighter would have also been heavily armed with a 30 MM cannon firing through the forward propellor hub and a pair of 20 MM cannons buried in the cowling or the wings, but for some reason the game's version has weakened armament suggesting it might only be armed with a pair of something such as a 13 MM machine gun in the nose. Regardless, despite the fighter's awesome potential, it was never able to be produced in any respectable numbers, and the few that were produced were subsequently captured by advancing Allied armies marching on Berlin, making the aircraft unable to contribute any active service to the German Luftwaffe.

Japanese Built Aircraft

MITSUBISHI A6M ZERO (ALLIED CALLSIGN "ZEKE")
Speed:--------------------3.5/5.0
Acceleration:-----------3.5/5.0
Agility:--------------------3.0/5.0
Firepower:---------------3.5/5.0
Durability:---------------1.0/5.0
Total Capability:-----14.5/25.0

The Zero was built in response to the Japanese high command's desire for a fast, maneuverable, and well armed aircraft that could perform at speeds, ranges, and capabilities that most of the manufacturers of the time felt were impossible to achieve save Mitsubishi, and have that aircraft be able to operate off of most of the Navy's carrier fleet. The result was a fighter that was extremely light weight due to a classified blend of aluminum being used solely for it's construction, and all superfluous weight being eliminated including any armor protection for the pilot, the engine, or the fuel tanks, which did not even incorporate the self-sealing technology available at the time. It soon became legendary and feared for it's agility after Pearl Harbor and was a symbol of Japan's military might for some time, but eventually Allied pilots discovered it's weaknesses; it was hampered by poor roll rate due to the inherent design of the control surfaces, and it's lack of armor made it unable to withstand any attack with even light hits from machine gun fire causing it to burst into flame and/or explode. Soon evolved aerial combat tactics such as the "Boom and Zoom" which advocated flight in the vertical plane to avoid the deadly trap of trying to outturn the Zero in less capable aircraft, and the advent of newer more capable fighters negated the Zero's advantages and by the end of the war the "Zeke" was simply unable to compete with the more advanced equipment and superior training of American pilots.

NAKAJIMA KI-43 HAYABUSA (PEREGRINE FALCON) (ALLIED CALLSIGN "OSCAR")
Speed:--------------------4.0/5.0
Acceleration:-----------3.0/5.0
Agility:--------------------3.5/5.0
Firepower:---------------1.5/5.0
Durability:---------------2.0/5.0
Total Capability:-----14.0/25.0

Constructed with almost identical requirements as the Zero, this was little more than an Army version of the famous Japanese Navy fighter but it was built to be even lighter and less rugged than it's naval counterpart due to not having to deal with the stresses involved with carrier launches and recoveries. It too was also plagued with the same deficiencies due to lack of armor, and it is even further penalized by the fact that it only carries a pair of machine guns in the cowl, comprised of a 12.7 MM gun and a 7.7 MM gun, which had almost no effect on the more heavily armored American fighters it faced in combat. It was slightly more maneuverable and faster, but the Oscar likewise also was not blessed in roll capability though it does perform slightly better than the abysmal Zero in that department.

NAKAJIMA B5N (ALLIED CALLSIGN "KATE")
Speed:--------------------2.5/5.0
Acceleration:-----------1.5/5.0
Agility:--------------------1.5/5.0
Firepower:---------------1.0/5.0
Durability:---------------1.5/5.0
Total Capability:-----8.0/25.0

Built several years before the beginning of U.S. involvement in the Pacific Theater after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Kate was designed as a torpedo bomber capable of attacking and sinking enemy vessels quickly and efficiently as it proved with deadly results in Hawaii. It continued to be used throughout the war despite the fact it was obsolete even before the attack on the United States, and was responsible for the loss of at least another three American carriers in the Pacific. However, like most early Japanese designs, emphasis was placed on speed and capability over survivability, and the product is an aircraft with no armor at all and was so lightly built that it was almost horrifically easy to knock out of the skies. This combined with its almost nonexistent armament of only a single rear facing 7.7 MM machine gun with basically equivalent ammunition capacity make the aircraft almost worthless in combat after expending it's payload, assuming it makes it to the target at all. The player variant fitted with a pair of 7.7 MM guns in the nose (The real world aircraft had them fitted in the wings if the field modification was made at all) doesn't offset the aircraft's other abysmal statistics and poor durability. Like other aircraft that are lacking in capability, only fly this if you're looking for a challenge or you're planning on flying your own kamikaze raid.

AICHI D3A1 (ALLIED CALLSIGN "VAL")
Speed:--------------------2.5/5.0
Acceleration:-----------3.0/5.0
Agility:--------------------1.5/5.0
Firepower:---------------0.5/5.0
Durability:---------------1.0/5.0
Total Capability:-----8.5/25.0

Built as a carrier based dive bomber with similar capabilities and pitfalls to the German built Stuka bomber, the Val actually has a small advantage in that it is somewhat more agile than the German aircraft despite being slower. It could hold its own against early Allied fighter types, but it's weak weapons loadout of only a pair of light 7.7 MM machine guns in the wings and a single 7.7 MM gun in the rear cockpit position meant the aircraft had almost no offensive punch once it chucked it's bomb at a target. In addition it's complete lack of defensive armor made it unable to take much punishment which resulted in respectably armed aircraft being able to easily knock the Val out of the sky. Later in the war when more advanced fighter types were introduced this aircraft was relegated to backwater bases and training duties, and then pressed back into frontline service as a kamikaze raider with it being too obsolete to mix with the more advanced U.S. aircraft being fielded.

MITSUBISHI J2M RAIDEN (THUNDERBOLT) (ALLIED CALLSIGN "JACK")
Speed:--------------------4.5/5.0
Acceleration:-----------4.5/5.0
Agility:--------------------3.5/5.0
Firepower:---------------5.0/5.0
Durability:---------------2.0/5.0
Total Capability:-----19.5/25.0

Surprisingly well built and durable for a Japanese aircraft, the Raiden was built as a high speed, high altitude interceptor that could operate from land based airstrips near or from the Japanese home islands and eliminate the B-29 Superfortresses that were conducting bombing raids on industrial centers and other military assets. To that end it was armed with no less than four 20 MM cannons buried in the stubby wings, which combined with its emphasis on speed and ability to rapidly climb to altitude penalized it's maneuverability somewhat, but the aircraft still remained a dangerous foe in the hands of a skilled pilot. Unfortunately for the Japanese military though the Raiden's late arrival in insufficient numbers and the American switch to nighttime precision bombing limited the fighter's effectiveness in its mission role.

KAWANISHI N1K KYOTU/SHIDEN (STRONG WIND/VIOLET LIGHTNING) (ALLIED CALLSIGN "GEORGE")
Speed:--------------------4.5/5.0
Acceleration:-----------4.5/5.0
Agility:--------------------4.0/5.0
Firepower:---------------5.0/5.0
Durability:---------------2.5/5.0
Total Capability:-----20.5/25.0

Regarded by both its pilots and it's adversaries as the finest Japanese fighter produced during the war, the George was produced in identical variants with differing markings for the Japanese Army and the Navy, with the naval version being the one depicted in the game. Easily capable of going head to head with a Hellcat or a Corsair and knocking it out of the sky with its quad 20 MM cannons, the Shiden was a very different take on aircraft manufacturing policy that had up until that point favored speed and agility over survivability and armament. Now with the reversal of that policy combined with modest advances in engine technology, a fighter was finally produced that could take on the more advanced American opposition without being easily destroyed thanks to heavy armor and win the engagement. Excellent roll rate, turning capability, and survivability make for a great player aircraft and an imposing adversary, but like many of the great German designs it arrived too late to be militarily significant and the few that did see operational service were hampered by problems with unreliable powerplants and fuel or supply shortages which limited their effectiveness.

NAKAJIMA J9Y KIKKA (ORANGE BLOSSOM)
Speed:--------------------5.0/5.0
Acceleration:-----------4.5/5.0
Agility:--------------------3.5/5.0
Firepower:---------------4.0/5.0
Durability:---------------2.0/5.0
Total Capability:-----19.0/25.0

After witnessing the capabilities of the German built ME-262, the Japanese emissary in Germany reported back on the potential he saw in the aircraft to the military; they then sent a request for the construction of a prototype to be used as a high speed assault and bombing platform to the Japanese manufacturing complex. Ironically this was the mistake that Hitler made when the ME-262 was built as he wanted to relegate the aircraft to a bombing role also when it was better used as a high speed interceptor of slow moving bombers and in the right hands, a capable fighter aircraft. A prototype of the Kikka was constructed that bore only a superficial resemblance to the original aircraft, with the wing sweep and triangular cross section of the craft being less pronounced, and the engines originally were of an inferior centrifugal flow turbojet which provided insufficient thrust to get the plane off the ground. After this setback an axial flow turbojet design based on the German BMW unit was built which solved the problems of propulsion, and flight testing was able to commence. Unfortunately, an accident damaged the only operational prototype and the war was over before repairs could be effected, with another prototype partially complete and several more airframes in the process of construction. Had the aircraft reached operational service it was going to field a quartet of 20 MM cannons in the nose which only had a little more than half the stopping power of the ME-262's 30 MM cannon fittings. Considering statistically this aircraft is little more than an inferior version of the German jet fighter, go with the original unless you're just looking to fly something different which then is a matter of personal taste.

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