Greetings, fellow Captains!
In our previous episodes, we told you how to maneuver,
fire your main guns,
and use torpedoes.
In this episode we'll talk about controlling naval aviation -
the very same aviation that put an end to the dominance of battleships
and revolutionized naval warfare.
When playing an aircraft carrier,
you control not so much the ship, as its squadrons.
And the aircraft really give you the edge!
They have unlimited operating range, high speed,
and the ability to cause heavy damage.
With them you can attack a ship hiding on the other side of an island,
and if you fail, you only risk losing the squadron instead of your whole ship.
On the other hand, losing all of your aircraft makes your ship a sitting duck.
This is why we'll explain not only how to use the squadrons efficiently,
but also how to keep them alive.
The squadrons in World of Warships differ in types of weapons used
and, consequently, in target objects.
Torpedo bombers and bombers are strike aircraft designed to attack enemy ships,
while fighters are made for dogfights.
To select a squadron, click on the squadron's icon or press the corresponding numeric key.
To order the squadron to take off, select a point on the map or the minimap,
or the target you want to attack, and click the left mouse button.
To make the camera move around the battlefield quickly,
click the right mouse button on the selected sector of the minimap.
To switch between squadrons, use the numeric keys 2 through 7.
The call-sign for the squadron will correspond to its numeric key.
The icon of the selected squadron becomes bigger,
the number under the icon is highlighted in green,
and the squadron's route is displayed.
To take the camera to the squadron,
double press the numeric key corresponding to the squadron's number.
Press and hold the key to follow the squadron.
To switch to the overview camera mode, press Shift or Z.
To switch back, press the key again or press ESC.
Depending on the aircraft carrier Tier,
you can have up to six squadrons airborne.
You can make controlling squadrons easier by selecting several squadrons.
There are three ways to do that: by clicking and holding the left mouse button,
by holding SHIFT and pressing the corresponding numeric keys,
or by holding SHIFT and clicking the squadrons' icons.
To select all airborne squadrons, use CTRL+A.
Press 1 or click the aircraft carrier icon to go back to ship control mode,
similar to the autopilot that we discussed in detail
in the first episode of the Naval Academy.
Now that your aircraft are airborne and the target has been selected,
it's time to check the route.
Remember that, unless you tell them otherwise,
squadrons take the shortest path to their targets.
If you fly over enemy ships en route,
the enemy's anti-aircraft guns can slash the number of your planes significantly.
Your primary goal is to keep your planes safe up until the attack,
because if your reach your target with only one torpedo bomber,
you will only have one torpedo to use instead of the full salvo from the whole squadron.
To keep your squadron safe, give them a detailed route,
much the same way as you use the autopilot function for ships.
Press and hold SHIFT to specify up to five additional waypoints,
which can be moved around if necessary.
A strike squadron carries enough ammunition for one attack only.
After you have attacked the enemy,
your planes will automatically go back to the aircraft carrier to reload.
Again, by default, they use the shortest path.
An experienced adversary can use this path to calculate the location of your ship;
therefore you should also manually give them a return route.
Even though the squadron can no longer attack on the way back to your carrier,
they can still make themselves useful to your allies by spotting enemy ships.
If a squadron is landing while another squadron is taking off, the latter has the priority.
However, it is important to remember that when your flight deck is on fire,
planes won't be able either to land or to take off.
When your aircraft are back on your ship, they automatically re-supply ammunition.
In addition, destroyed planes are automatically replaced
with new ones from the Hangar, provided you have any left.
When planning your movements,
don't forget to add the time required to fly to the combat zone to the time required for the reload.
The farther your aircraft carrier is from the combat zone,
the more time your squadrons will need to get to the target
and, consequently, the fewer flights they will make and the less useful they will be to your team.
To use your squadrons with maximum efficiency,
plot your carrier's course carefully.
Your course should prevent you from being spotted but,
at the same time, should not take you too far away from your allies
and the combat zone.
In the next episode we'll focus on the different classes of aircraft
and the right tactics for each of them.