Your mission might begin on a crowded carrier deck, in clear skies or overcast weather. Maybe your home field is a hidden runway, deep in the dense jungle surrounding a base on some small Pacific island. Regardless of your starting point, the first step in any mission is to successfully get off the surface. Any experienced pilot will tell you that take-offs are one of the easier parts of flying. (Then again, they’re experienced pilots – of course it seems easy to them.) With all of the aircraft included in this game, taking off is a simple, five-step process.
1(2). Throttle up to at least 80% of engine capacity. 2(1). Release the wheel brakes. 3. Roll forward until you have enough speed to get airborne. The exact speed is different for each model of plane, but on average eighty or ninety knots will do. 4. Pull back gently on the stick to lift off. 5. As soon as you are clearly in the air, raise your landing gear to reduce drag. (Note that the Aichi D3A “Val” has fixed gear; you cannot raise it.)
Once you are airborne, climb to an altitude you feel comfortable with. On CAP and sweep missions, greater altitude means you can see farther. Bomber escort missions require that you stay within a reasonable distance of the bombers. The best altitude for any other type of mission depends on your style of approach.
The kind of mission your squadron is sent out on will determine your flight plan. Inexperienced, beginning pilots may want to avoid the lead position. Following the more experienced members of the flight is a good way to learn the ropes.
CAP Fly back and forth in the standard CAP pattern for as long as your fuel supply allows. Your only responsibility is to protect the carrier group from enemy incursions. Deflect incoming planes and destroy them whenever possible. If there are bombers in the enemy flight, they are your preferred target.