AircraftSwitch to Cortex
The Peeper is a cheap and fast moving air scout, that is not armed with any weapons, but has a huge line of sight.
It is used to gain intelligence on what your enemy is planning, and where he keeps his most important units.
Information is the most valuable asset on the battlefield, knowing your opponent's plans you can prepare your counter strikes early, making his moves inefficient. In late-game a constant stream of scouts helps your artillery units, improving their aim.
Use it for unexpected unit drops bypassing your enemy's defense line, but don't forget to scout first for any anti-air units. Drop your commander into their bases to D-gun all structures and humiliate your opponents.
Can be used for transporting nano towers too, which enables you to move your buildpower where you currently need it.
The Freedom Fighter is a fast moving fighter jet that is designed for eliminating air units. It is the most effective form of T1 air defense that can access all parts of the map to get rid of any air threats.
In large packs, it is also able to destroy weak land-based structures, like nano towers.
Always put your fighters on patrol in front of your base, so they attack any aircraft moving in the vicinity. Send fighters with your bombing runs to disable opponent's fighter wall before your bombers come to deliver the final blow.
A Construction Aircraft is able to build basic T1 structures like the ones made by the Commander.
Moreover it can build some more advanced land and air defense towers, advanced solar generators and most importantly the T2 Aircraft Plant.
Due to their speed, the highest among constructors, it may be used for quick expansions and reclaiming in areas far from your base. It can also access the whole map, as it doesn't care about any natural obstacles.
It has a very low HP however, so keep away from enemy's anti air units. Due to little build power you may want to use multiple air cons at once.
Each Construction Aircraft increases the player's energy and metal storage capacity by 25.
The Banshee is a light gunship that can deal light damage to land based units. It has very weak armor, that can be shattered by T1 anti air with ease, so always send them in packs and scout before striking.
It is a weapon of surprise!
Try to keep it away from your foe's radars before attacking. If you succeed to put your gunships into an unguarded base, or over a hostile Commander, it will have no chance to survive.
The Thunder is a bomber, designed for destroying buildings. A little bit weaker than its CORE counterpart - Shadow.
It drops bombs over the target and makes a flyby to reload its ammunition. It can strike every 9 seconds. Always scout first and combine with fighters to eliminate enemy's airwall before bombing.
Click A for attack and drag your RMB to execute a carpet bombing, or use area attack command to strike targets within a circle.
Hawk is a fast moving fighter jet that is designed for eliminating multiple and/or heavy air units.
It has little problems with scattered T1 air defenses. Always put your fighters on patrol in front of your base, so they attack any aircraft moving in the vicinity. Send fighters with your bombing runs to disable opponent's fighter wall before your bombers come to deliver the final blow.
Its stealthy attribute makes it invisible to radars.
Your enemy never knows how many you have without scouting. A bit slower but and a little more effective than its CORE counterpart.
Eagle is a radar and sonar plane that can locate land and underwater units.
It has a decent radar range and speed so it's the best unit you can use for scouting. Put a few in your fighterwall to have a permanent overview of the front, even when you lose the radars on land.
Always send 1 or 2 with your bombing runs to locate targets for your strikeforce. When hunting for a commander, the radar plane can locate it even if it’s cloaked. Its sonar ability can also be used to detect submarines and amphibs.
Phoenix is a heavy and slow bomber that can deal great amounts of damage flying over units and structures.
It is mostly designed to destroy buildings, but used well it can also deal high damage to mobile units - try to intercept their movements.
It deals much higher damage than its T1 form (Thunder). As little as 4 Phoenixes can destroy a fusion powerplant on one flyby (7-8 for an adv. fusion). They can drop another round of bombs every 7 seconds.
They are cheaper but weaker than their core counterpart - Hurricane.
Stiletto is an EMP bomber. It can be used to immobilize units over a big area.
It makes for a great support unit for your front mates.
Coordinate attacks and defense with them and paralyze enemy units just before they engage. It is more effective than EMP drones, because they drop bombs before getting in the range of eventual AA.
If you queue an attack order followed by a move, they can drop their EMP loads and immediately do a full turn. This way you can run away from enemy’s AA and supporting fighters.
Advanced Construction Aircraft
Advanced Construction Aircraft is a unit that opens you the window to most of the T2 economy and defensive structures.
In most situations when you get one, start from updating your metal extractors, geothermal powerplants and then make fusion reactors and advanced metal makers.
It has a higher buildpower than its T1 version and boosts your metal and energy storage by 50.
As an air constructor it has the advantage of being able to quickly access all spots on the map. Use it in packs for fastest expansion in remote areas. It has lower buildpower than land constructors.
Brawler is a rapid-firing gunship. It has a decent armor, able to withstand most of T1 anti-air defenses. Their most common use is for defending your base or protecting your teammates within your air territory. They are not effective as striking units, due to their low speed. For this purpose - use bombers, or Blades. It has heavier armor but weaker weapon than its CORE counterpart (Rapier).
Dragonfly is an armoured transportation aircraft. It can take on board even the heavier T2 units and easily withstand light anti air defenses. Use it to deploy your forces right on the front, reducing your tactical reaction speed. It can load 4 small units (footprint 2x2) or a single big one. It is equipped with an EMP laser of high energy that can stop even heavy units like Goliath. You can use this fact to “steal units”. Paralyze it, load it, and transport near your nano-towers to reclaim it, or capture it with a Commander.
Lancet is a torpedo bomber. It has no weapon to fight against land units. However it is able to deal massive damage to any ship/submarine/amphibious unit. Torpedoes need a long open path to drop and accelerate in water. Therefore don’t try to drop them flying from the side of the shore line as they will just get stuck in sand. Remember that in order to locate underwater units you need to use a sonar, preferably a radar/sonar plane.
Blade is a super-fast gunship designed for late and endgame tactics. Equipped with a sabot missile launcher it can quickly deal great amounts of damage. It has a powerful armor that can withstand tons of anti-air missiles and flak shots, but its biggest advantage is its speed and maneuverability. When fighting it can make quick turns and barrel rolls to avoid missiles and it can fly as fast as fighters therefore it makes for a better strike force than bombers, when there is lots of land AA to fly over. However, bare in mind its high costs. Only with an endgame economy would you be able to build those in greater numbers.
Liche is the ultimate weapon of terror and destruction. A heavy aircraft equipped with a tactical nuke launcher. This guy can decapite Commanders, destroy Fusion powerplants, or send whole armies into the air with just a single shot. A well-microed Liche can win you a game, just locate all enemy Commanders and fly over them. Use SET-TARGET to make it not lose momentum when deploying a bomb. Two of those are enough to destroy an advanced fusion. Common counters to Liche are Chainsaws/Eradicators/Screamers/Mercurys - avoid those.