|For other use of Aircraft, see Aircraft.|
Aircraft are flying vehicles used for combat, transport, or utility purposes. The first planes were made in the early twentieth century, and first saw combat in the Second World War. Typically less armored than ground vehicles, they are immune to most enemy fire when airborne, but units that are capable of anti-aircraft fire are easily capable of shooting them down. It is where aircraft technology development has taken a radically different path...
Second World War
See: Aircraft (Red Alert)
First Tiberium War
GDI Air Force
During the First Tiberium War, GDI used ORCA Assault Crafts, lightly armored VTOL craft, that possessed Dragon TOW missile launchers, as their main aircraft. In addition, GDI deployed a range of support aircraft, including A-10s, armed with napalm bombs that can blanket area targets, such as troop concentrations or fortification clusters, with an intense firestorm, giving Nod the feelings on what it's like to be in a hot-spot.
Nod Air Force
For aerial offense, Nod use overhauled, but outdated, Apaches. These use a powerful chaingun as a primary weapon.
They also use civilian cargo planes to deliver vehicles onto the battlefield.
Second Tiberium War
GDI Air Force
GDI continued their Orca development projects after the First Tiberium War, falling partially under the auspices of Project Orca AD02/337., resulting in many variants of Orca aircraft during the second tiberium war. Many of the new Orcas used articulating turbofans and eschewed wings like the ORCA Assault Craft. The Orcas, like other contemporary aircraft, were disabled by ion storms.
- The Orca Fighter was the successor to the ORCA Assault Craft, with its armor upgraded and armed with Hellfire missiles, these were effective only at against immobile, slow-moving or light-armored vehicles.
- The Orca Bomber was a new Orca aircraft designed to carpet bomb, with large payloads of high explosive bombs and, in group of three, can cripple any structure (or at least significantly damage it) and were moderately effective at destroying vehicles and infantry.
- The Orca Carryall was designed to carry vehicles across the battlefield, ignoring the restrictions of terrain, Tiberium or, in some cases, enemy defenses.
- CH-47 Chinook and C-130 gave way to the Orca Dropship and Orca Transport, which were capable of transporting large amounts of soldiers, mechs and other equipment at long distances.
- GDI Jump jet infantry Divisions are not classed as aircraft but their aerial ability to hop into positions prove to be an effective strategy in combating Nod.
Nod Air Force
- Using technology plundered from the alien artifact, known as the Tacitus, Kane create the Banshee; an next generation heavy attack fighter/bomber aircraft that utilises a pair of powerful, rapid fire, plasma cannons, which were optimized for use against vehicles.
- Harpies are a derivative version of the AH-64 Apaches and were been developed as their predecessors have grown obsolete with the rise of the GDI's new Orca technology. These new aircraft were more potent in their job as well as increasing local anti-air capability.
Third Tiberium War
GDI Air Force
The dominance enjoyed by Orcas in GDI's aerial arsenal disappeared after the Second Tiberium War. Fixed-wing aircraft took over the air superiority, tactical bomber, and airlift roles and the heavy close air support role was given to the rotor-wing. The Orcas were not thrown out of GDI's air-force so far, being more of aerial scouts and participating in hit-and-run roles.
- The A-15 Orca is the third major variant of the Orca Aircraft, which are effective against vehicles and buildings and can be upgraded to launch sensor pods that will reveal everything within a certain radius. But their lack of self defense meant that they were helpless to aircraft that do.
- ZOCOM even employed their own model of Orca. These aircraft had their traditional rocket arrays for a pair of sonic grenade launchers whose area-of-effect were deadly against infantry. They cost as much as Firehawks however and are mostly used for carpet bombing, as their sonic grenades are unsuitable for surgical strikes into enemy territory.
- Firehawks are a new addition to GDI's aerial family. This new fixed wing aircraft replaced the Orca's bombing roles with its unthinkable speeds that made its name well known. Firehawks also were dual-roled, meaning that the craft can be outfitted with Rattlesnake missiles to attack air targets. But however it cannot utilise both roles, only switching when grounded on airfields.
- Orca Carryalls were replaced with the new multipurpose VTOL aircraft V-35 Ox, primarily used for ferrying squads of infantry and smaller vehicles. But the heavier burden of GDI's armor regiment meant that they have to drive, or walk, to their far destinations.
- Orca Strike Crafts still remained as GDI's means of committing bombing runs on their enemies.
- The Hammerhead brought the traditional rotor-wing aircraft back into light. An indication that GDI respects the maneuverability and effectiveness of such craft. The Hammerhead is a close air-support gunship that provided an infantry killing role for GDI's infantry squads.
- Supersonic fighters are triangular aircraft which utilise powerful sonic attacks to knock-out aircraft in a designated area. Their speed meant that they can shake off most AA fire.
- The GDI Aircraft Carriers are also equipped to handle an entire squadron of Firehawks and field Orca strikes.
- GDI also have Ironside, a large experimental aircraft use a troop transport, but was destroyed by a Nod Black Hand strike force sent to capture Dr. Alphonse Giraud, thus abruptly and prematurely terminating the project.
Nod Air Force
- Venom Patrol Crafts are Nod primary air fighter, scout and patrol craft Venoms were cheap and fast to build, but had lower armour and its weapon was of willy strength to take out armored vehicles and tougher aircraft, unless upgraded. Venoms can uncover stealthed units and provide an long range advantage of Beam Cannons.
- Vertigos are a new strike/stealth bomber that can destroy large structures and vehicles located deep within enemy bases. Its evasion and defense was depended on its stealthy profile, and its rear mounted chaingun.
- In a twist of irony, Nod adopted and reverse-engineered the Orca-Carryall, filling Nod's role of ferrying all but the heaviest regiments.
- Armageddons were heavy bombers, relying on its sheer speed to evade damage from GDI anti-air defenses and deploying a variety of Nod special weapons, including land mines, Tiberium vapor bombs and liquid tiberium.
- Eschewing the air force as a matter of their religion. The Black Hand, however, use Armageddon bombers as means of bombing runs.
Scrin Air Force
The Scrin, despite being a terrifying posture on the ground, they appear to dominate the airspace with their arsenal of aircraft.
- Most commonly found flying through the air, Stormriders are the backbone of the Scrin's aerial divisions. Nailing enemy infantry. taking on aircraft, and harrasing vehicles with their plasma cannons. They can also be solidified and healed whilst flying in ion-storms.
- Devastator Warships fill the role as the Scrin's building and infantry eradicator. Their long range plasma disc cannons harrass enemy bases from afar and are no doubt excellent on ridding infantry but however they are rarely seen without escort of aircraft to compensate for the lack of AA.
- Planetary Assault Carriers or PACs are Scrins main muscle of aerial domination. These flying carriers field and repair up to 8 small fighter drones to destroy vehicles, and take on aircraft willing to attack the carrier. They are capable of generating a passive and defense ion-storm at will and can uncover stealthed units.
- If the situation, and there's no other way, has be absolutely demolished. The Scrin send in their Mothership. An awe-inspiring disc-shaped superweapon that, when it gets into position, brings down an powerful stasis ray that ripples and tears almost anything caught within the blast zone.
- Westwood Studios, Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun. Animation: eva.vqa.