What is a fighter aircraft? Well, A fighter aircraft is a military aircraft designed for air-air combat. In WWI, these aircraft were slow, rickety planes with rifle caliber guns mounted on to shoot down enemy bombers. Then it went from fighter-bomber, to fighter-fighter. In WWII, the aircraft got faster, flew higher, were way more maneuverable and much more heavily armed. IL-2 1946 is based on all WWII aircraft, and fighters are a HUGE part of it.
In general, there are two types of fighters, light fighters and heavy fighters.
Light fighters are single-engine planes,such as the Heinkel-162 Volksjäger, A6M "Zero", Yakolev-1 and P-51 "Mustang". All biplanes are also classed as Light fighters, and all rocket aircraft are classed as such aswell.
Light fighters are pure dogfighting machines, they're fast and incredibly agile, the best way to control the skies is to shoot down whatever you see that isn't yours, and that's a mission these little buggers are very well suited for.
On the other side, these planes can't carry much in terms of weaponry. Most can carry small bombs or rockets, and have the option for droptanks to improve the tactical range, but they're not the best choice when your target is a large ship or a bunker, of if the target is far from the allied airfield. If you need the firepower to sink a battlecruiser or the fuel to reach all the way across the map, you should pick a heavy fighter instead.
Heavy fighters Edit
Heavy fighters are, as the name suggests, heavy, and can usually carry around more and heavier weaponry than Light fighters, but are less manouverable than their lighter siblings. Heavy Fighters are often, but not always, twin-engine designs, and can stay aloft for long periods of time before needing to refuel. A few examples are: Bf-110G, Me-262, P-38 "Lightning", Bf-109Z, Bristol Beaufighter and the P-47 "Thunderbolt". In some cases, it can be hard to determine if a plane is a heavy fighter or a bomber.
The B-25 may be referred to as a heavy fighter OR a bomber because it has a large bomb bay, but also has fixed forward guns and the pilot also has a reflex sight for aiming those guns, which he does by pointing the plane's nose at his target, just like normal light and heavy fighters do. When you look at the B-25's guns however, you see that 7 of the plane's 11 guns are controlled by gunners in the plane's body and not by the pilot himself.
To separate heavy fighters from bombers, you can check how many cannons which are controlled by the pilot, if the Pilot controls More than half of the total amount of guns the plane has, it's a Heavy fighter. If the crew controls most of the weapons then you've got yourself a bomber.
Allied Light Fighter aircraftEdit
P-36 Hawk (Hawk 81A-2)
Allied Heavy Fighter aircraftEdit
Allied Jet Fighter aircraft Edit
Axis Light Fighter aircraftEdit
B-239 (F2A Buffalo)
I.A.R. 80 (I.A.R. 81a, I.A.R. 81c)
Axis Heavy Fighter aircraftEdit