Aircraft play a vital role in Blitzkrieg. All aircraft are called into the battlefield via superweapon shotcuts. To gain access to these the player must first buy the aircraft at the air control tower. This building controls all aircraft in the theatre and so all aircraft callins are bought here. The tower must be upgraded as the war goes on to unlock more advanced aircraft and upgrades. When aircraft are bought the player must pay their full value, but this is essentially a deposit. So long as the aircraft make it back to base successfully then their cost will be returned as a rebate, minus 10% for the ammunition and fuel. Aircraft in Blitz can be divided into several different roles, which are listed below.
Recon planes are dedicated spotter planes. The Soviets and Axis operate these but the extensive Allied spy network makes air recon fairly pointless. However fighter planes can also be used in this role and air superiourity is valuable since it frees up your fighters to patrol enemy positions.
Fighters are used to control air space. They are quite cheap and will dogfight with enemy fighters. They are also good for taking down enemy strategic bombers and ground attack aircraft. They can try to engage light bombers as well but their high speed makes it difficult to dogfight with them.
Ground attack aircraft use cannons to engage enemy tanks in strafing runs. They are heavily armoured and can take a lot of punishment from light AA guns and enemy fighters.
Light bombers carry a large destructive payload that can be dropped on their target in a short space of time. A high top speed and a small attack window minimises their window of exposure. However they are unarmoured and so are more vulnerable to light AA guns and fighters than Ground Attack Aircraft. This it is important to keep AA guns around marshalling areas, or even put up a fighter screen over head to pre-empt any attempt by the enemy to attack troops while they assemble ready for battle.
Strategic bombers are used to attack enemy infrastructure. They deal no damage on a tactical level and so will not drain hit points but instead cripple the support network keeping frontline units and structures operational. Anything caught in the blast zone will be immobilised and so attacking the enemy factories is a great way to keep their forces under powered and new units out of the fight until they are obsolete.
Supply planes such as the Dakota DC-3 are used to drop paratroopers behind enemy lines. They are slow moving and so are vulnerable targets. However the strategic impact of a paradrop can be massive and it is worth risking such planes if it means a significant impact on the ground.
Anti aircraft guns come in two basic types. Light AA is for engaging pretty much all aircraft. They are especially useful for point defence against light bombers but will struggle to take down fighters or heavily armoured ground attack aircraft. Indeed the Il-2 is quite good at taking out enemy light AA in prelude for a Pe-2 strike. The other type of anti aircraft guns are the FlaK. These high powered long ranged guns can shoot down slow moving enemy bombers and supply planes, and can also be turned against enemy tanks. However they struggle to even hit fast moving fighters and light bombers.