Ever since the dawn of time, man dreamed of being gifted with the abilities that birds had: flight. Leonardo da Vinci, an artist and inventor, drew up designs for such machines capable of flying, but those dreams never became reality.
However, Hot Air Balloons became the first to be classed as an aircraft in 1783, with a human crew, but they relied on wind to maneuver around. The Wright Brothers achieved true, directable, powered flight in 1903 and would later serve as the foundation for most aircraft in the following years.
But it wasn't until the First World War that aircraft would become a vital part of warfare where aerial photography and intelligence on enemy movements would carve the way for many campaigns and operations that followed.
The Germans were at the spearhead of combat aviation at the start of World War Two and was an important turning point for the future of all nations involved. Their airforce, the Luftwaffe, were the most technologically advanced that puts them ahead of any rivaling Air Force: Dive Bombers, Radar and the infamous Blitzkrieg; A strategy where thousands of bombers would be swiftly deployed to destroy vital airbases and logistics to cripple the enemy's air power.
Today, aircraft still serves a vital role in both civilian and military. transport people across the world and defending a nation's vital airspace.
Starting from the Industrial Age, Airbases can be built to deploy Biplanes. However, at this stage, aircraft have limited range and may only serve to defend vital points of a Nation or used offensively to attack nearby enemy Cities.
In the Modern Age, air power becomes more dominant, adding new classes: Bombers, Fighters and Helicopters. Bombers have longer range than Fighters and are ideal for attacking ground targets further out while Fighters can be used more defensively.
Helicopters enjoy unlimited range and can be used for harassment targets and sub-hunting but they're more prone to anti-air efforts.
In the Information Age, Strategic Bombers, Jet Fighters and Attack Helicopter serve as the final and most powerful level of aerial supremacy. Carriers replace their Fighter Bombers for Jet Fighter Bombers. Faster and longer ranged, a Nation's air supremacy can stretch much further across the map.
Also, when the player researches Global Prosperity, Strategic Bombers can be upgraded to Stealth Bombers which renders them immune to ground AA altogether; Becoming extremely dangerous, and annoying, if sent towards Cities and Wonders. Thankfully, the more vulnerable Advanced Fighter can be used to fend them off as they serve as the only defense against them.
- Main article: Fighter Aircraft
- Main article: Bomber Aircraft
- Main article: Helicopters