One thing War Thunder cannot be accused of is not having enough aircraft to fly. War Thunder holds the record for the most number of types of World War II and beyond aircraft in a video game ever and Gaijin shows no signs of slowing down.
Update 1.71 is called ‘New E.R.A.’
The developers at War Thunder have been slowly pushing into more modern aircraft and tanks in recent updates and it seems that the plan is to continue to do that. A new Tier 6 layer of modern armor is the first step towards that and we should expect to see some of the iconic armored vehicles of the early and middle parts of the Cold War represented.
The developers are more tight lipped and less certain on the aviation aspect. They fear that missile combat and the slow turning rates of aircraft like the F-4 Phantom and other Vietnam era aircraft may not appeal to their crowd. Still, if they do manage to make it work in War Thunder it will be the first title in a very long time to represent Vietnam era aircraft in any sort of realistic (or thereabouts) fashion.
Of course, as with any other War Thunder update, there are new maps and locations to battle it out in and a range of new tanks and aircraft.
I’m focused on the aircraft in this blog update.
A large variety of new and exotic aircraft types
Used in the Marianas, Leyte Gulf and Okinawa battles, the D4Y replaced the D3A ‘Val’ dive bomber as weapon of choice for Japanese naval aviators. Increasing Allied fighter performance and sophistication made this fast bomber vulnerable.
Japan is actually slightly lacking in strike aircraft in War Thunder so having the D4Y does bring some good options to the tech tree.
Another example of the breadth of War Thunder’s aircraft lineup offering a rare and unusual aircraft to the lineup. The Ki-109 is based on the Ki-67 ‘Peggy’ medium bomber used by both Navy and Army air forces in the late part of the war.
The Ki-109 is actually a heavy interceptor armed with a Type 88 75mm cannon and no bomb bay or upper defensive positions (only the tail gun is retained).
The ultimate form of the single engined Mustang, the P-51H had a revised version of the famed Merlin engine allowing for 2,218 hp of power. Combined with aerodynamic improvements and lighter weight, the P-51H had incredible performance for a piston engined fighter: 487 mph at 21,200 feet.
555 of these fighters were produced and slated to appear in the invasion of Japan when the war ended.
The Mustang in War Thunder will slot in on the higher end of the research tree offering a high performance Mustang to compete with the likes of the La-9 and 11 as well as other exotic late war types. It also comes with a great variety of ground attack ordinance.
Another ultimate aircraft: The F4U-4 Corsair was the ultimate late war Corsair version and one that saw action in the very last stages of World War II and served into the Korean conflict as well.
A 446 mph fighter and fighter-bomber, the Corsair will be fast but also well armed with 20mm cannons and a large number of bombs or rockets.
War Thunder will surely add this in the higher tiers of the US Navy fighter tree. Additionally, the other F4U models already in the game are seeing their 3D models upgraded. Always a nice touch!
Here’s an obscure aircraft: Beechcraft’s XA-38 Grizzly. This is an aircraft I had never heard of until War Thunder mentioned it in a developer update.
First flying in 1944, the XA-38 was intended to replace the A-20 in the low level attacker role and to do this it featured a 75mm cannon (with 20 rounds), two .50cal forward firing and four .50cal machine guns in remote turrets on the top and bottom of the aircraft.
It was powered by the same R-3350 engines that were in the B-29 Superfortress which allowed this low level attacker to reach 370 mph (fighter like speeds from just a year or two before) at 17,000 feet. The reliance on the B-29s engines helped kill the project and only 2 were produced.
This is a really cool addition to the series, the DeHaviland Hornet was the ultimate form of the famous Mosquito. Faster and lighter, the Hornet F.3 was more of a long ranged fighter and strike aircraft than bomber turned attack aircraft like the Mosquito. Envisioned for use in the Pacific against Japan where range was key for fighters, the Hornet was also very fast with a top speed of 475 mph at 21,000 feet.
Post World War II flying boat Be-6 was used by the Soviet Union for maritime patrols, mine laying, cargo transport and a host of other duties. It’s distinctive gull wing appearance and very good defensive armament (those are five 23mm cannons!) should make this an interesting aircraft to fly and a dangerous one to attack.
Image sources: Gaijin/War Thunder website