Update 1.9.7 is dedicated to the third anniversary of World of Warplanes, and we prepared a new special called Three Years Airborne! The special’s mechanics will be familiar to our players — it is a chain of complex missions, but this time you will get much more valuable prizes: two Premium aircraft. Completing all the easy parts of the missions will grant you a new Kochyerigin, Yatsenko DI-6i Soviet Tier III fighter, while full completion of all the missions in the special will bring you the main prize, the Arsenal VB 10 Tier VII French heavy fighter. Let’s take a closer look at these machines.
Kochyerigin, Yatsenko DI-6i
The Kochyerigin, Yatsenko DI-6 was developed in the mid-1930s in two variants, as a fighter and an attack aircraft. Our game will include the fighter. The machine’s design was based on the reasoning that contemporary designs and technologies used in later biplanes were so advanced that adding a gunner cabin would not have any considerable negative effects on the aircraft’s performance. At the same time, the advantages of two-seat aircraft were numerous. They could be used in many roles, ranging from bombers and attack aircraft to reconnaissance planes. They were capable of escorting and providing protection for aviation formations that would not need to change course or break formation to attack the rear hemisphere, along with many more advantages over the single-seaters.
The first Di-6i (the “i” being short for “istrebitel” which means “fighter”) prototypes, named internally TsKB-11, showed good maneuverability, ease of control and a wide range of speeds where it remained stable. The aircraft used a unique solution for the time — retractable landing gear, which allowed it to significantly reduce drag. Later on, the Di-6 underwent numerous changes and improvements for nearly all aspects of the design. They included modifications to the pilot seat and gunner’s cabin, changes to the turret configuration, an engine upgrade from the initial Wright Cyclone R-1820F-3 to the Soviet M-25B, and a more rugged airframe. Additional equipment was installed, including a radio and an internal communication device, because the pilot and the gunner simply could not hear one another at high motor speed and altitude.
In summer 1935, the Di-6 began conversion into an attack aircraft with more powerful forward-facing armament, the ability to carry more bombs, and an armored pilot seat and back plate. This resulted in lower altitude, speed, and maneuverability. Both modifications entered service in 1936, but never saw any action —aviation development progressed very swiftly, and by 1939 the Di-6 were already deemed obsolete. They were transferred to reconnaissance roles, and later to trainer aircraft.
The Di-6i in World of Warplanes is a Tier III Soviet multirole fighter that boasts an unusual armament for its class. Its high maneuverability and relatively large HP pool allow it to excel in large dogfights at lower altitudes. The two forward-facing ShKAS machineguns don’t provide high firepower, but a powerful turret allows the fighter to deal a lot of damage in turn fights. Moreover, four bombs allow the players to add some points for destroying ground targets to their tally. Overall, the tactics when piloting the Di-6i are quite simple: first we fly out and drop our bombs on the nearest ground target, and then enter a dogfight and perform our dance there, dealing damage to targets in front and behind us.
Arsenal VB 10
The history of Arsenal VB 10 began before World War II. The first design stage started in 1937 and proposed a twin-engine wooden monoplane with both motors located inside the fuselage, the second one was to be installed behind the cockpit and contra-rotating the second coaxial propeller via a shaft passing through the first engine’s crankshaft. The project was called the VG 10 back then, but later it evolved to include more powerful engines and was renamed the VG 20. That design stage was abandoned in January 1938 and reincarnated as the full-metal VB 10. Development was stopped with the War coming to France, and only resumed after Victory in Europe Day in 1945.
The very first prototype of the Arsenal VB 10 showed great potential during tests and by the end of 1945 Arsenal secured a contract to build 200 aircraft. Alas, the promising project suffered the same fate as any other piston-powered fighter designs of the late 1940s: the swift progress made in jet engine technologies rendered them obsolete. Arsenal built four prototypes, and in September 1948 the order was cancelled. In the timeframe between 1945 and new French jet-powered fighters entering service, all the needs of the French Air Force were satisfied using surplus American and British fighters from WWII.
The Arsenal VB 10 in World of Warplanes is the second prototype design, equipped with very powerful armament, four 20-mm cannons, and six wing-mounted high caliber machineguns. The hail of fire produced by this machine at close and medium ranges will be extremely dangerous for any target. But this heavy fighter requires some tactical thinking if you want to take advantage of its strengths. It does not excel in maneuverability and has a long, yet quite weak boost, so dogfights are not the best strategy. The VB 10 is most effective at strafing runs, especially against less maneuverable targets like heavy fighters or attack aircraft, though if you can catch any fighter and unleash a salvo upon it, they would strongly regret their lack of tactical awareness. The VB 10 has another advantage over traditional heavy fighters: since its engines are located in a row, the chance of critical damage to both of them at the same time is very low. This means that the machine is very effective in head-on attacks: the firepower is more than enough to make any enemy regret challenging the French heavy, and you won’t suffer as much damage as most enemies.