I haven't played AE that extensively, but it used to be in WitP that the altitude setting affected the number of AC per (attacking) section of a squadron. So maybe your Altitude was set to 10k, you'd get something like 6x AC per section. But 24k you got 8x AC per section. And then each section would attack the same target. So in a 24x AC squadron with the above example, you'd get 4x sections of 6x AC on the same target at 10k; and 3x sections of 8x AC on the same target at 24k.
I don't remember exactly the break points and number of AC per section, but basically, the lower the altitude, the more sections with fewer AC are created.
That might have been WITP, but it's definitely not WITP AE. I went through months of heart ache because I was trying to get my DB to attack in 9 plane groups, instead of 4 plane groups, and all I accomplished was a 1 in 20 hit rate vs large capital ships, and about a 1 in 100 hit rate vs DD's. (they were level bombing in groups of 4)
Keep them at 10k altitude, or your hit rate will be miserable.
The older I get, the better I was.