From: The Zone™
You said you're not paying attention to the air war. You need to start, and some of it doesn't require spending APs. Get your best fighter and tac bombers onto bases supporting your fronts that will be carrying the offensive. Max out the bomber bases with nine IL-2 regiments and have at least four, preferably six of these assigned to the aviation front. That will give you at least 1,000 tac aircraft in support. I like putting equally experience fighter or FB's there as well because they will be involved in the most fighting. It only costs a single AP to reassign an air base and there are no admin limits for aviation front HQs. You want to have enough planes to support the attacks on his frontline ground units but also be rady to ground bomb the mobile reserves in the vicinity of your push.
Well, that was a gross exageration from my part, sorry It' s just that, er, as a WitP AE player the air thing on this game is just way too primitive. Utter sophistication on one side (WitP AE: there are individual pilots that you can order to NOT fly, for example, sack and reassign squadron leaders...), a Spartan approach on the other (WitE).
If I had enough APs I could micromanage (as I love to do in WitP) my Red Air Force. But it's discourageing I want a VVS air base to put recon planes there and send it to an important spot but I get random bases... In the end, parts of the front cannot be reconned as there are not enough VVS bases.
I have lots of ShaP Fighter Bomber units that in theory should be upgraded to IL-2s but I can't do that (lack of APs), I have to wait for the automatic upgrade.
In other words, I am not paying enough attention to the air war because I can't do what I would like to do. It's abstract, that's all.
But still, I try to stay organized. This is (the screenshot) the minimum I have in every Front. Except the VVS, as I have said: simply not enough for everyone.
So in fact I have lots of IL-2s.
For the next offensive there's going to be an air concentration of forces as well. I plan to attach more air bases filled especially with tactical and level bombers to the fronts involved in the operation.
The screenshot: air force (3rd Air Army) attached to Kalinin Front
A nu cheeki breeki iv damke