The VVS is hard coded until sometime between Oct and Dec 41 (opinions vary) to show up very disorganized and in small groups for both fighters and bombers. And it has a minus 1 for ground attack in 41. Add in the supply problems the Soviet's have in 41, and your lucky to get any air support.
The Soviet VVS represents a turkey shoot in 41 for the Germans - it will just run up experience in air to air combat and cause minimal losses to the German. Best use I have found for the Soviet's air force (and this advice is worth what you paid for it, which is nothing) is:
- Put level bombers and transports on the night bases, mark them as night missions, and supply the partisans. I use the TB, DB and any other really long range bombers (Not PE series as you want to save them). After the first blizzard, I usually stop the supply to the partisans unless I have plenty of supplies. If I have plenty, I will keep supply them just to annoy the German. If I don't, then I stop. I actually have never seen a partisan attack make a difference in the game but I'm an optimist.
- Disband the air bases that disband in 42 (SABs I think, maybe SAPs I'm not at home right now). This frees up a lot of manpower for infantry replacements. At 10K men a pop, that's a lot of replacements exactly when you need them.
- Put about three or four airbases per front 10+ hexes behind your lines so they won't be over run, fill them with fighters, and increase your fighter intercept up to 300%. I start with the I series and let them get used up. They won't kill much but they can wear out the Germans by making them fly and fight. And you get billions of them. And they're useless for anything else.
- Put all your bombers in the national reserve and leave them there for 41.
- Pray. Your not going to get much from the VVS in 41. It gets better in 42. And by mid 42, you have a lot of decent fighters, decent tactical bombers (IL series), and start getting a few decent long range bombers (PE).
- Conserve your recon units. The Soviets are very short of them. You need them, especially for the blizzard offense.