From: Stillwater, OK, United States
A few things I want to discuss about what can be done in WPO, that I have specifically designed. The simplest of these are USMC aircraft upgrades. In the 1920's, Marines flew Army and Navy planes. (Though Army planes were generally limited to the DH-4). So, while most VF-Ms (as they were called, not VMFs) fly Navy planes, a few arrive in DH-4s. And as such, using PDU (which I promote), players have the option of upgrading any Marine Squadron to Army, or to Navy planes. As an example:
You can downgrade through all the Navy planes, or embark with Army DH-4s.
The next topic is how to simulate a single squadron having multiple plane types. Many times, carrier groups (particularly on the Langley) would two or three different types at once. Usually one type (such as the F6C) would be the standard type and equip most of the unit, while experimental or low production planes (such as the FB-5) would also be used.
All carriers in WPO have 2 Groups assigned. All navy bomber squadrons are designated as squadrons, but all navy FIGHTER units are designated as groups. So, to simulate using many types (and not to mention confusing a PBEM opponent as to how many carriers you do have), a group can be split, and then each section fly a different plane. Now granted, you can't recombine them until all fly the same plane, but for carriers, that isn't a problem. As an example:
Here we see the Langley in 1928. VT-1 is flying the SC-1, which can be upgraded to the T3M.
However (of more interest in this case), VF-1 has been split into three sections. A flight is flying the less common FB-5, B flight the radial engined F6C-4, and C flight the inline engined F6C-1. In addition, with three groups, 1 can be set to cap, 1 to escort, and 1 to strafe enemy ships. Or all can escort cap, leaving your opponent to guess how many carriers you actually have. While in WitP this might be considered gamey, it is a viable 1920's excersize.
And the third subject of this thread (to avoid many bug reports) is the Vought FU-1 Battleship Fighter. There are two variants. The FU-1 which is wheeled (and hence not the battleship fighter) and the FU-1 Float. VF-2 flies this fighter, and arrives in 6 3 plane sections. However, there is a proceedure you must follow to board these on ships:
1. Make sure the section's HQ is not restricted. It must be an opent HQ or independent.
2. The ship you wish to assign it to must not have an aircraft squadron on board. In addition, it must have at least a 3 plane capacity.
3. The ship you wish to assign it to must be in a task force. You cannot assign these planes to docked ships.
While they can perform naval attack or escort missions, their primary function is of escort. The project historically was dropped because by the time it was available Lady Lex and Sara had been completed. But since in WPO they have 16" guns, The FU-1 can see the light of day.
Historically, the FU-1 was a UO-1 scouting plane fitted with a forward firing gun and a single seat. Its original designation was UO-3.
An FU-1 section loaded on the battleship Colorado.
Designer of War Plan Orange
Producer of Carrier Force
Allied Naval OOBer of Admiral's Edition
Avatar is of me with my 1918/1967 FTR Ishapore Sht LE Mk III*.