I think the Air development system as is is fine.
Whenever you create a new cabinet position, your BPs get divided, again, evenly at first and then in proportion to any new budget settings you might make (which in itself can be a politically damaging maneuver). So, forcing you to create a cabinet minister just to research basic aircraft tech is a bit too punishing, IMO.
The system as is encourages you to create the Air ministry late game, when you are swimming in BPs, where dividing your BP allocation again actually helps deal with the efficiency drop of allocating more than 100 BPs to a single task.
This has parallels to real life. The US, for example, didn't create the United States Air Force until 1947. By this time, two world wars were fought, and aircraft development went from flimsy ultralight biplanes to early jet aircraft, 4-engine heavy prop bombers, very early helicopters, etc.
It's a good point you make there. However, as I suggested moving the advanced aircraft tech (helicopter and rocket engines + beyond) to the airforce council, this fits with what you're speaking of.
Also the WW1 European military powers made their own airforces with R&D departments around 1916. The US got access to a lot of these inventions once they joined the war, so historically it's quite normal to start a specialized R&D dept once the tech is discovered by "amateurs" like the Wright Brothers etc.
And you're ignoring the fact that you can suddenly be pushed back dozens of turns if your military R&D decides to focus on rocket engines, helicopters and such to begin with.
It's a litteral killer of early game situations.
I do agree that having all the air techs researchable by military council probably isn't ideal early game. This causes a lot of randomness in tech discovery early game where if you get unlucky and get a bunch of the air techs instead of say combat armor or side skirts, it can really slow you down. Simple solution might just be an option on your military council on whether to allow discovery of air techs or even just add a separate priority slider for air tech discovery in the military council.
This works for me. Honestly it should be an option to begin with - like have discovery focus on infantry, armor or air. And then have a lesser chance of discovering something unrelated instead.
Aren't there planets where (turbo)propeller/helicopter/(jet?) engines are pretty much useless ?
My first game I ended up on a 0.2g, 20% atmospheric density planet, and so I didn't even bother researching anything else than rocket engines... was I wrong ?
One of the "help" screens, last of the long list of reports - I believe it's one of the planetary condition reports. Tell you which types of airplanes work best.
< Message edited by Leslac -- 1/27/2021 4:05:34 PM >