From: Winnipeg, MB
You can also load air units on a cargo type ship. It needs to be docked, then select load troops, then select the air unit. Unless the aircraft are on an AKV, they aircraft will arrive damaged which represents the fact that they were partially disassembled.
There are four cargo transfer modes:
- AKVs can take the unit without damage so that it is undamaged when unloaded.
- You can also load air groups on an aircraft carrier, but their presence may prevent the carrier from being able to launch its own aircraft. Some LBA like fighters can take off from the carrier before it makes port and land at a suitable air base. Otherwise, you need to dock the carrier and crane them off. Only naval "carrier capable" or "carrier trained" air units can land on a carrier.
- AKs and xAKs can carry aircraft in Air Transport TFs with packing "damage" that takes one day to make good after unloading at a base with air support. They can also carry aircraft in Transport mode with 3 days worth of prep damage on arrival.
- xAKLs and xAPs can also carry aircraft in a Transport TF, but not in an Air Transport one. (Exception - I think the xAKLs that are 2900 tons are close enough to the 3000 ton base capacity for an xAK that they can form an Air Transport TF).
As others have said, the unhelpful terminology for loading the aircraft at dockside is "Load Troops".
If there are enemy aircraft,subs and raiders likely to interdict your ships, it is a good idea to form the Air Transport/Transport TF of several ships per air unit so that the unit is not loaded entirely on one ship. You could even split up those ships into separate TFs and send them via different routes so that the entire unit is unlikely to be lost to one disaster. Loss of the entire unit would mean paying PP to buy it back and waiting for enough aircraft to rebuild it again (and retrain a new set of pilots).
No matter how bad a situation is, you can always make it worse. - Chris Hadfield : An Astronaut's Guide To Life On Earth