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In Air Control game for Android the start is pretty smooth - I land up to 70 aircrafts no problem. Then at some point the AI will start pouring aircrafts like crazy at random points of the map and sooner or later I have all the map filled with trajectories crossing each other and this leads to a collision and a crash.

Is there any strategy for managing the incoming aircrafts that would allow to land at least several hundreds of them?

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Android's Air Control and Flight Control HD seem like ports, let's tag that one here too. –  rlb.usa Jan 4 '12 at 22:16
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3 Answers

My max score is in the 200s, so there is probably a better way.

Basically, I set up landing patterns like a real airport would. My base and final legs are very short to get the planes to the ground as quickly as possible. The core strategy is getting the aircraft into the downwind leg. Once I get into the hundreds I often find myself stacking up legs and creating an s-curve to get the planes in.

The key issue here is the speed of the big jets, I typically give them their own runway, or try to land them in the gaps. I often will leave some space to extend the downwind leg of the fighters and bombers so I can jam a jet in quickly. It is often advantageous to delay the "next-in-line's" landing to give yourself time to think.

This isn't a foolproof plan, as unlike a real airport (I hope), there are always planes coming from the edges that ruin your careful plan. Also unlike an airport, I find on the desert plan that it's useful to have the planes cross the bottom runway just past the point where the planes land, this provides a useful highway for getting to the middle of the map.

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yea, the differing airplane speeds really messes up the loop. What I tend to do is to have 2 loops, one for faster planes one for slower. The downside is, helicopters now have to cross 2 lanes of traffic instead of 1. –  z - Jan 5 '12 at 0:00
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Tactics

  • set up landing patterns
    • consider having a separate base for slower aircraft
    • having many planes circling in a base can be troublesome on a map with emergency aircraft (emergency aircraft always choose the shortest path to the runway, unchangable)
  • a different strategy to consider is getting all of the slower aircraft out of the way first - eg, helicopters and sea planes
  • in the PC version, you can toggle 'speed up' with the 'F' key. This makes it hard to handle any sudden situations which will occur
  • it's wise to keep flight routes away from the edges of the screen, where new planes may appear suddenly

A Note on Difficulty

Note that the starred, stated difficulty for each map may differ completely from your own personal experience. This rating doesn't always affect the maximum number of planes on the screen at a time.

Play Mechanics

If you know the mechanics, you can take advantage of them, as they don't necessarily agree with real life.

  • when a plane reaches the beginning 1/4 to 1/5 stretch of it's runway (or outer circle for helicopter), it's icon suddenly becomes smaller and begins to fade. This is the landing process.
    • when in the landing process, the aircraft cannot be crashed into
      • even if the two landing icons collide, it won't count
      • so if a slow plane lands and then a fast one immediately after, they cannot crash
      • this makes the bottom 3/4 of the runway completely safe to fly over, anytime
    • the angle of approach to the runway doesn't matter, only that the plane reaches the beginning 1/4 of the runway
    • on a windy map, when a plane has a route to a runway, even if the wind changes, the plane will still land there, no problem
    • the outer circles of two aircraft touching doesn't mean collision, only if the actual plane icons do
    • planes can crash even if one or more of the planes is off the screen (this can happen if you send a plane to the edges of the screen and a new plane appears)
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  1. Helicopters rarely crash into each other as they approach the landing spot.
  2. Get everything on a standard path right away and adjust after.
  3. Keep paths away from the edge of the screen. That's where all my collisions occur...from aircraft I wasn't controlling.
  4. You can spin aircraft in circles if you really get stuck.
  5. You don't have to loop the aircraft into runways. They will turn on a dime if you get the right path drawn.
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