Yesterday i followed Yokes tips and I finally managed to down three enemy aircraft.
2 Pandas, including an Abbadon, and one infection Anu flyer.
I had 2 Manticores and one Thunderbird, all with long range weapons: PP missiles plus NJ railgun on a Manticore & Thunderbird, PP missiles plus Any Mutog launcher on another Manticore.
Afterburners in the Manticores, extra plating on TV.
I basically did hit & run, shooting at the enemies with a flyer as much as I could, then disengage and engage with the next.
It took two rounds of shooting from each flyer to take down the Abbadon, but luckily I had a base nearby that could quickly rearm them.
On hindsight, the Mutog launcher is quite good because it does constant biological damage.
The railgun is also very good, long range, high accuracy and good damage.
Might try them together next time.
I also unlocked Synedrion air force, so I might try their lasgun for its long range.
As it seems that shooting at distance is the key to victory at the moment.
The downside is that those engagement were really time consuming, as in the meantime I lost two havens, that I could not protect because my flyers were locked in air combat.
Overall, I got less resources from taking down 2 flying pandas than from defending an haven.
And I needed to use three flyers to do that, while a single one would have been enough to defend an haven or two and get lots of resources.
So, in the end, I am not sure if is really worth investing in air combat given the meager rewards, unless you have a dedicated air force just for it.