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If I'm understanding the findings correctly:

At 1% per hour, does this mean that the hired ships are in fact the fastest ships to recover at a potential ~24% a day? Granted that's assuming they start reparing at 00:00..., but having continuous repairs hourly seems more efficient than having repairs once per day.

This might explain why I don't mind letting my interceptors get up close and take minor damage in the early months against Large Scouts. The can take a few hits and will be back up on their feet well in time for the next UFO sighting. Not having much hull points means they won't have as much damage to repair either...

Oh well, quiet informative nonetheless.

-NKF 21:29, 28 October 2007 (PDT)

Yes and No. The hired ships don't repair any faster than the manufactured ones:
Skyranger = 1%/hour = 1 damage point/hour INT(150*0.01) = 24 damage points/day
Avenger = 2%/day = 24 damage points per day (1200*0.02)
So it's the same rate. It's just that the hired craft do the check every hour, while the manufactured ones are every day. But because the repairs for the conventionally fueled craft update more often, they will usually finish this process quicker. --Zombie 22:35, 28 October 2007 (PDT)
Actually, I have reason to suspect Avengers update twice a day, because I've seen them come back with, say, 23% damage, and I'll check on them a while later and they'll have 16% damage, which is impossible if it's being decremented once a day by 2%. I'll check it out later after I get back from school. Arrow Quivershaft 06:01, 29 October 2007 (PDT)
Well, I did some more thorough testing on this. I used hatfarm's editor to hack my 3 normal craft to a Skyranger, Firestorm and an Avenger and gave them all 1000 damage capacity. All the craft repaired on the hour (not the first hour it encountered - after the first full hour was up). Because I'm a little wary of hatfarms editor for testing (it was programmed before much of craft.dat was decoded), I decided to do another test au naturel. After selling the second Interceptor and building 2 extra hangars, I had my engineers manufacture one of each of the other craft. Then I manually edited CRAFT.DAT so damage was 1000 and dumped them all in repairs. At least when I did this at 20:58, nothing happened until 22:00, and then only 1 point of damage was repaired. Subsequent hours always had a repair rate of 1 point as well (checked out to 5 hours). Haven't tried to put the craft in repairs after the hour, but I think they should all follow the same idea. Arrow, feel free to double-check this. I'd like an independent confirmation. --Zombie 15:19, 29 October 2007 (PDT)
I'm actually very poor at editing, but I can give it a shot...may need some guidance, though; I'll email if that's needed. Coincidentally, it appears that for all craft except the Firestorm, based on converting repair percentages into damage %, that damage to craft is decremented once per hour, on the hour. And the Firestorm's listed 5% is so close to 24 that it may well be rounding error.
Trying to get into the heads of the programmers, it makes more sense to have a set repair rate of one "Hull Point" per hour; definitely much easier to program than having different craft repair on the hour and on the day, and setting in repair rates. Rather, they set it to calculate the damage % on lookup, compared to the maximum "Hull Points." So when you go into the craft screen, it takes the damage points divided by maximum and gives you the percentage.
A theoretical way to test this would be to take a damaged craft and then edit the durability of the craft, recording percent damage before and after editing. Say, edit an Interceptor to 25 damage(25%) and then change durability to 500. If they calculate it on demand like this, damage % report should change to 5% with no other editing required. That's my thoughts, I'll see if I can work the tests in sometime in the next week.
Also, while I lack an editable copy of TFTD(got it through Steam, so I can't even use XComUtil :( ), testing these in TFTD, with the Barracuda's higher durability of 120 points, might be interesting. If damage is repaired once an hour, on the hour, then every 6 hours, it should skip incrementing the %. Arrow Quivershaft 16:28, 29 October 2007 (PDT)
First test in regular gameplay done. I took an Avenger and ran it up against a Battleship; when it came back to base, it reported 11% damage. Time was just before 23:00. I checked it every two hours, and at 9:05, it was at 10%. This strongly suggests that repairs are continuous, on the hour. Further tests(such as the damage-on-lookup test) will be done as time permits. Arrow Quivershaft 16:43, 30 October 2007 (PDT)
Damage-on-lookup test is complete; events were exactly as I predicted. I took a Interceptor on a new game, edited it to 25 damage, then edited the game executable to give the interceptor 500 Damage Capacity. The percent damage immediately changed to 5%. Feel free to double-check, Zombie, but I think this is pretty convincing evidence that damage is calculated on lookup. Next thing to do is to let said Interceptor sit in repairs for an hour and see what happens. (For reference, I use the CE version of X-COM, modified with XComUtil, if that changes anything. The only part of XComUtil I was using, however, were f0dder's loaders, which split the executable into two files.) Arrow Quivershaft 17:21, 30 October 2007 (PDT)
That test took less time than predicted; by simple observation, it turns out that despite the much higher damage capacity of the Interceptor, that the craft still repairs at a meager 1 point per hour. Zombie, please double check my work before we edit it into the wiki, but I can't see how you'd get different results. Arrow Quivershaft 17:26, 30 October 2007 (PDT)
Yup, that's exactly what I found as well. All craft repaired at a rate of 1 damage point per hour no matter what the original damage capacity is or the craft type. --Zombie 19:38, 30 October 2007 (PDT)

Strategies for handling repairs

A damaged aircraft is removed from your air combat fleet for a number of hours equal to the damage sustained. As the game progresses, and aircraft become able to sustain much higher damage levels, they are out of action for much longer - in theory an Avenger could be out of action for up to 7 weeks. What should be done?

One suggestion is to build a specific Repair Base. As soon as an aircraft has damage that will take more than about 12-24hrs to repair, transfer it to the repair base. (Presumably this is done using a fleet of cargo aircraft). Then move the first available aircraft from the Repair Base to the former operational base of the damaged aircraft. If the aircraft has sustained more than 72 damage, and you have spare cash, consider hiring an Interceptor to replace the damaged aircraft while it is repaired. An Interceptor fitted with advanced weapons is much better than not being able to respond to a UFO incursion at all.

If the best weapons are in short supply, maintain 2 or 4 basic weapons at each operational base - Cannon or Stingray Launchers. No need to maintain ammo for these weapons. They are simply used in order to be able to rotate the good weapons off the damaged aircraft, prior to transferring it to the Repair Base.

Of course it's always advisable to have some spare sets of your best manufactured weapons available, in case an entire aircraft is lost. If your best weapons are still weapons that can be purchased, they arrive faster than aircraft anyway, so there is no need to stockpile them.

Building the Repair Base can be very cheap, as hangars are cheap, and it can probably be built in a cheap part of the world. As a base which launches no attacks is rarely (never?) going to be the target of a Base Assault, you could even skip on living quarters for security troops. You will probably still need a general stores to hold Elerium for advanced aircraft.

If you can afford it, maintain some spare Interceptors or even spare advanced aircraft at the Repair Base. This way the gap in your coverage is limited to the transportation time from your Repair Base(s) to your operation base.

Repairs are optional?

The page currently says, "This is the first step that a craft will go through upon returning to base and is the only optional step." Am I missing something... Is there a way to skip repairs? I don't see any buttons like that. Thanks -MikeTheRed 20:00, 22 August 2012 (EDT)

I think it's just badly worded. It means by "optional", this step only happens if the craft is damaged. But the refuel and rearm steps happen even if the craft has full fuel and full weapons (right?). I remember thinking when I first read this article that there must be a better word than 'optional', but I couldn't think of one then and I can't think of one now. :) Spike 20:19, 22 August 2012 (EDT)
Ah, okay... I see what you mean. But I think that it's more important to be clear, than to try to use a single best word (I also can't think of a perfect one). Let me try a clarification then... and if someone can think of something even better, then go for it. And otherwise I suppose I'll delete this little section in a few days... I'd hate to see it exist forever just because of changing one tricky word. :P -MikeTheRed 21:39, 24 August 2012 (EDT)