I am wondering why the engine mod reads that it reduces the climb rate by about 150ft/min instead of increasing it? It used to read that the compressor or something did the same but no longer does. It makes me not want to play it since it already has a mediocre climb rate to start with and if upgrading it makes it worse, then how are you suppose to use a plane whose sole purpose is to fight at extremely high altitude if it doesn’t stand a chance of making it to that altitude before getting shot down by every other plane getting there before it even with a air start.
If I remember correctly, certain modification combinations can reduce performance (on the stat card at least). But if you have all modifications, it never reduces performance, as far I am aware.
Also, having someone above you does not mean they automatically win. There are still some nuances that can let you win with a lower energy state.