Imperial Aircraft Upgrades
Imperial Aircraft Upgrades are commonly seen throughout the Imperial Navy, on many Imperial Aircraft, and are designed to improve the abilities of the aircraft themselves, usually relating to their survivability.
An Ejector Seat is a device fitted to most aircraft, allowing the crew to leave a disabled vehicle while it is in the air. While this is relatively dangerous, it is better than crashing with the vehicle. The pilot and crew then fall to the ground, each supported by a grav-chute, usually landing a great distance from each other.
Flare or Chaff Launcher
Flare or Chaff Launchers are devices which launch heat-emitting flares or chaff in order confuse incoming fire. It uses so much material however, that there is only enough on board for one firing. Within the ranks of the Space Marines, a similar device called the Decoy Flare Launcher is deployed.
An Armoured Cockpit is designed to strengthen the area in which the pilot flies from. It is often enough to resist a few extra hits from the enemy which can keep the flier alive long enough to exact revenge.
Infrared Targeting is used when a flier has to fight at night, allowing the gunners to 'see' where they normally could not. It is not perfect however, as normal light is still better for combat situations.
Illum Flares are dropped in the night and allows ground and air co-ordination as aircraft fly through the lighted area. This is useful for both locating enemies and keeping track of friendlies in the sky.
Distinctive Paint Scheme or Decals
The Distinctive Paint Scheme or Decals mark out an aircraft as unique. Often the nose of the plane is painted as a monster or other creature and the wings given flames or lightning flashes. It is simply there to give other nearby troops a morale boost as they recognise the aircraft flying by.