An alternative is to try to do what my squadron is trying to do - fly coop-style missions in a DF server. The advantage is that if you, say, muck up your take-off or overcook your engine, you can respawn. The downside (near deal-breaker) is that when the host clicks "Start Battle" the whole mission begins (that is, all the spawning, the timing of flights, the timed events, etc), and "Start Battle" must be clicked before players chose sides, airfields, spawn in, warm their engines, taxi to take-off and so on.
We're discovering work-arounds, but it has been quite literally a year of us to get it to function like we want it to, and we've had to be quite ingenious in terms of mission design.
This game makes you work so hard for the goodies that it can supply!