I agree. If the boat is balanced well, even small planes make a difference on hulls like the Akula II. But even the Akula is a larger hull.
Trim is everything. I remember seeing Crozier's Permit in a hover--perfect balance-. Then Thor placed a penny on it while it was hovering just under the surface. She started sinking to the bottom immediately!
Anyway, when balanced, all forces acted upon the hull effect it. A more stable boat I have never seen the Jeff's Small World Blueback. But it has no bow plane action going on. Yet, it can cut around at periscope depth with one finger driving the transmitter all day long.
In the smaller boats, like the Trumpetor Seawolf, it again, has been done. However, look here :
With a decent trim on setup, (thank you Steve), she runs good enough with fixed planes. Proven.
It will also allow more room for anything else you want to add in the front to go with fixed bow planes.Because one thing is for sure, room is precious when you start adding stuff to that small of a hull.
It comes down to your choice.That is what makes this hobby interesting.