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Thread: Dogfight Maneuvers

  1. #1

    Default Dogfight Maneuvers

    Just thinking it would be good to have a thread for explaining dogfight maneuvers. Mainly because there is one in particular I could use some advice on. A horizontal loop where I am the attacker is simple enough. Instead of keeping up with the plane in front flying in circles I just pitch up, invert, and then come back down on him. It makes my turn tighter and keeps me from overshooting. But a vertical loop is different.

    If I'm the attacker what tends to happen is I am behind the defender who is flying vertical circles and eventually while I follow 1 of 2 things happen. 1. I stall trying to keep up. 2. He is able to somehow get behind me as I can't keep up.

    Assuming we are both in the same plane what can I do to avoid this as the attacker?

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Westminster, CO
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    Default

    Just a suggestion on terminology. What you call a horizontal loop is normally just called a loop and is a vertical maneuver. What you described as a vertical loop is a steep turn and is a horizontal maneuver. Hmmm.... As I reread your description, I'm not quite certain that I understood you correctly, so maybe the above isn't what you described. But a loop is a maneuver where you pull up and keep pulling 'til you're inverted, easing off the back pressure but still pulling around nosing down then pulling out to level flight going in your original direction, thus a smoke trail looked at from the side would leave a loop, ring, circle (maybe oblong). A steep turn is just an ordinary turn but at a steeper bank angle (see below). Your "horizontal loop" could be interpreted as a rolling scissors, but I'm not exactly following you.

    The difficulty in the steep turn is that the steeper the bank angle, especially beyond about a 45º bank, requires more back pressure, therefore more Gs than the shallower bank angles do. The more Gs you pull the more weight the wings have to support. But more importantly (but related), more Gs means a higher angle of attack (AoA), thus creating more lift (until it stalls) and too high an AoA will stall. The solution to avoid the stall is reduced back pressure, thus a reduced AoA. You have to learn how to use a lot of back pressure, but hang on the edge just before the stall, feathering your pressure to keep from stalling -- it can be a fine line.

    The aircraft can literally stall at any angle, even nose straight down of you have too much back pressure (thus the AoA is too high).

    Perhaps a bit of difference in how you describe your maneuvers could clarify exactly what you mean.

    Larry N.

    As Skylab would say:
    Remember: Aviation is NOT an exact Science!

  3. #3

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    Sorry, yes I suppose correct terminology would help. I am able to do the High Yo-Yo maneuver fairly well.
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    That's what I meant by the horizonal loop. The defender just makes a tight turn to the left or right thus the horizontal loop. As the attacker I'm able to perform the High Yo-Yo and defeat them.

    But lets say the defender simply pulls back on the stick instead. He doesn't make any moves left or right. In the picture below I am normally in the Lag position trying to follow.
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    You would think I could just follow but somehow I keep either stalling or having him escape me and end up on my 6. I have yet to find a way to defeat this.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Denver, CO USA KAPA, KLMO, 35CO
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    Find a copy of "Fighter Combat" by Robert Shaw. It's the definitive work on ACM, and explains everything you'd ever want to know.

    Good Hunting!

    Alan

    EDIT: Fig. 2 in your 2nd Reply... If the bogey goes into the vertical, I'd break and gain both speed and separation, then go at him again. Speed and Separation is Life.

    At least, that's what I'd do. By the by... what are you fighting in?
    Last edited by ViperPilot2; 06-09-2021 at 12:24 AM.

    "I created the Little Black Book to keep myself from getting killed..." -- Captain Elrey Borge Jeppesen
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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by ViperPilot2 View Post
    Find a copy of "Fighter Combat" by Robert Shaw. It's the definitive work on ACM, and explains everything you'd ever want to know.

    Good Hunting!

    Alan

    EDIT: Fig. 2 in your 2nd Reply... If the bogey goes into the vertical, I'd break and gain both speed and separation, then go at him again. Speed and Separation is Life.

    At least, that's what I'd do. By the by... what are you fighting in?
    Until I get a gaming PC I am in vrchat test pilots. So just some prefab virtual reality jets. Best I have for now. Not totally realistic but beggar's cant be choosers.

    I've been just breaking as well when they do this. I think the issue is they are doing such a tight circle that the only way to get a good shot is to do a tighter one. Thus I slow too much and pull back too hard going into a stall. Otherwise they end up doing a tighter circle and end up behind me. I guess there isn't much to be done other than break and run?

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by jbearnolimits View Post
    Until I get a gaming PC I am in vrchat test pilots. So just some prefab virtual reality jets. Best I have for now. Not totally realistic but beggar's cant be choosers.

    I've been just breaking as well when they do this. I think the issue is they are doing such a tight circle that the only way to get a good shot is to do a tighter one. Thus I slow too much and pull back too hard going into a stall. Otherwise they end up doing a tighter circle and end up behind me. I guess there isn't much to be done other than break and run?
    Need to read up on standard manoeuvring: You don't fight a genuine loop by going vertical, the Loss of vertical energy in the first part of the loop puts you at clear disadvantage.
    Read on this: https://warthunder.fandom.com/wiki/A...euvering_(ACM)

    It is a mistake to plan ANY air combat maneuvres in this sim, but some are do-able!

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