- Pure and Lead Pursuit
by Ed "Skater" Lynch
we left off last time with a description of the Lag Pursuit,
and how to make it work for you. Now lets discuss the
two other general types of pursuit flying.
Here are a few more fighter-speak
words and acronyms to add to your sock drawer...
DICK: Verb. To get waxed (killed) in general. Ex: "Dont
let the strike flight get dicked."
LCOS: Lead Computing Optical Sight. A type of gunsight that takes
into effect many variables such as wind, lead, aircraft speed,
projectile velocity, etc. for accurate aerial gunnery deployment.
PIPPER: The focal point of a gunsight or a HUD weapons mode. Also
known as "The Kill Dot" to Mud Hen drivers.
3/9 LINE: An imaginary line running through your aircraft from the 3
oclock position through the 9 oclock position.
This line denotes the forward and rear hemispheres.
Lesson Two - 06 JUL 98 - Pure and Lead
Pursuit or "How I spent my Summer Vacation"
Pure Pursuit is basically flying
directly at or directly behind your bogey, and staying there.
For example, when you and your wingman are flying in an extended
Lead-Trail formation, the wingman is basically flying Pure
Pursuit on you. And, as with all fighter maneuvers, the
most basic goal is to keep the baddies in front of you, exhaust
baking the paint on the glare shield. There is simply nothing
more disheartening for a bad guy than a Western-built aircraft
sitting in deep six. Revel in that, and flip him the bird
for good measure! :-)
The main use of Pure Pusuit is to close the range or to decrease the angle-off on your
bandit, in order to close to within weapons firing parameters
(the ultimate goal IS to kill the bandit after all), or to
get to a position where the bandit is of less threat to you
or other allied aircraft. Generally, if you are already in
the bandits six, you will have already have shot him,
if you need to be told to do this, then Tactics 101 will not
help you, you need to fly C-5s and haul Dixie cups to
La Paz and back, not fly fighters. You types may leave the
For the fighter-types still left in
the room, well continue...
Now lets talk a little about Lead Pursuit. Lead Pursuit is basically an intercept
course to your bandit. Again, this type of pursuit course
is mainly used to close range to the bandit or angle-off from
the bandit. It is also used when maneuvering for a guns kill.
For example, while maneuvering in lag behind your bandit,
you manage to pull the nose across the bandits plane
of motion and put your nose out in front of him and begin
firing. The lead that you pull on the bandit allows your rounds
to reach the same airspace as the bandit at the same time.
In many modern fighters, the gunsight is of the lead-computing
type or will have a LCOS mode. In those cases, maneuvering
to put the gunsight pipper on the bandit will actually have
you flying a lead pursuit course in order to accurately deploy
the gun onto the offending bandito (almost all bandits are
quite offensive, disgusting, vile things).
Lead Pursuit is most probably
the most common form of pursuit flying, and also the most
commonly unrecognized. You probably already fly this type
of pursuit quite well and do not even know it. If you ever
fired in front of an aircraft in order to make bullet and
airframe meet in WarBirds or Air Warrior III, you have been
flying Lead Pursuit. If you have ever flown at an off
angle in order to close the distance on a bandit and end up
sliding in behind him by simply pointing your nose out in
front of his nose and flying straight in Janes F-15,
you have been flying Lead Pursuit. Congratulations
Tiger, you are well on your way to becoming a Sim Ace.
In the next installment of Tactics
101 we are going to discuss some more complicated maneuvers
and tactics. Stay strapped in to your ACES II ...
DLO: The Desired Learning Objective for today is basically to keep
the bandit in front of you and to keep you in control of the
bandit. Keep the bandit forward of your 3/9 line. Use Lead
Pursuit to chop the distance between you and the bandit,
and use Pure Pursuit to calculate a course to slide
in behind him and to stay there. Use Lead Pursuit to
put the pipper on the target and start rocking and rolling.
Pretty soon, you can show the bandit what 4th of July in the
good old USA is like from a first-person perspective!
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