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#3949585 - 05/06/14 02:22 AM mr. Andy Bush or someone else, please clarify fighter terminology  
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Laurwin Offline
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In the following video, Pete Bonanni discusses an engagement F-16 bouncing Mig-29 from behind. However, Mig-29 breaks into the F-16.



The specific term which I didn't understand was when Pete talks about "line-of-sight rate, increasing".

The situation happens at roughly 25:00 mark, in the video... Pete is discussing the timing of the F-16's turn. And that's where he mentions "line-of-sight rate" (a term which was undefined)

Sorry for being a bit dim, but I just wanted to ask about this. wave

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#3949594 - 05/06/14 02:57 AM Re: mr. Andy Bush or someone else, please clarify fighter terminology [Re: Laurwin]  
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He means the visual movement of the target.

If the LOS rate is 3deg/s and then you see it take off at 10deg/s, the LOS rate has increased.

LOS rate means the rate of change of heading of whatever you are looking at - heading change in this case is from your head to your target. So if you're finding your have to turn your head faster to track him, LOS rate has increased.

Zero LOS rate means (well, should be) the target is moving steadily in your FoV.

Zero LOS means the target stays in position. Simplest example is head-on ... there is zero LOS change.

Another example is an intersection ... you and another car are heading towards an intersection, one from the east, one from the south.

If you're at different speeds (you can't change course) you will see him move in your field of view. If you match the motion so he stays in place, you will collide (you can also adjust course, but in this example you're not allowed to because you're staying on the road smile )

And now you know how missiles guide to target.


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#3949687 - 05/06/14 12:20 PM Re: mr. Andy Bush or someone else, please clarify fighter terminology [Re: Laurwin]  
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To add to what GreyGhost has said, think of LOS as sideways movement of the other aircraft away from your nose (let's assume you are looking straight ahead).

In a tail chase or head on attack, there is no sideways movement of the bandit...it stays on your nose. But here, when the MiG-29 breaks, the MiG begins to move sideways, thereby changing its angle off your nose. The change of this angle is its LOS...and the faster this angle increases means its LOS is increasing.

This LOS change is not just a function of the MiG's rate of turn...the MiG's speed is also relevant since a hard turning (high rate of turn) but slow speed MiG will appear more stationary, particularly when viewed from longer distances.

LOS is all about relative displacement (changes in relative position). This means LOS is more an aspect issue than angle off. Large displacement means large LOS.

#3949756 - 05/06/14 02:08 PM Re: mr. Andy Bush or someone else, please clarify fighter terminology [Re: Andy Bush]  
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Originally Posted By: Andy Bush
To add to what GreyGhost has said, think of LOS as sideways movement of the other aircraft away from your nose (let's assume you are looking straight ahead).

In a tail chase or head on attack, there is no sideways movement of the bandit...it stays on your nose. But here, when the MiG-29 breaks, the MiG begins to move sideways, thereby changing its angle off your nose. The change of this angle is its LOS...and the faster this angle increases means its LOS is increasing.

This LOS change is not just a function of the MiG's rate of turn...the MiG's speed is also relevant since a hard turning (high rate of turn) but slow speed MiG will appear more stationary, particularly when viewed from longer distances.

LOS is all about relative displacement (changes in relative position). This means LOS is more an aspect issue than angle off. Large displacement means large LOS.


I think everybody can understand it intuitively, in the brain, sort of...

Especially with Grayghost's car intersection example.

I remember though, Pete talks about line of sight rate 30deg off the HUD (with respect to the turning mig-29).

What does this mean, basically, 30degrees off the HUD?

That 30degrees off the HUD, is what Pete describes as the "correct moment" to start turning into the mig-29. The F-16 starts to turn into the mig-29, and maintains lag pursuit for a while... (until, gunshot opportunity is presented)

I mean, HUD basically just shows the main flight data. The HUD is an image reflecting equipment of a fighter aircraft, much like the reflector gunsights of old times in WW2.

#3949776 - 05/06/14 02:38 PM Re: mr. Andy Bush or someone else, please clarify fighter terminology [Re: Laurwin]  
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He means off your 12 o'clock. What he's really saying, if I am interpreting correctly, is that you should start turning when the MiG is at your 11 or 1 o'clock (30 deg to the either side of your 12 - ie. your HuD).

He is using the HuD as a reference. In DCS, when flying the F-15, the 11/1 o'clock for example tends to be just inside the canopy rail.

Last edited by GrayGhost; 05/06/14 02:39 PM.

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#3949796 - 05/06/14 03:08 PM Re: mr. Andy Bush or someone else, please clarify fighter terminology [Re: Laurwin]  
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That may be true enough when he is at your twelve. But assume you start bouncing him while he is at 2 o'clock. I guess the bounce can be described that way that the target changes position at a steady LOS rate so he is at your twelve when you get into gun range (ignoring lead).
However, when he starts turning into you (=> LOS rate increases) when he is at 1 o'clock, when is the right time to follow into the turn? 12 o'clock, or 11 o'clock? Couldn't it happen that he never shows up at 11 o'clock, e.g. because his turn is very tight?!
Not to mention that you might have a problem observing him as he is just about to dissapear under your nose, no?! I guess you wouldn't follow him with a roll???

Last edited by WhoCares; 05/06/14 03:16 PM.
#3949805 - 05/06/14 03:23 PM Re: mr. Andy Bush or someone else, please clarify fighter terminology [Re: Laurwin]  
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Um ... it depends? smile

Pete Bonani is explaining a basic situation, but really all BFM is about knowing your energy state and what you can do with it, knowing the same about your bandit, and from there and on observing, judging and flying.

Yes, unfortunately without hands-on training, for the most part it is that vague.

If he's turning into you and he's doing 200kts and you're doing 400, will LOS take-off? How are you going to handle this? Will you try to saddle up, or just shoot him where he sits (he's not really moving much at 200kt).

What if he's doing 600kt? Your turn circle is smaller, and you just got into gun range ... LOS might take off for a moment, but you can easily keep him where you want by correcting - your TC is smaller after all.

If you're co-speed and he just turned really hard, he also just burned speed. In this case, perhaps you want to turn more into lag and go up, then come down on top of him instead of trying to stay in a co-plane turn.

It gets complicated.

Last edited by GrayGhost; 05/06/14 03:53 PM.

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#3949875 - 05/06/14 05:46 PM Re: mr. Andy Bush or someone else, please clarify fighter terminology [Re: GrayGhost]  
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Originally Posted By: GrayGhost
Um ... it depends? smile

Pete Bonani is explaining a basic situation, but really all BFM is about knowing your energy state and what you can do with it, knowing the same about your bandit, and from there and on observing, judging and flying.

Yes, unfortunately without hands-on training, for the most part it is that vague.

If he's turning into you and he's doing 200kts and you're doing 400, will LOS take-off? How are you going to handle this? Will you try to saddle up, or just shoot him where he sits (he's not really moving much at 200kt).

What if he's doing 600kt? Your turn circle is smaller, and you just got into gun range ... LOS might take off for a moment, but you can easily keep him where you want by correcting - your TC is smaller after all.

If you're co-speed and he just turned really hard, he also just burned speed. In this case, perhaps you want to turn more into lag and go up, then come down on top of him instead of trying to stay in a co-plane turn.

It gets complicated.
Originally Posted By: GrayGhost
Um ... it depends? smile

Pete Bonani is explaining a basic situation, but really all BFM is about knowing your energy state and what you can do with it, knowing the same about your bandit, and from there and on observing, judging and flying.

Yes, unfortunately without hands-on training, for the most part it is that vague.

If he's turning into you and he's doing 200kts and you're doing 400, will LOS take-off? How are you going to handle this? Will you try to saddle up, or just shoot him where he sits (he's not really moving much at 200kt).

What if he's doing 600kt? Your turn circle is smaller, and you just got into gun range ... LOS might take off for a moment, but you can easily keep him where you want by correcting - your TC is smaller after all.

If you're co-speed and he just turned really hard, he also just burned speed. In this case, perhaps you want to turn more into lag and go up, then come down on top of him instead of trying to stay in a co-plane turn.

It gets complicated.



From Pete's video at about 25:00 mark.



- The premisis is that the F-16 is infact inside Mig's turning circle. F-16 pilots makes the judgment call that he's inside the Mig's circle.

- Mig-29 is flying at his own cruise speed. The Russian Gomer doesn't suspect any trouble and is simply enjoying the scenery. Presumably he's just cruising combat cruise at high speed

- supposedly Mig-29 is above his own corner speed, because he was unsuspectedly bounced from behind?

- Mig-29 I suppose, would still try to break turn. What other options does he really have? F-16 has AIM-9s available, so guns kill is not the only way to kill the Mig.

- F-16 is flying corner speed and he is attacking the Mig-29 from Mig's 7 o'clock position.

- both aircraft are co-alt.


The reasoning seems to be. There is just simply no way for the Mig to outturn the F-16, easily.

The Mig has the turn circle the size of Texas

It is simply enough for the F-16, to make his turn at corner speed, and stay behind the 3-9 line for the immediate future.

F-16 keeps lag pursuit for a short while and keeps turning.

Eventually F-16 closes to within 3000 feet of Mig, and kills Mig (mentioned by Pete there at the end of the dogfight)

#3949881 - 05/06/14 05:57 PM Re: mr. Andy Bush or someone else, please clarify fighter terminology [Re: Laurwin]  
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I see, ok. So it's a very simple OBFM scenario, and he's just describing how you can detect where the elbow is and how to avoid turning into his post or some other 'fun' option, like too much lag etc.

Other than that, don't over think it or make assumptions about things that aren't obvious (eg. you are mentioning mig turn circle size ... simply not relevant. Whatever his TC is, if you've made the assumption that you're co-speed, you're getting inside the TC if you're close enough, and that's exactly what he is describing).

Last edited by GrayGhost; 05/06/14 06:01 PM.

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#3949888 - 05/06/14 06:09 PM Re: mr. Andy Bush or someone else, please clarify fighter terminology [Re: GrayGhost]  
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Originally Posted By: GrayGhost
Pete is giving you a very simple scenario. Don't over-think it.

Beyond 3000', it isn't optimal but the MiG definitely has some chances for a good defensive fight - but it's also in big trouble since the opponent is inside the TC. There are a lot of things Pete isn't telling you, so again ... don't over-think it. It is a basic scenario aimed at giving a little BFM knowledge to people who have none.


I was thinking about another case example of the line-of-sight rate increasing, or decreasing, could you give an opinion on this whether I'm thinking about the right thing?


-Let's say I'm flying F6F hellcat and making a diving pass at A6M zero

-diving gun pass is made from the A6M's 4:30 o' clock (angle off the tail, would be about about 45deg, so that's quite a bit deflection needed for gun)

-outside the A6Ms turn circle, at distance of let's say 700 yards, zero starts hard break turn to the right



-When the Hellcat is looking at the zero, obviously immediately the line-of-sight rate appears to increase quite rapidly.

-zero can try to go head-on for a gun attack vs the hellcat. Zero keeps turning into the hellcat.

-now hellcat is looking at the zero, zero is finishing his turn and starts to level out for a head-on attack.
Obviously the line-of-sight rate decreases rapidly at this point?

-hellcat should shoot first, and hit first and kill the zero first, obviously, so hellcat has to have an eagle eye at the situation and and itchy trigger finger! ar15

#3949958 - 05/06/14 07:49 PM Re: mr. Andy Bush or someone else, please clarify fighter terminology [Re: Laurwin]  
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Yes that's reasonably accurate just for understanding what LOS rate is. You won't have much LOS rate change at such a range, of course.


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#3950384 - 05/07/14 05:31 PM Re: mr. Andy Bush or someone else, please clarify fighter terminology [Re: Laurwin]  
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I think you are generalizing too much in your scenario there Laurwin.

The LOS gouge is nothing more than an aid to help determine when you have entered into the bandit's turn circle.

Your scenario demonstrates the importance of this concept very acutely. If you are outside the bandit's turn circle, you cannot prevent him from generating angles on you (i.e. you can easily point your nose at the bandit, but doing so doesn't change the fact that he can continue to increase angles on you until he has neutralized the fight by meeting you head on).

Thus, if you bounce the bandit, you want to drive into his turn circle and to your "entry window" (as Pete shows with a box behind and slightly inside the point where the bandit began his turn) as quickly as possible.

This requires you to avoid the temptation to put the bandit on your nose and accept the increasingly bad looking deflection shot as you bore sight him (no easy task).

Instead, you must maintain a straight path to the entry window and accept that the bandit will start coming around on you somewhat.

When you begin, the bandit will appear to move slowly towards the side of the canopy. As you enter the turn circle, he will appear to slingshot out at an increasing rate due to the angular geometry....this is when you should begin your turn.

You will then find yourself in lag pursuit where, even if you overshoot, it will be at such a distance that the bandit cannot reasonably reverse without flying in front of your guns.

Historically, you would drive towards the bandit immediately and accept a deflection shot, following it up with high yoyos, displacement rolls and all the rest of the stuff you have read about.

The question I have, is whether this is as viable a tactic in a Hellcat as in an F-16. It can't be that the WWII guys just didn't think of this.

Deacon

#3950398 - 05/07/14 06:09 PM Re: mr. Andy Bush or someone else, please clarify fighter terminology [Re: Laurwin]  
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I thought WW2 guys saddled up or took snapshots as required.

Some planes you can't saddle up because their maneuvering characteristics cause a collapse of the control zone, so you have to get in at the right moment to get a non-saddled tracking shot (ie. the bandit will fly out of your ability to aim the gun at him eventually, but it's not like a snapshot where he will just fly right through your pipper for just a moment).

That's my impression of how that all works anyway, and my information could be quite lacking.

Last edited by GrayGhost; 05/07/14 06:11 PM.

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#3950419 - 05/07/14 06:50 PM Re: mr. Andy Bush or someone else, please clarify fighter terminology [Re: Laurwin]  
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Well, that's generally what I was getting at. This stuff really came about with the powerful 4th gen fighters. Applying it to a Hellcat v Zero will probably not work the same way though some of the principles probably still apply (a lag turn to a follow on tracking shot being preferable to a low PK snapshot...providing the bandit doesn't just accelerate away from you, etc)

I've never seen a real good primer for WWII combat ala Shaw's Fighter Combat though he does include many recip examples in his book.

#3950926 - 05/08/14 06:31 PM Re: mr. Andy Bush or someone else, please clarify fighter terminology [Re: Deacon211]  
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Originally Posted By: Deacon211
Well, that's generally what I was getting at. This stuff really came about with the powerful 4th gen fighters. Applying it to a Hellcat v Zero will probably not work the same way though some of the principles probably still apply (a lag turn to a follow on tracking shot being preferable to a low PK snapshot...providing the bandit doesn't just accelerate away from you, etc)

I've never seen a real good primer for WWII combat ala Shaw's Fighter Combat though he does include many recip examples in his book.


My understanding is from comparing the two situations, mig-29 vs f-16, and perhaps the WW2 example of hellcat vs zero

It's an apples to oranges comparison.

mig-29 vs f-16 is similar vs similar matchup. (a turnfight which could in theory, end up in groveling slow turnfight until you reach the deck, always losing altitude).

Pete uses terms like "food fight" and "spaghetti bowl"


I would suggest the hellcat vs zero is in fact, similar vs dissimilar (something which the USAF used to practice at exercises like Top Gun, with agile and slower aggressor aircraft)


-Zero has such a tight turn radius, zero can fly at incredibly low speeds and still manouver.

-hellcat can however use energy fighting strategy, keep his own energy high at all times. And try to prevent zero from gaining energy in between gun passes (I think that would be sensible)

- hellcat has to live with the bigger turn circle, turning at slower rate of degrees and bigger radius, but trying to "fit the big circle so that it touches the smaller circle, at some point". AT least this kind of flying will preserve energy better than low and slow dogfight...

-hellcat is the faster aircraft, faster dive speed, slightly better climb rate (I think, but zero offsets this well with its light weight, so climbing contests can be dangerous)

-in real life zero had sluggish manouverability at maximum speeds, it took an extremely strong pilot to mash around the controls, it was found out in testing captured zeroes.

#3950957 - 05/08/14 07:01 PM Re: mr. Andy Bush or someone else, please clarify fighter terminology [Re: Laurwin]  
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I don't understand what the point is here with respect to the original question.

Dissimilar fights happen with jets too - you might encounter something you can't turn with, can't climb with, or any other fun things.


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#3950968 - 05/08/14 07:20 PM Re: mr. Andy Bush or someone else, please clarify fighter terminology [Re: GrayGhost]  
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Originally Posted By: GrayGhost
I don't understand what the point is here with respect to the original question.

Dissimilar fights happen with jets too - you might encounter something you can't turn with, can't climb with, or any other fun things.


Deacon21 asked the question, I answered to it as best as I've understood. That is the relevance of my post at least.

Deacon21's question was: "The question I have, is whether this is as viable a tactic in a Hellcat as in an F-16. It can't be that the WWII guys just didn't think of this."


Furthermore, about the relevance of line of sight rate, my original question.

I'm sorry grayghost but I couldn't exactly picture your intersection car example very well in my mind.

This lack of understanding prompted me to ask about line of sight rate using a more understandable example such as hellcat vs zeke.



I just didn't visualize the car intersection example terribly very well, which was the reason for my own example.

What do I do at intersections when driving?

Look at the road, look at the traffic signs, look for pedestrians, and look for traffic from other directions. This is, kind of what you're supposed to do when driving, after all... magnumride biggrin

#3950980 - 05/08/14 07:34 PM Re: mr. Andy Bush or someone else, please clarify fighter terminology [Re: Laurwin]  
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Today you're mad max and you want to smash the other car biggrin


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#3951587 - 05/10/14 12:14 AM Re: mr. Andy Bush or someone else, please clarify fighter terminology [Re: Laurwin]  
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OK, perhaps we should slow this down a bit.

Breaking out the original question, let's simplify. The attack setup described by Pete in the video is an approximation of the Low Angle Hard Counter (LAHC). This name applies to the SETUP for the engagement and not to any maneuver in the classical sense (i.e. you attack the bandit from LOW ANGLE off his tail, and he responds with a HARD COUNTER turn into you). This is a GEOMETRIC lesson, not necessarily purely a TACTICAL one, although it applies tactics.

Thus, this discussion applies as equally to a T-45 v T-45 engagement as it does to a F-16 v MiG-29 (or MiG-29 v F-16 for that matter) engagement. There is a tendency to expand this discussion outside the scope of this particular setup, but it begins to break down as you can probably tell. The LOS issue is only gouge for the turn circle entry.

So, reducing the discussion to 1v1 similar lets see what we've got. But before that, it's important to understand that similar in ACM is probably misnamed. Generally speaking, a Viper v Viper is similar ACM, but a Viper v a Fulcrum is dissimilar ACM. Certainly, a Viper is more similar to a Fulcrum than, say, an Eagle. But a Fulcrum has different bleed rates, turn performance, thrust to weight, etc than a Viper and capitalizing on one's advantages (or minimizing one's disadvantages), however slight, is the entire point of DACM/DACT in the first place.

Incidentally, I suspect that the discussion would apply similarly (though I further suspect not identically) to a Hellcat v Hellcat or Hellcat v Zero.

That having been said, the problem the attacking fighter faces (hereafter called the fighter) is that he starts outside the defending fighter's (hereafter called the bandit's) turn circle.

Consider an analogy. You are running a relay race. You want to hand off the baton to your partner. He's running around a very small circular track. This is his turn circle. You are outside the track a good distance. As you run towards him, you could just run straight at him without any more than a slight turn by constantly pointing towards him as he runs.

The problem with doing this is that, as you are pointing towards him, he is changing his aspect towards you. You started looking at his back, then you were looking at his side, and if you wait long enough, you are going to be facing each other. Obviously, it would be easiest if you were running alongside your partner when you do the handoff, but until you get on that track, your problem is only going to get worse.

Of course, if you could wait long enough, your buddy would turn his back to you again, but let's disregard that since you can't stop in the airplane, you don't start that far outside the track, and, once he is nose on, the race is essentially over.

Now, once you are actually on the track, your partner is no longer able to change facing towards you; providing you are both going the same speed and you both remain on the track. You will always see the same face of him. Your job now is to catch up and reduce the angles between the two of you.

I know what you are going to say, "well what about different speeds, high yoyos, low yoyos, and all that?" Well, the answer is that, generally speaking, those things don't apply...until you are ON, nearly on, or inside the track. Those are the things which, in fact, are going to change the size, speed, and orientation of your track, as compared to your partner's, so that you can eventually catch up to your speedy friend, from behind...rather than swooping by him heading the wrong way.

Returning to the LAHC, all the addition of dissimilar aircraft does is change the ease (or impossibility) of catching the bandit. And solving those geometry problems, or deciding that they are not for you, is the heart of ACM.

So, that's great and all but, there is no track in the sky you idiot! True. And so you need some other method to tell you when you are approaching, or have entered, the bandit's turn circle. There are three ways:

1. LOS Rate. Returning to the track. As you were running up to it, let's say from an exaggerated distance to make visualization easier, you would see your partner running around it. He wouldn't be moving very much across your field of view; you might not even need to turn your head to track him. Now imagine yourself in the middle of the track. You would need to move your head quite a bit to track your friend now, more so the faster he ran or the smaller the track, because the ANGULAR RATE he is going by you has increased.

So, applying this to the turn circle entry; somewhere between him barely moving across your field of view and him zooming past, is when you have entered the turn circle. It takes a good bit of practice, but after awhile you will get the sense of the bandit slingshotting out to one side or another of your canopy.

2. Turn circle visualization. Personally, I always found the LOS method to be a little "cosmic". I overwhelmingly had an easier time picturing the bandit's turn as a disc, like a record (or DVD for you non-old types). From there I drew the imaginary box that Pete draws in the video (or at least that he drew in the book) and flew through it, like a window.

3. When number 1 and number 2 fail, if the bandit has moved much past your 10 or 2 (or some approximation thereof) you have waited too long, so get that turn in there.

This is all assuming that you basically did a wings level unload to get to the entry window. If, on the other hand, you lock the HUD onto the bandit and never let him leave (an overwhelmingly common tendency) then you are flying the more "classical" kind of BFM setup (also referred to as "HUD BFM" and you are likely looking at managing some combination of a snapshot (or a high deflection shot as it is more historically known) and an overshoot. This is where you would use high yoyos and such to work off those geometry problems.

The whole point of the entry window maneuver that Pete is demonstrating above, is to avoid all that ugly, high aspect stuff. If you perform it as advertised, instead of having a low Pk snapshot with a handful of overshoot to manage, you will instead find yourself in, at worst, a lag turn behind the bandit's 3/9 line, offensive.

Where it goes from there is an entirely different discussion and is dependent on the relative turning performances of the two aircraft, but that would also be true of the classic, high aspect fight as well.

That's why this entry is only the START of the fight and not, necessarily, the entire fight itself.

Incidentally, if you are highly outmatched in turning performance, there is no shame in cheap shotting the bandit and instead of shooting for his entry window and turning, shooting for his entry window and getting the hell out of there. Remember, there are no points for fair play and if you have a tight turning tiger by the tail, sticking around just closes your escape window to the point that you are stuck thereuntil someone dies.

#3951592 - 05/10/14 12:22 AM Re: mr. Andy Bush or someone else, please clarify fighter terminology [Re: Laurwin]  
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I figured Id split the second point off since I ran out of internet in my first response. wink

So, the second question is really this:

Why does this way of thinking not become the predominant method of bouncing an opponent until the mid to late 80s?

At first glance, the scenario seems to be the same no matter what the era of the fight. Once the bandit detects the fighter and turns into him, the fighter has the choice of boresighting the bandit and taking whatever low Pk shot becomes available to him, following it up (presumably) with some sort of vertical maneuver to manage the overshoot, or driving behind the bandit into his turn circle and maintaining 3/9 line control with some sort of lag turn.

Arguably, if the fighters only weapon is guns, then he is not much of a threat until he closes with the bandit, but it still seems like a bad shot now is still worse than a better shot later, especially if the bad shot is followed by a return shot by the bandit when he capitalizes on the fighters in close overshoot.

I thought about the turn circle collapse, but I just dont know. Certainly, the fighters of the day had some turn circle. And tracking shots were not unheard of, at least according to some of the gun camera footage Ive seen. If truly the turn performance of WWII fighters was so eye watering that BFM was all but irrelevant, wouldnt all WWII combat essentially be a series of jousts as neither fighter would ever be able to get on the others six?

True perhaps, but not my impression from simming which suggests that the same rules apply to WWII combat as to modern era combat except that any sustained fight seems to quickly devolve low and slow since the fighters are so devoid of energy addition options.

Noodling it through a bit, it seems that the only good reason to take a high aspect shot rather than to maneuver for a better one would be if the bandit was unable to capitalize on the overshoot at all.

What I mean is this. If the energy package of a diving fighter was such that the lower, bounced bandit could not conceivably ever catch it before it returned to an altitude sanctuary, then the fighter could attack with relative impunity without ever worrying about getting it in the back. If true, this would make the value of altitude disproportionately great when compared to modern era combat.

Whats really interesting then is this. In 1992, I was a student in TA-4J Skyhawks and the tactics I was taught in ACM training would have been immediately recognizable as coming from the classic shoot, close, high yoyo school of thought. When I returned to the Training Command four years later as an instructor, the new school of thought had completely replaced the older method. During this time, the fleet mix for the Navy and Marine Corps remained the same; Tomcats and Harriers (sort of 3.5 gen aircraft) and Hornets (4th gen).

Whats more, the lag entry method worked perfectly fine in T-45As which is no great shakes as a fighter, suggesting that the tactic was viable with far less capable fighters than the F-16/18.

So, would it have worked in the 50s? The40s? Perhaps not in a Hellcat bouncing a Zero for the same reason it wouldnt work in a Foxbat bouncing an Hornet. But what about a Spit bouncing a 109? Or a Sabre bouncing a MiG-15?

#3951613 - 05/10/14 01:11 AM Re: mr. Andy Bush or someone else, please clarify fighter terminology [Re: Laurwin]  
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I believe, (not 100% sure)

that the effective tactic in WW2 seemed to be boom and zoom.

1) gun kills needed certain distance

2) gun kills needed, I believe, tracking the bandit's course, until shooting moment, so you don't lose the tally of bandit

3) nothing good will come from not tallying the bandit

4) weak thrust to weight ratios in propeller fighters, seem to suggest that energy effective manouvering was preferred.

5) Turn fighting is not specifically energy effective in such scenario, compared to less turning and more vertical manouvering. But of course, some turning will always be necessary and in fact wanted, in order to get the gun shot opportunities. Diving and climbing preserves kinetic energy in form of inertia, I think. Especially if you have a heavy aircraft such as P-47, you will not use it easily in turn-fighting, too much mass. But when chugging that mass up and down, I think you preserve some of it in the aircraft quite well, right?

6) boom and zoom manouvering supposedly tries to minimize the turning and nose-pointing knife fight. Instead, altitude and kinetic energy will try to be conserved as much as possible.

7) altitude advantage was a serious advantage, almost out of proportion, in these old days of guns only, and weak propeller fighters.

8) as a consequence of altitude advantage being somewhat serious factor, oftentimes the first visual tally, on the bogey, became the needed prerequisite.

(explanation of the 8th; basically if me-109 sees high flying spitfire, first, me-109 is able to minimize spitfire's altitude advantage by climbing himself...

9) basically hellcat vs zero, zero has a couple knife fighting advantages, slightly higher power/mass ratio, slightly lower wingloading.

Last edited by Laurwin; 05/10/14 01:13 AM.
#3951619 - 05/10/14 01:26 AM Re: mr. Andy Bush or someone else, please clarify fighter terminology [Re: Laurwin]  
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- On the other hand Deacon, I think you touched upon the important point that Pete also talked about...

- It is not good, if you start the fight outside bandit's turn circle...

- What can the attacker do, when he realizes, "I'm actually outside the bandit's turn circle, OH #%&*$# NOW HE'S TURNING INTO ME."



- earlier in the lesson Pete said, "attacker, when you see that you're outside bandit's turn circle, start thinking weapons parameters, start figuring out your weapons envelope and killing the bandit"

- I think that if this happened with hellcat vs zeke, hellcat could try snapshot in this case.

- if zero turns head-on vs hellcat instead of simply break turning, hellcat should shoot and kill the zero first (before the zero has completely turned into you and drawn a bead on you)!

#3951626 - 05/10/14 01:41 AM Re: mr. Andy Bush or someone else, please clarify fighter terminology [Re: Laurwin]  
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Oon the other hand, I think that the flying hellcat into the "entry window" can work vs zero (fly to where the fight started and turn into the enemy?)

I've actually done this myself in the simulator game IL-2

The problem of the hellcat might become, later, closing in to the kill distance, though. This kind of geometry can work, but it feels really risky getting that close and personal vs the zero, and if you fly too fast, you will not be able to turn into the zero to get the gunshot. So you have to manage your speed well, also.

A competent Zero in this case, can still try to force scissors or just keep turning like mad, in the same direction as the original break turn.

Zero can really, turn on a dime. Hellcat may face head-on situation vs zero, if hellcat flies too fast through the "entry window".

In this same timeframe, zero has almost turned head-on vs hellcat (I think, it can be possible, but it depends on the speeds involved)

If zero does not keep turning like a maniac, into the same direction. Zero could try to force flat scissors, vs the hellcat.

Last edited by Laurwin; 05/10/14 01:45 AM.
#3951666 - 05/10/14 03:06 AM Re: mr. Andy Bush or someone else, please clarify fighter terminology [Re: Laurwin]  
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The B&Z was effective because it was an ambush tactic. That is preserves energy may or may not be relevant. The point is to catch the bandit unaware and shoot him down. Your energy and SA are preserved that way.

The same principles apply today: See first, shoot first. Altitude still gives you a huge advantage, but to this we now add quality of sensors and missiles.

Last edited by GrayGhost; 05/10/14 03:07 AM.

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#3951759 - 05/10/14 11:00 AM Re: mr. Andy Bush or someone else, please clarify fighter terminology [Re: Laurwin]  
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Well, the thing is that the Low Angle Hard Counter setup is specifically designed to make the attacker solve some of these outside the turn circle problems. It simulates exactly what you would prefer NOT to happen...the bandit sees you and reacts before you are able to get inside his turn circle, and now it's no longer a walk in the park to shoot him.

The points made about maintaining a tally and closing for the gun shot kind of apply no matter which method you choose to use, so they don't really constitute a difference as such.

The question then is still, if I am in (let's give me all the advantages) let's say a Zero, and I was about to attack a Wildcat from the same position as the Viper is attacking the Fulcrum in Pete's video, but the Wildcat sees me and turns into me, then why would I prefer to take a high aspect shot and try to manage the overshoot than unload to the wildcat's extended six and use my superior turn performance to saddle him up.

Until about the 80's, and really the 90's in Naval Aviation, I had never seen the far more effective entry window advocated.

My changes of killing the tough Wildcat are far greater with a good, long burst from his six and I'm exposing myself to far less chance of a reversal of fortune by offering the Wildcat an in close overshoot. I have a substantial turn performance advantage. What's the downside of the lag entry in WWII era aircraft?





#3951866 - 05/10/14 04:20 PM Re: mr. Andy Bush or someone else, please clarify fighter terminology [Re: Deacon211]  
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Originally Posted By: Deacon211
Well, the thing is that the Low Angle Hard Counter setup is specifically designed to make the attacker solve some of these outside the turn circle problems. It simulates exactly what you would prefer NOT to happen...the bandit sees you and reacts before you are able to get inside his turn circle, and now it's no longer a walk in the park to shoot him.

The points made about maintaining a tally and closing for the gun shot kind of apply no matter which method you choose to use, so they don't really constitute a difference as such.

The question then is still, if I am in (let's give me all the advantages) let's say a Zero, and I was about to attack a Wildcat from the same position as the Viper is attacking the Fulcrum in Pete's video, but the Wildcat sees me and turns into me, then why would I prefer to take a high aspect shot and try to manage the overshoot than unload to the wildcat's extended six and use my superior turn performance to saddle him up.

Until about the 80's, and really the 90's in Naval Aviation, I had never seen the far more effective entry window advocated.

My changes of killing the tough Wildcat are far greater with a good, long burst from his six and I'm exposing myself to far less chance of a reversal of fortune by offering the Wildcat an in close overshoot. I have a substantial turn performance advantage. What's the downside of the lag entry in WWII era aircraft?






Sounds about right to my understanding at least.

Wildcat vs zero, wildcat bouncing from the zero's six position, can still end up good for the wildcat of course.


Wildcat has the positional advantage and it could try to maintain the 3-9 line. Depends on the zero's speed also.

But if the wildcat cannot bag the kill, easily and FAST, then the fight stagnates.

Fight becomes a spaghetti bowl, close in foodfight. Slow and low.

In this kind of low altitude fighting zeke has advantages of turn radius and also minimum manouver speed, and also stalling speed is slower in a zeke.

Wildcat usually stalls first in any kind of co-E situation, so wildcat must manage his energy very carefully. And avoid any mistakes in close in knifefight vs zeke.

Beware of ruses, as Oswald Bolcke said himself...

But as to the equality of the matchup wildcat vs zeke. I believe, that overall, zeke was stronger fighter aircraft.

The difference was not huge, but zeke was somewhat better.

Zeke had better climb rate, better max speed, better accelleration, stronger or equal firepower, better turning performance at low speeds.

The only clear advantages of wildcat, over the zeke, were wildcat's better dive speed, better durability and ruggedness, better controllability at high speeds.

Last edited by Laurwin; 05/10/14 04:26 PM.
#3951901 - 05/10/14 06:05 PM Re: mr. Andy Bush or someone else, please clarify fighter terminology [Re: Laurwin]  
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Well, again, we are taking this fight too far for this one piece of the discussion.

And we are putting the Zero (not the Wildcat) in the attacker's position in the standard LAHC setup: 4 or 8 o'clock. a few thousand feet high.

The Zero has lost surprise. He is the better turning fighter.

Why should he not perform the same lag entry that Pete describes above and choose to take the high deflection shot instead?

#3951926 - 05/10/14 07:00 PM Re: mr. Andy Bush or someone else, please clarify fighter terminology [Re: Deacon211]  
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Originally Posted By: Deacon211
Well, again, we are taking this fight too far for this one piece of the discussion.

And we are putting the Zero (not the Wildcat) in the attacker's position in the standard LAHC setup: 4 or 8 o'clock. a few thousand feet high.

The Zero has lost surprise. He is the better turning fighter.

Why should he not perform the same lag entry that Pete describes above and choose to take the high deflection shot instead?


well, that sounds exactly what the zeke ought to do really, assuming that this remains 1v1.

In the online servers sometimes 1v1 can become 1v2 in a jiffy, the-difficult-way cowboy

#3951943 - 05/10/14 08:19 PM Re: mr. Andy Bush or someone else, please clarify fighter terminology [Re: Laurwin]  
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Originally Posted By: Laurwin
Originally Posted By: Deacon211
Well, again, we are taking this fight too far for this one piece of the discussion.

And we are putting the Zero (not the Wildcat) in the attacker's position in the standard LAHC setup: 4 or 8 o'clock. a few thousand feet high.

The Zero has lost surprise. He is the better turning fighter.

Why should he not perform the same lag entry that Pete describes above and choose to take the high deflection shot instead?


well, that sounds exactly what the zeke ought to do really, assuming that this remains 1v1.

In the online servers sometimes 1v1 can become 1v2 in a jiffy, the-difficult-way cowboy



Ah yes, well, that's the point.

As far as I'm aware, that lag turn entry came along about 40 years too late. They weren't teaching it in the Naval Air Training Command in the early '90s and I don't believe it was in Shaw's book. The first time I had seen it was as presented by Pete his material from the Falcon community...and revealed in his book Art of the Kill in the early '90s.

Andy, or someone else on the Air Force side that was around in the '70s/'80s, would need to chime in here about when this entry came about in their community.

My question is if there is a reason that it had never been considered before.



As for wingmen, that is always a consideration. But the surest way to turn 1 v many into 1 v many - 1 is by killing the bandit now rather than later.

That doesn't mean to sit there wallowing behind your adversary, but it does mean taking the time to kill him if the option presents itself.

#3951951 - 05/10/14 08:55 PM Re: mr. Andy Bush or someone else, please clarify fighter terminology [Re: Laurwin]  
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You should really always assume that 1v1 is actually many v many with unknowns.

You cannot merely shoot anything that passes through the site, nor assume that you can turn with impunity.

In non-sterile conditions you want to remain on the fringe of the fight, with all other aircraft on one side of you, make single attacks when opportunity arises, keeping to the edge of the bogey cloud, make no turns of more than 90 degrees (or straight flight of similar duration) without a roll to clear your belly and low six. (If visibility is poor you may need to be continually reversing course in order to just clear you tail sufficiently ~ higher speed than your opponent's maximum sustained can help greatly here).

Under these conditions higher speed slashing attacks on un-aware targets are the safest and most successful tactics... you instantly fix yourself in space and make yourself a target for any opportunists if you engage in any prolonged turning fights. Higher altitude gives you a defence against co-speed aircraft types (they must slow to climb to you, you can accelerate away in a dive to escape, you can close on a target using your potential energy to increase speed etc.)

Funnily enough this matches the "desired" fighter characteristics of later war aircraft... powerful and fast, capable of turning enough to be effective as a guns platform, and with steadily improving visibility from the canopy. Turn fighters became outclassed or redundant... no need to excel at turning if turning is the last thing you want to be doing in a fight.

#3952215 - 05/11/14 04:58 PM Re: mr. Andy Bush or someone else, please clarify fighter terminology [Re: Lieste]  
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Originally Posted By: Lieste
You should really always assume that 1v1 is actually many v many with unknowns.

You cannot merely shoot anything that passes through the site, nor assume that you can turn with impunity.

In non-sterile conditions you want to remain on the fringe of the fight, with all other aircraft on one side of you, make single attacks when opportunity arises, keeping to the edge of the bogey cloud, make no turns of more than 90 degrees (or straight flight of similar duration) without a roll to clear your belly and low six. (If visibility is poor you may need to be continually reversing course in order to just clear you tail sufficiently ~ higher speed than your opponent's maximum sustained can help greatly here).

Under these conditions higher speed slashing attacks on un-aware targets are the safest and most successful tactics... you instantly fix yourself in space and make yourself a target for any opportunists if you engage in any prolonged turning fights. Higher altitude gives you a defence against co-speed aircraft types (they must slow to climb to you, you can accelerate away in a dive to escape, you can close on a target using your potential energy to increase speed etc.)

Funnily enough this matches the "desired" fighter characteristics of later war aircraft... powerful and fast, capable of turning enough to be effective as a guns platform, and with steadily improving visibility from the canopy. Turn fighters became outclassed or redundant... no need to excel at turning if turning is the last thing you want to be doing in a fight.




Granted. But again, outside the scope of the question...potentially.

Let's restrict the discussion to the 1v1 Low Angle Hard Counter which is perfectly representative of the classic "bounce" where the bandit has discovered the attacking fighter...which is why it has remained a staple of offensive BFM training, we can presume, since two airplanes were first able to shoot at each other.

What was the standard BFM training in the Training Command in the 90's looked something like this discussion from Robert Shaw's book: Fighter Combat: Tactics and Maneuvering



The fighter uses the vertical to aggressively stay inside the bandit's turn circle. Actually, this is pretty much best case. As often as not, the missile shot would often have been followed by a much more aggressive pursuit that could result in an in close overshoot if the fighter weren't careful.

From Shaw's book (he was a Phantom RIO) I get the impression that this type of maneuvering would be instantly recognizable to a Phantom, Skyhawk, perhaps even a Mustang or Corsair driver. Granted that lag turns are not an unheard of concept (particularly if the fighter were the poorer turner), but it seems the more aggressive version above was the standard turning attack...if you were staying to fight.

Somewhere in the early '90s, the concept of this same attack turned to this:



The lag turn entry that is advocated in Pete's book the Art of the Kill and which is pretty liberally littered over the internet and is the source of these illustrations. There are better illustrations on the internet of the entry window. I just couldn't find one large enough to post here.

Now, understanding my flying career was only a snapshot in time, I still find it interesting that what I'll call the "hot side attack" was the favored tactic over what seemed to be (having tried both) the superior "Lag Entry" even in the '80s and before.

It would seem to be some function of the introduction of more powerful 4th gen fighters that ushered in this change, but as I've said, it seemed to work just fine in the T-45A, which no one is likely to confuse with having F-16/18 like capabilities.


Expanding the discussion to staying on the edge of the furball, that's all great notional stuff. But not everyone can stay on the edge of the fight. If they could, there wouldn't be a fight to stay on the edge of. Someone is going to be in the middle of that furball, and sometimes it's going to be you.

Getting into a turning fight is always to be considered carefully whenever you are in a X v unknown environment, (which is almost always), but there is a reason that the bulk of BFM training revolves around defeating a maneuvering adversary, because unless you only pounce on the unsuspecting, you are going to need to engage someone sometime.

Now, if the fact that the age of the big Battle of Britain style furballs has passed or that, after engaging in a WWII turning fight, the attacking fighter would take so long to regain altitude that it was virtually a death sentence, then you could probably make an argument for taking what shot you could at the defending bandit and scooting back up to altitude.

Again providing that this didn't allow the bandit to reverse and get in a snapshot of his own.

But note that, in this discussion, both fighters are engaging in turning fights. That ship has sailed. It's just that, in the hot side attack, the fighter is working pretty hard to stay inside the bandit's turn circle and not overshoot. In the lag entry, the fighter is still offensive on the cold side of the turn, but has a far smaller chance of overshooting and will (likely) approach the gun shot opportunity at a much lower angle off the bandit's tail.

Anyway, we've probably progressed off the OP's original topic. The only reason I brought up what seems to be a historical difference in tactics, is that the OP began the post with a discussion of F-16s v MiG-29's that migrated into a discussion of Hellcats v Zeros, and I wasn't at all certain if the lag entry would work in the second case purely since it was not generally taught that way (based on what they taught me in the days of 3rd gen).

I just find the change in tactics curious.

#3952228 - 05/11/14 05:50 PM Re: mr. Andy Bush or someone else, please clarify fighter terminology [Re: Laurwin]  
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Deacon, just a non-pro opinion, but to me it seems all the same. It's all a turning rejoin and turning rejoins are done pretty much the same way. I think the change in tactics has more to do with the fact that in WW2 you were expecting furballs, and getting stuck in a turn isn't healthy ... but that's just a guess.


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#3952231 - 05/11/14 06:09 PM Re: mr. Andy Bush or someone else, please clarify fighter terminology [Re: GrayGhost]  
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Originally Posted By: GrayGhost
Deacon, just a non-pro opinion, but to me it seems all the same. It's all a turning rejoin and turning rejoins are done pretty much the same way. I think the change in tactics has more to do with the fact that in WW2 you were expecting furballs, and getting stuck in a turn isn't healthy ... but that's just a guess.


You know that could very well be. And certainly a turning fight was not only dangerous from the predictability standpoint, but from the standpoint of how long it took you to get back your altitude after the big spiral down.

I just recall thinking "Wow, this is so much more controllable. Why didn't we do this all along?" when we started doing the lag entry in the fleet. I never understood what changed which made me wonder if it just didn't work in legacy aircraft. smile

Deacon

#3952253 - 05/11/14 07:52 PM Re: mr. Andy Bush or someone else, please clarify fighter terminology [Re: Laurwin]  
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The declaration that missiles would end all dog-fighting? smile


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#3952361 - 05/12/14 12:14 AM Re: mr. Andy Bush or someone else, please clarify fighter terminology [Re: Laurwin]  
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Aren't they making that declaration again? biggrin

#3952368 - 05/12/14 12:22 AM Re: mr. Andy Bush or someone else, please clarify fighter terminology [Re: Laurwin]  
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I was watching a WW2 team tactics video (youtube) about fighter tactics. Animations drawn by Disney!

Narrated by John S. Thach himself (inventor of thach weave attack and defense)

In 2v1, the easy way, and 2v2...

They mentioned, that the immediate objective of pair leader,and wingman, should be to "overpower" the singular enemy fighter (preferrably the enemy wingman, at first)

That is, disregard as much as possible, the enemy pair leader. Focus all attacks on the enemy wingman and overpower his capability to think and manouver. Ultimately killing the enemy wingman, and focusing then on the enemy leader.

#3952670 - 05/12/14 06:11 PM Re: mr. Andy Bush or someone else, please clarify fighter terminology [Re: Deacon211]  
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It's not the same though - missiles actually work now and they're talking about using them as a kill vehicle or credible threat to blow through a fight (if we're talking about the F-35). Also, HOBS heaters have been shown to be reliable for some time now ... so, times are changing biggrin

That said, no one builds a plane to be a slug - there's much maligning of the F-35, but the thing actually seems to be quite capable when it comes to performance in real combat instead of contrived comparisons to clean light fighters.

Originally Posted By: Deacon211
Aren't they making that declaration again? biggrin


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#3952913 - 05/13/14 11:58 AM Re: mr. Andy Bush or someone else, please clarify fighter terminology [Re: Laurwin]  
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I like the 35. I hope the ever straining budget doesn't shave away a lot of it's better features.

But, being a Marine, I still wish that the B had a gun. It's like a Ginsu Steak Knife...a thousand and one uses. wink

#3952958 - 05/13/14 01:50 PM Re: mr. Andy Bush or someone else, please clarify fighter terminology [Re: Laurwin]  
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I think you can optionally carry a gun in pod smile


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#3953002 - 05/13/14 03:59 PM Re: mr. Andy Bush or someone else, please clarify fighter terminology [Re: GrayGhost]  
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Originally Posted By: GrayGhost
I think you can optionally carry a gun in pod smile


Well, true, but a gun in a pod is gun that can be taken off. I understand the value of that in a STOVL (or whatever the latest acronym is these days) since vertical ops in hot weather sucks as it stands. But I wonder how often they are going to strap that gun on there.

Plus, IIRC, it's an A/G gun (canted downwards). Nothing like requiring you to pull even MORE lead. lol. The Harrier was the same and we used to scare the crap out of the Hornet guys towing our gun banners, as we pulled the necessary massive lead required to hit it...the Hornet guys at first thought we were shooting at them! biggrin

#3953428 - 05/14/14 01:53 PM Re: mr. Andy Bush or someone else, please clarify fighter terminology [Re: Laurwin]  
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Now that's a funny story biggrin

I know that fighters tend to have their guns set up for A2A with a bit of positive angle, and that makes things hard for ground attack. That the opposite makes it a challenge for A2A fights makes perfect sense, I just never really thought about it smile


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#3959000 - 05/28/14 08:23 AM Re: mr. Andy Bush or someone else, please clarify fighter terminology [Re: Laurwin]  
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Originally Posted By: Laurwin
Originally Posted By: Andy Bush
To add to what GreyGhost has said, think of LOS as sideways movement of the other aircraft away from your nose (let's assume you are looking straight ahead).

In a tail chase or head on attack, there is no sideways movement of the bandit...it stays on your nose. But here, when the MiG-29 breaks, the MiG begins to move sideways, thereby changing its angle off your nose. The change of this angle is its LOS...and the faster this angle increases means its LOS is increasing.

This LOS change is not just a function of the MiG's rate of turn...the MiG's speed is also relevant since a hard turning (high rate of turn) but slow speed MiG will appear more stationary, particularly when viewed from longer distances.

LOS is all about relative displacement (changes in relative position). This means LOS is more an aspect issue than angle off. Large displacement means large LOS.


I think everybody can understand it intuitively, in the brain, sort of...

Especially with Grayghost's car intersection example.

I remember though, Pete talks about line of sight rate 30deg off the HUD (with respect to the turning mig-29).

What does this mean, basically, 30degrees off the HUD?

That 30degrees off the HUD, is what Pete describes as the "correct moment" to start turning into the mig-29. The F-16 starts to turn into the mig-29, and maintains lag pursuit for a while... (until, gunshot opportunity is presented)

I mean, HUD basically just shows the main flight data. The HUD is an image reflecting equipment of a fighter aircraft, much like the reflector gunsights of old times in WW2.



"Off the HUD" is referring to HUD symbology.

The HUD does more than "...basically just shows the main flight data". In fact, the "main flight data" can be rejected for clearer fire/attack control solutions...


Celebrating 35+ years in the field of avionics....my how time flies!
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