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#4116152 - 05/05/15 12:57 AM "Flat-plating the bird" still possible with modern fighters?  
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Agiel7 Offline
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Though of course performing maneuvers in which one intentionally sacrifices speed and energy isn't necessarily the smartest thing to do in a furball, I was still curious if this maneuver invented by John Boyd is still possible with a modern fighter like the F/A-18E/F or a Rafale:

Quote:
Boyd was famous for a maneuver he called "flat-plating the bird." He would be in the defensive position with a challenger tight on his tail, both pulling heavy Gs, when he would suddenly pull the stick full aft, brace his elbows on either side of the cockpit, so the stick would not move laterally, and stomp the rudder. It was as if a manhole cover were sailing through the air and then suddenly flipped 90 degrees. The underside of the fuselage, wings, and horizontal stabilizer became a speed brake that slowed the Hun from 400 knots to 150 knots in seconds. The pursuing pilot was thrown forward and now Boyd was on his tail radioing "Guns. Guns. Guns."

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#4116154 - 05/05/15 01:08 AM Re: "Flat-plating the bird" still possible with modern fighters? [Re: Agiel7]  
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GrayGhost Offline
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Sort of. If you're the guy behind Boyd, just go up, then use that turning room to make sure you're the one saying guns.

In any case, it really depends on the aircraft. Some airplanes won't forgive such a maneuver, you can enter an auto-roll or spin right away.

A flanker can just pull a cobra.


--
44th VFW
#4117852 - 05/08/15 02:03 PM Re: "Flat-plating the bird" still possible with modern fighters? [Re: Agiel7]  
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Deacon211 Offline
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Yes, you can still use this after a fashion. The key is really the range. If you do this so far out that the bandit can climb or otherwise displace around you, then all you have done is give up most of your energy.

If the bandit is exceedingly close on the other hand, he doesn't have room to get out of the way and his now excessive closure will force an overshoot.

Though I had never heard of the flat plate maneuver as such, we did teach something called the "Last Ditch Guns Defense". This sounds almost exactly like the flat plate, but we taught also putting your stick in the corner for sort of a combination high G barrel roll and snap roll. All it did was combine an attempt to absolutely stop your downrange travel with a sort of out of plane maneuver to keep you from getting shot. The notion was that suddenly staggering your airplane on the edge of controllability would absolutely force the bandit to overshoot.....if he was close enough.

You might take notice of the "Last Ditch" part of that. It was generally regarded as infinitely preferable to force an overshoot via the normal means than cross control the heck out of your airplane and hope for the best.

Still there was nothing more frustrating than lining up on a guy and thinking you have him dead to rights and suddenly having your windscreen filled with tumbling near stationary metal that you now had to dodge to avoid.

And good pilots could live in that high alpha region all day. Certainly some jets were notoriously unforgiving to wacky control inputs; the F-4 comes to mind. But Hornet guys for instance never seemed to be happy unless they were pointing some way other than the way they were going. And Flankers and Raptors and other fly by wire jets are only better in those regions where you probably aren't technically flying anymore but thrusting. wink

Deacon

#4118131 - 05/09/15 12:42 AM Re: "Flat-plating the bird" still possible with modern fighters? [Re: Agiel7]  
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SUBS_17 Offline
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Is that the same move used in a certain dogfight in Vietnam where the pilot deliberately departed his F4 to force a Mig to overshoot? There are other ways to force an overshoot in some aircraft without losing your energy for example Mirage pilots in Israel just used a barrel roll to force the Migs to overshoot.



23min20s and he also pops the brakes.



"Trust me I know what I'm doing" Detective Sledge Hammer
#4119211 - 05/12/15 03:51 AM Re: "Flat-plating the bird" still possible with modern fighters? [Re: Agiel7]  
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busdriver Offline
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Being a quarter of a century removed from the RF-4C (a hard wing Phantom) and the F-16A, whenever I heard the expression flat plate, it referred to seeing the planform (the entire topside of a jet) view. I only knew a handful of crusty old 0-6s that had flown the F-100, and air-to-air training was less formal for those guys.

The description from your quote would simply cause the Phantom to roll. When you pulled G's (and heard the AOA Aural tone in AF jets) you tried to keep the stick center laterally and simply stepped on the rudder pedal in the direction you wanted to roll (like around the overhead traffic pattern). At one or zero G (unloaded) we'd roll using ailerons.

#4143118 - 07/05/15 04:27 PM Re: "Flat-plating the bird" still possible with modern fighters? [Re: Agiel7]  
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Smokin_Hole Offline
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Better late than never but my comments are so important that I thought I would rivive this nice old thread.

No not really.

But like busdriver said, this move, if done exactly as described, would result in a roll, a snap, or a Hammer of sorts, depending on the speed at which the rudder was kicked.

#4144190 - 07/08/15 03:17 PM Re: "Flat-plating the bird" still possible with modern fighters? [Re: Agiel7]  
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DrZebra Offline
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steppe
Im putting in my semi-educated guess that it might be something very specific tied to a certain plane model (F-100).. as it is known to have had some peculiarities.. or the whole class of early supersonic swept wing planes.

On heavily swept wings are partially stalled wings results in a nose-up moment, because the location change of lift vector (in relation to the COG) as it moves forward when the outer, more back lying wing tips stall first.

Together with a thin profile made for sub and supersonic speeds that might be suspectible to acclerated stall at a high G-onset rate (pure speculation of my part here) it sounds a bit as if this maneuvere was just a violent pitch up... but I cant really make sense of the rudder part: as others say, it just would induce a roll or spin, as far as I know and I wonder if it might actually was used to to counter a wing-drop tendency or uneven wing stalling behaviour...


the filmed "sabre dance" accident (also used in the movie "the hunters") also had me deeply impressed. Sad, but very educational:

http://www.sabredance.net/whathappened.htm

#4145053 - 07/10/15 03:08 PM Re: "Flat-plating the bird" still possible with modern fighters? [Re: Agiel7]  
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Deacon211 Offline
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Well, I wouldn't read too much into this whole thing...he's not describing something cosmic here.

All it sounds like he's doing is putting the plane in a deep accelerated stall and stomping on the rudder. From the text it's hard to determine exactly what the rudder is doing for him, but there is only two things that it can do, roll or yaw.

In the very simple T-45A for example, the plane had an annoying habit where the horizontal stab would be blocked out by the wings at high AOA; actually at the high AOA you would often fight at. The result was something we just called "pitch buck". When the pilot pulled incorrectly (it's hard to describe exactly), the nose of the plane would pitch, the wings would blank the tail, the nose would stop pitching, the tail would become unblanked, the nose would pitch, etc.

Now it was possible, once you got used to it, to pull through pitch buck into a high AOA region where the plane was in heavy buffet, but not bucking like a bronco (note that this is relatively high AOA for the T-45...not like SU-27 high AOA). This AOA is what you might use to force an overshoot in close or pitch your nose up to stop downrange travel in a climbing flat scissors. In this regime, you would simultaneously roll and yaw the plane by stomping on the rudder.

And I think that's all the author is describing here. Basically putting on an in close break turn and using rudder to reverse into an overshooting bandit. I don't think there is anything magic about it or that it's a Super Sabre only move. In fact, I think that a modern plane might do it even better with the help of the flight control computers to prevent it departing in an ugly fashion, like an A-4 which was reputed for it's nasty high speed departures. Many a Hornet guy I knew would describe parking the nose of the jet at some horrific AOA, shoving in full rudder in one direction or another, and performing some impossibly annoying pirouette. The difference in the F-100 is that no one was going to stop the plane from tumbling end over end unnaturally other than the pilot.

I'm not sure why the author seems to have inflated this maneuver into the prose version of the Top Gun uber "I'll throw on the brakes and he'll fly right by!" maneuver, but I suspect a little literary license is at work.

If you've ever read SHADOW DIVERS, you know what I'm speaking of. The author makes those guys sound like demigods, not divers. Ten pages into that thing and you're pretty sure that they fart diamonds. wink

Deacon

Last edited by Deacon211; 07/11/15 07:54 PM. Reason: Edited for clarity

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