Strategy Guide - Guide for F-16 Falcon 3.0

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             by Mark "MarkShot" Kratzer - 01/22/94 (revised 03/16/95)

             Compuserve ID:  73142,3650   BBS:  (718) 596-5938 N8,1
               Modemgames & Fsforum              email to MarkShot

                             ----- STK2 TEXT -----

The reader has received this document without payment.

All the author asks is:

  1)  Freely share this document with others.  It may be uploaded anywhere.
  2)  Acknowledge the source of these ideas.
  3)  Provide feedback to the author.
  4)  Do not alter STK2.  (Material may be borrowed.)

DEDICATION:    This text is dedicated to my wife, Kam Wun Leung. She bought me
               my first flight simulation and game card a few years back.  With
               that a childhood dream of flying and dogfighting has been
               realized.  Further, she supported me in joining Compuserve and
               competing on the CIS Falcon Ladder.

CONTRIBUTORS:  The author gratefully acknowledges the contributions of the
               following individuals:

               Blake "Vertigo" Jordan (graduated MarkShot Falcon Weapons
               School 03/27/93)  Compuserve 73251,1636

               Rafael "Drizzit" Cruz (attended MarkShot Falcon Weapons School)
               Compuserve 74244,1760

THANKS:        I would like to acknowledge Tom "Roustabout" D'Angelo as one of
               my first and best sparing partners.  His vision and
               perseverence brought the 718th TFW into existence and gave an
               affordable home to many hobbyists in the New York Metropolitan

               Thanks to the members of the 718th TFW who never tire of flying
               with me (nor me with them).

               Thank you to the many dedicated Falcon enthusiasts who have
               flown with me and against me, and to the students who honored
               me by letting me teach them.

               Thanks to Victor "Duke" Zaveduk, Administrator of Compuserve's
               Falcon Ladder, for providing an arena for the last couple of
               years where the best of the best from around the world can
               compete at Falcon H2H.

               Thanks to Ken "Stinger" Richardson for producing software
               utilities which have greatly enhanced H2H play.

HISTORY:       I played my first match on Compuserve's Falcon Ladder on
               10/25/94 and reached the top slot on the evening of 03/31/93.
               Subsequently, I retired, and began to fly competively as
               a member of the 718th TFW.  I still instruct students from
               Puerto Rico to Vancouver.  New students and old are always

               During my climb of CompuServe's Ladder, I began assisting
               others with their technique and strategy.  Initially, it was
               via messages.  I quickly accumulated a number of messages to
               forward to new students.  This became cumbersome and thus, STK
               was born.  New messages and direct entries were made to it.  It
               remained a privately circulated document until I reached the
               top of Compuserve's Ladder.  At which point, it was made public
               and has been ever since.  New material is continuously being
               added as more is learned.  (The latest version will always be
               available on Compuserve.)
NOTE:          Names have been X'ed out.


  LCC stands for Ladder Command Center.  It is a state-of-the-art
  Windows application for maintaining challenge ladders.  Among the
  features it supports are:

    The maintenance of a complete challenge ladder database.

    The maintenance of a complete historical database of matches played.

    Custom configuration of ladder parameters with regards to rungs
    which can be challenged, handling of defaults, inactivity penalties,
    etc ...

    General editors for the ladder and historical database.

    Open interfaces to other ODBC compliant software and spreadsheets,

    Full reports on membership, current challenges, history for all
    players and individual players.

    Ladder administration includes support for:

      Renaming players.

      Entering match results and recomputing positions and records.

      Membership information such as names and phone numbers.

      Entry and automatic management of inactive players.

      Entry and validation of challenges.

      A spreadsheet style ladder display is maintained via the use of
      free floating tools.

      Each processing step is fully supported by an UNDO capability.
LCC will appear on BBS's as LCF100.ZIP (full {runtime/application} release
version 1) and LCP100.ZIP (patch {application only} release version 1).

Estimated release date is 05/01/95.
This is the recipe for acheiving quick kills in the old Ladder ROE.  (Turn

and shoot.)  For the new ROE, there is still much value here, since a fight
can often evolve into a turn in shoot situation.  Pay attention to the
padlock guns technique here.

>> I sure wish I could learn your immelman.

You must certainly can.  Here is the recipe:

  1) Be at AB-5.

  2) Toggle the brake to stay within 385-395 knots.

  3) Watch the inbound bandit to see if he is approaching fast.  If he is, then
     suspect an extension.  Very, very slow, then suspect a slice.

  4) On the merge make sure that your brake is off .5 seconds before the merge.
     Otherwise you could forget and leave it on.

  5) Pull up when you HUD goes off your padlock view.

  6) Keep pulling, you should white out briefly here.  Watch for the extension.

  7) After white out, begin tracking to the bandit.

  8) You MUST get your lift vector in line with his.  This means that in the
     upper right window the red line is perpendicular to the green line.  The
     guarantees you hit in step 10.

  9) Do NOT watch your opponent in the bottom window.  You will know soon
     enough whether he was quicker.  You got to have faith.  Watching him will
     only distract you.

10) With your lift vector lined up, in the top middle window, get the little
     green HUD box under the red target box.  Right before they touch fire a
     one second burst and sweep the green box through the red box.

11) The quicker you sweep, the better your chances of scoring a hit, but the
     less likely that it will be fatal.  The slower the sweep, the greater the
     chance of a complete miss, but if you do connect the bandit is finished.

12) Other things to try are.  First, cut the sweep at little bit short and
     push the stick forward to keep fire on the bandit.  Second, with bandit
     line up after the initial hit, roll the nose while firing.

>>    Hey, Mark what do you think is the best counter for the Immelman?

That is simple.  A faster/tighter Immelman with a more accurate shot!

  1) Seriously, XXX has a pretty deadly slice.  I have not mastered this move.
     It is however dangerous, since it is definitely energy low.

  2) An extension is risky against someone who is very alert.  Against an
     unskilled opponent or a skilled opponent who has Immelman vs Immelman
     stamped into his brain.  It will work.  The extension should be just
     enough to gain missile parameters and no more.  Sometimes, it can be
     even less and you can surprize them with guns.

  3) Doing an oblique Immelman by rolling 10-30 degrees laterally is a good
     move.  It will catch the opponent who can Immelman well, but has trouble
     lining up the shot.  If you can't take an accurate shot, then position is

  4) One of the things that makes the Immelman so deadly is that usually your
     opponent does half the work for you by trying to nose on.  So, many times
     when the opponent does not go for nose on to me.  I do not get the shot,
     but I usually manage to pull in quickly behind the opponent that left
     me separation turning room.

The following pertains to speed management in the new ROE at point of the pass
after the initial merge.

>> One of these days I'm going to get my speed under control after the
>> pass and I'll suprise the heck out of somebody...probably myself!

The optimum speed pass on the pass after the initial merge is 400 kts.  Faster
than that you cannot turn tight enough to avoid being gun downed.  (Remember
the former ROE.)  Slower than that and someone will work in on your six since
then can work the energy on you by going vertical.

Another rule on this pass is to minimize separation.  If you fail to, then you
opponent will have room to work the angles on you which may cause you to start
at the disadvantage.

At 400 kts with minimum separation, it will basically revert back to the former
ROE.  A quick Immelman with guns from padlock will be devastating.  (400 kts at
10,000' yields about a 7 second Immelman.

You ask what is the best entry speed for the merge?  550 kts.  You ask why?  If
you do a high speed Immelman, you will level out doing 400 kts.  Do you get the
picture?  You ask why Immelman at the merge?  Because it either matches you
opponents energy perfectly.  Or you opponent is too fast and you will turn in
on his tail.  Or you opponent goes low and then from your perch you can brake
off some speed to minize separation and follow while still maintaining an
energy advantage which will yield a shot.

Well, XXXXX, I hope that this will be of some help to you.  These tactics have
been proven in actual combat.  Good luck!

Here are some practice items to work in Red Flag.

So, as not to waste your money.  Here are some things to practice in Red Flag
before we set up this Battle of the Titans.  (no bandits)

1)  Practice doing a double Immelman.  Enter 550 kts do one, roll level at 400
     kts and do another comming out at about 280-300 kts.  When trying to
     minimize separation on the first pass after the merge, you should once
     again be level (not inverted) before the pass.  This is not the old ROE,
     there is nothing prevents you from doing this.  You should not waste time
     after pass rolling the plane.  This whole maneuver should be done in one
     fluid motion.

2)  Practice going into the first Immelman and braking to about 400-420 kts
     and simulate countering someone going low with a Split-S.

3)  Drop the speed in step #1 and practice canting the second Immelman on the
     side 10-40 degrees in order to maintain maximum energy without stalling
     (HIFI -> COMPLEX shift) out at the top or going too flat and blacking out.

4)  Practice doing Split-S close to the ground at 400 kts from 3500'.  If an
     opponent with energy is at your six, then a number of things will happen.
     First, you opponent might pursue through the maneuver, and to avoid
     hitting the ground your opponent with have to give up his/her energy

     advantage.  Second, your opponent could crash.  Third, your opponent could
     flinch as separate.

5)  Practice simulated overshoots.  Close at 400 kts.  Brake to 300 kts.    Pull the nose up 30 degrees.  Your
     opponent cannot track, otherwise there would be no overshoot.  Climb two
     seconds.  Roll inverted and pull back down on your opponent who is
     probably diving to gain speed.

6)  Practice fast draw padlock kills.  For this use an AN-12 as a target an
     practice quickly sweeping it with gun bursts

The following has some information about energy management techniques.

I just wanted to drop you this debrief about our flying the other night.  Well,
you are finally comming back at me with more energy than before.  That is good.
However, you are not managing it well.  Don't forget to minimize separation and
try to stay close to 400 kts.

Some observations:

1) Sometimes, you kept too much energy and you were allowing me to turn inside
    of you.

2) Sometimes, you had a slight but very useful energy advantage.  So, what did
    you do?  You kept bringing the fight back to me at a lower altitude while
    your nose accelerated and mine pivoted on to you.  You did this by climbing
    and comming back at me.  A see-saw of death.  If you have that slight
    energy advantage, then initiate a flat turning fight to pull onto my six.
    Keep yourself higher than me at about 250-270 kts.  Do not worry about head
    on shots.  I won't be able to get my nose up.  Keep it turning.  (If you
    fail to keep it turning.  I could pick up speed in a dive in order to put
    nose on you.)  Sooner or later you are going to work the angles for my six
    or be able to line up to take a forward quarters shot as I pass helplessly
    below and unable to lift by nose.

3) Learn when at low speeds (250-340 kts) and clawing for your opponent to
    shoot from padlock.  The HIFI->COMPLEX mode switch hits padlock somewhat
    later and much smoother than the forward view.

I hope to fly with you soon.  Thanks for the practice.

This message discusses a relatively new a deadly head on guns technique.  I
call it the "cone of death".  It involves rolling your plane/guns as a bandit
flies right in to you.  Remember when two planes are about to get nose on at
0.4 - 1.0 miles there are two things that count:  (1) Hitting your opponent
first.  (2) Finishing you opponent before the planes pass.  If you only
accomplish the first, the superior opponent may still take you out on this

>> You and your cone of death, you crack me up.

Here is how I have been using it.  Normally, if I and my opponent are both
pulling for a forward quarters shot as in Immelman versus Immelman, then I will
first sweep my opponent with a stream of cannon shells.  I have already

explained this technique to you.  Unfortunately, this almost guarantees a hit,
but may fail to devastate my opponent (high percentage for a hit, but low
percentage for a good concentration).  Next, as the planes rapidly close, I
roll my nose (as oppose to thumb my nose) in general direction of my onrushing
opponent.  If all goes well, from a distance I first knock a few pieces off of
him/her and as we close it totally flame him/her.  What does all this give me?
Mainly a firing solution simplification; I only need to get nose on first.
After that, I do not have to worry much about aim, since my motions do the

Black out off in 3.03.0 matches has some very important implications.  The most
important of which is that the Immelman is no longer the best move in a turn
and shoot situation.  One of the things that made it the best move in version
3.01.1 was that it minized the effects that blackout had on lining up the shot.
At the right speed, you would only white out and you would be clear by the time
you had to take the shot.  Other moves required timing the black out (which was
tricky) and release pressure to get a visual reference (which slowed the turn).
In 3.03.0, the flat turn or the yo-yo may prove to be the best technique for
lining up the quick shot.

NEWS FLASH:  The Immelman fails.

Yes, I lost 3:1, although it was close.  I think with BO turned off the
Immelman needs to be revisited.  The tightest Immelman is at risk to hang up at
the top of the loop due to the mode shift.  Too fast and you don't turn well.
With BO off, turning flatter is safer and you do not have to worry about losing
sight.  That is what I have learned from this.

Yes, I feel really rotten losing.  About the only thing left me to do is
challenge again.

The following entry describes a technique to be used in the new ROE which I
believe may be the only effective counter which I have seen yet to the 550 kts
opening Immelman.

I am not positive what XXXXXXX was doing, since he did not fully confide in me,
but I believe this was his approach or something similar.

Enter the merge at 750-800 kts (maximum speed possible).  Fly level for 2 -3
seconds.  This high speed and level flight is mainly to gain separation for
missiles.  Yank the throttle to idle and slam on the brakes and execute a tight
reversal in any plane with AIM-9Ms selected.  Get the lock take one, wait, and
take the other.  (I have not had a chance to test this on the executing side
with someone flying my 550 kts opening Immelman style.)

Why does this work?  Due to my high speed, I fail to come around quickly.
Thus, there is separation and I am second to get a missile lock.  Even my
opponents much lower energy situation (assuming that I can dodge the missiles)
at the end of his reversal is not such a negative.  Given the amount of
separation and the comming second pass, my opponent accelerate over the gap and

regain the energy needed for turning fight.

I have yet to come up with an effective counter.

This section addresses how to handle long range extensions in the new ROE.  It
is assumed that you will be merging at high speed.

An extension with the old ROE could prove to be deadly, since if your opponent
did not respond quickly, then he did not have a enough energy to hold nose to
launch missiles.  In the new ROE, this should not be the case.  Launching
missiles should be easy.

What is the best strategy for launching missiles on a long range extension?
First, have your radar off.  Heat seeker heads get slaved to your radar and any
decent opponent should have their ECM on.  Bring your nose around and launch
your first AIM-9M.  Your opponent now has something to do.  You will now launch
two AIM-9Ps.  They should be launched in a spaced out fashion.  This means that
when one has almost reached its target, another one should come off the rails.

Spacing missiles has a better percentage.  A group of missiles is more easily
beaten with one move.  Spaced missiles keep your opponent busy longer, thus
breaking up his move and allowing you to close the distance in safety.

Depending on the Falcon version and the separation, you could flip on radar on
go for a lock (your opponents ECM may be out) and launch some AIM-120s.

If your opponent has survived up to this point, he is comming back at you with
guns most likely, since guns are now free.  This is what the last AIM-9M was
saved for.  Lock it up and put it right in his teeth.  If he is heading in for
the guns kill, then he is going to straight into it.  Switch to guns
immediately and go for the shot.

If after all this, your opponent still survives, then you are now in a turning
fight and his remaining missiles will serve him no value.

The following describes a Falcon 3.03.0 revelation in regards to the new ROE
which is so significant that it is beyond words.  My foolishness for
overlooking cannot be excused.

ECM is not all powerful in Falcon 3.03.0 as it was in 3.01.1.  Despite ECM, you
will get intermitent radar locks.  These locks aren't worth squat for shooting
missiles, but they give you a critical piece of information on the merge.  What
is it you ask?  The speed of your opponent!  YES, THE SPEED OF YOUR OPPONENT.
Consider this for a moment.  To extend (going ballistic or going for horizontal
separation) you opponent should be doing 750 kts.  To pivot and turn with a
fast missiles shot or go low and launch missiles, your opponent will need to be
doing 320-420 kts.  (This by the way is the most vunerable aspect of the 550
kts opening Immelman.  Even if you decelerate after merge, you are 1.5 seconds
late in responding and still need time to slow.)

I just discovered this approach.  So, I am not totally sure how to use it. Here
is what I see at the moment.  Keep your radar on when you hop in to the

cockpit.  Watch in padlock.  When you get the red box, then watch your radar
screen.  You should get two to three locks.  You are looking only to catch the
speed.  Once you got that, turn the radar off, look up, go to padlock, and
break at the right time.

Enter as usual at 550 kts.  If you see your opponent doing 750 kts, you can lay
off the brake and let your speed build to 600 kts.  Do not go so fast that you
cannot turn to point missiles at your opponent.  There is nothing your opponent
can do to disguise an extension, since your opponent must grab and hold all the
speed he can get.

Enter as usual at 550 kts.  If you see your opponent doing 500-600 kts, then
just go with the regular strategy addressed in other places.

Enter as usual at 550 kts.  If you see your opponent doing 350-400 kts, then
decelerate (throttle and brake) immediately to about 50 kts above your
opponent.  You will have about 1.5-2 miles to kill at most 150 kts.  This will
give a slight but workable energy advantage and at same time keep you so close
that a missile shot is not practical.  On this your opponent could try to fake
by dropping speed while in padlock over the last 1.5 miles.  But first your
opponent must realize what you are doing.

Lastly, if your TWI is buzzing on the merge, then consider that your opponent
may well be checking your speed.  Consider the extension to be extremely
dangerous in this circumstance and slow moves to be moderately risky.

NOTE:  Some Red Flag research questions are here:  How fast can a plane
       decelarate at different speeds?  This means time and distance required.
       This information determines how effective you can use your opponents
       speed for planning the fight and how likely is it that you could be
       faked to mistake a pivot and lauch missile encounter.

The following is a new submission from the Falcon Air-to-Air Research

An area that has yet to be properly investigated for air-to-air combat is the
use of flaps.  The following properties are believed/suspected to be attributes
of flaps.

1) Permits the aircraft to fly at slower speeds without stalling.
2) Cannot be used about 400 kts without getting damaged and stuck.
3) The COMPLEX flight model takes over control.
4) The HIFI -> COMPLEX mode transistion wallowing is eliminated.
5) Permit faster acceleration over time/distance/throttle movement than

If the above are true, then the following possibilities exist:

A climbing overshoot could be improved in a defensive position.  Going slow
and climbing and turning, you hit the brake.  Then, before the mode shift,
drop flaps.  Your opponent's counter if he does not shoot you should be climb
above and then roll back into the fight.  Your opponent expects to be able to
do this, since you should be too energy low to maintain nose position.  With
flaps down you might continue pursuit and build energy quick, thus reversing
your position.

385-395 kts is the best speed for a tight Immelman under 8,000 feet.  Anything
slower results in a mode shift at the top side of the loop.  Can the use of
flaps at the top side of the loop result in a better Immelman?  Could a 330
kts Immelman be performed?

If the above works, then could you sucker an energy low opponent into looping
with you when you are both too slow, but you intend to avoid the mode shift
and build energy by dropping flaps?  This could put a half of a turn on your
opponent.  It is clear that there are all types of possibilities for adding
an energy boost at a critical moment provided that you negate your opponents
turn advantage during the process.  The best way to do that is to drain him of
energy by taking him higher with you.

Research results to be reported later.

Some research results:

Entering a 9G continuous turn below 8,000 feet at 350 kts will bleed speed
until the mode shift is hit.  Then you will oscillate back and forth at the
mode shift.  Dropping flaps will build speed back towards 400kts, but you will
only be able to pull 5Gs (turning slower).  However, I speculate that the
acceleration/energy gain will exceed the loss of position.  (When you simply
pull 5Gs in HIFI, you do get the same rate of acceleration you see in
COMPLEX.)  Thus, taking off flaps and pulling 9Gs again will have yielded an
energy bonus.

Another possibility might be when you and your opponent have just passed and
are both going slow.  Your opponent opts for a flat turn being energy low.
You opt to foolishly go pure vertical.  However, you drop flaps and thus,
continue to climb smoothly.  Your opponent comes around and attempts to get
nose on, but cannot do it in HIFI.  Thus, no shot.  In meantime, you climb a
few more thousand feet.  Retract flaps and turn back into the fight with an
energy and position advantage.

Actual combat results:

Against XXXX, he extended vertically once with an opening 150 kts advantage.
He dodged all my missiles, but I used toggling my flaps to maintain my speed
between 350-400 kts in order to close the altitude.  Then I gunned him down!

These are the final results are the technique which is now known as the "Flap

This technique can best be employed in a vertical looping fight during the
first third of loop while flying pursuit, particulary when you are somewhat
below the energy requirements for the loop.  The amount of Gs you could pull in
any case is somewhat limited.  This allows you to build an extra 30-60 kts over
your opponent by going through the loop.  Although you might have had the
advantage prior to this, you are not guaranteed the kill.  This can also be
employed in more neutral situations.  However, you must be careful not allow
you opponent too much of an angular advantage when doing this.

Over the last few weeks, two great schools of Falcon have met to test their
strategy.  The are the High School (Immelman) by MarkShot and the Low School

(Spit-S) by XXXXXXX.  The High School teaches energy advantage and patiently
working it into a kill and the Low School teaches angle advantage and seeking
or one or two turn quick victory.

It is my belief that the High School has more merit for the following two
reasons.  First, when the two approaches face each other.  The High School is
guaranteed the ability in the vertical dive to peg its speed on the second pass
merge to the optimum corner velocity.  (Because he is on the brake/throttling
back with gravity behind him.)  The low school is much less in control of his
merge speed.  Second, the high school by taking an energy advantage into the
fight is guaranteed a victory after a sufficient number of turns have passed.
Of course, the fight may spiral downwards to delay the victory for a while.
However, the ground is usually no more than 10,000 feet below.  So that, it is
victory in about eight turns or so.  Following this thinking, the High School
only looses when a mistake is made in pursuit as opposed to the weakness of the

The one risk faced by the High School is the danger of missiles comming up by
the faster turner opponent at the bottom of the Spit-S.  The opponent has
basically two choices here.  If he really goes for a missile shot, he is
guaranteed to be too slow to win a guns turning fight.  Otherwise, he takes
more speed into the fight, but foregoes any realistic possibility of employing

The High School's defense for the above is to perform the Immelman tightly to
minimize separation by staying close.  This is safest.  A more risky approach
would be to maximize separation for your own missile shot or to force opponent
into a higher and more energy low second pass from his perspective.

The High School has assisted the Low School in making some improvements in his
technique.  These four items are believed to be key:

Mix the move with something else.  Don't allow your opponent to play for it
before the merge even takes place.

Don't telegraph it.  Keep your speed up into the merge at 480-550 kts and only
decelerate at the merge.

Send missiles up your flight path.  Even if the missiles miss, if they take
your opponents mind off of his speed for one second, then you will have
suceeded greatly.

Try for a one circle.  (The two planes have belly in the same direction.)  A
two circle fight seems to end up in the High Fighter turning outside (but in
the vertical) over and around the Low Fighter and gaining a six advantage in a
few turns.

Well here it is, the Golden Rule for the High Fighter:


At 400 kts, you will be out turned and gunned down in your tracks, since you
are still accelerating in the pullout of your dive.

At 300 kts, you will mode shift at the top of your loop and loose time and the

With 350 kts, you will generally perform a loop and initiate a turning fight
with your opponent with a definite 30-60 kts energy advantage.

The following is a good idea in the new ROE if you can do it.

Right before the second pass, have you opponent in front of you and flip back
to forward view.  Get oriented.  Your speed, your pitch, your roll, then make
your break after the opponent optimal to manage energy and come around fast.
It is much harder to do this from padlock.

Some more information on the Split-S facing the Immelman.

>> What is the "vertical merge"?

In the Immelman vs Split-S the second pass happens completely in the vertical
and not the horizontal.  This is why it works for the good Split-Ser, because
if he is not careful the High Flyer's speed runs away with him like an out of
control freight train.  The High Flyer's hits 450 kts or more at the bottom of
his pull out and the Low Flyer is all over him.  Thus, shooting missiles is a
very good strategy for the Low Flyer even if he will not hit.  A second or two
of generated distraction force the High Flyer beyond 350 kts.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  The High Flyer can guarantee his speed at the vertical merge,
since he can get speed from gravity at will.  The Low Flyer is at the mercy or
gravity and events in regards to speed.  Thus, it is much easier for the High
Flyer than the Low Flyer to peg the perfect speed on the merge.

>> I am getting curious about the members of the "Low School".

The Low School depends on getting a quick one or two turn victory due to
angles.  The High School can switch to angles by braking and going for a
similar quick kill.  Or the High School can work with its energy through many
turns wearing down the opponent to get a shot.  It is all about options.  That
is why I think the High School is superior, it gives you more of them.

A small point to remember about getting heat seeker locks.

You must have your radar set to ACM mode in order to get a heat seeker lock
even though the radar unit itself is actually off.  See if that helps.

I have a training mission called, "The MIGs from Hell Workout".  The set up is
a merge from a mile out with four fully armed MIG-29s taking place at 500 feet
off the deck.  The goal is to kill them all and survive.  Guns kills are
prefered and, of course, the mission can always be varied to change the way it
plays.  Although not directly applicable to head-to-head, it teaches you how to
be on your toes.  It serves as good match warm up when no one is around to

>> The only way I can survive longer than 60 seconds is to go completely
>> defensive.

First, try to keep the fight low to the ground.  You turn better there and
this tends to flatten out the fight.  The MIGs always get suckered into the
horizontal.  If it was me, I would maintain my altitude and take a missiles
shoot from 20,000 feet above the F-16.

   From time to time, I defensive and dive to get back to the ground.
   Spiraling dives to the ground tend to deny them a shot.

Second, watch your speed, whenever you fall below 350 kts you are missile

Third, keep looking behind you especially before every shot you take.

   You shots should usually be at high-Gs.  If the target reverses or just
   levels out, then strongly suspect that you have a bandit riding up behind

Fourth, don't watch the results of missile launches.  Shoot and break.  If you
want to watch, then do it from padlock while breaking.

Fifth, after a kill.  Don't check your six, just immediately break.

Sixth, use more flat turns in order to come around MIGs when you go through a
merge.  They counter Immelmans better and flat turns keep the fight lower.

Seventh, use your flaps, but do not get suckered high if you still have fur
ball going on.

Eighth, on the opening merge.  Try to go after the crowd.  The lone MIG is
often a set up.  If you take the loner, then you must do him quick.  Also, if
you take the crowd, then you know what most of the opposition is doing.

Ninth, on the opening merge.  You can attempt to go forward quarters with one
of the returning MIGs.  Then attempt to blow him away with a deflection shot
slightly from below.  That evens the odds pretty quick.  The fourth MIG is key
to their fight.  Two MIGs can easily be beaten.  Three just involves caution
and quick responses.  With the fourth MIG, the fight opens in their advantage.

Well, I hope this all makes a difference.

Some points on what a tight two circle flat turning fight is about.

Just wanted to tell you once again about #2.  You looked really good there. You
were turning exactly at the optimum speed (280 kts) for that type of two circle
fight.  It was one of our closest.

When you are in the padlock there, you must watch your speed very carefully.
You use the attitude of your plane (roll) to control your speed.  Forget about
the right most window, it is not sensitive enough to tell you what you want to
know.  Only your speed is.  You control it by slightly rolling your plane.  Up
a little if you are breaking 290 kts, down a little if you are at 260 kts.

If your opponent floats too high, he will hit the mode shift and you will gain
a few degrees and have a forward quarter shot when he points his nose down.  If
your opponent sinks too low, you can turn your nose faster and get a shot. Much
too low, you can pivot above him and work for the six.

This is what a match between good players looks like.  You keep spiraling
towards the ground until someone makes the smallest of mistakes.  Then, the
other capitalizes on it.

What looked like a promising flap technique until flaps were banned.

Well, since flaps are banned, you will not see it.  Here is what I had in

     For a high speed merge.  Turn flat at 310 kts and shoot missiles before
     your opponent knows what happened.  If he survives, then use the flaps to
     regain corner speed into the merge, and then dog fight.  The quick
     missiles should keep you from having to worry about missiles coming your
     way.  You do not have to worry about not being able to turn into the
     second merge, because your opponent will most likely be pulling into you

The extension is back in fashion this season now that flaps have been banned in
HIFI fights.  So, it is time take a look at high to manage one and how to
defend against one.

First, the extension is best applied against an opponent who is obviously slow
as detected via radar into the merge.  If you see your opponent doing 350 kts
and getting ready to do a Split-S, then you have it made.  The S'er will have
to transcribe an arc of 270 degrees and be at about 4,000 feet by the time he
can shoot.  And he will have precious little time to shoot with his plane
pointed straight up doing 320 kts.  In the meantime, you should be passing
through maybe 16,000-20,000 feet and still doing 500-600 kts.

How to do an extension:

  1) Stay in AB-5 and build your speed to 750 kts.

  2) Watch you opponent in radar sweeps out to 3 miles.  If your opponent is
     at 450 kts or below, then you will probably be shooting missiles at him

  3) At 3 miles, turn off the radar (punch off ECM if you want) and go heads
     up.  Then, goto to padlock or stay heads up.

  4) At the merge, pull full back on the stick and be heads up.

  5) Keep the nose turning until it is perfectly vertical.

  6) Go to padlock to check on your opponent.  (We will assume here that your
     opponent did not extend.  This will be addressed later.)

  7) Watch your opponent and try to decide if you will turn with guns or
     missiles.  This is a crucial decision.  The wrong one will get you killed.
     If your opponent shows less than a mile away, then you are turning with
     guns.  If your opponent is at two miles or more, then you are turning with

  8) When your opponent launches his first missile, do NOT flinch.  Keep
     climbing.  Padlock it.  Wait until the missile is within a mile.  Come out
     of afterburner.  Pull back into your opponent (at high speed 500 kts is
     okay here).  Drop out of after drop out afterburner.  Pop a few flares
     nicely spaced.  (Remember you are only allowed a few of these in the air
     in head-to-head.  So, space them and do not go crazy.)

  9) Jump in out of padlock to check on the missiles status.  If something
     else is comming at you dodge it and then turn hard at your opponent for

     guns fight.  If you are clear, then turn hard into your opponent and
     select the appropriate weapon.

10) A common mistake is to select missiles when you are too close.  Unless you
     have good separation, then go with guns.  A missile often serves to alert
     your opponent that you are starting your death run.  You probably appear
     to be a dot and he cannot tell what you are doing, but if you shoot a
     missile, then you are on your way back.  Don't shoot a missile if you
     cannot hit or cause your opponent extreme discomfort.

11) If you shoot missiles, then put everything into the air that you have.
     First, then the 9Ms and then the 9Ps.  Do not worry about position here.
     If you cannot put everything into the air, then you should have probably
     been on your guns.  Remember that you can be on the brake to slow your

12) If you choose guns, then remember not to exceed 350-380 kts.  Otherwise,
     you are going to have trouble moving your nose.  Line up your opponent
     (bore sight heads up), fire a long continuous burst.  This is an excellent
     time for the "Cone of Death".

13) Whatever happens here do not let your speed run away at this pass.
     Immediately pull into a loop to pursue your opponent.  Most likely you
     will still hold the energy advantage for a dogfight at this point.

What if you opponent extends?

  As soon as you detect this situation, pull hard over at your opponent and
  start firing missiles.  You will be much close then he expected and the
  missile percentages will be much higher.  If he survives, then start a
  turning fight.

How to defend against the extension?  (At some point later, I will address how
to detect the extension.)

  1) If you head into a 550 kts Immelman (the MarkShot first step to good
     health and family planning), then you are in very good shape.  Your
     opponent only has a 200 kts advantage on you.

  2) Do not brake, just keep comming around at high speed.  You are going to
     half let your opponents own vertical motion carry him into your HUD.

  3) As soon as you can, fire a 9M.  Wait.  Two well space 9Ps.  Hold the
     last 9M for when you think he has started his death run or you are out
     of energy.  Let it go.

  4) Do NOT fight gravity with your nose up.  Go heads up and get you nose
     level and get your speed to 350 kts fast!!!

  5) Your opponent is very likely moving fast and expects you to be stuck at
     the mode shift and dead in the water.  Watch him in padlock.

  6) If he heads in forward quarter, then when he is a one mile and starting
     his gun run, sweep if with your cannon from padlock.  Turn flat and pursue
     as he extends downward.  Nail him fast or he could get away from you.

  7) If he approaches from behind, wait until he reaches gun range and
     perform a quick split-S.  If he is moving fast, he will be unable to hit
     you.  Quickly turn flat or high yo-yo and take him out before it becomes
     a looping fight.

Another S defense technique.  Note, although not an Immelman, this is still an

energy strategy.

  1) Pull into a 550 kts Immelman.  Your opponent roles and cuts downward
     without warning from padlock.

  2) Go heads up.  Hit the brake and chop the throttle.

  3) You should be at about 350 kts 30-45 degrees nose up.  Pull into your own

  4) Keep the nose comming around fast.  Do NOT break 400 kts.  350 kts is
     more or less optimal.

  5) There should be a lot of lateral separation with you about 2000-4000 feet
     above with you opponent 20 degrees below you.

  6) Let go with all your missiles.

  7) Dodge missiles if you have to by going into a loop or high yo-yo while
     popping flares.  Although you break first, you opponent will not have
     energy for a looping fight.

  8) If you have second pass, then follow the golden rules of minize separation
     and hit 400 kts and then dogfight.  You should have the energy advantage
     since your first move had been to go high.

"Burst of Four" technique is the automated firing sequence (9M,9M,9P,9P) via
a one key sequence on a WCS II.  The goal was to overwhelm the opponents
ability to dodge for a few seconds.  The technique failed and what follows is
some post-testing discussion.

>> Also, I wonder if the "Burst of Four" works better for the second
>> pass, head-on missile shot (i.e., Immelman v. Immelman)?

I do not believe so.  It wastes too much time trying to get the proper attitude
for a stable missile lock through a continuous firing sequence of four

Some explanation of the Spit-S and when one might user it.


It is the positional/energy inverse of the Immelman.

1)  Roll inverted.

2)  Pull back on the stick.

3)  Come out of the bottom half of the loop.

Proper entry speed is in the 300-350 kts region below 10,000 feet.

That is the S.  I would never, never open a match with it; as well you know.
So what good is it in my opinion?

A)  In a close fight near the ground with an opponent who has more energy.
     You can force him to break off, auger in, or cut his energy advantage to

B)  In a low energy forward quarter flat turning fight to sucker an
     opponent with more energy to be above corner and go head-to-head with you.

C)  To dodge an extender who is now swooping in from the rear for a kill.

D)  In a high altitude fight where denser air will yield a turning advantage.

What follows reveals the strategy behind the extension move.

>> An extension will NEVER work against the opponent who recognizes it,
>> does a quick turn at the merge, and fires all his missiles

If guns were free yes, but missiles are too low percentage and would be energy
dead if they miss.  The best defense is to recognize it and keep almost as much
energy as the extender for your pursuit.  The extender needs vertical
separation to win.

>> Is an Immelman a vertical extension?

No, for two reasons and you can remove the word "vertical" here.

First, extensions generally involve some amount of straight flight usually
with your opponent at your rear.

Second, the goal of the extension is separation.  Vertical extensions provide
both separation and an energy advantage.  Horizontal separations only yield
the former.  My Immelman's goal is to maximize the energy advantage while
minimizing separation; both accomplished by the acceleration of gravity.

Defending yourself against an extender.  What to do?

>> My (naive) reaction is to slow to 350 or thereabouts, and wheel around
>> fast and shoot the extender with missiles.  This is wrong?

1) Your quick launched missiles will get beat, since you won't have the energy
    to space them.

2) You will not have the energy to pursue for a gun battle.

3) For sure, you are going to have to dodge four of my missiles on his
    return.  Better if for you if you can be close enough that it will be
    a gun fight.

My advice (goes for me too), keep your speed up and learn how to detect the
extension at the earliest possible moment.  The fast detection is not so that
you can react quickly to it, but instead so that you don't brake and yank plane
around putting yourself at a severe disadvantage.  You cannot beat the talented
extender 1-2-3, you must stalk him.

XXX proposes withholding one or all of your missiles and just pursuing.  His
reasoning is that you want to begin shooting your missiles when the extender
finally begins his death run.  At this point, he is committed and with the
least energy to dodge.  Perhaps, only the Ps should be fired during the
extension portion of the move.  I'll let you know.

In looking for a manner to deal with the extension and a way of determining
the opponents move via padlock, the following interesting observations where
made in Red Flag.  The initial premise was that the opponents move could be
spotted by comparing relative altitudes shortly after the intial merge in

At 7,800 feet three planes break upwards (Immelman or vertical extension here
is irrelevant).  The three enter at 430, 550, and 750 kts.  At four seconds,
inclination above the horizon respectively is:  90, 65, and 45 degrees.  Thus,
the only thing which could be perceived out of padlock is nose attitude.
However, at the range and video resolution, it is doubtful that there is
anything of value there.

The ultimate meaning of all this is that 750 kts Immelmans will have to be
worked into the High School's game plan.

The question here is how to win a very high speed opening guns fight?

Playing with the four MIG-29s from Hell has demonstrate that missiles launch
from the rear rarely strike a target pulling max G's at more than 450 kts.
This is probably also true of distant forward quarter shots.  So, the main
thing is how to work the gun battle from a high speed and high perch.  This of
course goes against the original tenent of the 550 kts Immelman open which says
that someone who does a 750 kts Immelman will allow you to turn inside of him
on the second pass.  Avoiding this happening leaves, the 750 kts plane pointed
sharply downwards.  What to do here?

The following describes how to set yourself up on the second pass for optimal

>> I realize that there is probably not a menouver or trick for this, but
>> it seems to be a big factor.

There are some aids.  For example, on the second pass.  Pull your HUD on your
opponent.  Come out of padlock, since he is now in front.  Get your attitude
(pitch, speed, bank, ...).  Determine the optimal break and reposition exactly.
Hit padlock right at the second pass and then just pull straight back.  You
have now set up and are executing the optimal break.

The following describes the importance of multi-plane Red Flag practice
challenge missions.  It is not the similarity to H2H matches that is the point
of the practice.  Instead it is the importance of some very basic lessons.

>> I spend most of my non-H2H practice on single planes - MiG 19's and
>> UMF's have nice turning capabilities, although the latter is stupid.

Too easy.  You don't get to be a master, by repeating the same easy motion.
It is all conditioning.  The four MIGs emphasized some key H2H factors:

1) Timing is the difference between life and death.

2) It only takes one mistake to get you killed.

3) Know what the entire global situation is around you.  Don't lose the world
    for the view from your HUD.
The following describes the type of mentality it takes to excel at Falcon.

Here is the most key lesson which I can give you for the future of your Falcon
and sim career.

Get analytical.  On each engagement ask:

  What did I do right and what did I do wrong?

  What did my opponent do right and what did my opponent do wrong?

  How could I detect the development of the situation which got me killed and
  how should I have responded?

Think about the game at night looking up at the ceiling and imagine positions,
speeds, nose attitude, and the moves that can be made.  See what new things
you can come up with that look good on paper.  Then, try them.  Do not adopt
them too quickly or discard them too slowly.  Work with them and fully
understand the actual implications.

When you reflect on the game, remember that it is a game and also think of how
it behaves from that angle.  This is where the Padlock Sweep, Cone of Death,
and Flap Trap came from.
The following presents some basic questions to ask someone who is beginning
the game and would like some help.  They represent a point of departure.

In the meantime, let me ask you a few of questions.  Your replies will be held
in confidence.

(1) Is your radar on or off into the merge?

(2) Is your ECM on or off into the merge?

(3) At what speed do you hit the merge?

(4) What is your speed about one second after the merge?

(5) What do you think is the most effective move after the merge and what
     do you most commonly do?

(6) When a second pass is evolving, how do you attempt to manage that
More comments on the S as an opening move.

>> The S is death,

Very good.  I am going to attach some stuff from "Shoot to Kill" at the end of
this message in regards to the S.  It is not totally without merit.  However,
you should strive for strategies that keep your options open.  When you run out
of options, you die.  The S has very limited options.

The following describes why an extender does not stand a chance against an
opponent he goes into the merge with lots of speed 650-750 kts and slows a
little to start shooting missiles.

His dodging will leave you with both and energy advantage and position
advantage despite you having bled a little energy to get the shot.
Furthermore, he has already given you his six and at high altitudes there just
isn't the tight turning radius for him to get you off his tail.  So if you
kept your speed up, he has for sure committed suicide.

The following describes what can be done to survive in the face missiles and
prepare for the turning fight.

>> I'd start pumping flares like there's no tomorrow,

There is a limitation in modem play that I think only allows three flares/chaff
ejections to be active at once.

>> If you're in that close, you should be too close for the missile to
>> track (it shouldn;t arm until at least 1nm from the launching platform),
>> but I can't remember if F3 models this or not.

I have seen lots of in the teeth missile hits (9Ms) in H2H modem play.  Note:
That current CIS Ladder ROE forbids guns at this point.  So, that is why
missiles are being launched.  Otherwise, I would certainly opt for guns.

The best I have on a more less level merge is:

1) Be at 400 KTS or more.

2) Break hard up and drop flares.  Cut the AB if you want, but I don't think
    it makes a difference.

3) Continue through a loop pulling your nose onto your human opponent.

This has worked for me on a number of occassions.  It accomplish two things at
once.  First, you evade the missile in your face.  Second, you maneuver for
position and hold energy for the comming gun fight.  The beauty of the two
things at once is that it saves time, since usually matches can be decided by a
half second or more.

Another effective application of the "Cone of Death".

First, I had portrayed the "Cone of Death" as a close proximity tactic.  This
is primarily how I use it and how I originally arrived at it.  However, it also
works quite well a long distances on a straight nose to nose situation.  This
happened twice last night.  I lined you up from a mile out and began to shoot
and roll.  Otherwise getting an accurate bead on a rapidly growing dot hard to

A debrief on extensions viewed from both sides.

Second, you mismanaged your extensions on the ones where I did an Immelman.
You must count my missiles and go offensive as soon as you dodge the last.  It
is at that point that your opponent is most vulnerable.  You should space fire
missiles at me and approach at moderate speed.  Instead you allowed me recover
a little speed.  Once I had that, I dodged both you and your high speed guns
run.  The lesson to be learned in defense here is:

Don't wait too long with the last missile or your nose will get stuck pointing
up.  Get it off and then pull your nose down.  Then, watch carefully your
opponents approach.  Right when you think, he is going to open up, you break
and a split-S is a very good move here.

Another debrief on extensions viewed from both sides.  And yes, the author
did a split-s.  Incredible!  Times are changing.

Third, I split-S'ed on the open.  These were like the first I have ever done
since my very first days of flying Falcon H2H.  I just had to do something
different.  Well, what was most amazing was that you extended and I found
defense from the S to be much easier, than from the 550 kts Immelman.  Here is

I launched my missiles relatively quickly.  There was already a great deal of
separation and you were still in a high powered climb.  As a result, upon
launching my last missile, I had much more time to prepare for your counter


After the last launch, I pulled my nose straight down to build speed while I
watched you dodge the last missiles in padlock.  I pulled out of my dive at
about 3000-4000 feet and continued in a shallow dive of 10 degrees nose down
and extending.

By the time you began to launch your missiles, there was already three miles
between us and I was doing about 570 kts.  Pulling in a low G climbing arc
while popping flares was sufficient to beat them.  You were still out of guns
range and I rapidly turned in the vertical to engage you with guns.  Piece of

So, what did you do wrong here?  Well, perhaps you should have spaced your
missiles better.  Maybe you should have held your last one or two until you
were just outside of guns range (1.2 miles).  This would have made my
reversing on you much more difficult.  As I dodged the last one or two, you
should have been able to pick up the angles advantage.

What might I have done different?  Same approach except, I could have just
launched my Ps and saved my Ms to complicate your life as you closed the
separation between us.

Some basic things to keep in mind when entering a tight turning fight.

Your lessons:

1) Don't go up when you don't have the energy to do so.  You will loose 2
    seconds on the mode shift and 30 degrees.

2) Don't go down for the sake of going down.  I will clip with guns as you
    tuck under and then drop in behind you.

3) Don't do 330 kts flat turns pulling 9Gs.  You are way above corner.  (This
    means that your radius is too large.)

4) Control your speed in padlock in a flat fight by rolling a little left or
    right with the stick pulled all the way back.  Stay at corner.

5) Manage the second pass break to achieve a balance between staying at
    corner speed, maintaining energy by gaining altitude, and avoiding the
    mode shift.


This section on the following sections present methods for measuring Falcon
performance.  This is critical.  The sim pilot should attempt to play test
pilot with the software to the maximum extent possible.  The good player will
fully understand the performance of his aircraft and never be guessing.

This particular section details some early work which was done during the
old CIS Ladder ROE ("Turn and Shoot") days.

As already noted, one of the best strategies for the old ROE was the Immelman.
The player who did the fastest/tightest Immelman has the opportunity to bring
his guns to bear sooner.  The following technique was used to determine the
best Immelman in Falcon 3.01.1 at that time.

The VCR was used to gather raw information.  Set yourself and your plane up in
the same configuration you would be going head to head.  Adjust your speed and
pull into a loop.  Make the loop pass through the horizon as your are inverted;

do not ease off on the back pressure as you come around.

What you want to build is a chart of entry speed, exit speed, diameter, and
elapsed time.  To do this watch the video tape.  You can detect the beginning
of the move, by watch the stick marker on the HUD and doing a frame advance as
you get close to the point.  As soon as you see the stick marker twitch, the
move in in progress.  Record the time, speed, and altitude.  Frame advance
until the flight path marker crosses 0 degrees on the pitch scale.  Once again,
record the time, speed, and altitude.  You can now work out the differences.

In summation this approach yielded that at 7,700 feet, 390 kts yielded the best
Immelman with a time of about 6 seconds, diameter of about 2,400, and exit
speed of about 290 kts.  Note that there were other 6 second Immelmans, but
they resulted in much larger diameters.  Therefore, you would not get guns on.
With the best Immelman, you could have guns on in about 4 seconds.


In order to do a similar analysis as above for flat turns, it necessary to
establish a frame of reference.  In the last section, the VCR time and HUD
altitude was used as that frame of reference.  The question is what can be used
for flat turns.

Answer:  The debug screen.

The debug screen (pause,shift-tab,D,pause) presents seven red numbers in three
lines.  We shall refer to them as:

D1 D2

D3 D4 D5 D6


They represent:

D1 - North/South axis increasing towards the south by .25/.33 nautical miles

D2 - East/West axis increasing towards the west by .25/.33 nautical miles

D3 - East/West axis increasing (ignore sign) towards the west by .5 feet.

D4 - North/South axis increasing (ignore sign) towards the South by .5 feet.

D5 - Vertical axis (above sea level) by .5 feet.

D6 - Unknown

D7 - Video display frames per second.

D1 and D2 were arrived at by:

Take off from Nellis and just fly straight along the two major compass
bearings.  You will see how they increment and decrement.  The challenge is
how to calibrate these numbers.

This was accomplished by using the VCR, waypoint distance from the airbase on
the HUD, and a 9P seeker head to leave a marker on the tape.  Take off and fly
level and slow.  Everytime D2 increments, flash the seeker head.  Watch the
tape and count how many seeker flashes between the waypoint nautical mile
increments from base.

Although the above yields a coordinate system, it is insufficiently precise to
do any serious measurements with.  It is the author's conjecture that this
represents some form of macro coordinate system used for the placement of
stationary objects and waypoints.  The macro system is perhaps used to
simplify various calculations to improve play performance characteristics.

D5 was arrived at by:

It is pretty easy to observe the D5 always appears to be double the altitude
above sea level displayed on the HUD.  As such, it would be calibrate in 1/2
feet.  This is very useful piece of information as we will see.

D3 and D4

Obviously represent a coordinate system as they conform to the behavour
described above with regards to flying on major compass bearings.  However,
when you play around, you will see that they are in reverse order of D1 and
D2.  Additionaly, they change at a much greater rate, and therefore are
calibrated on a much finer scale.

A reasonable conjecture would assume that they are calibrated on the same
scale as D3.  This is in fact the case and can be verified by doing the

Taxi out from Nellis across the the desert at 50 kts.  Check the value of D1
when a waypoint mile clicks off.  Check it again when the next waypoint mile
clicks off.  Subtract the two and you will see that the difference divided by
two comes out to be a nautical mile of approximately 6,080 feet.

D6 unknown.

D7 is FPS and was known previously by the author.


This section describes how D3 and D4 can be used to measure turn performance.
Unforetunately, these number do not appear on the VCR.  So, this must be done
in real time flight with the pause key.  It is most convenient to program one
of the FCS keys (such as the trigger) to do a pause and another to turn the
recorder on and off.

Fly on a major compass heading.  Set up all parameters.  Hit the pause button.
Make note of the appropriate debug number.  Unpause, roll, and turn.  When the
HUD indicates a full reversal, then hit the pause again.  Note the appropriate
debug number, subtract the two and divide by two.  This yields the turn
diameter in feet.

MEASURING FALCON PERFORMANCE:  Part IV, A Falcon Performance Chart

This section provides detail data on Falcon flight performance.  There are
no real suprises here. It pretty much confirms what the author and others
have intuitively known.  Discussion of the results will be provided later

                Falcon 3.03 F-16 HIFI Turning Performance Chart

                   Mark Kratzer - 03/26/94 (revised 03/27/94)

NOTE:     (1)  Tests were performed an 80486DX/50 processor.
          (2)  No weapons were loaded.
          (3)  No flares or chaff were fired.
          (4)  Fuel load effects were not determined.
          (5)  Flight model was set to HIFI.

Method:   (1)  Debug coordinates were used.
          (2)  Speed and altitude were set along one axis.
          (3)  180 degree reversal was performed and the change was
               measured on the axis.
          (4)  The pause key and the VCR was used to gather measurements 
               and both were implemented as buttons on the FCS.
          (5)  Altitude is reflected as above sea level.
          (6)  The results are presented as a turn diameter in feet/elapsed 
               time in seconds.

         1000 FT  3000 FT  5000 FT  8000 FT  10000 FT  12000 FT  14000 FT

250 KTS  2314/8   1845/6   1827/7   1807/7   1726/7    1834/7    1955/9
300 KTS  3003/8   3018/8   2383/7   2187/7   2025/7    2013/7    2035/7
350 KTS  4092/9   3812/9   3787/10  3235/8   3718/10   2745/7    2719/8
400 KTS  5234/10  5195/10  5044/11  4585/10  4633/10   3521/8    3538/9
450 KTS  6218/11  6517/12  5966/11  5666/11  5741/12   5305/10   5063/11

MEASURING FALCON PERFORMANCE:  Part V, Interpreting the Results in Part IV

The horizontal turning results confirm some things that have been asserted
all along.

1) Proper speed control is everything.  The difference of 100 kts in a flat
    turn between two aircraft may equate to turn diameter which is twice as
    large and takes one and a half times long for the faster aircraft.  And
    the beginners keep asking, "Why do you always manage to turn on me?".

2) A 400 KTS flat turn at 8000 FT yields 4585/10 whereas a 400 KTS Immelman
    yields 2672/7.  Clearly, an Immelman that uses gravity to decelerate and
    increase Gs pulled results in superior turn performance for the same
    energy input.  Furthermore, unlike hitting the brake which forfeits energy,
    the Immelman maintains energy for later use.

3) Best turning performance occurs at altitudes of 7,000-11,000 feet.
    Perhaps, the optimal higher speed entry turn reversal on an open would
    be a climbing turn.  Maybe a 45 degree climbing turn at 430 KTS.  (At this
    point, this is conjecture and has yet to be tested.)

4) On a high yo-yo the nose should be rolled downward only after the speed to
    has dropped below 300 KTS.  (At this point, this is conjecture and has yet
    to be tested.)

MEASURING FALCON PERFORMANCE:  Part VI, Additional Research Topics

More turn performance research is definitely called for.

1) At what speed does the mode shift occur for each altitude?

2) Is the mode shift speed affected by missile and ECM load?

3) Is turn diameter and time affected by missile and ECM load?

4) Given an entry speed at a particular altitude what is the maximum number
    of degrees turned before the mode shift is hit?
There has been a lot of recent discussion on hardware advantages.  Well,
there are tactics which will tend to neutralize such an advantage.

>> That's my attitude as well.  Until I see differently I am going to
>> continue to believe that the single biggest factor in Falcon H2H
>> remains BFM skills and NOT machine speed.

In fact, there are even BFM tactics for the hardware challenged player.  Some

  1) A former student was up against a 2:1 CPU cycle advantage.  His opponent
     had threatened to spin around in his tracks around 400 kts with an instant

     missile lock.  My advice to my former student before the match was.

       Watch your opponent's inbound speed on radar.  If he telegraphs a low
       speed, then take his speed and match it with yours plus 50-60 KTS.
       First, at such a low speed merge, the second pass would happen at about
       7 seconds and there would be no time for missile shots.  Second, a 60
       KTS energy advantage is all a good player needs to win a turning fight.
       Faster machine be damned.  (Yes, he did win doing precisely that.)

  2) I and the same former student simulated him having a faster machine by me
     not launching missiles and him launching.  (Note, I did not dump my own
     missiles.)  Here is what we found.

       First, the faster computer must still turn sharply on the open (meaning
       less energy).  Otherwise, he still could get beat to the missile shot.
       Since the slower computer could still get a very quick nose on if he
       chose to go that route.

       The slower computer thus goes high into an Immelman and keeps his speed
       up in the 400 KTS range and does not decelerate lower in order to get
       his nose around for the first shot.

       When the slower computer's opponent launches from below, he/she still
       returns fire with 9Ms whether or not there is a lock.  This may cause a
       moment of confusion on your opponent's part.  Next, the slower computer
       dodges by going into a steep climbing turn which is compatible with his
       energy.  This accomplishes two things:  dodges the missiles and reenters
       the fight.

       The slower computer is relative safe despite the dodge, because he/she
       is much higher than his/her opponent and difficult to shoot because of
       the altitude advantage.  After the turn the slower computer uses the
       energy advantage to win in the ensuing gun fight.
The following contribution from Vertigo emphasizes the critical nature of
mode shift.


        When flying in HIFI mode, there is a strange occurrence when your
plane drops below a certain speed (approximately 250 kts at 8,000 - 2000 AGL).
At that point, you will notice a lurch in your flight, and if you are pulling
high G's in a tight turn, the G-meter will suddenly reduce to 1 G or below,
your AOA will drop to zero, and your flight path will be interrupted.  This is
due to the fact that at lower speeds, the flight model will suddenly change to
Complex, and your plane will wallow for a moment.  If your opponent in a
turning battle manages to avoid the mode shift while you hit it, you will find
yourself suddenly gunned down, because his turning radius will improve in
relation to yours.

        You can, of course, avoid the mode shift by keeping your speed high
enough.  However, there is a fine line between the mode shift (250 kts) and
being beyond corner speed (approximately 270 - 290 kts).  You must learn to

balance on that fine line.

        It is essential to learn to recognize when this is going to happen,
and avoid it if possible.  Practice the following in Red Flag:

        1.  Set up a mission without any enemies.

        2.  Get to 8,000 feet, and slow to about 300 kts.  Go into padlock so
you can see the G-meter and your speed in the upper left window.

        3.  Go into a flat turn at 300 kts and full burners.  You will be able
to maintain a level aspect only for a short time, and then you will bleed off
speed rapidly until you hit the mode shift.  Stay in padlock and watch your
flight path and the G-meter.  Watch what happens when you hit the mode shift.
When you drop into Complex mode and your G's diminish, you are providing your
opponent an advantage which will usually get you killed.  Note that you cannot
avoid the mode shift with engine power alone.  Do this until you are familiar
with the point at which the mode shift occurs.

        4.  Once you are familiar with where and when the mode shift occurs,
deal with it as follows.  As your speed in a tight turn approaches 250 kts,
angle the plane downward to use gravity to assist you.  This may require a 30
- 45% angle down, and at the same time you have to keep pulling back on the
joystick, so you don't widen your turn by decreasing your AOA.  Essentially,
you are in a tight spiral down toward the ground.  Practice this until you can
avoid the mode shift.  Note: the 250 kts is only an estimate!  The speed at
which the mode shift occurs will be less at lower altitudes.  Experiment with
this until you know when and where the mode shift occurs.

        Since there is no enemy in this practice and you are essentially
looking through the HUD, you may be able to determine your angle by looking at
the bars on the HUD.  You will not have this advantage in a dogfight, because
you will be padlocked on the bandit (unless of course he is conveniently in
front of you, in which case you can gun him down).  Thus, you will have to
learn to watch your speed and, when you get too close to 250 kts, angle
downward by feel only.  You will know you are angled downward when your speed
begins to increase.  The upper right box in padlock, which shows your relative
angle to the ground, may provide some cues, but often the angle required is
such that it will show ground only in that box; you'll know you're pointing
down, but you won't know at what angle.  Rely upon your speed indicator to
tell you your relative angle to the ground.  If your speed is maintaining
instead of decreasing, you're doing it.  If speed is still decreasing, angle
downward more.  Practice this until you can tell the proper angle using your
speed as the only indicator.  This sounds impossible, but it's not.  It just
requires practice.

        In a tight turning battle in which neither side has a significant
energy advantage, the two planes will often spiral downward as they attempt to
close with the enemy and maintain enough speed to avoid the mode shift.  Thus,
with pilots of equal skill, this will take the fight to the ground.  When you
get lower than 1,000 feet AGL, you will notice another phenomenon.  The denser

air will allow you to maintain speed, even in a flat turn, and the mode shift
occurs at a lesser speed.  In fact, your primary problem now may be too much
speed.  If you are not careful, your speed will increase beyond optimum corner
speed, and this will get you killed as quickly as hitting the mode shift.  At
this point, you have three options: (1) hit the brake and/or let up on the
throttle to maintain corner speed; (2) angle your plane upwards to use the
extra speed to buy some more energy (and get you away from the hard, hard
ground); or (3) do both in combination.  Angling upwards is, logically, the
superior move to decrease your speed, because you will gain an energy
advantage at the same time.  But, it is difficult to pull off against a
skilled opponent, because the speed loss from angling upward does not occur as
quickly as the speed loss from hitting the brakes, and this may result in a
turning radius that is too large, giving your opponent a clean guns shot.  You
will have to learn to detect when you have enough of a lead on your opponent
to afford angling upwards.  If your opponent is hard on your tail, it is
probably best to hit the brakes.

Some common mistakes when trying to learn how to open with an Immelman.

>> I got beat severely in practise trying to emulate some of Markshot's
>> routines so I took some of his points and MODIFIED them to suit my
>> flying style.

Two classic mistakes in trying to learn it are:

  1)  Remaining inverted in the Immelman and when your opponent passed
      beneath you pull down on him/her.  You should right your plane and then
      do a flat turn or go up some.

  2)  Keeping too much speed and separation as the result of the Immelman.
      Thus, you excess speed gets you killed especially if you try to take the
      fight low with it when your opponent is at corner.

      "Speed is Life" sometimes is "Speed is Death" especially when you
      opponent is turning inside of you.
Some new and interesting phenomena have been observed.  These observations
are based on some suggestions by Vertigo and another CIS Ladder flyer.  The
phenomena shall henceforth be refered to as the "Speed Bump".  Some other
terms that the reader should be familiar with are:

"Mode Shift":    The speed at which the HIFI flight model switchs to COMPLEX.
"Corner Speed":  The fastest and tightest turning speed at an altitude.

At any given altitude in a max G flat turn, there is a speed which if
exceeded, the F-16 will accelerate while in afterburner.  And if below, the F
-16 will decelarate despite being in afterburner.  This speed shall we known
as the "Speed Bump".  Here are two interesting properties of over "Speed Bump"

  First, if accelerating (in afterburner) over the "Speed Bump", then the F-16
  will only pull 8Gs despite the speed.  If decelerating (out of afterburner)

  over the "Speed Bump", then the F-16 will pull 9Gs.  In the same speed range
  over "Speed Bump", Gs pulled (and most likely turn diameter and time) will
  be affected by acceleration and deceleration.  Personal conjecture has it,
  that the real world cause of this might be the forward thrust of the engine
  pushing the jet out into a wider turn.

  Second, by going in and out of afterburn, it is possible to maintain a more
  or less continuous tight turn.

Here are some interesting implications which follow from the speed bump.

  1)  Normally, two planes with equally skilled flyers that enter a turning
      fight at almost the same speed (within 5 kts) will tend to remain
      neutral.  By neutral we can say that their relative position/energy
      states neither converge nor diverge.

      However, if one plane enters the turn 2.5 kts under the "Speed Bump" and
      the other plane enters the turn 2.5 kts over the "Speed Bump", then the
      relative position/energy states will diverge.  This is immutable.  In
      a relatively short period of time, the plane over the "Speed Bump"
      should have gained a very significant energy advantage.

  2)  Suckering an opponent into a flat turning fight right at the "Speed
      Bump" where you can guarantee being above and your opponent below should
      convey an advantage on you that you can exploit.

      A risk here which needs to be accessed is whether the "Speed Bump" is so
      far above corner that you are risking being killed before taking
      advantage of it.

  3)  At what altitude if any does "Corner Speed" occur near the "Speed Bump"?
      The closer the two are, the more effective the above approach put forth
      in #2 will be.

  4)  At 500 feet and below, the "Speed Bump" occurs below the "Mode Shift".
      This means that it is impossible to hit the mode shift at 500 feet and
      below.  The implication of this is that a lower energy (and altitude)
      plane in a relatively close turning fight could take an advantage by
      passing below 500 feet and regain energy while turning and also be
      immune to the mode shift that may hit the 1200 feet high energy fighter.

  5)  It has commonly been accepted that it usually a mistake to diminish
      stick back pressure in a turning fight.  However, if by doing so, you
      can put yourself over the "Speed Bump" and if "Corner Speed" and the
      "Speed Bump" are close and if your opponent is under the "Speed Bump",
      then you should be able to force a reversal.

  6)  If dumping missiles can vary the value of the "Speed Bump", then this
      could be a highly effective technique.

Some initial testing with the "Speed Bump" has yielded the following pieces
of information.

  1)  The rate of acceleration or deceleration decreases with proximity to
      the "Speed Bump".  Another way of stating this, is that the further
      under the "Speed Bump" you are the quicker speed bleeds off.

  2)  Weight definitely affects the "Mode Shift" and "Speed Bump" values.
      With an unloaded plane and almost out of fuel, they can be as much as
      100 kts lower than they otherwise would be.

      The affect of unloading the plane would appear to drop the "Speed Bump"
      and "Mode Shift" values by about 20kts.

  3)  The "Speed Bump" at 8,000 feet with a loaded plane is 450 kts and the
      "Mode Shift" is 250 kts.

        A possible opening strategy which maintains high energy but low
        altitude might be the following:  Turn flat at 450+ kts and stay above
        the "Speed Bump".  Reverse and initiate a climb to meet your opponent.
        No speed should be bled in this reversal.  The diameter will be about
        5,000-6,000 feet at 11 seconds.

        Possible problems are that this might prove to be too time consuming.
        Also, it is necessary to varify at what entry speed and what pitch can
        a 400+ kts climb be maintained.

        A 550 kts full Immelman reaches 13,000 feet.

  4)  The "Speed Bump" existed in Falcon 3.01.1, but would not have seen much
      use in the old ROE, because of the prohibitive affects of Black Out
      which is now disabled.

  5)  The best way to recover if you fall below the speed bump in a turn is
      to dip the nose gain some acceleration.  You will know when you have
      crossed the "Speed Bump" by the fact that the G meter will flip from 8Gs
      to 9Gs.

More early feedback on the "Speed Bump" based on actual trials.

I think the technique looks promising.  I have actually beaten extensions
(XXX's) by catching up with him and firing missiles or gunning him down!

I have yet to be in any real peril of being hit by a missile in the face.

My main problem with the maneuver is working out the decision points, speeds,
and feel.  I had this same problem when I started the 550 kts school.
Basically, it is a process of using it and adapting to what opponents do.  It
takes time and patience to accept losses.

Another beauty of this technique is that it looks very similar to the Split-S
until a second or two after the merge.  They both decelerate at 1.5 miles.
After the merge, the only immediate difference is about 1/4 of a roll from

Why is this nice?  Well, the S is a low energy quick kill angles tactic and
the Speed Bump Turn is a high energy extended kill tactic.  Very different,
but they open so similar.  I like that!

Also, I have been doing a little speed bumping at low altitudes too.  I think
the best low altitude tactic instead of hitting the brake or going up is to
pop out of AB.


After much mention of the advantages of dumping.  I have begun to look into
this myself.  The assertion is that the plane get lighter and cleaner and
therefore exhibits more acceleration and better turning properties.

First, if you are going to dump things, then you might as well do it
efficiently (ie. in a programmed fashion).  Here are some things to note:

  You cannot dump ECM while it is turned on.

  You cannot dump ECM (^C) or 9Ms (^K) when inverted or perpindicular to the

  It is better to fire 9Ms, then dump because of the above.

  Because ECM cannot be fired, it should be given a key of its own separate
  from missiles.  The way to check if ECM has been dumped is:

    Enter the plane with ECM on.

    Program the dump key to do E-^C-E.  If the padlock TSR, still shows a blue
    box, then it was not dumped.

On the merge do the following:

  If you see that you entering a turning fight, then hit the DUMP ECM key.
  Otherwise, keep ECM.

  If you see that you have a 9M lock in the forward quarter, then hit the DUMP
  MISSILE key.  If you are pursuing and extender, then fire missiles as usual
  manually.  (see below about side effects)

  If you cannot get a a 9M lock, then hit the DUMP MISSILE key and get clean
  and light.

Some results:

  I had the definite feeling and so did my opponent that I was turning much

  Although the "Burst of Four" (time spaced missiles) failed, this technique
  appears to very hard to dodge from.  I am quite certain that one of them, my
  opponent was flamed by an UNLOCKED 9P.  This alone outside the turning could
  become a major factor in its own right.

A quick note about extensions.

Even when you could have your opponent in the forward view and pursue, it is
sometimes better to watch from padlock.  You need to know when your opponent
cuts back on you.  When you see the distance close, wait until 1.3 miles. Go
to the forward view and line your opponent up.  Then perform a continuous
"Cone of Death" throughout the merge.

Note that padlock measures horizontal separation and not vertical separation.

A missile dumping enhancement follows.

Program the missile dump key to on the press fire 2 9Ms and on the release
fire 2 9Ps.  This is superior for the following reasons:

  When you have a 9M lock and hit quickly, it has the same affect as a
  straight dump four.

  When you have a good amount of separation, you can fire the 9Ms and hold the
  button momentarily to get a 9P lock before releasing it.  This allows you
  one of the fastest key sequences to get your 9Ps in the air while at same
  time avoiding wasting them needlessly if you can get a shot.

Some missile dump key feedback.

In defending against extensions, rapidly launched pairs of missiles seemed to
have a higher hit rate than spaced singles.  However, not enough testing has
been done with this to be sure.

Vertigo has been demonstrating some excellent turning capability during
practice flights.  Here is what he says about setting it up.

        >>So, break it down for me.  What are you keying on
        >>while you are turning?  How are you responding to
        >>make corrects while turning via stick, throttle, and brake?

        I love this theoretical stuff!  OK, here goes:

        What I try to focus on most is my speed, and let that determine the
angle of the break.  For example, assuming both pilots break upwards at the
merge at about the same speed and try to get nose on for the missile shot
(e.g., two Immelmans, no extensions), this is my current theory.  First, I try
not to let my speed be below 300 kts at the 2nd pass, nor in excess of 350
kts.  While it may drop below 300 if I am braking for a missile shot, I try to
get it back up prior to the point at which the two planes pass.  In any event,
your speed at the 2nd pass, whatever it turns out to be, determines how I am
going to break.  If my speed is around 300, I will break slightly downwards
(since you cannot complete a flat turn beginning at that speed without hitting
the mode shift).  If my speed is below 300, I will progressively break further
downward in order to turn, hopefully, at about 290 kts.  If my speed is
slightly above 300 (e.g., 330), I will break flat or even upwards slightly,
and then angle downward as speed decreases.  If I am at 350 kts or higher, and
assuming my opponent is below me (e.g., he broke downwards), I may risk not
braking, and will angle even more upwards (the higher the speed, the greater
the angle upwards).  If my opponent is not below me and I'm at 350 at the
second pass, I will try and hit the brakes and/or pull back on the throttle to
cut my speed to 300 (approximately) and shorten my turn radius.  If you don't
do this, he will beat your turn and will gun you down.  The basic premise I'm
operating on is that 290-300 is probably the best turn speed, and I try to
average that through the turn, and at the same time maintain as much altitude
as possible.

        There are some nuances, of course.  The decision to go up (rather than
cut speed) when your speed is at 350 or higher is a critical and dangerous
decision; if your opponent can turn at 270-290 kts, he will complete his turn
before you, and if you are wrong about him being sufficiently below you, you
will get shot.  On the other hand, if you are correct in your determination
that he is sufficiently below you, he will still beat your turn, but it won't
do him any good because his speed will be such that he probably can't lift his
nose to shoot you, and you can use your energy advantage to slowly but surely
win the turning battle as you both spiral down.  I say "probably", because if
he is only slightly below you, he may be able to lift his nose just enough for
one shot.  Maybe you'll be lucky and that shot won't take anything important,
and then you'll still win the turning battle, made even easier by the fact

that he blew his last bit of energy on that one gun shot, and is now
dangerously close, or below, the mode shift.  If you're not lucky you lose
your guns or your engines, and it won't matter that you have more energy.
Another factor is sometimes your opponent can be below you, but with a high
enough energy state that when you turn to shoot him he scoots out of the way
and then gets above you, where he has effectively turned the tables (i.e., he
has the energy advantage, and you are below him, spiraling downward in an
attempt to stay at 290).

        Basically it's a balancing act.  Speed at the 2nd pass will allow you
to go up, and get above your opponent, where winning is much easier.  Under
this theory, the maximum speed you can get at the 2nd pass would be optimal.
But too much speed will mean you will lose the turning battle at the first
turn, and your opponent will get at least one shot at you, even though he is
below you.  For example, if you could break sharply upwards at 400 kts at the
2nd pass, you would be well above your opponent, but your turn will be so wide
that even though he is below you, a tightly turning opponent will be able to
get on your six and, in spite of your energy advantage, will usually be able
to follow you through any maneuvers, until your energy advantage is gone.

        The proper angle for the break, while dependent upon speed, is a
matter of feel.  If you were in a real plane, it would be easier to both see
the angle at which your opponent broke (i.e., above or below you), and to feel
the correct angle for the break.  You can't do much about the former, but
situational awareness of the latter can be enhanced by going to the scrolled
up front view momentarily to get positioned.  Note: while I think the view
switching is, theoretically, a good idea, I rarely have the presence of mind
to do it while in an actual fight, so it remains primarily an untested theory.

The following comments by Vertigo offer some interesting insights for
winning a tight turning fight.  Of particular interest, is the overshoot
technique proposed in a descending vertical scissors.

        >>How are you squeezing out from under me or anyone else
        >>that matter who gets on your six?

        Hot Dog!  More theoretical stuff.  OK, here goes:

        For a two circle fight, where both pilots are coming around to get
nose on for a front quarter shot, if I notice that my opponent has position on
me and will beat my turn, either because he turned better, he has an energy
advantage, or both, lately I have been quitting my turn into him (when I have
the presence of mind to do so), thus hopefully denying him his shot.  As you
know, when both pilots are turning into each other, they are both helping the
other one come nose on.  I cease that help when I perceive that I'm going to
lose the turning battle.  Instead, I will let up on the stick, allow my speed
to build, and attempt to perform a perfect turn on the next go around.
Sometimes I get shot anyway, sometimes I don't.  Often the hit isn't fatal

(unlike the result when you go nose-to-nose). The opponent will often have
sacrificed his superior position to get what he believes will be a good shot.
For example, when he has the altitude advantage, he often points downward to
get the shot.  If I have not pulled all the way around into his guns, and
instead have backed off on the stick and used my decreased AOA to gain speed,
two things happen.  First, he's now pointing downwards, and goes below me;  in
addition, my speed build-up may allow me to increase that separation by flat
turning or even going up slightly, an additional bonus.  Second, his speed may
now be too high, since he was diving, and it's rare to remember to hit the
brake or let up on the throttle while you are pulling the trigger.  The
result?  I am now above him, at a better corner speed, and with more energy.

        For a one circle fight, it's much less elegant.  If someone is on your
six and you're not dead, forget about anything other than making the perfect
turn.  Concentrate on your angle toward the ground. Make it perfect, maintain
a perfect corner speed.  Keep an eye on the bandit to make sure he doesn't
break out of the circle (if he does, follow him and kill him), but your main
concern is the perfect turn.  If you can slowly but surely turn better than he
can, you will start to reverse the situation.  If the turning battle starts
at, say, 10,000 feet, you'll have lots of time to slowly out-turn him.  Taking
the fight to the ground also has a salutory effect, since energy states and
other matters tend to get equalized when you can no longer angle downward to
help your turn.  Also, when you are down low, the bandit, sensing he has the
position, will sometimes shave it a little too close and do you the favor of
augering in.

        Speaking of the ground, a split-S can be helpful in a one circle fight
that you seem to be losing, but I personally don't use it much unless the
bandit is very hard on my six, my energy state is poor, and it looks like I'm
just about to be toasted;  otherwise, a high yo-yo by the pursuer (again,
assuming he has sufficient energy to go up) will often place him in an even
more superior position (more altitude) with plenty of separation.  Also, your
opponent may expertly follow you through the S, leaving the situation as it
was.  But sometimes it works.  I think this is why.  If he's hard on your six
he's at corner speed, and thus pretty close to the mode shift.  If he is
unable to duplicate the split-S, and stays in his turn (which he may do, since
it was working for him), the split-S'er will trade altitude for speed and may
be able to get right at corner speed as he comes up, at which point you wheel
around fast and take the shot.  Even if he duplicates your split-S, he may not
do it as well or in time, since he is merely reacting to what you already did.

        One other strategy I've noticed lately which I wanted to mention
concerns the tactics in a vertical scissors fight heading for the ground.  The
first time I recognized this was in a fight with XXXX.  I was all over his six
(in fact, I was worried I would collide with him), but before I could get a

guns solution, he expertly reversed the situation and suddenly, he was on my
six and gunned me down.  I asked him about it later, and he said he was on the
brake with no throttle, and getting way below mode shift speed.  This was the
only time I've seen this work, and it may be an exception to the rule that you
stay above mode shift speed no matter what.  Note: this should apply only to a
downward vertical scissors, not a horizontal scissors nor an upward vertical
scissors, because in the former, you can regain airspeed quickly with the
benefit of gravity, which you can't do in either of the latter.

The following is the first entry on flying ATG competition and some of the
things which can help.

   1) Altitude is generally important.

        It permits you to be slower than you opponent, but still have a large
        amount of energy.  Slower will help you turn your nose quickly for a
        missile shot.  Energy will allow you to be able to dodge missiles or
        quickly close on a lower altitude opponent for the gun fight.  Lastly,
        all things being equal.  Your missiles when fired simultaneously with
        a lower altitude opponent should reach him sooner and have greater
        range.  From actual experience, it has appeared to me that the higher
        plane usually gets the quicker missile lock.  (However, this could
        simply be a function of relative speeds and turning radii.)

   2) Having your nose pointed in the general direction of your opponent is

        If you don't, then you either must give up speed to turn rapidly to
        fire missiles.  If you give up speed, then you become a better target
        for a missile.  If you don't give up speed, then you will definitely
        be fired upon first and probably lose your opportunity to even
        counter fire upon your opponent.

   3) When AIM-120s are unavailable (Falcon 3.03), then you should spend most
      of your time in padlock.  Padlock is the quickest means of spotting your
      opponent.  If you fail to spot him quickly, then you will hear a missile
      launch indicator before knowing what happened.

      The cockpit view in conjunction with radar and the TWI should be used
      sparingly and quickly to simply ascertain the rough location of your
      opponent and reorient your nose.  Remember that radar will also announce
      your own relative location.  (ECM should always be on.)

   4) Zooming radar in and out can be a way to quickly determine that
      your opponent is climbing about your search cone.  Although for my
      tactics this is irrelevant, since I will have generally gone high

   5) Generally, as soon as I get into the cockpit, I pull into a sharp
      climb which maintains my speed at 400-500 kts.  At about 20,000 feet, I
      invert and continue a shallow climb with my speed between 500-600 kts.
      As soon as I invert, I go to padlock with my 9Ms selected and await the

        You need to begin looking no later than 20,000 feet.  If your opponent
        comes in straight and level at 750 kts, then he could catch you
        climbing in a daze if you did not become alert at this point.

        You should not exceed 30,000 feet in your climb.  At high altitudes,
        missiles become harder to dodge due to the poorer corner performance.
        As you level off, keep your speed up, since you might need it to dodge
        against a coaltitude opponent.

        If 30-60 seconds beyond when your opponent should have appeared, then
        right your plane and begin a circular orbit using radar and the TWI to
        locate your opponent.  Continuously go back to padlock so that you do
        not get ambushed.  As soon as you locate your opponent, then place
        your nose on him and shut down your radar.  Once again invert and get
        ready to pounce.

   6) Speed management is important.

        Speeds of 450 kts or better are important for dodging missiles.  Keep
        fast while separation is large (2-5 miles).  When the missiles are
        spent and you close to within (1-1.5 miles) your opponent, then
        decelerate to dogfighting speeds.  This can be anywhere from 350-450
        KTS.  This is largly a function of altitude and whether your opponent
        is climbing above you with a lot of speed.

   7) Missiles will usually initially be launched from considerable distances
      (4-5 miles).  You should make an attempt to counter fire upon your
      opponent before beginning your evasion.  If you fail to do this, then
      you provide an open door for him to saddle you up while you evade.  So,
      attempt to counter fire and don't begin to evade too early.  Otherwise,
      the missiles will simply correct with small angular movements.  They
      must be allowed to close to within 2 miles.

   8) A key issue is how to properly put your missiles into the air.

        If your opponent appears way below you, then I think that it is best
        spread out your missiles to keep him occupied for as long as possible.
        Possibly a sequence of M-M-P-P.  Lower opponents as sited before will
        probably have less of an opportunity to counter fire.  At the same
        time, you should be racing towards him as quick as possible.

        If your opponent appears at relatively the same altitude or somewhat
        higher, then I think it is best to get all your missiles off as
        quickly as possible.  An opponent at relatively the same altitude will
        most likely counter fire and eliminate your opportunity to launch your
        remaining missiles.  A dump/auto-launch key is very useful here.

   9) Once you have launched your missiles, you have to be careful of how you
      close with your opponent.  In particular, you must be cautious if it
      looks like you are going head-to-head.  There is a good potential in
      such a situation to loose it by being a little too slow on the trigger
      or by aiming poorly.

      If you believe that you are going head-to-head, then you should watch
      your padlock as you close.  When your opponent is 1.3-1.5 miles away,

      you should come out of padlock and bore sight him.  Open fire and begin
      a cone of death which will continue into the merge.  The important thing
      is to get him lined up and begin shooting while he is still somewhat out
      of range.

  10) If AIM-120s should be available (Falcon 3.04), then one approach is to
      get your opponent to waste his while they are relatively ineffective.  I
      would jump into the cockpit and turn OFF my ECM and fly straight and
      level.  Your opponent might get so excited by his initial lock up that
      he fires.  Then you turn ECM on and drop chaff while climbing.  These
      missiles will be easily beaten.

      When you reach 15,000-20,000 feet, you paint your opponent with radar
      and launch your AIM-120s, shut down the radar and climb another 5,000
      feet before inverting and waiting.  Your opponent should be about 10
      miles out at the time you launch and dodging your missiles should be
      much harder.  Also, you should acquire a visual sighting on your
      opponent just about the time he is finished dodging your missiles and
      before he has had a chance to fully recover.

  11) It is helpful if you can get nose on your opponent without him doing the
      same to you.  Thus, if you can approach from the side or rear, you have
      a much better chance of launching your missile attack first.

      This can be accomplished by entering the cockpit (assume 90 degree
      heading) and bearing 70 degrees for 5 miles (waypoint scale) and then
      coming around to 110 degrees.

The SimCap tournament has generated renewed interest in Falcon 3.04 CIS Old
ROE competition.  So, I thought I would put some thoughts down on this too.

   1) The first thing to address is ECM and missile dumping.  Falcon 3.04
      provides:  1 ECM pod, 2 AIM-9Ps, 2 AIM-9Ms, and 2 AIM-120s.  As already
      noted, dumping extra weight and drag can be benificial in a close
      turning fight that is going to be decided by guns.

      In a H2H connection, it is only possible to have four missiles in the
      air at once.  Therefore, this poses the question as to what missiles
      should be dumped.  There are two schools of thought here.  First, dump
      the 120s and the 9Ms, since they represent the most weight.  Second,
      dump the 120s and the 9Ps, since the 9Ms are only slightly heavier than
      the 9Ps, but infinitely more valuable.  I, personally, favor the second.

      A dump key should include ECM+2x120s+2x9Ps and not provide for any
      aiming.  Thus, it should start from guns and return to guns.  The key
      should not require the same finger to operate as the brake, since
      hitting the optimal speed on the merge in this ROE is much more

   2) Dumping missiles should probably only be done if you can verify via
      radar or padlock that you opponent is very slow on the merge and will
      not be extending.  If unable to tell what your opponent is doing, then

      you should probably hold yours until your opponents dumps his.

      If you foolishly dump your missiles when your opponent extends, then you
      are left with two problems.  First, you have nothing to launch at him to
      keep him busy.  Second, your two remaining missiles will be launch
      restricted for about 15 seconds until the other four have ceased to be.

   3) There are three basic strategies which can be employed in this ROE:

                                 Turn and Shoot

        This is most commonly executed as an Immelman, Oblique Immelman, or
        Slice.  I, myself, prefer the Immelman.  The entry speed can be
        anywhere from 380-395 kts depending on whether you are going to dump.
        You should maintain 750 kts to about 3.5-5 miles out.  At which point
        you should hit your target speed and go full AB and maintain the right
        speed with the brake.  Being a little early to decelerate is better
        than being too late, since this move is very speed sensitive.  Being
        below speed by 30 KTS could result in hitting the mode shift as your
        plane comes through its Immelman.  Being above speed by 30 KTS could
        result in the Immelman being too wide and having your opponent achieve
        gun parameters first.

        The goal in this maneuver when facing an opponent who is attempting to
        turn on you is to hit them with a Padlock Sweep and, if possible,
        followed by a Cone of Death.  If you miss or fail to kill them, due to
        your energy state you will probably follow up with a Split-S reversal
        or a sharp downwards turn.


        Enter the merge at 750 KTS and pull MAX G until acheiving 75-85
        degrees pitch.  If your opponent came in slow and dumped missiles,
        then you are home free.  If missiles are launched, then you should
        dodge them with a spiral climb.  When your opponent has finished
        firing missiles and you peak at 23,000-33,000 feet, you should loop
        back down towards your opponent.  (You may even lose padlock
        momentarily.)  If your opponent is far below, then come back down on
        the brake with engine idle.  Place a good spread of missiles into the
        air as you descend.  I recommend P-P-M-M.  If none of them hit, then
        proceed with guns.  Do not overshoot your opponent at high speed
        heading down.


        This move opens the same as the extension, but after three seconds,
        you chop the throttle and hit the brake while looping over the top.
        If your opponent launched some quick and early missiles, then they
        should miss due to the initial high aspect angle.  Also, the three
        second run should put you outside of guns range and too high for him
        to keep his nose on you.

        Quickly reversing on your opponent should surprize him.  Either he
        will not notice this at all or he will be toggling his weapons when it
        is time to fire guns.  Also, you should catch him in a very precarious

        speed situation.

        From a Falcon physics point of view, it would be best to dump here.
        However, this makes your intentions clear to your opponent.  It says I
        am going to attack with guns.  So, I would think that not dumping is
        the better choice.


        This is NOT an option.  You CANNOT win with this.  Why?  It wastes too
        much time rolling your plane 180 degrees when your opponent opens with
        an Immelman.  (A flat turn would at least put you out of plane.)

   4) How to respond to each of the above if you do the Turn and Shoot:

                                 Turn and Shoot

        This is very simple.  You must just do it better.


        As soon as you spot this, stop pulling hard back on the stick.  Let
        your opponent's motion carry him into your aiming recticle.  Launch
        two spread out Ps and extend horizontally as quickly as possible.
        Then, play ATG rules with your 120s and Ms.


        As soon as you spot this, ask yourself do have energy to go H2H.  If
        yes, then open fire and perform a Cone of Death.  If not, then attempt
        to side step at the last minute with a flat turn into a sharp cut
        down.  If your opponent has not been careful, he will zoom beneath you
        and become easy prey in a turning fight.

With regards to ATG in Falcon 3.03 H2H and waiting to spot your opponent and
hit him with missiles.

I had previously stated that it was best to hunt for your opponent in padlock
when he is out of range in order to get a missile shot.  This would have been
correct for Falcon 3.01.1 where ECM was 100% effective when used.  However, in
Falcon 3.03, it appears that it is best to use radar to position your nose on
your opponent.  By having your nose prepositioned before getting into 9M and
9P range, you save about 1.5-2 seconds.  This will give you the quickest
missiles launch possible.

I think the proper way to do this is still to initially go for altitude first
and then when your opponent should be within 10 miles to seek position with
radar.  The point here is that if you play the radar nose on game from the
start, you will simply be meeting your opponent co-altitude nose to nose.  I
would still prefer if possible to attach off to the side and above.

This section addresses performing a Split-S open.

Head towards the merge at 750 KTS.  At 1.5 miles (padlock) from the merge,
chop the throttle and hit the brake.  Go to the forward view.  If your
opponent appears to be coming in slow, then dump your ECM.  When your opponent
goes off your forward view, then roll smoothly inverted, release the brake
(you should be at about 350 KTS), and pull back on the stick.  Select 9Ms and

go to padlock to see what your opponent is doing.

If your opponent is extending vertically, then use your 9Ps to buy time and
perform your own horizontal extension.  Then proceed to play ATG style.  This
is described elsewhere in this document.  (This might be an argument for
holding your ECM until you determine your opponents intentions.

If your opponent performs a Split-S, then you will probably have no
opportunity for a missile shot.  Dump your missiles as soon as it is clear
that you will not be able to get a shot.  Attempt to his about 380 KTS when
passing and attempt an Immelman quick turn and shoot.

If your opponent performs an Immelman, then keep your nose coming around at
380-410 kts.  Although slower may yield a missile shot sooner, you will also
be an easier target for your opponents missiles.  The additional speed will
accomplish two things.  First, it will make the merge higher and sooner (less
time for your opponent to get a missile lock).  Second, you will be in a
better position to dodge.  Shoot your missiles (9Ps unguided) as soon as you
can get a beginning of a tone.  To avoid your opponents missiles, do a 90
degree aileron roll before making your break to dodge.  If you survive the
missile attack, then you need must hit your opponent with guns before he can
get more than 20 degrees above the horizon in a loop.  Otherwise, his energy
advantage could allow him to win the fight.  Your goal is to play the angles
before he can do that.

The following point was made to me by Drizzit.  It has made H2H competition
in the current CIS much easier for me.

I had reached the point where I dodged all missiles into the verticle whenever
I got a launch warning.  However, if your opponent takes enough energy into
the fight and is a good turner, then you can be putting yourself at a major
disadvantage.  Doing this I was hardly ever getting hit by missiles at the
cost of possibly having to face an uphill fight.

Drizzit pointed out that missiles which are not fired with the two F-16s nose
to nose with you flying directly at them are relatively unlikely to hit.
Thus, I now launch mine as soon as I get by opponent on the edge of the
recticle and stop pulling into him.  I ignore his missiles and proceed into my
break turn for the second pass when the two planes meet.

Note that although this yields separation, it is relatively little on the
second pass.  Perhaps a couple hundred feet.

The following describes how to know if you have an energy advantage in a

  I am often asked, "How do I know I have the energy advantage?"  Some

    After the opening pass, you see that your opponent is substantially
    below you.

    Your opponent is on your six and you pull up into the vertical and your
    opponent fails to take you out by the time you are at a 45 degree pitch.

    You have a forward quarter pass with your opponent somewhat below and his
    nose comming up faster, but he fails to point it up at you to get the

The following describes what I believe needs to be mastered to beat one of
the all time best pilots on the CIS Ladder.  These items pertain to a
second and third pass after the initial merge.

In terms of beating XXXX:

  1)  You need to predetermine and memorize the best speed to turn at every
      altitude at every pitch.  PITCH is key here.

  2)  You need to determine the best way to decelerate if that is called for
      as not to waste time, but not to be under speed.

  3)  You need to determine how to verify the pitch of a turn as you pull it
      either from padlock or how to quickly cycle through the forward view
      in order to get the key information.

The following covers two items.  First, how a Split-S vs Split-S open or an
Immelman vs Immelman open will pretty much degenerate into the old CIS ROE.
Second, a key mistake which can be made while executing your second pass
break turn.

When two opening S-ers meet, then you arrive back at the old CIS ROE.
Attempting another Immelman on the second pass is the most effective approach
here.  380 KTS is the best entry speed at 4000 feet after missiles and ECM for
a subsequent Immelman.

>> Does the same logic also apply to the Immelman?

There the meeting will occur at more like 12000 feet and the missiles will be
locked (due to increased separation) as opposed to simply dumped.

My best suggestion is to do a little Red Flag research.  You are looking for
the lowest speed that will bring you over the top and around without hitting
the mode shift.

Another key piece advice which I just gave someone on making vertical moves is
not to correct your tracking prematurely.  What I mean is that if your
opponent selects an out of plane move relative to you, then you should
continue with your move and only begin your correction in the last third as
you come around. If you correct too early, you will end up flattening out and
being too fast (too wide) in your move.  Then, if your opponent is at corner,
you will die.

The following addresses what to do with opponents who are climbing in the face
of the mode shift.

Often you will be in pursuit of an opponent who will be pulling back into a
climb.  However, you opponent does not have sufficient energy to complete the
move without hitting the mode shift; nor do you (you do not hold a significant
energy advantage, just position.)

There are two things which your opponent may do here.  He may climb, roll and
flatten out, and then cut back down.  When you perceive his roll, you should

suspend your pursuit and flatten out trying to put your nose on the path his
downward return will take.  If you do this right, you will either end up with
a forward quarter snapshot opportunity or the chance to pull in behind him as
he goes by.

If he tries to brute force his was into a loop despite lacking the entry speed
for it, then you must pursue.  If you follow him into the mode shift, you run
the risk of losing your positional advantage as your nose and flight path will
falter.  Therefore ease off the stick pressure and try avoid the mode shift as
long as possible while pursuing.  When done properly, you will still be behind
you opponent as the loop comes to an end without any lose of position.

The following describes an issue other than speed which one needs to consider
on the second pass when guns will immediately become free.  This is especially
true in the situation where S meets S in the initial merge.

Turn radius.  Just draw it on piece of paper and you will clearly see why.
For a clean merge ROE, 375-390 KTS will yield the tightest Immelman at 7,750
feet depending on the plane's load out.  Your nose should come around in 6
seconds with a turn diameter of 2,400 feet.

>> 2)What happens if opponent is above or below you at merge,does it
>> matter?

Being below in the above ROE with all other things being equal provides a
slight advantage.  Draw it on a piece of paper an you will see why.  50 feet
makes no difference; however, 600 feet would be quite significant.

The following is some speculation on how a COMPLEX might defeat a HIFI player.

>> There must be a way I can fight in complex and defeat good jocks who
>> fly HIFI. What suggestion can you offer? I know you fly HIFI, but
>> any advice you could offer would be great.

Well, HIFI has the following two advantages over COMPLEX:

  Turn diameter.

  Deceleration.  (the brake is tremendously more effective)

Well, COMPLEX has the following four advantages over HIFI:




  No mode shift.

Thus, you need to architect a situation which plays to your advantages.

One strategy which I have heard of is simply to extend to a very high altitude
and then engage in standoff fashion with missiles.  That may catch the
unskilled HIFI flyer, but I would not put too much faith in it.  It is too
easy to get a missile shot up your tail and they are harder to dodge in
COMPLEX, the plane will not turn as sharply.

I would recommend entering a low speed turning fight with your HIFI opponent.
Clearly, this will put him at the initial advantage.  However, before he
either achieves forward or rear quarter lethal parameters, you begin to turn
and climb.  (You should find out what COMPLEX's corner speed is.)  You turn at
corner and climb at about a 30 degree angle.  Do not straighten out and do not
go full AB and get too fast.

HIFI turning fights almost always tend to flatten out and then turn into
spiral down encounters or vertical scissors of split-S.  By spiraling up, you
will force your opponent into the mode shift (the HIFI equivalent of a stall,
the plane completely stops turning for about 2 seconds).  Climbing will
accomplish this.  Turning prevents him from straightening out to rebuild
speed, since if he does not turn, then you will work in behind him.

This technique should allow you to hang your opponent on the mode shift while
you continue comming back around for a shot.  If you cannot get the shot, then
return to spiraling up.  If somehow the fight was to proceed beyond 35,000
feet, then you will definitely be at advantage, since the HIFI flight model
performance falls off significantly at higher altitudes.  Also, note that your
opponent should not be able to extend downwards on you, since you can easily
accelerate much faster.  If you find yourself in such a situation, chasing
your opponent, just remember that he can easily force an overshot that you
cannot respond to.  Your best option would be to achieve max speed downwards
and separate to rejoin the fight later.

To confirm some of what I have said here, you can check with HIFI pilots who
fight MIG-29s and Mirages in Red Flag.  These planes are very troublesome,
because they fly in COMPLEX and they constantly evade by spiraling up.

The above was written for COMPLEX vs HIFI in a single merge ROE.  This section
addresses how the above could be adapted specifically to the current
CompuServe style two pass ROE.

The COMPLEX player performs an Immelman which forces a high speed second pass
(500 -600 KTS) which will cause the HIFI players to be in the area of 300-340
KTS.  At this point the COMPLEX player begins the spiral up approach.  The
important thing here was to slow down the HIFI player to significantly below
400 KTS.

How to determine the what the best Immelman is in COMPLEX.

>> 4) AT complex what is best corner airspeed for immelman?

I don't know, but it will be easy to determine.  Set up a Red Flag mission at
7,750 feet.  Then test entry speeds of 250-500 KTS in 50 KTS increments.
Video tape it.  (You may want to restart for each test, since burning fuel
will affect results.)  Instead of doing an Immelman, pull the nose through the
horizon.  Examine the tape recordings.  Get the altitude and time and the
start of the maneuver (as soon as your joystick marker on your HUD twitches)
and get the altitude and time at completion (as soon as your flight path
marker crosses 0 degrees pitch on your HUD.)  The time difference will give
you the timing of the move.  The altitude difference will give you the

Once you have this.  You make want to play with different throttle settings
during the Immelman.  For HIFI, it is AB-5 all the way.

From my own experience, corner speeds for HIFI are closer to 300 KTS and for
COMPLEX are closer 400 KTS.

Just another iteration of what you are trying to accomplish on a second pass

>> It would seem that the electric jet's ability (unlike the Mig) to
>> quickly recover speed makes energy retention tactics less valuable
>> and the energy flyer more vulnerable to the quick turn.

Okay, the question still stands.

I disagree.  The energy flyer is not only looking to hold an energy advantage.
He must take the advantage into the vertical with minimum separation and turn
at corner.  Let's look at this:

  Vertical:  This is the part that is going to give your lower energy opponent
             trouble comming around on you while maintaining your advantage
             for later application.

  Min Sep:   This prevents your opponent from descending and gaining the speed
             necessary to turn and get nose on.  At which point, his guns will
             traverse the relative altitude difference.

  Corner:    This guarantees that your nose is comming around faster than that
             of your opponents.

Some basic notes from yet another beginner debrief on CIS Ladder ROE.

You asked for some notes:

(1)  Don't break off going into a second pass.  That puts your opponent on
     your tail.

(2)  350 KTS is a good entry speed for a split-S.  Do NOT significantly
     exceed 400 KTS comming around.

(3)  Give up horizontal extensions.  They are useless.  Vertical extensions
     have their place, but are dangerous.  Learning to turn and gun fight is
     the key to ultimate Falcon H2H success.

(4)  Do NOT foolishly push pursuit on an extender.  Either separate early
     after putting a pair of 9Ps in the air to tie him up or regain speed and
     side step him when he begins his death run.

(5)  Do NOT give away your move by comming in slow from 5 miles out.  Maintain
     750 KTS and commence deceleration from 2-1 miles out.

Some discussion of the Split-S speeds, countering, and energy state.

>> You will throttle back, and usually hit the brakes (I assume) in order
>> to stay at 350 kts through your move.

It really depends on the type of S that I am doing.  My max speed around the S
would be about 450 kts and my lowest about 350 kts.

>>  Lets assume I level out when I reach the horizon, making you come up
>> to meet me.

A dangerous proposition for you if I had done the former.  Also, at an entry
speed of only 450 KTS you are not going to be pulling me very far up to meet
you in any case.

Personally, I believe in a second pass as opposed to the drag him up approach.
Drag up is too risky, where as second pass becomes a test of skill.  Now of

course you can always go for a second pass which combines drag up.

>> What am I missing?  Why don't you have less energy, rather than more?

One last thing to consider in a split-S situation is that at 350 KTS, the S'er
is beyond the Speed Bump for much of the trip down and pull out.  Thus, he
pulls max-G of 8 and accelerates (increases energy) until his nose is pointing
up.  The braking high player is below the Speed Bump and bleeding energy in
the turns.

Two planes merge in an Immelman versus Immelman or a Split-S versus Split-S
situation.  Below follows some of the speed orientation issues which must be
taken into consideration.

Here is what I recall of last night:

  You must work on your turns.  Do this yourself in Red Flag.  Get a feel for
  corner and using the vertical.  Okay, some rough numbers from my head (this
  assumes a full load out with a full tank of gas at 5,000-11,000 feet).  The
  angle here is how much you will dip your left wing relative to the horizon.
  We will assume that the plane is perfectly level as the two planes merge.

    450 KTS - too fast/wide turn/you will die
   *400 KTS -   0 degrees
   *375 KTS -  10 degrees
    350 KTS -  40 degrees
    325 KTS -  60 degrees
    300 KTS -  90 degrees
    275 KTS - 130 degrees
    250 KTS - too slow/mode shift/you will die

   * This represents your optimal entry speed into the second pass merge.

Okay, here are some points that the HIFI player should keep in mind when
playing against COMPLEX.  CIS rules.

(1)  Do not fire off missiles on the first turn.  They are unlikely to hit.
     Save them for when you opponent is making a run for it later on in the
     fight.  Also, dumping them will be of little use, because turning ability
     is already yours.

(2)  Retain your speed.  It is easy for the COMPLEX player to get away from
     you if you are too slow.  Look for a second pass speed of 450 KTS on
     a second pass.  This way you can point your nose anywhere and still have
     some energy for pursuit.  (Remember to use those missiles if he goes

(3)  Open the fight with an Immelman for energy retention.  Get above him
     when he is slow so that you can build speed for the second pass.

(4)  Use your radar to get his speed into the merge.  He cannot disguise his
     speed intentions as a HIFI player does.  If he is doing 850 KTS, then
     he is extending.  If he is doing 400 KTS, then he is turning.  As always,
     close at 750 KTS.  (You may even not decelerate until after the merge.
     This limits the effectiveness of his extensions.)

(5)  Note that despite being very fast and wide you can always use the brake
     to decelerate and respond to his turning.  Thus, better to be too fast
     than too slow.

The following describes a new defensive strategy, the Double Loop, that a
Split-S-er on the open can use against an Extender under the new CIS rules.

In the past I have advocated the following defense for the S-er:  Fire 2
Ps/Runaway/Play ATG another day.

This defensive approach begins in a similar fashion.  Having initiated your S,
you observe that your opponent is extending.  Thus, you remain in AB-5 and do
not apply any further brake.  Your nose will point up at the Extender and you
will probably being doing about 450 KTS.

Launch 1 P as soon as possible.  Continue up with the Extender bore sighted.
As your speed falls to 400-370 KTS, launch the second P.  Pull over the top
and point your nose straight down.  (Here is where the defensive strategy
diverges from the ATG oriented approach.)

Watch your opponent in padlock.  The first P should have arrived and the
second should be well on its way.  You should see a few flares out of your
opponent.  You should pull out of your dive between 350-400 KTS and/or when it
appears that opponent has dispensed with the second P.  (This means that your
opponent is now working on bringing his nose to bare on you.)

You are once again heading straight up and attempting to bore sight your
opponent with an 9M selected.  As soon as you have tone, launch one.  If you
have done this right, your opponent was just about to line you and launch some
missiles, but you have spoiled his plans.  You should be able to accomplish
this, since your nose will require less positioning to aquire him, because he
was dodging missiles.  Additionally, the lower altitude should give you
better turning performance.

If there are no missiles tracking you, then fire your last 9M when it appears
that the first has missed.  Then proceed in hot with guns.

If your opponent launches at you first or counterfires, then break hard to
avoid missiles.  You can dump yours, since you will not get another chance to
use them.  After surviving the missile launch, break hard back into your

This is an effective strategy against the Extender.  The Extender is most
vunerable at top of his extension when he is slow and returning in a dive.
From his perch, it is hard for the Extender to know what your speed state is.
He hopes that you are hanging with your nose pointing straight up doing 200
KTS. (If you are, then you get what you deserve.)  On other hand, you can know
for sure that the extender is on his way down when the initial two Ps have
been defeated.

The Double Loop accomplishes the following:

  It allows you to maintain speed when you are vunerable.  There are two

    His initial rapid climb.  (If he doubles back on you here, you are in

    His returning dive.

  It breaks up the Extender's missile run by forcing him to dodge.  He may as
  a result lose situational awareness or end up in a bad angles situation.
  Even while dodging, he is still descending and you are climbing with decent

  Going nose to nose in the vertical, the Extender may falsely interpert your
  speed, since he will normally assume you had pushed your pursuit throughout
  the extension.  Thus, he assumes the gunshot is his.  But actually, it is
  probably yours.  Your nose is slower (but fast enough) and more
  maneuverable.  He on the other hand may be too fast.

  Finally, the Extender will probably dive past you with execessive speed.  At
  this point, you are in a classic Split-S versus Immelman situation which
  should allow to acheive gun parameters on him via an angles fight.

The following describes some quick tips on extensions.

1)  If your opponent foolishly blows off his missiles without looking to see
     what you are doing or launches without a lock, then cruise up to 33,000
     feet and make an easy pullover at the top.  Then, ride the brake down and
     perform a nice spread of missiles.

2)  Do NOT react immediately to missiles launches.  The longer you wait, the
     more to your advantage it is.  You would like to dodge as many missiles
     as possible with a single maneuver so that you can get on the offensive.
     Thus, the best situation for you is when he launches four quickly.

     Begin your move when the first missile is 1.5-1.3 miles out.  The move
     should be a full AB-5 pull over with three spaced flares.  If done
     properly, you should be able to avoid at least two missiles.

3)  After surviving the first two missiles, you should follow through towards
     your opponent.  Be careful of applying the brake excessively to improve
     turning, since there may be more missiles to come up.  If you get your
     nose around at this point, then you probably can use your missiles.
     Launch four quickly, if he is in pursuit.

     If other missiles are launched at you, then pull your nose up and
     initiate a completely flat turn or one with a little descent to dodge.
     Drop some flares.

  4) After surviving the second two missiles, you should consider dumping your
     missiles.  It is unlikely that you will get to use them.

     If it looks like you have decent angles, then bring your nose swiftly
     around for a gun kill.

     If the angles look bad and you still have 340-400 KTS, then head back
     into the vertical to position your nose.  AVOID pure loops, since that
     will probably be an easy shot for your opponent.  Your opponent is
     probably somewhat slow on his way up and going into the vertical will
     cause them to fall away below you so that you can look for a rear quarter

     Whatever you do, do NOT go diving past your opponent doing 400-500KTS.

The following describes a good strategy when approaching an opponent in HIFI

When you spot your opponent, (assuming the use of a missile dump key here) you
should hold your first wave of missiles (9Ms) until you have a solid lock.

Now, your 9Ps should be automatically up and your opponent has probably
launched his own missiles.  Get a lock with your 9Ps and wait for about 2-3
seconds.  Launch your Ps and dodge.

Firing two separate spread out waves of missiles will allow the second wave to
home in on your opponent if he only dodges the first wave.  Of course, this
means that you must fly straight and level for a short period while you
already have locked missiles inbound.

You should already be moving at 500 KTS or above.  After firing your Ps, you
should immediately break into a climbing turn.  When you think your opponent's
first pair has been neutralized, then you should recycle padlock and reverse
your turn to dodge the second pair.  If you fail to reverse, then a continued
turn may put the second pair directly behind you.  Otherwise, you may also put
your opponent behind you and with his nose on you.  Reversing after the first
dodge makes you cut across the second pair of missiles and will either put
your opponent back at your nose or behind you with his nose pointed away.

This is the story of the Aberrant-S and what it is and why it lacks general
utility.  (CIS rules)

There once was pilot who responded to seeing a Split-S forming by doing his
own Split-S.  The end result was a level pass with a quick turn and shoot gun
encounter in the face.  The second pass would usually yield two low speed (380
KTS) Immelmans.

A challenger who majored in the Split-S was well aware of this situation and
seeking a way to improve odds in an S versus S engagement.  Thus, he devised
the Aberrant-S.  Essentially, the Aberrant-S is a high speed S.  The ordinary
S is generally entered at around 350 KTS.  The Aberrant-S is entered at
anywhere from 400-500 KTS.  However, similar results may be acheived by
entering at low speeds and not using the brake to control speed while moving
around the S.

What does the above accomplish?

The Aberrant-Ser because of his high speed will perform his S at a lower
altitude than the Regular-Ser.  At which point, both players will most likely
attempt to perform Immelmans or some highly vertical move.  The Aberrant-Ser
has secured two advantages.  First, due to the offset centers of their turn
circles, the lower altitude flyer will achieve nose on first for a gun shot
before the higher altitude flyer.  Second, the vertical separation which
occurs on the second pass will permit the Aberrant-Ser to initiate an early
turn (Immelman) into his opponent.  The Regular-Ser can do little about this
separation.  He cannot easily push his nose down and the only other
alternative is to invert and pull down into your opponent.  Although doable,
this is difficult.

So what is wrong with the Aberrant-S and why is it aberrant?  The technique
only works in this one particular case of S vs S.

The Aberrant-S enters too fast and thus takes too long to bring the nose
around.  When faced with a number of opening vertical moves, the Aberrant -Ser
will become an easy missile target while holding no usable energy advantage.

Additionally, the Aberrant-S is easily countered with a low-speed Flat Turn or
Negative Slice on the initial merge.  The main tactic would be to dump
missiles and turn hard into your opponents wide maneuver to gain an angular
advantage.  From there, you should be able to catch your opponent doubling
back over the top of an Immelman.

The following section describes how the Negative Slice can be used to avoid
an S vs S situation which would yield two nose to nose Immelmans and guns.
(CIS rules)

First to define the term, Slice.  A Slice is a balanced horizontal/vertical
move composed of equal vectors in both planes.  Thus, if you pass your
opponent level and dip a wing 45 degrees and pull back on the stick, you have
a Slice.

How is a Slice different from a Yo-Yo?  A Yo-Yo would be a move you initiate
in response to your speed and energy state in order to conserve energy and
maintain angles.  The Slice is an opening move where energy state is still
completely under your control to determine.  A Positive Slice is one that
climbs and a Negative Slice is one that descends.

Against moves other than the S, a Negative Slice is pretty much the same as an

The beauty of the Negative Slice is that for the most part it looks like a
Split S to an inbound and passing opponent.  As such, that opponent may look
to go S vs S.  This would normally put you in a nose to nose gun situation
which is very risky.  The Negative Slice will put you off to the side and
somewhat below the your opponent's second pass Immelman.  You will not be a
viable padlock target.  From there, a tight turning fight will commence.

The bottom line:  the Negative Slice is an excellent way of avoiding a risky
guns in the face situation; especially when you are comfortable with your
turning abilities in dogfight.

The following section decribes what is required in a spiral down fight.  It is
often missed by many newcomers to the games.

First, it is important to realize that a HIFI Falcon cannot maintain a
sustained max-G flat turn.  Speed will always bleed off below the Speed Bump
and ultimately the mode shift will be hit.  Thus, most fights head into a
spiral down engagement in order to avoid the consequences of the Mode Shift.

In order to stay above the mode shift, the angle of inclination downwards must
be anything but slight.  Although this is not an official number, I would
estimate that the angle of inclination is between 30-45 degrees down
depending on how close the participants are to approaching the mode shift.

There are two things that get beginners killed in spiral down engagements.

  First, most beginners believe that once they roll the nose somewhat down out
  of a flat turn situation that the plane will continue to cork screw
  downwards.  It does not, but this is not all that easy to see when twisting
  around padlock.  (However, this can easily be verified in Red Flag.)  If you

  roll the nose just once, then the plane will eventually see-saw and the nose
  will come back up.  This will leave you hitting the Mode Shift as your
  opponent brings his nose around on you from below.

  The important thing to realize is that spiral down requires continuous
  corrections to the stick (rolling the aircraft) in order to acheive a cork
  screw motion.  In performing this, the key things to watch are:

    Your speed (left window).  Do not get too slow.  If you are approaching
    250 KTS, then you are going to hit the Mode Shift.

    The horizon indicator (right window) in padlock.  If you see brown
    receding and blue sky approaching, then you are not spiraling down.

    The target window (middle window) in padlock.  You should continously be
    rolling your HUD into your turning opponent.

  Second, the speed bump can often be crossed due to the acceleration of a
  spiral down fight.  This is especially true when you are in pursuit on your
  opponent's six.  This usually means you had the energy advantage.  So, the
  additional speed gained by descending can force you over the speed bump.
  Being over the Speed Bump will cause you to start slipping out on the turns.

  You can detect this situation by watching the G meter (right hand window).
  If your G's drop to 8 and you are breaking 300 KTS, then you have crossed
  over the speed bump.  You may either tap the brake to reduce your speed or
  come out of after burner for a few seconds.

The following section decribes a technique that has been described to me by
Vertigo, but I have not tried myself.  We will call it Whipping the Nose.

Ocassionally,  you find yourself in a flat turning lag pursuit of an opponent
and cannot convert to lead pursuit to take the shot.  According to Vertigo,
you can ease off the stick to gain a little speed and then whip the nose
around to take the shot.  This technique may not result in a sustained turn
advantage.  However, it may result in an instantaneous turn advantage adequate
to take the shot.

This section describes playing Falcon (HIFI) against the MIG-29.

Some initial perceptions about the MIG after flying it briefly are:

  Although it has more power and much greater climb capability, the engines
  spool up very slowly.  It can take 5 or more seconds for RPMs to build up to
  after burner speeds.  Thus, a slow MIG accelerates very slowly.  It is
  nothing like a COMPLEX or HIFI F-16.

  The plane rolls very slowly at low speeds (350 KTS and below).  Also, roll
  rate increases slowly.  So, the initial stick response is lethargic.

  The MIG-29's cannon only holds 150 rounds.  It can fire anywhere from 5-20
  on a single trigger squeeze.

  The MIG-29 requires continuous trim or flight adjustment to maintain a
  steady nose position.

  Brakes are relatively ineffective.

  The MIG does not hit the Mode Shift.  So, it can maintain control at speeds
  significantly below 250KTS.

  The MIG does not turn tightly when compared to a HIFI Falcon.

Now some implications of the above:

  A slow MIG is a sitting duck in a turning fight.  It will have a hard time
  building the speed necessary to initiate a spiral up fight if the F-16 holds
  a momentary energy advantage.

  Generally, rolling maneuvers in an F-16 in order to evade an F-16 on your
  six is futile.  Against a good pilot it rarely works.  The best technique is
  usually ignoring the plane on your six and outturning him while spiralling
  down.  It would appear that rolling maneuvers might be very effective
  against a MIG as long as you stay above the Mode Shift.

  With only 150 rounds, the MIG must very carefully take its shots.  There
  will be no long range shots or sustained gun bursts.  Also, the inability
  to hold a steady nose easily will also tend to diminish the chance of long
  range gun shots.

  The MIG cannot hide its speed on the merge, since the brakes are not very
  effective.  The speed the MIG enters the merge is the speed he intends to
  fight at.

  Given that the MIG does not have a mode shift, it may have an advantage if
  it can drag you into a very slow fight.

  The MIG has the IRST system and you cannot hide in ATG from 10 miles out,
  but I think you can be outside of his cone if you are low and he is very

Some lessons fighting the MIG - CIS rules:

  On the first pass do an Immelman and go to grab energy.  Watch his speed as
  he comes in and then given yourself 50-100 KTS more.  If you can hit a
  little more than 400 KTS on the second pass, then you are in excellent
  shape, since there is no place he can go to evade your guns.  You have him.
  Don't grab too much energy and make yourself an easy missile target.

  Don't take a missile shot, but instead save them for a rear quarter shot.
  They should be used to prevent him from climbing and running away from the
  fight once it has started.

  Unlike F-16 vs F-16, if you are too slow, then you can actually ease off the
  stick to regain speed.  When you do this, you will be giving up angles.
  Then take the speed and turn hard to gain angles.  What this means is you
  can actually give up angles in a turn and fall behind in turn, recover
  energy, and then regain angles and be out in front in the turn.  However, it
  does require a bit of timing.

  Unlike F-16 vs F-16, in a nose to nose situation, you can actually just get
  out of the way to deny the MIG the shot and then continue to turn.

  If the MIG spirals up, then extend downwards and rebuild speed.  Make the
  MIG come down to fight you.

Some lessons fighting the MIG - ATG rules:

  As soon as you get into the cockpit, then get down low (500 feet).  Your
  general goal throughout the match is to bring the MIG down to you.

  The MIG's radar missiles are practically useless.

  When heat seekers are fired at you attempt to counter fire with at least one
  missile.  However, use your missiles sparingly.

  Use your missiles for the following situations:

    In a turning fight where the MIG begins to spiral up and then extend away
    into the vertical.  If you don't hit him, you may cause him to break down
    towards you.

    In a high speed turning fight where the MIG is heading at you or away from
    2-3 miles out.  Distract him so that you can get the gun shot.

The following section addresses the utility of AIM-120 missiles in ATG

AIM-120s are totally useless for the following reasons:

  If they are shot early (17-14 miles out), then they are very unlikely to
  hit.  A lock can be broken simply by turning on ECM and flying straight.

  A better lock can be acheived at closer ranges (8-3 miles) with a greater
  chance of hitting.  However, the lock can still be easily broken by turning
  on ECM, turning, and dropping chaff.

    Falcon H2H limits you to four active missiles in the air at any one time.
    This means that if you launch two AIM-120s at 6 miles that you will only
    be able to fire two heat seekers when you visually acquire your opponent.
    This is a very severe penalty to pay for having used AIM-120s.  Why?

      More often than not, it is the second wave of heat seekers fired inside
      of five miles that hit your opponent.  The first wave usually misses due
      to range and the fact that you opponent is well prepared to dodge them.

      Launching only a single wave of heat seekers at your opponent in visual
      range, allows your opponent to initiate his turn into you a few seconds
      earlier than if there had been a second wave.  Thus, he is now ahead in
      the race to get nose on for a guns solution if head had launched two

      The turning gun fight begins inside 2 miles.  Any missiles you are
      carrying at this point in time are now relatively useless and just hurt
      flight performance characteristics.  This goes for ECM too.

    Thus, it is clear that missile usage is more important at 5-3 miles than
    10 - 6 miles, since it is at the closer range that the fight actually
    begins to evolve.

  Shooting your AIM-120's as soon as possible or dumping them is the way to

  In conclusion, the best way to employ AIM-120's is to let your opponent
  work on thinking that he can somehow make effective use of them.

The following points out one of the advantages of being the relatively higher
player in a nose to nose ATG engagement.

If both players sucessfully dodge missiles, then the higher player can
immediately decelerate to corner speed and bring his nose around.  He can not
be in an energy hole, since he can regain speed as he descends such that he
reachs approximately 400 KTS as the planes merge.  The only thing that might
invalidate this is that turn diameter and time required increases as a

function of altitude due to diminishing air density.  However, below 30,000
feet, I believe these affects can be ignored.

Now, the lower player may put himself in jeapordy by getting down to corner,
since he may need to climb and could end up facing the mode shift as the
turning fight begins.

Thus, the point is that the higher player should theoretically either be able
bring his nose to bear sooner or will end up holding the necessary energy
advantage to win the turning fight.

The following addresses missile dodging techniques.


A>I created a RFM with 4 Mig29's loaded with all their missles (no guns)
>and I just give myself the ECM.  I've gotten to where I can evade ALL
>their missles.  One thing I think is most important is the TIMING.

{I am making this message public for the benefit of everyone.}

Definitely true.  (Don't forget that an important part of ATG is the
timing of firing your own missiles.)

  From 5-3 miles out (mainly ATG):

    Rear quarter:  Wait until 1.5-1.2 to initiate your dodge.  Until
    then, let them come right up your tail.  And stay in AB-5 when you
    dodge.  Usually just pull straight back on the stick.  If you are
    running from your opponent and level, then get your nose back down
    after the dodge and continue your run.

    Forward quarter:  Wait until 2-1.5 to initiate your dodge.  At that
    point it usually best to break into a high climbing turn.  If there
    are two waves, then reverse your turn and flatten out to miss the
    second wave.

  From 1.5-0 miles out (mainly CIS):

    If your nose is not bore sighted on your opponent or if you are
    pulling hard Gs, then the missiles are relatively unlikely to hit.
    So, let them fly by.  Dodging would give your opponent angles going
    into the second pass.

    If the missiles have your name on it, then you MUST be at 350 KTS
    or better to dodge effectively.  Breaking into a sharp high climbing
    turn is usually the best maneuver.  It also leaves your opponent who
    may well be below you with a hard gun shot given his speed.

In ATG, keep your speed up until the missiles are out of play.  Then,
brake hard and come around fast.

Remember when ejecting flares that you can have at most 3 in the air at
once.  Thus, time them properly.  Usually, one at the moment you pull on
the stick and two as you follow through the dodge.

The best practice *.RFM for CIS missile dodging is:

  3 MIG-29s with heat seekers only straight inbound on your nose at 2-3
  miles.  Your entry speed is 350 KTS.  Your goal is to survive their
  first two salvos of missiles.  Usually, it is with a sharp climbing
  turn.  Forget about engaging.  Just work on dodging the head ons.

The following addresses how to use padlock.

>afterward that he would nose down up to 45 degrees.  Maintaining the
>perfect turn is an art all of itself!  HOWEVER, if I had flown against
>him the "agressive" way rather than the "energy" way I would've been
>killed MUCH more quickly.  Are you in padlock as you are circling?  What
>do you look at...the Horizon indicator?  You want to keep JUST below the
>horizon?  In conclusion...Turning properly is HARD.

{I am making this public for everyone's benefit.}

Most fighting I do is in padlock.  Except for rear quarter shots or safe
forward quarter shots.

While turning in padlock, you mainly focus on your speed and the horizon
indicator (left and right windows) and sometimes red line flight vector
for rolling your wings. These are the main things.  You watch your speed
to avoid the Mode Shift and the Speed Bump.  (The G meter is also useful
here. In fact, it is the first give away.)

You focus on your opponent in the bottom window when it looks like you
are going nose to nose and you need to know when to take the shot.

The middle window and right most window can be useful for setting up
padlock shots on tight second pass situations.  (The turn&burn style

The bottom window is also useful when your opponent likes break
shallowly above the horizon while your pursue and then roll back down.
You use this window to examine his flight path and predict when he will
come back down across the horizon.  Then instead of following him up,
you turn flat and have your HUD and funnel waiting for him.

The following addresses how to peform a Split-S.

>lost-least from what you tell me.  Tell us how your doing your Split-s's

The Split-S:

1)  Approach the merge at 750 KTS.  (Give nothing away.)

2)  Radar off and heads up at 4-3 miles.

3)  Enter padlock.

4)  Brake and chop the throttle at 1.8-1 miles.

5)  Go to forward view until the merge.

6)  Dump ECM if your opponent is slowing.

7)  At the merge, in forward view (much easier than padlock), invert.
     Note:  350 KTS is the optimum speed to roll in HIFI.  Above this,
     the plane is sluggish and below this it is mushy.

8)  Return to padlock.

9)  Based on your opponents move control your speed.

     Against an Immelman, maintain 370-400 KTS coming around and take
     your missile shot.  You are looking to come quickly over the top
     to take a gun shot.

     Against another S, hit the second pass at 380 KTS and dump
     missiles.  It's turn&burn.  Meaning go for the best Immelman and
     shoot from padlock.

     (see STK for more)

     gives your opponent an opportunity begin his turn into you before
     the pass.  This gives him an angles advantage!

10) In most cases, missiles fired at close range at you while you are
     turning in an S will not connect.

     If you are climbing straight up and they are fired down from an
     Immelman (this also means your S took too long), then do a quarter

     roll before dodging.  This puts you out of your opponents plane of
     motion.  Being in the same plane of motion increases lethality in

This section illustrates the difficulty of escaping guns via an Extension in
a Turn&Burn engagement.

XXXX>MA>A final caution here:  Your Extension versus a fast Immelman will not
    >MA>put you out of guns range.  I once worked this out.  With him at about
    >MA>400 KTS and you at 750 KTS and pulling MAX-G, you will only be about 0
    >MA>miles away when his nose comes around.  Those, P90 guns can still be
    >MA>quite lethal at that range.

XXXX>What math did you use master Markshot.

( 750 KTS / 3600 Seconds ) * 4 Seconds = 0.8 Miles.  The normal time to
reach the horizon on a tight Immelman is about 6 seconds.  However, the
Extender pulling up at 750 KTS, should be 20-30 degrees above the
horizon when your nose crosses his flight path.  Thus, I arrive at 4
seconds until your earliest possible shot.  (There are two things which
I did not take into consideration here.  First, the Extender has not
moved in a straight line.  So, that is more like 0.8 miles of turning
arc and not actual separation.  Second, I have not counted the fact that
the Immelman has elevated the other flyer by about 2,500 feet which
reduces separation.)

Falcon guns have been shown to be effective in H2H up to about about 1.5
miles.  Also, guns appear to have instantaneous results.  Shells are not
affected by travel time.  Finally, a P90's guns should deliver almost
twice the number of rounds per unit time as a DX2/66.

When playing ATG, it is very important to keep in mind the affect altitude
has various speed points for Falcon.

As a rule of thumb, when flying at 23,000 feet, you can add 100 KTS to any
speed point that you would have had at about 8,000 feet.  Thus, an Immelman
requires an entry speed of 500 KTS to avoid the Mode Shift and a Flat Turn for
180 degrees requires an entry speed of 400 KTS.  The Mode Shift will hit about
350 KTS.  (The Immelman speed is particularly easier to verify in Red Flag.)

Another thing which is required at this increased altitude is increased
patience.  It takes quite a long time to come around, but yet one should not
hit the brake out of impatience.  Such a mistake can be fatal.

The following describes what to do in a Turn&Burn match when you are extending
and you realize that your opponent is extending.

Generally, the first party to recognize this situation and respond to it
usually has a significant advantage.  Although you may realize the situation
quite early, you should generally allow the separation between the two planes
to reach about 2 miles.  If you do not you could be an easy gun target, before

your missiles are launched.

You should decelerate to 500-550 KTS and pull your nose over on your opponent.
Once you have achieved nose on, you should begin launching missiles across the
gap while charging your opponent.  If you do this right, you will either hit
your opponent with missiles, since you are firing from relatively close range
or you will end up with an easy gun shot.  If your opponent, also pull his
nose on you and counter fires, then you dodge the missiles and play an ATG

The following describes responding to an Extension in Turn&Burn when you
already decelarated very significantly at the merge.

Immediately go to AB-5 and disengage the brake.  Come over the top of the
Immelman in a lazy fashion.  This means to not pull so hard on the stick (so
many G's).  This will diminish your speed loss a bit.  Also, allow your
opponent to rise into your HUD as opposed to pulling him into it.

Launch one 9P as soon as possible.  This is to break off your opponents
vertical climb.  Launch another spread 9P.  And then, spread your 9Ms.  Try to
use the 9Ms such that your opponent is turning back into you and head down.
Don't forget your guns here either.  Keep your opponent busy dodging missiles
and bleeding energy.  Go light on the stick here yourself moving your nose,
since you will be tempting the Mode Shift.  If you opponent goes by you, then
be prepared quickly invert and perform a Split-S after him.

If you should foolishly dump your missiles an Extension, then fire a long gun
burst slightly ahead into the path of the Extender as quick as possible.  If
well excuted, this can be enough to bring down an Extender.

The following describes an angles opportunity that can be worked by an
Immelman as it descends upon and passes a Split S-er.

You are the first to see this in writing.

>> Anybody who gives this some thought will see that the Immelman who is
>> headed down will have to counter 1g of gravity  on the way up, and
>> the S'er will have a 1g gravity benefit going after the Immelman.

If you reason through this, one will see that the relative orientations of the
planes present the Immelman with a very nice angles opportunity.  However, I
will leave that as an exercise to the readers.  It has been tried and will be
incorporated in the next STK.

Here goes:

  The S-er has his nose straight up.  Due to that situation he must maintain a
  minimum speed of 350 KTS.  (Note, this speed may be somewhat lower.  I have
  yet to have chance to fly this out in Red Flag.  But speeds slower than this
  tend to put the S-er at risk of getting too slow and being vunerable to an
  energy strategy of a looping fight or a target for missiles on the second
  pass.)  If he does less, he will hit the mode shift as he pulls over the
  top. (Gravity will not accelerate the slowing Falcon in a high-G turn until

  it has broken 0 degrees pitch.  At 90-0 degrees pitch, the Mode Shift still
  lurks.)  So, the S-er is constrained in how fast he can move his nose
  around.  Lastly, note that if the S-er initiated his second turn into the
  second merge early, then he could well expose his six to the Immelman.

  The Immelman is headed down.  He can totally throw energy away and chop the
  throttle and brake for a quick angles turn.  In doing this turn, the
  Immelman will be slow and lack energy for another full vertical move like a
  loop.  The Immelman will be safe from the Mode Shift with gravity providing
  an acceleration boost until his nose gets close to the horizon.  This quick
  turn is used to set up a gunshot opportunity.

  There is one final ingredient which is needed here.

    This is to adjust the orientation of the second turn.  Normally, in S
    versus Immelman, the second pass will yield opposite cockpits.  This would
    result in a looping fight which would make any quick angle opportunity

    The Immelman must roll his plane 180 degrees on the second pass to create
    a same side cockpit situation.  The S-er must still come over the top no
    matter where he goes.  The Immelman turns tight and slow and catches the
    S-er coming down and across his HUD.  This yields a nice snapshot
    opportunity.  After which, the Immelman should immediately invert and
    Split-S after the S-er in pursuit.

The following describe a new and promising technique which I am working on for
ATG matches.

Usually in ATG, I initiate my dodging by timing missiles from the forward view
and making a reflexive dodge.  I spend a considerable amount of effort cycling
through padlock trying to reaquire my opponent.

Consider this.  If my dodging is reflexive, then why not head into visual
range with the padlock view already selected.  By doing this, I have locked my
opponent despite any missiles launched.  I can reflexively dodge and at the
earliest possible moment and begin maneuvering for a gun shot on my opponent.

Based on the previous observation and some additional work, the Zen Low School
of ATG is born.  It's basic precepts are decribed below.

  1) Don't let your opponent get below you in the opening merge.  If your
     opponent does get below you, then he will have an opportunity to drive in
     from your six or belly.

     In accordance with this rule, the following initial positioning is done:

       As usual, against HIFI opponents, blow off your AIM-120s right away
       without even going for a lock.

       Go radar scan 80 miles.

       Invert and pull down 45 degrees.

       Begin a hard pull out between 3,000-2,500 feet settling at 500-1000

     You must get your nose pointed at your opponent:

       If in the process of performing the above, your opponent dissappears on
       your radar scan and does not reappear when you have leveled out, then
       your opponent climbed sharply.

       To reaquire your opponent, lift your nose up 5 degrees and flip to ACM.
       If this does not suceed, then try this procedure two more times and
       you should be able to aquire your opponent.

     The rational for the above is to keep your opponent from getting below

  2) Once you have your nose pointed at your opponent, then go forward view
     up and then into padlock.  Do NOT come out of padlock.  Do NOT hit the
     target selection key.  You WILL dodge the eventual incomming missiles
     instinctively while keeping your eyes on your opponent.

     The rational for this is that if you keep your eyes on your opponent,
     then there will be no wasted time or maneuvering.  You will be on him as
     soon as humanly possible.

  3) If your opponent is coaltitude (zero pitch on your nose), then
     decelerate to 470-500 KTS maintaining this speed using the brake while at
     AB-5.  You may want to delay this decelaration until your opponent is 8
     miles out to avoid the possibility of a zoom climb.

     If your opponent is 5 degrees up, then shoot for 500-550 KTS; 10-15
     degrees up, then 550-600 KTS; 30 degrees or more, then maintain max

     If your opponent launches AIM-120s, you should already have your ECM on.
     Continue straight and start dropping chaff.

     The reasoning behind this deceleration is that you will not need the
     extra speed to dodge missiles.  Your existing speed will bring you in
     range for a guns kill.  Specifically, when you are coaltitude, you will
     be over the Speed Bump and accelerating in your dodge.  Note:  Beyond 5
     degrees nose up, you will not receive any Speed Bump acceleration in your

  4) When your opponent reaches 7 miles out and/or your 9M tone begins to
     warble slightly, shut off your radar and bore sight where your opponent
     will be.

  5) When you have a 9M lock and red visual box in padlock, then fire your
     first wave of missiles (9Ms).  Select 9Ps and wait a few seconds, then
     fire your second wave.  (This portion requires experience to master the
     timing of how long to wait to launch the second wave.)

  6) If there are inbound missiles, then roll 90 degrees left or right and
     initiate a flat dodge while popping flares.  And some point, you can
     roll 90 degrees in the opposite direction and begin pulling hard into
     your opponent.  You can do this before the warning buzzing goes silent.
     In fact, you must.  (This portion requires experience to master the
     timing of when to reverse and pull back in.)  The missiles can be
     completely dodged on instinct while tracking your opponent.  You know
     where they are comming from and the approximate range.

  7) One should visualize this move, the dodge and pull back in, as a swing
     out and swing back vis-a-vis your line of sight flight path to your
     opponent.  Some pointers on this maneuver.

       You are dodging flat, since you do not want to allow your opponent to
       get underneath you.

       You should pull max G on the swing out and swing back.  This keeps you
       from getting hit by missiles.

       You may begin braking on the swing back in order to improve your turn
       rate relative to your opponent and decelerate down to dogfighting

       Do not attempt to decelerate on the swing back so much that you can
       just fly straight and level towards your opponent.  This will make you
       a sitting duck for a well timed second wave missiles.  Max G will keep
       them from connecting.

  8) Although difficult, you will attempt to pull your nose on your opponent
     and get a first pass gun shot.  It is possible to finish the match right
     here.  Just don't get very slow and fly straight for a long period of

  9) If you see your missiles connect with your opponent while you are
     swinging back, do NOT brake any further and continue to pull max G until
     you are certain that you have survived all airborne missiles.

10) Okay, let's look at some things that could happen with your opponent.

       If your opponent dodges and does not immediately pull back into you,
       then you should find yourself rapidly pulling onto his six.

       If your opponent pulls back into you due to pure instinct but looses
       sight as the planes are merging, then you have a good chance to pop him
       with guns as he goes by.

       If your opponent dives on you then, you should be able to catch him too
       fast and come over the top at corner and gun him down.

11) On the merge following the swing back:

       You MUST get down to dogfighting speeds, 350-400 KTS.  500 KTS could
       get you killed.

       Do NOT go for a 300 KTS flat turn.  If your opponent goes by and up,
       then you will lose due to the energy situation and the Mode Shift.

       As the two planes pass, put some vertical component into your flight
       vector and go up to come around.  At this point, it is now Turn & Burn
       skills and dogfighting which are required.

The following describes the Relativity Speed Principle of Turn & Burn.

Typically one of your problems in Turn & Burn is:  I can know that my
opponent is extending, but not be able to respond to it appropriately (because
I myself am too fast to slow down for a tight Immelman) or I can slow down for
a tight Immelman and risk being burned by an extension.

If you approach the merge at max speed and initiate the deceleration at a
fixed point, for me about 1.5 miles works, then you can have your cake and eat
it too.  Here is how it works.

Your target speed for the merge to do the tightest Immelman without missiles
is about 380 KTS.  If you decelerate and the plane cannot come to 380 KTS
quite a bit before the merge, then your opponent is extending.  You come off
the brake and go AB-5 while holding your missiles.  Now, you have enough speed

to deal with it.  If on the other hand, you easily hit 380 KTS, then your
opponent is going to turn and fight.  As soon as you see his nose come up
after the merge, then blow off your missiles and continuing coming around for
a guns padlock shot.


  LCC stands for Ladder Command Center.  It is a state-of-the-art
  Windows application for maintaining challenge ladders.  Among the
  features it supports are:

    The maintenance of a complete challenge ladder database.

    The maintenance of a complete historical database of matches played.

    Custom configuration of ladder parameters with regards to rungs
    which can be challenged, handling of defaults, inactivity penalties,
    etc ...

    General editors for the ladder and historical database.

    Open interfaces to other ODBC compliant software and spreadsheets,

    Full reports on membership, current challenges, history for all
    players and individual players.

    Ladder administration includes support for:

      Renaming players.

      Entering match results and recomputing positions and records.

      Membership information such as names and phone numbers.

      Entry and automatic management of inactive players.

      Entry and validation of challenges.

      A spreadsheet style ladder display is maintained via the use of
      free floating tools.

      Each processing step is fully supported by an UNDO capability.
LCC will appear on BBS's as LCF100.ZIP (full {runtime/application} release
version 1) and LCP100.ZIP (patch {application only} release version 1).

Estimated release date is 05/01/95.

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