Reddit Reddit reviews Fighter Combat: Tactics and Maneuvering

We found 27 Reddit comments about Fighter Combat: Tactics and Maneuvering. Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.

Military Aviation History
Military History
Fighter Combat: Tactics and Maneuvering
This book (like-new, 6th printing, 1988) provides a detailed discussion of one-on-one dog-fights and multi-fighter team work tactics.
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27 Reddit comments about Fighter Combat: Tactics and Maneuvering:

u/Paper_Weapon · 15 pointsr/hoggit

This book was a good read. These are the same tactics that have basically applied to fighter combat since forever, up to all aspect missiles, but excluding HOB missiles. There are great chapters on 2v1 and 2v2.

u/TwistedTechMike · 14 pointsr/hoggit

I've had this book over 20 years, and its still a go to.

u/TacoGrease051 · 12 pointsr/hoggit
u/Ophichius · 12 pointsr/Warthunder

I'll link you a proper study course further down, but here are the basics:

Speed is life, altitude is life insurance. Especially in US planes if you're not going fast you will die. Don't engage in combat under 450km/h IAS, and try to make sure you're pushing quite a bit faster than that so you have airspeed to burn during the fight.

Don't expect the P-38 to maneuver well, it's a twin-engine heavy fighter. Quite nimble for what it is, but never confuse that for being as agile as a single-engine aircraft.

BnZ is all about patience. Don't expect every one of your runs to score a kill. Heck, don't even expect most of them to do so. BnZ is all about manipulating your opponent's energy state and position to be favorable to you, then putting them under constant pressure so that they keep piling up little mistakes until they make the fatal one.

Don't use the keyboard for elevator control in turns, especially at high speeds. Keyboard input commands full control deflection and will usually lead to sharp, wasteful turns that leave you slow and vulnerable afterwards.

When making BnZ runs, apply the principle of CBDR to ensure that you're closing on a vector that will bring you in for a very close shot on the enemy.

And now on to the study course:


Start with /u/dmh_longshot's series of video tutorials, while they're for arcade the basic energy fighting principles still apply to all modes.

Follow up by reading In Pursuit (PDF) for more detailed coverage of air combat.

Supplement this with browsing the SimHQ Air Combat Corner Library for specific material. It's not all applicable to WT, and it's somewhat random, but it's all quality material and generally quite useful.

Finally, if you really get bit by the air combat bug and want to study it in tremendous depth, Fighter Combat: Tactics and Maneuvering will be your air combat bible.

u/BrentRTaylor · 10 pointsr/hoggit

Try not to worry about it too much. There are plenty of resources to learn this stuff. :)

Here's my list:

u/[deleted] · 8 pointsr/hoggit

And remember the very first lesson in Fighter Combat: Tactics and Maneuvering: if you've got air-to-ground ordnance on board you're a bomber until that ordnance is expended or jettisoned.

u/StarTrekMike · 8 pointsr/hoggit

So this may not be the kind of advice you are hoping for but in order to really have success with the Mirage, it is important to really learn the aircraft. This goes beyond just understanding the basics of systems operation and gets into the very idea behind the specific model of the Mirage-2000C that we are using and how that specific model fit into France's air power "ecosystem". What I am talking about here is understanding the roles it was realistically expected to fill and what roles would be left to other aircraft in the French Air force.

All of that may seem boring or even pointless in the DCS PvP context but I think really understanding what the Mirage-2000C-RDI S5 (the specific model we have in DCS) is supposed to do and how it is used will help you avoid trying to use it in a way that will only lead to frustration.

On a more general level. I think that a big part of seeing any success with a plane in DCS PvP comes down to knowing everything you can learn about its systems and how they are used. This means knowing all the radar special modes. This means understanding the exact capability of your radar, weapons, ECM, and even your engine and aerodynamic properties. A lot of your opponents are in faster aircraft with better radar and much better weapons and there is a good chance that they have been playing for a while and know their stuff (at least in how it applies to PvP public servers anyway). If you don't bring your "A-game", you are easy meat for them.

Another element to look at is tactics. This is a difficult situation because DCS's PvP servers tend to promote a certain kind of approach that does not jive too well with how air combat would work in the real world. With this in mind, you have to really look at the flow of things on a the server itself and how you can exploit advantages from that flow. For example. It is generally safe to assume that you will be fighting aircraft that can out-range and out-gun you. With that in mind, perhaps it is better to simply avoid straight-on "fair fights" and instead try to find ways to approach the enemy from directions that they are not used to looking.

If I were to frequent a server like the 104th, I would probably spend some time looking at where the combat happens most. Try to determine the routes that both my team and the enemy team are commonly taking to get into combat. From there, I would try to rely on whatever data I could get from a AWACS (if it is a option) or other players. With that data, I would take long, wide routes so that I can intercept other players from angles that there radar can't see and hopefully get the drop on them while they are focused on looking in front where most of the action is going to be.

Another thing I would consider is your altitude. Many will tell you to stay low and there is value in that but flying rather high can also be useful. The Mirage's weapons (especially the Super 530D) work better at higher altitudes so in order to maximize your weapon range, you will need to start getting used to climbing up to about 35,000 feet or more. It may be smart to climb in a direction away from the action so you can approach the combat area at your desired altitude. Many flight simmers tend to not spend a lot of time climbing as that is time spent not fighting. take advantage of that and you will have one more advantage to leverage in a fight.

Finally. I suggest finding a person to wing up with you that you can count on. Someone that knows how to fly and knows how to work with you as a proper team. If you can apply some proper tactics as a two-man team, you will be in a good position to do some damage.

Overall, you should start doing your homework. Hit the manual (it is a important foundation that should not be replaced with more abbreviated material), Chuck's guides, and any meaningful youtube lesson you can find (I suggest xxJohnxx's channel and even Creative Fun's channel for good, useful tutorials) should all be studied alongside any real-life information you can google search about the plane (and the specific version we use in DCS). Doing all this in conjunction with learning about basic tactics will go a long way and will certainly give you a leg-up over some who frequent those servers who don't really bother to do all that book-work.

It may all seem daunting but take it one step at a time. Learning this stuff is not too different from the process one must take to learn how to play on a competitive level (I am talking e-sport style here) on a MOBA or even Counter-strike. The more effort you put into learning, the better you will be and the more enjoyment you will have in the long-term.

u/3-10 · 7 pointsr/il2sturmovik

Fighter Combat: Tactics and Maneuvering

The only book for real and virtual fighters.

u/GorgeWashington · 5 pointsr/starcitizen
u/x_TC_x · 5 pointsr/WarCollege

…'Was interrupted while typing the reply above, yesterday, so here an attempt to complete it.

As described above, there were two schools of thoughts about the strategy of aerial warfare even within the USAF. Initially at least, the ideas by these two schools de-facto 'dictated' what the Pentagon then demanded the defence sector to deliver (over the time, the relationship between the two [the Pentagon and the defence sector] became something like 'mutual': i.e. the defence sector began exercising ever higher influence upon decision-making processes in the Pentagon.)

Cumulative results of this relationship, plus ideas about future air warfare were that the military wanted to fight a high-technology war, controlled from one point. Correspondingly, ever more complex, more advanced too, C3 facilities came into being: these were fed data from ever larger networks of sensors (early warning radar stations and other means of observation). Simultaneously, combat aircraft were packed with ever more navigation and attack systems (nav/attack), required to fly ever further and ever faster. The two were networked with help of data-links.

The GenStab in the former USSR actually followed in fashion. Already in the late 1950s, it developed a strong C3 system (or 'integrated air defence system', IADS) for the purpose of air defence of the Rodina ('Motherland') against attacks of Western bombers armed with nuclear weapons. When the bombers began receiving missiles that enabled them to attack from stand-off ranges, the GenStab reacted by ordering interceptors that would be faster so to kill bombers before these could deploy their missiles (that's what, between others, led to the development of types like Su-15, MiG-25 etc.). For 1960s, it envisaged the development of a similar C3 system on the tactical plan too, this time with intention of countering a huge number of F-104 Starfighters that were about to enter service with the NATO and expected to operate at low altitudes against targets in eastern Europe (that's what, between others, led to the development of types like MiG-23).

Meanwhile, the USSR was not only lagging in regards of developing the necessary high-tech, but could also not afford installing it into all of its aircraft. Indeed, Moscow couldn't even afford training all its pilots to the levels comparable to those to which the West was training its pilots. The GenStab's solution was to improve the sophistication of its C3 (i.e. systems supporting the same), but also increase the number of sensors feeding the data into it. I.e. it attempted to provide a C3 with superior targeting information, so to enable first/single-shot/single-kill solutions. The advanced C3 required no advanced interceptors and fighter-bombers: these could operate along orders from the ground, indeed, literally 'per remote control'.

Thus, instead of requiring combat aircraft that could, for example, take off, fly a combat air patrol at 200 miles away from their base while waiting for their targets etc., then shoot once, wait for result, and shoot again (if necessary) etc., their solution was to have 'no bullshit' combat aircraft: combat aircraft 'brought to the point'.

Along that way of thinking, there was no need for super-advanced on-board radars, not even for RWRs. All of this was 'unnecessary', because interceptors were not expected to search for their target, not expected to dogfight, not expected to get surprised by the enemy etc.: all the related issues were to be solved by the C3/IADS. Instead, the purpose of an interceptor was to scramble in reaction to a clearly defined target, rush to that target along a course computed from the ground, acquire the target with help of simple onboard sensors, kill it and return to base. Period. Similarly, their fighter-bombers were expected to fly relatively straightforward attacks on tactical targets close to the frontline: even single SAM-sites were planned to be blasted by nukes. Shortly after, other tactical fighters would nuke selected targets close to the frontline in order to enable their ground forces to breach the enemy frontline and advance deep (and fast) into the rear. Training on such aircraft was also much simpler (and, therefore, cheaper): in essence, their crews only had to know how to take-off, control the work of on-board systems, follow orders from the ground, and land.

That was 'all' the Soviet air force was expected to do, and, therefore, was also equipped to do. In this regards, and because the Soviets largely ignored experiences from diverse 'local wars', of the 1960s and 1970s, very little changed in the way they thought over the time.

The situation began to change only in late 1970s, due to the changes of the NATO's strategy, and then in 1980s due to experiences from Afghanistan. The former made the option of a conventional war in Europe possible (i.e. there was a chance of the NATO vs Warsaw Pact war fought without nukes): this in turn required different types of combat aircraft, capable of delivering a more powerful conventional punch. The second has shown that theory and practice are two different pair of shoes, and that no sophisticated C3 can suitably replace 'flexible fighter-bombers' (i.e. fighter-bombers having the sensors, endurance/range and speed necessary to, for example, re-acquire and re-attack their target with conventional weapons). Before the Soviets could realize all of their related ideas, they not only lagged ever more massively in the field of high-technology, or bankrupted themselves (partially due to the Chernobyl catastrophe of 1986, too), but also the Cold War came to an end, in 1989-1992 period.

On basis of this, here few direct answers to the original questions:

  • For most of the Cold War, the task of a Soviet pilot/crew of a tactical fighter was different than that of the Western tactical fighter. Their primary job was monitoring the work of on-board sensors while following directions from the C3/IADS (which in turn was to supply all the information necessary for them to accomplish the mission).

  • The idea was that Soviet pilots need not having the 'big picture': situational awareness was in the hands of the C3/IADS. The C3/IADS also knew the purpose of the mission: pilots need not knowing about the same; they only had to follow orders (how shall a pilot know 'better' than his superior commander about what exactly is his target?).

  • No matter at what point in time, there was no big difference in regards of reliance upon ground control between the East and the West. Both sides needed the ground control in order to find their targets, i.e. initiate an engagement ('air combat') - and thus both sides had to follow their orders. It was only after that point in an engagement that there were differences: the Soviets expected to successfully conclude any air battle with their first blow, right at the start of an engagement.

  • Correspondingly, the Soviet pilots were neither more nor less dependent on ground control than the Western pilots were. Their task was different: their task was to monitor the work of on-board systems, follow orders, deploy their weapons when said to do so - and not to waste their time (and fuel) with searching for target, dogfighting etc.

    Make no mistakes: the Westerners were seeking for exactly the same solution (i.e. one granting the opportunity to conclude an air combat right at the start, with the first shoot, first kill). It was only experiences from diverse 'local wars' (Vietnam, Middle East etc.), that taught them that there is a high probability that the first attack would miss; when that happened, the outcome of a re-engagement depended on on-board sensors, skills of the pilot/crew, aircraft performances etc.

  • The GenStab was slow into realizing this, and drew its related conclusions only in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The result were such measures like attempts to turn the MiG-23 into a dogfighter (see MiG-23ML/MLD variants), and then to re-train crews - for example with help of the '500' series of exercises, aimed to teach pilots how to fly complex air combat manoeuvres.

  • This proved a mammoth task, and was never fully completed (not until today). Combined with subsequent geo-political developments, the result was a massive stagnation (outright 'vegetation') in regards of further development of the Soviet - and the Russian - doctrine, strategy and tactics of air warfare ever since. Even as of the last three years (see Syria), they are still struggling to reach US/NATO levels from, say, 1991.

    Finally, an advice: do not try to gauge how the Soviets would (or should) operate their combat aircraft based on modern-day video-games. That is likely to end in a host of massive mistakes, and outright illusions. If you want to inform yourself properly about this topic, you might need books like On Target (strategic level of planning for the USAF), Russia's Air Power at the Crossroads and The Russian Way of War (the way the Soviets/Russians think about fighting wars, organization and planning), Fighter Combat, (tactical level) etc., etc., etc., or even Moscow's Game of Poker (for a summary of all of this, plus recent combat performance in Syria).
u/4esop · 3 pointsr/starcitizen

I'd recommend using KB/mouse to be more effective. For immersion, joysticks are awesome but they cannot compete with manual gimbal aim. The gamepad is going to give you the worst experience in current implementation IMO.

I recently read a really great book on dog fighting. It deals with atmospheric flight, but there is a lot of great info in it.

u/Bacarruda · 3 pointsr/AskHistorians

It'd take a book to answer your question in the depth it deserves. WWI represents a major turning point in how militaries used (and thought about aircraft). At the outbreak of the war, aircraft were used mostly as scouts and flying messenger boys. In the United States, for example, the Army's few aricraft all belonged to the Signal Corps!

Although initially regarded as "toys," by old-school military officers, scout aircraft quickly proved their worth. The Western and Eastern Fronts of WWI started off as swirling, mobile campaigns as armies rapidly marched into battle. On the ground, horse-mounted cavalry tried to sniff out the enemy. Above their heads, airmen put a modern spin on the scouting mission. In August 1914, one French spotter plane noticed a gap between two advancing German forces. Allied troops counter-attacked, halting the German advance and arguably saving Paris. But for one lone plane, the Great War mighy have ended very differently.

As the mobile warfare of mid-1914 gave way to trench warfare in late 1914 and 1915, aircraft became even more valuable. Cavalry, the armies' traditional scouts, couldn't penetrate the trench lines of the Western Front (the Eastern Front is still a more fluid affair at this point. Interestingly, future ace Manfred von Richtofen was a cavalry officer here at this point in the war).

Airplanes, and to some extent, observation balloons, could roam wherever they pleased. Two-man spotter planes soon combed the skies over the Western Front. Observers sketched maps and even used primitive cameras to take aerial reconnaissance photos. The intelligence they gleaned was vital. Before offensives, it helped planners discover enemy positions, particularly hidden artillery batteries. Those guns could savage attacking troops in no-man's land, so knocking them out with counterbattery fire was essential for a large-scale attack to succeed. For defenders, recon planes could spot enemy troops and supplies massing for an offensive, giving the defenders time to prepare a response.

Since one scout aircraft could indirectly do immense damage, more and more effort went into shooting down enemy scouts. Early air-to-air combat had an air of enthusiastic amateurishness to it. Pilots and observers brought aloft pistols, hunting vehicles, shotguns, and even a few machine guns. The tactics weren't terribly complex: Fly alongside your target and blaze away.

Eventually, people on both sides of the war started seriously thinking about how to effectively arm an aircraft. The initial Allied solutions are crude, but fairly effective. Some fit a Lewis gun to the top wing of a biplane so it fires over the top of the propeller arc. It's hard to aim, but its better than nothing. French mechanics fit heavy metal deflectorsi to the propellers of a few planes. It's an awkward solution, to say the least, but it's enough for pilots like Roland Garros to start rackin up a few kills.

Robert Shaw's book has the best publicly-available breakdown of Air Combat Maneuvering. It's very much worth a read.

u/Cephelopodia · 3 pointsr/hoggit

Fighter Combat: Tactics and Maneuvering

This will serve you well.

u/DerFritzReddit · 2 pointsr/hoggit

Alright, check out crash laobis youtube channel, and if you wann learn some BFM check out this

and this

u/Inkompetent · 2 pointsr/il2sturmovik

Already a lot of good advice here, and I did see In Pursuit mentioned, so I thought I'd just help point to the source of the good theory.

  1. In Pursuit: A Pilot's Guide to Online Air Combat by Johan Kylander. This is a free online publication. Can be bought as a print if you so desire, but the PDF is free.

  2. Fighter Combat: Tactics and Maneuvering (the 1985 edition) by Robert Shaw. This is the bible of air combat, covering everything from the basic concept of "energy" and the different weapons available, all the way to group-vs-group and alone-vs-group combat, used as study material even for real pilots. You can't do better than this, and for 485 pages (if I remember right) it's a pretty darn cheap book. It is well written in all senses of the word, and understanding it will make it so much easier to learn from other guides and materials available. Can definitely recommend reading it.
u/-MK84- · 2 pointsr/arma

Watch this and read this.

And practice... practice.... practice...

u/dotdoubledot · 2 pointsr/flightsim

Read this.

u/littlelowcougar · 1 pointr/flying

Completely inappropriate for GA, but the wanted-to-be-a-fighter-pilot in me absolutely loves Fighter Combat: Tactics and Maneuvering.

Very, very technical book. It's the Ph.D of aerial warfare.

And Stick and Rudder, of course, but someone has already mentioned that.

u/FlorbFnarb · 1 pointr/army

Confounding variable. The lack of a gun wasn't what caused the Navy's success, recognition of the value of proper ACM training was the cause of their success.

As an aside, I don't know what you do for a living in the Air Force, but I greatly enjoyed this book. I haven't read it in many years, but it was a real eye-opener.

u/jimothy_clickit · 1 pointr/hoggit

Shaw's "Fighter Combat".

A bible for any aspiring combat pilot.

u/weegee101 · 1 pointr/hoggit

The thing about BVR is that it isn't a science. You can learn all the maneuvers, nomenclature, and tactics, but at the end of the day BVR combat is about 40% luck and 60% art. I think what nealius posted is about the best you'll find outside of military practice. I always recommend Shaw's book but even his book is fairly light on the BVR stuff.

I guess a good way to put it is that the rote learning that most of us are used to gets you about 90% of the way with WVR combat, but with BVR combat it only gets you about 10% of the way. The only way to improve at BVR is practice every situation you can simulate.

u/Faelwolf · 1 pointr/hoggit

Off the top of my head, a couple reasons. One is closure rate would be way too fast for reliable missile tracking. There would also be issues with the difficulties in managing the mental calculations the pilot would have to go through in obtaining missile lock, engagement tactics, etc. For the details of all that is involved in air to air combat, I highly recommend the book Fighter Combat: Tactics and Maneuvering by Robert Shaw. It's practically the bible for air to air combat. Once you study that, you'll see why it's not practical, and pick up some good info to help you out as well in your combat flying.

u/bdavisx · 1 pointr/

Wow, I read Fighter Combat: Tactics and Maneuvering back in the day; I'm guessing this kinda changes a lot of the maneuvers taught there. I remember trying to get the nose around on an adversary and not being able, this thing would have made it a piece of cake.

u/_elFred_ · 1 pointr/france

> Tu veux parler du gros ressort extérieur à la base du joystick ? Il n'est pas là pour éviter les petits mouvements ?

Oui celui-la, en fait sa résistance est non linéaire ce que fait que tu vas faire des mouvement largement trop brusques (tu perdra le retour au neutre mais c'est pas plus gênant que ça).
Et avec ces mouvements brutaux tu perdras de l'Energie et ça c'est moche en dogfight
go ici :

Si tu t’intéresse au combat aérien Je ne peux que te conseiller ce bouquin c'est simplement la bible

u/Irkam · 1 pointr/france

> Si tu t’intéresse au combat aérien Je ne peux que te conseiller ce bouquin c'est simplement la bible

Ca se lit aussi pour du space sim tu penses ?