View Full Version : Extending and spiral dive

07-11-2004, 02:43 AM
These two terms are use often and I'm not sure what u guys mean when u say those things. Please define "Extending" and spiral climbing/diving, and explain their usefulness.

07-11-2004, 02:43 AM
These two terms are use often and I'm not sure what u guys mean when u say those things. Please define "Extending" and spiral climbing/diving, and explain their usefulness.

07-11-2004, 03:24 AM
Extending is putting space between you and you opponent. The best way to do it is to run out at maxiumum speed behind you opponents wingline, keeping him at your 5 or 7 o'clock so you can keep an eye on him. You'll use an extension to gain a height or speed advantage or to neutralize your enemy's advantage.

The spiral dive, also called a defensive spiral is a defensive manuver where, in a spiraling dive you try to create more drag than your opponent thereby forcing him out in front of you.

To really learn about the art and science of air combat ou should check out Fighter Combat Tactics and manuvering by Robert Shaw. It is basically the bible of air combat for simmers.

here's some more good reading:


good luck!

07-11-2004, 03:35 AM
Extending is putting room between the enemy and yourself. Usually you extend after a diving attack on an aircraft with less energy than you. A spiral climb is just what the name suggests, a climb in a corkskrew manner to make the enemy either overshoot or keep his gunsight off you long enough to get away. Spiral dives are much the same. You are always trying to turn harder than the other guy, both to slow down more and make him overshoot, and to keep out of his crosshairs.

Different planes do these differently, obviously. For instance, a notable thing to me is that the Bf109 is very good at an extended spiral climb (more shallow and wide), wheras a spit is damn near unhittable in a vertical, high energy corkscrew. The plane you are in and the one you are fighting dictates how much you can get away with. Always remember what your plane does best.


07-11-2004, 04:16 AM
They are both quite open terms, but on these boards they usually mean this:

1. "Extending" can be used when u are attacking a plane and after your pass u realize that U're going to "overshoot" ( = fly past your target and end up somwhere ahead its front sector).
When a barrel roll isnt enough to stay behind the enemy, or u dont want to loose your energy
U can climb up = "Extend" and then dive down behind the enemy again for another pass. This is somewhat related to both a "high yoyo" and a "BnZ" attack but when used in above situation its usually called "extending".

Hope this is understandable....its usually easier to show than describe it in words.


2. "spiral climb" can be used in many situations and by many planes, preferably by good climbers like bf 109's.

Its often used as a defensive move but can be a prelude to offensive when u have an enemy on your tail or U climb away after a "BnZ" attack or "Overshoot".

Instead of climbing in a straight line and becoming an easy target for any enemy behind, U climb in a spiral making deflection calculatin much more complicated and the enemy (preferably a bad climber http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif ) is forced to try to draw deflection on u and that way expend more energy in his spiral climb than u.
The other thing with the spiralclimb is that U end up closer to the enemys rear quarter and with the energy advantage....so if the enemy decides that he wont follow u in the spiralclimb there is a risk that U will end up behind and above ...so in a way u almost force your opponent to follow U.
This is a good maneuver to use in a 109 against a hurricane. There is ofcourse always a risk in having an enemy behind because he might be an experienced flyer and might risk expending all his energy in order to get a few good shots at U and may shoot u down. In this situatuin the best thing is to continue and spiral, just tighten the turn CAREFULLY, even if u take a few hits. when U are on top u can decide to head for home or continue the fight.
It takes some practice to make the spiral work well and it works best with lots of energy.

3. Spiral dives are as I see it purely defensive and the idea is to make a follower to overshoot and miss his shots and u can even hope he will loose his wings in overspeed.
http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/icon_twisted.gif sometimes the attacker becomes fixated with trying to hit u and he may forget his speed in the dive.
An example is a bf 109K4 that is followed by a p51 . The K4 will be able to reach 890 km/h without braking but the p51 will loose its wings either in the dive or when he pulls out, if he follows.

If u are in a p51 the spiralradious should be bigger, and the 109 or a fw190 will have trouble not to overshoot. an experienced 109 flyer may hang on though.

This is my opinion and a few of the most common
execusions of these tactics.

hope it gives an insight.


Texas LongHorn
07-11-2004, 09:09 AM
Good repleys Guys, but you all missed one very important point.. in the spiral climb you can look over you shoulder and see the bad guy. Everyone from Yeager to Hartmann emphasized the importance of knowing WHERE the enemy is, then you can deal with him on your terms, and not his <ggg.> All the best, LongHorn