View Full Version : How to determine energy state of a plane

06-23-2004, 10:50 AM
Any tips on how to determine the energy state of an enemy plane ?

06-23-2004, 10:50 AM
Any tips on how to determine the energy state of an enemy plane ?

06-23-2004, 10:52 AM
You ask a complex question. I would say it truly takes experience, but perhaps someone knows how to explain it... I know how, but explaining it`s a different story.


Aghh! Damn those LA7s!

06-23-2004, 11:06 AM
Give it a shoot SeaFire, if you say something thats wrong im sure someone will tell us http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

06-23-2004, 11:16 AM
Ok, let`s try:
A plane has a better energy state than you, if it`s

1, Higher altitude.
2, Moving at speed, but above you.
3, You are flying slow and/or low.
4, You are turning and not after a dive.
5, If he`s diving from high and going up his energy state will be better than if you`re flying in circles below.

Example: You`re flying along at 500meters above ground, he`s at 2000m - he has better potential for his energy state. He dives on you, you see him, but there`s very little you can do, because you`re slow and low, you have no energy state.

He dives and shoots and flies up easily because he still has lots of energy. He comes back and does it again and again. Eventually you get shot down.

He would lose his energy state if he did something dumb like fly to your level and try turning with you. That way he`s lost his Energy advantage and the situation is equal. If he`s in a 190 and you`re in a Spitfire then YOU should have the advantage...

That`s the best i can do. hope it helps..


Aghh! Damn those LA7s!

06-23-2004, 11:17 AM
He`s right,it really takes experience.To simplify look if your opponent is faster at a moment.


06-23-2004, 11:18 AM
Thanks for the reply http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

I found this... and i would also like to know if there are any other ways to "profile" a target ?


From last picture ....
After the pass keep track of angular gains and losses by pointing a wingtip(profiling) and note how fast the bandit moves from a forward to a rearward hemisphere.

Btw i thought this was a verry good tutorial on how to gain advantages in energy

06-23-2004, 11:51 AM
From Here (http://people.ee.ethz.ch/~chapman/il2guide/tracks.htm)
is the track file titled:
Energy game (http://people.ee.ethz.ch/~chapman/il2guide/downloads/tracks/Energy_game.zip)

I think, my opinion is, that the sustained turn technique described by Robert Shaw in his book 'Fighter Combat' is the best tool for making those very important relative energy state judgments.

Note in the track file (can be viewed as a training file - instructions for loading training files are on Mike's page linked above)
after a sustained turn, after an oponent has obviously burned more energy in a turn trying to make up more angles for the shot (you lag turn he does not) after he makes a harder turn (presumably burning more energy) the time is ripe to begin relative energy judgment. Just after the sustained turn and at the begining of the extension note relative possition. As the extension progresses as both planes vector a similar path (the sustained turn was not similar since the opponent turned much harder) then note gains or losses in relative possition. Now you know who has more energy.
If the opponent gains possition after a sustained turn then he has an energy advantage. If he gains possition after many sustained turns where his plane must turn harder than that plane is a better energy fighter compared to your plane.

To illustrate the same principle yet for a situation where one plane has a much higher energy state (more obvious difference) consider a typical head on merge.

You fly straight.

The opponent makes a hard 180 degree turn and then catches up with you.

Note that the opponent must have had more energy, more speed, more power, less drag, etc.

Take that same plane match-up where the one plane could turn 180 and still catch up and now bounce it from high altitude while it is stalling out in a climb. It will not be able to catch you after the pass for a long time even though past experience suggests that it is a better energy fighter. You have time to make a few more passes before it catches up in the energy game.

Note in the track file that the plane match-up is a P-51 and a 109. The 109 starts with more energy. The P-51 took off from the base. The 109 dove in to attack.

Those two planes are close, in my opinion, in energy fighting ability. Close enough to make it difficult to judge which one is better from patch to patch. Close enough to make it unwise to fight P-51s with 109s on an equal footing. The other guy may be very good.

[This message was edited by JG14_Josf on Wed June 23 2004 at 11:16 AM.]

06-23-2004, 11:59 AM
Another thing........ is to determine what plane u fight against. Is it a slow turnfighter or fast turnfighter and so on.

If u are sitting in a 109 and see a hurricane aproach from behind (depending on how close and your own speed) U might want to try the spiraling climb, since the hurri looses its energy fast in a climb, especially if he is trying to draw deflection on U, and the 109 climbs very well even at slow speeds.

Ofcourse the hurriflyer can be an ace and he might risk hanging on his prop to get the proper deflection on U....there is always risks as u know.

The whole idea with the spiral climb is to force the enemy behind to draw more and more deflection....(dont evade if he gets a few hits on u , just tighten the spiral carefully) soon the attacker must level out because he is out of speed, Then its your turn, so u dive on him. This doesnt always work like in textbooks and it depends much on the experience of the flyers....aces makes mistakes too...but they often recover fast to lethal state.

So take a look at the speed specs on the planes u might run in to.....and dont forget to record tracks. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

Oh, and the spiral will take some practice to master.

06-23-2004, 12:01 PM
seafire can u give me a link to your drawings? i saw them when u posted a link once before, but id like to take another look. i like the one in your sig.

06-23-2004, 12:16 PM
Thx JG14_Josf and F19_Ob. I learned a lot from that track Josf. You should have shot the guy down 3 times in that track I think, but you fired to late http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif I never hit anything so i know what that looks likehttp://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif It makes me a dead man to often, even tho I have angles and energy at the start of a fight http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

06-23-2004, 12:27 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by james8325:
seafire can u give me a link to your drawings? i saw them when u posted a link once before, but id like to take another look. i like the one in your sig.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I`ve got a completely new website coming up at the weekend which is better than the old one (no dumb pop-ups). I`ll put a link up then. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

06-23-2004, 12:27 PM

I'm getting better:

http://mysite.verizon.net/res0l0yx/Cut%20the%20corner.jpg http://mysite.verizon.net/res0l0yx/Looks%20high.jpg

06-23-2004, 12:28 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by SeaFireLIV:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by james8325:
seafire can u give me a link to your drawings? i saw them when u posted a link once before, but id like to take another look. i like the one in your sig.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I`ve got a completely new website coming up at the weekend which is better than the old one (no dumb pop-ups). I`ll put a link up then. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

alright thanks.

06-23-2004, 12:29 PM
LOL Josf good one,the P40 is still in one piece http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif


06-23-2004, 12:56 PM
When the plane starts to buffet wildly you can assume you have alot of E and no ones gonna catch you in the next 20 seconds http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/35.gif

Did anyone see that or was it just me?

06-23-2004, 12:59 PM
I see, i actually didnt doubt that http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif I just had to remark on it since some of the shots where pretty late.

06-23-2004, 01:13 PM

If you really want to get better then I suggest that you use the single most important tool you have at your disposal toward that end i.e. the track recording feature in IL2.

What you will find during the proccess of debriefing your flights is that the tracks do not reproduce exactly the same situation each time you run the track file.

On my energy game track file, during the actual flight, I hit the P-51 on the left wing. The shot was high not late. The hit does not show up often when replaying the track file but it does show up occasionally.

That P-51 went down after my 3rd pass.

The P-40 went down due to control damage. It looks warm in the cockpit. The P-40 shot shows up on the left wing root sometimes during the replay. Other times the explosion shows up on the tail. I think the guy flying the P-40 registered a hit on his tail. My wingman and I both saw a hit on the cockpit as the snap shot illustrates. We didn't follow the P-40 down, it looked like a done deal.

06-23-2004, 01:32 PM
The answer is rather simple really:
E = mgh + (m * v^2)/2


06-23-2004, 04:08 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by AirBot:
The answer is rather simple really:
E = mgh + (m * v^2)/2


Yes, it is. The above formula applied to aerial combat says that you have to maintain a speed or height advantage over the enemy (better be both).

06-24-2004, 02:55 AM
Excellent attempts to explain very difficult concepts.........in the end one does it without thinking with lots and lots of practice. Everyone...3 housemarks.



06-24-2004, 04:24 AM
Recognizing an energy state can be difficult at times.

If you find yourself in the bounce, sometimes it is more important to force a slower energy state from your opponant.

The scissors move is great for this. I think the best descriptioon of the scissors I have ever heard was simply put, "Attempting to cover the greatest distance in the smallest amount of space." Basically weaving back and forth, keeping the other person from getting in your 4-8 o'clock line. All the while, lessening his energy state while he attempting to pull lead shot on you. (Bleeding him dry!)

The problem with any 2D screen game is that judging distance is not done in a natural way. Pixels change size to fool the eyes, but your brain does not calculate distance in that manner. It uses two points of reference (Each eye) to calculate distance.


06-24-2004, 04:27 AM
It took me a long while to understand the scissors and other manouevers, but once I finally understood- wow! Many times Online I have shaken and confused guys on my tail with this process.

And when I actually get on THEIR tail, you can almost hear them thinking, "What the heck just happened?"


Aghh! Damn those LA7s!

06-24-2004, 11:39 AM
Don't they have energy state meters that you can by now? I think they do. You just point it at the target plane and it will give you the energy state.

Capt. 361stMapleTiger.
Proud member of the FBAA and Nutty Philosohpy Club.