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View Full Version : Attack run, is it chance or chess?



zardozid
06-27-2007, 12:28 AM
I have heard many good pilots say that they know the outcome of an air engagement even before the first shot is fired...
I have heard pilots say that a successful attack is based on how they position themselfs before the attack.

I was wondering what some of the better pilots looked for when they "go out hunting". From what direction would you approach the enemy? What do you look for in a "victim". Would you choose the lone fighter at medium altitude thats got you in their 6 to 9 o'clock? Or would you zoom in on a enemy fighter thats chasing down a friendly at low altitude?

How many just of you "zoom thru" a fur ball shooting(snap shot) at whoever is in your way then extend away fast and climb? And how many of you play it safe looking for the perfect victim?

Their are some skills that I work on all the time like shooting/deflection/lead and their are some maneuvers I practice (like Hi and low yo yo) so that I have options when in a jam. But frequently I hit a wall in my progress...So I was thinking that maybe I need to re-think my approach to combat.

Some things in fighter combat are about "finding your way". Example: Setting your gun convergence to the distance you (naturally) shoot from. Example 2: finding an airplane your comfortable flying. Some people like speed, some guns, others maneuverability. But I haven't been able to find an approach to combat that feels natural to me.

What do you look for? Whats important to you when your approaching a combat area? How do you choose a victim? Is it chance or chess?

Thanks for any insight... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif

leitmotiv
06-27-2007, 12:54 AM
Fighter pilots are the biggest BSers in the business, or, as the British say, "line shooters." A far wiser head, the great German strategist, von Moltke, wrote "No plan survives contact with the enemy." Have a good plan, remain flexible, if the tactical situation changes, adapt. Oh, and ignore entirely the bragging of fighter pilots (or anybody). Mike Spick's ACE FACTOR is a good, basic manual on the varieties of tactics. Surprise is the essence of good tactics. If you get into a dogfight, you have failed.

Ratsack
06-27-2007, 04:24 AM
Originally posted by leitmotiv:
... If you get into a dogfight, you have failed.

Well said, sir.

Ratsack

Worf101
06-27-2007, 07:05 AM
Originally posted by Ratsack:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by leitmotiv:
... If you get into a dogfight, you have failed.

Well said, sir.

Ratsack </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yeah, I know, I "fail" a lot.

Da Worfster

K_Freddie
06-27-2007, 07:13 AM
If you get into a dogfight, you have failed.
Wahhhhh!! I want to play with my food before I nail it.
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

dbillo
06-27-2007, 07:53 AM
Originally posted by leitmotiv:
Fighter pilots are the biggest BSers in the business...
This is a bit OT, but I have been watching the Dogfight series on the History Channel, and was sort of amused to hear many of the pilots make statements to the effect that they could see the eyes of their opponents, and the look of anger or fear or whatever in their eyes.

Just thinking about it a little, I don't think that would actually have been possible at the sort of distances that dogfights play out. I think it's a "memory" that occurs after the fact.

zardozid
06-27-2007, 10:00 AM
Mike Spick's ACE FACTOR is a good, basic manual on the varieties of tactics. Surprise is the essence of good tactics. If you get into a dogfight, you have failed.


A book I have not read....thank you

zardozid
06-27-2007, 10:02 AM
Just thinking about it a little, I don't think that would actually have been possible at the sort of distances that dogfights play out. I think it's a "memory" that occurs after the fact.
I'm sure your right...

LStarosta
06-27-2007, 10:22 AM
Originally posted by dbillo:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by leitmotiv:
Fighter pilots are the biggest BSers in the business...
This is a bit OT, but I have been watching the Dogfight series on the History Channel, and was sort of amused to hear many of the pilots make statements to the effect that they could see the eyes of their opponents, and the look of anger or fear or whatever in their eyes.

Just thinking about it a little, I don't think that would actually have been possible at the sort of distances that dogfights play out. I think it's a "memory" that occurs after the fact. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Nah, they just got LASIK.

VW-IceFire
06-27-2007, 03:53 PM
Originally posted by zardozid:
What do you look for? Whats important to you when your approaching a combat area? How do you choose a victim? Is it chance or chess?

Thanks for any insight... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif
Look for a vulnerable target that is below you and at a good angle for you to attack. Thats what it comes down to. Often its true...you can know what the outcome of the fight is likely to be...not with any crystal ball kind of certainty but given any number of factors you can come up with a rough guess as to how things will unfold. If you don't know what the fight is going to be like when you start it then you need to think more about the fight. Thats not to say that you'll be prophetic but having a good setup is key.

Any good plan will not survive contact with the enemy but you can size up a situation and make a judgment on how it will unfold and if its in your favour or not. If its not...don't start the fight in the first place.

Waldo.Pepper
06-27-2007, 04:15 PM
Nah, they just got LASIK.

Interesting tid bit. I remember reading that that most of the Aces were far sighted. Yeager was mentioned.

I had Lasik eye surgery over ten years ago now and it has not helped me play Il-2 at all. Of course the detatched retina kind of evened up the score.

I can also vouch for the Mike Spick book. Short and sweet, but also excellent. Most readers will get more from the Spick book that from the Shaw book.

VW-IceFire
06-27-2007, 04:21 PM
Originally posted by Waldo.Pepper:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Nah, they just got LASIK.

Interesting tid bit. I remember reading that that most of the Aces were far sighted. Yeager was mentioned.

I had Lasik eye surgery over ten years ago now and it has not helped me play Il-2 at all. Of course the detatched retina kind of evened up the score.

I can also vouch for the Mike Spick book. Short and sweet, but also excellent. Most readers will get more from the Spick book that from the Shaw book. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Yep...a tiny bit of far sightedness generally means you have better than 20/20 vision (or "better than perfect vision"). The last time I went to the optometrist I could read a line lower on the chart than the average person. I'm willing to bet that some of the ace pilots could too (not sure if they did those sorts of tests back then). I forget what the percentage is but a small percentage of the population can see better than average, most of the population can see average, and then some of the population see worse than average. Of course you really narrow the field when you can find someone with better than perfect vision as as well as a feel and a talent for flying.

Having better than perfect vision will help with road signs but not with IL-2 as the screen is maybe a meter away.

Zeus-cat
06-27-2007, 04:23 PM
I have heard pilots say that a successful attack is based on how they position themselfs before the attack.

Keep in mind that the above statmenet almost certainly came from the winner of the fight. The loser is probably dead or would never admit that they foresaw the outcome of the fight and they saw themselves lose!

M_Gunz
06-27-2007, 05:22 PM
Originally posted by VW-IceFire:
Having better than perfect vision will help with road signs but not with IL-2 as the screen is maybe a meter away.

And uses pixels.

Wait till some of you guys get older and you need to hold the newspaper at arms length when
you don't have reading glasses on.

Crash_Moses
06-27-2007, 06:12 PM
Just thinking about it a little, I don't think that would actually have been possible at the sort of distances that dogfights play out. I think it's a "memory" that occurs after the fact.

Makes sense. Probably projecting their own emotions. But as IceFire said some pilots had exeptional vision sometimes spotting planes 20 miles away. I recall reading about a football player (his name escapes me...it was years ago) that had 10/5 vision. He could read a license plate three blocks away.


Look for a vulnerable target that is below you and at a good angle for you to attack. Thats what it comes down to. Often its true...you can know what the outcome of the fight is likely to be...not with any crystal ball kind of certainty but given any number of factors you can come up with a rough guess as to how things will unfold. If you don't know what the fight is going to be like when you start it then you need to think more about the fight. Thats not to say that you'll be prophetic but having a good setup is key.

Yup...I imagine the intuition some pilots claim is borne by a compilation of their previous experiences. "These circumstances seem familiar...If I do X then the result should be Y."

Part of my job is troubleshooting telecommunications infrastructure and phone systems. I clearly remember my boss becoming agitated when I had trouble with...to him...basic problems. After 15 years I often know the problem and solution before the customer has finished speaking.

"My phone rings half a ring an..."

"You've accidently forwarded your phone. Next!"

zardozid
06-29-2007, 01:34 PM
I remember reading that that most of the Aces were far sighted.

I have read that before(about Yeager). And thats interesting...
Your saying that far farsightedness is what makes a difference in a good fighter pilot. I'm sure that in the "real world" that made a big difference. I have read the same thing in an interview with Saburo Sakai. He was quoted as saying that he could see the enemy fighters before his comrades could focus on them, and that this could give them time to get in the sun, or above the enemy.

I was thinking that the skill of a good "snap shot" really helps. Dive in, blast away in 2.5 second window, and get away... http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif