Air Combat Maneuvering
If you are neutral with respect to the bandit, at the bottom you are behind the bandit, while at the top you
are ahead of him. In Figure 18, compare the bottom aircraft with the top middle aircraft.
EFFECTS OF RADIAL G
1. Fighter defensive position
2. Fighter neutral position
3. Fighter offensive position
Figure 18: ROLLING SCISSORS POSITIONS
Because a rolling scissors is a slow-speed fight with predictable flight paths and poor shot opportunities,
you should look for an opportunity to disengage. The only appropriate time to disengage is from the top
of the roller. It helps to be aware of this to time your disengagement or to anticipate when the bandit
may decide to disengage. Should the bandit attempt to disengage from the top of the roller, roll off your
vertical climb early to reduce airspeed loss and minimize nose-to-tail separation. Pull for a shot and
remain in-phase using a combination or a variation of high and low yo-yos.
For most aircraft with less than a one-to-one thrust-to-weight ratio, the rolling scissors is a descending
series of barrel rolls because of the heavy use of the vertical. To successfully roll through the bottom
and continue in the rolling scissors, you will need approximately 2,500 ft above the hard deck. As you
approach the deck, one or both of you must either flatten the roller, convert the maneuver to a horizontal
scissors, disengage, or be scraped off the deck.
Converting a roller to a flattened scissors reduces the vertical separation. This conversion usually
occurs when you run out of altitude to continue your offensive pursuit. Flattening the scissors will work
to your advantage only if your energy state has not deteriorated below that of the bandits. If his energy