Air Combat Maneuvering
Again, as in the horizontal scissors, if you find yourself in a roller, you have made a mistake, which
means you must strive to remain offensive or disengage at the earliest opportunity. A rolling
scissors is not a desirable maneuver for an attacker because it limits opportunities for weapons
To practice this maneuver, set up by executing a BRA from a medium-angle perch. As you start
your conversion over the top of the barrel roll, the bandit hard turns into you to create a horizontal
overshoot. Before you can adjust for the horizontal overshoot, the bandit will pull up to create a
vertical overshoot as he performs a BRA against you. Continue your barrel roll and place your lift
vector on the bandit. Once your lift vector is on the bandit, pull 17 units AOA until wings level on the
bottom. As your nose approaches approximately 10 degrees below the horizon, pull wings-level into
the vertical. Then continue your pitch up 40 to 60 degrees (depending on your energy state) using
17 units AOA. Once you establish your nose in the vertical, roll toward the bandit to place your lift
vector on him.
The aircraft will continue to climb as you roll off the vertical, which will assist in gaining the proper
vertical separation. The bandit then overshoots vertically and both of you are locked in a series of
vertical and horizontal overshoots.
Your goal is to execute the scissors perfectly and capitalize on any mistake the bandit makes. To
stay offensive in a rolling scissors, use the three-dimensional environment to control your energy
effectively by 1) pulling up wings level into the vertical, 2) making your heading changes by rolling off
after you reach the desired vertical attitude, 3) trading airspeed for altitude to reduce your forward
vector, and 4) properly controlling your AOA.
In all this, you are trying to stay behind the bandit. A key determinant in winning the roller is to strive
to get your nose up when you are at the bottom before the bandit can get his nose down when he is
at the top, and vice versa. If you can continually do this without sacrificing your position, you are
then gaining the advantage you need to win in a rolling scissors. You must understand that it is the
steepness of your climbs and dives that will determine your horizontal movement more than your
absolute speed differential. Control your acceleration based on the bandits position relative to you.
To maintain your advantage, use a quick inside/outside scan by monitoring your AOA to avoid buffet
and to control your airspeed gain in the pullout. Keep your lift vector on the bandit throughout the
maneuver except when you are trying to align fuselages or when you want to reduce your forward
vector. To align fuselages, use lead pursuit and 17-21 units AOA over the top. To reduce your
forward vector, maintain 14 units AOA in lag pursuit along the bottom of each loop (pulling wings
level into the vertical).
Radial g affects your picture of being offensive, neutral, or defensive at various points in the
maneuver. You will experience several optical illusions. At the top, your slower airspeed and radial
g give you a smaller turn radius, while your greater airspeed at the bottom causes a larger turn
radius. As a result, relative position of the aircraft alone does not determine actual advantage.