Air Combat Maneuvering
desired vertical attitude, 3) trading airspeed for altitude to reduce your forward vector, and 4) properly
controlling your AOA.
EFFECTS OF RADIAL G
1. Fighter defensive position
2. Fighter neutral position
3. Fighter offensive position
Figure 16: ROLLING SCISSORS POSITIONS
In all this, you are trying to stay behind the bogey. A key determinant in winning the roller is to strive to get
your nose up when you are at the bottom before the bogey 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 bogeys 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 bogey 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.
If you are neutral with respect to the bogey, at the bottom you are behind the bogey, while at the top you
are ahead of him. In Figure 16, compare the bottom aircraft with the top middle aircraft.
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 bogey may
decide to disengage. Should the bogey attempt to disengage from the top of the roller, roll off your vertical
T-45C Revision 1