Air Combat Maneuvering
From the defensive perspective, the horizontal scissors, Figure 21, exploits an in-close horizontal
overshoot. The bogey will begin the attack from a normal, low-angle perch. Force the bogey into a
horizontal overshoot by making a hard or break turn into him. Remember, deciding to use a break turn
greatly reduces your energy package leaving you with little left to do anything else. As the bogey crosses
your six, pull up into the vertical while reversing to maximize the overshoot (nose-high reversal).
How much nose-high attitude you attain depends on your initial energy package, but it should be roughly
60 to 70 degrees nose-high. After spotting the bogey at about the 4 or 8 position, pull toward the bogeys
six by placing your lift vector aft of the bogeys aircraft, thus reducing your forward vector. While rapidly
decelerating through 200 knots, continue the roll to about 120 degrees AOB, which will help lower your
nose to prevent excessive loss of airspeed (less than 100 KIAS). A little bottom rudder will help start the
nose down. Allow your nose to fall toward the horizon without letting it fall on or below the horizon.
Reduce your AOB to 45 degrees and establish 140-150 knots and 20 units AOA, i.e., maximum AOA
without accelerated stall.
Figure 21: HORIZONTAL SCISSORS (DEFENSIVE)
Attempt to fly behind the bogey and establish your minimum airspeed by rolling back into the bogey with
your lift vector slightly aft. The fact that you are at 140-150 KIAS and 20 units AOA will determine nose
attitude but always continue your pull into the bogey to force an overshoot. If the bogey overshoots (a
situation where he crosses your tail) rapidly and close-aboard, he has made a mistake that you can exploit
by reversing early with a faster rate of roll. It should be obvious that the bogey has failed to generate
proper nose-to-tail and may even be flying at an airspeed higher than optimum for the scissors.
Remember, if the bogey has achieved some nose-to-tail, do not reverse until the bogey overshoots. A
T-45C Revision 1