AIR FORCE T-38 TRACK INTERMEDIATES
The goal of Extended Trail is to teach the student three-dimensional maneuvering in relation to
another aircraft. Wing uses several "tools" to maintain the Cone during Extended Trail.
a. Aspect Angle and Angle-Off (See figures 6-2 and 6-3.)
Refer to the Turning Rejoin section about Aspect/Angle-Off definitions. Wing is
going to have to Aspect or "Picture" Manage relative to Lead. In other words, Wing
wants to continually work towards that 3-4 aspect; if you start seeing a 9 aspect or
greater off of Lead, then you are out of the cone.
b. Pursuit Curves
Specific pursuit curves (lead, lag, and pure) control Aspect Angle and Angle-Off.
Wing must select the proper pursuit curves during Extended Trail to maintain the
cone, i.e., increase/decrease Range, control Aspect. Generally, the rule of thumb is to
lag pursuit at the bottom of any over-the-top maneuvers (so Wing can accelerate to
over-the-top as well) and to pull lead pursuit at the top (while maintaining visual).
Wing uses G to max perform his aircraft to maintain position or proper energy level.
Use G to maneuver aircraft to lose energy, or to accelerate (positive or negative G).
d. Aircraft Performance
Use your knowledge of the T-34's performance to maintain the cone; in other words,
you know a T-34 needs about 190-200 knots to go over the top.
Extended Trail may not be accomplished below 5000 feet AGL. If either aircraft descends
below 5000 feet AGL, maneuvering will be "KNOCKED OFF."
Wing may use the entire 30 to 45-degree cone to maneuver. However, avoid Lead's six to help
him keep you in sight and to avoid Lead's prop wash. Use lead pursuit to develop closure. Use
lag as necessary to maneuver outside Lead's turn to maintain position. Limit your use of lag
pursuit to avoid excessive Angle-Off which may result in too much spacing. Lead/lag pursuit
can also occur in the vertical plane during maneuvers like a loop. As a rule of thumb, if you can
see the top of Lead's wing you are inside Lead's turn and have lead pursuit. If you see the
bottom of Lead's wing you are outside Lead's turn and have lag pursuit. Maneuver above or
below Lead's flight path when transiting the six to avoid Lead's prop wash and wake turbulence.
Pure pursuit will tend to draw the aircraft toward Lead's six and therefore should seldom be
Review section 514 for a more detailed discussion of these concepts.
6-12 T-38 FORMATION AREA WORK