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CHAPTER TEN
BASIC FIGHTER MANEUVERS (BFM)
Game Plan 2: "280, Close Aboard, Slice"
If you approach the merge with an energy-management mind-set (i.e., two circle/rate fight), the
goal is to wrap up the bogey in a two-circle flow. As previously discussed in the "First Move
Options" section, our goal is to hit the merge at corner speed (280 KIAS) and influence flow by
initially turning across the bandit's tail. A nose-low attitude (slice) will be required to maintain
corner airspeed and g available. The goal in this fight is to fly the best sustained turn rate and
attempt to out-rate the bogey.
With similar aircraft, the fighter who makes the first error will typically be the loser. In two-
circle flow, you keep a higher airspeed and since the fights normally take longer to develop, they
tend to be more forgiving. However, energy management is key. If you arbitrarily give away
knots without gaining something in return (whether that be a shot, position advantage or
survival), you will probably find yourself defensive. One-circle flow is much less forgiving of
any mistakes. If you err in an aggressive position fight, you probably won't see a gradual
degradation of the fight. You will more likely go from a neutral or offensive position to a guns
defense within the blink of an eye.
Post Merge Maneuvering
The basic BFM principals are the same on each successive merge. The only difference is the
energy and positional advantage each aircraft brings into the merge. Unlike the initial neutral
merge, more variables exist in subsequent merges such as energy, angle, and altitude advantages.
In every case, the goals remain the same.
Once a positional advantage has been established we are said to be the offensively maneuvering
aircraft. Now the problem is to efficiently maneuver our aircraft to an effective firing solution in
the minimum amount of time.
We have defined this area as the control zone on the way to a guns envelope position. Offensive
maneuvering will be required to achieve this goal. The offensive aircraft will need to:
1.
Reduce the angle off the tail (AOT).
2.
Reduce/control the closure (Vc).
3.
Increase/control the nose-to-tail separation (range).
From our previous discussions, it is obvious that an offensive aircraft will achieve these goals by
using pursuit techniques and out-of-plane maneuvering such as yo yo's, displacement rolls, etc.
The defensive aircraft on the other hand wants the above positional advantages to be negated.
As the defensive aircraft, your ultimate goal is to create the greatest possible in-close flight path
overshoot. An 180o out pass (nose to nose) is the best possible result, because at that time the
two aircraft are neutral. You have increased your opponent's AOT to 180o.
10-52
BASIC FIGHTER MANEUVERS (BFM)


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