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BASIC FIGHTER MANEUVERING (BFM) THEORY
CHAPTER NINE
During an engagement, the NFO proves invaluable in maintaining sight of both friendly and
adversarial aircraft, particularly in the multi-bogey arena, where the pilot may focus on
prosecuting one particular aircraft.
Experience
An experienced NFO can bring expertise gained from situations previously witnessed on other
flights. Such experience can make a large difference in the outcome of an engagement. Many
fights have been won that would otherwise have been lost without the presence of the NFO.
905. BASIC PRINCIPLES OF BFM
In the past 75 years, despite the radical improvement in fighter aircraft, the basics of air combat
have remained essentially the same. The fighter aircrew of today still strives to maneuver their
aircraft into a firing position on the bogey in order to achieve victory. As Baron Von Richthofen
said, "...anything else is rubbish."
Although fighter technology is constantly improving, there remain five general areas to consider
when contemplating BFM:
1.
Getting/keeping sight.
2.
Flying Qualities/Energy and Maneuvering characteristics.
3.
Powerplant.
4.
Airframe and wing characteristics.
5.
Weapon System.
906. GETTING/MAINTAINING SIGHT
Getting and keeping sight in a fight are paramount. Once you have sight, do not lose it, for "he
who loses sight loses the fight." You cannot fight what you cannot see. In fact, seeing and
shooting first without the enemy gaining sight accounted for over 85% of all kills in Southeast
Asia. Good body positioning is key in keeping sight. Temporary loss of sight is unavoidable.
However, the student will learn to project the flight path of the bogey. These skills will be
emphasized during the BFM lectures. Experience in projecting the bogey's flight path such that
they can be visually reacquired is essential.
Clearly communicating who is in sight and the status of the aircraft is essential for crew
coordination and overall tactical situational awareness (SA). For these reasons, fighter crews in
the air-to-air environment use specific terms. These terms will be introduced and defined later in
chapter 10.
9-3
BASIC FIGHTER MANEUVERING (BFM) THEORY


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