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CHAPTER NINE
BASIC FIGHTER MANEUVERING (BFM) THEORY
Range - the linear distance from the gun to the target. A valid guns shot needs to be within the
guns envelope range.
Lead - the "pipper" (gun sight) must be ahead of the target to project the bullets ahead of the
target. Like a quarterback leading a receiver, a valid guns shot will require sufficient lead to
compensate for the forward velocity of the target and the bullets' time of flight.
1V1 BFM Concepts
With the basic theory of energy, maneuverability, and pursuit geometry covered, we will next
discuss the fundamental tactics and maneuvers of BFM. This section will introduce the classic
fighter versus fighter maneuvers and discuss their employment in both staged and dynamic
situations. The fundamentals presented in this section will be the basis of the fights you will be
directing during the 1V1 BFM engagements in the syllabus.
The Turn Circle And BFM
With the information already provided, we will discuss maneuvering in terms of the turn circle.
The turn circle is the basis of BFM, and a thorough understanding of the factors affecting key
turn circle parameters is required. In figure 9-15 below, the turn circle of an aircraft and the
corresponding radius is depicted. Any change in the radius will directly affect the size of the
turn circle and the location of the center point of the circle. If an aircraft is performing to its
maximum turn radius capability, or developing its minimum radius turn, it is unable to turn any
tighter. This seems obvious, but it illustrates an important point: An aircraft cannot turn inside
its own turn circle. This means that any aircraft inside the fighter's turn circle is, at least
momentarily, immune from attack from that aircraft. This is important to note both offensively
and defensively.
Figure 9-15 Turn Circle
If we put a point on the aircraft's turn circle and one turn radius behind it, we would be
capitalizing on the point we just made. If an aircraft is incapable of turning inside its own turn
circle, it is equally incapable of turning to engage an aircraft 1 turn radius behind it if that aircraft
is on his turn circle (Point A in figure 9-16).
9-20
BASIC FIGHTER MANEUVERING (BFM) THEORY


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