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Tactical flying is an exercise in energy management. As a quick review, total energy is the sum of kinetic energy, the energy a body has by virtue of it's speed (like a bullet), and potential energy, which is basically altitude. Potential energy can be traded for kinetic energy, and vice versa.

A friend of mine in the Air Force once walked into the bar after flying, grinning from ear to ear.

"Didn't you just fly a low-level?" someone asked.

He took the first gulp of his beer, winked, and said, "Yep...lot's o' kinetic, not much potential."
 

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Basically, in a nutshell, you want to keep as much speed and altitude as you can, make as few turns as possible while forcing the other guy to make as many as possible--just enough Delta-V to shake anything incoming.

The guy who codified this was a Col. Boyd--but good luck finding much from him, since he preferred lecture over writing IIRC--and the F-15 was the first fighter designed specifically around his theories.

Or another example going back to WWII: Axis fighters like the Bf109 and the A6M, along with most Brit birds, were optimized for turning fights, emphasizing maneuverability--American birds, however, were designed to play in the vertical, exploiting their superior power and weight to make slash-and-dash attacks from above, break away, climb back up and do it again.
 

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Or another example going back to WWII: Axis fighters like the Bf109 and the A6M, along with most Brit birds, were optimized for turning fights, emphasizing maneuverability--American birds, however, were designed to play in the vertical, exploiting their superior power and weight to make slash-and-dash attacks from above, break away, climb back up and do it again.
But was it intentional or accidental? Who notes the roll rate of the P-47 compensated for turn, in the hands of a good pilot.
Geoff
Who notes the Bf-109s could pull into a tight, climbing corkscrew turn and lose most Allied fighters.
 

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Found on another board and had to share:

A Pan Am 727 flight waiting for start clearance in Munich overheard the following:
Lufthansa (in German): "Ground, what is our start clearance time?"
Ground (in English): "If you want an answer you must speak in English.
Lufthansa (in English): "I am a German, flying a German airplane, in Germany. Why must I speak English?"
Unknown voice from another plane (in a beautiful British accent): "Because you lost the bloody war."
 

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Great video! Now, Swiss pilots in Mirage IIIS, yanking, banking and rolling in the Alps!
 

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The German air controllers at Frankfurt Airport are renowned as a short-tempered lot. They not only expect one to know one's gate parking location, but how to get there without any assistance from them. So it was with some amusement that we (a Pan Am 747) listened to the following exchange between Frankfurt ground control and a British Airways 747, call sign Speedbird 206.
Speedbird 206: " Frankfurt , Speedbird 206! clear of active runway."
Ground: "Speedbird 206. Taxi to gate Alpha One-Seven." The BA 747
pulled onto the main taxiway and slowed to a stop.
Ground: "Speedbird, do you not know where you are going?"
Speedbird 206: "Stand by, Ground, I'm looking up our gate location now."
Ground (with quite arrogant impatience): "Speedbird 206, have you not been to Frankfurt before?"
Speedbird 206 (coolly): "Yes, twice in 1944, but it was dark, -- And I didn't land."
 

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God, that video has some beautiful stuff Shep.

When I was an instructor in the Air Force, we used to train students from NATO countries. We once had a couple of guys from the Netherlands who were going home to fly the F-104. A bunch of us were at the bar with them one night, pounding beers and telling them how lucky they were.

Finally one of them, perhaps realizing for the first time that he wasn't going to have the vast expanse of West Texas as his aerial playground anymore, got kind of somber and said, "Ya...the Starfighter is fast...but I won't be able to do a 180 degree turn over my own country."
 

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Wow Starfighters... how many years does that go back?
 

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I always like the old F-104 Starfighter ... the "Missile with a man in it." Interestingly the earlier versions had a downward launching ejection seat. Made it sorta dicey if one had to eject on take-off or landing.:eek:mg:
 

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Hey, Gyro, would you be up for offering a Tac Air perspective on an argument a few buddies are having on another board? I shot you a PM, but the system doesn't seem to have any record of the message in my outbox, so I don't know if it got through.
 

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CaptGyro, that is not the video I wanted to post...there is an even better one where the plane seemed to climb the Matterhorn,as well as gunnery video of the jets dipping into and out of the range valley, shooting targets on a mountainside!!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Capt. Gyro I had a thought the other night, I know the WWII fighters had relief tubes in them. How does that work in jets and G suits and all of that? Do you just have to hold it?I'm not trying to be funny I'm really curious.
 

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I only flew the T-37, the A-37, and the T-38, and none had "relief". I'm not familiar with the facilities in modern fighters, but I suspect there would be a tube and bag (or bottle) arrangement for long overwater deployments with refueling. (We refueled in the A-37, but we still only flew for four or five hours, and I could usually last that long if I was smart beforehand).

The standard arrangement for us was to carry a plastic barf bag with a sealable twist-tie top, but you had to be hurting pretty bad to attempt it. You had to undo a variety of seat restraints and parachute harness straps, and be a little bit of a contortionist, but it could be done.

I only attempted it once. My buddy Sluggo and I were on a long cross-country, and I just couldn't stand it any longer, so I gave him the airplane and went through all the gyrations to get in position. Just as I was about to achieve blessed relief, Sluggo pushed the jet over into zero G. Of course I instantly locked up and couldn't go.

"Dammit, Sluggo, I'm dyin' here" I yelled as he laughed his ass off. When he finally promised not to do it again, I gave it another try, but, sure enough, another weightless pushover. He couldn't help himself.

When we got on the ground I think I hopped over the side before the engines were shut down and sprinted for the latrine. I can't remember how I got payback, but I'm sure I did. (Now that I think about it, HE might have been dishing out payback for something I did.) Anyway, to this day I'm very careful about how much liquid I consume before I start a flight.
 

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LOL, amigo, I probably woulda just hosed HIM down after that, not even bothered running...

I actually did have to puke on a guy once, but never anything Down There. (I have a strong seafood allergy, somebody didn't tell me there was fish in something at the potluck when I asked, this guy happened to be obstructing the path to the loo AND on top of that insisted on showing some photos of one of his favorite nausea-inducing subjects, so... by moving an "Action SOON" to an "IMMEDIATE Action" he pulled the trigger and Brought It On Himself, both literally and karmically. LOL)
 

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Diamondback: Sorry I didn't notice the PM until today; I've been incredibly busy at work. I probably wouldn't add much to the discussion, but I just sent you a PM with some real-life examples you can use.
 

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Thanks, compadre. Safe flying out there! :)
 
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