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PatrickAWlson

How do you shoot down airplanes?

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Hoping people will share their strategies.  What points on a plane do you target?  Range before opening fire?

 

For myself I am a terrible shot so getting  close is really important.  Mapping one button to all guns and another to secondary is also really important for me.

 

So - where do you aim to bring down an IL2?  How about a PE2?  P39?  You get the idea.

 

Avoiding jams - very short bursts?  I am currently playing the Me110 and I am having a terrible time with cannon jams.  Interestingly I do not have the same issue with the FW190, which is odd given that wing mounted guns should be more prone to jams than nose mounted.

 

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Typically aiming for the engine is a pretty good idea. Against an Il-2 I find it often works to take it out from low with shots to the radiator box so as to avoid the rear gunner. For the Pe-2 and other twin engine aircraft fast, slashing attacks that minimise exposure to defensive armaments. Single engine fighters the wing roots seem to be a good bet if you have a nice, powerful cannon or try to hit the engine/cockpit with a deflection shot.

 

As for range, I typically have my convergence set to around 200m and fly in VR.

Edited by TP_Silk

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The most precise I can be is to aim for the engines of twin engine planes. Past that I really don't have the ability to target the engines of single engine fighters or the cockpit. But I think the cockpit is your quickest kill if you can hit it, particularly against bombers. 

 

Probably the one thing I've done to get the most kills in MP on single engine fighters is to become more comfortable with very short range deflection shots. The kind where you can't even see the enemy plane, but you know it's streaking underneath you and should pass through your gunsight. I've had success recognizing when this is happening and laying on the trigger so that the plane runs into my stream of bullets at close range. 

 

Like you, I always have all my guns mapped to one trigger. Then I have to fight the urge to use that trigger constantly, trying to save it for those high probability shots. :biggrin:

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I really only fly Russian, but I can give some idea.

 

1.In an I16 or the early planes you`re always chasing ao i tend to increase my gunnery range to 450.

 

2.If I still can`t catch up I will often have to `catch` a 109 chasing someone else or one that overshoots. Then I shoot as he passes or chase him and shoot quick before he extends.

 

3.If I do somehow catch him up, but he`s still that bit too far,  I`ll usually aim for the body and high, so the bullets drop down on him.

 

4.If I magically get real close (LA5) I`ll aim for the wing where it joins at the body, still aiming a little high.

 

5.In a turn fight (say I finally have an LA5)  I have to lead well ahead, when I think it`s enough I lead more. Sometimes I can`t even see the aircraft I hit.

 

6. If a bomber I go for fat engines- always.

Edited by seafireliv
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Against fighters I find it more than enough of a challenge to just hit the target at all. No need to worry about hitting specific parts of the aircraft - any hit is a good hit.

 

Against bombers it’s a little more complicated and it actually depends on what type of weapons my plane is carrying. If I am in a plane with fairly weak guns (LMGs and/or HMGs) or if I use an all-AP loadout, I tend to focus on engine nacelles and the cockpit - especially with AP ammo an instant pilot kill can save you a ton of ammo. With heavier armament and HE ammo the wings and tail section are good targets, since you have higher chance of causing structural damage or setting fuel tanks on fire. If I carry really heavy guns (37mm or the MK 108) I tend to use that gun on its own and fire only single shots, which I aim at wing assembly or fuselage. Still, most of my focus is always to just land shots on the target while attacking from angles where I’m relatively safe from gunners.

 

About your experience with the Bf 110: I’m pretty certain it isn’t gun jams you are experiencing, but simply the fact that the MG-FF cannon on the Bf 110E (not the G2) has to be reloaded manually for every 60 shots you fire (same button you’d use to reload in the gunner position)

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For me it depends on what I'm fighting, angle of approach, etc. My gunnery has never been stellar but its been improving, and I find Il-2 BoX the gunnery is easier for me than in old Il-2, probably because the 'feel' of flying and the better graphics, etc. gives my brain more info for estimating lead and angle.

For fighters, if its a deflection shot, I always aim for the tip of the nose. Obviously my gunnery isn't precise enough to hit that, but I find that if I pick a spot on the aircraft I'm much more likely to score hits. Aiming for the tip helps because my tendency is not to pull enough lead, so in this way my bullets will at least hit somewhere on the fuselage. And if I'm a little left or right I might hit the wing roots. Aiming for wings is low margin for me, because its a narrow band for your bullets to fly into. Better to aim for the engine and hit the tail than aim for the wing and miss everything, at least on a fighter. The same goes for stukas, though I approach those from low six, fire at longer range into the belly and engine, then roll and dive before I cross the gunner's FOV, if I don't they usually snipe my engine.

I've found that engine shots often set them smoking but all of my catastrophic, explosive kills so far have come from hitting the wing root with incendiary rounds and watching fuel tanks explode or wings shear off. YMMV.

For bombers, on a front on attack I'll aim for the cockpit. Head-ons aren't my forte but a burst into the cockpit kills a bomber quick. When I'm attacking bombers I try to do high slashing attacks from extreme angles, line up on an engine, and fire a long burst and let the bomber fly through. Then I'll fly past, dive a bit, then zoom up again, reposition, and attack the other engine. This is the opposite of my attacks on fighters, since I won't aim for their wings, and its not very ammo efficient since I start firing soon and stop firing only after the bomber passes, to there's wasted rounds. But at least I get some hits.

I find when aiming for the cockpit from above in a slashing attack, I rarely get pilot kills, and hits to the fuselage don't seem to do much other than punch some holes, so I aim for engines.

Tbh I'm not super convinced this is the best way to attack a bomber. Often I get both engines smoking and lots of fuel leaks, but the bomber keeps going for a while, either crash landing or even making it to an airfield. Usually they jettison their bombs if this happens though, so at least I've prevented their success. It may be better to focus on a single engine to try and destroy it completely or set it on fire.

If I get lazy and go for a dead six, or even a low angle six, the gunners get my engine every time, so I try to be patient and get a good position, If there's escorts I often won't even bother with bombers, as trying to get a position and keep escorts off my six means I'll probably either get shot down by the fighters or rush my approach to the bomber and get nailed by the gunner.

Bombers I engage at long range to avoid gunner fire (400 m plus) then disengage if I get good hits. Fighters I try not to open fire before 250 m (my convergence), though my range estimation isn't great as of yet.

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I tend to pull the trigger when the target pretty much fills the gun sight making it difficult to miss. Problem with this is on occasion you  will catch debris ensuring you have a bad day lol.

I saw a mosquito documentary the other day, and they were talking about it's six pounder that they used mainly for sub hunting. They said that they would fire usually from 1500 - 1100 yards, but no closer than 600 yards. Otherwise they would be in danger of catching debris from their own shells, which really surprised me. 600 yards most targets would still appear to be very small for these old eyes.

Edited by =FEW=Herne

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Lots of long, detailed replies in this thread... But perhaps that's part of the issue. Don't overthink it. Don't overthink it. Stop overthinking it. 

 

Learn to feel where your shots are going to go. Land shots on the target. Once you can direct your fire with some degree of confidence everything else is moot.

 

How long should you fire? How confident are you that your rounds are going to land on target? If you feel your shooting details like this are moot.

 

What range? How confident are you that your rounds are going to land on target? If you feel your shooting details like this are moot.

 

Where should I shoot XYZ plane? If you're confident your rounds are going to land on the target than it becomes moot. Just put your rounds on the target.

 

All of the scientific hyperbole is great but it really just muddies what is effectively a very simple concept - landing shots on the target puts the target down.

 

 

Edited by Space_Ghost
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Turn off your targeting computer. 

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1 hour ago, PatrickAWlson said:

Hoping people will share their strategies.  What points on a plane do you target?  Range before opening fire?

 

For myself I am a terrible shot so getting  close is really important.  Mapping one button to all guns and another to secondary is also really important for me.

 

So - where do you aim to bring down an IL2?  How about a PE2?  P39?  You get the idea.

 

Avoiding jams - very short bursts?  I am currently playing the Me110 and I am having a terrible time with cannon jams.  Interestingly I do not have the same issue with the FW190, which is odd given that wing mounted guns should be more prone to jams than nose mounted.

 

 

There are no jams in this game. You need to reload your 110 cannons with the Alt R keys. 

 

Red planes take a lot of damage, that's just the way it is. Just shoot them, and keep shooting them. Shooting at red airframes there are no entire tail sections coming off, quick pilot kills or 1 shot wing offs like with shooting at a 109.

 

If any tip could be given, it would have to be to play multiplayer. That's the only real way to improve skills, as bots don't help with anything past beginner shooting skills. They do the same thing every time and don't teach you to think about an engagement. 

Edited by Mcdaddy
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For me it´s also not an option to choose a specific part on a fighter sizes opponent.

Normally I close in on a target and try to stick to it. Getting as close as possible will make your shooting count more, but at close ramge the AI also tend to maneuvre more in order to defend itself.

 

Try getting inside 200-150 meters before shooting. Use short bursts from all cannons/guns. Shoot - adjust, shoot - adjust.

 

On bombers, try to aim at the engines.

 

A lucky shot at the wingroot, might clip the entire wing off. Otherwise hitting the engine and set it on fire, mostly means an instant kill.

 

Before even getting good at hitting, it´s important to learn how to follow an opponent through his maneuvres.

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“Up there the world is divided into bastards and suckers. Make your choice.”

 

And

 

'Get this close. Then blow the bastards head off before he knows you're there'

 

Follow these two pieces of advice, and you'll find it's a Piece of Cake.

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13 minutes ago, Mcdaddy said:

-snip-

 

Shooting at red airframes there are no entire tail sections coming off, quick pilot kills or 1 shot wing offs like with shooting at a 109.

 

-snip-

 

Oh please... Knock it off with the agenda'd posts like this.

 

Many, many, many, many, many times have I shot off tail sections, PK'd pilots and sawed off wings on Yak's, LaGG's, MiG's and everything else.

 

It's astounding that so many of you don't realize that the PEBKAC.

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1 hour ago, Space_Ghost said:

Lots of long, detailed replies in this thread... But perhaps that's part of the issue. Don't overthink it. Don't overthink it. Stop overthinking it. 

 

 

 

1 hour ago, Diggun said:

“Up there the world is divided into bastards and suckers. Make your choice.”

 

And

 

'Get this close. Then blow the bastards head off before he knows you're there'

 

Follow these two pieces of advice, and you'll find it's a Piece of Cake.

 All of this (fighters at least) and putting yourself in the place of the real pilot who would not have been too concerned with reserving ammo for the next 5 kills and stat points in the mission. Be confident in your awareness of shot fall and drill 'em hard. 

 

My dad only told me two things about fighting - avoid it if you can but if you cant don't hold back. 

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2 hours ago, Space_Ghost said:

Lots of long, detailed replies in this thread... But perhaps that's part of the issue. Don't overthink it. Don't overthink it. Stop overthinking it. 

 

Learn to feel where your shots are going to go. Land shots on the target. Once you can direct your fire with some degree of confidence everything else is moot.

 

How long should you fire? How confident are you that your rounds are going to land on target? If you feel your shooting details like this are moot.

 

What range? How confident are you that your rounds are going to land on target? If you feel your shooting details like this are moot.

 

Where should I shoot XYZ plane? If you're confident your rounds are going to land on the target than it becomes moot. Just put your rounds on the target.

 

All of the scientific hyperbole is great but it really just muddies what is effectively a very simple concept - landing shots on the target puts the target down.

 

 

Yeah, I do have a tendency to overthink things. Maybe I should just say: pick a spot, aim for that spot, and shoot. I find focusing on a small part of a target helps me hit things - both IRL in archery and with firearms, and in-game.

 

1 hour ago, Space_Ghost said:

 

Oh please... Knock it off with the agenda'd posts like this.

 

Many, many, many, many, many times have I shot off tail sections, PK'd pilots and sawed off wings on Yak's, LaGG's, MiG's and everything else.

 

It's astounding that so many of you don't realize that the PEBKAC.


Yeah,  all you have to do is fire up youtube and you can find hundreds of videos of guys in 109s obliterating soviet fighters with a 1 second burst, sometimes only with 1 or 2 hits. Maybe 109s are a bit more fragile than Yaks or LaGGs but its not an order of magnitude. I've only been playing a couple weeks and I've gotten my wing sheared off like 6 times just playing in the MiG and I-16. 

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Most effective way to shoot down an aircraft is to shoot it in the wing, rather then hitting the fuselage.

There are no gun jams ingame, Bf-110E's 20mm use 60 round magazines that are reloaded by the gunner

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Yeah, like RoflSeal said, aim about a third of the way out from the fuselage on the wing and snap,  down they go.  With twins, just near the engine on the wing.  Il2 and other VVS craft also can be downed by using your 20mm on their tail.  Get in and be accurate with a short burst of 20mm German cannon.

 

Fighters also their engines once black smoking I usually leave them to it, offline and online.  Trying hard not to spend much time fixated on one target be it offline in campaign or online.  Nothing like flying you 109G4 in Kuban, using combat power to keep up with your flight to action point and then getting bounced by 2 or more flights of Yaks.  It's quite mental. :biggrin:

 

(Disclaimer: Flown on Full Real with med sized screen making for spotting and Id' ing much fun.) 

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It takes practice. Come to Multiplayer, join Berloga and see if you can get anyone to do a 1v1 duel with you. Or grab a buddy. This is the only way to learn how to do deflection shots, head on shots with avoidance, split second shots when the plane can come from any angle, plus all of the aerobatics crap with flaps/stabs to stay ahead of the opponent. That's for fighters.

 

for bombers - I guess you can just fire up an SP quick mission and go to town on Pe2 and try to survive. :)

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I'm a horrible shot as well. What works best for me is to focus 100% on the target, and ignore the crosshairs completely. I just try to get behind the target at the angle that feels right, and wait for the crosshair to come to the right spot in my peripheral. If I focus on lining up the sites, then I tend to overreact.

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3 hours ago, Space_Ghost said:

PEBKAC.

 

Not gonna lie, I was a little nervous typing that into google search.

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7 minutes ago, baylor703 said:

I'm a horrible shot as well. What works best for me is to focus 100% on the target, and ignore the crosshairs completely. I just try to get behind the target at the angle that feels right, and wait for the crosshair to come to the right spot in my peripheral. If I focus on lining up the sites, then I tend to overreact.

 

Find, get the plane to at least half fill the sight or more and moving across the sight an timing your squirt.  Yeah, trying to line the plane up in the sight seems the least effective way for me.  Seeing as most of the time you are in some sort of maneuver, timing the target as it crosses the sigh is easiest and more likely to get a good hit area.  Only the Il2 with 23's does straight 6 shooting do anything ))

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I'll tell you how I shoot down aircraft Patrick...badly!

My gunnery has gone to hell for lack of practice in recent years.

 

I need to get back in shape before PTO.

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Do like all aces of the war: shoot only when your target is so close that you can't see anything but it.

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Just now, Eicio said:

Do like all aces of the war: shoot only when your target is so close that you can't see anything but it.

 

And watch out for flying debris lol.

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Wow ... I did not know that I had to reload my forward firing 20mm guns on the 110.  Thanks for that.

 

I would like to know more about real life weak points for various planes.  The tail of the 109, oil cooler on the IL2, etc.  I suppose I could do the WWI thing - front of the plane - meat or metal.  And absolutely NO complaints about relative DM please.  Just best ideas as to what to aim for.

 

 

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For killing PE 2's the best place to aim for is the engines. They are relatively weak and basically unarmored, when compared to the frame, you can cut the wing off but it is damn hard. If you hit the engine you will do one of two things: kill the engine, immediately or after some time, or set the plane on fire. The former is more likely than the latter but if you do set a fire in the fuel tanks that are close to the engines you have effectively killed the plane. If you take the engine down the plane's flight characteristics will be badly compromised, it will still fly but it will be a much easier target. Hitting the pilot can be effective but it is much easier to hit the engines they are larger after all. This seems to be the best practice for all the large bombers

 

Soviet fighters aren't the unstoppable killing machines they are made out to be either. You can take the whole wing off a Yak, sure, but you can clip the tip off with less ammo, 1 or 2 cannon rounds can do the job, and still kill the plane. As has been mentioned it is difficult to strip all the tail control surfaces on a Yak, LaGG or even the venerable IL2, but the vertical stabilizer of all these planes comes off fairly easy and that will kill them just as dead.  The engines aren't quite as fragile as the German inline engines but they can be killed, not many machines can take a bullet or cannon shell and keep working as intended. Worst case scenario with hitting an engine is you will lower the effective horsepower and make securing the kill that much easier. The radial engines are robust on both sides though so aiming for them might not be the best, though you can get lucky and kill the LA5's engine dead with a hit or two.

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9 hours ago, Mcdaddy said:

Red planes take a lot of damage, that's just the way it is. Just shoot them, and keep shooting them. Shooting at red airframes there are no entire tail sections coming off, quick pilot kills or 1 shot wing offs like with shooting at a 109.

 

Really? Dammit. I guess I imagined 95% of my victories :(

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For me, the trick is to get very close. As close to point blank as possible. This puts less of an emphasis on practicing your aim and more of an emphasis on your reflexes. It works better in RoF than in BoX, though. In BoX you need to get the hang of deflection shooting to have any hope at all whether you get close or not, unless you're coming in straight and level from behind.

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Gunnery in RoF was much more difficult for me...the aircraft are so much more twitchy.

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4 hours ago, PatrickAWlson said:

Wow ... I did not know that I had to reload my forward firing 20mm guns on the 110.  Thanks for that.

 

I would like to know more about real life weak points for various planes.  The tail of the 109, oil cooler on the IL2, etc.  I suppose I could do the WWI thing - front of the plane - meat or metal.  And absolutely NO complaints about relative DM please.  Just best ideas as to what to aim for.

 

 

I had always heard the wing roots was a good place to aim, for structural weakness. Tail section of the La-5 I think was considered a weak spot.

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My goal has been for sometime now to be able to shoot down any aircraft with the first burst. That's the goal. I don't always achieve that but with practice and some time behind whatever aircraft I'm flying, that's generally what I can do. The first time the enemy should know that I'm shooting is when they actually get hit. I don't do ranging fire and I only infrequently shoot to try and distract them... Although I have done that in rare circumstances to try and force them to disengage with an enemy.

 

Short bursts, highly aimed, usually at the wing roots is my methodology. If you were to draw a line between the engine and the wing root, that's where I aim every time. It's usually the place where you can do the most damage either to a main spar, an oil or fuel tank, or the engine itself. I almost never aim for the pilot although that's an inevitable consequence.

 

I know some people just shoot at the aircraft itself but I tend to focus on the details.

 

With some types like IL-2 which are harder to bring down, I'll aim a bit further out on the wing so as to try and get an ammunition detonation.

 

I've never had a gun jam and I've only see the overheat warning icon come up a single time. Short bursts is the way to go.

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Get used to the plane(s) and gun(s) you'll find your favorite style and tactics.

At first the best is to try and get unoticed on the enemy low six and shoot at close range when the enemy is filling your sights.

I personally do a lot of deflection shooting or snap shooting at close and medium range which is not usually recommended, I set my convergence based on how the guns are placed in the plane and my typical range of engagement.

My typical convergence is 150 to 250-300 (depending on the plane), I find 150 great to hit the engine when youre right behind your target to strike the engine from the sides I found that it works real well with wing mounted guns.

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Do not NEVER EVER shoot on russian planes... OMG! Can you understand? 

Or I will fly there and revenge them. So be nice and dont shoot on ours.

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55 minutes ago, 3.IAP_Vasilij said:

Do not NEVER EVER shoot on russian planes... OMG! Can you understand? 

Or I will fly there and revenge them. So be nice and dont shoot on ours.

Hmmmm.......... wait a minute,...... weren't they constructed as flying targets?:P

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I'm sure that all reading this thread are fully aware, but just as a video example of what it looks like when all aspects come together perfectly, you can't get much better than one of Sheriff's guncam videos:

 

 

Almost always @ very close range (200m or less), judging deflection beautifully from all angles of approach, maintaining situational awareness & avoiding target fixation (mostly). Dude is a bona fide Experten.

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Something I discovered that may help you is to take your time when possible and not keep trying for a lucky snapshot.    I was doing some offline testing trying to get some screenshots at exactly convergence distance (yes it rarely matters in most aircraft but I was in a spitfire where convergence is important)   To do this I was forced to stop all deflection shooting and long range  shots and instead maneuver until I was exactly at convergence on their dead six.  I was surprised to find that I was getting more kills with my limited ammo but also getting those kills *quicker*!   

Simply put (and timings just for example)  I was finding that it would take me 30 seconds of looking for deflection angles and firing a burst whenever it looked like I might get a hit before I did enough damage for a kill (barring lucky shots) but it only took 20 seconds of holding fire. ignoring the chances to try a deflection and instead maneuvering to get into lag pursuit at the correct range and get a guaranteed kill with a single short burst.

 

Now I admit that sometimes circumstances, eg an aggressive enemy wingman (or a friendly one if you are into stats & desperate to beat him to the kill ;)) , dictate that you don't have time to set up for a perfect shot but try it yourself offline as an exercise.  Sometimes it is better even when you *are* worried about his wingman because you can often get the kill before the wingman gets involved where otherwise you would have still been taking snapshots when the wingman arrived.

Edited by 56RAF_Roblex

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