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Irtis

Keep energy (and exercises)?

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Hello pilots.

 

I don't really undertand how to keep energy during fight/turn/climb. Do you have any tips/exercises? Or some common mistake I have to know and avoid?

I fly on yak 1b and la5fn. :)

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Posted (edited)

I'm a trash pilot but the two biggest things that expend energy are:

 

1) Pulling back on the stick: Anytime you impose a G force on the airframe you are bleeding energy (some worse than others depending on the aerodynamics). The faster your plane is moving, the more G you will impose when you pull the stick a given amount, and the more energy you will bleed for a given amount of angular change.

 

2) Flying at low speed / high angle of attack: When you are in the slow flight regime/"back side of the power curve", the induced drag is enormous. It takes more and more energy to fly slower and slower.

 

Advice based on these things: 

 

1) Choose the times that you pull hard on the stick to achieve an angles advantage wisely. Understand that when you commit to a tight-turning "dogfight" your escape window may close...even if it doesn't you are easy meat for another guy joining the party with a lot of energy.

 

2) When engaging a target in the horizontal plane, avoid making a hard, flat turn. Instead make a more gentle high yo-yo to achieve the geometry that you need to take a shot, stay behind the bandit, and bank energy in the form of altitude. Or use a low yo-yo to get faster and closer. Either way, a hard flat turn just converts energy into angle so it is not usually a great idea. Google "pursuit curves"...learn when to use lag or lead pursuit to get what you want.

 

3) Along the lines of #2 above, if you must pull hard, do it at the top of a loop or oblique turn (use "God's G" to your advantage) and pull easy at the bottom where your speed will be higher.

 

4) Beware of getting very slow, particularly when climbing...you will burn a ton of energy just to stay in the air and be an easy target for enemies above you to pick off.

 

5) More important in planes like the 109, but make sure to use your rudder to keep the ball centered best you can. Flying in a slip or skid wastes energy.

 

6) Beware of accelerated stalls/spins...upon recovery you will usually be completely out of steam and will have to dive away to get your airspeed back up.

 

 

There are a lot of other considerations and strategies that better pilots can describe for you, but in terms of an energy fight, whatever you can do to make the other guy pull harder on the stick (i.e. he's at the bottom of a loop and pulling up against gravity while you are at the top and pulling down, or forcing him to try to turn hard at high speed to shoot you) is going to move the energy needle in your favor.

 

Edited by 19//Rekt
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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Irtis said:

Hello pilots.

 

I don't really undertand how to keep energy during fight/turn/climb. Do you have any tips/exercises? Or some common mistake I have to know and avoid?

I fly on yak 1b and la5fn. :)

 

The turn and bank indicator is your best friend - try to keep the ball in the middle as much as possible.

Differentiate between sustained turns and  instantaneous turns.

Try to move the fight to altitude where your engine perform better than the enemy's.

 

Avoid the energy trap - the situation where you are out of altitude, out of speed and you are continuously forced to evade thus not able to accelerate/climb. This can be mutual which still is bad.

Edited by Ehret
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Another thought that came to my mind: ANGLE OF CLIMB OR DIVE.

 

This issue actually comes up a lot (usually in the form of complaints about flight models LOL), but the moral of the story is beware of both vertical zoom climbs and steep dives. Here's why...

 

A vertical zoom does indeed convert airspeed to altitude immediately, and it has its uses...the danger is that no plane can outclimb a bullet, and bullets/cannon shells can ruin your day from 1km if the other guy gets lucky. So, doing a vertical zoom climb when there is any bad guy around you who has enough energy to lift his nose can leave you up on a silver platter to get picked off. Doesn't matter if he stalls and falls back to earth if he gets his shots off first. This is why you'll often see guys try a more gradual turning climb to lure enemies into a stall...just staying tantalizingly out of the gun engagement window the whole time. BF 109s are the kings of doing this...following them up into a spiral climb is a bad idea unless you really had a lot more energy to start with.

 

A vertical dive does turn altitude directly into airspeed, but unfortunately does not give much lateral separation, so the bad guy can just stay up in his perch and follow you. After you level off (and necessarily begin to slow down to your level max speed) he can then do a more shallow dive to pick up speed and catch you...the whole time his engine will be adding energy and his induced drag will be at absolute minimum. Result: bad guy in your mirror but now at a lower altitude. Instead, if you need to run away try a shallower dive angle, jinking to avoid gunfire, until you either pull away or can try to get the enemy to overshoot into a barrel roll / scissor fight. Knowing how your plane performs at higher speeds compared to the enemy is useful here...i.e. diving to get faster than 600km/hr with a 109 on your Soviet fighter's tail may provide a great opportunity to abuse his stiffening control surfaces for a reversal or escape.

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I'd like to add that do not limit yourself by distance. Fights do not have to be in cube 300x300 meters. You can utilize whole map for your energy fights, 20x20km, 30x30km. Whatever it takes to gain E advantage. From my experience, even though the learning curve is steep as hell, the best planes to learn how to E fight are 109 G2 and 109 G6. They stiffen up at high speeds so you have to plan your trajectory way ahead and they require you to eat discipline for breakfast, otherwise you will be toast.Once you learn 109s, you can go to 190 and improve your E management since that plane requires every bit of discipline you have to keep the speed up.

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