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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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On 6/18/2018 at 1:05 PM, CSAF-D3adCZE said:

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.

Not intending to derail, but I find it easier to manage my energy whilst still maintaining capacity to do high speed attacks in the 190 than in the 109, at least in my opinion the 109 has a very limited range of speeds where it can get enough rate of separation from a bandit if it fails an attack and still be controllable in the attack run ( I usually set the stab in-between 0-1 but damn you have the push that nose down)

 

On topic, as stated above being smooth on the sitck is a must, this is where everyone should start, practising turns loops etc whilst being as smooth as possible, then you go on to climbs, dives, flying coordinated at all times (although without rudder pedals this may be quite hard to do)

Also remember speed is life altitude is ensurance

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For me the biggest challenge in fighting energy is that I simply can't find the enemy; in horizontal you can more easily get him because by doing circles you can more or less figure out sooner than later where he is

in vertical; when I climb or dive, specially climb, by the time I found him, I have already lost any advantage

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As already said, in summary, drag is the energy killer. The SA is already very important. 

 

The main drag you have to deal with in dogfight is the drag due to a high angle of attack (pulling hard your stick). 

If your rads are fully open it also generates drag but mainly at high speed. 

 

But you also must keep a good SA if you want to avoid maneuvers that require high AoA (angle of attack), like tight turns to defend yourself against a boom&zoomer. Keep your SA up to always stay in an offensive position. If you loose your offensive position, run away. Some idiots will say you're a coward, but don't care about it :)

 

If you search on youtube and on the forum, you can find videos about energy fighting (but mainly with 109, as it's a very good climber), or just videos about Yak and La5.

 

 

 

 

 

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In the short time I've use the F4, I've come to realize this:   

 

Gaining the energy advantage requires flying gently to combat altitude (4-7k) BEFORE you are even near where the enemy is expected.  If you are flying solo, don't be afraid to use the back of the map to climb up.  Once you are up, if you continue to fly gently and be sure to look around, chances are good that you will find targets below you with less energy.  Pick the ones that preferably unaware of you, themselves climbing up from diving on something lower with their potential top altitude still lower than yours , and are easy to get in shallow dives.  If there are more than one, don't get greedy.  Pick the "tail end Charlie" of the group, blast him, then extend away from the others climbing as gently as you can.  Gain more experience in basic hit and run attacks like this before trying to set up on multiple enemies with more extreme maneuvers.    Trust me, especially with the F4, sticking to a pure boom 'n' zoom application, 1.1ata on the throttle should be more than enough to keep combat speed and escape any follow-on attackers.   This will keep engine temps lower.  Provided you haven't burnt your energy with drastic maneuvers, it will also leave you with a metric f=ck ton of extra horsepower you can call on if you do need to throttle up to get out of a sticky situation.     

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