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Energy vs Angles Fighter // BFM vs ACM

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Please respond with where you first heard the terms “angles fighter” and/or “energy fighter.” I’m curious to know because I’m considering writing some posts on BFM and this is one of the things I’m most curious about. 
 

Shaw’s book? This forum? YouTube? 
 

I would have made a poll, but there are a lot of places this could have been picked up and I can’t list them all. I’d also like to keep this general discussion so it isn’t lost in another sub forum. 
 

Also, please respond with what you consider to be 1 v 1 maneuvering (“dogfighting”): BFM or ACM. 

 

Thanks. 
 

PS: I’ll take limited responses to mean limited interest. Not a threat, just trying to decide if it’s worth the time. 

Edited by Go_Pre
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Some german ace said, possible Hartman, you never wish for a dogfight. 

Never plan for it. If you find yourself in a dogfight things has not gone like you planned. 

So if you want definition of dogfight this ace defined it as a turnfight 

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“angles fighter”  never heard of it

 

“energy fighter.” on some ts3 probably when someone talked about 190s back in il2 1946 days but as yak player i payed no atention to that fancy stuff 

 

1 v1 dogfight, no way,  its 2 vs 1 for me or run if its only 1 v 1 or 2 v 2 and enemy is not 2km lover and dont know about my flight, come back later and fined someone els is better option then 1 v 1 or 2 v 2 without big advantages 

 

also important is good gun that kill enemy in one pass, and tuf airplane that eats bullets so enemy cant kill you in 1-5 passes

Edited by 77.CountZero

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2 hours ago, Go_Pre said:

Please respond with where you first heard the terms “angles fighter” and/or “energy fighter.” I’m curious to know because I’m considering writing some posts on BFM and this is one of the things I’m most curious about. 
 

Shaw’s book? This forum? YouTube?

 

In Shaw's book you can find both terms: the "angles fighter" and the "energy fighter".

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Shaw’s book.

 

1v1 can be either BFM, or ACM,  with ACM having a few more bells and whistles.

 

Conky

Edited by =CFC=Conky

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Energy v Angles - Shaw

 

BFM v ACM. From my simplistic 1GCCFP viewpoint I look at BFM being 1 v 1 fundamentals for the most part with ACM being more advanced 1 v 2, 2 v 2, etc stuff. Kind of like the next level thinking and how to work overall as an element/flight applying BFM and tactics together.

 

I sincerely hope you choose to write something as it would be a great service to the community and I would love to learn from it mate! I can't emphasize that enough! 😁

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I would also like you to write on this. Angles..energy ...In Pursuit..Shaw...many others simhq..youtube etc. I have quite a collection. Acm vs bfm...never quite understood difference. I remember a few years ago you did some stuff also it was very good to read.

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No matter which fighter you're flying you will either focus on angle or on energy depending on what plane(s) you're fighting against, in fact. That will principally depend of speed.

 

No fighter is locked on one fonction or type of fighting style, none. That's an idea propagated by lazybones who do not want to learn how to fight. Btw I'm not talking about you Go_Pre, just in case...

 

Imo BFM will be mostly used in group fights, while ACM will be shown during singular fights.

Edited by Dr_Molem

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10 hours ago, Dr_Molem said:

No matter which fighter you're flying you will either focus on angle or on energy depending on what plane(s) you're fighting against, in fact. That will principally depend of speed.

 

No fighter is locked on one fonction or type of fighting style, none. That's an idea propagated by lazybones who do not want to learn how to fight. Btw I'm not talking about you Go_Pre, just in case...

 

Imo BFM will be mostly used in group fights, while ACM will be shown during singular fights.


Regarding energy vs angles, this is very close to the argument I plan on making. Gold star for you.  

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BFM (Basic Fighter Manuevers) are the individual maneuvers performed with reference to a target aircraft.

 

ACM (Air Combat Manuevers) are coordinated maneuvers between 2 fighters employing BFM with reference to target aircraft.

ACM snip.JPG

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It is simpler than that. BFM is a USAF term, and ACM is a US Navy term.

 

Energy vs angles fighter is an attempt to make something that is difficult to define and transitory into something granular and understandable. That all changes with altitude, stores loads and most importantly, is meaningless until the combatants are defined.

 

"Fighter jet" by the way, like "Tarmac", are a media terms that have become more widely adopted with time. No one used Fighter Jet, which is redundant and a bit dorky in the real world.  

 

The sim community has a plethora of terms and concepts that weren't and still aren't used by current practitioners. DCS is far worse than the ILC community, and some of the folks who are famous for their videos have no idea as to what they are doing. Requiem is an impressive exception, his work is very solid and worthwhile.

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BFM is a sortie type that gets logged on official debrief, along with AHM (advanced handling and maneuvering), and INT (intercept), and aerial refueling, and a couple others.  Don't ever remember debriefing for an ACM , closest was for dissimilar which was DACT or ACT, air combat training.   BFM can be as simple as practicing formation flying, don't necessarily mean mock combat.

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On 7/20/2019 at 6:22 AM, Dr_Molem said:

No matter which fighter you're flying you will either focus on angle or on energy depending on what plane(s) you're fighting against, in fact. That will principally depend of speed.

 

No fighter is locked on one fonction or type of fighting style, none. That's an idea propagated by lazybones who do not want to learn how to fight. Btw I'm not talking about you Go_Pre, just in case...

 

 

Well my first exposure to the terms was when I bought my first edition of Shaw's book in 1986. There was nothing about angles/energy in Phantom air-to-air texts, except "don't get slow...stay fast...use the vertical...(and something F-5 guys loved to exploit, the notion of) using the lag corner." I showed Shaw's book to a couple of "target arm" IPs when I arrived at MacDill for F-16 RTU, which at the time had a simple philosophy. Get to the merge and kill the bandit.

 

Once at the merge you asked one simple question. Are you inside the bandit's turn circle?

If Yes...go kill the bandit

If No...drive to the bandit's turn circle, then kill him.

 

On 7/20/2019 at 6:22 AM, Dr_Molem said:

Imo BFM will be mostly used in group fights, while ACM will be shown during singular fights.

 

Not correct, as pointed out by @=475FG=DAWGER, BFM is your 1-v-1 maneuvering whilst ACM is essentially non-existent on the MP servers. What passes for ACM is usually an ugly example of 4 or 5 guys in a tail chase with 3 guys shooting at the lone bandit out front. HUD BFM at its finest.

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It think the first angle fighter was mentioned in the bible, the Arch-angle Michael.  And Arch is close related to turn. 😁

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20 hours ago, Victory205 said:

It is simpler than that. BFM is a USAF term, and ACM is a US Navy term.

 

USAF guys used the term ACM, it was the next syllabus block of air-to-air after BFM. For us Jurassic era guys, BFM was always 1-v-1.  ACM was 2-v-X canned setups with a fairly early "terminate" call after the initial move (maybe 180 degrees of turn, not unlike LOWAT). ACT came next, 2-v-X longer setups, and groveling to achieve a kill (or stay alive) against the same type of airplane. DACT was the last phase of air-to-air training.

 

s/ squadron training officer;)

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1 hour ago, busdriver said:

 

l...(and something F-5 guys loved to exploit, the notion of) using the lag corner." I showed Shaw's book to a couple of "target arm" IPs when I arrived at

 

What does the "lag corner" refer to?

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15 minutes ago, SeaSerpent said:

 

What does the "lag corner" refer to?

Most likely they mean "fly to the elbow" against a zooming bandit. Fly lag pursuit to where the bandit started his zoom, then zoom and kill him at the top of his zoom. 

 

Think of a bandit zooming with you following as a right triangle. The bandit going vertical is flying the long side. If you fly pure or lead pursuit, you will fly the hypotenuse. Your energy state will bleed while the bandit energy state is also bleeding. The bandit is depending on this and is planning to kill you as you run out of energy.

 

If you fly the short side to the corner or right angle in the triangle, the bandit is bleeding energy while you are conserving or building energy. When you start your zoom, there will be a significant energy differential, allowing you to close the range. Once you are on the bandit turn circle, you will control the fight because the bandit has given you his six by zooming. If he doesn't recognize this very early, he will not break until you are in the saddle or he will believe all the "energy" fighter BS that gets spewed online and keep zooming, allowing you an easy kill shot as he leafs at the top.

 

I have never heard of the term "lag corner" so who knows.

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16 minutes ago, =475FG=DAWGER said:

. Your energy state will bleed while the bandit energy state is also bleeding.

[...] 

Quote

When you start your zoom, there will be a significant energy differential

 

Everything you are saying is correct, but you are using 'energy' when you should be saying 'speed' sometimes. 

Energy is speed and altitude combined, so if two planes are flying at the same speed and one one then starts a zoom climb until he stalls, they will both be at almost the same energy state as he stalls. The zooming plane lost all of the speed component of his energy, but he traded it all for an addition to the altitude component of his energy state. 

If he traded the altitude back for speed with a dive, he would likely have almost as much speed when he reached the altitude he started the zoom climb at. 

At the top of his zoom climb his speed was low, but he had not lost much energy. 

Edited by [DBS]Browning

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"Also, please respond with what you consider to be 1 v 1 maneuvering (“dogfighting”): BFM or ACM. "

 

I consider this to be: oh man i am bored better log in some server and fly over enemy territory in my superior 109 to see if i can catch some equally bored loners flying in inferior allies gear. 

 

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On 7/20/2019 at 1:07 AM, Go_Pre said:

Shaw’s book? This forum? YouTube? 

Shaw.

 

As for combat flight sims, I got online with RoF. For the old IL-2 I didn‘t bother. I was too much used to offline flying and I had more interest in mission creating. Only once I got online, I came across Shaws book.

 

All real life Air Force pilots I know (and knew), mostly the dinosaur generation, cared much more about the aircraft and the goofy stuff they did with it than a scientific approach to what they could do with them. Both (German) F-105 pilots or (Swiss) Mirage pilots I knew would hardly elaborate more than „go in fast, shoot, leave“ about the nature of their business when asked. The AIM-26 was more regarded as dead weight and they were happy burning gas flying a clean aircraft, occasionally breaking some. Add in different forms of ground control.

Other than that, it really came across as expensive flying clubs featuring aircraft they immediately loved (Mustang, Mirage III), others that they really, really liked (Hawk, Hunter, F-5E). From the flyboys today, you don’t hear much as they are under extremely tight control. In the SAF today, just rolling your F-18 once without explicit orders on the way to your waypoint can get you grounded, ending your jet career. 

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So many different meanings. For me, during ACM, you perform BFMs. ACM is a dance and BFMs are the steps you make in that dance. I began to read Shaw's book but it is kind of a dry read, looks more like the kind of book that a teacher will use in a class room as aid to his course. 

 

To me, there is not such thing as an energy or angle fighter (never heard the term angle fighter before this thread, btw). Every fighter has energy and they have to manage it. Some loose and gain it quicker than others but you always have to be aware of the opponent's as well as your energy state. From what I take from this thread, angle would be zoom and boom? If you focus on the fact that you have a 'turning' fighter (energy) or a 'zoom and boom' (angle) you push yourself into a corner. 

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8 minutes ago, Rekt said:

An "energy fighter" as used online, as I understand it, is something like the BF 109 which could be expected to counter superior horizontal maneuverability by going vertical, spiral climbing etc. Or something like a FW 190, P-47 etc. that can use speed and high-speed maneuverability to hit hard and then zoom or run.

 

Ahaha, maybe so! Like I said, I never head the term angle before this thread. I guess this is why I'd be highly interested if someone took the time to write an updated paper on BFM, ACM and cie regarding online sims to clarify it all and give a new perspective on the subject. 

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8 hours ago, SeaSerpent said:

 

What does the "lag corner" refer to?

 

Lag corner was this notion that since the F-4 couldn't out turn the MiG-21, a Phantom driver could theoretically fly on the outside of the MiG's turn circle (a larger diameter circle in lag) and theoretically achieve a valid AIM-9 Papa shot (rear aspect missile). The performance numbers and actual flying against "aware" MiG-21s or F-5s were not very good. Against unaware guys in a bogey gathering turn...not terrible. A squadron mate got an unobserved Papa "kill" on Red Air USN Hornet during Red Flag. 

 

4 hours ago, Luriael said:

If you focus on the fact that you have a 'turning' fighter (energy) or a 'zoom and boom' (angle) you push yourself into a corner. 

 

You got those reversed, turning fight is an angles fight, the vertical fight is the energy fight. 

Edited by busdriver
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I'd like to sit over a beer and listen to busdriver tell stories.

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9 hours ago, [DBS]Browning said:

[...] 

 

Everything you are saying is correct, but you are using 'energy' when you should be saying 'speed' sometimes. 

Energy is speed and altitude combined, so if two planes are flying at the same speed and one one then starts a zoom climb until he stalls, they will both be at almost the same energy state as he stalls. The zooming plane lost all of the speed component of his energy, but he traded it all for an addition to the altitude component of his energy state. 

If he traded the altitude back for speed with a dive, he would likely have almost as much speed when he reached the altitude he started the zoom climb at. 

At the top of his zoom climb his speed was low, but he had not lost much energy. 

You are referring to potential energy when adding the altitude component. Potential energy is meaningless if you can't use it. At any given instant in a fight the kinetic energy state is of prime importance. Pissing away your kinetic energy and storing in a battery by zooming until you are a leaf with a bandit able to zoom to within weapons employment parameters is a prime example of the silly "energy" tactics we see discussed online. When you explode at the top of your zoom, all that "potential" energy burns up in the fiery wreckage.

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3 hours ago, =475FG=DAWGER said:

You are referring to potential energy when adding the altitude component. 

  

Yep 

The altitude bank is an account that you have to manage. Use it when you have to, add to it when you can...spend wisely. 

 

Speed is energy - ask any bullet.

 

Edited by Gambit21

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2 hours ago, Gambit21 said:

Speed is energy - ask any bullet.

But too much of that is also not spending wisely.

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That’s partially what I meant, however 

depends on circumstances and your SA.

 

I’m higher than everyone else - if I spend it all I’m faster than everybody else!

 

Calculated risk but I got a lot of kills that way back in the day in the Dora and Corsair.

I zoomed through a lot of fur balls like a bullet, 500kph faster than everyone else, getting a snapshot kill and then gone.

 

Problem is that when you zoom back out you’re never as high as when you started.

So you’re hoping that there wasn’t another guy like you watching and waiting.

 

Clouds are useful in this situation - again SA. ;)

 

 

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Kinetic energy i

5 hours ago, =475FG=DAWGER said:

You are referring to potential energy when adding the altitude component. Potential energy is meaningless if you can't use it. At any given instant in a fight the kinetic energy state is of prime importance. Pissing away your kinetic energy and storing in a battery by zooming until you are a leaf with a bandit able to zoom to within weapons employment parameters is a prime example of the silly "energy" tactics we see discussed online. When you explode at the top of your zoom, all that "potential" energy burns up in the fiery wreckage.

 

Kinetic energy and potential energy are not a useful terms for a dogfight. I am certainly not referring to them. 

For example, a B-17 has much greater kinetic energy flying at 150mph at 500ft than a spitfire flying at 400mph at 500ft. This is because kinetic energy is a function of speed and mass whilst potential energy is a function of altitude and mass. Such terms have no use for us. 

Instead it is enough to use the terms "speed" and "altitude". If you want to talk about the combination of both speed and altitude, you can use the term "energy". 

 

Edited by [DBS]Browning

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28 minutes ago, [DBS]Browning said:

Kinetic energy i

 

Kinetic energy and potential energy are not a useful terms for a dogfight. I am certainly not referring to them. 

For example, a B-17 has much greater kinetic energy flying at 150mph at 500ft than a spitfire flying at 400mph at 500ft. This is because kinetic energy is a function of speed and mass whilst potential energy is a function of altitude and mass. Such terms have no use for us. 

Instead it is enough to use the terms "speed" and "altitude". If you want to talk about the combination of both speed and altitude, you can use the term "energy". 

 

 

It's the other way around a spitfire flying at 400mph has greater kinetic energy than a b17 flying at 150mph . It's m * (V square) /2 .

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That's correct. My point still stands however. It is possible for a heavier aircraft to have less speed, but more kinetic energy than a lighter aircraft and it is possible for a light aircraft to have more altitude than a heavy aircraft, but less potential energy. 

Useful terms for physics, not useful to think about in dogfights.

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One thing to note, as well, is how you spend that energy. I'll confess that one thing I used to do in the beginning, was to focus on my target and zoom down... just to loose a wing in my Yak because I over sped the airframe! Again, SA is an important factor in all this. 

 

Like cooking, you have this big recipe where altitude, speed and Situation Awareness are big ingredients of it.  

10 hours ago, JG13_opcode said:

Very interested.  I suck at dogfighting and want to improve.

Theory is very good and obviously we can learn from other pilots, which is why I love the new portion of The Air Combat Tutorial Library where Requiem debrief his engagements. But you have to apply and practice what you have learn, there is such a thing as reading too much! Going up in the air with a wing is a very good thing as well, one thing I wish I could do! Nothing infuriates me more than watching three fighters chasing the tail of a bandit...

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I have read a ton of books and articles about BFM, ACM and Fighter tactics, but still far from regard myself as an virtual Ace.

It´s all about knowing You own abilities with the aircraft You fly versus the enemy You are engaged with.

BFM is mostly about converting one kind of energy into another: Speed to Altitude and vice versa.

 

A energy fighter is more offensive in nature than a turn (angle) fighter, but also needs more disciplin form the fighter pilot to conduct (thats where I sucks the most).

Go in fast from a higher altitude - zoom down on Your opponent - shoot and the disengage. This is easy if the opponent is unaware of You presence.

Once he recognise You and starts to evade it becomes much more hard and many (including me) tends to follow him too long and find Yourself now being in a turn fight.

If Your opponent is in a tun fighter, Your allready lost. You can disenage, but will have a hard time to reattack and is better of trying to evade out of trouble.

 

In a turn fighter You might be able to defend Yourself forever, keeping Yourself out of the oponents sight, but You might never get the chance for a shot against him.

 

Question is then, which aircaft type can be regarded as a turn fighter and which being a turn (angle) fighter ?

The answer might be obvious for som aircraft types, but circumstances might change that, especially when multiple types are in the same arena or at different altitudes.

 

Problem for us flightsimmers is that we ly too many different aircraft types, without getting into deep with one type.

IRL the pilots often only learned a maximum of two types and never got to fly the enemy's aircraft types.

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Sorry for the delay in getting back to this thread. 
 

The biggest point of all of this was to get a feel for interest in the subject and to see where folks were getting their information from. 
 

I was going to write a few articles on the subject on these forums, but after a few conversations with some trusted acquaintances, I’m going to make a website dedicated to BFM theory and principles. It probably won’t be made public until next Spring to be honest. Requiem will likely be flying with me in follow on videos and demos, and hopefully bus driver will provide inputs / fly with us if I can afford his cameo rates. He may be busy at the BX food court though. 
 

And for the record: 

- BFM is commonly understood “these days” to be 1 v 1 visual maneuvering 

- the Navy has never been confused by the term BFM when I’ve briefed with them and fought them

- every fighter is an energy fighter until circumstances dictate otherwise 

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One of points here is that a lot of people confuse energy fighting with Boom and Zoom. These are two completely separate things. Every plane can BnZ. An I-16 can BnZ an F-15 in certain situations. Boom and Zoom inherently assumes E advantage of the attacker over his target (which is of course always desireable and always an advantage). However, if a certain fighter imperatively needs E advantage over competitor in order to have realistic chances to win a fight, then we are not dealing with "tactics" etc., we are simply looking at an excuse for a poor performing dogfighter.

 

A truly capable energy fighter on the other hand will be able to get the upper hand over the opponent even from equal or even inferior initial E-state (main difference from BnZ, which, as stated above, requires E advantage by definition). It will be able to do so via maneouvering primarily in vertical planes, through power climbs and dives, constantly transforming speed into altitude and back, until favorable position is acquired.

 

Just my 2 cents.

 

Edited by CrazyDuck
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