Death From Above - How to defeat the Alt Monkey from Furball Magazine Issue #6 by Starhawk
I was flying along in my Spitfire at 12K when I noticed a FW190 Dora to the East. I smiled and said to myself "Another kill to be had." Heading toward it, I put my speedometer to best corner speed, and just as I came into visual range I realized the mistake I'd made. The Dora was sitting way up there in the 20K range. "No problem" I thought, I'll just wait until he comes down, and get him on the pass." The Dora dived down on me, and I turned to meet his attack head-on. As he passed by, I did a hard lead turn and tried to get a snap shot in. Missing the snap shot, I slipped onto the Dora's six, and follow him up. He was just out of range, but I figured, he's gotta slow down sometime. Up, up, up I went, then I realized the second mistake I'd made. The stall light came on and my Spit's nose dropped to just below the horizon. Recovering quickly, I searched the views to reacquire the Dora. Too late. I felt the cannon shells ripping through my ride and body, then my vision went red.
Does this happen to you? Everytime you're riding along, and you run into a bogey who has major alt. on you, do you end up dead? Are you the Dope on the end of the Rope? Then read on. There are two objectives when fighting in this type of engagement. The first is to take away the bogies energy/altitude advantage. The second, is to stay alive while doing this. Once both objectives are met, your have to decide if you want to disengage, and fight another day, or continue the fight to the death. Since staying alive is depended on removing the bogies energy advantage over you, I shall stick with that. There are several key things you must do when fighting an "Alt Monkey" in order to survive. The first is to ensure that whenever he attacks, your ride is moving along at Minimum Vertical Speed. (That is the minimum speed your aircraft requires for Vertical Maneuvering. In the Spitfire, this is above 160kt; in the Dora. around 210kt; and a zero, as low as 125kt.). The second key is to use that speed to meet the bogie head-on during his attack run. The third key is to regain the Minimum Vertical Maneuvering Speed before the bogie's next pass. I will not cover the last key, Situational Awareness, because without this you're dead meat anyway, and should read up on SA even before you read this.
In my examples, the Bogie will be in a FW190 Dora, and the defender will be in a Spitfire. You're tooling along, and notice a bogie way above you at your 9 O'clock on an intercept course around 8K away. Some would say turn to meet him, but I say put him in your rear quarter and head away from him. WHAT? You ask, Well, if he doesn't engage, then you have satisfied the requirements. You're still alive. If he does engage, this 'run away' heading gives you more time to acquire energy than if you turned and closed the distance. Regardless of whether you head into him or head away, you must ensure that you are at MVS (Minimum Vertical Speed) when he arrives. Lets say you take my advice, and head away. This will give you some time, so use it. 1st..Get to MVS ASAP!. If slow, use Unloaded Acceleration (level, and go zero G while accelerating). If fast, climb to just above MVS to convert that excess speed to alt. Once just above MVS, start a slow climb while watching the bogie from the rear. Yeah. I know..He is closing fast. Watch the counter now, cause that is going to be your cue. When he gets within 3000 yards, time to act. Gently, perform a low G. Immelman meeting his pass Head-on adding G as necessary to get around before he gets within 1000 yards. An Out-of-Plane-Jink is nice to do around 700 yards, because he is probably firing now.
It's at this point that the bogie is going to look like an inviting target. Don't go for it! Immediately unload, and get back up to MVS, while keeping an eye on the bogie. He should be zooming, up and around. Once at MVS, continue accelerating and climbing to gain more energy, while waiting for the bogies next attack. When you see that he has started another attack run, at 2800 yards out, Immelman to meet him head on, and perform another Out-Of-Plane-Jink when within 800 yards. Something to keep in mind. Sometimes those bogies will make fake pass's, trying to force you into the vertical. You need to use judgment on whether or not his pass's are to get his guns on you or to just trick you into going nose high.
After this next failed pass, the bogie might zoom back up, or perform a High Yo Yo. If he goes for the zoom, repeat the above steps as necessary. If he goes for the Yo Yo, you're half way there. This means he's getting impatient, and is starting to use more energy to get his shot in. If he performs a Yo Yo, Initiate a Low G Nose Down Head to Tail turn accelerating to Best Corner Speed. Be smooth with the stick. When the bogie is in your rear quarter in his turn, you can unload and accelerate for a second or two to gain some separation, then go back into the turn. Because of your slower speed, you should be able to complete the Head to Tail turn just in time to meet him head-on for the next pass. If the bogie continues with another Yo Yo, perform one more Head to tail turn, and try to get some angles on him using more G, still keeping your ride at Best Corning Speed. After the next pass, you should be just Co-Energy.
Congratulations, You have just taken the bite out of the Dora. Now kill him with Angle tactics (nose to nose turns) if you decide you want to continue the attack.* ~Starhawk