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Opening Moves

Overwhelmed yet? :) Well, one more series of notes on opening moves.

Thanks to Rapier for this text: This is a little elaboration on the opening moves lecture, and I hope It is helpful to you. The thing to keep in mind is that the opening moves are just that, OPENING moves. They are not magic, and unlike the stand alone flight sims, an opening move does not a dogfight make :).

The 0pening move is seeking an initial advantage. This advantage can either be followed up on and improved, or it can be frittered away. I like to think of an engagement as an equation, with each new event associated with a negative or positive value. When you get to the equals sign if the value is positive you win, and if its negative you lose. The object is to load up as many positives as you can, or at least minimize the negatives. The parts of the equation include you initial position and alt advantage or disadvantage, your opening move, and every thing that you do after that point. Therefore you can start with a severe alt disadvantage and even take a few hits, if you can get the guy to blow this advantage in a series of mistakes, you can still win. The converse is also possible :), so it behooves you to watch what you do and err to the side of e management whenever possible as long as you avoid getting hit. All of the opening moves are designed to secure an initial advantage. The advantage can be in the form of either position/angles or alt/energy or both. After the opening move has been played the rest of the fight will hinge on your ability to react to and anticipate the opponent's moves. No one fights in a vacuum and as someone has before, "The plan never survives the first moments of battle". Your tactics have to be as fluid and changing as the situation.

LEAD BREAK TURN, OR CHANDELLE OR HI YO-YO These are really variations of the same thing. The idea is to gain a position/angles advantage (hopefully on the enema's six), by anticipating his initial move on the pass. We are hoping that he will react slowly to our move and he will not make much of a turn or even better, keep traveling straight forward. In reality we know that this is not likely, but we may be able to gain enough of a position advantage to follow up on. We can approach the enemy head on, or even better veer off to one side or another. The drawback of the veer is that it is visible and can therefore be anticipated by the aware opponent. In the chandelle or hi yo-yo versions we will also climb as we veer off to the side to gain energy and increase our turn rate (by slowing the plane down, all things being equal, slower planes turn faster). At about 800-1700 (your mileage may vary depending on plane type and opponents plane) you break back into him (in the yo yo and chandelle you also dive down on him, converting e into speed) and hopefully line him up for a six shot.

LEAD LOOP/IMMELMANN This is a variation of the lead turn, only in a vertical direction. It has the advantage of converting some of your speed into alt and thereby storing energy. It is also a little harder for you opponent to see and figure out ahead of time. You can approach the opponent from a co alt position or even dive a little bit and gain speed and also insure that your conversion on his six is at his alt. The key is that you must be travelling at a speed that will safely allow you to complete the first half loop without stalling or spinning. At about 800-1700 (again depending on plane type) you pull straight up and look for the opponent first in your rear view, then follow him in your rear/up and up views, and look for his reaction. If he turns you follow him by rolling your plane to keep him in your up view, pulling your plane over the top as it reaches maximum turn rate speed. Pull down on him, roll upright, and go for the shot, either a tracking shot from the six position, or a snap shot, depending on what he has given you.

LOW GEE LOOP The first two moves are primarily angles type moves, mostly going for position rather than e gain. The low gee loop is a variation of the lead loop that seeks to gain an e advantage on the opponent while encouraging him to blow his e in a tight turn. Approach and everything else is the same as the lead loop, but instead of pulling hi gees to the vertical, you try to your gees at about 3 gees, thereby decreasing the e loss and gaining alt. You watch him first in your rear view, then rear/up and up view, noting his reaction to your move. Hopefully he is pulling into a high gee turn, which kills his e and will put him in the hole for the rest of the fight. Keep in mind here that you will probably get a series of snap shots and good gunnery is a must. As you reach true vertical you keep him in your up view by rolling your plane. As your plane reaches maximum sustained turn rate speed you pull over the top, using flaps to help you if you feel that it will help (i.e. get you around quicker) and pull down on him for the shot. You can then follow it up with another low gee loop, lead loop or hi yo yo.

CLIMBING SPIRAL This again is another energy tactic and is generally used by those who have a plane that climbs much better than the opponent. While all of the moves can be used at any time during a fight that you can successfully pull them off (i.e. you have the e to make them stick), this one can be used more often by the better climbing planes, and is often initiated when the opponent has blown his e and has committed to a stall fight mode. It can also be initiated from ANY plane provided that you come into it with lots and lots of e more than the opponent. The basic idea is to initiate a climbing spiral that puts you just out of gun range of the opponent. In your rear view you should see him at 1800- 2100 range, and you continue to turn and climb at your maximum climb rate, seeking to keep this range constant. From his view it will appear that you are ALMOST in gun range, which will encourage him to pull his nose up for the shot, which gradually erodes his e and speed to the point he starts to stall out and fall. What you are watching for is that the range will suddenly increase, indicating that he is falling out of the stall. When this happens, you drop flaps (to increase your turn rate on those planes that can use them) and roll in and down on him for the shot. Again, you will probably either kill him on this pass, or set up a snap shot, and you can choose to repeat the spiral, or set up a hi yo yo or loop, depending on the circumstances. Hope this is a help to you. See you in the virtual skies!!!! @=={--RAPIER----