General Instruction

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General Instruction

New to air combat? Start off by reading "In Pursuit", an excellent (free) resource for both beginner and intermediate pilots.

Fighting in the air seems deceptively easy: all you have to do is motor up to the bad guy and shoot him down, right? You wish! There’s a whole lot more to fighting than pointing your nose at the enemy – you have to manage your engine, keep the aircraft trimmed properly, look about you, maneuver, plan ahead, keep your speed up, navigate, communicate, stay calm, and fly your aircraft so as to engage with a number of advantages instead of always fighting at a disadvantage.

Three major concepts encapsulate all of the above, and the pilot who acts to maintain a high level in all three categories will meet with success, while the pilot who fails in every category will likely not survive more than a few minutes in any combat. You need:

There are two important multipliers which interact with the above: Numbers and Organisation. If you outnumber the enemy you can usually get away with having a low awareness and low energy, and if you fly with an element of organisation (which implies communication) you will also benefit materially and get away from situations where you would otherwise be stone dead.

First of all you need to increase your Awareness – which means careful study of all the details that pertain to aircraft and aerial combat. Keep reading!

Cockpit Instruments

What instrument is that? What is it good for? Why should I bother looking at it at all?

Trim and Engine Management

Learn how to fly a lean, clean and mean aircraft!

Energy

Energy is more than that gruesome piece of chocolate you find in your lint-filled pocket.

Situational Awareness

Pilots wear silk scarves for a reason. Look inside!

Understanding the Range Indicator

Quickly determine distances from friendly and enemy aircraft.

Guns and Gunnery

Having trouble reaching out to the dear old enemy? Help is nigh!

Air Gunners and Bombardiers

Learn more about the "meatshield" and his work environment.

Finding action and gaining rank

At last, the important piece of advice!


Continue to Basic Flight Maneuvers

Back to Air Force main page