Posted on 13. Feb, 2007 by in Featured

It changes! I was climbing out on my way back to Florida yesterday. At 10,000 feet I held the nose down to allow the airspeed to build. We were late and trying to make up time to get back on DOT schedule. At 330 knots indicated (10 knots below a redline of 340), I pushed the IAS button on the flight management system, the v-bars on my attitude reference would now hold my speed at 330 if I stayed in them. I reset the trim and thought “OK we are haulin’ ass now”. Then I laughed to my self; perspective. Before 13 August 1998 had I seen 330 on my airspeed indicater my reaction would have been exactly the opposite, “Uh Oh, I’m slow! I’m beat down to parade rest!”

The secret to fighting an air to air engagement, in a fighter or attack aircraft, is to get to corner speed and stay there, keep your lift vector on the bogey and just keep pulling. Corner speed, is simply the minimum airspeed you can pull maximum “g”, if you are in an 8 g fighter and it takes 425 knots indicated to pull 8 g’s, you have to stay at 425 to get max performance out of the wing. As you slow the ability to pull g decreases due to angle of attack requirements (more on AOA later). Over simplified, you don’t have enuff air over the wing to trade for pull. No speed, no pull, no pull no turn, no turn, no good. “Speed is life more is better!” (author unknown); unless you are in a turning fight and are over corner speed. That is called arcing, by being overspeed, for example 525 knots, you are able to pull 8 g’s, but the arc you make through the sky is bigger. Thus an opponent can turn inside your radius of turn and shoot you. You can trade the air speed for position (more on that later). The last part of the basics is keeping your lift vector on the bogey. If you are not pulling directly at him you are moving away from him. This will alow him manuver room and eventually the ability to put a weapon system in it’s envelpoe and shoot you. When you are in a fur ball, and your brain overloads lift vector on and pull max g, don’t get slow! Thus my laugh at 330 being fast; it used to mean DOOM! chip

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