• Force an enemy pilot into a dogfight at 200-220 knots and below 20,000 feet. At this speed and altitude, no enemy fighter can out-maneuver or out-climb you.
  • Jump cruising enemy aircraft from above. Fasten onto the tail of the bandit, use your superior maneuverability to match his evasive moves, and put enough rounds into him to bring him down.

BFM: Lag turn

BFM: Lead turn

  • Use your machine guns first to “boresight” the enemy—once you get hits on him, finish him off with your cannon.
  • Below 260 knots you can fling the Zero all over the sky to get on an enemy’s tail or to shake off all but the most determined attacker.
  • Climb away from most enemy aircraft, hanging on your prop in a near-vertical climb. Maneuvers like the Immelmann are easy, and heavier Allied fighters can’t stay with you.
  • The Zero rolls faster to the left than to the right. Roll left to tighten your turn and get onto the enemy’s six.
  • Don’t dive away from attackers—your plane doesn’t have the power or weight to out-run most U.S. fighters in a dive.
  • At speeds above 260 knots, the Zero’s controls stiffen and don’t respond well to the sudden, violent maneuvers that it does so well at lower speeds.
  • To exploit your plane’s best performance, force the enemy lower and slow down the pace of the engagement.

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