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 TFX | by Digital Image Design

TFX: by Digital Image Design

HUD (Heads Up Display) from TXX, 1993

ADVANCED COMBAT

The previous section of this manual deals with selection and use of weapons, but there are some special aspects of manoeuvrability which apply mainly to air-to-air combat.

Fighter jets move so fast that it is hard to aim any weapon at an enemy unless you are directly behind your target. The objective of any close dogfighting is to get behind your enemy's tail ('on his six') and keep him in front of you. If he can turn faster than you, it will be much harder to do this. There is an equation for turn rate which will help you to win:

TURN RATE = a / V

where a is acceleration, which increases with the number of g's you are pulling and V is speed.

So a higher g value and a lower speed will give you the best rate of turn. There is a limit to the number of g's a given fighter can pull for any length of time in a level turn. In fact, there are three limits:

THE LIFT LIMIT

The lower your speed, the less lift you can have. If you are using all of your lift just to stay up, you cannot turn. So the lift limit increases from 1g at the stall speed to ever higher values.

THE POWER LIMIT

Lift causes more drag, and drag slows you down unless you increase thrust to compensate. You only have so much thrust available, and at high speeds, all your thrust is used just to maintain those speeds in level flight. Therefore, the power limit is more significant at higher speeds.

THE TOLERANCE LIMIT

The aircraft and the pilot can only sustain so much stress before respectively falling apart or blacking out. Usually the aircraft has a higher tolerance than the pilot, who can only stand about 9g. Some aircraft, like the F-117 A, have a lower structural limit. "

From the manual