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long5hot's beginner's guide series


From what I've read, and now believe, that vertical targeting is setting up the vertical convergence for your guns. So when sitting straight and level, if you have vertical targeting on, and say, the FW-190 F-8 with 30mm pods (13mm, 20mm, & 30mm arms on your plane), the guns will be adjusted up so that all your shots converges vertically as well as horizontally. Obviously this would add some room for error when shooting while your plane is at...anything but straight and level, you will have to more adjustments. But I've found it beneficial, especially in those cases where I have multiple calibers. But as with anything, YMMV, as if you spend most of you time shooting (more or less) straight down on targets your aim will be off because you won't have gravity pulling your rounds back down.

 

I have also heard what you said Long5hot, but I've not really seen enough evidence to support it...In the end I honestly don't know for sure.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The controls setup in vid is quite similar to my own.  One big difference, however, is the firing key.  I've been using LMB (like most folks; it's the default).  I've tried to use the 1/2 keys occasionally, just too non-intuitive, especially for someone who uses the WASDQE keys.  Decided to give Spacebar a try for a couple of battles.  Wow, I like it a lot. I think I'm going to make that change.

 

Heh, I had forgotten that W/S weren't default elevator keys.  I remember now when I first downloaded the game last year, being befuddled that W/S weren't elevator, but rather throttle.  Seemed really weird.

 

@Leadhead6, the comparison might've been helped by using the same planes in both cases (vert targeting on/off).  As it was, you had two variables vice one.  Difference in results could have been due to perhaps you're just better in the Russians than the Spits/109s, at least at those tiers.  Even so, it's an interesting point, I'm going to play around with Vertical Targeting on/off today during my battles.

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Bramborough

 

As mentioned it's not a conclusive analysis of vertical targeting but I felt this option was well worth discussion for the benefit of newer players as I have never seen any mention of this feature in any tutorial previously. A more scientific test may be worthwhile if anyone is inclined but under the current patch I feel that keeping vertical target OFF is the best option for the average player.

 

As a side note I felt that having vertical targeting enabled for Reserve and Tier 1 planes did not have a noticeable affect on hits scored/kills but with higher tier, cannon equipped planes my hit/kill rate had fallen off. 

 

Report your results if you give it a go.

 

It's all programing so any plane in the game could potentially benefit from vertical targeting while all others suffer.

Edited by Leadhead6

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Re vertical targeting, what I want to do is get someone (probably AIM_120_AMRAAM) to fly a plane straight in custom battles so I can experiment with different firing angles etc using vertical targeting & without.  Will probably be pretty tedious, but I can't see another way to scientifically determine what this does.

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Enjoyed the vid.  I think you are being a little too harsh on angle fighting as a style but that's probably the right approach to break new players out of their instinctive bad habits.

 

 Angle fighting was inferior historically even in WW1, and I see exactly the same phenomenon in WT.  Sure there's a time and place where you have to fight in horizontal turns, but it should not be the first and only tactic used regardless of the plane being flown.  That's how I see it, and I've got to call it that way ;)

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Very good videos.

 

My only gripe is that you sometimes say energy when you clearly mean speed. As in saying "doing a Split-S to gain energy", when a Split-S is an energy burning way to turn compared to a horizontal turn or Immelmann because you turn at higher speeds and have to fight gravity.

 

I had a rather interesting dance with your partner in crime the other day that makes me think an extension of the "Versus" series by a 4km alt, 4km apart starting condition would be nice, as that's about the conditions the battle for high alt usually starts at in arcade battles.

 

Re vertical targeting, what I want to do is get someone (probably AIM_120_AMRAAM) to fly a plane straight in custom battles so I can experiment with different firing angles etc using vertical targeting & without.  Will probably be pretty tedious, but I can't see another way to scientifically determine what this does.

 

If you ever need a target drone, give me a call.

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Very good videos.
 
My only gripe is that you sometimes say energy when you clearly mean speed. As in saying "doing a Split-S to gain energy", when a Split-S is an energy burning way to turn compared to a horizontal turn or Immelmann because you turn at higher speeds and have to fight gravity.


I'm not sure I understand your gripe. Yes to turn in a Split S you do have to fight gravity to bring the nose up, but you do indeed gain speed (or energy - in air combat terms speed is energy) so I don't see how its wasteful. A horizontal turn does nothing but bleed speed while you change direction, and an Immelman also cuts your speed but converts it to potential energy in the form of altitude - its the opposite of a Split S. It'd be great if you could elaborate on this...
 

I had a rather interesting dance with your partner in crime the other day that makes me think an extension of the "Versus" series by a 4km alt, 4km apart starting condition would be nice, as that's about the conditions the battle for high alt usually starts at in arcade battles.


If you managed to dance with him & it was interesting then you did very well indeed - he kills most planes far too quickly for their pilots to consider using those terms :) And yes I wish there was a way to specify starting altitude in Duel maps. 1400m is far too low for many planes.
 

If you ever need a target drone, give me a call.


Thanks for your offer, I might take you up on that!

Edited by long5hot
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I'm not sure I understand your gripe. Yes to turn in a Split S you do have to fight gravity to bring the nose up, but you do indeed gain speed (or energy - in air combat terms speed is energy) so I don't see how its wasteful. A horizontal turn does nothing but bleed speed while you change direction, and an Immelman also cuts your speed but converts it to potential energy in the form of altitude - its the opposite of a Split S. It'd be great if you could elaborate on this...

 

The most simple explanation is that you fight gravity and turn at a higher speed, so you have to both have to create more lift and do this at a higher speed* creating more drag. So while you end up faster (more kinetic energy) this can not compensate for the loss in height (potential energy) and you end up with less total energy. Obviously it's still useful when the burst of speed allows you to catch something quickly.

 

*which is usually above your lowest drag turn speed // the opposite of what i said is true when you start well below your lowest drag turn speed


If you managed to dance with him & it was interesting then you did very well indeed - he kills most planes far too quickly for their pilots to consider using those terms :) And yes I wish there was a way to specify starting altitude in Duel maps. 1400m is far too low for many planes.

 

Well, it was the kind of "avoid any body contact" dancing employed by scared 13 year olds. Me in a 190 and him in Yak-1b, I had to BnZ (and answer the door at one point ...) which he evaded easily.

 

 


Thanks for your offer, I might take you up on that!

 

Sure.

Edited by kamuka

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Maybe I think too simplistically.  To me, Immelmans and Split-S's are more energy-efficient ways to change direction than horizontal turns.  With one, kinetic-energy speed loss is compensated by potential-energy altitude gain, and reverse case with the other.  Whereas a turn simply loses kinetic energy by draining speed, without a compensating altitude gain.  So...I've been flying under the assumption that the two vertical maneuvers are preferable to the horizontal turn, and which is the more appropriate depending on the tactical situation at hand. 

 

Must confess my understanding gets quite patchy regarding drag.  I'm generally aware that drag increases with speed.  But how that relates to actual practice - and how it might change the equation in choosing between Immelman, Split-S, and horizontal turn (or some combination of these)...that's just a tad beyond the boundary of my aerodynamics practical knowledge.

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Regarding Vertical Targeting.

 

Until Yesterday I had VT turned on and after reading your post in this Tread decided to turn it off and run a couple Trials in Test Flight.

 

It seems to me that with VT turned off I tend to hit Targets more consistently then with it being turned on. I also find that it is easier for me to hit Targets while aiming at higher Deflection Angles.

 

Off course that is just my Observation and personal Experiences may differ.

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re VT,

 

I've also turned it off over past 24 hrs.  I can't say I've noticed a huge difference, but at the very least, it hasn't hurt.  Which implies then that turning it on doesn't really help.

 

I do notice that I'm scoring more hits, but that could also be because I switched from using LMB to Spacebar for my firing key at the same time.  So I kinda boned myself by introducing two simultaneous variable changes; not sure which one is having more effect.

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@ThomasFranz67, yes that's my experience too, though I haven't conducted a proper study to understand why that's the case.

 

@kamuka and Bramborough, I guess it depends how tightly you're trying to turn in the Split S.  All turns will bleed energy & tighter turns more so than gentle ones.  Turning sharply in an Immelman will also lose some of the energy that you're trying to convert to height.  The other thing with a Split S is that while gravity helps you build speed, it also resists your efforts to pull the nose up resulting in a slower turning speed.  Compare this to the top of a loop where gravity wants to pull your plane down and helps you turn more sharply than normal, assuming your plane had enough power to get over the loop without nearing stall speed.  That's how a rolling scissors usually plays out, sooner or later the guy at the top of the loop will be able to drop down onto the guy at the bottom and nail him good & proper - it rarely works out the other way.

 

Edit: Also as regards drag, my understanding of it is this:-  planes are designed to have the least possible amount of drag when flying straight ahead, however when a control surface is moved to turn the plane, this changes its aerodynamic shape and creates drag.  Firstly from the control surface itself creating friction with the air passing over it, and then when the plane begins to move off its straight line. 

 

As the plane has momentum, there is a slight disconnect between the plane's facing as it turns and the direction its actually travelling - all turns will involve a degree of "drift", so the air is no longer hitting the plane from directly ahead but instead its hitting it at a slight angle.  This alone will create a lot of drag.  That's why every turn will cost a plane in terms of speed.  Its also why ailerons, which roll the plane around its lengthwise axis, involve far less speed loss compared to the tail controls which seek to alter the heading of the plane.

Edited by long5hot
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Here's part 3. Tons of info, but in retrospect I should have spent more time on the basics first. Demonstrating high & low yoyos rather than just talking about them, the importance of avoiding head-ons where possible including being patient when someone's climbing up to you & only diving when you believe they're stalling and can't get guns on you. Anyway, it is what it is, hope its helpful...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0he9GtohyU
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 Angle fighting was inferior historically even in WW1, and I see exactly the same phenomenon in WT.  Sure there's a time and place where you have to fight in horizontal turns, but it should not be the first and only tactic used regardless of the plane being flown.  That's how I see it, and I've got to call it that way ;)

 

I think we're talking past each other to some extent.  I don't think of angle fighting as pure horizontal turns any more than I think of energy fighting as pure boom and zoom; if your chasing your tail in a turn you are most likely angle fighting wrong.  It requires just as much energy management and use of the vertical as classic energy fighting does it just takes a different form.  You tend to really on engine power and adjusting the turn parameters (vertical offset, tightness, etc.) rather than strictly using altitude as a energy bank.  It is probably worth pointing out that I consider a looping contest a kind of turnfight rather than an energy tactic; although it is probably better defined as a hybrid.

 

It definitely shouldn't be the first and only tactic; energy fighting is safer and cleaner if done well for sure.  However, I find you don't always have the advantage of a superior energy state or foolish helicoptering opponents.  Most effective anglefight techniques I've seen are about forcing your opponent into a similar energy state and then, and only then, swooping around for the kill.  I think that is the core of it; you energy fight opponents that have lower energy than you and anglefight opponents with superior energy.  

 

Maybe I think too simplistically.  To me, Immelmans and Split-S's are more energy-efficient ways to change direction than horizontal turns.  With one, kinetic-energy speed loss is compensated by potential-energy altitude gain, and reverse case with the other.  Whereas a turn simply loses kinetic energy by draining speed, without a compensating altitude gain.  So...I've been flying under the assumption that the two vertical maneuvers are preferable to the horizontal turn, and which is the more appropriate depending on the tactical situation at hand. 

 

Must confess my understanding gets quite patchy regarding drag.  I'm generally aware that drag increases with speed.  But how that relates to actual practice - and how it might change the equation in choosing between Immelman, Split-S, and horizontal turn (or some combination of these)...that's just a tad beyond the boundary of my aerodynamics practical knowledge.

 

It's a lot more complicated than that unfortunately.  Split-S and Immelman's are not necessarily more efficient ways of changing direction depending on what plane you are flying.  As an example, heavy planes don't Immelman very well, they tend to bleed to much speed in the climb (although this is less of an issue in AB).  If poke around on the RB forum some you'll find them referring to something called "Best Climb Speed".  It's usually not important in AB but a useful tidbit is that is the speed at which your plane will provide the fastest acceleration.  Any slower or faster and your plane's acceleration decreases.  Now, this speed is actually much slower than the practical speeds at which you want to engage in combat.  However, it serves as a good rule of thumb speed for choosing your maneuver.  If you find yourself below this speed your slow and your engine is having trouble speeding you back up (do a Split S or low yo-yo).  If you find yourself above this speed your engine is losing power to drag, an upwards maneuver (like a high yo-yo or Immelman) will bank that energy as altitude and improve your acceleration, giving you even more energy.

 

Often practical concerns, like someone shooting at you requiring to keep your speed high for evasion, takes precedence.

Edited by Resonance84
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Here's part 3.

Good stuff again. Think i have to be more aggressive with my energy fighting.

 

I think we're talking past each other to some extent.  I don't think of angle fighting as pure horizontal turns any more than I think of energy fighting as pure boom and zoom; if your chasing your tail in a turn you are most likely angle fighting wrong.  It requires just as much energy management and use of the vertical as classic energy fighting does it just takes a different form.  [...]

 

 

It's a lot more complicated than that unfortunately.  Split-S and Immelman's are not necessarily more efficient ways of changing direction depending on what plane you are flying.  As an example, heavy planes don't Immelman very well, they tend to bleed to much speed in the climb (although this is less of an issue in AB).  If poke around on the RB forum some you'll find them referring to something called "Best Climb Speed". [...]

 

1. Maybe it would have been better to call the video BnZ and stall fighting, which are obviously just two sides of the polyhedron of energy fighting. Another one more focused at manipulating a turn fight by energy* would be most welcome. Add in another one about equalizing energy, and that and your planed one on energy trapping would make a great series.

 

2. I tried explaining that before, but didn't find a great way. ;) Edit: It's actually for pretty much the same reason climbing at a sustained speed (as recommended in the video) is better than repeatedly burst climbing until you almost stall. Best climbing speed and sustained turn speed are also (practically) the same.

 

*there are some examples of doing that by going into a high Yo-Yo after BnZing in the video

Edited by kamuka
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Part 3; brilliant video.  What sets it apart for me:  Not only is there clear/concise explanation of the maneuvers (which many such tutorial vids have in common), but you also show variations.  And a subtle but important distinction; lots of examples which weren't "textbook", and things didn't go quite according to plan.  The value in that is a demonstration that things don't always go picture-perfect (in fact, usually don't), and you're showing ways to cope with that, either by adjusting the technique in progress, or a follow-on maneuver to rectify.

 

I also learned that I've been doing a "high yo-yo" for ages without knowing that's what the maneuver is called.  In fact that's also true of the rope-a-dope.   One maneuver here that's genuinely new to me (as opposed to putting a name to something I'd already been doing) is the climbing spiral.  I really need to develop and incorporate that...trying to get out of a pursuit without a substantial energy advantage has been a huge weakpoint for me, perhaps this will help.  In that vein, greatly anticipating Part 4.

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@kamuka & Resonance: that's some great feedback and also thanks for sharing some excellent information as well. Yes the video could have been called BnZ + Stall Fighting instead of Attacking Energy Maneuvers - or perhaps I could have spent more time on it, though my family & my boss might have objected if I had ;)

The next video will be a challenge, and as it focuses on defensive maneuvers it will indeed cover how to fight someone when they have a superior energy state. Obviously I work very hard to avoid such situations in the first place, so its not as if I have a lot of footage lying around I can just pick up and use. Perhaps I'll need to take a "turnfighter" into battle low and slow in order to get some practice at various techniques when I inevitably come under fire - assuming I can bring myself to fly that way. Hmmm.

Also Resonance, my way of thinking is that if you're incorporating use of energy management into a dogfight then its energy fighting. I guess the distinctions between it & angle fighting can be blurred sometimes, you're right, but for me its easier to describe angle fighting as what I see so many Arcade fighters doing, which can best be described as bank and yank.

In a situation where a more powerful but slower-turning plane is flying loops, and a better turner is trying to follow and cut inside his loops, yes that is a hybrid. The faster plane is the initiator of the looping battle (as they're not just running away), and they know they can't out-turn their opponent, so they're trying to use their power advantage to exhaust the opponent's energy. Hence this pilot is energy fighting. The other guy, trying to follow and turn inside the loops, is turn fighting & hoping his plane doesn't stall in the process. There were 2 nice examples in that last vid, glad I included them :)

@Bramborough: the Spiral is something that really must be practiced in test flight, as you automatically have to know what to do when the occasion arises in battle. If its not hard-coded into your fingers then you'll stuff it up like I did in the CR42 :) I'm still working on my technique with it - I rarely flip the plane over now, but sometimes I lose the spiral and end up in a straight ascent instead, hence I need to introduce rudder now & then. Edited by long5hot
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Yes indeed, I've tried the spiral a few times this afternoon and it's been an abject failure thus far.  Some rather embarrassing deaths.  I currently have the impression that with mouse+keyboard, it's a maneuver that may not work very well for some planes despite flight characteristics would seemingly lend themselves to it, and would work just fine for practiced joystick users.  Reason; the WASDQE keys' max-or-none control surface deflection.

 

For similar reasons, I'm also having a tough time with the "gradual climbing turn" evasion.  I'm finding it very difficult to execute while keeping an eye on my pursuer/target.  I'm able to either perform the maneuver OR watch the opponent, but not both, because of the way the plane straightens out when using the C key view...and using WASDQE is just way too sharp for the maneuver.

 

Definitely some test-flight mode work in order.

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