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Energy fighting explained (feedback / review welcomed)


So allied prop-hung, target avoided the headon by pulling up, and you got him?

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Prophanging works mostly against bombers, or enemies that are already engaged and can't respond properly. Against enemy who knows about you and can respond, it's suicide.

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4 hours ago, Rapitor said:

So allied prop-hung, target avoided the headon by pulling up, and you got him?

 

Exactly. One of the few occasions where going for the prophang was actually the sensible choice, provided someone else on the opposing team wasn't in the position to pluck the prophanger.

 

I actually made a video out of the replay last week, so here you go:

 

 

Just in case the link won't put you to the correct time, 8:16.

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I am not sure I want to go that deep into this territory.

 

I see your point, but the average level of teamplay in WT is not good enough to say "you can prop-hang to set the enemy up". I'll adapt my statement about prophang, but I want to keep it a "forbidden maneuevr" unless you really have a good idea of what you and the teammate is doing

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4 minutes ago, Rapitor said:

I am not sure I want to go that deep into this territory.

 

I see your point, but the average level of teamplay in WT is not good enough to say "you can prop-hang to set the enemy up". I'll adapt my statement about prophang, but I want to keep it a "forbidden maneuevr" unless you really have a good idea of what you and the teammate is doing

 

Fully agreed. Unless you're squadded with people who really know their ****, prophanging is verboten. =)

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  • 5 months later...
  • 6 months later...

Nice read...pretty good definitions and explanations over all (especially for second language!).

 

The only thing I will add is the concept of Total Energy. Total Energy is the sum of your Potential Energy (Altitude) and Kinetic Energy (Speed).

If I am 50 feet and 300 knots, I have high kinetic and low potential.  
If I am at 10,000 feet and 300 knots I have High kinetic and high potential.

It is the total awareness of  your energy state that is vital.  Using your planes capabilities to the fullest  (and knowing what that is) is the key. What is also key is knowing the opponents capabilities.  

Its nice to see E-M/Ps diagrams, but the key is in the "excess energy" graphs.  Normally you would superimpose two graphs and determine where (if any) are the exclusive use area's (I can generate 9 G's, they can generate 7 at 300mph for example....and this gives me a turn rate advantage of xx degrees per second).  That is instantaneous vs sustained....next you would need to know Airspeed Bleed for G pulled, so you would to know how much speed you'll bleed off for that "heroic" pull...

Good read, pretty good job on the simplification!

Thank you for the time and effort you put into this!

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On 31/08/2018 at 16:45, Dobs_ said:

The only thing I will add is the concept of Total Energy. Total Energy is the sum of your Potential Energy (Altitude) and Kinetic Energy (Speed).

That's good feedback.

 

I mentioned it once at the beginning of chapter 1 and that's about it. I shall expand it soon.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The attacking craft will always have the angle advantage. The angle gets much more shallow, the farther behind the attacker is. If the defender climbs at all, the maneuver can be almost completely cancelled by the reaction of the attacker. The angle taken to cut off a climb is more shallow than the climb itself, so the attacker will have the advantage of maneuver. If you follow the exact path as the defender, everything in this thread holds true. If you cut angles to follow(as any human pilot should), you will have an immense advantage over the defending craft. A climbing shot is more difficult than a diagonal shot, but with an experienced enough pilot, the advantage doesn't shift. Working on your aim and flight skill will pretty much lead you into making good decisions. Also, it's very helpful to study WWII dogfights and bomber cover techniques. Listening to a pilot speak of his time in a plane like these will also help to put it into prospective from the standpoint of someone who could've died, but didn't want to. Nobody who plays video games will have the best insight. Sometimes you need a different approach.

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18 hours ago, triggaharris said:

The attacking craft will always have the angle advantage. The angle gets much more shallow, the farther behind the attacker is. If the defender climbs at all, the maneuver can be almost completely cancelled by the reaction of the attacker. The angle taken to cut off a climb is more shallow than the climb itself, so the attacker will have the advantage of maneuver. If you follow the exact path as the defender, everything in this thread holds true. If you cut angles to follow(as any human pilot should), you will have an immense advantage over the defending craft. A climbing shot is more difficult than a diagonal shot, but with an experienced enough pilot, the advantage doesn't shift. Working on your aim and flight skill will pretty much lead you into making good decisions. Also, it's very helpful to study WWII dogfights and bomber cover techniques. Listening to a pilot speak of his time in a plane like these will also help to put it into prospective from the standpoint of someone who could've died, but didn't want to. Nobody who plays video games will have the best insight. Sometimes you need a different approach.

I disagree with the opening statement...  You are making several assumptions here: 1) You are making the assumption that the attacker has excess energy/energy advantage and is attacking from 6.  and 2) The attacker is on or willing to drive to the bandits turn circle. Why is 2 important?  Because you can't use the turning ability of your aircraft to solve angle off, and aspect angle until you reach the bandits turning circle.    If the attacker starts cutting off the defender before this occurs (arriving at turn circle), then the defender will be able to generate free angles (both aspect and angle off) and then just has to focus on defeating the upcoming gun shot...so saying the attacker will ALWAYS have the angle advantage is erroneous.   

Personally, I will kill a guy who starts behind me 2/3 of the time because of knowing the 1) the physics, 2) the geometry, and 3) my aircraft capabilities in a dogfight. But more importantly is applying the basic principals of dog fighting to the situation I find myself in...knowing how/when to apply the pursuit curves via lift vector placement, knowing what being on a turn circle will gain me as opposed to being outside of it or inside of it, and knowing how to control closure be it generate more or control excess to preserve a 3/9 advantage.  When do you do "two handed BFM?", what is the cost? What is the advantage?  

Not sure where you are finding WWII dogfights actually diagrammed, but I'd be interested in seeing that site.

Flying for real (where you can die) is totally different decision process than having time to get a drink because you just got shot down in a video game, that I agree with....not many guys I know will willingly drive into their opponents gun sight to "get a shot". 

 

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Updated based on feedback + added @Dobs_ images in addition to mine

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  • 6 months later...

 

On 07/09/2017 at 08:28, Rapitor said:

I personally failed to see when proohanging is a good offensive maneuver.

Dope-a-rope, yes, as a defensive maneuver, using energy advantage. But stalling your plane facing a higher in energy opponent, expecting the enemy to make a mistake, is not a viable option from my perspective.

 

Precisely.  I had 3 in a row climb and stall trying to get to me last week.  Triple Strike in less than 20 seconds.  Why make your plane suspend in midair to be an extra easy target?

On 16/08/2017 at 12:29, Rapitor said:

Chapter 5: Basic mistakes explained:

 

  1. Maneuvering past your corner speed:
    If you maneuver past your corner speed, you will stiffen and lose your angular speed advantage. If the opponent is at his corner speed and you are closing in faster (which makes you be past your ideal maneuvering speed), he will beat you in a turn. He can use this to force you to overshoot (due to excess speed) and get guns on you (due to angular speed advantage).

     
  2. Accepting a prop-hanging enemy's head-on:
    If the enemy is prop-hanging, it doesn't have the energy to commit to an attack themselves. There is no reason to risk your plane on an enemy that cannot hit you unless you give him the option. By simply by pulling up a little bit, or flying straight if it is safe to do so, the fight will extend in the vertical for him, and he will eventually stall. You can then dive on him, without risking anything, on a slow (if not spinning) target.

     
  3. Prop-hanging:
    It makes you slow, vulnerable, without any option and do not guarantee a firing solution. If the enemy out-energize you, a prop-hanging will not grant you a kill (unless the enemy does point (2.) like an idiot. It slows you down further from the corner speed, which is the exact opposite of how to use energy to fight and win.
    Prop-hanging without a good situational awareness is suicide, and prop-hanging with situational awareness is generally a gamble, unless you properly assessed enemy energy and you were not too far from it.

     
  4. Engaging without an exit strategy:
    In short, attacking a plane and forgetting about it. Typical example, adapted from Paingod85:
    The most common version of this is diving on the highest enemy, passing past him and then instead of zooming away and rebuilding your advantage, you go for the next highest plane below you. You will give up extra altitude, overshoot and fly below the opponent #1 you just engaged. And you keep going up to the ground. You are then low in altitude, with an energy advantage which was greatly reduced (good luck diving from 450kmh IAS at 5000m and climbing back even to 2500m at 300kmh IAS with your plane).
    For planes without great energy generation (or retention), going down to the deck instead of keeping your energy advantage and slowly flying down is a death sentence. For the P-47 in particular, which is extremely slow, even at its BR, below 5000m, bouncing from one target to one another, lower and lower, without climbing back and dealing with what you attacked before, is asking for being out-energized and shot down.

     
  5. Being caught up by a "slower plane":
    Which is basically when you are far from being at your top speed, and the enemy blatantly out-energize you.
    You can be in a speed regime that favors your (or not), it doesn't mean that a slower plane (top speed) with more energy won't lose it instantly and be in an inferior position. Even a Zero can catch a P-51 if the Fiddyone is slow and the A6M higher.

 

Nice explanations.  

 

Depending on feedback / experience

 

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On 07/09/2017 at 16:49, Rapitor said:

I am not sure I want to go that deep into this territory.

 

I see your point, but the average level of teamplay in WT is not good enough to say "you can prop-hang to set the enemy up". I'll adapt my statement about prophang, but I want to keep it a "forbidden maneuevr" unless you really have a good idea of what you and the teammate is doing

I will only prop hang on two conditions.  1)  I am lower and going near head on with a BV.  2) No other enemy planes around.  I watched some pour soul prophang just like I do vs. a BV but was going against a B-25 just like that .  He didn't live very long.  Know your opponent.  

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Updated.

 

Addition of ToC in OP

 

Each chapter have been undergoing minor changes and rephrase and new content for improved explantion

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  • 1 year later...

okay... so I don't know if I'm just stupid but i found the graphs and explanations hard to understand, so tell me if I am incorrect, but in essence, i want to be faster than my opponent, or at least have the potential to increase my speed to out match my opponent (such as diving) but not to be so fast where i am likely to over shoot and have the tables turned. there fore i need to monitor my speed and the speed of my aggressor and/or target as well as their ability to regain speed ie. gaining altitude. if this is correct, then it all makes sense to me. if not then i couldn't be more lost with the terms, their definitions and dear god the graphs. the graphs just don't make sense to me. I'll continue to analyze the info and try to learn from it but Jesus its a lot to take in.

Edited by legend117

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hrmmm after reading more and being more patient, im still very confused but I did acquire useful info, although im almost certain i will still be outdone easily by literally any pilot who understood and applies this knowledge during a dog fight. and it probably happens often as for me winning a dog fight is about 40% chance and once im in a dog fight i commit since any time i try to escape i get shot down. and when i commit ill often either get out maneuvered or it goes on for so long im the slowest thing in the sky at 200-500 meters and am toast. now in terms of getting kills as a casual player who knows enough (speed is good, altitude is good, plane on my **** is bad lol.) i can average out at eliminating about 2-5 planes every game give or take. ill try re-reading in the morning as perhapse drowsiness is muddling things.

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Hi @legend117

 

Thank you for dropping a message here.

You are correct with your initial understanding. You want to have more energy than the opponent. This superior energy is achieved by a combination of speed and altitude.

 

Overshooting is not an issue of having too much energy, but more of having the wrong attack pattern with the energy you had. If the table turned, it is more an issue of decision making than energy balance. As I said, while black and white makes it easier to understand, but energy fighting is not that easy. The table can turn for many reason, but in general, if you have a massive amount of energy compared to the opponent, you should be safer.

 

As per the understanding and application of this, I agree that it is not a magic trick. Experience comes to play. But if you are being out-flown and can conclude "this is maybe what happened", you will certainly grow stronger than by concluding "omg hacker / OP plane" etc.

 

What you can and cannot do with an aircraft versus other aircraft is part of the learning experience.

 

If you have any suggestion about how to improve the graph reading or anything else, as you are among the rare visitor and poster coming here without prior knowledge of the subject (which is good), I would gladly take on any feedback.

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