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Tailslide's Article - Split-S attack

The subject of this article is specific.  What do you do when you chase down a better turning plane and he pulls a Split-S ?    If you try to follow he will out-turn you,  if you Immelman  you will lose a lot of speed and give him time to run away.

The solution I found was not due to any cleverness on my part, it just combines a couple basic principles of air combat.  The first is using a tighter turning circle to cut inside your opponent's turn.  The other is to use your superior speed to turn better by first turning away from the opponent and then back in to get a better angle.

Here is what typically happens if you follow the enemy in a Split-S. I am showing a   P51 against Yak scenario since that is about as tough as it gets unless your favourite sim models the Zero 8 )

turnfight1.gif (2477 bytes)
Figure 1: Chasing Enemy Through the Split-S


The solution is to nose up and bleed speed so you can get a better angle on your turn and have a tighter turning circle.    Since you are looping under, you can throttle up and regain almost all of your speed in the last part of the loop:

  turnfight2.gif (1918 bytes)
Figure 2:  The Split-S with flair


Note:  if the Yak flies the same maneuver in his turn you will most likely still get a snap shot when he flips over for his dive.  In this case take your snapshot but don't try to follow him down. I haven't seen this maneuver in any of my ACM books, if anyone know the name of it please drop me some email.   My friend coat_of_arms helped me make two films that match the two diagrams above.



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