Tailslide's Air Combat Site



Tailslide's Article - Rolling Scissors

The rolling scissors is a more advanced version of the flat scissors.   If you haven't flown flat scissors, check out some of the training links in my WWII Combat Tips Page and come back to this after you have mastered them.


How do you get into rolling scissors?

  When a fast, high plane attacks a lower plane, the lower plane (if he is smart) will pull up to face the attacker.  After they pass, the fast fighter will either extend, or he will pull up to trade speed for altitude.  While the fast fighter is pulling up, the slow fighter is pulling down to get his speed up for the next pass. They have entered the rolling scissors, basically two planes following each other in a barrel roll.


How do I win the rolling scissors?

Conserve energy.  The first plane to run out of juice is the first one to either stall or flatten out and fly straight.

   If you are the faster fighter, you want to conserve energy by pulling up with your wings level to the horizon, and making your turns while vertical.   Extend up in the vertical until you get to a comfortable speed to quickly turn back down (don't get too slow).


  If you are the slower fighter, you want to minimize the vertical part of your scissors to keep your speed up.  Use your slower speed and tighter turns to your advantage, but keep your speed up at all costs.


r-scissors.gif (2403 bytes)

Figure 1:  Rolling Scissors with a faster and slower plane.


 If both planes have equal speed, it is a contest for who is smoothest on the stick and can keep their speed up. In this case, the enemy plane often will seem "locked", you will see it out the same direction of your cockpit through the entire roll.


r-scissors-ss.jpg (27564 bytes)

Rolling Scissors in action. Film available in Flim Section.


   This one takes a bit of practice, but when done properly it is a wonderful sight.  Your opponent will spend the entire time looking at you but not able to get one shot off until you land on his 6.   Check out the film for a great example.






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