I am not a pilot - just a student & play Ace Combat sometimes

So I turned off the flight turn assistant in the Ace Combat flight simulator/game & now I have to manually control bank & pitch to turn. I also like to use a little yaw for stabilizing myself.

If I am not wrong - both pitching & rolling are controlled by the control yoke in jets. So, when going for a right turn from level flight, what does the pilot do:

  1. Push the yoke a little right (attain 90+ degree rightward roll) and then pull the yoke towards him (to pitch up - i.e. actually execute the right turning arc). OR
  2. Pull the yoke in a diagonal way i.e. towards SouthEast (assuming pilot was initially heading north) or 4'o clock - and the flight's internal computers break down yoke movement movement into respective pitch and roll magnitudes.

Just curious.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ What is the purpose of the turn? That is going to determine how the turn is executed. Are you simply making a heading change, or are you executing a level break turn, etc? $\endgroup$ May 31, 2015 at 19:49
  • $\begingroup$ @RhinoDriver no idea about level break turn just wanted to roam around, I rather let the enemy find me :) $\endgroup$
    – RinkyPinku
    Jun 1, 2015 at 15:02
  • $\begingroup$ if that's the case then you should look to the answer given. This is less specific to fighters and more specific to basic airwork. $\endgroup$ Jun 2, 2015 at 20:32
  • $\begingroup$ @RhinoDriver ok got it. Also, can you point me to pages describing fighter jet moves like level break turn, etc. $\endgroup$
    – RinkyPinku
    Jun 3, 2015 at 1:45

1 Answer 1


I think you are making things too complicated on yourself. To the best of my knowledge, fighter jet controls will in principle behave the same way as almost any other aircraft- they will in general actuate surfaces the same regardless of orientation. A left/right movement controls roll, a backwards/forwards movement controls pitch.

  1. You would push the stick sufficiently to the right to bank until you reach the desired turn rate. You would have to maintain a little right stick to maintain the bank angle.

  2. As you do the above, pull back a little to ensure that the vertical speed remains zero. You also need to add a little rudder to create a coordinated turn.

See the following images taken from here and here:

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks sir, just one more thing - in cars, after a right turn is executed the steering wheel is brought back to its neutral/zero position by necessary counter-clockwise turns of steering & sometimes the steering comes back to neutral by itself -- so what happens in planes? $\endgroup$
    – RinkyPinku
    Jun 1, 2015 at 15:01
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This behavior depends on the aircraft and flight conditions. As a rough rule of thumb, since the wing turning inwards is moving somewhat faster, it will generate a little bit more lift and will normally cause the aircraft to gradually bank even. This can be further encouraged by for instance applying a dihedral to the wing. The exception to this rule are Airbus that maintain the turn rate through computer control. $\endgroup$ Jun 1, 2015 at 20:42
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The rudder is not used in fighters to make coordinated turns. It is used, however, for more advanced handling. Additionally, the "T" should be flown. Think about moving the stick in the shape of "T" and you'll understand what I'm talking about. $\endgroup$
    – user3309
    Jun 3, 2015 at 13:26
  • $\begingroup$ My flying experience comes from gliders, which are of course have longer wings and slower roll than a fighter, but in those when you're coming out of a right turn you apply left stick (and coordinate with left rudder) to bring the wings level. $\endgroup$
    – Talisker
    Feb 13, 2018 at 15:20
  • $\begingroup$ Flying fighters in X Plane, I have to always pull up to get a turn. Is that a sim error? O once read fighters aircraft are not planes, they are rockets with large control surfaces $\endgroup$
    – Christian
    Mar 2, 2022 at 8:31

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