In a dogfight ("A" Scenario), aircraft "A" is being shot at by aircraft "B". In order to lead aircraft "A", "B" must turn inside "A" and will soon overshoot if "B" does not perform a defensive maneuver. "A" can force an overshoot and then turn into "B" for a shot.

("B" Scenario) To prevent "B" from overshooting, it is common practice for it to perform a YO-YO (quick climb then dive) which absorbs energy and increases the flight path which will help keep it behind "A".

In the second scenario, what options does the lead aircraft have to gain the advantage over an enemy behind it that likly is about to perform a YO-YO?

enter image description here enter image description here my artwork

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ You've used a zero in your title's yo-yo. Nice artwork. $\endgroup$ – Transistor Aug 12 '18 at 9:56
  • $\begingroup$ thx - corrected it $\endgroup$ – jwzumwalt Aug 12 '18 at 10:00

Sort of amusing F-16s were used here, instead of older vintage aircraft. One must realize those little turns would involve high Gs that may incapacitate the pilots. Also, any "yo-yo" would bleed off a lot of energy and make B an easy target for wingman of A.

One "oldie but goodie" would be for A and its wingman (person) to weave and have B turn right into the wingman's line. This is the value of teamwork.

However, these days, more realisticly, you need to dodge the opponents missile, which can be very tough. Stealth and shoot now rule. But old methods should still be studied.

In the second scenario, one on one, aircraft A would also try to "yo-yo", and they wind up in "a rolling scissors". The aircraft with more power to weight and better turning rate prevails. For identical aircraft, it would be pilot skill. But for modern aircraft with missiles and partners, this type of turning engagement would be very rare.

| improve this answer | |
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Every generation of new aircraft have had "experts" saying dogfights are a thing of the past. Then a conflict occurs and the fighter with bullets starts coming out ahead. As the late Bob Hoover once said, "most victories are won by a surprise attack and not strategy or pilot skill, the dead pilot never even saw it coming..". I predict that for as long as there are aircraft (even if it is unmanned) there will continue to be close combat dogfights. It will be a long time before technology prevents clouds from masking aircraft position and surprise attack. $\endgroup$ – jwzumwalt Dec 27 '18 at 2:21
  • $\begingroup$ This may be one of the reasons the F35 C has a larger wing :). $\endgroup$ – Robert DiGiovanni Dec 27 '18 at 8:19

Col John Boyd was a masterful genius who developed many concepts of aerial warfare, including the concept of specific excess power, to compare dog fighting capabilities, the OODA loop, and wrote the first USAF manual on fighter tactics, the Aerial Attack Study. See page 72, procedures for countering high speed Yo-Yo, and page 84 for the low speed.

An excellent biography, by Robert Coram, covers his life.

He was dubbed "Forty Second Boyd" for his standing bet as an instructor pilot that beginning from a position of disadvantage, he could defeat any opposing pilot in air combat maneuvering in less than 40 seconds.

He’s buried in the National cemetery, Arlington, VA.

| improve this answer | |
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ This answer could be improved by listing said procedures in it, as opposed to just providing a link to a PDF. This way the answer will remain relevant if the link rots away. $\endgroup$ – AEhere supports Monica Aug 12 '18 at 13:50
  • $\begingroup$ @AEhere. Absolutely correct. If you (or anyone) would like to do that ... please feel free. I am a bit surprised no actually has done that, because I am sure they would get more votes than me. $\endgroup$ – Penguin Aug 13 '18 at 10:40

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.