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650404 F-100D Probable MiG Kill

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650404 F-100D Probable MiG Kill

Four F-100Ds of the 416th TFS, call sign Robin, were tasked with RESCAP on April 4, 1965.

The flight had just started orbiting when they crossed paths with two MiG-17s almost head-on.

During the resulting dogfight, one of the MiGs was fired upon repeatedly by Robin 02.

Capt Donald Kilgus could see hits on the tail, but lost sight of the MiG in the clouds.

The gun camera had failed and no one was able to see what happened to the MiG.

So, the USAF only awarded a probable kill.

After the war, the VPAF admitted to losing three MiG-17s in air-to-air combat that day.

This was the first and last time F-100s tangled with MiGs in Vietnam.

Most likely, this was the first United States air-to-air victory of the Vietnam War.


Robin flight was on RESCAP and had just started orbiting .





A. USAF "Red Baron" WSEG Report 116 Event III-2

Detailed account. (very detailed, most accurate)


B. Osprey Combat Aircraft 89 F-100 Super Sabre Units of the Vietnam War

by Peter E. Davies, pg. 21. (general account)


C. MiG KILLERS A Chronology of U.S. Air Victories in Vietnam 1965-1973

by Donald J. McCarthy, Jr., pg. 23. (photo and call sign)




After extensive testing, this mission uses the following design decisions:


Written for a stock SF2V install, no mods required.


The stock environment does not permit multiple levels and types of clouds/haze.

So the only the haze and cirrus layer are modeled.


The lead F-100D and second pair are on a SWEEP over the Thanh Hoa area.

The player is tasked as an ESCORT for the lead.

The initial aircraft positions reflect WSEG Report 116 Event III-2.

The F-100s are in an orbit at the Objective over water, south of Than Hoa.

The mission starts when the lead MiG is first detected by the F-100s.

The player and the other pair of F-100s are modeled as a separate flights with the same callsign.

This permits historical positioning of the aircraft and differing missions.

The player is flying as Capt Don Kilgus, Robin 02 (Rambler 01 of the 2nd Rambler flight in the game).


The MiG-17s have been broken up into two flights.

This permits historical starting positions and target objectives.


Outcomes are typically close to historical results, but depend greatly on how the player flies.

The MiGs tend to run away when being tailed.

However, if not pursued, they will get a good firing position and score kills.


/*****Playing Tips*************************************************************/


The mission begins with the enemy nearly head-on at 12:30 o'clock and closing fast.

The first thing the player should do is jettison all ordnance and break into the threat.

The F-100D has less power and is less maneuverable than the MiG-17.

Do everything you can to keep your speed as high as possible.


Do the following to make this mission challenging and realistic:



Do not use map <M>, target <T>, padlock <F4>, or any view target <F8> keys.

Doing so provides the player with exceptional situational awareness.

The player unrealistically always knows everyone's location.

This extra knowledge allows a skilled player to possibly kill both MiG-17s.


Be proficient with the POV hat, look up <NUM 5> key, and zoom view controls.

Due to the way the game renders distant targets, spotting MiGs is very hard.

MiGs that are not very close cannot be seen at all when zoomed out.

Learn to zoom in and scan the horizon for small moving dots.

This will be frustrating and the spotting distances may seem unrealistic.

The end results are exceptionally realistic.

The player may frequently get lost or disoriented.

Like real pilots, level out and/or use check turns to find your way back.

It will take skill and luck to spot MiGs.

It requires even more skill and luck to get one or more kills.

Of course, TrackIR makes this whole process much easier and realistic.


Play the mission several times following these restrictions.

Once used to it, the player will learn two skills critical to real pilots:

1) Visual scanning discipline to focus and pick out distant contacts.

2) Situational awareness to mentally track planes not within view.


Good luck!


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I am the opposite of YAP: could care less about whether the cows are standing in the fields or there is a party at the end of the ramp... the "story" to be told is in the geometry of the real life encounters. The AI is very sensitive to speed, altitude, and angles. I can get very different results just by altering the start positions, headings, and speeds. My goal is to get the setup so close to reality that playing it out using the same decisions as the real pilot(s) gets similar results... at which point, you can see how it might have come out differently. I am slowly making my way through the Red Baron reports. I would like to make a proper master mission covering April 4, 1965 where you can fly in any of the key flights: the F-105s that got bounced, the F-100D RESCAP flight of this mission, the F-100D CAP flight that encountered MiGs, or The F-105s that made it all the way to the target, but lost one to ground fire in USAF account, but more likely to a MiG-17 by VPAF account. The problem is, that no matter how well I time the flights, it would be pure luck if any of the historical encounters even took place. Whereas in these little missions with forced start conditions, you get an idea of the problems faced in each specific encounter.


Something that was never really apparent to me from prior studies is how bad the weather/visibility was during a lot of the air-to-air encounters. Whether playing out various dogfights with board games in the 1980s or flying in flight sims, I never choose more than scattered clouds. But the Red Baron reports make it clear there was frequently a high overcast cloud layer above 20,000 feet with broken to overcast cloud layer somewhat lower between 3,000 and 10,000 feet. Additionally, it was also hazy, which cut down visual detection and identification ranges. I am sure there were plenty of encounters with better weather, but so far, all of the ones I have been studying had similar conditions despite occurring in different years and months.

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