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MigBuster

How to win in a dogfight: Stories from a pilot who flew F-16s and MiGs

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Lt. Col. Fred "Spanky" Clifton is one of the most experienced aggressor pilots ever, having flown the F-15, F-5, F-16 and the notorious MiG-29. He's been in dogfights with pretty much every fighter out there and he's an instructor at the prestigious Fighter Weapons School. Now he's here to share his expertise with you.

 

 

 

http://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/how-to-win-in-a-dogfight-stories-from-a-pilot-who-flew-1682723379

 

 

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LONG Long long read and very good thanks as usual MB.

 

I liked his no generals comment. hehe ... ie ... replace all the pilots with drones, the generals will still be there.

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Very interesting read indeed. I agree with him regarding the use of drones and unmanned weaponry.

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So stop it everyone – there's no accelerating going straight up in the F-15.

 

 I learned something new. 

 

The original APG-63 radar nowhere lived up to the hype and is worthy of a whole other discussion.

 

Something else I didnt know,

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The side-stick controller takes about as much time to get used to as it takes to read this sentence.

 

I always wondered how long it wold take to get used to it. 

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About the Mig-29

 

 

Its handling qualities are mediocre at best. The flight control system is a little sloppy and not very responsive. This does not mean the jet isn't very maneuverable. It is. I put it between the F-15C and the F-16. The pilot just has to work harder to get the jet to respond the way he wants.

 

Somehow I always thought that was the case.


 

One sensor that got a lot of discussion from Intel analysts was the infrared search-and-track system (IRSTS). Most postulated that the MiG-29 could use the passive IRSTS to run a silent intercept and not alert anyone to its presence by transmitting with its radar. The IRSTS turned out to be next to useless and could have been left off the MiG-29 with negligible impact on its combat capability. After a couple of attempts at playing around with the IRSTS I dropped it from my bag of tricks.

 

If it had been good, everyone would of been using it. 

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Weird that I find his career story more interesting, the choices he made and how he got to where he is. Also I don't think Caesar's gonna be happy about the last part lol:D Aircraft comments tho read most already from other sources but good to refresh up, I think the gentlemen is a dogfighting fighter mafia descendent which prefers the better jet in the phone booth instead of bvr jousting :dry:

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Nah, I hear both sides so much I don't care.  I half thought to myself, the F-14 probably ID'd him from 8 miles out with the TCS (standard equipment for all F-14's by about '85-86), decided he wasn't a threat, and turned away, especially since they had him on radar prior and the TCS can be slaved to the radar, but it's equally possible they got him on radar, tried to find him, lost him, and would've gotten their asses waxed if he were a real threat!  It was a really good read; thanks to MB for sharing.

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Interesting - from the article author -- 

 

Copy all wrt my F-35 comments and I'll take the barbs if you're so inclined to chuck 'em my direction. Passing up the opportunity to keep one's mouth shut always invites an equal and opposite reaction and I should've taken the shut-up approach. That any of us offer opinions about jets that none of us has ever flown or only flown against is done quite often on websites such as these. Most times those opinions are lacking or just plain wrong. I've never flown the Mirage 2000, but wasn't too impressed by what I experienced. 

No, I'm not a reader of Foxtrot Alpha and the only article I'd ever seen from that website was one about a former squadron mate flying BFM against his son. Former squadron mate in a Viper, son in a Strike Eagle. Reading through the posts, Tyler Rogoway stated that the Viper was better in horizontal maneuvering and the (light gray) Eagle was better in the vertical. Hardly ever replying to web posts, I did reply that the Viper (GE-powered anyway) is better at both. He somehow knew of my flight history and asked if I'd respond to an internet interview. So I answered his questions on my experiences and offered my opinions on others. I'm not aware that he has any hidden F-35 agenda. I've not read anything else that he has written.
Almost all the e-mails I've gotten regarding what I said about the F-35 have been positive, to include a former Lockheed/Martin executive that I've know for many years. But with the amount of response I garnered, I decided to take a closer look at what I'd said and research more about the F-35 than what I'd picked up in bar talk and internet reports (not Foxtrot Alpha). After spending a couple of days peeling back the onion skin I've amended my overall assessment of the F-35 and posted this on Foxtrot Alpha to revise my statement:

Being an adherent to the saying that a wise man acknowledges his mistakes and a fool defends his; I was probably a little harsh on my assessment of the F-35. But those opinions were formed through my exposure to things going on at Nellis. Did I bite off on chaff? I will stand by my comment that the three variants and the required commonality between the three results in performance penalties, especially for the A and the C models.

After discussions with an old engineer friend of mine, who was also one of John Boyd's guys, the F-35 actually has a higher fuel fraction than the F-22 and, therefore, potentially better range. I also talked to someone who recently checked out in the Lightning II and his description of fuel burn rips holes in my previous opinion. Scratch that off the list.

The new F-35 pilot was also impressed with acceleration in a certain subsonic speed regime. So I'll concede that. The F-35 will probably never have the raw dogfighting potential of the F-16, but the different customers bought off on that. Not a requirement? I always figured it was better to have something and not need it than to need something and not have it. A former HH-60 pilot and coworker of mine always jests about fighters not really needing guns. The previous statement is my normal comeback.

Regardless, the fighter pilots that fly and will fly the F-35 could take any airplane they get and figure how to be lethal with it and dominate any enemy. Of than I'm certain.

So, in the end, the Lightning II is not such a pig after all. It has great avionics and will do fine. The program has still cost too much and has been poorly managed by the DoD and Lockheed/Martin. But that's another story.

Would I still rather fly the Raptor? You bet. I guess in the end you got to dance with what brung ya. In my case, back to the beginning with two tails and two engines. The Raptors do mostly air-to-air (as far as I know); and for that mission, mission planning isn't much more than filling out a line-up card. At my age now, that's all the attention span I've got.

I'd also build more Raptors and upgraded Vipers and Eagles. Heck, I want it all. Back to the Ronnie Reagan 40 fighter wings and a fighter jet in every garage!!

Peace out,

Spanky


I'll also add I wish I were 20 years younger and get back out there. Unfortunately, if I ever got into a Raptor cockpit I'd probably be a 4-g max kind of guy.

 

 

http://www.f-16.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=25623&start=540

Edited by MigBuster

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