Between Fights

Flight by Committee
Just put the cross on the plane and shoot! Easy!

Voice : "Would you take the plane?"

Grumpy : "You can keep it if you'd like."

Voice : "I'd just like to crack my cockpit and get some cool air. I'll take her right back."

Grumpy : "I have the plane."

Voice : "You have the plane."

Grumpy : "The top latch."

Voice : "Got it. Now I can't seem to latch it at six inches."

Grumpy : "Just leave it free. It will stay."

Voice : "Fine. It seems the only controls difficult to operate in this whole airplane are the latches to the cockpit. I'll take the plane."

Grumpy : "Whenever you're ready."

Voice : "I have the plane."

Grumpy : "You have the plane."

Voice : "I'll follow well behind Mongo, just to keep track of where he is."

Grumpy : "Keep him off to the side, at about eleven O'clock. I'm right behind you, and can't see too well through your head. That's good."

Sky Warriors : "You going to be OK?"

Stomach : "I'll be fine. Give me a minute, and a little more cool air."

Hellcats : "We aren't going to do too well unless you join the team."

Stomach : "Just no more of that zero G and negative G stuff. Unless we're straight and level, keep a good firm pull back on the stick, so breakfast is pulled down, not up."

Sky Warriors : "Can do."

Stomach : "And don't touch the rudder pedals!"

Hellcats : "We'll need them to line up the final shot at end game."

Stomach : "I suppose..."

Art Kill : "As if we'll ever get a shot off. What happened? We had the upper hand a couple of times. He had it several times. I'd feel a lot better if I knew how to gain or lose the edge."

Grumpy : "During that fight, did you notice how we had an advantage when we were high, and he was all over us when we got low? Keep your nose up. If you pick up too much speed, your turning radius gets huge."

Art Kill : "OK. Got it! The best turning speed of this airplane is slower than the speed at which we start the fight. By going nose up, we slow down, and can turn the nose faster while pulling less Gs. I'll bet that's why T34s and F4s do High Yo Yos, while F16s don't. The F16's best turn speed is fast, so he wants to stay low. With this plane though, climbing just high enough to bleed off a few knots of airspeed is a win!"

Sky Warriors : "What should we do next time, then?"

Stomach : "How about continuing straight ahead after the initial head on pass? He'll have to lose speed turning to get our tail. He'll never catch us!"

Wallet : "At six hundred fifty dollars for one flight, we are not playing for a tie."

Grumpy in the Rear Seat

Jeff "Grumpy" Kanarich

Hellcats : "We turn right hard, or turn left hard. All fights are circle fights. We went towards the bandit last time, how about turning away this time?"

Sky Warriors : "Hell, no. You'd just be giving him your tail."

Art Kill : "You lie. If one plane breaks hard left after a head on pass, and the other hard right, that's called a two circle fight. One plane is going clockwise, one counter clock, and at least once every time around the circle you get a chance at a head on shot."

Hellcats : "Art Kill is right. It happens to me all the time. I don't like two circle fights, though. I can never keep track of the bad guy, and can't line up the head on shot quick enough."

Sky Warriors : "Head on shots are dangerous. Head on shots are against the rules. There are no laser sensors on the front of the plane, so head on shots just won't work. Forget this two circle fight."

Art Kill : "You go for two circle fights if you want separation between the planes. You do it if you have missiles left, but you don't think the other guy does. You do it if you might want to break off the fight. On the other hand, if you want a close in gun kill, you should turn the same way as the other plane, and do a one circle fight."

Sky Warriors : "Missiles? I think it's safe to say that both aircraft are all out of missiles."

Hellcats : "Then we're following the script. We turn hard towards the enemy."

Art Kill : "You're assuming Dead Meat is going to do as you expect. That's dangerous. If you want to be sure of a single circle fight, you have to watch which way the other guy breaks, and turn the same way."

Hellcats : "Dead Meat knows nothing but what Sky Warriors told him. He was told that turning away from the enemy is bad. He'll turn towards us. The first plane to turn and turn hard wins an edge. We can't afford to wait on him."

Sky Warriors : "Besides, these guys know these airplanes and this set up. I'll bet Grumpy and Mongo are right. When you guys start a head on fight, you're right on top of each other exchanging gun shots. At jet speeds with no separation, you get two circle fights. At prop speeds with a five hundred foot safety separation, you want to bet a T34 can't close to a single circle? If Dead Meat turns away while we turn towards, we should end up on his tail. It's a win win choice."

Hellcats : "I don't want to follow the script exactly, though. Let's do something a little different. Let's not turn level, but go a little high, or a little low."

Art Kill : "Low is bad. The best turning speed on a T34 is slow, remember? If we go down, we pick up speed and get a stiff stick. Just a little bit of climb should give us an advantage."

Sky Warriors : "Fine. On the 'fight's on' call, we bank hard towards the enemy, pull Gs, and go just a little bit nose up."

Art Kill : "All this talk, and what do we end up doing? Put the lift vector on the enemy and pull! This whole business is a lot simpler than you think."

Mongo : "Are you guys ready? I'll go south a bit, and in a minute we'll turn around and set up for a right wing to right wing pass."

Voice : "All set."

Grumpy : "We're ready for ya!"

Sky Warriors : "Too bad. I wanted a left to left opening."

Art Kill : "What's the difference?"

Sky Warriors : "You have to turn your shoulders towards the enemy to keep track of where he is. On the opening pass, you just can't sit straight as he flashes by going in the opposite direction. Lose sight, lose the fight. This is a right handed airplane. This joystick is definitely a right hand grip. The throttle is mounted on the left. Twisting body and head left for a counter clockwise fight, the right hand can easily reach the stick. Turning right, it's a damn uncomfortable stretch. I know Grumpy said to try flying left handed, but..."

Hellcats : "I know. I always fly with my right hand."

Grumpy : "You're all closed up? Take the plane when you're ready."

Voice : "I have the plane."

Grumpy : "You have the plane. Turn to set up a right to right pass."

Eyes : "Oops."

Voice : "I've lost him."

Grumpy : "I have the plane."

Voice : "You have the plane."

Hellcats : "I don't like that paint job!"

Sky Warriors : "Hey! That's the 'Aggressor' camouflage pattern. It's used at Top Gun, Red Flag and other high class fighter training bases such as Charley Brown airport. It's sexy. Chicks dig it."

Hellcats : "Haze grey blotches over sky blue? I believe that pattern was designed by the Soviet Air Force to absolutely disappear in the haze layer. We've got two pilots who have never flown before, their eyes are only on each other, and both aircraft are painted to look like empty sky? I've got good eyes. I've been spotting planes before Grumpy regularly. The only plane I can't find is Dead Meat's. I think the old World War II Navy trainer paint job is also 'sexy', with the deep blue body, screaming primary yellow wings and control surfaces. That pattern was designed for visibility and safety!"

Grumpy : "He's at your one O'clock, just to the right of the gunsight, and down a bit in the haze."

Voice : "I've got him."

Grumpy : "Take the plane."

Voice : "I have the plane."

Grumpy : "You have the plane. Go nose down a bit to match altitudes. Just as our wings pass, I'll yell 'fight's on!' Turn hard right immediately, and put your nose up just a little."

Art Kill : "Well, that makes it unanimous."

Hellcats : "So much for varying the fixed script."

Sky Warriors : "He said the exact same thing last time. Did either of you listen? Nooooo..."

Art Kill : "Following fixed scripts without understanding the principles is a dead end. You have to have the theory!"

Hellcats : "Stop arguing, you two. Here he comes!"