Basic fighter maneuvers or BFM for short are tactical movements that every pilot should be familiar with
Out of Plane ManeuversEdit
Barrel roll attackEditThe barrel roll can be used to slow down your movement relative to a slower bandit. When you are at a higher speed it's difficult to tail a slower aircraft in a turn.
The barrel roll which rolls into the opposite direction your opponent is turning into allows for a more roundabout but overall tighter turn without needing to sacrifice the speed you've built up.
The Immelmann turn is an upwards vertical turn.
In it's most basic form the pilot pulls up until he's upside down, then rolls to un-invert the plane. It can also however be used to turn into any direction desired by rolling into the desired direction during the pull-up.
A normal flat turn simply bleeds energy to drag and you end up at the same altitude and usually a lower speed. In an Immelmann turn speed is traded for altitude which can be reconverted back into speed if so desired.
The split-S is the inverse of the Immelmann turn, a vertical turn going downwards. It trades altitude for speed.
It can be used if your airspeed is dangerously low for any other type of turn. Just like the Immelmann the split S can be turned into whichever direction desired.
The split-S is often used to disengage from a fight, the quick change of direction can throw off a pursuer, and it can be discouraging for an enemy to follow you into a chase at lower altitude where he himself may become an easy target for the disengaging fighter's wingmates.
Low Yo-YoEditThe low yo-yo can be simply described as a temporary dive and pull-up. It temporarily exchanges some altitude for speed then converts it back to altitude. It can be used to temporarily 'borrow' some airspeed in order to catch up to a fleeing target or in a turn.
High Yo-YoEditThe high yo-yo can be used to slow oneself down temporarily, usually to aid in targetting a slower moving target.
By pulling up you gain altitude (setting up for a better shot) and lose speed (which brings you closer to your target's speed and allows for more controllability for better aim).
It allows for pursuing a fleeing target aggressively or allows you to match turns with a slower fighter without surrendering your energy advantage.
The scissors is a natural 'dance' that occurs between fighters. Essentially both fighters are simply trying to turn into each other, forcing both planes to move in a serpentine motion. This maneuver favours a plane with a good turn rate or roll rate. The turn rate means you can complete each turn of the scissors quicker, while the better roll rate allows you to switch from one half loop to another quicker.
Often a last-ditch option, 'guns defense' is used as a delaying tactic with the only goal of not getting hit by the enemy.
Guns defense maneuvering, or "guns-D", is the last resort for a defender that fails to outmaneuver the attacker. Guns-D is a series of random changes in the defenders flight path, intended to spoil the attacker's aim by presenting a constantly shifting target, and, hopefully, to maneuver out of the bullet stream (hose). It consists of arbitrary speed changes, yaws, skids, pitch-ups, and rolls, often referred to as "jinking", and is very effective at preventing the attacker from achieving a suitable guns solution. However, guns-D maneuvering still leaves the defender susceptible to stray bullets and "lucky shot" hits, and does little to improve the relative positional situation. Thus, it is only employed as a last-ditch defensive effort when nothing else works
The spiral dive can be used in two ways, to out-turn your opponent or to force an overshoot.
A heavier wingloaded plane will be unable to follow a lighter wingloaded plane, in which case the spiral dive is simply being used as a tight turning circle and the dive adds energy into the mix. The pilot being chased can adjust the depth of the dive to maintain the chase at the speed his plane is best suited for. Should the heavier plane make the mistake of maintaining the chase throughout the spiral dive he will quickly find himself out-turned and with an opponent on his back.
By going into a dive both planes pick up speed. By cutting engine and deploying flaps, airbrakes and perhaps even landing gear you can trick an opponent into speeding past you as you quickly slow down. The dive adds energy to the unwitting chasing plane and the spiral turn hides this trick by distracting the opponent while giving him a difficult to hit constantly turning target.
The spiral climb can be used if you have a climbing advantage over your opponent.
Best case scenario your opponent is simply unable to keep up but often it's a delaying tactic to allow for teammates to come help you.
It has the advantage over regular straight climbing by allowing you to move relatively little (allowing for teammates to come help you easier) and by constantly turning and making yourself a more difficult target than if you were simply climbing straight.