Air Combat Corner Library

This is SimHQ’s library of articles that deal with air combat. Here you will find material that is intended to bridge the gap between the real fighter world and our virtual one. There are more than sixty articles in the ACC Library!

The are grouped into 3 main sections.

Click here for “Ground School”

In the Ground School, you will find articles that prepare you to fly a mission. These articles have been selected to give you the specifics to plan the mission in general terms.

Click here for “The Flight Briefing”

For specifics on how to fly a mission, you then go to The Flight Briefing section. These articles give you specific info on how to fly maneuvers and tactics. Use the Ground School to learn the basics, and then come to The Flight Briefing to pick up the finer points.

Click here for “The Weapons Shop Vault”

Real world pilots do a lot of study in their off time, usually in the squadron weapons and tactics office. You can do the same in The Weapons Shop Vault, so named for the area in the squadron where all the classified info is kept. Here you will find a wealth of background info that will amplify the material covered in the first two sections.

These areas mirror the way a real world fighter pilot prepares for his missions.

Ground School

Articles are grouped by function. Four main areas are covered…aircraft systemsviewing systemscommunication techniques and planning and tactics.

Aircraft Systems

Here are articles that explain how to use aircraft flight control and avionics systems.

Secondary Flight Controls (Andy Bush)  These three articles give an in-depth real world look at these flight control features and then recommend tips and techniques on how to use these in your sim.

Secondary Flight Controls – Rudder (February 2002)

Secondary Flight Controls – Flaps (August 2002)

Secondary Flight Controls – Trim (September 2002)

Viewing Systems

You can’t attack what you can’t see. Thse articles discuss the typical simulation viewing systems and provide tips and techniques on how to best use these views.

BFM 101 (Andy Bush, September 1999)  These basic guides present an overview of Basic Flight Maneuvers (BFM) as a function of how the typical simulation viewing system compares to real life.

BFM 101 – Part One (An Introduction to Simulation BFM)

BFM 101 – Part Two (An Introduction to Simulation BFM)

Situational Awareness: Padlock In USAF and Flanker 2 (Andy Bush, December 1999) The padlock view is one of the most confusing and difficult to use of the available views. This article explains the padlock view and focuses on the USAF and Flanker 2 simulations as examples of two common padlock displays..

Communication Techniques

The popularity of online play has highlighted the importance of effective communication between players. Use this info to improve your performance in multi-player missions.

The Brevity Code (Vince “Beer Camel” Putze, May 2001)  The world of fighter pilot communications is known as the “Brevity Code.”  Learn from this former F-4 and F-16 pilot about how to effectively communicate with your flight in those multiplayer furballs….the skin you save could be your own!

Planning and Tactics

Nothing beats a good game plan!. These articles provide the basics in mission planning and flight tactics.

Hog Basics: RAF Bentwaters Tactics Guide (Andy Bush, December 2003) A look at tactics flying the A-10 Warthog in LOMAC. A pdf of this article is available here (2.68MB).

Combat Mission Planning Considerations, Part One (Andy Bush, August 1999) Initial Planning  – A must read before you plan your next singles campaign or online battle.

Combat Mission Planning Considerations, Part Two (Andy Bush, August 1999) Ingress, Attack, and Egress – This article teaches you how to get into enemy territory, attack the target, and get out again…ALIVE!

Energy Management: Picking the Right Airplane for the Job (Leon “Badboy” Smith, February 2001) This article covers the hows and whys of aircraft energy performance in the sim world.

Falcon4 RP4.1: Viper versus Fulcrum 1 on 1 (Mark “Boxer” Doran and Leon “Badboy” Smith, February 2001) Here you will find info on the flight models of the F-16 and the MiG-29 in Falcon 4 – RP4.1. The authors take a look at the strengths and weaknesses of the flight models and compare these to the actual performance curves of the real aircraft.

Discussion Of Boom And Zoom Tactics (SimHQ interview) We’ve all heard the saying that there’s more than one way to skin a cat, and ACM is no different. In this discussion, representatives from each of the major online flight sims, as well as our own fighter jocks Andy Bush and Vince Putze address how to defeat a booming and zooming attacker. Find out how representatives from Aces HighFighter AceTarget Korea,, and Warbirds handled the scenario.

Tips for online Tactical Formation Flying (Andy Bush, October 2001) It’s a key part of real air combat, but you rarely see it being done ‘by the book’ online in sims. The author discusses online tactical formation flying, using IL-2 and Aces High as models.

Winning the Co-E Chase (Leon “Badboy” Smith, February 2001) Here is a common situation….you’re on the bandit’s six, but just don’t have the range for your guns.  How do you gain on the opponent when you’re traveling the same speed?

A Practical Guide to Missile Evasion Training in Falcon 4.0  (Mark “Boxer” Doran, September 1999) Don’t let the first time you see a SAM be when you’re 20 miles behind the lines!  This article shows you how to set up defensive missile avoidance training ops, and how to spoof the real deal.

How to be a Good Stick in LOMAC  (Leon “Badboy” Smith, December 17, 2003)   Download a pdf of this article here (710 kb).

Flight Simulation Performance Analyzed  (Leon “Badboy” Smith, June 3, 2003)

Techniques For Weapons Delivery In SFP1  (Andy Bush and Leon “Badboy” Smith, April 7, 2003)

Tactics 101 (Ed “Skater” Lynch)  More basics, this time presenting a clear overview of intercept pursuits and other useful maneuvers.

Tactics 101: Introduction and Lag Pursuit (June 1998)

Tactics 101: Pure and Lead Pursuit (July 1998)

Tactics 101: Offensive & Defensive Maneuvers (July 1999)

The Flight Briefing

Articles are grouped by mission type…air to air or air to ground.

Air to Air

This section focuses on gunnery techniques and BFM. Special emphasis is given on how to fly these maneuvers using a typical simulation viewing system.

It’s All A Matter Of Perspective (Andy Bush)  This series of articles gets into the meat of air combat…maneuvering your aircraft against your opponent. The emphasis is on the importance of three-dimensional maneuvering and how to use your viewing system to fly out-of-plane maneuvers.

It’s All A Matter of Perspective – Part One  (May 1999)

It’s All A Matter of Perspective – Part Two  (June 1999)

It’s All A Matter of Perspective – Part Three  (June 1999)

It’s All A Matter of Perspective – Part Four  (July 1999)

Boom And Zoom Tactics (Andy Bush)  Whether you fly online or off, in a F-16, Sabre, 109, or Spad, this series will go through the details of employing Boom and Zoom tactics in your favorite sim

Boom And Zoom Tactics – Part One (May 2000)

Boom And Zoom Tactics – Part Two (June 2000)

Boom And Zoom Tactics – Part Three (June 2000)

Boom And Zoom Tactics – Part Four (August 2000)

How To Fly The Scissors Maneuver (Andy Bush, January 2003)  The scissors is a typical result of the “turn and burn” knife fight. This article explains the mechanics of the maneuver and provides tips on how to fly the scissors in your simulation.

Air To Air Gunnery: Theory And Application. (Andy Bush)  Everything you ever wanted to know about air to air gunnery and then some!! These three articles explain the academic basis for solving the air to air gunnery problem, provide an in-depth review of gunsight types, and give you a comprehensive look at tracking and snapshooting gunnery techniques that you can use in your favorite sim.

Air To Air Gunnery – Theory And Application – Part One  (January 2000)

Air To Air Gunnery – Theory And Application – Part Two  (January 2000)

Air To Air Gunnery – Theory And Application – Part Three  (February 2000)

Air To Air Gunnery Revisited – Guns, Gunsights, and Convergence  (Andy Bush, January 2001)  The gunnery problem is examined in detail with emphasis on range estimation and computing the required lead angle.

LOMAC and BVR   (Jim Campisi, December 15, 2003) Download a pdf of this article here (945 kb).

Air Combat Basics: The Scissors Maneuver  (Andy Bush and Leon “Badboy” Smith, January 27, 2003)

Air to Ground

Moving Mud – Air To Ground Basics. (Andy Bush) These articles explain the basics of manual weapons delivery. Learn the real world academics that explain how a gunsight is used to aim your weapon. Tips and techniques are offered to help you put your bombs, bullets, and rockets on target.

Moving Mud – Air To Ground Basics, Part One – Bombing  (September 1999)

Moving Mud – Air To Ground Basics, Part Two – Bombing  (October 1999)

Moving Mud – Air to Ground, Part Three – Rockets and Guns  (March 2000)

A-10 CCIP Bombing In LOMAC  (Andy Bush, January 12, 2004)  Download a pdf of this article here(3.93MB)

Mavericks, Rockets, and the Gun (Andy Bush, December 3, 2003)  Download a pdf of this article here(6.45MB).

The Weapons Shop Vault

This is our weapons and tactics library. Here you will find reference material to expand your knowledge of air to air and air to ground subjects.

Air to Air

LOMAC and BVR: Beyond Visual Range Combat (Jim “Hornit” Campisi, December 15, 2003) The object of this article is to introduce the concept and talk about how one can be successful in this arena. Also some tips and comments on how to succeed in LOMAC will be provided. Download a pdf of this article here (945 kb).

A2A Weapons Delivery in Strike Fighters (Andy Bush, June 2, 2003). This article will cover weapons delivery procedures and techniques for employing radar guided missiles, infrared guided missiles, and the gun in the Strike Fighters, Project One (SFP1) simulation.

To Blackout or Not to Blackout  (Dan “Crash” Crenshaw,  September 1999) Blackout modeling in sims can become a controversial topic…Crash takes us through the basics in this article

Shoot to Kill / European Air War SimHQ is proud to announce that we are now hosting Mark “MarkShot” Kratzer’s Shoot to Kill / European Air War (STK / EAW). Read MarkShot’s guide to becoming a killing machine in EAW. Each page has been decorated with screen shots from the EAW community and there is a page to submit your EAW squadron to be listed as well. Available in downloadable PDF format (file size 305 kb).

The Falcon 3.0 Manual (Edited by Ed “Skater” Lynch, October 1999).

Considered by some to be the best flight sim manual ever when it comes to tactics and maneuvers, the Falcon 3.0 manual is published in part here.

Introduction to the Geometry of Air Combat  (October 1999)

Introduction to Offensive BFM  (October 1999)

Introduction to Defensive BFM  (October 1999)

Introduction to Head-On BFM  (October 1999)

Introduction to the BVR Fight  (October 1999)

Air to Ground

A-10 CCIP Bombing In LOMAC  (Andy Bush, January 12, 2004)
Download a pdf of this article here (3.93MB)

Mavericks, Rockets, and the Gun  (Andy Bush, December 2003) Let’s talk a little about how to employ the forward firing ordnance in the LOMAC A-10. While “point and shoot” has a certain simplistic ring to it, sometimes it just isn’t that easy. In this article, we’ll take a look at HUD presentations, weapon switchology and capabilities, and employment techniques. Download a pdf of this article here (6.45MB).

Techniques For Weapons Delivery In SFP1 (Andy Bush and Leon “Badboy” Smith, April 7, 2003). In this article, Leon and Andy present two techniques for dropping bombs, firing rockets, and strafing with the cannon in SFP1. We are responding to the many posts that we have seen regarding the difficulty that SFP1 players are having in getting their weapons on target.

The Wolf 20 Short Stories. Andy Bush takes his real world experiences in Vietnam and turns them into a riveting series of fictional stories about modern air combat over Southeast Asia, as it really was.

One Day in the War – Wolf 20, Part One  (August 1999) Briefing, ingress, and attack during a CAS mission in Vietnam.

One Day in the War – Wolf 20, Part Two  (August 1999) Egress and mid-air refueling

One Day in the War – Wolf 20, Part Three  (September 1999) Wolf flight mixes it up in air to air over North Vietnam.

Close Air Support in the Vietnam War  (Andy Bush, January 2000) The history of CAS in Southeast Asia, as told by a fighter pilot who was there.  This thoroughly researched article looks at how CAS tactics evolved throughout the war.

Close Air Support in World War II: The Luftwaffe  (John “Spoons” Sponauer, April 2000) The German air force shocked the world more than 50 years ago. This in-depth article talks about the development and use of the theories of close air support, as developed by the Luftwaffe.

Week of the Hog, Day One
An Interview with Andy Bush
To kick off this week’s focus on the A-10 Thunderbolt, we start by talking to one of our own….Andy Bush, who flew in the Vietnam War and who was an A-10 pilot in the time and place the aircraft was designed for….Central Europe, the mid-1980s.

Week of the Hog, Day Two 
Hogs In a “Hot” Peace: The A-10 Since Desert Storm, Part One
(John “Spoons” Sponauer,  August 2001) The A-10’s performance in Desert Storm is legendary, but what about its use since then? John ‘Spoons’ Sponauer takes a look at the Warthog’s role and performance in Northern Iraq, Southern Iraq, and in the skies over Bosnia. Tomorrow….Kosovo.

Week of the Hog, Day Three 
Hogs In a “Hot” Peace: The A-10 Since Desert Storm, Part Two
(John “Spoons” Sponauer,  August 2001) Yesterday, we looked at the A-10’s role in post-Desert Storm Iraq and Bosnia.  Today, we look closely at the Warthog’s performance in Operation Allied Force, the air war over Kosovo.

History Of The Warthog. (Willem “PALERIDER” Aalbers,  May 2001)  The author takes a look at this incredible aircraft, its weapons, tactics, avionics, and flight performance.

History of the Fairchild-Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II, Part One

History of the Fairchild-Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II, Part Two

A-10 Coloring Book  (Editor: Andy Bush, July 1999) This coloring book, created for and by “Hog” pilots, is sure to make you smile.  A small warning: it was meant for real life Hog pilots, who tend to be a rude and crude bunch. There are a few cuss words in this… no big deal. But, forewarned is forearmed.

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