The problem of getting into the target’s plane of motion uncovers another one of those ‘great truths’ of A2A gun employment. Here it is:
Do not try to ‘fly’ the pipper (or funnel) to the target. Instead, use traditional BFM to get the target positioned in the approximate center of the HUD with your closure under control and your fuselage aligned with the target. During this time, ‘ignore’ the pipper or funnel. In your mind’s eye, ‘turn off’ the sight display. Once the target is in a stable position in the HUD, then (and only then) compare the pipper or funnel to the target.
Once you have the target stabilized, then you can compare the pipper or funnel to the target. Determine what kind of correction you need to make. Then, again ‘turn off’ the sight while you reposition the target in the HUD.
Determining Sight Settling Time
Sight settling time varies between sight types…anywhere from less than one half a second to a full second. The secret to satisfying sight settling time requirements lies in the concept of BFM’ing the target into the HUD before you bring the pipper or funnel into the picture. By stabilizing the target, you are automatically settling the sight. After making the final corrections to pipper or funnel position, then stabilize momentarily before firing. Here’s a tip. Count to yourself, “One potato, two potato…”, then pull the trigger!! That should do the trick!
Determining The Open Fire Point
If we have accomplished the first three items above…gotten in range, then in plane and lastly, allowed enough settling time, then we pretty well have the open fire point under control.
The techniques to get to this point are much the same as they were for the fixed sight tracking shot. The main difference lies in the fact that the lead angle computation is now more accurate, and as such, the shooter does not have to allow for as much error in the open fire point.
In the final stage of positioning the pipper or funnel, the shooter makes a last correction to his back pressure to move the pipper to the target. Once the sight aiming point is superimposed over the target, the shooter waits for the necessary settling time and then fires. A technique that works well is the ‘track – shoot – track’ concept. Remember that the sight picture is essentially a ‘picture of the past’…it’s telling you that what you are seeing is a picture of bullet position one TOF ago. The ‘track – shoot – track’ concept takes this into consideration in the following manner.
Maintain a constant G and attitude as you hold the pipper over the target. Squeeze – don’t jerk – the trigger as you continue to hold your G and bank attitude constant. Release the trigger and continue to track the target for a moment. Then be ready to get out of the way of the target debris!
This technique is similar to the ‘follow through’ emphasis common in skeet shooting. It encourages good pipper discipline.