Gunship Academy

by Richard Sheffield

Air-to-Air Tactics

Almost all air-to-air combat boils down to identifying the advantage you have over your opponent and exploiting it. This is especially true when fighting helicopters due to the short duration of the fights. You'll generally get only one good firing opportunity, so make it count.

The Head-On Missile Attack. This tactic is best employed when fighting a Hind in a heavily defended area where you must keep moving to avoid enemy fire.

Figure 8-2. The Head-On Missile Attack

The Hovering Missile Attack. In situations where a Hind appears while you're over safe territory, you might want to wait for the enemy to come to you. If so, use this tactic.

Figure 8-3. The Hovering Missile Attack

The Waiting Gun Ambush. Unfortunately, you do not have an endless supply of Sidewinder missiles. There will be times when you will have to face a Hind with your gun only. This is a good tactic for those situations.

Figure 8-4. The Waiting Gun Ambush

The Head-On Gun Attack. There will be times when you are out of missiles but cannot hover and wait for a gun ambush due to low fuel or enemy ground fire. In this situation, a dangerous head-on attack may be your only hope. If flown skillfully, this tactic will work—but expect to take some hits.

Figure 8-5. The Head-On Gun Attack

The Side-Flare Quick Stop. Even the best pilots occasionally get so caught up in a battle that they let a Hind sneak up on them. The worst position you can find yourself in is to have a Hind in your six o'clock position at close range. If this should occur, the best thing you can do is perform a side-flare quick stop.

Figure 8-6. The Side-Flare Quick Stop

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