by Richard Sheffield
Air Combat Mode Only
At the beginning of play, your F-15 is always configured in the air-to-ground mode. The F-15, however, was designed as an air superiority fighter. From time to time, you may want to simulate this mission, which you can do by using any of the seven missions except for 3 (Haiphong) and 6 (Iraq). Enemy air activity over these areas is slight.
The first thing to do on an air superiority mission is drop all bombs—they severely affect your aircraft's performance. Next, climb to 40,000 feet. This will give you plenty of maneuver altitude and put you out of SA-7 SAM range (which is 32,000 feet). Go looking for trouble by flying close to an air base. Missions 1 and 2 are particularly good for this due to the low SAM activity and multiple target possibilities.
Many F-15 pilots think they can become aces on their first mission, should a shooting war start. Becoming an ace should be your goal for an air superiority mission. Each time out, you should collect at least five kills. Once you accomplish this on a regular basis, try becoming a double-ace each time—that's ten kills. Since you carry only eight missiles, at least two kills must be made with your guns to become a double-ace in one mission.
As your dogfighting skills improve, work your way through the various skill levels to increase your difficulties.