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Old 09-09-2020, 08:16 AM   #1
john4pap
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Default Range and deflection

Has anyone read the Bag the Hun shooting guide? I went through it many times while learning to fly the Spit, but there's something I don't get. I understand how estimating deflection per se is important, however I do not understand how estimating range enters the calculations for choosing where to aim.

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Old 09-09-2020, 12:08 PM   #2
philstyle
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Originally Posted by john4pap View Post
Has anyone read the Bag the Hun shooting guide? I went through it many times while learning to fly the Spit, but there's something I don't get. I understand how estimating deflection per se is important, however I do not understand how estimating range enters the calculations for choosing where to aim.

If you're calculating where to aim then you're doing it wrong. You get a couple of seconds to shoot at the most in combat. There's no time for "calculations". You either pull lead and hope it's enough or you do what EVERY second world war ace advised -> Get in so close that you can't miss.


“TEN OF MY RULES FOR AIR FIGHTING” – Sailor Malan
1. Wait until you see the whites of his eyes. Fire short bursts of 1 to 2 seconds and only when your sights are definitely ‘ON’.
2. Whilst shooting think of nothing else, brace the whole of the body, have both hands on the stick, concentrate on your ring sight.
3. Always keep a sharp lookout. “Keep your finger out!”
4. Height gives You the initiative.
5. Always turn and face the attack.
6. Make your decisions promptly. It is better to act quickly even though your tactics are not the best.
7. Never fly straight and level for more than 30 seconds in the combat area.
8. When diving to attack always leave a proportion of your formation above to act as top guard.
9. INITIATIVE, AGGRESSION, AIR DISCIPLINE, and TEAM WORK are the words that MEAN something in Air Fighting.
10. Go in quickly – Punch hard – Get out!
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Old 09-09-2020, 03:28 PM   #3
john4pap
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Originally Posted by philstyle View Post
If you're calculating where to aim then you're doing it wrong. You get a couple of seconds to shoot at the most in combat. There's no time for "calculations". You either pull lead and hope it's enough or you do what EVERY second world war ace advised -> Get in so close that you can't miss.


“TEN OF MY RULES FOR AIR FIGHTING” – Sailor Malan
1. Wait until you see the whites of his eyes. Fire short bursts of 1 to 2 seconds and only when your sights are definitely ‘ON’.
2. Whilst shooting think of nothing else, brace the whole of the body, have both hands on the stick, concentrate on your ring sight.
3. Always keep a sharp lookout. “Keep your finger out!”
4. Height gives You the initiative.
5. Always turn and face the attack.
6. Make your decisions promptly. It is better to act quickly even though your tactics are not the best.
7. Never fly straight and level for more than 30 seconds in the combat area.
8. When diving to attack always leave a proportion of your formation above to act as top guard.
9. INITIATIVE, AGGRESSION, AIR DISCIPLINE, and TEAM WORK are the words that MEAN something in Air Fighting.
10. Go in quickly – Punch hard – Get out!

That's a nice list philstyle, thank you!


Well, obviously, I'm not doing calculations while dogfighting, neither do I aspire to be able to do so
And the point of the aforementioned guide isn't that of making calculations while dogfighting, rather practicing them on paper and applying them instinctively when necessary.
So, I'm still interested in finding out an answer to my initial question. I mean there must be a good reason that the pilot could adjust range and base.
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Old 09-09-2020, 09:09 PM   #4
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Quote:
1. Wait until you see the whites of his eyes. Fire short bursts of 1 to 2 seconds and only when your sights are definitely ‘ON’.
With Spitfire/Hurricane MG's sets for 250 yards or even worse for "Dowding spread" ~400 yards convergence, this Number 1 rules sounds more braggadocio. )
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Old 09-10-2020, 06:58 AM   #5
philstyle
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With Spitfire/Hurricane MG's sets for 250 yards or even worse for "Dowding spread" ~400 yards convergence, this Number 1 rules sounds more braggadocio. )
Seeing the Whites of his eyes is a metaphor, it's not literal. It's a reference to The Battle of Bunker's Hill during the US war for independence. It just means, get a close as you can.

Nothing Braggadocio about that. In fact, I'd argue that it is the opposite because it sets the pilot up for the minimum amount of deflection required. The close you are, the less chance of missing.
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Old 09-12-2020, 02:11 PM   #6
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The longer the range , the further the bullets have to travel and the longer the time it takes them to get there . Thus the enemy aircraft will travel further during that additional time before the bullet intercepts , requiring larger deflection .
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Old 09-12-2020, 03:01 PM   #7
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The art of sharpshooting is pretty hard.. That's why it's better to come as close as you can get to the target.. in terms of 'accuracy'.. but, there are situations in which it is very risky to get close to the target because it takes time to do so and you'll be pretty exposed during that time. In this case, it is much safer but exponentially harder to take high deflection shots at the target, especially when you boom'n'zoom, and that takes A LOT of practice to master. It IS of very much importance the deflection angle as well as the distance to the target, taking into consideration the guns convergence and, respectively, the 'bullet drop'. Practice is your only solution here, there are NO shortcuts.
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Old 09-14-2020, 03:16 PM   #8
john4pap
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Svsmokey View Post
The longer the range , the further the bullets have to travel and the longer the time it takes them to get there . Thus the enemy aircraft will travel further during that additional time before the bullet intercepts , requiring larger deflection .
Quote:
Originally Posted by amazingme View Post
It IS of very much importance the deflection angle as well as the distance to the target, taking into consideration the guns convergence and, respectively, the 'bullet drop'. Practice is your only solution here, there are NO shortcuts.
Thanks for your answers. Let me first say that my interest on the subject isn't related to finding a shortcut... rather it is more encyclopedic. I am interested to know how real pilots did it (as part of their training at least) rather than finding a shortcut for more kills

So let me further explain my question: in the second chapter of the guide, the pilot learns to aim at specific points on his gunsight (virtual circles with the visible circle representing 20 degrees of deflection) in relation to the deflection of the aircraft he is aiming at:



In chapter 3, however, which combines what is learnt about range (chapter 1) and deflection (chapter 2), range doesn't seem to play any role at all in the whole process of aiming. In the following picture, taken from chapter 3, range seems to play no role in placing the enemy aircraft at the correct point of the gunsight:




Now, I also agree that range should surely be taken into consideration, so I would expect the guide to say something like "what you learnt about deflection works at 200 yards. For 300 yards add 5 degrees" or something...

Again, I presume there must be a reason that the pilot could adjust range and base. And, I also presume that adjusting them was related to some method related to aiming (what else?). So I'm wondering what that could be. Or am I missing something else here?


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