Dogfighting skills (or lack thereof)

I’ve recently gotten the Mig-15, and it’s an all round lovely aircraft. It’s pretty easy to get a hang of the basics and it performs great. Sadly, I’m terrible at the actual fighting part, and would like to hear your suggestions for learning how to dogfight!


First step is learn the speed range of the Mig, you want to stay fast but if you let it get too fast, there be compressibility dragons there, and recovering from a .95 Mach nosedive can become nigh impossible. Generally against sabers you will have the thrust and maneuverability to fight them evenly in a turn fight. You can climb away and out accelerate the saber as well. The difficulty comes from the relatively subpar handling and the atrocious gunsight, if the saber goes down hill it’s usually a bad idea to follow him because he will not suffer compressibility like you will. Technique I’ve found that works fairly well is to turn with the nose above the horizon if you are at any kind of speed, helps keep the speed under control.

Mug biggest problem with the Mig is the gunsight, I have outflown 4 sabers at once online but was unable to get any bullets on target due to the gunsight. Practice will help with that.


Good advice - but I need more basic skills. I’ve watched Art of the Kill, but find it hard to translate the concepts into actual flying

ok start fighting one v ones and treat it like a handling exercise, explore how much you can pull before the jet stops turning or starts stalling, learn how quickly it can accelerate In its various regimes, how well the rudder can roll it at high aoa, figure out what speeds are good, which ones are so slow you are fighting the jet just to not stall or spin and at what airspeed it starts to get compressibility, figure out how it responds differently at 30000 feet, 20000 feet, and 10000 feet. Learn how to judge what the aircraft is doing without looking at the instruments, and while looking somewhere other than where the aircraft is going, i.e. Your six or straight out the top of the canopy at the other aircraft. is it rolling, pulling straight, am I accelerating or decelerating, going up hill or downhill. All of these things help you to start to focus on how to apply tactics and techniques, it just takes practice and time to pick them up


I think it’s more that I don’t know what to do when to actually fight someone…

One good starting point is- Try not to be in front of them.
I know it sounds like a joke but really.
Just try to always be between their 8 o’clock and 4 o’clock.

Then see what happens… Do you stall? High speed or low speed stall?
Can you at least keep the enemy fighter on the canopy top/lift vector?


got it - stick 'em with the pointy end :smiley:

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Heh, I know I sound silly but that’s how I started. And I think it IS a valid point.

Perfectly valid - it’s how I’ve always treated fencing - make sure your oppoent can’t hit you, then try to hit them


Now, you see? That’s a good beginning!

Once you know the most basic act to perform you try and see what’s missing- mind you DCS AI can be a bit too perfect sometime. Frustratingly so. Mad-hopping, wall-punching, keyboard-smashingly so…

So Maybe a friend to shoot at would be also a good idea, but in case you happen to be alone, just ignore if DCS AI nail you everytime.

Maybe give them zero ammo… :grimacing:

But again, essentially try to “ride them” and see if you manage- and if not what happens.

And then go and read “In Pursuit”. The single best read you can find on Virtual Dogfighting.


Looks good:


That one man… A true bible. Humble, funny, informative and a really good read overall.

Plus a mistery- how I’m still so terrible at A2A even if I know it by heart… :confused:

Yeah this looks exactly like the stuff I need to learn - thanks!

No worries. And still, should you have any doubt, we’re all here!

Understanding your enemy is winning half the battle, right?


Super Cool!

You can read for ages but in my opinion only seat time will improve your skill.

I would recommend reading in small chunks and then try to practice immediately, like “put your lift vector on the opponent and align with his plane of motion”.

If you’re more into easy to digest theory try these oldie but Goldie articles from “that other site” (Andy Bush et al)

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excellent! thanks!