BFM Showcase with Sinan ‘A.S’ Akkaya
In the air combat arena, the BFM acronym stands for Basic Fighter Maneuvers; although most maneuvers can be mastered with a bit of practice, some are more advanced and need a lot more training to pull off. However, it is, especially, deciding which maneuver to go for in a given situation that turns out to be a challenging task, no to mention the very dynamic and fast evolution of an aerial battle, which gives a pilot very little time to pick the next move.
Today’s video is a courtesy of Sinan “A.S” Akkaya, a veteran virtual pilot, having flown all major air combat simulations and accumulated a lot of experience over the years. This is running in IL2: Battle of Stalingrad.
I’ve personally had the chance to share the skies with A.S several times and I can say with a lot of confidence that he is one of the very capable virtual fighter pilots I’ve ever met and surely one of the very few top BFM aces out there. We’ve trained together in Flaming Cliffs, Falcon, IL2, you name it and each time, I felt coming out with a better understanding of the BFM thing.
So today, through this video, I’d like to share with you, BFM fans, a couple of things that I learned from him and that helped me a lot in honing my dogfighting skills.
The MergeMost common reaction at the merge is to make use of maximum instantaneous turn rate to quickly gain positional advantage over your opponent. In this video the pilot does not start pulling sharp turns right away, he initiates a rather easy low-G ascending turn, while at the same time, visually assessing opponent’s maneuvering and energy status.
The mental approach must also be very different; such a move requires calmness, experience and self-control in the rather stressful initial merge where every lost angle could haunt you for the rest of the fight.
Pursuit GeometryAnother very important aspect is pursuit geometry; in this video, you can see how the pilot shifts from lag to pure to lead pursuit in a dynamic fashion. Lagging behind the opponent (nose pointing behind target’s tail) is used to build energy and increase separation, while lead pursuit helps to close the distance and is commonly used to put pressure on your adversary forcing him to bleed energy while defending.
The Top PositionIt is also worth mentioning how the pilot consistently tries to stay above the target; altitude is potential energy as it can be instantaneously converted into speed; Keeping the top position forces your opponent to point his nose up in order to trade speed for altitude thus limiting his turning capability.
Situational AwarenessIt’s interesting too see how it is possible to keep a good picture of the fight without actually seeing your opponent; in the video, the pilot looses sight of his prey momentarily as it goes under his wing and then continues his maneuver very smoothly without showing any sign of discomfort like, for instance, rocking the wings to regain sight of the target. Such capability of keeping a good picture of your opponent’s flight path without actually seeing him for a short period of time is extremely valuable.
The Coup de graceWhat really matters as the fight goes on is to identify the right moment to finish off your agonizing opponent. It is usually when you start noticing him running out of energy as he struggles to keep up the pace with you; then has no choice but to loose altitude to regain speed, giving you a good snapshot opportunity. Staying calm and ready to maintain your advantage in case you do not convert the shot into a kill is crucial.
Here we are folks, these are some of the things I’ve personally learned from A.S when it comes to within visual range combat, and especially one on one guns only fights.
If you got any questions or remarks, please feel free to post in the comment section below 🙂
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