Air Combat Simulation – Part 5

P is for Pursuit path

Welcome to another instalment of our series on air combat simulation. In this issue, we are going to explore an important topic of which some may have given little thought, that is, ‘pursuit paths’. So, what is a pursuit path? In basic terms, a pursuit path describes the path an attacking fighter takes when converging on, and consequently dogfighting with, an intended target. However, a prerequisite to adopting a particular pursuit path is an appreciation of the prevailing three-dimensional situation.

When entering combat, the pursuit path you adopt at any given moment will determine the outcome.
When entering combat, the pursuit path you adopt at any given moment will determine the outcome. Derek Davis

Working the angles

“I’ve worked the angle down to where our paths are crossing at 40-to-60 degrees. What you want, ideally, is zero-to-10, with the enemy either moving almost directly away or coming almost straight at you. At anything over 30 degrees, it’s almost pointless to shoot with a fixed sight. Of course, these same numbers, this same geometry problem, are probably running through the mind of the Messerschmitt pilot” - a passage taken from ‘To Fly and Fight’ by Col. Clarence E “Bud” Anderson – available from

Building a t

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