Hunter pilot reflects on air-to-air combat experiences

Before the era of all-aspect missiles and helmet-mounted sights, jet combat was an art that needed particular skills. Pilot and author Rod Dean reflects on some incredible experiences, usually flying his favourite aircraft, the legendary Hawker Hunter

Of the factors influencing the outcome of a dogfight, by far and away the most important is the quality of the person in the driver’s seat; it matters not how good the aircraft and its systems are if the pilot cannot take advantage of the aircraft’s superiority.

Rod Dean in cockpit
Pilot Rod Dean has amassed some 7,000 flying hours on 59 different types
img_82-1.jpg
A Sultan of Oman’s Air Force Hawker Hunter flying at extremely low level. The type was used to great effect in an air combat exercise against USAF F-15s. Note the rails inboard of the drop tanks carrying a pair of Sidewinder missiles
ALL VIA ROD DEAN UNLESS NOTED

A prime example of this was my only flight in the back seat of a USAF F-15D in Oman (where I was on loan for two years from the RAF). A pair of F-15s were taken out by a pair of old Hunters because the lead F-15 pilot had made some erroneous decisions prior to the flight and then did not use the full capabilities of his aircraft.

Become a Premium Member to Read More

This is a premium article and requires an active Key.Aero subscription to view.

I’m an existing member, sign me in!

I don’t have a subscription…

Enjoy the following subscriber only benefits:

  • Unlimited access to all KeyAero content
  • Exclusive in-depth articles and analysis, videos, quizzes added daily
  • A fully searchable archive – boasting hundreds of thousands of pieces of quality aviation content
  • Access to read all our leading aviation magazines online - meaning you can enjoy the likes of FlyPast, Aeroplane Monthly, AirForces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, Aviation News, Airports of the World, PC Pilot and Airliner World - as soon as they leave the editor’s desk.
  • Access on any device- anywhere, anytime
  • Choose from our offers below