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From: (Ed Rasimus)
Newsgroups: rec.aviation.military
Subject: Re: Any Future for Dogfight?
Date: Thu, 23 Apr 1998 14:35:25 GMT

Gerard wrote:

>Is the "fighting wing" that you mention the same as "welded wing."  Sorry
>about the terminology, but what is read is more often than not the same as
>what is experienced.

Yes. Fighting wing meant that when engaged the element leader flew
offensive or defensively as well as he could while the wingman moved
into the tail cone area (generally from astern to 45 degrees off the
tail of lead at 1500-2500 feet). His job was to "clear" although in
practice the position required almost exclusive concentration on your
heavily maneuvering lead. It really meant that the wingman occupied
the "kill zone" of lead.
>Can you explain the basics of the loose deuce?

Loose Deuce is the USN terminology. AF called it fluid attack
generally. The concept is that an element (2-ship) is a fighting unit
of equals.

Patrol in spread formation usually 6-9000 feet, line-abreast to 30
degrees back and stacked 1500-2500 high or low (depending upon sun
position or anticipated threat).

Upon engagement, the aircraft in the best position aggressively
engages the enemy aircraft while the second aircraft maneuvers "out of
plane" to provide support, clear the area for additional enemy and
position to sustain the attack should the lead overshoot or otherwise
lose tactical advantage.

Terminology is "engaged" fighter and "free" fighter.

The most significant advantage (IMO) of the concept is the ability of
the pair to maintain high energy levels throughout. On offense there
is no need for the engaged fighter to slow down with the enemy to
avoid overshoot since reversal is prevented by the free fighter
sustaining the attack.

On defense the defensive turn generally puts the free fighter into a
threatening position almost immediately.

 Ed Rasimus                   *** Peak Computing Magazine
  Fighter Pilot (ret)         ***   (
                              *** Ziff-Davis Interactive
                              ***   (

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