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What does 'unload' mean to a fighter pilot?


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Dear Experts

 

Reading the memoirs of American jet fighter pilots discussing air combat in Vietnam they often use the phrase 'unload' when dogfighting Migs'.  Does anyone know what they mean?  It can't mean release everything on their pylons can it?

 

Thanks

 

Andrew

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17 minutes ago, Andrew CJ56 said:

Reading the memoirs of American jet fighter pilots discussing air combat in Vietnam they often use the phrase 'unload' when dogfighting Migs'.  Does anyone know what they mean?  It can't mean release everything on their pylons can it?

 

In aerial dogfighting, "unloading" means to ease back on the stick and allow the

airplane to pick up speed. High-G loading bleeds off energy very quickly. A pilot

must manage his energy during a fight.

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To unload generally means to apply slight forward stick to reduce the amount of lift needed reducing drag.

This allows the aircraft to accelerate more rapidly than in normal straight and level flight.

To properly unload a zero G push occurs zeroing the requirement for lift decreasing drag significantly.

 

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The actual G will vary according to the aircraft, but it's generally close to zero G.  The decrease in induced drag and the fact that it is generally done in a downhill direction allows the aircraft to gain/regain airspeed.  That's why one of the three cardinal rules in a dogfight is "Nose position versus energy".

 

Regards,

Murph

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Nose high goes high

Beware the Hun in the sun

The ground has a Pk of 100

...and in a civilian airport setting with only UNICOM service:  See, and Be Seen

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On 3/14/2020 at 4:47 PM, Andrew CJ56 said:

they often use the phrase 'unload' when dogfighting Migs'.  Does anyone know what they mean?

Process for finding the meaning is to ask the question, where else is the phrase loading used in talking about aircraft?

So ...

Loading/unloading baggage/freight - probably isn't it, fighter aircraft tend not to be freighters, & although any given crew member might have some baggage, that's a topic for the psych department, fitreps, et cetera.

Loading/unloading weapons - mmmm, probably not this either, loading weapons is done on the ground and unloading weapons right now isn't something desirable as you might need to retain said weapons in order to fire them at your opponent in a few moments.

Wing loading - ahh, now we're getting somewhere ...

 

Quote

One of the most effective methods for improving the acceleration performance of fighters is known as "unloading." This involves pushing forward on the pitch controls to reduce load factor, lift, and induced drag.For most fighters induced drag is minimized at a zero-G condition, which may be recognized either by cockpit G-meter readings or by "seat-of-the-pants" indications such as the pilot's feet floating off the rudder pedals,loss by the pilot of any sensation of pressure against the seat, or loose articles and dirt floating around in the cockpit. This last indicator can be hazardous, resulting in jammed controls or dirt in the pilot's eyes, and should be avoided by securing loose articles and maintaining a clean cockpit.

 

Source: page 405, Fighter Combat Tactics and Maneuvering, by Robert L. Shaw, 1985, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, Maryland

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On ‎3‎/‎15‎/‎2020 at 12:55 PM, FAR148 said:

 

I'm curious, what are the other two? 

 

Steven

 

Lose sight, lose fight.

 

Maneuver in relation to the bandit.

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8 hours ago, SCOUT712 said:

Assess - predict - maneuver


Sounds like a variant of OODA - Observe  Orient  Decide  Act

 

O - What am I looking at?

O - What does it mean to me / my situation?

D - What am I going to do about it?

A - Do it. 

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