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Re: [OFFICIAL] Some FT background stuff (guidelines for writers) - LONG POST!

From: Los <los@c...>
Date: Thu, 12 Feb 1998 02:34:39 -0500
Subject: Re: [OFFICIAL] Some FT background stuff (guidelines for writers) - LONG POST!

Ahh 3am and I can't sleep, might as well see what's cooking on the

Cleyne, Daniel wrote:

> I agree with your sentiment but what is the distinction you are making
> between superior and inferior planes? These aircraft all perform very
> different roles IIRC and so shouldn't be used as a baseline for pilot
> performance. The F14 is an interceptor. I believe that it is at its
> at stand off fights lobbing AIM 54s at inbound fighter-bombers. I
> have thought that getting the Tomcat into dog fights with enemy
> as last resort type stuff. The A7 and F5 are much more manoeuvrable
> the bigger aircraft (F14,F15,F18) and so should out perform them in
> fights, regardless of pilot ability. The F16 would be the only one I'd
> have trouble believing being outmatched by an A7.

First off I made a mistake I meant to say A4 not A7. The previous poster
made the remark that technologically superior palnes overcome pilot
This would be violently disagreed by any fighter pilot and it's not born
in the history of air combat either. Technology comes into play as an
advantage as pilot quality appraoched parity. A4s and F5s flown by
pilots outperform F14s and the other big boys at Red Flag and Top Gun on
regular basis. And the sole reason is due to pilot quality. This is
throughout the entire range of air operations and not just guns only
fights. Once the students are brought up to the level of instruction as
instructors, they began to achiev sone parody, but certainly not all of
them. And keep in mind the students are all experienced fighter pilots
their own aircraft with years of tactical operations under their belts.

Some good further reading on this subject can be had from: (I'd give you
isbns but theyr're all upstairs in my sons room and he's asleep!)
"Air Combat: Tactics and manuevering" Robert Shaw. This is pretty much
fighter pilots bible.
"The Ace factor Situational Awareness and Air Combat": Mike Spick. Tons
statistical data on pilot quality and soft factors vs technical factors.

This does not support a statement  that:
> One thing modern fighter combat has taught us is that technological
> advantages more than make up for pilot skill. Put a novice pilot in an
> F22 against an excellent pilot in a MiG 17 and the F22 still wins in
> most situations.

> The only factor as I see it in your example is the guys that fly the
> "enemy" aircraft at the instruction schools (Top Gun being the only
> I know about) fly them day in day out every day against people they
> trying to teach. They could I believe fly their aircraft fast asleep
> this means that they know where the performance envelope lies and push
> it consistently.

Thank your for making my point. Pilot quality matters.

> If you swap these guys into the opposite planes I'm sure the score
> be just about the same.

No they would not, not with out mucho time in the seat, because the F5
A4 are inferior planes in many ways, avionics, pilot system mamangement,
speed, climbrate, and vs F16/F18 turning ability.

As a cheap experiment go try out Air Warrior or Warbirds online. Both
pretty accurate flight models and require reaslitsic ACM and BFM to
In gfact Robert Shaw from above was  heavily involved as an advisor to
kesmai and flies both. A number of other fighter buddies of mine do. Fly
game for a few weeks until youa re comfortable in the seat, then go take
an Me262 against an ace in a P51 or even MiG3 and see what happens to

Actually on second thought that's not so cheap an experiment since your
talking 2-3 bucks an hour!

There is always discussion amongst people without a good grasp of
that technology is always more important than training, experience, unit
cohesion, etc. These human factors are always discounted, most likely
becasue they're tougher to quantify and not as sexy tolook at when you
analysing the defense budget. A good example is desert strom. What made
a resounding success was not smart bombs and stealth fighters and M1A1s,
though they certainly were "force multipliers". It was the allied
training, and unit quality that made it seem so easy. If we would have
swapped equipment with Iraqis you would have had just about teh same

This is something a lot of countries, in particularly in the Middle
fail to grasp. Just because you have ridiculous amounts of money to
and you buy all kinds of high quality new equipment, that you instantly
a vaunted army. (And with pilot parity an SU27 or a  Mig31 is more than
match for an F16/F15. The USAF bought 36 of them and has been putting
through their paces at Red Flag) Where has this been ever proven in
combat operations? Certainly not in the middle east over the past thirty
years. Nor was it proven in 1940 when the numerically and
superior French tank arm (well ther whole Army for that matter) was
resoundlingly defeated by the Germans.

> So as I see it what is important in your example isn't aircraft
> its pilot experience. In the SF realm that was being discussed that
> boils down to AI sophistication. A more sophisticated AI should beat a
> less sophisticated AI regardless of the machinery most of the time. So
> once the AIs have progressed to the point where they can match or
> human pilot ability with the advantages that Alan pointed out it then
> becomes a race between AI manufacturers. Until the AI matches human
> ability in combat then the best 'man' will win.

Sure assuming you could get self aware AI to that level of
and that it could learn "on the fly" then it's a AI development race as
say. However at this point we are divorcing the technological
performance of
the space fighter, (G-loading, speed, detection systems, blah blah blah,
from the AI software or wetware.

To tie all this back into Full Thrust. I see that there never seems to
any mention of crew quality in any of the ships. Is it assumed that all
ships have crew quality of rough parity.


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