Tactics: Taking the fight vertical in the merge

The Merge is one of the most critical elements in a dog fight.  The cleaner the merge and the more control you have of the aircraft, the better your chances of gaining or retaking the energy advantage in the engagement.  Your understanding of your aircrafts abilities and those of your opponents aircraft are critical in choosing the right technique for the given situation. You can find a more detailed explanation of these techniques and more -- along with videos -- here

IMMELMANN(*pictured)  Aircraft enters in straight and level flight, pulls into half an inside loop followed by a half roll to upright.

You should enter the maneuver at 100% throttle if your aircraft has WEP and 75% if it doesn't.  This is to avoid a full power stall if you intend or are forced to take the fight into the vertical,  although this is a dangerious alteration when multiple enemies are present.

In any dog fight being patient will keep you alive; you don't want to force the aircraft into position for the shot, such extreme G's will bleed off precious energy. Turning at a constant speed is a much safer practice. If your flying a plane that does particularly well in the vertical it may enable you may to take the fight into the vertical using a stall turn to exit the climb behind your opponent, this is also refered to as a type of roping techneique. 

(*Picture from :http://cmreel.com/?page_id=220*)

Half Reverse Cuban - Enter the maneuver with 50% throttle (unless already within 10 knots of the aircrafts stall speed.) pulling the nose into a 45 degree climb, after approximately one second perform a half outside roll (against the torque of the engine) while keeping the nose at 45 degrees perform a split-S  immediately after becoming inverted. 

A video of a T67 doing the maneuvers talked about here over South East England. The Hesitation rolls shown here are a great  technique for controlling your energy, and disguising your intentions on the approach to the merge.

You can find a more detailed explanation of these techniques and more -- along with videos -- here. 

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