Got my kill last night on Wake & I think it was my 2nd or 3rd attempt flying these things. Definitely helped to read a bit here & other places and study the control layout beforehand.
There must have been some other jet newbs on the other side, as I was actually semi-competent in a dogfight-- was able to maneuver behind a guy but saw him get taken out by a missile right as I had my shot lined up. His buddy decided to try & fly right at me and a lucky blast from my cannon was enough to take him down as he passed. Had some valuable time after that to fly around & gain more familiarity with the controls. Finally got shot down when I flew too low near mobile AA.
Would have been nice to unlock flares, but the kill helped eliminate that sense of hopelessness. Now if the stars would just line up and I can get another kill and string that together with the other two Complete Warrior requirements, I'll be over the hump.