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Old 03-13-2010, 02:08 PM   #1
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Aerial Flight and Combat Techniques from a Real-Life Pilot

The aircraft is without a doubt the most difficult thing to master in BF1943.
Following are some techniques to help you survive while flying a plane in BF1943. These tips range from purely rudimentary to advanced. This guide will be using the Southpaw controller configuration with an inverted Y-axis as its reference. I highly recommend that you use this controller layout for flight if you have played any type of flight game before. It will make everything so much more natural, since you will control ailerons and pitch with one stick, and have a whole separate stick dedicated to the rudder. All this is explained below.

The Basics

To newcomers to the Battlefield series, flight sim vets like myself in particular, the default flight controls are going to be pretty awkward at first. Again, I can promise you that you will thank me later if you switch to Y-inverted Southpaw for flight. This will become apparent later as I explain the controls.

The Throttle:

The left-trigger controls your throttle. Unlike normal flight games, the throttle layout is the same as in a car. Instead of the accelerator sticking in one position until adjusted like in a real plane, the throttle in BF1943 must be constantly held in with the left index finger. This will become second nature after you practice with it a bit in the tutorial. Just remember that if you let go of the left trigger, your plane will eventually stall out and crash.

Ailerons (Rolling):

The x-axis on your left stick controls your plane's ailerons, responsible for rolling your aircraft. You can turn the aircraft by rolling the plane at an angle and letting the plane bank. Level the aircraft out to stop turning. Advanced techniques for turning combining the elevators and rudder will be discussed in a later section.

Elevators (Pitch)

The y-axis on your left stick controls your aircraft's elevators, responsible for controlling the attitude of your aircraft in relation to the ground. Use the elevators to ascend and descend.

Rudder (Yaw)

The x-axis on your right stick (again, assuming the more natural Southpaw layout) controls your airplane's rudder, the most neglected part of the aircraft by amateur pilots in BF1943. However, proper use of the rudder is EXTREMELY important if you want to be any good at dogfighting.

Advanced Turning Techniques

Now that you know the basic control scheme of your plane, let's discuss how to maneuver it like a pro. There are two main types of turns you can perform in BF1943. You can either combine the ailerons and the rudder, or you can execute a brake turn by combining the ailerons and the elevators. Both are explained further below.

The Brake Turn

A brake turn consists of rolling the aircraft on its side and pulling up on the flight yoke to achieve a tighter turn. To exercise this move effectively, it is important that you also let go of the throttle before pulling up to achieve a tighter turning radius. Use this maneuver when trying to shake an enemy plane off your tail.

Aileron/Rudder Turn

When I was in flight school, my instructor had a saying that I am now very fond of when explaining proper rudder use to new pilots: "Ailerons first, and then the rudder... never one without the other."

In order to properly line up targets in your sights, it is important that you use both the ailerons and the rudder when turning your aircraft. First roll your aircraft with the left stick, then push your right stick in the direction you want to go to turn the aircraft rapidly. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT TECHNIQUE YOU WILL EVER LEARN FOR DOGFIGHTING So many pilots ignore the rudder completely, and I laugh my ass off as I blast them into oblivion. If you use the rudder, you will be ten times as formidable in the air.

When you are turning using the rudder, use the pitch controls on the left stick's y-axis to keep your plane at the desired altitude and attitude. Attitude is your plane's nose's orientation in relation to the ground. It helps if you always keep the left stick down a bit while turning, as this will help to keep your plane's nose up without you having to think about it too much.

If you want to make a drastic change in your heading (your aircraft's compass direction of travel), or if you are trying to keep an enemy in your sights, use the aileron/rudder/elevator combo to achieve a rapid turn with aileron/rudder combo while keeping your craft at the desired pitch with the elevators.

DO NOT USE THE BRAKE TURN FOR BASIC MANEUVERING

In fact, avoid the brake turn wherever possible, favoring the aileron/rudder combo instead, Using the brake turn exposes your wings to anti-aircraft guns, and makes your aircraft move slower in relation to the sights of an AA gun, making you an easy target for forces on the ground. Furthermore, chasing an enemy with the brake turn aligns your bullet stream vertically. Keeping your aircraft horizontal with the rudder and ailerons makes it easier to land your shots on your target's wings.

The only place a brake turn is really worth doing is when you are shaking an enemy off your tail, for two reasons. First, it makes your aircraft align vertically, making your opponent's horizontal bullet stream less likely to hit you, assuming you aren't banked too much and exposing the broadside of your wings. Second, you get a tighter turning radius. While this may make you an easy target for flak guns, it will get you out of the sights of a tailing plane quickly.

Fighting Ground Targets

Evasive Action

It is important to be mindful of ground forces while flying a plane. Do not fall into the trap of only worrying about enemy planes. Flak guns can be a real bitch. I suggest memorizing the locations of all flak guns in the maps so you can avoid them where possible.

An important thing to remember about flak guns is that they cannot aim downwards. Therefore, it is a good idea to fly at sea level if you find yourself being shot at by one. It will take some practice to be able to fly at sea level for an extended period of time, but it will keep you safe from flak.

Bombing

I myself have not yet mastered bombing, as it is the hardest part of using the aircraft properly. However, I will share what I do know. There are two main types of bombing you can do: horizontal bombing and dive-bombing.

Horizontal bombing is just like it sounds. You fly the plane horizontally and drop your bombs. There are two main pieces of advice I'll share with horizontal bombing. First, slow down before you drop a bomb. This will reduce the horizontal distance your bombs travel when leaving your plane. Second, drop bombs directly before you fly over your target, not as you are doing it. Like I said, your bombs do travel some additional horizontal distance after they leave the plane due to momentum, so getting that nuance of timing right is crucial. Finally, if you can master it (I haven't), pulling up right before dropping a bomb further reduces the horizontal distance traveled by your bombs by reducing the horizontal component of your aircraft's speed, exchanging it for vertical airspeed. However, the downside is that your bombs will spend more time in flight as they fall further, giving enemies more time to get out of the way.

Dive-bombing consists of taking your craft to a high elevation, hunting for a target, and then swooping down at a 90 degree angle and releasing your bombs right above the target. Two tips here. First, line up your targeting reticle slightly above your target, as your bombs will drop slightly below your aircraft's frame. Second, release your bombs as late as possible, as this will minimize the distance they wander in flight due to an imperfect angle of attack.

Using the Guns Properly

Two tips:

1. Wait until you are close to the enemy to fire. You don't want your guns to overheat at an inopportune moment.

2. Make sure you lead your target, meaning you fire a little in front of your target's flight path. In other words, don't fire at where your enemy is; fire at where he is about to be.

Advanced Combat Tips

1. Do not chase an enemy up into the clouds. Chances are they have a lower angle of climb than you do and can easily get out of the climb. You, on the other hand, probably are using a very steep angle to keep up, and will probably lose control of the plane, making you vulnerable to flak and fire from wingmen while you regain control. On the flipside, when being chased, climbing is a good way to escape when combined with the previously mentioned brake turn.

2. Shoot the enemy bombers when you can. This will make the lives of your compatriots on the ground a hell of a lot easier.

3. If you need to defend a flag quickly, you can kamikaze your plane into an enemy capturing tank, parachuting out just in time to stay alive and defend on foot.

4. Keep a lookout for enemy planes that are being abandoned above your bases. 100% of the time, this means that the enemy is inserting himself behind your lines to pincer you by taking a home base. Consider it your express responsibility as a pilot to detect and prevent that type of strategy. Pilotless airborne planes are ALWAYS a red flag of some paratrooper shenanigans.

5. Get a feel for the wingspan of each aircraft. It is important that you stay in cockpit view as much as possible, because your HUD will only alert you of enemy plane locations in this mode, meaning you will have to sacrifice an external view and increased kinesthetic awareness for knowledge of the enemy. Make up for it by knowing your aircraft and its wingspan so you can avoid trees and lighthouses without seeing your craft.

6. Do not drop bombs while banked. They will fall sideways. Make sure your craft is leveled out horizontally before attempting a bombing run.
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Old 03-13-2010, 02:50 PM   #2
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Good info for people who want to fly the planes better. I really hated the game though Is this info going to work for HAWX?
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Old 03-13-2010, 04:02 PM   #3
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Nice guide! I managed to get good at piloting the planes in BF1943 but it looks very helpful, well done!
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Old 03-13-2010, 06:39 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyger7 View Post
Good info for people who want to fly the planes better. I really hated the game though Is this info going to work for HAWX?
Hmmm don't know about that, but I really want that game at some point XD

Though, a lot of the basics of aerial combat apply to all games. Main thing is to know that you turn tighter when you throttle down. There are a surprising number of people that don't know that.

When I used to play Star Wars Galaxies, I would smoke people in space combat just by finding the sweet spot on the throttle for the tightest turning radius... you can't go too fast or too slow, there's an optimum speed right in the middle that makes you turn very very quickly on most flight games.

It's all about finding the optimum balance between thrust power and cutting your inertia.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure that HAWX is a fighter jet game. A lot of the rules for prop planes don't apply so much to jet aircraft.
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Old 04-09-2010, 08:07 AM   #5
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excellent guide, ive learnt a lot for myself from trial and error at great expense, but this guide really narrows down on the finer points of the planes. Out of curiosity, how many people favour the cockpit viewpoint over the third person view. I personally cannot for the life of me use the plane in third person! For me its a streamline to suicide.

something i found handy in this guide is the advice on turns near the aa guns. i did wonder why i could rarely get past without getting shot down, but it seems ive been using the brake turn near them. advice heeded! chocks away old beans!
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Old 04-10-2010, 05:05 AM   #6
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Ya im pretty good in the cockpit view of the plane but if i go to the 3rd person view. i cant turn that thing at all hahaha. but these are some great pointers
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Old 12-27-2010, 11:58 PM   #7
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Sorry to necropost, but a little more about what to do if you have an enemy on your tail... under no circumstances should you do try rolling repeatedly to dodge bullets or pulling an immelman (what Star Fox refers to as a U-turn). Rolling in place at best will decrease the rate at which you die; pulling an immelman will likely get you stuck in a stall, allowing your enemy to blow you away while the broadside of your wingspan is exposed. Instead, you might be better off diving while aileron/rudder turning.
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Old 02-03-2011, 04:23 AM   #8
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Great guide. I was wondering why people could turn so much faster and sharper than me.
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Old 03-03-2011, 01:18 AM   #9
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I found one comment hysterical, because I thought it was common sense but I guess people actually don't use their rudder when turning...lol
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