Question about the boom and zoom tactic

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armedupdate

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Unread post02 Jul 2016, 19:53

I have a question about the boom and zoom tactic where the fighter kills the bogey by using it's superior thrust to weight to outclimb the enemy and using gravity to glide toward the target. It's a usual tactic with lower turn rates than their enemy.(such as F-4 vs MIG-21)

How viable is this tactic nowadays? I know the F-15 has superior T/W than the F-16 but the F-16 always trumps in dogfights. Can a fighter like the F-15 apply this tactic against the F-16? Or is the F-16 still better at this due to it's lower drag when accelerating on turns?

Also is doing trims and scissors from high AOA a way to shake off this tactic?
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tacf-x

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Unread post02 Jul 2016, 21:10

I wouldn't put too much faith in publicly available stats like T/W and wing loading, since there's more to aircraft flight mechanics than that. The F-15 may have a higher T/W ratio on paper, but the paper stats are merely calculated via taking the simple mathematical sum of the uninstalled thrust of the 2 F100-PW-220s and divide them by the loaded weight of the aircraft. It doesn't take into account the installation losses and the drag caused by the configuration in which the engines are installed.

A common issue for twin-engine aircraft (especially ones where the engines are closely placed together) is the tendency for engine exhaust streamlines of each engine to interfere with the engine exhaust streamlines of the other. This lowers the installed thrust of each engine. Then there's the boattail drag caused by the lack of turkey-feathers on the F-15s nozzles. This artificially establishes an increase in form drag on the F-15 which effectively lowers installed thrust.

All of this would likely result in the F-15 not appearing quite as impressive as an F-16 in an actual climbing fight. Combine that with the F-16's high capacity to sustain energy in turns (thanks to it receiving lift from its stabilators as a result of its relaxed stability) and its high instantaneous/sustained turn rates and its high acceleration rates, and it becomes a little more clear why the F-15 isn't quite a match in a lower altitude classic dogfight. IIRC the F-15 only outperforms the F-16 at higher altitudes and airspeeds, so that's probably where an F-15 pilot would try to force a dogfight if it ever came to that.
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armedupdate

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Unread post02 Jul 2016, 21:38

How accurate is Boyd's energy maneuverability theory? He really likes Thrust, Weight, Drag to be the most important parameters in a knifefight since it determines acceleration. This seems historically a good parameter, since fighters like the p-51 were able to use it's greater energy to outclimb more harder turning fighters like the Zero.

Since the F-15 flies higher, couldn't it still do boom and zoom due to it's better service ceiling.
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sferrin

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Unread post02 Jul 2016, 23:20

"boom and zoom"? Is that what the cool kids are calling it these days? :roll:
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count_to_10

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Unread post04 Jul 2016, 01:36

"Boom and Zoom" was how faster US fighters dealt with the the tighter turning (and relatively fragile) Japanese Zero. It's a tactic that is only really appropriate when you are talking about gun-only battles. In an air battle with missiles, the "Zoom" part is asking for a missile up your rear. Boyd's "Energy Maneuver" tactics are appropriate for rear-aspect IR missiles and guns with higher performance jets, but still relevant in case a merge happens even with all aspect but bore-sight only missiles.

Neither is something you are going to be using much in a fight between jets with LOAL and high off bore-sight missiles.
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smsgtmac

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Unread post04 Jul 2016, 03:53

count_to_10 wrote:"Boom and Zoom" was how faster US fighters dealt with the the tighter turning (and relatively fragile) Japanese Zero. It's a tactic that is only really appropriate when you are talking about gun-only battles. In an air battle with missiles, the "Zoom" part is asking for a missile up your rear. Boyd's "Energy Maneuver" tactics are appropriate for rear-aspect IR missiles and guns with higher performance jets, but still relevant in case a merge happens even with all aspect but bore-sight only missiles.

Neither is something you are going to be using much in a fight between jets with LOAL and high off bore-sight missiles.



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I just gotta get the last part of this series done as soon as I finish my yuuuuuuuge offline project. Working subtitle for part 3:
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I suspect the closest modern parallel to the earlier eras will be more like "lob and bob".
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