How far can you spot enemy fighters?

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armedupdate

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Unread post28 Dec 2016, 23:42

This is a question on visual range engagements. How far can you spot enemy aircraft with MK1 eyeballs?

I ready somewhere for fighters is around 10 km, the typical max as defined as "WVR". However is this mainly staring down the engines? Side aspect? I also ready looking frontally can reduce greatly down to low as 5 km. Weather and clutter would reduce it further.
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Unread post29 Dec 2016, 03:00

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neurotech

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Unread post29 Dec 2016, 19:43

armedupdate wrote:This is a question on visual range engagements. How far can you spot enemy aircraft with MK1 eyeballs?

I ready somewhere for fighters is around 10 km, the typical max as defined as "WVR". However is this mainly staring down the engines? Side aspect? I also ready looking frontally can reduce greatly down to low as 5 km. Weather and clutter would reduce it further.

Depends on the aircraft type, what conditions, and how much smoke coming out the back. 8-10 miles for a typical fighter pilot, but that depends on aircraft type and relative position.

Colonel Giora "Hawkeye" Epstein could spot fighters at 24 miles, and became a "ace of aces" as highest number of aerial victories, for a jet fighter pilot.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giora_Epstein

Chuck Yeager claimed to spot fighters from 50 miles, but its likely that was with sun reflecting off them. They didn't have long range missiles in WWII, and there is no record of his F-4 actually being involved in BVR combat, or any direct combat engagements. Its possible he still used his 20/10 vision in a F-4, without an actual engagement.
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35_aoa

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Unread post30 Dec 2016, 03:01

Most people define "WVR" as starting at 8-10 NM, which is obviously tied to being a range where folks can reasonably begin picking up tallies. Vision and visual scan technique vary amongst people so some can see an aircraft much further away, others only much closer. To use a common line, "it depends"

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