29 April 2016


The first issue iteration of the venerable Sidewinder was designed to shoot unmaneuverable bombers.

Get in trail behind the lumbering things and let fly.

They do work when employed against bombers.

Against nimble fighters, not so well.

You have to hope to pull a Richthofen and sneak up on them unawares and flying straight and level.

In my flight sim, Strike Fighters 2, the main use of the AIM-9B on fighters (when I have a gun) is to force the gomer into a break turn to bleed off some speed and give me a better chance of getting a shot in.  This is an especially valuable tactic when you're given missions where the play time is severely limited by the infernal distances you've got to traverse.

Every once and a while, you get a lucky shot with this tactic, though.

Tonight it was an East German MiG-21F-13.

The mission was a CAP over the next friendly base over from our home base, Twenthe.

Four Soviet MiG-21F-13 were our assigned target and we met them as they got close.  Wingman did a good job of distracting them so I could get four kills with the gun in my F-104C (Project Grindstone modded).  I fired two sidewinders to get the effect I described above in the process.

I break off the last Fishbed, point the nose in Wingman's direction and ask his status.  He replies that he still has guns and three missiles, then not a second later screams, "I'm taking damage!"  He ejected safely, but that still left me with two on one the hard way.

I ended up placed perfectly for a nice snap shot on the East German lead and a gentle stroking of 20mm ended his day.  His wingman broke and ran.

The Fishbed C is pretty fast and I'd have a fuel situation if I tried to run him down for a guns kill.  Falling into trail I get a good tone and lob a 'winder in his general direction.  He starts a turn to the left and I figure that will slow him down enough to close to gun range.  However, KABOOM, today the Ford-Aerospace seeker actually followed the intended target and hit!

I flew the 35 miles back to Twenthe and landed with a mere 500 pounds of gas left on board.

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