Dora Observations and Knowledge Base

Discussion in 'Fighter Tactics' started by Waystin2, Mar 11, 2012.

  1. Waystin2

    Waystin2 Administrator
    Staff Member

    Dec 20, 2007
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    Been flying the Dora a lot to get ready for the upcoming scenario. Here are things that I have learned or read about the Dora's capabilities. Please share any other useful info for your fellow Pigs.

    1) Second fastest non-perk plane with wep engaged on the deck. The LA-7 is king at 381 mph, the Dora is a close second at 376 mph.

    2) Turns good at high speed, but best to use roll to change vector quickly without burning energy.

    3) Engine hits leave very little time to get to the ground before it dies. The Dora overheats very quickly. Usually two minutes or less.

    4) Use roll to acquire and re-acquire targets. Pulling your nose in a turn in a Dora bleeds immense energy off, and the roll is just more efficient use of the Dora's speed and E capabilities.

    5) Climb and speed in the Dora drops dramatically above 22k. It's best performance envelope is between 17 & 22k.

    I'll add more as I can. Please add your own...
  2. HamHawk

    HamHawk New Member

    Nov 27, 2010
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    Stalls easy at slow speeds but maintains e well. Will Float forever dead stick.
  3. Waystin2

    Waystin2 Administrator
    Staff Member

    Dec 20, 2007
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    Trying to figure out the post truncating issue. Does not happen on every forum, just a few of them...
  4. Crater

    Crater Banned

    Oct 30, 2016
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    Aces High Personal Dora Dicta and other trivia.

    “I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast; for I intend to go in harm's way”

    -John Paul Jones

    Within the environs of Aces High I typically fly a Focke Wulf 190D9, otherwise known as the Dora.

    The Dora's strengths and weaknesses uniquely compliment (or cover) my own air combat abilities (liabilities) such that I can manage a modest amount of success playing online against people who have much better reaction time and spatial instincts.

    Sometimes I'll fly a Diet Dora (FW 190-A5) if a regular Dora is not available.

    What I really like about the Dora.

    • It can dive beautifully.

    • It can take a few hits.

    • It’s really fast.

    • Lots of ammo.

    • Rolls like a cigarette.

    • Good all-around cockpit visibility.

    • Excellent firepower.
    Please keep in mind that I have no ability to dog-fight and my accuracy is typically 2 or 3 hits scored per hundred rounds expended. Actually, of late it’s gotten a little better…practice, practice, practice.

    #1 Survival trumps performance. 50% of planes that take off don't come back. If you can bring your plane back you’re better off then somebody who got seven kills and died. I usually bring back between 0 and 2 kills on any given mission. This is perhaps a personal opinion and other people may have different goals. This is a game after all. Regardless, I look at Aces High as a simulation of air combat. I try to fly & fight as I would if it were real. Well, not entirely, but I try to follow the parallels as best I can.

    If you disagree with rule #1 you can go ahead and close this file. Everything else that follows is based on rule #1.

    #2 Only attack what wants to die...AKA, only kill victims. This one is a bit difficult to explain. Basically there are two types of enemy planes up in the sky; targets and threats.

    Most of Air Combat Maneuvering is about positioning your aircraft so that you have no threats while acquiring a target.

    I evade threats, I run from threats. A plane higher than me is a threat. A plane coming head on is a threat. A plane closing on my six is a threat.

    Targets, on the other hand, are lower, slower, and not focused on me. If I have multiple choices I will usually attack the plane that could potentially run me down.

    In no particular order: ME-163, ME-262, Tempest, Typhoon, LA-7, KI-84, FW 190-D9, BF109-K4, P-51. Anything that can compete with you in terms of speed is a major problem.

    The pilot who can mitigate threats and acquire targets is a force to be reckoned with, but a pilot must do both. Acquiring targets without mitigating threats is recklessness. Mitigating threats without acquiring targets is cowardice. It’s better to side with cowardice then recklessness if it comes to a one-or-another decision but the good pilot must do both with some degree of consistency.

    Sometimes nobody wants to be a victim. It happens. Bring the Dora back and try again someplace else. There are aces that can constantly bring down victims wherever they may be. This humble author is not one of them. Only half the pilots that take off will get kills, the other half, by mathematical necessity, become victims. I try to avoid being part of the latter group.

    My favorite victims are busy stalking and/or attacking somebody other than myself. When I manage an attack where they don’t see me coming I have a decent chance of adding another notch.

    Sadly, the typical victim does see me coming. This is unfortunate as this gives the opposing pilot a chance to evade. It’s one of the reasons I don’t use tracers. I want the first indication of my presence to be bullets striking their plane. Even if they know I’m attacking the lack of tracers means they don’t know when (or where) I am shooting unless I land hits. Also, tracers help pilots evade by letting them know where your point of aim is. Even if I miss they may think that I’m well-disciplined and withholding fire for the perfect attack or perhaps they think I’m out of ammo. Denying information to the enemy is just another way of stacking the deck in my favor.

    Tracers are only useful for pilots who enjoy fur ball air combat.

    Against an evading enemy I’m more likely to miss or, assuming I do land some hits, they won’t be enough to destroy the opponent. Do I follow up with another attack? Most likely the answer is no. I’m busy converting speed to altitude and checking around me to ensure I haven’t become somebody else’s victim. Only if I can ensure my own immediate safety will I decide if making another attack makes sense against an opponent who knows my intentions. This utter lack of instantaneous reaction means that many an opportunity has slipped through my fingers.

    Proper dogfighting is securing your advantages before committing to the attack and leaving before the attack becomes a fight. Remember: you’re not here to fight, your only here to kill. If you want to fight fly a Spitfire.

    #3 Know when to disengage. Not understanding this rule probably kills more pilots than anything else.

    1. Always maintain control. When you are no longer in control of the air combat, it’s too late. You can only disengage when you have an advantage. Never let air combat devolve to an even fight as, at that point your fighting to survive as much as win, and your odds of survival are now less than stellar. If you can't disengage then you are at the mercy of new events, such as more bad guys showing up, or running low on expendables.

    2. Leave when (or before) ammo/fuel gets low. Duh.

    3. If you take hits its time to go back to base. This rule is kind of weird. The Focke Wulf is a tough plane. It can take some hits. The thing is, once you've taken hits, it’s no longer a tough plane. The idea of air combat is not to fight but to kill. If you have taken hits you've messed up somehow. Time for the mechanics to get their laughs. The exception being attacking bombers.

    4. Just about any attack on bombers is going to cause you to take damage. When sizing up bombers it’s best to calculate fuel load, altitude, and distance to base. The Dora tends to receive radiator damage very quickly when taking frontal hits from bombers. Being close to a friendly base allows you to land instead of ditching. Fortunately, most bomber engagements usually take place near friendly bases as these are the targets of bombers.
    #4 Avoid engaging in head on attacks with other fighters. Note: I said avoid, not don’t under any circumstances…

    Engaging in head on attacks with other fighters will incur one, possibly two outcomes.

    1. You both miss. Rare, but it can happen.

    2. You score hits and your adversary misses.

    3. You miss and your adversary scores hits.

    4. You both score hits on each other.

    5. You collide with him.

    6. He collides with you.

    7. You both collide.
    As can be seen from the above, there is a 4 in 7 chance that you come out on the losing end of these scenarios. Okay, two of the outcomes are mutual destruction but this is not acceptable when survival is the paramount goal.

    Head on attacks are lethal. Hits scored take out engines, pilots, and are, invariably, much more damaging as hits come at close range and intense combined speeds. Collisions are frequent and tend to be devastating to flight controls.

    There are times when engaging head on makes sense. For instance, when you’re outnumbered and it’s the best shot you can get, and of course, victory needs no excuse. The worst place to “head on” would be at low altitude. A collision or lethal damage result can place your plane in an out-of-control configuration where you will have no opportunity to bail out before striking the planet.

    One tip about head on attacks, keep your wings level. If your wings are out of plane (geometrically speaking) with the opposing aircraft you stand an excellent chance of losing part or all of a wing.

    As the range reaches 200 meters pull up or down sharply. If you can’t see the opposing plane when the merge occurs, chances are, you won’t collide even if the other aircraft bores in or mimics your action. At least, this has been my experience. Incidentally, 200 meters from a head-on merge is only a fraction of a second removed from collision. A lagging connection or any misjudgment in distance or reaction will be catastrophic. I will repeat, head-on attacks are high risk.
    #4 Crater, Jan 12, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017
  5. Crater

    Crater Banned

    Oct 30, 2016
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    #5 Do not attack bombers from the stern. Head on is best (exception; never head on a B-25H). Side attacks with some difference in altitude can also succeed.

    If taking the time to set up correct positioning against bombers means somebody else gets the kill, so be it. We are all on the same team. The important thing is the bomber dies. The more important thing is you don’t die.

    When attacking bombers you should expect to take hits. Normally, if you've taken hits you should immediately disengage and land. However, bombers are a special circumstance. Bombers cannot dictate when you disengage as they are much slower and less maneuverable. The criteria for disengagement are therefor based on distance from your base and the altitude in which you attack the bombers. Most damage you receive from bombers is going to be from head on attacks. Damage that causes oil leaks, radiator leaks, pilot wounds, or loss of control should be grounds for returning to base. Otherwise, another pass may be possible.

    I need to re-emphasis this. Disengage if you have taken significant damage from a bomber. Further attacks have a good chance of placing you back in the tower.

    When I say pass, I mean that the gun solution on a bomber should not be lengthy in duration. A frontal attack should only provide a momentary (1 - 2 second) gun solution. Likewise, the slashing attack from the side should only net a momentary gun solution. Anything beyond two seconds of gun solution means the bomber has gun solution on the attacking fighter. Don’t get impatient. The advantage the fighter has over the bomber is you decide when to attack. The bomber has to react to what you do. This “should” mean that you will get gun solution before the bomber can accurately return fire.

    #6 I leave the damage indicator (CTRL+D) on at all times. Some people don’t like doing this as it can be distracting. Actually, there is little to be annoyed with if no damage has been taken. I’ve found that being able to quickly size up damage taken to be sometimes useful. My bail-out button is mapped such that I can leave a disintegrating aircraft very quickly indeed. This is, perhaps, nothing to boast of, but if my damage indicator suddenly “waterfalls” red and I’m still taking hits then I’m not going to take the time to assess the damage. Nope, I’m hitting the silk. Cowardice you say? It’s been my experience that any sudden, unexpected, catastrophic damage means I’m so far out of position that there’s precious little that could be salvaged.

    #7 If pilots flew using military command-and-control the most dangerous weapon in a fighter would be the radio. As it is, the radio is still a useful tool. Figure out the friendlies around you. If you get in trouble call them by name and ask for assistance. If you are low and slow and there are friendlies coming in hot and high, they'd love to hear from you as you describe a target to them. There is no place for pride when the chips are down. Use every tool you got.

    #8 When attacking from above its best to dive down, level out (slightly below the target), and then engage. Be very careful at speeds above 500 as compression can lock up controls, even in a FW190. Also, having too much speed can cause complications as the length of time in which to arrive at a gun solution becomes ever shorter. Accidently ramming your target becomes more likely whenever the closure speed becomes extreme. Nothing is more embarrassing then making the perfect attack run on an oblivious victim only to realize that you have used your aircraft as a bullet.

    When diving on a target at very high speed you may wish to dive underneath them rather than trying to pull up. This will reduce the chances of ramming.

    If you are approaching an enemy who you believe may not have seen you, try and approach from below and from either the 4 o’ clock or 8 o’ clock position. As the range decreases the position will drift to the 5 o’ clock or 7 o’ clock position. Many players check their six religiously but the off-set rear/below positions are not checked nearly as often…and don’t let some ace do this to you.

    #9 Its best to decide during target evaluation whether you plan to buzz and zoom, E-fight, or stall fight (or reposition for a better attack).

    The Focke Wulf is excellent at buzz and zoom. You dive, take a shot and extend away.

    If you stay with the target after the initial attack then you’re rapidly devolving from a B&Z to an E-fight. An E-fight is where you’re converting speed to altitude and back again. In affect you dive, attack, and then climb into a loop (of some sort) to re-engage the enemy.

    If you stay in the fight long enough and don't succeed in landing a kill you will most likely be stall fighting. In a Focke Wulf, anything below 225-250 mpg is a stall fight. A Focke Wulf can stall fight most bombers but not fighters. Stall fighting is a trap. Once you’re in a stall fight your options for egress become extremely limited.

    If you have altitude, you can dive. If you’re near or over a friendly base with flak, you can use the supporting anti-aircraft as a distraction. If you find yourself in a low and slow stall fight over enemy territory with high performance enemy aircraft closing in from the sides and above I can only recommend pointing the nose vertical and punching out. Getting captured is better than nothing.
  6. Crater

    Crater Banned

    Oct 30, 2016
    Likes Received:
    One of the dangers of stall fighting is that it eventually devolves to a low altitude fight. While flying low is not dangerous in and of itself, stall fighting pushes the Focke Wulf to the edge of its flight parameters. Exceeding the flight parameters in a Focke Wulf can cause the plane to depart from controlled flight with vicious abruptness. Departure from controlled flight at low altitude in any model Focke Wulf gives little time or opportunity to regain flight control before colliding with the planet.

    One advantage to dogfighting in a Focke Wulf is that your opponent may not expect it. This advantage will last for about as long as it takes to kill you. Still, it can be a lot of fun after the fourth or fifth high speed pass to suddenly switch tactics. But leave yourself a way out.

    #10 There are pilots out there that are better than you. Maybe it’s their accuracy or possibly they use some particular maneuver with an artistry you don’t understand. Take the time to ride shotgun with them and see how it’s done. If they decline, get on the hitechcreations forum and post questions, or perhaps the training arena can provide pointers. You will improve incrementally with the hours played in the game, but there is no substitute for consciously trying to improve your performance through research and study.

    #11 When in doubt, re-evaluate. It’s wonderful to go into combat with some sort of plan. Paradoxically, it’s a rare combat where events actually go according to plan. If I find myself being surprised, confused, frustrated (very bad) it’s time to get some altitude and distance from the action, calm down, and figure out what to do.

    I’ll go a step further. In combat its critical to change plans at a moment’s notice because you may only have a moment to realize that the situation has changed.

    #12 Situational Awareness. There is something like 18 different views from which you can see out of your aircraft. If you try to use all of these views in combat you will fly into the ground. So what to do? First off, use the DAR (radar) if you’re in an area that has it. Second, never get into combat where you have to track multiple targets. Third, if you have to track multiple targets do it from the outside of the furball, not the inside. Go in with guns blazing and then get the hell out of there. You can reassess accurately only if you can contain most of what’s happening to a few views. Keep in mind that the more you are targeting, the less you can do to avoid being a target. A furball is no place for the fighter pilot who plans to receive a retirement check. Oh yeah, and keep the speed up. If you go fast enough, you only have to check what’s in front of (…and behind) you.

    The poor substitute for Situational Awareness is fast reflexes. If you unexpectedly see tracers coming at you or you suddenly take hits don’t try and figure out where it’s coming from; EVADE! Obviously whatever maneuver you’re performing wasn’t the best, do something else and do it immediately.

    Under advanced sounds, turn your engine down to 6% or so and change other engines from 80% to 100%. If you hear an approaching engine and were not expecting somebody you need to immediately roll and break hard. Situational Awareness is continuous and multi-dimensional.

    The greater the number of planes in the vicinity the more the pilot needs to focus on situational awareness even if this limits air combat proficiency.

    There are opponents who know when your SA is compromised. They will wait for you to attack a plane and dart in to attack while your attention is diverted.

    Having friends in the vicinity multiplies your SA…but it is not 100% reliable. Nobody is obligated to warn you to “check 6.”

    #13 More thoughts on tracers and convergence…. The bread and butter of the Dora is the snap shot. The approach is made at high speed and rarely is the coveted six o’ clock position achieved. This is the norm in an angles or e-fight. For that reason, I prefer to set convergence to 200 yards on all guns. When they hit, I want them all to hit and I rarely achieve accuracy unless the range is very short.

    Tracers are turned off. Don’t need em when snap shooting at close ranges and all they do is tell the enemy what you’re doing. Plus, if your shooting at an unaware target they won’t realize they are under attack until they start taking damage. Against bombers, not using tracers can be comical as it can cause the gunner some issues with determining which position to manage return fire.

    Not using tracers at night is like the swinging the reaper’s scythe…

    #14 NOE Fighting. When fighting close to the planet please keep in mind that while your opponent “might” kill you if you stop fighting, the planet WILL most definitely kill you if you stop flying.

    Fighting close to the ground requires attention to flight that in some instances will be even more important than attention to combat. When? You will definitely know it after you crash rather than being shot down.

    NOE fighting is exhilarating, fast paced, and very, very dangerous. With less room to maneuver, it becomes very easy to achieve an unrecoverable position. Remember; altitude equals options.

    “IF” you are flying over friendly territory there is one oddball advantage to NOE fighting. If your run out of energy in a stall fight it just MIGHT be possible to deploy flaps, gear, cut engine and ditch faster than your opponent can figure out what you are doing and get into a position to shoot you down. This maneuver takes high risk to a completely new level but it might get you out of an unrecoverable situation.

    #15 Don’t get cocky. You put in enough time and you will get good. A hot streak of success can set the stage for thinking you can push your success. You might be tempted to stay in the dog-fight a little longer or maybe make another pass on the bombers even with your engine smoking. Here is the thing, you got into a hot streak by a combination of good luck, and disciplined flying.

    You cannot push a fight without pushing your luck and Lady Luck hates being pushed.

    #16 Friends. You know, those planes marked in green icons. Three things ensure survivability in Air combat: Altitude, Speed, and Friends. Lots and lots of friends.

    Too many friends and you will compete for kills. Not enough friends and all the bad guys will focus on you. Watch the friendly fire. Use the radio and coordinate attacks and defense.

    Warn fellow pilots to check six. Friendlies, especially squad-mates, improve your survivability.

    Don’t be the only friendly plane in an unfriendly sky. Every bad guy who shows up is going straight for you or will do their utmost to defend against you.

    Tips and Tricks with the Focke Wulf

    The Dora is one of the few planes that can lose part of its wing and still be manageable to land. This is due to its stunning rate of roll. The trick is to apply full opposite trim to the wing that was damaged. The other trick is that the use of elevators will affect roll when a wing is damaged. Much of the rest is practice and it’s not exactly something you can train off line. Give yourself plenty of room for broad turns and gentle descent. As soon as you’re able, deploy flaps. Be very gentle and slow with the controls. Over-compensation can kill when the controls are compromised.

    Whatever you do, roll with it. The FW 190 rolls better than anything else so make use of this feature! If you’re defensive, don’t let adversaries match geometry with you. Your plane should constantly be out of phase with your opponents. This will hamper your opponent’s gun solution.

    At high speed, everyone turns the same. That’s because pilots black out under excessive g-load. That means the FW190 is just as maneuverable as everyone else when going fast. More so, as the FW190 has a better rate of roll, so stay fast!

    If a bad guy is on your six and you can’t dive or otherwise extend away you may wish to use the scissors maneuver in an attempt to cause your opponent to overshoot. The scissors maneuver is high-risk and takes some practice but works well against opponents who cannot match your roll rate. I’m not an expert at this as…I suck at dogfighting.

    Another wacko move the Focke Wulf can do is a high speed stall. At speeds less than 300 a pilot who yanks back hard on the stick can cause the left wing to drop. FW pilots should practice getting into and out of (…and preventing!) this stall. You can shed appalling amounts of speed in a blink of an eye with this maneuver.

    Closing thoughts

    The Dora was one of the finest planes in WWII. In Aces High, It’s good plane but not the best. A pilot must employ proper tactics, stay alert, and react correctly to changes in the combat environment in order to survive. When in doubt, stay fast and doubt all the time.

    …and don’t feel too bad when you get flamed. This game is air combat distilled, condensed, and concentrated. This is a hyper simulation wherein most of the participants have hundreds (if not thousands) of hours of sim practice and the action comes at you fast and furious. You are going up against opponents who are very, very skilled at the game. Surviving a battle is an achievement; much less the notion of landing kills.

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