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Formation Flying
CHAPTER 5
5.1 THE ROTTE:
The ROTTE is the basic fighting unit. It consists of a leader (Rottenfuhrer), and a wingman (Katchmarek). During crusing flight the two aircraft flew almost line abreast about 200 yards apart, each pilot concentrating his search inwards so that he covered his partner's blind areas. In combat it was the wingman's duty to guard his leaders tail, while the latter did the fighting.

There are two basic formations used by the ROTTE:

LINE ABREAST:  Line abreast means the Rottenfuhrer/Katchmarek are on the 9/3 line.
WEDGE: Wedge Formation means the Rottenfuhrer/Katchmarek are on the 10/4 line.
ROTTENFUHRER
KATCHMAREK
In Aces High we fly this formation a bit wide, from d500 to d800. The pair should not deviate more than 10-12 degrees of the 9/3 line. This is the type of formation we fly while on a fighter sweep or patrol as it covers more area than a compact formation.
The Rottenfuhrer's primary visual responsibility is forward. His secondary visual responsibility will be either his 3 or 9 o'clock (which ever is opposite his Katchmarek).
The Katchmarek's primary visual responsibility is watching his Leader's 6. This will be either his 7 or 5 o'clock position  depending which side his Rottenfuhrer is on. His secondary visual responsibility will be either his 3 or 9 o'clock position (which ever is opposite his Rottenfuhrer).
ROTTENFUHRER
KATCHMAREK
In the Wedge formation the Katchmarek is angled back from the Rottenfuhrer about 45 degrees. The formation is flown almost like follow the leader. This formation allows for more manuverability and is flown when making attacks. The Wedge formation is an offensive formation. It should be spaced at about d300 to d500 depending on circumstances. Once the bandit is killed the pair returns to the line abreast formation and continues on patrol.

Typically what happens is we climb toward enemy territory in line abreast. As we reach target altitude we remain in line abreast as we ingress toward the fight. While in line abreast this gives us the best visability. Once we spot a bandit and the Rottenfuhrer decides to engage him we will switch into a Wedge formation The lead element will be concentrating on getting the kill. The Katchmarek will be responsable for keeping the lead element clear and watching for incoming bandits.
5.2 MAINTAINING FORMATION:
GENERAL NOTES: The Rottenfuhrer should maintain a constant course and speed with the Katchmarek making adjustments to stay in proper position. Communication is necssary here. The Rottenfuhrer should make known any course or speed changes in advance if possible. Ordinarily a typed text message or a short voice message such as "left turn to heading 270" is sufficent. The Rottenfuhrer should also set his manifold pressure below full power to allow his Katchmarek to adjust his speed and station accordingly. If the Katchmarek drifts back out of position with you running at full manifold pressure he will have a harder time rejoining.

Maintaining formation in any online game is tough. There are all sorts of things that effect  formation flying. Lag and the lack of peripheral vision are the biggest factors. Even with good communication and running at less than full manifold pressure there will be times when the pair gets out of formation. There are three basic manuvers that can be performed that will aid a quick return to formation.
ROTTENFUHRER
KATCHMAREK
1. THE CHECK TURN:
A check turn is basiclly a quick turn into the person who is behind the formation. A check turn is effective in bringing the Rotte back into the 9/3 line as long as the trailing pilot isn't more than 30 degrees out of position.
The image is not to correct scale however it demonstrates how a check turn brings the pair back into the 9/3 line. The degree of the turn will be determined by the ammount of degrees out of the 9/3 line the trailing plane is.
KATCHMAREK
ROTTENFUHRER
2. THE WEAVE:
The weave is effective in bringing the Rotte back onto the 9/3 line when the pair wants to maintain the same heading. It is a bit tricky because the "weaver", the person in front, doesn't want to loose any speed, just re-adjust his position and return to the 9/3 line. The weaver performs an "S" like manuver. What happens is he flies a longer distance between two points and the lagging plane flies straight. This manuver works best if the pair is between 30 & 45 degrees out of the 9/3 line. The weaver can also re-adjust his spacing and return to the correct speration.
KATCHMAREK
ROTTENFUHRER
3. THE SHACKLE:
The shackle is a more aggessive manuver. It is used to re-adjust the position of the Rotte back to the 9/3 line or correct spacing when the distance between the pair becomes large. This works well when the pair are more than 45 degrees out of line.
The two pilots turn hard into each other to cross flight paths. The idea is for both flight members to change sides while adjusting both spacing and the 9/3 line. Use the shackle as a last resort. It requires a lot of attention and time and may not be suitable with threats close by.
5.3 BASIC MANUVERS:
There are also a couple of basic manuvers for making course changes.
1. THE TAC TURN:
The tac turn is preformed by the trailing plane turning first behind the lead plane onto the new course. Once the trailing plane passes the tail of the lead aircraft he then turns on to the new course. The tac turn preserves the spacing between aircraft.
Advantages:
* Time of one fighter in a poor defensive position is minimized.
* The formation stays close the whole turn.
* Easy to reverse the direction useing another 90 deg. crossover turn after flying straight for 2 seconds.
Disadvantages:
* Large effective turning radius.
ROTTENFUHRER
KATCHMAREK
2. INPLACE TURN:
The inplace turn is basically a 180 deg. or turn to the opposite direction of a present heading. It is performed by the Katchmarek (Green) on the right turning inside his Rottenfuhrer (Brown) in the turn thus preserving spacing.

Advantages:
* Good visual protection to the side of the turn.
Disadvantages:
* 1 fighter is placed in trail and out of sight during the turn.

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