Game dictionary

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Available energy to a vehicle. It is usually divided into: Potential energy (altitude/height) + Kinetic energy (Speed/Velocity)
Describes turns which are above the maximum pilot's sustainable-load. These turns can be as high as 9 g's before the pilot begins to lose consciousness (G-LOC). These turns can have a very small turn radius, but cause a loss in energy, either in the form of speed or altitude. Therefore, these turns are unsustainable, causing the fighter to lose massive amounts of airspeed, sometimes reaching stall speed in as little as a quarter turn. To some degree the energy loss may be compensated for by increasing thrust, known as applying "excess specific power," but this cannot fully make up for the losses. This usually occurs during hard turns or even harder "breaks." Only by turning the aircraft at its best "sustained turn-rate" can the aircraft maintain its specific energy. However, situations in combat may require a change in energy, and energy may also be increased by pulling less than the maximum sustained g-force load. [1]
The aircraft's ability to stay in air after several flat turns, e.g. the Bf 109E-3 will win a turnfight against a Spitfire Mk I after both are low on speed. The 109s better acceleration allows it to fly faster through the circle, eventually cathing up with the slower and tighter turning Spitfire. The Bf109 has got better "instantaneous turn rate" due to excess specific power. The Spitfire had better "sustained turn rate".
The aircraft's ability to pull sharp into a turn without stalling from the high angle of attack, e.g. the Spitfire Mk.II will have the upper hand at the start of a turnfight against a Bf 109E-3, because the Spitfire can pull a tighter turn than the Bf109. Thus the Spitfire can fly through a smaller circle with more initial speed. After this speed is lost "instantaneous turn rate" becomes important.


  • BnZ = Boom and Zoom
  • MEC = Manual engine control
  • rds. = rounds
  • rpg = rounds per gun
  • rtb = return to base

  1. navyflightmanuals, text from Wikipedia though Basic_fighter_maneuvers.