[snipped for brevity]
Post by Ed Rasimus
We'd wind up in a cranking, turning, one-circle fight and Dillon's
crop-duster experience would have him pulling lead into me until he'd
stall, then with deft application of top rudder he'd manage to keep
the nose up for a second longer than I could. I'd drop out of the
stall and he'd ease off to take a bit of lag spacing then pull back
into his lead. Nibble, nibble, nibble and eventually he'd have a good
extended gun solution.
A former Navy F-4 pilot, fellow trike pilot and good friend emailed
me this story that is very similiar (e.g: application of "top rudder")
that you describe above Ed:
Subject: Marseille ..' A Dead Man Walking ' .. But, Perhaps The ' Best
Dog Fight' Pilot
With the Messerschmitt's left wingtip pointed vertically toward the
water below, the Hurricane fighter stood virtually motionless in front
of a young German's windscreen. Viewed through the metal framed
canopy of the Messerschmitt 109, a British Hurricane with its red
centered cockade was starkly recognizable against the cloudless
North African sky.
Pulling back on the stick, gut-wrenching turn tightening, the young
German's slim body presses firmly into his seat. Underneath his
leather and mesh flight helmet, beads of sweat roll down his face ..
burning his eyes as they remain open and fixed on the Zeiss optical
3 G's .. 3.5 G's .. 4 G's.
The strain increases. Tired and aching at the end of day's mission
that was full of air combat, the young German's arm muscles begin to
fatigue under the strain. But there are no distractions allowed. The
quarry must not escape.
After a swift look inside, with a slight input of right rudder, Jochen
.. as he's known by his friends .. corrects the aircraft's slight
The Messerschmitt emits a tiny shudder as its airspeed rapidly bleeds
off from 300 knots indicated down to 140. Physics now demands the
aircraft's nose to drop as its lift falls away. In apparent defiance
of this law of nature, Jochen applies judicious top rudder and the 109
hangs precariously. Then, there's a metallic ' clang ' as the
Messerschmitt's leading edge slats automatically slam into an
extended position providing more lift.
Like an artist ' working' materials, the 22 year old ' works' his
aircraft as if part of his own body, while sweat pours down his back
.. and the shoulder harness bites into his neck .. stinging. These
minor distractions, no longer affect the German ace; he's been there
before. The only thing important is .. one more victory !
Looking behind him, the RAF pilot sees the Messerschmitt now perched
ominously off his left hind quarter .. its propeller spinner slowly
pulling lead .. setting up for the proper firing position. Fear grips
the British pilot as he now realizes this was no rookie enemy behind
him. And every evasive maneuver he'd attempted was flawlessly
countered .. with the young German closing distance with each turn.
As Jochen's Messerschmitt closed in, and the Hurricane disappeared
beneath its nose. Jochen cocked his head slightly to the left as he
calculated where his ordinance and the enemy would coinside. It ..
was .. time !
The control column shook in his right hand from a quick two-second
burst. The cockpit filled with the smell of cordite, as several pounds
of per second of machine gun and cannon projectiles hurtle into the
Hurricane. Intuitively positive his aim had been correct, the German
rolled inverted, diving away.
The 7500 pound British Hurricane, a sheet of flaming metal, thundered
vertically into the Mediterranean...
by Major Robert Tate, USAF [edited and abridged]