- Age Range: 1 - 1 year
- Hardcover: 448 pages
- Publisher: Naval Institute Press; New edition edition (November 14, 1985)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0870210599
- ISBN-13: 978-0870210594
- Product Dimensions: 1 x 7.5 x 10.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #83,184 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Fighter Combat: Tactics and Maneuvering Hardcover – November 14, 1985
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Top Customer Reviews
It covers a wide range of material including basic flight maneuvers, dogfighting maneuvers, weapons theory, and tactics for small engagements. There are not a lot of flashy pictures, and the reading can be a little bit tedious at times. Although this book was written by a pilot for pilots and is thus not a graduate-level physics textbook, a little bit of background in theory of flight, math, and physics is helpful (but not necessary).
I have met quite a few military aviators, and they all have a deep respect for both Shaw and his book. If you want to be a combat pilot, this is the one book you absolutely have to have. If you just want to pick up some gaming tips on how to outfly the enemy, you will find this book very helpful for that, also. It also has many, many quotes from real pilots which are related directly to the subject matter (for example, teaching the appllication of a high yo-yo combat maneuver and then a quote from a WWII P-47 pilot who used it to out-turn and shoot down a very surprised FW-190 pilot!). The author really does an excellent job of presenting the subject matter.
The problem seems to stem from the fact that it is, first and foremost, a text book. As such, it requires a rather different approach. It was obviously intended to be used in a classroom environment where one is totally focussed on the matter and can readilly ask questions. It also requires the reader to be familiar with the many other components which make up modern air combat. A flight simmer can simply go and fly a mission to prove or disprove his or her understanding of the topic but for the average reader some of the detail is baffling.
If you are into flight sims, this book will not turn you into an instant ace but it may help your understanding of the concepts. It would be unfair of me to give it a low grade based on my experience of the book because it is clearly meant to be a text book for fighter pilots, a niche it fills very well, I'm sure. I, for one, would have appreciated more diagrams and found myself constantly cross-referencing with other books on the subject, such as "Jane's Fighter Combat in the Jet Age". It really is more of a course of study than anything else.
I do not want to appear to be bashing it and all in all, I would recommend it but it is not for everybody and anybody reading it will have to set aside no small amount of time to get through it. That is why I did not give it the five stars it probably merits.
His approach is to begin with the basics (flight sim players might find it useful to consider his chapters "lesson plans" for practicing) and gradually take the reader into greater depth. Readers may find it useful to re-read some chapters - the text is fairly tight and there is much of value in here that might get overlooked.
While individual aircraft systems and weapons vary, the basic principles of aerial killing have not changed since WWI: see before being seen, kill before the enemy realizes he is dead, protect your wingman, and come home alive. Shaw shows you how it is done.
I recommend this book to current fighter aircrew - it is a great supplement to fighter weapons training manuals and courses that sometimes emphasize particular aircraft capabilities while being a bit light on fundamentals.
As a criticism I would have preferred a slightly more detailed look at the mechanics of flight behind the ACM, but that could be because of my technical background, however apart from that I cannot praise this book enough. On the back of the cover, it has pilots also raving about the book (such as the like of Randy Cunningham), and if that doesn't sell it to you nothing will.
The book will require you to think, it is like any text book, and you can't go skipping paragraphs. However saying that, doesn't mean to say that it is not highly enjoyable, again the quotes (and the odd subtle joke) help to lighten it up if you are locked into a heavy reading session. For me personally, it should stand next to the books on tactics such as The Art of War, A Book of Five Rings, and The Military Maxims of Napoleon.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a great read for online fighter pilots with some previous training/studies. Not really for beginners, and not the most fun book to read, but very detailed in all topics... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Tim W
This is "the" book to read if you are interested in air combat tactics.
Any simulator pilot who is serious about getting better at dogfighting should read it.
Very technical book on fighter tactics. (Yes, I went through Naval Aviation flight training at NAS Pensacola).Published 8 months ago by Lisa Carlisle
Great book written in an informative and authoritative style. All you ever need to know about air combatPublished 10 months ago by Joe E. Wyatt Jr.
This is THE textbook for anyone interested in air combat maneuvers.Published 11 months ago by Amazon Customer
It's advanced stuff, even for those who ply their trade in the air combat. But I consider it required reading even for those like me who live at the bottom of the sky.Published 18 months ago by Matthew Snyder