The Warrior Flight Team is proud to be the only demonstration team on the airshow circuit to bring fans a real-live dogfight up close and personal. Audiences get to see two highly skilled U.S. Navy fighter pilots as they battle it out in the ultimate grudge match.
Look for the Warrior Flight Team to bring its "Fight's On" dogfight demonstration to an airshow near you. Check our calendar often as new shows may be added at any time. Don't miss the chance to see two jet aircraft twist and turn in a demonstration unlike any you've seen before.
The demonstration, called "Fight's On", is broken into three distinct phases. First, the pilots introduce the crowd to themselves and their jets. This includes individual solo aerobatics at speeds over 400 mph. Secondly, the pilots join in formation to show tactical maneuvers used in a combat environment. This twisting and turning shows how multiple aircraft move throughout a battlefield to gain, and maintain, an advantage. Finally, the two jets are put to the test in a winner-takes-all dogfight. With two similar aircraft, the contest comes down to the skill and daring of each pilot.
Adding to the fun and excitement of an action-packed dogfight is the ongoing grudge match between our two pilots. "Crunchy" Burgess, flying the Vandy 1 aircraft, spent his Navy career flying the famed F-14 Tomcat. While in the Roman 86 aircraft "Pirate" Mills, spent his time flying the F/A-18 Hornet. This classic Tomcat versus Hornet match has been around for years and now crowds can now watch that debate be settled in an actual dogfight.
Basic Fighter Maneuvers (BFM)
Dogfight Setup Maneuver and Communications
Once established in the demonstration area, the aircraft will use Defensive Combat Spread (DCS) to maneuver together. The beginning of every BFM set should start with both aircraft meeting certain parameters. The parameters are known as PADS (Postion, Altitude, Distance, and Speed). These details are agreed upon prior to the flight and must be met for the dogfight to begin. This allows for maximum safety, as well as ensuring no pilot begins with an advantage.
DAGWOOD'S THOUGHTS - "As we get into the dogfight phase of the demo it really gets exciting. As the narrator, I usually get the cockpit communications over the PA system so people can listen in. It probably seems like a bit of a staged situation but it's all real. If I don't hear or see Pirate and Crunchy flying as briefed, I'm expected to speak up. As much as those two love tearing it up in a dogfight, for everyone on the team, it's all about being safe. And in case Pirate and Crunchy have something to say, just remember, Prowlers are the best."
During one-circle flow, the fighter with the smaller turn radius will have the advantage. Pilots will often pitch up to help minimize turn radius. Since turn rate is of little importance during one-circle flow, it is often called a radius fight. You can also hear it referred to as a nose-to-nose or positional fight.
A two circle fight is a rate fight and the angular advantage usually goes to the aircraft with the higher turn rate. A good technique often used is to trade some altitude for energy in order to continue maximizing turn rate. Often this kind of flow is referred to as a nose-to-tail, rate, or energy fight.
PIRATE'S THOUGHTS - "Determining whether you are in a one-circle or two-circle fight happens right as soon as the jets pass. In a split second the jets are turning towards or away from each other, and you have to recognize it immediately. If you delay in seeing what is happening, or if you lose situational awareness for even a moment, the fight is as good as over for you and you may end up walking home. And don't forget, Hornets rule."
The rolling scissors is a fight with both aircraft inside each other’s bubble as long as the fight remains neutral. The rolling scissors may result from an in-close overshoot where the pilot attempts to stop his downrange travel by pitching up into the vertical without sufficient energy to execute a pure loop. The resulting fight is a series of vertical and horizontal overshoots where both pilots attempt to maximize their turn rate and minimize their turn radius in order to gain a positional advantage.
CRUNCHY'S THOUGHTS - "For me the Rolling Scissors has always been a lot of fun. It combines so much of the other aspects of a dogfight all into one. It's pretty much a make or break situation in which each pilot is really max performing the jet for even a tiny advantage. Sometimes keeping situational awareness while in a Roling Scissors can be a little bit a challenge but, if you can do it well, the fight can turn out in your favor. By the way, Tomcats are the best."