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stalkervision
02-11-2009, 10:42 AM
One here's the old fighter pilot's adage "speed is life" all the time but I find a superior altitude advantage more important.

Which is more important to you and why?

erco415
02-11-2009, 11:05 AM
Speed is life, altitude is good because you can make speed with it. Without speed, you have no maneuvering potential.

Think about taking off under attack, staying on the deck and building speed is tons more useful than climbing steeply and slowly.


Now, if you can have both...

dwagener
02-11-2009, 11:11 AM
Altitude.

If you are the highest plane in the sky, you get see all that is below you & decide how best to act.

King of the mountain rules.

Of course you can trade alt. for speed. & skill, armament & attitude help also.

erco415
02-11-2009, 11:13 AM
Speed allows you to dictate the terms of the fight, or your disengagement.

M_Gunz
02-11-2009, 11:18 AM
How close and just where the enemy is makes a big difference!

While gaining alt anywhere near possible combat I never want my speed to get below 2x stall, well above best climb rate.

crucislancer
02-11-2009, 11:28 AM
I think it would be speed. While having the altitude advantage is important, having the speed to get into and out of engagements at will is much more important, even at low altitude.

TheFamilyMan
02-11-2009, 11:41 AM
To paraphrase Free Wheelin' Franklin:

Altitude will get you through times of no speed better than speed will get you through times of no altitude.
But as everyone (should) know, speed and altitute are equivalent. The key is to maintian energy. Bleed off too much energy at low altitude and you are toast, and hence my paraphrase.

DuxCorvan
02-11-2009, 12:02 PM
Both are the same since both can be converted into each other with ease. Situation will dictate what is needed better. Just don't run out of both.

thefruitbat
02-11-2009, 12:28 PM
Originally posted by DuxCorvan:
Both are the same since both can be converted into each other with ease. Situation will dictate what is needed better. Just don't run out of both.

+1

Player_43
02-11-2009, 12:51 PM
In air combat, the word is 'energy' which doesn't make any difference between altitude or speed as using the 'energy' formula you can convert one into an other as said above.

The rest (better speed or altitude ?) depends of the situation and of the strategy you prefer to use.

Woke_Up_Dead
02-11-2009, 03:26 PM
I prefer speed, especially if I'm flying a fighter that retains its energy well. You can convert speed to altitude pretty quickly, but it takes a few seconds to drop altitude and gain speed.

norton1974
02-11-2009, 06:12 PM
I take either one provided its higher or faster than the enemy.
although i usualy run out of both at the same time.

Bearcat99
02-11-2009, 06:19 PM
Originally posted by DuxCorvan:
Both are the same since both can be converted into each other with ease. Situation will dictate what is needed better. Just don't run out of both.

Originally posted by Player_43:
In air combat, the word is 'energy' which doesn't make any difference between altitude or speed as using the 'energy' formula you can convert one into an other as said above.

The rest (better speed or altitude ?) depends of the situation and of the strategy you prefer to use.

stalkervision
02-11-2009, 09:02 PM
actually IMO altitude is the winner and I can prove this. One can gain altitude with speed but as one gets higher to try to match a person with superior altitude that man can easily dive down and convert altitude for speed while the other player is low on speed now. Then I can make a pass at you,zoom climb away and do it all over again while your flying nice and slow now. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/icon_twisted.gif

of course the altitude advantage has to be significant. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Lt_Letum
02-11-2009, 09:18 PM
Altitude is speed.
The difference is that if you have lots of speed,
you will be losing it, slowing down until you
level off at your planes maximum powered flight
speed. If you have lots of altitude, you won't
usually be losing it.

Speed and altitude are energy, but altitude is
energy in the bank, speed is energy you are
losing.

stalkervision
02-11-2009, 09:20 PM
Originally posted by Lt_Letum:
Altitude is speed.
The difference is that if you have lots of speed,
you will be losing it, slowing down until you
level off at your planes maximum powered flight
speed. If you have lots of altitude, you won't
usually be losing it.

Speed and altitude are energy, but altitude is
energy in the bank, speed is energy you are
losing.

Bravo! Exactly so..! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif

PanzerAce
02-11-2009, 10:06 PM
So long as you don't run out of altitude, speed, and elevator all at the same time.... http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

scaredycat1
02-11-2009, 10:27 PM
Originally posted by TheFamilyMan:
To paraphrase Free Wheelin' Franklin:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Altitude will get you through times of no speed better than speed will get you through times of no altitude.
But as everyone (should) know, speed and altitute are equivalent. The key is to maintian energy. Bleed off too much energy at low altitude and you are toast, and hence my paraphrase. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>



LOL! theres a blast from the past. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

M_Gunz
02-12-2009, 02:37 AM
Altitude is not speed *right now*. It won't put you out of the sights of an enemy who is bouncing you when the tracers go by,
or one who is zooming up from below. You get slow and you can't jink very well, even if you turn it won't put you far and
from 300 meters away your 30-50m displacement only makes you a wider target. If the other guy is only a little lower but much
faster while you are maneuver-slow then it's as bad or worse than if he is above and not closing, you are a silhouette in the
sky and even less likely to see him.

Never let your speed get low in a combat area. You see that again and again in writing by veteran pilots. How many wrote
to always get higher as combat rule # 1?

If there's no enemy close or a threat above then sure, climb like crazy. But the Rope-a-Dope tactic is based on idiots who
will try and climb to meet a foe.

squareusr
02-12-2009, 01:01 PM
Originally posted by Lt_Letum:
Altitude is speed.
The difference is that if you have lots of speed,
you will be losing it, slowing down until you
level off at your planes maximum powered flight
speed. If you have lots of altitude, you won't
usually be losing it.

Speed and altitude are energy, but altitude is
energy in the bank, speed is energy you are
losing.

That, and more: if you have the reached ceiling of stored energy (maximum flight height), you have a lot more energy than you could convert into speed in one go. So the "height is bank account" analogy works even better: you can store a lot more money at the bank than you could ever carry on person.

But i'd phrase the last sentence slightly different: "speed is energy you can actually buy things with, but over time it loses value, just like money in your pocket."

Hording energy as height would never win you a fight alone. Sticking to our analogy: "warbirds don't take plastic money".

You can't spend the energy to your advantage without converting it into speed first. The trick is to never convert more height than absolutely necessary.

DKoor
02-12-2009, 01:20 PM
Originally posted by stalkervision:
One here's the old fighter pilot's adage "speed is life" all the time but I find a superior altitude advantage more important.

Which is more important to you and why? Your question is almost an answer to itself...well.
Speed & altitude...are really nothing if they are not providing us with some advantage.
If we are fast and enemy is fast at same alt, that means nothing (if we ignore specific plane configurations & other conditions).
If we are at (higher) altitude and enemy is too, that also means nothing, same as in first case.

But if we are at altitude and enemy is not, he will clearly see that he is in disadvantage and will try to retreat.
If we are in same altitude and we are faster we are at advantage (same kind of crucial advantage as with altitude) the main difference is that this kind of advantage is harder to spot and you can lurk enemy in some easy-victory-for-you kind of maneuver such is hammerhead where he will lost energy much sooner than you.

So in a way, speed advantage is kinda better...

All that if I understood you correctly in the first place.

Erkki_M
02-12-2009, 01:41 PM
Altitude is worth exactly square root 1/4 times the amount of speed. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

AllorNothing117
02-12-2009, 03:28 PM
Surley they are both important, the question is one of scale i.e. is 100ph more or less valuable then 500 meters of altitude. I see it as one continues thing. Like, "How much speeditude" do I have? I'm 3000 meters above the enemy doing 450mph? Awsome 100% speeditude

The quetion isn't, "what is better, speed or altitude?" but "Is 500m better than 100mph?" you need a good overall measure, imagine adding them together like 1000m + 300mph but then giving it an apropriate "scale" like 1000m + 300*2 mph. I hope that made sence...

stalkervision
02-12-2009, 03:49 PM
Originally posted by DKoor:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by stalkervision:
One here's the old fighter pilot's adage "speed is life" all the time but I find a superior altitude advantage more important.

Which is more important to you and why? Your question is almost an answer to itself...well.
Speed & altitude...are really nothing if they are not providing us with some advantage.
If we are fast and enemy is fast at same alt, that means nothing (if we ignore specific plane configurations & other conditions).
If we are at (higher) altitude and enemy is too, that also means nothing, same as in first case.

But if we are at altitude and enemy is not, he will clearly see that he is in disadvantage and will try to retreat.
If we are in same altitude and we are faster we are at advantage (same kind of crucial advantage as with altitude) the main difference is that this kind of advantage is harder to spot and you can lurk enemy in some easy-victory-for-you kind of maneuver such is hammerhead where he will lost energy much sooner than you.

So in a way, speed advantage is kinda better...

All that if I understood you correctly in the first place. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

The example i was thinking of DK is where one is quite a bit higher then the enemy at maybe cruising speed and the enemy pilot is at his max level speed. For one to engage the pilot flying higher you will lose a whole lot of speed to get to that co-altitude where the higher flying pilot only has to do a dive and quickly gain a e advantage. Maybe he could even just accelerate to his higher speed , stay at the same altitude and wait for the other pilot to get slow climbing up to the higher altitude.

WTE_Galway
02-12-2009, 04:00 PM
aren't they the same thing ?

stalkervision
02-12-2009, 04:07 PM
Originally posted by WTE_Galway:
aren't they the same thing ?

The same what buddy? http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

stalkervision
02-12-2009, 04:15 PM
Maybe I should rephrase the question huh?

Which would you prefer a speed advantage or an altitude advantage? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

M_Gunz
02-12-2009, 09:53 PM
Originally posted by WTE_Galway:
aren't they the same thing ?

When tracers are going over or to the side of you, would you rather be at 2G maneuver speed with an extra 500-1000m alt or
able to pull 4+Gs?

Consider that climbing at best rate *might* leave you with even 2G maneuver and make you a lot easier to catch by anyone who
didn't start lower or can climb better or just has the speed to zoom up and shoot.

But then too much speed and your roll rate suffers as well. That being the primary way to redirect your lift vector there
is such a thing as too fast to maneuver quickly as well.

Too much height and your engine runs less than best, there is no single got it all answer.

M_Gunz
02-12-2009, 09:56 PM
Originally posted by stalkervision:
Maybe I should rephrase the question huh?

Which would you prefer a speed advantage or an altitude advantage? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

Still a tradeoff. If he is 500m below and 200+kph faster then I'm in trouble!

M_Gunz
02-12-2009, 10:06 PM
Originally posted by AllorNothing117:
Surley they are both important, the question is one of scale i.e. is 100ph more or less valuable then 500 meters of altitude. I see it as one continues thing. Like, "How much speeditude" do I have? I'm 3000 meters above the enemy doing 450mph? Awsome 100% speeditude

The quetion isn't, "what is better, speed or altitude?" but "Is 500m better than 100mph?" you need a good overall measure, imagine adding them together like 1000m + 300mph but then giving it an apropriate "scale" like 1000m + 300*2 mph. I hope that made sence...

The root of it is there but the scale changes with your plane and what specific excess energy it has at your current speed and alt.
You could make a chart the size of a baseball card for one plane and have a rough working idea.. sort of.

This is why getting to know what you can get out of one plane very well really gives an edge over someone who jumps around.
But a lot of that hinges on being able to judge the abilities and energy state (a difficult skill) of the other.

stalkervision
02-12-2009, 10:30 PM
I believe we have to try to devise a fair test here. Two of the same aircraft at different altitudes.

One at max speed and a lower altitude and one at cruising speed and a higher altitude.

I believe we would have to make the higher altitude aircraft's altitude difference to the lower aircraft a function of altitude difference that aircraft would need to be able to speed up to max speed in a dive to match the other aircraft.


Or something like that..Ohh my brain hurtz!! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

Mercwolf2
02-13-2009, 06:03 AM
~S~

Kinetic Energy is your current speed and is calculated as this

Kinetic energy (Speed) = .5 x mass x velocity^2 (mass in grams and velocity in meters/ second)

it is like money in your pocket

Potential Energy is altitude and is calculated as such

Potential energy (Altitude) = 9.8 x mass x height (mass in grams and height in meters)

it is like money in the bank

Total Energy it is Potential energy (altitude) + Kinetic energy (speed)

You can change potential energy into kinetic energy by diving

You can change kinetic energy into potential energy by climbing

Both are equally important depending on the situation you are in.

CUJO_1970
02-13-2009, 07:04 AM
Without a doubt, the answer to this question is:
SPEED.

Speed, Speed and more speed.

What did aircraft manufacturers focus on _primarily_? More altitude or more speed? Both are important but the focus was always on speed, for good reason.

stalkervision
02-13-2009, 10:15 AM
Originally posted by pehi001:
~S~

Kinetic Energy is your current speed and is calculated as this

Kinetic energy (Speed) = .5 x mass x velocity^2 (mass in grams and velocity in meters/ second)

it is like money in your pocket

Potential Energy is altitude and is calculated as such

Potential energy (Altitude) = 9.8 x mass x height (mass in grams and height in meters)

it is like money in the bank

Total Energy it is Potential energy (altitude) + Kinetic energy (speed)

You can change potential energy into kinetic energy by diving

You can change kinetic energy into potential energy by climbing

Both are equally important depending on the situation you are in.

I believe you lose more energy in a climb then a dive and you can't use the energy as quickly either. When you finish a dive you have gained a lot energy and when you have finished a climb you have lost most of yours compared to the player that started out a lot higher.

M_Gunz
02-13-2009, 12:31 PM
So much depends on the plane and how fast it is going.
A plane with higher maximum speed but not so great thrust to weight may do better in a long dive but be outstripped in a short
dive by a slower yet higher thrust to weight plane. But piston prop thrust depends on how fast you're going, the closer to your
maximum speed you are the less thrust you have and the more drag you have, your ability to accelerate from power curves down
while gravity is the same for everyone. The faster plane will benefit more in the long run but getting out of guns range is
not going to happen as quickly as an angles defense, he must dodge.

In the zoom you have engine power applying the whole time but your start speed is an order higher in importance.

Stalker when you say between cruise high and top speed low then the one cruising is in the better position, IMO. He is close to
if not at his best instant maneuver capability and he has more choices. He can still zoom just as high, he can dive for decent
speed gain or he can just accelerate without diving. The only circumstance I can think of right off is where an enemy is closing
on him from behind that would not be able to if he was at top speed. If he was slow instead of cruising then I'd rather be faster
and lower which much of the time is harder to see as well. Of course the AAA down low can be a bear at times.

squareusr
02-13-2009, 01:00 PM
Originally posted by stalkervision:
When you finish a dive you have gained a lot energy and when you have finished a climb you have lost most of yours compared to the player that started out a lot higher.

That's just another symptom of the fact that you can't store a lot of energy in its kinetic form.

It's actually more of the opposite, if you have reached maximum speed in level flight at a certain height and then do a steep climb "down" to stall speed and then dive down again to level off at the initial height, you will likely be faster than before. The reason is simple: each second your engine produces a certain amount of energy and you lose a certain amount of that to drag. The closer you are to maximum level speed the smaller the difference between those two is. After your climb your speed will be lower, and likewise the drag. Engine power output stays roughly the same, so you get a bigger difference, which will be stored in height.

stalkervision
02-13-2009, 01:14 PM
Originally posted by M_Gunz:
So much depends on the plane and how fast it is going.
A plane with higher maximum speed but not so great thrust to weight may do better in a long dive but be outstripped in a short
dive by a slower yet higher thrust to weight plane. But piston prop thrust depends on how fast you're going, the closer to your
maximum speed you are the less thrust you have and the more drag you have, your ability to accelerate from power curves down
while gravity is the same for everyone. The faster plane will benefit more in the long run but getting out of guns range is
not going to happen as quickly as an angles defense, he must dodge.

In the zoom you have engine power applying the whole time but your start speed is an order higher in importance.

Stalker when you say between cruise high and top speed low then the one cruising is in the better position, IMO. He is close to
if not at his best instant maneuver capability and he has more choices. He can still zoom just as high, he can dive for decent
speed gain or he can just accelerate without diving. The only circumstance I can think of right off is where an enemy is closing
on him from behind that would not be able to if he was at top speed. If he was slow instead of cruising then I'd rather be faster
and lower which much of the time is harder to see as well. Of course the AAA down low can be a bear at times.


Yes Gunz you have a lot of good points here. The most important one is the "choices comment" That IMO is the real deciding factor here and a well thought out observation.

DKoor
02-13-2009, 01:46 PM
Originally posted by M_Gunz:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by WTE_Galway:
aren't they the same thing ?

When tracers are going over or to the side of you, would you rather be at 2G maneuver speed with an extra 500-1000m alt or
able to pull 4+Gs?

Consider that climbing at best rate *might* leave you with even 2G maneuver and make you a lot easier to catch by anyone who
didn't start lower or can climb better or just has the speed to zoom up and shoot.

But then too much speed and your roll rate suffers as well. That being the primary way to redirect your lift vector there
is such a thing as too fast to maneuver quickly as well.

Too much height and your engine runs less than best, there is no single got it all answer. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>M has a point here...

general_kalle
02-14-2009, 10:07 AM
not having the patience to read all the replies (sorry) this has maybe been mentioned but ill try anyway.

i look at it this way. speed is energy which you can build up until you reach your top speed or you overheat your engine.

altitude is energy that you build up - potential energy. you sort of save as you will always be able to trade it for airspeed - kinetic energy.

if you fly level to build up speed you might be able to reach, say 400 (could be a Me109E4) this will give you a good speed without overheating.. but once you reach 400 it will be difficult to got it higher without overheating.

if you climb you can keep building up as much as you want (or until you reach the service ceiling, which would be very high.)

when you want to trade that for energy you can reach much higher speed than the previusly mentioned 400... more like 500-600 700 at which point your probably better level out to avoid overspeeding.

to conclude.

* airspeed - kinetic has a limit, the top speed at level flight.

* altitude - potential doesnt have a limit that you are likely to reach very easily. therefore you get more energy from altitude than from airspeed.

Also you can store the energy until you need it by flying around up high.

M_Gunz
02-14-2009, 11:49 AM
Originally posted by stalkervision:

Yes Gunz you have a lot of good points here. The most important one is the "choices comment" That IMO is the real deciding factor here and a well thought out observation.

That's why I said that what's more important depends on your tactical situation, how close and where the enemy is.

If he's not nearby then charge the altitude battery http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif as per Kalle's post, it has more capacity.

M_Gunz
02-14-2009, 12:15 PM
The thing about trading energy between speed and height is that the units are not the same between kinetic and potential.

The term pound is the instant force of gravity on a mass, it is not the mass itself.
When motion and energy formula were shown here before, at times the term slug appeared and affected the math, slug is mass.

There was "normalization" used where the planes were all divided by their own weight so kinetic was about speed only and
allowed idealized (blew off drag) comparisons. And that's cool and the kinetic values really rise with the square of speed.

However point them upward and the pound-slug factor came in, divide by 32.174 which should give an idea of the trade involved.

My skills are rusty and I'm NOT going to take the time to work this through right here in English but perhaps someone else
would want to explain better and save me a day? The trade in units, feet/sec to feet height is uneven to say the least.

rnzoli
02-15-2009, 11:21 AM
Definitely speed is my preference. That's cash in the pocket.
Altitude is great, but first I have to get to the bank and get the money. There is not always time to cash in, you know http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Some time ago, I just shot down a guy, who was on the top of his zoom climb. He was pounding on the guys below cleverly. But I came from the side, and stayed under his horizon, stayig out his view, arriving there fast and being able to climb to him close enough just when he was nearly stand-still. He saw me too late...

I bet he wanted to have more speed than altitude in that moment.

jamesblonde1979
02-15-2009, 12:04 PM
One crucial point that a lot of you have missed is accelaration.

It is all very well to be fast or high but without the ability to quickly convert your enery in a way that gives you an advantage then you are a sitting duck.

Using your aircraft in the most efficient way is the key to success, from what I have learned here and in sim flying, and the best way to do that is to know the ways in which your aircraft converts it's energy most expediently and efficiently.

For instance, an aircraft might be fast in a dive but it can't roll too well and might get nailed by a slower aircraft with a better roll rate at high speed.

Well that's my two bob...