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MiG Alley: Gunfight Over the Yalu
By Kingsnake

The scenario has a flight of F86e's escorting a flight of F-84's on a bombing run of the Sunuiju airfield. I picked the NK side so that I was leading a CAP flight in the standard Mig 15 Fagot. Pretend that I am one of the many Russian volunteers. All the simulation settings were at maximum realism with the aircraft AI set to veteran.

I did, however, have ON the artificial horizon and peripheral vision markers. These are necessary in padlock mode to keep oriented and as such I don't consider them a cheat. I have a CH ForceFX stick and rudder pedals and a Suncom SFS throttle. The system itself is a PII 450, 192 Meg Ram, with SB live sound card, and 16 Meg CL TNT with the latest DX drivers and CL TNT drivers running at 800X600 resolution.


"The weather was clear around our airfield and through the climbout but ahead of us was an approaching front, overcast with clouds at a base around 12,000 feet. Above us was clear sky with high clouds and below us I could see haze limiting visibility to 8 miles or less.

"I was leading Rattler Flight, a flight of 4 Mig 15's out of Suniuji. We were flying CAP in anticipation of a strike on our airfield. We were in a V formation at 20,000 feet showing 420 kts in a southerly direction when my wingman (Viktor Gregorovich) spotted and called tally on the enemy (a flight of 4F-86's) right in front of us and slightly above at a range of 2 miles.

No one was going into this fight with a position advantage. We were too close to call a pincer attack so the flight remained together as we pushed the throttle to the stops. The distance between us quickly closed and as we merged head on I saw the fuel tanks coming off the Sabres.

First Pass

I became aware of some tracer fire from the other element Lead on a rapidly closing F86. It had no effect. I held my fire as I didn't have a good shot with closure rates this high and my aircraft was shaking from buffeting.

Click to continue


As we merged, the F86's split into two sections, one splitting left while the other performed a climbing turn to the right.

Split S

Wary of the turning F86's, I called my wingman to cover me and put my aircraft into a high chandelle (climbing turn) with an increasing bank attitude to the right until I was in a 135 degree maximum performance turn at the apex of my chandelle. From this attitude I padlocked the wingman of the Sabre element that had split to the left. The other element of my flight turned into the other Sabres.

I pulled hard on the stick but had to release pressure as my aircraft began to violently shake telling me that I was close to an accelerated stall, something that I didn't want to do in the MiG. I could feel the warning vibrations through the control stick.

As I continued to pull, I was beginning to black out from the g's and through my grunts I could hear the metal of the MiG groan and creak under the strain. As the Sabres continued turning I crossed paths at their 6 and then rolled to the left, coming out on the outside of their turn at about their 4 o'clock position.

I had cut the distance between us by accelerating through my descending turn, but my high speed still caused a lot of buffeting. I was slowly gaining on the Sabre when suddenly they spotted me and performed a defensive split, with the Lead pulling up and the wingman pulling into a split S. I immediately elected to stay with the wingman even though I lost sight of the leader.


Retarding the throttle while rolling inverted I again pulled hard into the Sabre. My MiG was shaking badly, I had tunnel vision from the g's, and the gun pipper was off the HUD, way below the gun cross. I eased up slightly and fired a short burst as we leveled but as I didn't have any cues my guess was off and I watched my tracers pass harmlessly behind him.

Go to Part II


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Last Updated August 17th, 1999

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