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Author Topic: Wingmen formations
Member # 352

posted 10-06-1999 09:23 PM     Profile for Lucky_1   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I was playing DiD, F-22 ADF and went to give my wingmen a formation command. I'm a little bit familiar with modern flight jargon, but could someone explain to me what these formation commands mean?
1. Go Card

2. Go Deuce

I can't distinguish a difference between this two, and it appears the wingman doesnt move much.

Posts: 635 | From: Knoxville, TN. | Registered: Sep 1999  |  IP: Logged
Kurt Plummer
Member # 358

posted 10-07-1999 05:57 AM     Profile for Kurt Plummer   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Hey Lucky,

Go Deuce
Means Go Loose Deuce, it is a pairs call to generate at /least/ one equivalent turn radius in a more or less bilateral split. There may be some lead/trail (300-400ft) split so the wingman can track the leaders moves from 'the corner of his eye' and their usually is some altitude separation for a variety of reasons. Again, formation element selftracking (you can use crossover as well as lead-lag TAC Turns), AAA/SAM fuzing and tap-bounce warnings from disadvantaged sun angles (the 'hun in the sun').

It is also a doctrinal tactics system, similar to 'leader leader' as practiced by a few successful souls in WWII. Wherein you've got maximum eyeball search coverage and the potential for section 'lead' to change to the engaged/advantaged side that acquires first is fundamental to faster, slicker, (supported) attacks.

Absolute Spacing depends on who you ask, in Vietnam the USN spacing was 6-9K feet which is essentially a turn plus half a 9's (Sidewinder) envelope.

USAF doctrine, which was based on the /moronic/ 'Fluid Four' (four aircraft, one lead-shooter), was between 2,500 and 3,500ft,
which is roughly /half/ a turn radius.

Especially at higher altitude it is even less.

Since the outside man in this pigs parade was in severe trouble in terms of reacting to a sudden break and because the wingmen in general were often less than helpful for training and deployed-experience reasons, it was normal to bring them in even tighter to 1,500'. At this distance they are 'welded wing' which goes beyond useless to tactically criminal.

Something which the USN proved, TWICE, with Crusader ACM deployments to USAF bases in SEA. 2 vs. 4 and the four F-4C/D/E never stood a prayer vs. the two F-8's.

With AMRAAM and JTIDS/IFDL and Supersonic Cruise bad formation consequences can hardly have gotten any 'better'. Spacing is likely now closer to about 10nm, or more.

Card I'm not so sure about. I /think/ it is typically a route formation and often used at low level with a four ship at the corners of a rectangle with about 6K feet on each side and as much as 2-5nm in trail. If you play poker, solitaire, whatever, think of the way the value markings are at each corner of each 'card'.

It keeps everybody out of each others ground tracks (again popup threat overfly as well as nav safety reasons at waypoint turns) and gives a measure of cover against an air-threat by allowing the outside element to turn in to cover his section lead (or vice versa) and the trailing section to cover the lead section of the flight.

In the early 80's 6 Jaguars bagged two Red Flag F-15's that dove on an extended card formation with the trailing elements outside the radar scan of the Mighty Eagles.

Shocked the Heck out of everybody but the Brits were awash in Beer at the O-Club that night...

'Simulators' typically make NO acknowledgement of the MASSIVE spacing necessary to both survive and /employ/ multihundred feet per second jet aircraft in the missile age and so are next to worthless in their 'formation' commands (which carries right on into Wingman AI and so forth).

WWII is little better.

Don't worry about it much, 'enjoy the game'.

Kurt Plummer

Posts: 672 | From: | Registered: Sep 1999  |  IP: Logged
Kurt Plummer
Member # 358

posted 10-07-1999 05:59 AM     Profile for Kurt Plummer   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I forgot to say, USN SEA (South East Asia= Vietnam) spacing was the 'Loose Deuce'.

All the time, all the way.

It makes a drag or sandwich maneuver to trap the enemy between you about ten times easier.


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Andy Bush
Member # 12

posted 10-07-1999 08:41 AM     Profile for Andy Bush   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Lucky 1

In the F-22 sim, these terms are explained in the Formation section.

The F-22 wingman commands and resulting formations are pretty basic in this sim. If you are using the sim AI as your wingmen and the enemy, then don't expect much flexibility. On the other hand, if your are flying with and against your buddies (multi-player), then you can be a bit more imaginative.

As for these two wingman commands, DEUCE is used to put your formation into a semi-trail position (one behind the other). This tactic in this sim is used when you are attacking the enemy air defense system. The idea of the Deuce formation is that one flight member (the one out front!) acts as a decoy to attract the attention of the enemy...when that happens, then the other F-22 will attack the threat. Think of this as a sort of 'Wild Weasel' mission. On your MFD, you will not see much apparent spacing when looking at the Deuce formation. Use the F5 key to monitor the other aircraft. Your threat display will alert you to enemy air defense threats (such as a SAM). Use the 'ENGAGE HOSTILE' command to direct your wingman to attack that threat. This is a sim command for ground threats only...don't use it when attacked by enemy aircraft...use the 'ENGAGE THREAT' command instead.

CARD is multi-purpose formation in F-22. Use it for A2G and A2A missions. It is more defensive than offensive, so use it when you are not sure of the enemy's position. In this sim, use the SWEEP formation once you are on the attack (A2A only). This will put your flight members side by side, and will offer the greatest offensive potential. If you are flying an A2G mission, transition from CARD to the STRIKE formation once you initiate the attack.

As always, remember that we have to fly within the sim's limitations. The AI will only provide a given amount of flexibility in game play. Limited viewing choices and graphics limitations often restrict us from a wider range of formation and attack profile options. Real world info is nice to know, but often has little to no applicability in a sim simply because the sim is not programmed for it!

Good luck,


Posts: 595 | From: St Louis, Mo | Registered: Sep 1999  |  IP: Logged
Member # 11

posted 10-07-1999 01:03 PM     Profile for FalconF1   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I was a "big time" ADF/TAW player, and I really didnt bother with the wingmen formations. I always chose either Sweep Loose or Deuce Loose.

Formations dont make much of a difference.
I chose either of those formations to make sure I or one of my wingies dont get hit by our own missiles (actually happened twice to me).

Posts: 300 | From: NY,NY- USA | Registered: Sep 1999  |  IP: Logged
Member # 352

posted 10-07-1999 08:46 PM     Profile for Lucky_1   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Thanks for the explanations fellas!
Posts: 635 | From: Knoxville, TN. | Registered: Sep 1999  |  IP: Logged

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