Role determination in an aerial dogfight

G.J. Olsder, J.V. Breakwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademic

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A coplanar aerial dogfight is analyzed by assuming constant, not necessarily identical, speeds and individual maximum turning rates and lethal ranges. A combatant (A) is assumed to be victorious when his opponent (B) has been maneuvered into a relative position within A's lethal range and in the direction of A's velocity. Three variables are required to define the instantaneous “state” of the game, namely the relative position (2) and the angle (1) between their velocities. A computer program has been constructed to divide the 3-dimensional region of possible initial (and subsequent) states into regions corresponding to victory by one or the other combatant, and, if the faster combatant has the smaller lethal range, a “no contest” region corresponding to escape by the faster combatant. The critical separating surface (or surfaces) is composed of a number of pieces corresponding to initial conditions leading either to simultaneous kill or to “near miss” situations of one type or another. Optimal play is defined in the immediate neighborhood of the entire separating surface, guaranteeing victory (or escape) to one combatant or the other, depending on location on one side or the other of the separating surface.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-66
JournalInternational journal of game theory
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1974


  • IR-85579


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