The Scissors

The Scissors is an aerial dog fighting manoeuvre, commonly used by military fighter pilots before the advent of high thrust-to-weight fighters (which allow for extended maneuvering in the vertical plane) in the late 1950s to mid-1960s and later, and before the perfection of the all-aspect air-to-air missile, and reliable BVR (beyond-visual-range) weapons. Thus, although still taught as a basic fighter maneuver useful in a guns-only or short-range missile encounter, the scissors were most commonly encountered by pilots in aerial combat during World War II and the Korean War, and much less frequently since. In fact, for many years now fighter pilots flying aircraft with even a reasonable thrust-to-weight ratio and average wing loading are well advised to avoid engaging in a scissors maneuver, since any turning, rolling or slow-speed disadvantage the pilot's aircraft might have with respect to his opponent (or pilot skill in energy assessment and management techniques) will quickly become evident in the scissors, and lead to his defeat in short order.

Basic Fighter Maneuvering theory recognizes two different types of scissors maneuvers; the flat scissors and the rolling scissors.

Read more about The Scissors:  The Flat Scissors, The Rolling Scissors, Situational Awareness, See Also, External Links