Cuba Demo Mission: "Five Planes In Four Minutes"
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Cuba Demo Mission: "Five Planes In Four Minutes"

A long time ago Parsoft had a bulletin board on AOL. It was a terrific place to post A-10 Attack & A-10 Cuba stories. This mission was one I posted in there on the last day of 1996.

    Subj: Cuba Demo Challenge
    Date: 96-12-31 13:19:04 EST
    From: RussilloSM

    Here's a challenge for the Cuba demo Heavy Metal mission, I call it "FivePlanes in Four Minutes." It is similar to a challenge posted a few months ago,though it is a little different.

  1. As soon as the cockpit view comes up, pop the APU on (=)

  2. while it's spinning up, get full flaps, HUD on, damage display, gun off safeand double rate (f-f-f-0-[kpd minus]-m-c). Stick full right and firewall thethrottle (Shift =) as the engines wind up.

  3. Roll hard right off the taxiway and rumble through the grass straight for theC-5 on short final.

  4. Horse it up at 80 kts (the terrain may "bump you airborne") - by now theheavy is right on top of you, hose him down with the GAU and he won't make therunway. Deal with guilt for shooting at friendlies... ;)

  5. Throttle back to 50% or so, (you will probably be heading right into the sun)clear the fence and bank hard right. Watch out for the mountain, pop (4) to seeexactly where the other A-10 is on the taxiway. [Once I did this and the C-5had landed left of the strip, slid farther left and took the other A-10 out,like a bowling ball nailing a 7 pin.]

  6. Gear up (g). Back to cockpit view (1) and watch your airspeed as you roll inon the A-10 (keep yourself under 200 if you don't want to lose your flaps andmost of your lift). Two or three one-second bursts, and check (4) to confirmhis engines spinning down. OR, if you've had a bad day, hose him until heexplodes. (Maybe better to save the 30mm for the MiGs....) Again, theguilt....

  7. Pull up, and full throttle. The other C-5 is on his crosswind leg and if youbanked right after hosing the first C-5 you should be able to get himshortly after his turn to downwind. Couple of 2-second bursts to his enginesshould drop him, confirm with subsequent checks of (4). More wrackingguilt...

  8. Roll left to a heading of 50 or 60 deg and get up to 3500 agl. As you getover the heart of the bay, look for the side-ways diamond-shaped tan-coloredface of a cliff way off in the distance dead ahead. The MiGs will appear adegree or two to the left of this cliff, probably appearing on RWR first whichwill help you look. I usually dim the HUD here ("page down" key) or shut theHUD off altogether so I can look for the MiGs.

  9. If you don't want a dog fight (and you don't. Rememeber what you're flying,and remember what they're flying) as soon as you see them on RWR orvisual, drop throttle to 50% or even less, and brake down to 250kts or less.[rationale: This nose to nose attack will be your only really good shotat them, they have guns but no missiles, so make it last as long as possible.] Focus on the right MiG. If you are running the Cuba demo as a module in Attack v1.5 you can have AIMs and or HARMS, and now is the time to put them to use.(Occasionally, if you took a little extra time on any of the first three planesback at NAS, the left MiG will break to his right and follow the river as ifyou weren't even there. Go figure.)

  10. Center him quickly and start with short bursts of cannon fire. Aim high ifhe's still a long way off bringing the 'T' down right on him as he closes. Ifthe wind hasn't hampered your aim, this guy will die before he can get a shotoff.

  11. Sharp bank left to line up bachelor number two and hose him.

Time elapsed: 4 minutes and change...


- If you hit but don't kill either MiG you'd better get down near the treetops andstart turning. Pop (5) often to keep apprised of what your pursuer is doing.

- If you're lucky he's hobbling on damaged engines and you can (as I like todo if I can accelerate to 300+ kts or more and don't have any bombs)"Cuban-Eight his ass off." Sure, he can still climb, but you can loop tighterand it buys you some badly need altitude which you can trade for speed when youneed to get back down into the weeds. When using this looping strategy, if yousee your airspeed dip below 200 when climbing, go ahead and pop 'f' 3x to add full flaps--it pulls you in tighter to get you over the top of that loop quickly.

- When scissoring with a MiG on my ass, I've developed a bad (albeit effective) habit of "headfaking": turning not by simply rolling back to wings level and rolling the other way, but byrolling deeper into the existing turn, through inverted until I'm banked andturning in the other direction. If you can resist the urge to snap thismaneuver [a natural result of a) practicing it a lot and b) being inverted atlow altitude] sometimes the MiG will bite and think you're tightening yourturn, buying you a split second of time as he buys the fake. Surely there mustbe a name for this kind of 'reverse-rolling' turn. (I say it's a bad habitbecause I've grown fond of using it at 200 agl and less. Hasn't killed me yet butI'm sure it will soon.)

- Another "head fake" can be used if you're turning tightly with a MiG on yourkeister. Roll out of it quickly as if doing a normal scissor reversal, but keeprolling so you've done a 360 deg roll and are quickly back in your initialturn. Sometimes the MiG will buy the fake.

Enjoy, Steve

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