Sun position (air combat)

The sun position in air combat is the pilot's ability to position the aircraft relative to the sun in relationship to the position of the enemy aircraft. [p.295, Shaw]

Assuming the sun position has different application to different generations of aircraft. During the period when the dogfight dominated air combat it was used to make visibility and acquisition of own aircraft difficult for the enemy if the sun was "behind" difficult. [pp.169-167, Shaw] With the introduction of infrared homing air-to-air missiles the use of the sun by the pilot was used to confuse the missile guidance system. [p.59, Shaw]

The advantages of the sun position were realised early in the history of aerial warfare and are included in the first of Dicta Boelcke.

Citations and notes

References

* Shaw, Robert L. (Comm.), "Fighter Combat: Tactics and Maneuvering", Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, 1985


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