Getting a Head Start at

Takeoffs and Landings Gunnery - Coming Soon!
Landing that Damaged Plane Defense - Coming Soon!
Ditching The Fighters of Warbirds
Training Pages  

Takeoffs and Landings

To fly, first you have to know how to take off and land. Most of the planes are single-engined, tail-wheeled fighters. This means most have lousy forward vision on the ground and their single engines cause torque which gives them a tendency to veer to the left. After you enter your aircraft, apply some right rudder to compensate for this torque. Be sure to apply throttle slowly. Once you are lined up down the runway, smoothly apply full power. As you begin to pick up speed, push gently forward on the stick to lift your tail off the ground. Do not push too hard or your prop will hit the runway! The idea is to balance on your main gear. This will improve your vision and help to keep you lined up on the runway. Gently use your rudder to keep rolling straight. At about 150IAS, pull gently back on the stick and you will rise off the ground. Raise gear and you’re off!

Landings are a little tougher. The best method to use, until you get a feel for it, is to line up on the runway from a good distance away and bout 2000 ft altitude. Drop flaps and landing gear and backoff throttle to near idle. The goal is to cross the threshold, or the end of the runway, at about 50 ft altitude and at about 100 to 120 IAS. Watch your rate of descent, on touchdown you want to be descending only 1 or 2 ticks below zero or you will bounce. Once down, apply brakes gently at first or your nose will drop into the ground. As you start to slow, pulling back on the stick as you brake will let you stop faster. Cut engines, and after coming to a complete stop, exit the airplane.

Beginners may want to start with the P38. It’s twin engines remove torque and it’s tricycle landing gear make takeoff’s and landings much easier.

Landing Damaged Aircraft

Sooner or later its going to happen. You’re going to get shot up. Now you have to put that plane down missing several pieces. Can you do it? Sure! Well, most of the time maybe. If you’re missing your rudder or an aerilon, land as per normal procedures, just be extra careful. If your flaps are stuck (in the up position), you are going to have to land hot. Approach from a long ways off; farther than usual. Touch down very gently, as close as possible to the end of the runway. Apply brakes gently at first then harder as soon as can be safely done. Be conscious of where the runway ends. If you run off the runway, turn the plane around and taxi back on before exiting.

One of the most difficult tasks is landing without an elevator. You have very little pitch control without it. You should fly to a main base if possible to try landing on the longer bomber runway. You will have to maintain a good speed to keep from falling too fast. Use flaps and speed to adjust your rate of fall. Typically, you will only be able to use 1 or 2 clicks of flaps depending on the plane type. Any more and you will fall too fast. Use the throttle to control rate of fall as you approach the runway. You must watch your rate of fall closely. It is important to touch down very gently because the loss of pitch control can cause you to bounce hard and then crash. Follow the procedures for landing without flaps also as you will also be very fast.


Ditching is an art and a gamble in Warbirds. Your best bet is to try ditching with your gear down, including over water. The trick is to land as soft as possible as slow as possible. Rate of descent should be only one click below zero. Speed needs to be less than 100 ias. Even then I have not survived some ditching attempts. If your gear is damaged, you might want to try a wheels up landing. The same rules apply: one click below zero on the landing rate, less than 100 ias. One note: it appears you have a better chance of surviving a wheels up landing if done on a runway. Good luck.

Good Training Pages

Here is a list of a few good training pages. Also listed is the Warbirds related links page. This is a large list of people with lots of info on Warbirds. Read and learn!

SeaDragon's Carrier Takeoff and Landing Techniques Good primer for learning those CV Ops!
Warbirds Elite Navy Ops More CV techniques!
Warbirds' Flight Academy ICI/I-Magic Online's Official Training Center!
Warbirds Links Page A large list of Warbirds related pages

Top Back to Bad Omen's Warbirds Page The Fighters of Warbirds Home

Updated 31 May 1997