digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:

Agriculture

Applied sciences

Arts

Belief

Business

Chronology

Culture

Education

Environment

Geography

Health

History

Humanities

Language

Law

Life

Mathematics

Nature

People

Politics

Science

Society

Technology

The Lufbery Circle, or Lufbery Wheel, also spelled "Lufberry" or "Luffberry", is a defensive air combat tactic first used during World War I.

While its name derives from the name of Raoul Lufbery, the leading fighter ace of the Lafayette Escadrille, he did not invent the tactic; how it acquired this name is not known, although it may be from his popularization of it among the incoming U.S. pilots he trained. In non-American sources it is in fact usually referred to simply as a "defensive circle".

Description[edit]

This air tactic can only be mounted by formations of aircraft working together: it involves forming a horizontal circle in the air when attacked, in such a way that the armament of each aircraft offers a measure of protection to the others in the circle. It complicates the task of an attacking fighter - the formation as a whole has far fewer "blind spots" than its members, so that it is more difficult to attack an individual aircraft without being exposed to return fire from the others.

The tactic was devised to enable slower, less capable fighters to cope with attacks by an enemy flying superior types, although it has also sometimes been used by light bomber formations.

History[edit]

Perhaps the earliest use of the tactic was by formations of F.E.2b aircraft in 1916/17 when in combat with superior German fighters; even by the end of World War I it was considered flawed and obsolete. The Lufbery circle, while generally effective against horizontal attacks by faster aircraft, was very vulnerable to attacks from fighters diving from above, providing targets on a slow, predictable course. As the performance and armament of fighter aircraft improved during the First World War they became capable of high-speed hit-and-run attacks in the vertical; a Lufbery would put the defenders at a gross disadvantage.

In World War II the Lufbery was still used by many countries, generally as a last resort measure for poorly trained pilots of less progressive air forces, for instance Japanese kamikaze pilots. Faster allied aircraft resulted in the more manoeuvrable Zero also resorting to the tactic to lure opponents into a turning contest in which the Zero could prevail. This tactic was also used by German Messerschmitt Bf 110 fighters, which had a rearwards-firing dorsal gun position, and British Boulton Paul Defiant fighters, with dorsal turrets, during the Battle of Britain.

Lundstrom, in chronicling the operational history of US carrier-based activities in the Pacific from Pearl Harbor through the Battle of Midway, provides an extensive discussion of fighter tactics of the time. In the Battle of the Coral Sea, US Grumman F4F Wildcats defending the USS Lexington against Japanese dive bombers adopted a Lufbery Circle when attacked by A6M Zeros.[1]

Although the Lufbery would seem to expose modern aircraft to missiles and unchecked gunnery passes, US pilots in the Vietnam War found North Vietnamese MiG-17 fighters using it as bait for faster F-4 Phantom fighters that did not have guns and could not use their missiles because of tight turns made by the MiGs.

Other uses of the term[edit]

Mostly in World War II literature, a Lufbery Circle can be used to refer to any turning engagement between aircraft, i.e. what is more properly known as the Turn Fight or the Knife Fight in air combat tactics. In modern discussions of air-to-air tactics, "Lufbery" Circle may even refer to any prolonged horizontal engagement between two fighters with neither gaining the advantage.

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ pp. 255-256 and pp.353, 481, Lundstrom; discusses the Lufbery Circle in the context of the subsequently developed Thach Weave.

References[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lufbery_circle — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
3 videos found

Dogfights: Long Odds Part 5

Dogfighting means fighter VS. fighter. What happens when a lumbering bomber joins the fight?

Random Shots Deux

Random shots central Connecticut Page Park: http://www.dgcoursereview.com/course.php?id=3576 Lufbery Park: http://www.dgcoursereview.com/course.php?id=5182 W...

Post World War 1 Victory Bond drive parade underway on a rainy day in an American...HD Stock Footage

Link to order this clip: http://www.criticalpast.com/video/65675048760_military-equipment_World-War-I_watching-a-parade Historic Stock Footage Archival and V...

 
3 videos found

We're sorry, but there's no news about "Lufbery circle" right now.

Loading

Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Talk About Lufbery circle

You can talk about Lufbery circle with people all over the world in our discussions.

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!