From: Chehalis, WA
It's WAD, but the influential designer is a hot pilot, not an aeronautical engineer. In reality, lower had an advantage at target acquisition, higher's dive advantage reached saturation at about 4000-5000 feet superior altitude, and anything higher than that was delayed in intercepting.
I wish my father-in-law were still alive--he was an aeronautical engineer, a Navy reserve pilot, and one of Boeing's fighter test pilots.
Yes, but that "hot pilot" is dealing in reality based upon experience, not theory. Nothing against your father-in-law but test pilots didn't necessarily make the best fighter pilots. They just happened to have superb flying skills which weren't always based on the tactics or external situational awareness needed to be effective in air-air combat.
This debate is about the effectiveness of high altitude sweeps once the target has been aquired so target acquisition has already taken place. And I do agree that the greater the difference in altitude, the longer it takes for interception to take place thereby giving the defender a greater chance to prepare and evade. Plus an aircraft approaching terminal dive velocity is not able to maneuver as well as an aircraft at slower speeds.
In my game, Brad occasionally conducts a high altitude sweep with his Hurris and P-40s. Initially, I attempted to match his altitude as best I could but was taking losses on the order of 2 or 3:1. I changed my CAP altitude to one that gives me the best MVR rating advantage over his aircraft and losses have dropped to roughly 1:1. The jury is still out on this though as he doesn't routinely sweep. He still gets the benefit of the bounce but once the bounce is over, my higher MVR rating increases my ability to knock down some of his aircraft plus my aircraft remain in a better position to intercept any bombers.
Ret Navy AWCS (1972-1998)
VP-5, Jacksonville, Fl 1973-78
ASW Ops Center, Rota, Spain 1978-81
VP-40, Mt View, Ca 1981-87
Patrol Wing 10, Mt View, CA 1987-90
ASW Ops Center, Adak, Ak 1990-92
NRD Seattle 1992-96
VP-46, Whidbey Isl, Wa 1996-98