I've given up trying to fly a plane in BF2 because it seems that everyone else can turn about twice as tightly as I can. I have a good joystick, but I just can't keep up. I see people from the ground making loop-the-loops within something like 10-plane-length diameters, and I have no idea how they can do that. Is there some trick to setting up the joystick to enable insane maneuverability?
The key to performing tight turns in any aeroplane is to reduce your speed. This will reduce the distance your plane must travel to turn. This technique is essential to effective dogfighting.
Hope this helps.