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Sometimes I seem to be able spin my jet around like a top and start going the opposite direction immediately. Other times my jet takes a wide looping turn. This seems to be mostly dependent on my air speed and whether or not I'm using thrust at the moment but I don't have a good handle on it.

What influences the jet's rate of turn? How can I perform the tightest turn possible?

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possible duplicate of How do I maneuver the jet? –  Bora Nov 30 '11 at 18:40
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up vote 10 down vote accepted

Actually the fastest way to do 180° turn is to perform the Immelmann turn.

You just pull up until you're fully inverted, then you do a half-roll.

Immelmann turn from Wiki

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So, no braking? –  Bart van Heukelom Jul 3 '12 at 14:20
    
From the wiki: "In modern aerobatics, an Immelmann turn (also known as a roll-off-the-top, or simply an Immelmann) is an aerobatic maneuver of little practical use in aerial combat". Worth baring in mind. –  George Duckett Nov 23 '12 at 8:25
    
@George: BF3 isn't exactly a realistic flight simulator –  vartec Nov 23 '12 at 9:28
    
@vartec: I know, but just thought I'd point that out as it could be relevant. –  George Duckett Nov 23 '12 at 9:33
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The optimal turning speed is around 280-300 knots. I think it's closer to 280 but I'm not entirely sure. That being said, vartec is right about that maneuver. The fastest way to turn is by doing a half loop. Loops come especially in handy when you have a particularly annoying jet on your tail that you can't shake simply by turning. Pulling a few loops should quickly throw them off. The important thing to remember is to ACCELERATE during the first half of the loop ( the part where you ascend) and DECELERATE during the second half (where you dive). Gravity is your friend. Be sure and keep your eye on the HUD to make sure you're staying between the 270-310 knot range. You can even tap afterburner once or twice if you find that you're ascending too slowly.

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Simply put, the slower you're going, the tighter your turn will be. If you need to turn around quickly, you should 1) decelerate 2) roll let/right 3) "turn" (pitch up or down). I say "turn" since jets don't really work the same as a land vehicle and consequently a typical turn is actually a combination of roll and pitch. Even though you can still technically turn via yaw, it's much slower (see this pic on wikipedia: roll/pitch/yaw)

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