This is a method of reversing course without causing undue horizontal displacement of the formation. It can be used to meet a threat developing from astern, or to turn in pursuit after a head-on engagement. Each fighter breaks hard inward, the high man going low and the low man high or, where the tightest possible turn is needed, both men pulling high. In either case the high man at the end of the turn will be furthest from the Sun. The cross-turn, or inward turnabout as it is sometimes known, has the advantage that the pilots can clear each other's blind spots as they pass. The disadvantage is that they may briefly lose visual contact with each other.
For a pair in combat spread to reverse their direction of flight by traditional means would be a long and cumbersome affair, with large lateral displacement. To reverse course through 180° the aircraft cross-turn exchanging positions.