Don't let your wingmen distract you - focus on keeping your main fighter out of the path of bullets.
Don't get penned into the bottom half of the screen too much - moving forward is an invaluable evasive manoeuvre.
Keep an eye on the overheat display on the bottom right of the screen. If you've fired too many volleys in a row, you'll have to wait before you can shoot again.
If you get shot by an enemy, bullet holes on the screen will reduce what you can see. Once your plane starts smoking it means you'll only take another one or two hits before it's game over.