Aiming bombs using past technology

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delvo

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Unread post29 May 2012, 05:16

I know that bombing was not as precise in, for example, WWII or Vietnam, as it is now with our fancy guidance systems and sensors and computers, but I know they must have done SOMEthing to make it as precise as it could be.

Did bombers have an optical scope in the belly, slanted forward so the bombardier would be looking at a point on the ground ahead of the plane instead of right below and release the bombs when the crosshairs were on the target? If the planes didn't always make their bombing runs at the same speed and altitude, then such a scope would need to be adjustable, so I can see the bombardier's station having a printed chart in which to look up the correct settings for a given speed & altitude. But I just made that up and could be barking up the wrong tree. Would there be a fixed vertical scope and some other method of knowing when to release the bombs, with the crosshairs on another point on the ground some distance away from the target? Were there no optical scopes & crosshairs at all? Did pilots time it based on when the target passed by some particular point on the cockpit canopy?
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SpudmanWP

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Unread post29 May 2012, 07:11

One of the greatest accomplishments of WW2 in the area of bombing was the Norden Bombsight.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norden_bombsight
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LinkF16SimDude

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Unread post03 Jun 2012, 00:46

The Dambusters came up with some pretty clever sighting gadgets too. 'Course, they weren't dropping from on-high tho. :wink:
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southernphantom

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Unread post05 Jun 2012, 15:18

The F-4E had the APQ-120/AJB-7 combo, which was reasonably effective at aiming via radar. Not quite a Paveway, but still excellent for its day (and not too shabby in scenarios where collateral damage isn't a concern). The A-6 and Vark used crazy old mechanical computers with data tapes and everything.

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count_to_10

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Unread post07 Jun 2012, 23:41

In WWII, accuracy was mostly achieved by dive bombers or rockets.
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stereospace

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Unread post08 Jun 2012, 16:53

I remember hearing a pilot describe dropping non-pgm (dumb) bombs from a fighter-bomber as being similar to dropping rocks from a moving car and trying to hit a storm drain.
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LinkF16SimDude

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Unread post08 Jun 2012, 22:52

And yet, the IDFAF managed to knock out Osirak with only dumb bombs aimed with CCIP...while being shot at. Not too shabby. :thumb:

And speaking of being shot at, if you didn't have to worry about people tryin' to kill ya, you could essentially bomb blind using nothing but math and a skilled carbon-based Bomb/Nav. Knowing drop altitude, airspeed, bomb fall time, and predicted/assumed windage you could figure out an IP and release point for a given target. Not sayin' it'll go thru the front door but you'd get someone's attention. :wink:

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