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Thread: Visual Bombing Techniques/Procedures

  1. #1
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    Default Visual Bombing Techniques/Procedures

    Hello All,
    I merely seek enlightenment!
    Am I right to assume:-
    (a) The last time dumb iron bombs were dropped by the RAF was on the various Ops BLACK BUCK within Op CORPORATE?
    (b) The Vulcan was positioned at the Bomb Release Point by the modern equivalent of H2S (used sparingly to avoid the ground defences being alerted and locking-on?) and/or GPS?
    In the latter part of WW2 the PFF Sqns pre-marked the Aiming Point visually (and corrected by air-to-air vhf comms)?
    Prior to PFF (and post the Butt Report – 18 Aug 1941) what was the system?
    I assume the Nav navigated the a/c to some location from which the Bomb Aimer took over and instructed (either by visual reference, or timing) the Pilot to the Release Point?
    I have spent some of this morning “bombing” Kastelli airfield (LGTL r/w 02/20) on Crete in the pursuit of trying to discover some information – or snags(!!!). This, as a result of the thread Wellington Loss 1942 - Atika Mountains? Found December 1949.
    I have/had no idea of the winds at bombing height – but they would have made a difference (can poss find later?).
    If one was bombing ‘up-wind’ into, say, a 50kt headwind, it would slow the a/c relative to the ground. This would give the Bomb Aimer more time to pass corrections to the Pilot, but would allow the ground defences more time to lock-on (either visually, or by radar).
    If one was bombing ‘down-wind’ of a 50kt tailwind, the a/c would spend less time to/over the target, less time being acquired by the defences, but the corrections would have to be v quick, and v accurate?
    If, however, one was bombing in a 90-deg 50kt crosswind (from either side) then the if the a/c was to maintain the correct bombing run-in track then it would be ‘crabbing–in’ with the fuselage fore/aft line at, say, 45 degrees (or whatever, to one side or the other) to the run-in track?
    Do we have any bomb-aimers prepared (perhaps off-forum?) to ‘chew the fat’ over this one?
    And, perhaps more importantly to us Met men, is there any evidence that any of the procedures (above) were taken into account when the Main Force raid planners worked out a possible route (bearing in mind all the other parameters!)?
    I am trying to possibly produce some forensic evidence (to deny, or agree) with any info that may surface on the actual crash location of this Wellington!
    Perhaps a good post-prandial Xmas meal discussion point in aviation orientated households?
    HTH and TIA
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

  2. #2
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    Peter,
    Remember that in period up till about June 1942 in Bomber Command, the Navigator and Bomb Aimer were one and the same person, the Air Observer, so hopefully they would have perfect mutual understanding!
    David D

  3. #3
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    Wind finding was a critical part of bomb aiming and this was carried out, I think, by the navigator and was passed to the bomb aimer or to themselves earlier in the war. Theearly bomb sights all had wind corrections on them but whay I don't know is if the wind changed direction at different heights. This may not have been a big issue in the early war period as bombing heights were lower.

    As an example of the importance of wind finding the Five Group newsletters in the IBCC website contain regular references to wind, just search for "wind" in the example link below. It may be worth searching the other newsletters as there is some great information in them.

    https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.a...document/18550

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    David/PNK,
    Tks yr replies.
    David - Yes, I was aware of the development, and timing, of the Obs/Nav/BAim 'trades'.
    PNK - Mni tks that ref! It told me, basically, what I was looking for! The physics of chucking a few 1000lb bombs out of an a/c so that they land in the right place is exactly the same as chucking a few 'Grunts' out of an a/c and getting them to land (after a parachute ride!) in the right place! I did quite a lot of that, at one stage! It was easier - and the impact results more accurate - if one was, on the Run In, heading into wind. The MEDW (Mean Equivalent Drop Wind) was always the problem! That shouldn't have been too much of a problem in WW2 with a 1000lb dumb iron bomb - its flight path should have been purely ballistic provided the drop height was not too great. But dropping from 40,000ft - through a Jet Stream (the Night Of The Big Wind comes to mind!) might have caused some subsequent errors?.
    Tks, both, for yr help!
    Season's Greetings!
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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