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#4062398 - 01/11/15 03:59 AM How do you hit anything with bombs?  
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OldHat Offline
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I'm in a 1916 bombing career with a Stutter at the moment.

So, I've been trying not to use external view or fly unrealistically low, and I can never drop those bombs on target. TrackIR won't let me look over the edge of my plane facing perpendicular straight down to the ground, so maybe I've got it setup wrong as well.

I'd like to stay at the historical altitude and maybe if there's a way to be able to look over the side of my plane to see the ground directly beneath me so that I can judge the drop. Anyone have advice?

#4062418 - 01/11/15 05:36 AM Re: How do you hit anything with bombs? [Re: OldHat]  
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busdriver Offline
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[edit to delete off topic response]

Last edited by busdriver; 01/13/15 10:58 AM.
#4062419 - 01/11/15 05:40 AM Re: How do you hit anything with bombs? [Re: OldHat]  
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I like to to run a short dive bomb in the Strutter. Short being slow and not long enough to hit overspeed.

In a DFW C.V. I can go to the bomsight view, same for the Gotha. It's more difficult for me to effectivly bomb this way, but more historically accurate I think.

#4062452 - 01/11/15 09:58 AM Re: How do you hit anything with bombs? [Re: OldHat]  
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OldHat if you can't look over the side and straight down with TrackIR you need a different profile.

#4062477 - 01/11/15 12:02 PM Re: How do you hit anything with bombs? [Re: OldHat]  
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.

Also, do keep in mind that actual WWI bombing from aeroplanes was quite inaccurate and generally ineffective and caused far more damage to local moral than it did to any specific ground targets. So, if you are not putting much of anything on what you are actually aiming at, you can take comfort in the fact that you are at least being historically accurate.

.


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#4062480 - 01/11/15 12:25 PM Re: How do you hit anything with bombs? [Re: OldHat]  
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I just have finished reading the highly recommended "No Parachutes" by Arthur Gould Lee and in the final chapters he explains quite vividly how bombing the trnches with a Camel was done so low that even the airframe was shaken, often needing 3 or 4 bombs for a near miss. This were the most dangerous missions he attempted and he was shot down thrice(!) in 10 days, lost many squadron mates and achieved not many results. Strafing was way more succesful but as deadly. High altitude bombing in NoMans Land was something not even bombers tried. London, or other cities was another story, and even then it was done with huge, stable platforms like Gothas.
My advice, dive bombing from low altitudes and pray.

#4062498 - 01/11/15 01:31 PM Re: How do you hit anything with bombs? [Re: OldHat]  
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If you have a bombsight (the DFW and Gotha have them), just wait until the target is in the centre of the sight and then drop the bombs. You're almost guaranteed to hit the target.

Level bombing with other planes without bombsights is pretty hopeless.

In real life, level bombing was terribly inaccurate in both world wars, especially in the first when they didn't have as advanced sights and methods as in the final years of the second war.


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#4062526 - 01/11/15 03:19 PM Re: How do you hit anything with bombs? [Re: OldHat]  
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If not flight leader, when closing on target I fly in a position just behind my leader and as soon as I hear the sound of his bombs I drop mine. I sometimes hit something.

If you don't mind using crutches, I found also that with the TAC on 1.1 mile / 2 km when at usual bombing altitudes around 9000/10.000 ft I had to drop when target was halfway down the TAC to expect making some hits (not every time ...)

As said above I'm not too worried if I miss most of the time because I know bombing was historically very inaccurate at these altitudes.


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#4062758 - 01/12/15 04:52 AM Re: How do you hit anything with bombs? [Re: OldHat]  
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Thanks everyone for your replies. I got the general message that I should relax and not be too much concerned that my eggs fall and land wherever....

#4062962 - 01/12/15 04:02 PM Re: How do you hit anything with bombs? [Re: OldHat]  
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Although not authentic, you could switch to invisible cockpit view then look forward and down using your TrackIR whilst still piloting the aircraft.

Just a thought burnout


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#4063033 - 01/12/15 07:08 PM Re: How do you hit anything with bombs? [Re: OldHat]  
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Sandbagger might actually have a reasonable suggestion. While real WWI aircraft weren't transparent it would not have been impossible to look directly beneath them (nothing wrong with the TIR profile, Duke, a limitation in the game...I can't either). I can assure you from my experience spotting parachutists that one does not have to have one's head much (we're talking inches, here) past the side of one's aircraft to see not only directly below but, in fact significantly to the opposite side of said aircraft at 2,000 feet, much less 10,000. I'm sure it was doable in WWI and it should be in WOFF.

Hasse is absolutely correct about the Gotha and DFW. In fact, they may be too accurate. Regardless of altitude, airspeed or just about anything else that should affect your bomb's point of impact, if you release with your intended target dead center it's a hit. (One trick I've employed to identify this magic spot is putting three HUD instruments up very close to the center of my screen, one to either side and one slightly below to provide a clear view of the target as I approach it.)

In the end, OldHat, the compromise I use is a sort of early version of pop-up bombing. I choose an approach that is likely undefended or lightly defended, come in at top speed and treetop level to give any ground gunners limited opportunity at scoring a significant hit, and at the last moment I climb to 100-200 feet (not measured, just pull back on the stick until I think I'm clear) to avoid getting hit by the blast, drop everything when I think I'm over the target, and then drop back down and hug the ground until I'm out of small arms range.


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#4063050 - 01/12/15 07:42 PM Re: How do you hit anything with bombs? [Re: OldHat]  
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I almost forgot the most important thing...PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!!! Pick out a bombed-out building, small copse of trees or the house of that farmer who walked in on you and his daughter carrying on in the hayloft and just go nuts. The only difference between that and real life WWI (besides improvising the target) is that we don't have dummy bombs for scoring.


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#4063181 - 01/13/15 12:48 AM Re: How do you hit anything with bombs? [Re: OldHat]  
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Damn, you are actually supposed to hit something on a bombing run? This is WWI, I thought it was more for effect then damage. You know, scare the hell out of them because they realize you may get lucky!

#4063228 - 01/13/15 03:10 AM Re: How do you hit anything with bombs? [Re: OldHat]  
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Dive bombing in the Snipe sure is fun.!

#4063267 - 01/13/15 05:01 AM Re: How do you hit anything with bombs? [Re: OldHat]  
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Great suggestions guys.

I know there is an abundance of information on combat tactics of WWI Aces, but I can't find much information on the "Aces" of Bomber pilots. I was trying to find anything to read on what tactics (or if they even had any tactics) the RL bomber pilots had used. Although, I do like vonBaur's suggestion of approaching the target from its weakest defense side.

#4063324 - 01/13/15 10:57 AM Re: How do you hit anything with bombs? [Re: OldHat]  
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vonBaur what airplanes were you at the controls of when you were dropping jumpers...Caravans, Beech 18s, DC-3s? Or were you a jumpmaster leaning out the door?

Oldhat, my apologies for misunderstanding your request, I didn't realize you meant historically accurate WWI techniques. Sorry 'bout that.

#4063347 - 01/13/15 12:43 PM Re: How do you hit anything with bombs? [Re: OldHat]  
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Historically there were different attempts at providing the strutter with a crude bomb sight.
One method was a cut out in the floor with two pieces of wire arranged as a crude cross hair.
Sandbaggers suggestion is not that wide of the mark...

#4063458 - 01/13/15 05:47 PM Re: How do you hit anything with bombs? [Re: OldHat]  
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busdriver, first let me say that I'm not sure why you deleted your response. I thought you were spot on. Using offset landmarks is a legitimate method of establishing your release point. It just takes a lot of practice, that's all. No big deal for the real guys for whom it's their job and therefore they have the whole day, day after day, to devote to its perfection. And then there's the problem with lining up when your engine obscures the horizon in a BE, RE or most any of the German two-seaters.

Actually it's the lining up aspect to which I was referring in my post. I don't do badly on the range from altitude, and I've even hit a hangar or two in my time. But mostly what I do is provide the gophers living right or left of my intended targets with skylights and new back doors.

To your question, as a jumpmaster with my head outside the aircraft. After all, in an enclosed cockpit with the plexiglass coming straight up fom the sides of the aircraft it's impossible to see straight down in level flight. However, these are open cockpit aircraft and not subject to that restraint. Admittedly, I was able to get my head (and shoulders, and sometimes torso...heck, I was leaning out over the jump platform of a C-130 with nothing officially inside the aircraft besides my hands several times) much farther outside the limits of the aircraft than a pilot who is buckled in could. But if you can get your eyes even a couple inches past the edge the angle will allow you to see directly below as low as possibly 100 feet. Look at an OV-10. It's not a design flaw that the canopy bows out on the sides. It's to allow for better downward visibility.

Besides all that, I believe the bombing was done, in two-seaters at least, by the gunner/observer and not by the pilot. And he would be free to lean out as far as he wanted and his harness (if he wore one) allowed.

Oh, and the other part of your question: Cessna's 172-206, DC-3, Twin Otter, CH-3, UH-1, C-7, -123, -130, -141 (jumpmaster only, not at the controls of any...I like to say I prefer arranging my own landings winkngrin ). There may have been others, it's been a while.

Last edited by vonBaur; 01/13/15 05:48 PM.

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#4063490 - 01/13/15 07:57 PM Re: How do you hit anything with bombs? [Re: OldHat]  
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Besides using a landmark, busdriver's idea about observing the AI bomb the target from an external view and then pausing the sim to see different views and angles of the craft relative to the target was a very good one. I'd never thought of that and it's where I decided to start just to get a rough idea of the flight path the AI takes.


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