Accuracy

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by michaelmaltby, Oct 18, 2010.

  1. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    #1 michaelmaltby, Oct 18, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2010
    I had meant to post this on "RAF Bomber Command" but that thread is now locked - preserved in amber for posterity :) - but I wanted to share a quote I heard today on the History TV program "Warplanes". The thesis of the show was technology and how it dictated "the possible" at any given moment. Having praised the Norden bomb site - which apparently was used into the Viet Nam conflict - the program then turned to RAF nightime "carpet" bombing. The quote was this "that by 1944 with Mosquito Pathfinders (flare paths) + Gee + Oboe, RAF night bombing was more accurate than USAF daylight USAAF raids.

    One has to assume that highly specialized, highly accurate missions against viaducts, tunnels or dams weren't the only missions that the RAF deemed strategic -- accuracy does not translate into terror. In total war, both objects are valid -- accuracy and terror -- unfortunately.

    Was this the topic that got us closed down just recently ...? :)

    Proud RCAF Bomber Command Canadian

    MM
     
  2. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    The RAF typically bombed from a lower altitude then the U.S. 8th Air Force. That translates into a significant increase in accuracy. Perhaps more then enough to compensate for bombing at night.
     
  3. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    It was not the topic, but the behavior of some of our members...
     
  4. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    For any object falling through or traveling through the atmosphere air resistance is the single greatest factor that has to be dealt with. trying to predict the effects of air resistance was the reason computers were invented and why the US Army funded the first one ENIAC. less atmosphere less effect more predictability. the B-52's in Vietnam were at thousands of feet and even a strip 5mi by 1mi missed quite often. we did plenty of BDA for the AF
     
  5. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    ".... Perhaps more then enough to compensate for bombing at night." Fair point. I don't have a dog in this race.

    "... It was not the topic, but the behavior of some of our members...". I know - I watched it take place. But the topic is an important one. I don't understand the animosity between RAF and USAAF fans. Both played to their respective strengths.

    "... For any object falling through or traveling through the atmosphere air resistance is the single greatest factor that has to be dealt with. " When Gen Le May took over the air campaign against Japan, the first thing he did was abandon high altitude daylight bombing and switch to lower level nighttime carpet bombing. The jet streams in the Pacific were so powerful that high altitude bombing - Norden or no Norden was virtually impossible. Are you suggesting the B-52's in Viet Nam faced similar challenges, Mikewint ...? Curious.

    MM
     
  6. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    I agree...
     
  7. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    lets hope this one ends better.....just for the record, everyone is entitled to their opinion, but a certain amount of respect, and non-inflammatory posturing is a big help in keeping threads we enjoy open for discussion. That comment applies to myself as much as anyone......
     
  8. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    MichaelM, that i cannot answer, i talked to very few pilots and the B-52s weren't even based in vietnam. we knew when they were coming and where so at times we could see contrails from the SAC B-52s anywhere from 3 to 24 of them as many as 2616 500lb bombs hitting an area 2mi by 6mi. not sure at what altitude contrails form but i'd guess 15,000 - 20,000 ft. all I can say is that the longer the path through the atmosphere the less certain you can be about hitting the target
    two arc-lights, both missed the treeline, the target
     

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  9. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    Quite a photo, thanks.

    MM
     
  10. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    BDA was running along thast entire path to see what if anything the arc-lights had hit. the VC were supposed to be either dead or totally disoriented, yea right, more like kicking an ant hill over
     
  11. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    Three

    The RAF was simply better at radar directed bombing. The overall results of 8th AF combining clear weather and 10/10 cloud cover blind bombing brought the US accuracy percentage down. 4 -5 months every year were essentially zero target visibility days.

    Second comment, the RAF developed an optical sight that was as good or better than the Norden.

    Last - SAC used radar bombing exclusively after 1953. I have no idea how history channel got that tidbit about nor den use in Vietnam.
     
  12. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    It would be interesting to see the "window" in the bottom of the B-52 that the Nordon looked through. :D
     
  13. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    #13 michaelmaltby, Oct 19, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2010
    "... I have no idea how history channel got that tidbit about nor den use in Vietnam."

    The program didn't specify the use of the Norden on B-52's. It only stated that the sight (an early autogyro computer) was technologically very advanced and was used from WW2 until Viet Nam (no aircraft platform specified).

    The B-52 came into this debate when Mikewint mentioned the problem of accuracy on the B-52 ArcLight missions and I responded with a querry as to whether the accuracy problem in VN was the same as the B-29's faced over the Japan home islands with the jet stream. Flying into the jet stream the B-29's were practically motionless over target, and with the jet stream on tail - the B-29's ripped over the target like jets. From Mikewint's comment in reply it doesn't sound like the jet stream was the issue in VN.

    "... the RAF developed an optical sight that was as good or better than the Norden."

    Can we hear more about that, please. Was it used in Lancs or just in Mosquito Pathfinders?

    MM
     
  14. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    I'm not 100% sure but I think "Special Ops" P2Vs used the Norden. This one was a gun ship.

    AP-2H (135620) Neptune Walk Around Page 1
     
  15. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    #15 mikewint, Oct 19, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2010
    I'm not an expert in the air war over Vietnam, I was on the ground, but to my knowledge B-52s were the only bombers used in Vietnam. other aircraft F-105, F-4s, skyraiders, etc. certainly dropped bombs but that was all low level visual stuff with ground troop spotters and an FAC bird-dog on station to direct the bombing runs
    FBJ, I looked up the neptunes and my info says they were used in the delta which was SEAL territory probably why i never saw or heard about them. i would not consider them to be bombers since the bombs are carried on the wings. i also found nothing on a bombsight just radar and FLIR
     
  16. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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  17. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    So did Germany.

    The people running the Norden bomb sight program must have had an incredible propaganda, err public affairs department to convince everyone their sight was better then the competition. :)
     
  18. davparlr

    davparlr Well-Known Member

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    Were any bomber versions of the A-26 used in the Vietnam War?

    Maybe they were talking about the French Indochina War. The French used B-26s and also used PBYs for sub patrols. These may have had Norden sights.
     
  19. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Yes.

    However I have no idea what sort of modernization they received between WWII and Vietnam.
     
  20. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    They were as well in tactical applications
     
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