Considering that opening the bomb bay on a stealth aircraft increases the chances of the plane being detected by radars, why no one is placing the bomb bays on top of the airplane? At least for jet fighters like F-22 or F-35.

Edit: Asking this from a theoretical point of view. I am not asking for any specifics. Just if done, would it bring any advantage? And if yes, what would be the most reasonable way to do it. If it is not possible, why not? It wouldn't be the craziest idea to implement or at least to try.

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    $\begingroup$ Because that would make it pretty difficult to drop the bombs? $\endgroup$ Jan 16 '21 at 15:27
  • $\begingroup$ When you roll-upside down to drop the bombs you lose all the advantage. Actually its even worse than that because the airplane is designed to minimize the radar reflections when the aircraft is upright, not inverted. $\endgroup$ Jan 16 '21 at 15:36
  • $\begingroup$ Two relatively naive answers. An F-117A was shot down by Yugoslavia with old tech simply because the bomb bay was open long enough. The same would affect F-22 or F-35 fighters I imagine. There would be various ways of adapting a top bomb bay by creating some sort of catapult. And I didn't mean to imply that rolling the plane over would be part of the solution. But opening the bomb bay (or let's say missile bay for those incapable of abstract thinking) still is the most important factor exposing a fighter. $\endgroup$ Jan 17 '21 at 9:37
  • $\begingroup$ Considering the lack of detail in the question, the comments you got are quite reasonable. You should expand your question including all the details you though of, explain why you think it would be a good idea, and show that you have done a minimum of research. $\endgroup$
    – Federico
    Jan 17 '21 at 10:56
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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to aviation.SE! We generally try to avoid questions that ask for opinions and discussions; the tour might be helpful if you're new here. You might get a better response if you can explain how the aircraft would release the bombs (eject them upwards? fly inverted to drop them?) and how that would be better than the existing technology. For example, if your idea is to fly inverted and then open the bay, how is that an improvement over just flying level and opening a bay? $\endgroup$
    – Pondlife
    Jan 19 '21 at 5:07

And the munitions are supposed to depart from the aircraft how, exactly?

Currently, bombs are kicked off downward and sometimes a little bit sideways as well. There is a small shotgun size charge that pushes an ejector foot down, that propels the bomb away from the aircraft. This, of course, works in conjunction with gravity.

A bomb bay on top would have to have a LOT larger impetus to get the bomb to clear the aircraft.

Missiles are a different thing. They are self propelled, going forward. But still need some clearance from the aircraft body. Fuselage mounted missiles such as an AIM-7 on the F-15 still need to be pushed away from the body before firing the missile motor.

There has been at least one aircraft with over-wing mounted missiles, the Jaguar GR3.

The weapons bay doors are only open for a short time. Even as far back as the F-106, you could go from completely closed, open, launch all 4 missiles, close bay doors in about 4 seconds.

And from a personal experience aspect, loading bombs into a top opening bay would be a LOT harder.

  • $\begingroup$ Is it really that difficult to come up with a tech which would catapult the bombs or missiles? And I am talking mostly about jet fighters, not large bombers. Even 4 seconds is long enough to leave the plane exposed. Let's not forget the F-117A shot down by Yugoslavia with relatively old tech. $\endgroup$ Jan 17 '21 at 9:32
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    $\begingroup$ @TheFuriousSnail "Is it really that difficult to come up with a tech which would catapult the bombs or missiles?" looks like. Av.SE is not really the place to find new technologies, and if nobody has ever done it before, we'll argue that is probably not a good idea. If you have hard proof of the contrary, you're welcome to share. But if you're here just di discuss an idea, it might not be the right place. $\endgroup$
    – Federico
    Jan 17 '21 at 10:59
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    $\begingroup$ The F-117 was shot down due to a dumbass at the stick. Flying the same route, at the same time of day, repeatedly. These things aren't invisible, just harder to detect. If you know when and where it is going to be, toss up a few missiles in the path. One might get lucky. And it did. $\endgroup$
    – WPNSGuy
    Jan 17 '21 at 16:56
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    $\begingroup$ As for designing a mechanism to do this? I'll leave it to you to calculate the force needed to raise 500-1000kg 2 meters straight up, in 1 second. How much would all this extra catapult hardware weigh? This cuts into your range and/or payload. $\endgroup$
    – WPNSGuy
    Jan 17 '21 at 17:05
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    $\begingroup$ @TheFuriousSnail - "However, that the NATO mission planners had complacently scheduled the stealth bombers on predictable, routine flight patterns. Worse, the Serbs had managed to break into NATO communications and could overhear conversations between U.S. fighters and the airborne radar planes directing them, allowing Dani to piece together a accurate picture of those routines." nationalinterest.org/blog/reboot/… $\endgroup$
    – WPNSGuy
    Jan 18 '21 at 1:27

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