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Questions tagged [bomber]

Military airplane designed to carry and drop bombs on targets.

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16 votes
4 answers
9k views

Why is the B-29 bomb bay grossly oversized?

This photo shows a B-29 filled to near capacity. By counting the 500lb bombs, we arrived at a total of 16,000lb. Image source - B29 Wikipedia page This looks mostly empty. It looks as if you could ...
4 votes
1 answer
1k views

What if the bomb bay is hit?

The bomb bay on s heavy bomber is a somewhat big target. If the ordnance were to explode, it would be very dangerous for nearby aircraft. But I haven't really seen much evidence of concern over this ...
2 votes
2 answers
172 views

Confusing justification for new engines for Bomber B

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bomber_B With engines in the 2,000 to 2,500 hp range, twin-engined aircraft would have considerably more surplus power, allowing for much greater payloads. In theory, ...
9 votes
1 answer
5k views

What plane is shown here in the movie Rampage?

I'm not sure if its a real life airplane, but I feel like I have seen it somewhere: It looks similiar to the F-117 Nighthawk, pictured below, but it is definitely not this:
14 votes
1 answer
1k views

What is the metal plating on the back of the A-6 for?

What is the perforated metal plating on the back of the A-6/EA-6A for? Source: Wikipedia
0 votes
3 answers
372 views

Isn't a "land based navy bomber" just an air force bomber?

This wonderful article on the Mitsubishi G4M Betty has the following quote about the Mitsubishi G3M Nell: the G3M was already considered the best land-based navy bomber in the world What in the ...
5 votes
2 answers
901 views

What are the terrain-following radar modes of the B1-B?

The Rockwell B-1 Lancer is a supersonic-capable variable-sweep wing large bomber operated by the US Air Force. One of its "key features" is terrain-following radar and a fast, heavily-...
20 votes
6 answers
10k views

Why do heavy bombers not carry air-to-air missiles?

Imagine a heavy bomber – such as the B52, Tu160 or B1 – is heading toward a hot zone carrying a large number of AMRAAM or longer ranged missiles. Why doesn't it also carry air-to-air ...
33 votes
1 answer
12k views

Can the dome gunner on a B-17 Flying Fortress shoot the plane's tail off?

I was at the California Capital Airshow on Mather AFB over the weekend, and came across a beautifully maintained B-17 Flying Fortress. The crew were kind enough to allow people to go inside and take a ...
2 votes
2 answers
721 views

What exactly was the American WW2 smokebomb used in naval warfare?

In WW2 the Americans used a kind of smoke/gas-bomb that they mounted under the SBD planes in naval warfare. What was the purpose of that device and what is it called?
40 votes
8 answers
19k views

Why don't modern heavy bombers have gun turrets?

I know that for a period of time the B-52 had a tailgunner, but nowadays many heavy bombers lack any turret defense.Why?
33 votes
3 answers
8k views

Why did the B-29 have so much leftward torque at take-off?

In this book, The Making of the Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes (p. 705), I read: [Paul Tibbets] eased the brakes [of Enola Gay] at 0245, the four fuel-injected Wright Cyclone engines pounding. “The ...
19 votes
4 answers
8k views

When a bomber releases a huge payload of bombs, why don't they collide with each other in mid air?

Below given are images of bombers releasing many bombs at the same time. Why don't they collide with each other?
16 votes
8 answers
8k views

Why do air forces still use bombers?

Something I have wondered about recently, since the advent of ICBMs what is the point of long range bombers like the B-2? I understand they have longer range and can carry more payload but wouldn't ...
5 votes
1 answer
488 views

What was the most efficient cruising altitude of the Lancaster bomber?

An earlier question concerning lower high altitude cruising fuel efficiency of the B-29 bombers with 4 x Wright R-3350 air-cooled radial Cyclone engines made me wonder about the Lancaster bomber, ...
4 votes
1 answer
366 views

What is this British bomber?

From previous answers this is probably at RAF Duxford in the mid-1930s.
16 votes
1 answer
4k views

Why does the B-29 not have pilot-accessible thrust?

Watching this incredible B-29 Superfortress flight, I was amazed to see that it required a dedicated person to manage the 4 engines and their power levels. Why was the throttle not placed between the ...
3 votes
1 answer
880 views

Did WW2 airplanes ever jettison their empty external fuel tanks to act as weapons?

Jettisoning an external fuel tank over a populated area is prohibited by the FAA as it will almost certainly cause injury and damage to the people in that area. But did war airplanes during World War ...
8 votes
1 answer
448 views

What is this strange thing under Tu-95 which looks like a horse-fly's eye?

I was seeing this photo and saw an strange thing under the bomber. Too much looks like a compound eye. What could be it?
11 votes
2 answers
8k views

What are some disadvantages that come with a design like a B-2 spirit bomber?

Here is a B-2 Spirit: source Source Many different things can get in the way with a design like a B-2. Although it has really good stealth and looks, does it have any disadvantages that come with ...
1 vote
0 answers
302 views

During WWII, what did internal bomb bays and turret layout look like on flying boats?

I am writing an alternate WWII story, and I was wondering if you fine fellows on this site could help me. I am trying to make a fantasy bomber version of the USN Boeing C-98 Clipper, AKA the Boeing ...
0 votes
2 answers
351 views

Does the payload of an ICBM or regular airplane bomber explode if the ICBM or bomber is shot down?

As the top says, does the payload of an ICBM or regular airplane bomber (please excuse my ignorance) explode if the ICBM or bomber is shot down? So, say a defense laser in space (yes, I know; this is ...
8 votes
1 answer
4k views

Why is the XB-70's Top speed only about 60mph higher than its cruise speed?

The maximum and cruise speeds listed for North American XB-70 Valkyrie are: Maximum speed: Mach 3.1 (2,056 mph, 3,309 km/h) Cruise speed: Mach 3.0 (2,000 mph, 3,200 km/h) Why is there such ...
13 votes
3 answers
1k views

What are these pipes on an Avro Vulcan?

As you can see above, there are two small pipes next to the main engine exhausts on this Avro Vulcan(the one at Duxford). I'm curious what these pipes are/what they are for. Are they fuel dump pipes? ...
48 votes
3 answers
92k views

Why did the Ju-87 Stuka have a siren?

Why did the Ju-87 Stuka have a siren? Was this for purely psychological reasons or did it help the pilot in some way?
12 votes
2 answers
2k views

Did the Stuka Ju-87 really have a radio altimeter? If so, when?

This is what Wikipedia says near the end of its radio altimeter article: The radio altimeter first showed up in the German Junkers Ju-87 "Stuka" dive bomber which was equipped with one for ...
16 votes
3 answers
4k views

Did people really hand-start big bombers in WWII?

I am not a pilot so I don't know anything about hand starting propeller aircraft. But I wonder how easily can the propeller fire up unexpectedly during the procedure even if it's done right. Whenever ...
5 votes
2 answers
1k views

How do dummy bombs simulate real bombs in training when they're so much smaller?

This picture shows a couple of Mk-76 25lb (11kg) Inert Training Bombs on a McDonnell Douglas AV-8B Harrier II; it's clear that the physical characteristics of the dummy bomb are quite different to ...
1 vote
2 answers
357 views

Is moving payload masses during flight to restore mass centering, or to avoid having to trim, a useful approach?

Note: Title was previously "Movable big missiles/bombs/tanks under fighter jets: conceivable?" Example: lateral weight distribution in fighters Fighter-bombers jets are small and lightweight in ...
7 votes
6 answers
2k views

Have B-25's and B-26's been converted for private business use?

In the movie Cash McCall, the main character, McCall, owns an aircraft that looks remarkably similar to a B-25 or B-26, but is painted yellow and has no turrets. Have these aircraft been converted ...
11 votes
4 answers
3k views

Do fighters or bombers ever ditch their weapons?

I was just reading about the reasons why commercial aircraft will sometimes need to dump (or otherwise consume) their extra fuel. Things like decreasing landing weight, speed, reducing fire risk, etc. ...
3 votes
2 answers
369 views

Where did the SOE agents sit in the 161 squadron Short Stirlings?

I asked this question on history.se, where it was recommended I repost here. During World War II Special Operation Executive (SOE) agents were dropped into occupied Europe by No. 161 squadron of the ...
9 votes
3 answers
8k views

How effective was WWII bombers self defense anti-air armament?

Bigger WWII bombers like e.g. the B-17 Flying Fortress were equipped with lots of machine guns for self-defense against single-seat fighter aircraft. Wikipedia says: Defensive armament increased ...
2 votes
1 answer
302 views

How many variations are there of the Avro Lancaster?

How many different variations of the Avro Lancaster are there?
21 votes
4 answers
3k views

What would happen if a plane lost half of its weight instantly?

During the Second World War the RAF had a 10,000 kg bomb, the "Grand Slam", which was dropped from a Lancaster bomber. I assume that when this was dropped the plane would lurch upwards. Is there any ...
34 votes
2 answers
6k views

Can someone identify this warplane silhouette?

I saw this picture today in a news article about the current conflict in Iraq/Syria. The caption claims it is a US warplane, but I don't recognise the silhouette. Can someone identify this plane?
31 votes
4 answers
7k views

Why does the B-2 have a smaller payload than other bombers of comparable size?

B-2 Spirit1 Payload 40,000 pounds (18,144 kilograms) Wingspan 172 feet (52.12 meters) Weight 160,000 pounds (72,575 kilograms) Maximum takeoff weight 336,500 pounds (152,634 kilograms) Range ...
1 vote
0 answers
1k views

Why F4 Phantom II didn't have an cannon? [duplicate]

Question is simple but seriously ? Who would design a FIGHTER bomber without an cannon ? What was the crazy reason they didn't added an cannon to it ? (Also My CPU is Athlon X2 II 250.... If only I ...
10 votes
4 answers
8k views

Are strategic bombers still useful, or are fighters taking over this role?

During the mid 20th century and cold war, armies were having clear distinction between those aircraft designed as strategic bombers and those designed to be fighters for aerial combat. My ...
7 votes
1 answer
586 views

What are the differences in design considerations for ground attack and air dominance aircraft?

What parameters and types of performance are designers trying to maximize when building an air dominance fighter plane rather than a ground support fighter? What are the trade offs between them - what ...
12 votes
3 answers
8k views

What is the meaning of nose-art on the Tu-160 bomber?

The BBC reports another Tu-160 interception on 15 Jan 2018 and it's clear that there is a large message painted on the side of the bomber. Looking at the Wikipedia page, it seems this style of nose-...
24 votes
4 answers
10k views

Are nuclear bombers themselves damaged after dropping bombs?

Shock waves resulting from low intensity explosions can easily reach 10,000m/s. About 5% of the energy released in a nuclear air burst is in the form of ionizing radiation: neutrons, gamma rays, ...
12 votes
1 answer
4k views

Why don't bombers have close-in weapon systems (CIWS)?

Besides the TU-22 radar-controlled rear-cannon, why aren't there close-in weapon systems (CIWS) on planes to defend against incoming missiles? The tech seems to be there.
9 votes
2 answers
3k views

What does the crew of a long range miltary aircraft eat during a mission?

The B-52 and other big aircraft often fly long missions. What does the crew eat or drink? Is there a list of recommended things to eat, or of specific foodstuff to avoid? How is it stored onboard?
29 votes
8 answers
25k views

Why/How is the B-52 still in service?

The B-52 was introduced in 1955, and is still used by the US Airforce, and is expected to remain in use till the 2040s. On the other hand, the A-4 Skyhawk was introduced in 1956 and retired in 1998/...
1 vote
1 answer
689 views

Why was the Junkers Ju 87 not upgraded with a jet engine? [closed]

Given that the Stuka dive bomber was famous during ww2 for its dive bombing attack but as we all know it was easily shot down by enemy fighters because of its slow speed especially during the later ...
6 votes
1 answer
1k views

What causes this surface texture, and how does it affect flight characteristics?

The picture on this answer to "What is this plane seen in Mobile, Alabama?" shows a B-52D Stratofortress with a very irregular surface texture. (Source) Were they like this when they were new, or is ...
26 votes
6 answers
13k views

What makes a bomber able to deliver nuclear bombs?

Currently the German Luftwaffe has Panavia Tornados to deliver American nuclear bombs in case of war. The bombers are getting older and are currently modernized. The German Luftwaffe also has ...
0 votes
1 answer
268 views

What are the 2 protrusions next to the fore ground lights on the Tu-22M3?

Here's a reference image : What are those 2 spokes coming out next to the ground lights ?
14 votes
1 answer
921 views

What would the ranks most likely be of the crew of a B-1B?

I'm currently attempting to write a novel which briefly features a modified B-1B undertaking a risky, highly important mission in support of a Special Access Program. Since a few scenes are set in the ...