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Icebreakers - Divebombing-HOWTO


06.05.2003 (changed from 02.09.1999)
Icebreakers Handbook

This document contains information about dive-bombing in Warbirds. Same information can be used in any other flight simulator, which uses realistic ballistics for ordnance. Some tiny bits of the information are WarBirds 2 specific but they can be ignored when you're not talking flying it.

All information in this document has been gained from long training sessions and numerous missions flown online.
Original version was created by Lart / Icebreakers, updated and beefed by Grendel / Icebreakers.

Q: How to hit your target?
A: Either drop close or drop well.


Table of Contents:

1. Goal
2. Different methods
        2.1 Fast dive
        2.2 Slow dive (drop)
        2.3 Random hitting
3. Important issues
4. Examples and see-it-yourself pictorial guide
5. Tactics


On current WB version capture is done by dropping paratroopers. Tactical side has become more important, and good timing is essential for field capture. I have added tactical section into this document, but I will not go through everything in tactical side, as divebombing is what this document is about.

In war, enemy isn't always doing what it seems to be doing.
Panicing is the thing you do just before you mess things up.
As group we are strong, alone we are just targets.

1. Goal

Main reason for carrying a bomb with your fighter is to make your and your friends life easier in the vicinity of an enemy airfield by wrecking AAA, or just to have spare bomb with which to close field when other people have left the radio hut up.[1][2]

It is also very pleasant to see numerous of enemies roll a dozen buffs at the end of the runway - not much you can do if you have guns only, but carrying one 1k bomb with you is oh so rewarding in these situations. :-)

Usually there is something that gets left up because people seem to think that you just have to release bomb near a field and it will home by itself (reason #1). Other situations are common too:

    - Only few planes are heavy, and there is not enough ordnance to be dropped on enemy.

    - People don't bother to practice bombing off line, and just toss the bombs and hope. This is the worst possible situation if pilot has voluteered to be part of a jabo group, and at least one hit by him is approximated in the result.

[1] It's ALWAYS left up, if a field looks like closed but it isn't, hit the place of antenna again.

[2] Usually unorganized field attacks lead to a situation where a couple dozen lites are "protecting" one buff, which tosses the whole bomb load in straight line in vicinity of a nearby enemy field. Then buff is, naturally, killed right after this, and the lites will die in the ack.

2. Different methods

Different situations require different methods to be used. In the followin sections we will take a look at a few of them.

2.1 Fast dive

When: Quite low altitude (12k or less), enemies approaching  and you don't want to become a slow target even for a second.

How: Dive at 45-degree angle towards the target to be hit, no WEP here, except in an emergency. Keep the target under the lowest part of the gunsight, dive *STRAIGHT*, do not pull or turn. Set the tim to 'angle' if possible, but remember not to overspeed or pull too hard when getting out of the dive, as that might cause serious damage to your plane. The faster you go, the farther away the bomb will hit. An appropriate altitude to drop a bomb is between 3.5k and 1.5k, altough I have hit a target from 12k - I count that hit in the "lucky hits" category. 2.01 version altered the situation quite alot, as now you must be careful not to overspeed. This means that you have to plan your approach so, that you don't have too much altitude compared to your aiming skills. In previous versions you just had to dive closer, today that makes you gain too much speed and very likely a damaged or destroyed plane.

Remember: The hit point isn't always the same. Where the bomb strikes depends on the speed and drop altitude of the bomb.

Rules of thumb:

    - Altitude lowers the hitpoint.
    - Speed moves the hit point farther
Why in this way?: If you were to continue on straight dive to the ground, you wouldn't hit the target. Instead, you would go "over" it and dig a hole for your remains few yards away from your intended target. When you release the bomb, it has the same forward momentum as your plane and it tries to maintain the same altitude, speed and direction of movement. Because the bomb doesn't have wings and/or an engine, gravity and aerodynamic drag will make the bomb hit the ground before the point where you would crash if you wouldn't pull up.

2.2 Slow dive

First thing is to get some altitude. When you're over the target, pull up, kill the speed and drop your nose towards the
mother earth. Extend everything you have, flaps, gear, spare underwear, and set the throttle to idle. You can see the centerpoint of dive - the small cross that tells you where "down" is (the fastest way). Drive the small cross over your target, position it in the center of your gunsight, let the plane "settle" for the dive and finally release the bomb. This is the poor man's Norden sight. If gravity doesn't change its direction, the bomb will hit the target.

In this way you lose E, as you want to dive very slowly to have time to aim. P-51 is a quite nice plane if you use this method.
The Dora tends to gain too much speed and therefore you have less time to aim. The Ju88 seems to have divebrakes, and therefore it might be a good plane for this type of approach, but I haven't tried it (yet).

2.3 Random hitting

Drop bomb near enemy installations. If you are lucky, it will hit something.

3. Important issues

    - Pull up in time and don't lose your E by turning too tightly. It is really nice to dip almost to the ground and zoom back to 10k, leaving the enemy installation in a state of the Russian economy.

    - Don't go too low when bombing. A bomb exploding near you may cause some damage to you as well.

    - Don't drop your ordnance at the first sight of an enemy aircraft. He is probably an idiot who is scared of a higher überplane, and dives for an escape if you approach him as he was easy prey and you were willing to fight.

    - PRACTICE OFFLINE - you can see where the bomb hits, even if one bomb sweeps a half of the field down offline.

    - Don't fly straight into a dense cluster of acks. Pick your target and direction of approach so that you have as much angular speed in relation to an to Otto as possible.

4. Examples

This is the standard Icebreakers gunsight, creater by Kruger (-krug-). At least initially you will benefit most from this guide if you upgrade into it. Then you can easily refer to the lower dot and bottom end of the vertical line when dive bombing. ICE sight also is very useful in air combat. :) You can download it for 640 & 1024-resolutions HERE.

There are three things you need to give special attention:
CD = Center Dot. Your most important tool. Put this over ack gun and pull the trigger. Ack dead.
LJ = Low Jabo aiming point. If you're coming in low and want to drop very low, drop bomb when LJ passes target.
HJ = High Jabo aiming point. If you have speed and altitude when screaming in, aim using this.

Between Low Jabo and High Jabo attacks lies the middle route. Low Jabo is risky because you take damage and can die from the blast. High Jabo takes lots of practise and you can miss your target easily.
So, why not split the risk?
Using, erm, a slightly "higher low jabo" profile you come in, whatever speed you just happen to be in, but you won't put your nose into the dirt. Fly towards the target and drop bomb when target is between LJ and HJ aiming points. If you come in a bit steeper or higher than in Low Jabo profile you have excellent chances of hitting target AND minimizing blast damage. Examples 2, 4 & 5 show this.

Example 1.

From high, steep, fast dive. Notice how target is halfway between LJ and HJ. A good hit.

Example 2.

High speed low angle attack. The result: perfect hit. High Jabo profile.

Example 3.

Another high speed low angle attack. Target slipped under the gunsight before I managed a screenshot. But as you see, it's another perfect hit.

Example 4.

High angle, coming in from high. Notice how target is exactly under HJ point. Very near hit that would equal one dead ack or target anyway.

Example 5.

Two examples of identical attack. Coming in from high in big angle. In both attacks bomb was released high, putting target to HJ point. First resulted in very near hit, second in perfect hit.

Example 7.

And just in case, if you're not 100% sure how you should your guns to the best effect, look here. Guns are most efficient thing around when you need to destroy enemy ack guns fast.

So, if strafing with guns is the best way to kill acks, why jabo them in these examples? Because the acks are small targets. If you can hit THEM when dive bombing you can hit anything.

Even one 10 minutes long dive bombing practise offline following these instructions will most likely make you way more effective dive bomber than before. Go for it dude!

What if you want to live really safely and drop from high altitude? Check these examples.

In the first picture you can clearly see thow theory works in practice. (Well, that was the third attempt, to be honest.)

5. Tactics

Picking the route to target:

- Shortest route is usually the worst route
- Shortest route isn't usually even the fastest one
- If you want to hit the target first and then engage the enemy, don't pick the shortest route.
- You will waste your $$ if you just keep on flying to enemys hands and die before you see the target.
- Am I making  a point?-)

- Check the radar, look at the terrain, keep safe distance to enemies. If you want to engage your enemies in your mission, you will have the chance, but do it when you are ready.


- If you are about to knock down a single target on enemy field, make sure there isn't any major strike  inbound.. Most likely no-one appreciates that ack gets repaired just as they are dropping the paratroopers to capture the field.
- Most likely there is always a attack forming up against some field. Take part in those, and do it in controlled manner. The ideal jabostrike is done in one wave, so that all targets slain are down for as long as possible.


- To avoid detection by radar or visual, go low.
- If you see people flying low somewhere, do not "cover" them by flying with them at high altitude. You will only give them up, as first enemy who has been vectored to attack you, will see why you are up there.
- In 3D-versions camouflage really works. Pick a blue plane for sea strike, pick a green plane for ground attack, grey for attack over hills..
- Don't act predictably. Don't attack "the next field in a row", as enemy will be ready for that.

Viimeksi muokattu: 2003-05-05 21:21