[Best] bomber ever?

Gerd Muller

I’m going to go with the SBD Dauntless. What other kind of plane took out 4 carriers in a single battle?

I saw the Vulcan at RIAT a few years ago. Both it and a B-52 made a fly-by. The Vulcan was at least 5 times louder than the B-52. It sounded more like a rocket than a plane.

Are fighter-bombers and multirole fighters allowed?
If so, the F-16; It has seen plenty of successful use in many missions, about 4500 has been made, it has persisted in service and will continue to do so, Lockheed is thinking of making a new version, it’s been significantly upgraded through time, it’s cheap as multirole fighters go and can carry about 90% of its empty weight in payload/extra fuel.
If multirole fighters aren’t allowed: yeah, sure, the B-52.

Good point.

Something that struck me in the Wik description:
U.S. Navy and Marine Corps SBDs saw their first action at Pearl Harbor, when most of the Marine Corps SBDs of Marine Scout Bombing Squadron 232 (VMSB-232) were destroyed on the ground at Ewa Mooring Mast Field. Most U.S. Navy SBDs were operating with their carriers, which did not operate in close cooperation with the rest of the fleet. Most Navy SBDs at Pearl Harbor, like their Marine Corps counterparts, were destroyed on the ground.[5] On 10 December 1941, SBDs from the Enterprise sank the Japanese submarine I-70.[citation needed]

“Saw their first action” sounded weird, and I concede the definition of “military action” covers that, but it just doesn’t sound right. Perhaps simply because the circumstances when the first fielding of a weapon is so spectacularly destroyed in historic circumstances doesn’t come up so often. Maybe they tried something that spectacularly flopped at Agincourt… (600 year anniversary last week! Go band of brothers!).

Otherwise I’ve never seen it.
ETA: :confused: “RIAT”?

So which is it? Fight! Fight!

I think you might get away with an attack aircraft that has some air-to-air capability, like the Jaguar, but the F-16 is only really a bomber by accident.

Royal International Air Tattoo.

I really can’t consider any bomber to be “great” if it never had a significant combat role.

There was nothing funny about the Gotha bombers if you lived in London:


It cost the Germans far more to develop, build and operate the Gothas than it cost to repair the damage they caused.

I asked SA&S that question after they ran a major feature on it, with a big cutaway showing… absolutely no available space for a few hand grenades, much less a meaningful bomb load.

They apparently got quite a few such letters and brushed it off with a “well, they were going to include that in the next model” or some such.

Pretty bird, though.

There was a football-shaped gap between the left-side and right-side air intakes. They bulged away from the centerline and reconverged before reaching the engines’ “six pack”. In flight test, which was really what the aircraft was for, the area was stuffed with instrumentation. But it’s fair to call the bomb bay an afterthought.

Pretty much a meaningless question, unless you limit it by War. “What were the best Bombers of WWII” is a interesting question.

Junkers JU-88- poorly armed, short ranged and carried a small bomb-load. OK in 1939, it was outdated very quickly. Mind you, the Ju 88 frame could be used for a lot of stuff, liek Night Fighter, attack plane, etc- versatile. Great *plane *for 1939, just an Ok Bomber.

De Havilland Mosquito: poor bomb load, more of a fighter.bomber or attack plane.

Avro Lancaster: Excelled as a Night Bomber, but how usefull was Night Bombing?

You’d have to include the B-17, the B24, and the B25 of course. B29 came in rather late, but was likely the best strategic bomber.

In 1941 an 42, the Betty was a significant force. Once we had more fighters and we learned it’s weaknesses, it fell off.

Have you considered a career in politics?


Been there, done that.


The Gotha was the only bomber to ever force a name change in an Imperial dynasty.

It really is a big bastard as well. Because of it’s delta wing ‘fighter style’ shape It’s easy to subconciously think of it as being near that sort of size.

I was astonished when I saw it in the flesh at the RAF museum in Hendon. Most of the exhibits are roped off. The Vulcan you can stroll around underneath, with enough room I couldn’t reach the fuselage on tip toe.

I had thought it was just because Albert’s name, Saxe-Coburg Gotha was German.

B-29’s could carry a heavier load, higher, for a greater distance, faster than any other bomber in WWII. They did come late in the war and were not used in Europe. They had engine reliablity problems early on but I believe they were sorted by the end. They were later used in Korea and as hurricane chasers as well as launch vehicles for post -war rocket planes. As far as effectiveness goes they were used to firebomb Tokyo and Kyoto as well as several other large cities which resulted in the deaths of several hundred thousand civilians and the destruction of a crippling amount of industrial capacity.