Great vids, I think. Interesting about the arming, and the co-pilot’s responsibility. Who is he talking with? Ground crew?
The blogger also mentions something about the klutziness in the setup of the bombing station. Any comments?
Yeah, DFC = Distinguished Flying Cross. A medal awarded to aviators in the military (primarily), for heroism or otherwise notable achievement in flight.
It ranks above the Soldier Medal/Airman Medal/Navy and Marine Corps Medal and Bronze Star, and below the Legion of Merit and Silver Star.
Historically it’s been somewhat variable in what constitutes notable achievement or heroism; sometimes it’s awarded for very meritorious things, and other times, not so much. And some things are kind of gray; for example, in 1943, if a B-17 crewman completed his 25 combat missions, he was automatically awarded the DFC. I suppose you could argue that surviving 25 missions during that stretch of the bomber war was both heroic and meritorious, it being estimated that he had somewhere between a 25% and a 50% chance that he would actually survive that many missions.
From OP cite:
This is what a smart plane can do with dumb bombs these days. It isn’t the (mythical) pickle barrel from 30,000 feet claimed by WWII bombers, but it’s accurate enough to drop dumb bombs danger close to US forces. (They don’t actually do that, but they can, and some day a JTAC will ask for it, and they will. And there will be DFCs for the crew if they hit in combat like this crew did in training).
Hypothetical, but sounds right? Or only if ground US forces included a General…
Related: I didn’t know the U.S. used dumb bombs at all any more. I thought the inventory were retrofitted somehow.
There’s precious little difference btween a Mk. 84 and a WW-2 vintage 500 lb bomb, except in the outer shape, with the Mk. 84 being a low-drag bomb, which is much more important with today’s aircraft than it was back in the day.
Most of the “smart bombs” are actually guidance kits that mount to standard dumb bombs- the Paveway laser guidance systems and the GPS guided JDAM both work that way.
That said, modern aircraft have MUCH better bombsights than they had in WWII; modern electronics are rather amazing. THey’re integrated into the HUD, and take into account the altitude, aircraft motion, etc… and make a run-of-the-mill fighter-bomber of today more accurate than a dedicated bomber (with special bombsight and trained bombardier) of WWII.