Early airships were prone to disaster, but slowly the airship became more dependable, with a more rigid structure and stronger skin. Traditional ribbed bomber collar is insulated with down for extra warmth. In , during the First Balkan War , Bulgarian Air Force pilot Christo Toprakchiev suggested the use of aircraft to drop "bombs" called grenades in the Bulgarian army at this time on Turkish positions. Occasionally, military aircraft have been used to bomb ice jams with limited success as part of an effort to clear them. Get Word of the Day daily email!
Notably, bombing campaigns formed a part of the British offensive at the Battle of Neuve Chapelle in , with Royal Flying Corps squadrons attacking German railway stations in an attempt to hinder the logistical supply of the German army.
The early, improvised attempts at bombing that characterized the early part of the war slowly gave way to a more organized and systematic approach to strategic and tactical bombing, pioneered by various air power strategists of the Entente , especially Major Hugh Trenchard ; he was the first to advocate that there should be " When the war started, bombing was very crude hand-held bombs were thrown over the side yet by the end of the war long-range bombers equipped with complex mechanical bombing computers were being built, designed to carry large loads to destroy enemy industrial targets.
This heavy bomber was unrivaled in the early stages of the war, as the Central Powers had no comparable aircraft until much later. Long range bombing raids were carried out at night by multi-engine biplanes such as the Gotha G. IV whose name was synonymous with all multi-engine German bombers and later the Handley Page Type O ; the majority of bombing was done by single-engined biplanes with one or two crew members flying short distances to attack enemy lines and immediate hinterland.
As the effectiveness of a bomber was dependent on the weight and accuracy of its bomb load, ever larger bombers were developed starting in World War I, while considerable money was spent developing suitable bombsights.
With engine power as a major limitation, combined with the desire for accuracy and other operational factors, bomber designs tended to be tailored to specific roles. By the start of the war this included:. Bombers are not intended to attack other aircraft although most were fitted with defensive weapons. World War II saw the beginning of the widespread use of high speed bombers which dispensed with defensive weapons to be able to attain higher speed, such as with the de Havilland Mosquito , a philosophy that continued with many Cold War bombers.
Some smaller designs have been used as the basis for night fighters , and a number of fighters, such as the Hawker Hurricane were used as ground attack aircraft, replacing earlier conventional light bombers that proved unable to defend themselves while carrying a useful bomb load. At the start of the Cold War, bombers were the only means of carrying nuclear weapons to enemy targets, and had the role of deterrence.
With the advent of guided air-to-air missiles, bombers needed to avoid interception. High-speed and high-altitude flying became a means of evading detection and attack. Designs such as the English Electric Canberra could fly faster or higher than contemporary fighters. When surface-to-air missiles became capable of hitting high-flying bombers, bombers were flown at low altitudes to evade radar detection and interception. Once "stand off" nuclear weapon designs were developed, bombers did not need to pass over the target to make an attack; they could fire and turn away to escape the blast.
Nuclear strike aircraft were generally finished in bare metal or anti-flash white to minimize absorption of thermal radiation from the flash of a nuclear explosion. The need to drop conventional bombs remained in conflicts with non-nuclear powers, such as the Vietnam War or Malayan Emergency.
The development of large strategic bombers stagnated in the later part of the Cold War because of spiraling costs and the development of the Intercontinental ballistic missile ICBM — which was felt to have similar deterrent value while being impossible to intercept.
Because of this, the United States Air Force XB Valkyrie program was cancelled in the early s; the later B-1B Lancer and B-2 Spirit aircraft entered service only after protracted political and development problems. Their high cost meant that few were built and the s-designed Bs are projected to remain in use until the s. Similarly, the Soviet Union used the intermediate-range TuM 'Backfire'in the s, but their Mach 3 bomber project stalled. The Mach 2 Tu 'Blackjack' was built only in tiny numbers, leaving the s Tupolev Tu and Tu 'Bear' heavy bombers to continue being used into the 21st century.
The British strategic bombing force largely came to an end when the V bomber force was phased out; the last of which left service in The only other nation that fields strategic bombing forces is China , which has a number of Xian H-6s. At present, the U. A USAF report calls for the US bomber fleet to remain in service until the late s-early s, and the B is scheduled to reach deployment in the s.
The B, however, required to provide an answer to the fifth generation defense systems such as SA Growlers , bistatic radar and active electronically scanned array radar.
Also, it has been chosen to be able to stand against rising superpowers and other countries with semi-advanced military capability. Finally, a third reason is the role of long-term air support for areas with a low threat level Iraq, Afghanistan , the latter referred to as close air support for the global war on terror CAS for GWOT. The B would thus be able to stay for extended periods on a same location called persistence. Occasionally, military aircraft have been used to bomb ice jams with limited success as part of an effort to clear them.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Bomber disambiguation. Carpet bombing and Strategic bomber. A German He bomber. How an Italian pilot began the air war era".
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