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Member # 4745

posted 11-20-2000 07:22 AM     Profile for warthog   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I got a ride in an F-4E back in 1989 and haven't thought much about it until now, not counting the fact it was a GREAT ride, I'll have to tell Y'all about it some day!

Anyway, we did a pop-up attack on a simulated control tower in Crow Valley (local bombing range). We rode the valleys at high speed and pulled up over a mountain range, from what I remember about a 30-40 degrees pull-up, rolled inverted to find the target through the top of the canopy, pulled the nose over the top, rolled wing level, and attacked the tower.

Now that I play flight sims this has brought up some questions in my mind. The main one is how did aircrews find and attack the proper target before the use of modern day avionics? I know today with things like terrain mapping, optical target designation, and highly accurate INS systems they can overlay a way- point onto the desired target or find it optically but, was this available during the Vietnam War era? Also what if you get called in for an emergency CAS situation and you have no target loaded into the aircraft systems? USAF the game I play most has the nice feature called "target view" (F-4) but I know this is not available to a real aircrew!

I have played Flacon4 a little (don't have the time to learn it) and know that it has a CCRP mode, can this mode be used to attack undesignated targets and was this mode available to the F-4/F105? Would this mode be used in the pop-up attack situation we simulated? Thanks in advance for any responses.

Posts: 128 | From: Hill AFB Ut. | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged
Member # 275

posted 11-20-2000 10:55 AM     Profile for Envelope   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
warthog, actually these are problems presented to the single seat combat since WWII and before. Consider the Stuka; a fixed gear pioneer. A bomber really, never intended for serious air to air. As far as I know - no bomb sites at all. And this was typical through out WWII, you just had to judge right and figure that the kill zone of the ordinance was always sufficient to do the job. Even heavy bombing from planes like the B-17 took a certain amount of dedicated calculation untile Norden bombsite came along. Imagine what these planes could have done with just the undesignated targeting available in modern jet fighters.

But you are talking about actually finding a target. I have no real experience but even now I can guess that there is no substitute for knowing where you are at. Even in the flight sims like F4 you have access to a lot of intelligence and maps to look at so that you can anticipate targets just by having a basic idea of what is going on in the area you anticipate being in and always knowing where that is. -Good, old fashioned compass navigation, eyeballing the ground and identifying landmarks. Practically speaking the next mission over the area will have even better information than you because of your paying attention to what is going on. This is all basic and must be happening whether you are assigned targets or have to find them on your on, I am sure.

Posts: 2057 | From: Davis, CA, USA | Registered: Sep 1999  |  IP: Logged
Member # 153

posted 11-20-2000 12:13 PM     Profile for JimG   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
The F-105 had some type of navigation system...I remember reading info on it in the book "Thud Ridge". Apparently it wasn't too reliable, but it seemed to work OK in concert with recon photos & maps. During WWII, there were planes that used radar to find their targets at night (British), while the USAAF used visual and instrument cues to find their targets. This type of bombing was crude carpet bombing, but generally they were able to find their targets.
Even with the F-117, the pilot uses a combination of electronic navigation and visual sighting. In order for the laser desiginator to be used, the pilot has to visually see the target. Once again, maps and recon photos are very important. The exception to this is the use of the JDAM, which uses the GPS system to navigate the bomb. In this case, the bomber only has to get within a certain "basket" range and then release the bomb. The bomb then navigates on its' own. This is what makes the B-2 such a scary can carry up to 16-2000lb JDAMS and can drop them at night regardless of weather or other conditions.

Posts: 1012 | From: Columbia, S.C. | Registered: Sep 1999  |  IP: Logged

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