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The action of dropping bombs from an aircraft with the purpose of hitting a target.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



one of the main forms of military aviation activity, which involves striking various targets with aerial bombs dropped from aircraft and airborne devices. The theory of bombing is based on the ballistics of aerial bombs, the theory of aiming, and the theory of effectiveness and precision bombing. Bombing was carried out for the first time in Russia in 1911 in maneuvers of the St. Petersburg, Warsaw, and Kiev military districts. The first use of bombing in a combat situation dates back to the Italo-Turkish War of 1911–12. At the beginning of World War I (1914–1918) bombing was episodic in character, but in 1916 it began to be used on a comparatively wide scale by the major belligerents. During World War I, Russian military aviation was armed with Il’ia Muromets ships (heavy bombers), which were equipped with aiming devices for bombing (bomb sights developed by Tolmachev, Stechkin, Ivanov, Naumov, and others). In World War II (1939–45) bombing was used on a large scale in the land and sea theaters of operations both on frontline targets as well as on administrative-political and economic objectives. The theoretical principles of bombing were expounded for the first time in the works of N. E. Zhukovskii (1915–16). Of great importance for the future development of bombing were the works of other Soviet scientists, for example, the elaboration of bomb ballistics by D. A. Ventsel’, the elaboration of the theory of bombardment by A. I. Ar-buzov, research into precision bombing by N. G. Bruevich, and others.

Bombing is carried out from level flight (Figure 1), in a dive and on coming out of a dive, and from a pitch-up. When bombing from a pitch-up, the bombs can be dropped at pitch-up angles λ that are either smaller or greater than 90*. The greatest precision is achieved when bombing from a dive and on coming out of a dive. When bombing from a pitch-up, the target approach and the target withdrawal take place at a low altitude, which hampers the activities of antiaircraft defenses. By the time the dropped bomb explodes, the plane has had time to retreat to a safe distance even when bombs with powerful charges were used.

Depending on the altitude H, the flight velocity V of the plane, and the bombing methods, the distance L from the

Figure 1. Bombing (A) from level flight, (B) in a dive (a) and on coming out of a dive (b), and (C) from a pitch-up

(λ = angle of trail)

point where the bomb is dropped to the target can vary from dozens of meters to dozens of kilometers.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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