Dive Bombing Lesson
Dive bombing is a very accurate means of delivery for unguided bombs. Gravity and physics
provide 99% of the work, your 1% is to place the bomb (and your aircraft) in a position
above the desired target within the proper release parameters and let it go. Sounds simple,
and it really is.
To be consistently accurate with dive bombing requires practice and a set of release
parameters you try to match each time. These include:
-Altitude of drop
-Angle of dive
-Speed of dive, and
-Proper sighting for release.
The simplest means to dive bomb is a near vertical dive directly over your target from an
altitude of approximately 10K. By chopping your throttle and using dive brakes or maneuver
flaps to slow the acceleration, you will have more time to aim before you need to worry about
If you are in a 90 degree dive, the bomb will basically hit where your center dot on your
gunsight is. Since a 90 degree dive is very difficult, you need to allow for some travel of the
bomb in the vector that your aircraft is traveling. Remember, at the moment of release, the
bomb will share the same physical speed and heading as your aircraft, then gravity will
cause the bomb to slowly change course toward a 90 degree descent.
The closer to 90 degrees that you can release, the less error you need to allow for.
How to Dive Bomb
1. Fly toward the target at 10K level, and arm your bomb or bombs.
2. Invert and watch until the target is almost directly under you and pull into a steep dive.
3. Quickly chop the throttle, and apply dive brakes (V), if available.
4. Align the target without using the rudders if at all possible. Any additional vector forces
you apply to the aircraft will effect the bomb as well, so avoid additional inputs.
5. At approximately 5K, have the desired target in the lower edge of the gunsight, and if
your dive is 60 degrees or greater you will be able to drop at this altitude with a strong
likelihood of scoring a hit. I prefer to drop between 3 and 5K to avoid any damage from the
blast of the bomb. At a bare minimum you should allow 500 feet for a 500 pounder and 1K
for a 1,000 pounder.
6. Once you release, immediately begin your pull out and reapply power. Be aware of AAA
as you will now be nearing the AAA envelope.
7. Don't forget to rearm guns :)
For shallow dives, you will need to judge your planes speed versus the altitude to
compute the proper release point. The higher the speed, the longer the bomb will resist
gravity and carry further horizontally.