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View Full Version : Airship versus A-bomb: photo. Also wartime bombing simulator.



major_setback
09-04-2008, 04:41 AM
It sounds strange, but here it is:

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y129/major-setback/album%202/plumbbob-stokes-blimp.jpg


From:

Here (http://images.google.se/imgres?imgurl=http://airminded.org/wp-content/img/misc/vickers-bygrave.jpg&imgrefurl=http://airminded.org/category/quotes/&h=799&w=612&sz=290&hl=sv&start=116&um=1&usg=__h_lJm8wbTE9SXeA5IYlFc9gXQzE=&tbnid=ScUW1DweYRYDGM:&tbnh=143&tbnw=110&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dweathered%2Bstuka%26start%3D108%26nds p%3D18%26um%3D1%26hl%3Dsv%26sa%3DN)


Fromm the same blogg:

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y129/major-setback/album%202/vickers-bygrave.jpg

"The above drawing (click to enlarge), which appeared in the 3 May 1934 issue of Flight, depicts an ingenious bombing simulator manufactured by Vickers-Armstrongs "” the Vickers-Bygrave Bombing Teacher. The basic idea is that an image of the area around a bomb target (which is printed on a glass plate) is projected onto the floor, scrolling along to represent the flight of the simulated aeroplane at 8000 or 9000 ft. The bomb aimer peers down at the image through a bomb sight, and sends course corrections to the pilot, who alters the flight path in response. An electro-mechanical linkage then moves the glass plate accordingly.

When the pupil has calculated the direction and force of the wind and has sighted on the target, he throws a switch which represents the bomb release. A device times an interval, equal to the time taken by the bomb to reach the ground, and at the end of this period the movement of the "ground" is stopped. Painted on the floor is a fixed "trail point," which marks the point on which a correctly aimed bomb should drop. Any error may be seen by the difference in the position of the "target" and this fixed trail point.1

Something very similiar seems to have been used by RAF Operational Training Units during the Second World War, though they were then called Air Ministry Bombing Teachers. (Presumably the Air Ministry's in-house version, perhaps improved over the Vickers-Bygrave.) Many former wartime airfields still have their distinctive two-story bombing teacher buildings, for example this one at Waltham. But I don't know how widely such devices were used before the war "” though 601 (Bomber) Squadron of the Auxiliary Air Force, at least, had one in early 1934, according to the article. Given the poor performance of Bomber Command in the early years of the war, one would think that the RAF could certainly have used a few more bombing teachers!

I was thinking that a few bells and whistles could have increased the realism of the Vickers-Bygrave dramatically. For example, dry ice could be used to simulate clouds over the target. You could use a negative, with most of the features painted over, to imitate night bombing. Hydraulics (or manpower!) could be used to buffet the airframe, as in turbulence or anti-aircraft fire (a few firecrackers could help with that too). Not surprisingly, I wasn't the first to have this idea. This interesting site on the history of flight simulation has a page on the Celestial Navigation Trainer (CNT), developed at the RAF's request by the makers of the Link Trainer. Though no mention is made of the Vickers-Bygrave, it's clearly a very similar concept, with the addition of what is effectively a planetarium above, so that the navigator could practice celestial navigation. According to the RAAF (which had one at East Sale), ˜The CNT instructor could introduce bumpy flying conditions, changes of wind, create daylight or nightfall, scurry clouds across the sky, or arrange static to worry the wireless operator'. But development of the CNT was initiated as late as 1939, and the first one didn't come into operation until 1941 or later. (The RAAF's remained in operation until the late 1950s, so it must have been very useful.)

Perhaps it's because, as a Gen Xer, I grew up with simulations in a way that previous generations did not, but it seems incredible to me that it took five years or more to take the basic concept of the Vickers-Bygrave and add substantial degrees of realism to it. (Well, I can't completely exclude the possible that this happened sooner, but I have no evidence for that as yet.) Then again, one of the dangers of simulation is that it can reinforce preconceptions, rather than challenge them: to a large degree simulations simulate what is thought will happen, rather than what will actually happen. In other words, garbage in, garbage out. So, maybe the failure to develop a Celestial Navigation Trainer before 1939 is of a piece with the failure to practice bombing runs under warlike conditions in the same period, and the failure to set up a Bombing Development Unit before the start of the war. If bombing is thought to be easy, then there's no need to train too hard for it. Wartime experience was, of course, the ultimate bombing teacher."

Airmail109
09-04-2008, 09:21 AM
That first picture sums Humanity up

PanzerAce
09-04-2008, 04:49 PM
Originally posted by Aimail101:
That first picture sums Humanity up

How?

leitmotiv
09-04-2008, 06:19 PM
Poor blimp! Sadists!

M2morris
09-04-2008, 06:34 PM
Originally posted by PanzerAce:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Aimail101:
That first picture sums Humanity up

How? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Abuse of technology.


Sensless destruction of an airship.
Like little kids playing with firecrackers.


How much scientific data can be obtained here;

Atom Bomb detonates, blimp is damaged by shock wave.

But I'm sure it goes much deeper than that.

WTE_Galway
09-04-2008, 07:04 PM
You do have to wonder how many of those serviceman standing around the blimp suffered problems in later life from radiation exposure.

jarink
09-04-2008, 07:17 PM
That bombing trainer reminds me of the scene in "Tora! Tora! Tora!" when the Japanese pilots are practicing level bombing in the hangar deck by having crewmen pull a map under the sight.

PanzerAce
09-04-2008, 08:22 PM
Originally posted by M2morris:
Abuse of technology.

Sensless destruction of an airship.
Like little kids playing with firecrackers.

How much scientific data can be obtained here;

Atom Bomb detonates, blimp is damaged by shock wave.

But I'm sure it goes much deeper than that.

How is it abuse of technology? That implies that there is only one way to use a specific technological development, which I don't think you are trying to say. The V2 rocket eventually lead to the space program, etc.

Sensless? They weren't being used anymore for military purposes (and this was the time period that they didn't just sell stuff off to the civvies). They probably hoisted cameras, sensors, etc in the gondola.

Firecrackers? I guess you're anti nuke in general then. I guess I don't see how the most powerful weapon system physics has shown to be possible, short of any potential AM bomb, can be likened to firecrackers.

luftluuver
09-04-2008, 08:36 PM
You all do know that exploding conventional explosives, in a large enough quantity, looks like a nuclear explosion.

Oh and it is not an airship. An airship is of rigid construction. The gas bag looks like a barrage balloon.

berg417448
09-04-2008, 08:44 PM
The article says they were testing to see how an airship employed on anti-submarine duties (still used in the 1960s) would fare after dropping a nuclear depth charge.

M2morris
09-04-2008, 09:14 PM
Originally posted by PanzerAce:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by M2morris:
Abuse of technology.

Sensless destruction of an airship.
Like little kids playing with firecrackers.

How much scientific data can be obtained here;

Atom Bomb detonates, blimp is damaged by shock wave.

But I'm sure it goes much deeper than that.

How is it abuse of technology? That implies that there is only one way to use a specific technological development, which I don't think you are trying to say. The V2 rocket eventually lead to the space program, etc.

Sensless? They weren't being used anymore for military purposes (and this was the time period that they didn't just sell stuff off to the civvies). They probably hoisted cameras, sensors, etc in the gondola.

Firecrackers? I guess you're anti nuke in general then. I guess I don't see how the most powerful weapon system physics has shown to be possible, short of any potential AM bomb, can be likened to firecrackers. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


What I had in mind there was the blimp being ****ed up by the nuke. I had no intention of stepping into a confrontation about nuclear technology and I am now regretting ever responding to this thread.
However,
I figured that it was a waste of technical know-how to see what an A- bomb can do to a ****in blimp.
Okay, so the blimp may have been used as a camera carrier/observation platform. I can understand that, as it was sacrificed in the process.
As far as me being anti-nuke;
I would like to turn some areas of this world into glazed-over parking lots.


If this catches your hair on fire with rage, well thats your problem. Find a fire extinguisher.

leitmotiv
09-04-2008, 09:54 PM
Thet thar is a USN K series blimp---WWII-era.

PanzerAce
09-05-2008, 09:54 AM
Originally posted by M2morris:

As far as me being anti-nuke;
I would like to turn some areas of this world into glazed-over parking lots.


If this catches your hair on fire with rage, well thats your problem. Find a fire extinguisher.

In that case, my apologies, I read to much into your post. Anyone that likes glass parking lots is OK in my book http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

MB_Avro_UK
09-05-2008, 11:24 AM
Very interesting http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

But I disagree with this from your post:


Given the poor performance of Bomber Command in the early years of the war, one would think that the RAF could certainly have used a few more bombing teachers!

The poor performance of Bomber Commands bombing accuracy at night in the early years of WW2
was simply because they couldn't find the targets.

They used 'dead reckoning' navigation as they had no navigational aids at that time.

Dead Reackoning calculations involved:

1) A map.
2) A pencil.
3) A slide-rule.
4) A stop-watch.
5) Plus unknown wind speeds from unknown directions.


Therefore, a minority of bombs were lucky to fall within 5 or 10 miles of the target! The rest of the bombs frightened the sheep!


Best Regards,
MB_Avro.

M2morris
09-05-2008, 02:18 PM
Originally posted by PanzerAce:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by M2morris:

As far as me being anti-nuke;
I would like to turn some areas of this world into glazed-over parking lots.


If this catches your hair on fire with rage, well thats your problem. Find a fire extinguisher.

In that case, my apologies, I read to much into your post. Anyone that likes glass parking lots is OK in my book http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

My apoligies too, Its not like me to talk like that to people on this forum. It must have been the beer talking.

PanzerAce
09-05-2008, 05:07 PM
That reminds me, I need to finish off some more of the Sierra 25th anniversary ale. Good stuff there.