View Full Version : Dunno why this didnt occur to me before : comparison of approaches for skip bomb runs

05-06-2007, 03:02 PM

It occured to me only today that by approaching a ship for a skip bomb run at wave top height that the gunners may lose accuracy due to having to depress their guns so much. Then I considered that by starting your low level approach too far out, you are probably alleviating this problem for the gunners.

So eventually I got to thinking about reducing exposure to fire in skip bomb attacks. And as Im sure many of you came to realise long ago, bow and stern approaches reduce the risk of being hit. I made this quick demo to show this :


The aircraft is a P-47 making runs from 1000m and 110% throttle onto an IJN generic battleship with ROF=1.0, I have made each run from the same distance from the target.

I also tested attacks from the stern, which had the same results as the attacks from the bow shown here. Additionally I carried out oblique attack from the ships 315 degrees and 135 degrees, these had much the same results as the side-on runs demonstrated here. So in effect I tried eight attack approaches for wave top skip bomb attacks.

Six of these reulted in 100% fatality. Only the bow and stern approaches resulted in any sort of 'potentially survivable' outcome. Two of the bow-on attacks resulted in only fuel leaks which I take to mean I could have RTB'd. the other three really are 'potentially survivable'.

By potentially survivable I mean having enough speed to gain enough altitude to be able to glide/fly to an area of relative safety, or minimal risk of detection by the enemy.

I decided that in the interest of increasing survivability a bow-on approach was preferable to a stern-on approach for two reasons.

1) Attacking from the bow creates a 'combined speed' effect thus minimising the time in the firing line (although you have less time to aim)

2) If your aircraft suffers damage, the combined speed effect will maximise your distance from the enemy and thus enable evasion.

These thinkings are of course my usual mixture of RL and Il-2 thinking, so please excuse any errors or ommisions.


05-06-2007, 05:00 PM
There's a very good 'how to' video on this topic complete with commentary available on Dart's site.

05-06-2007, 05:02 PM
In addition to that information if you can constantly vary your vector while on the attack approach in three dimensions then you can minimize your chances of being bracketed and hit by the gunners. So if your changing altitude, heading, and speed...also if you're thinking about the planes attitude and how much area you're presenting to the enemy then you gain all sorts of small advantages that start to add up.

05-06-2007, 06:30 PM
Ive found on battlestations midway coming in about 6 feet above sea level whilst side slipping stops me from getting hit by any Human gunners.

However I found it best to come in from the side as the human operated gunners find it hard to track me properly. Dead six is like going dead siz against a bomber.

However I cant say for AI operated ships in FB

05-06-2007, 07:33 PM
Never fly straight at them.

Come in high and dive getting speed then weave on aproach, but not so much you loose your speed, but enough the guns are shooting behind you, skip bombs into the bow and it will take less tonage to sink them.

Oh and yes getting low once close enough throws off their aim too.

Dart made a nice tuterial on it awhile back, as mentioned.

05-06-2007, 10:30 PM
I like to sideslip (aka skidding) in the B-25. It's a little tricky to master (especially low) but seems to work well.

Kick your rudder to one side or the other and hold it there. Then apply opposite aileron to keep the plane level without actually turning. Alternate left and right rudder to zig-zag while keeping the nose pointed towards the ship.

IMHO, this improves your accuracy significantly and makes it harder for the enemy to anticipate your approach path.

Helps with those nasty little bogies on your six also.

05-06-2007, 10:42 PM
Wherethe%#@!!! have you been CM? Figured you had hit Mt Suribachi in your PBJ and distributed yourself---

05-07-2007, 02:51 AM

Ive been to Darts pages before, but never ran across that one, so cheers http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

As for the bow hits being more effective T_O_A_D, I didnt think that was the case. I thought the simplified ship damage model splits the ships into three sections and each section takes the same level of damage from any given bomb?


05-07-2007, 04:48 AM
Did you actually drop any bombs on those passes Hanglands? Or were they just approaches?

I'd like to see more about skip-bombing.

05-07-2007, 06:39 AM
Build a test mission with unlimited ammo and air spawn, put several ships near the spawn area, make them friendly so they wont shoot you down.

The skip bomb them in the bow till they sink, count the lbs of bombs you took to sink it.

Now do the same thing and skip bomb them in the center, and count then the stern and count.

In my testing the the Bow is the weak link.

How to skip bomb


How to take on big ships

and many more all located here

05-07-2007, 09:24 AM
Watching this video, I wonder who in their right mind would skip bomb irl...

Maybe the safety comes from numbers...
skip bombing with 7 airplanes at once and a few will get through...

Still seems like pure suicide though...

05-07-2007, 09:44 AM
Im afraid Im going to have to respectfully disagree with you on this one TOAD.

I set up mission like the one you suggested, with a 109 G-2 armed with infinate SC-250s. These were skipped into the Tirpitz at the bow, mid section, and stern.

On each occasion the area being attacked started to smoke after six hits, and after eight the ship sank.

Excuse the bad editing here. Recorded at X4 speed.

http://i105.photobucket.com/albums/m203/ChickenHawk_2006/th_SkipBomb.jpg (http://s105.photobucket.com/albums/m203/ChickenHawk_2006/?action=view&current=SkipBomb.flv)

I did a couple of other tests a while back, comparing different loads on anti shipping strikes. Find that stuff here : http://www.geocities.com/hanglands/page8.html

@ GreyKnight, no I didt drop any bombs, it was just a quick test on approaches really. Check the tutorials recommended earlier in the thread at Darts Il2 Pages.

@ DooDah, Suicideal it maybe, but it was definately a tactic used. Check http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skip_bombing I also have a book saying Hurricanes used it against German coastal defence vessels.

Regards all.

05-07-2007, 10:45 AM
Originally posted by leitmotiv:
Wherethe%#@!!! have you been CM? Figured you had hit Mt Suribachi in your PBJ and distributed yourself---

Practicing my dive bombing...

We're still in the middle of a growth spurt. New warehouses and factories popping up all over. Big one in Tijuana. PBX upgrades, yadda, yadda, yadda.

I'm home for now. Just finished up a couple of warehouses but I'll be gone again soon...thank God for contractors...at least the ones I hire (govt. contractors...different critter).

But I've kept my hand in...flying Ol' Bessy...lurking on the forums. What little spare time I have I've spent working on an historically accurate PBJ campaign (well...with a smidgeon of artistic license).

Slow going but it keeps me sane...

y tu?

05-07-2007, 12:50 PM
Historically speaking, I don't believe skip bombing was used against large armored warships, like BB's and CA's. The bomb probably wouldn't have been able to pierce the side hull armor on these ships. I think it was mostly used against merchants. Not to mention the nearly suicidal run into the target against every gun on the ship. From the front, IRL, it think the angle of the bow would have deflected the bomb away even if it could penetrate and it is a much smaller target aspect.

05-07-2007, 01:43 PM
Originally posted by Hanglands:
Im afraid Im going to have to respectfully disagree with you on this one TOAD.

Well super you tested it, my testing was done long ago, in an older version, and I have just remained with the practice. I also never tried the Tirpits, I was more in tune to sinking carriers.

The only reason I could come up with on the Bow being weaker, was the simple fact its narrower up there and the explosion could damage both sides, with the DM built into this game.

In real life I would have no idea, short, I too would assume skip bombing a heavy would be nothing more than a suicide run.

Another thing in my testing was I use US naval aircraft, or Japanese, I've never tested EF stuff this way, but have skipped plenty of the EF bombs into ships regardless.

The best thing here is you tested it and now we are all the wiser for it. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

05-07-2007, 02:05 PM
Originally posted by T_O_A_D:
we are all the wiser

... And thats what its all about.

I chose the 109/SC250 and the Tirpitz totally at random, I assume it applies to all loadouts and ship types.

I sometimes toy with the though of actually testing common ships and loadouts to find out exactly what is needed to do the job, but that kind of testing gets really boring.

I see your point about the bow being narrow and the bomb damage being concentrated in a smaller area. It would also be great if the damage model of ships in any future sims were enhanced so that rudder and screw damage was included if you hit the stern.