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Re: Why is the F-35 replacing the A-10?

Unread postPosted: 08 Dec 2018, 14:21
by tailchase
spazsinbad wrote:I'll bite. Give me the URL that says a 'Norden Bombsight' was in RAAF Canberra bombers please. Thanks.

I asked (hence the question mark), not claimed. Thx for detailed answers.

Re: Why is the F-35 replacing the A-10?

Unread postPosted: 08 Dec 2018, 14:56
by spazsinbad
'tailchase' perhaps if you would be less cryptic your 'question' could not be misunderstood. Thanks everyone for all the input. The RAAF Canberra Bomb Sight maintainer saying 'T-4' is the best clue - a pity that comment was not expanded.
RAAF Base Amberley Oral History Recording
24 Sep 2015 George Hatchman - Warrant Officer (Retired). Historian. 23 Squadron Association

" job was to maintain the serviceability and the accuracy of the T-4 bomb sites [SIGHTS] to support the Canberra bombing and training programs...."

Source: ... cripts.pdf (0.5Mb)

I've asked the question on another forum; awaiting probably a definitive answer now, waiting.... waiting.... roger standby.

So near and yet so far... no detail of bomb sight mentioned but GREEN SATIN mentioned so that perhaps is another clue.
Aircrew: RAAF Vietnam Canberra Navigator
01 Oct 2012 Group Captain John ‘Bushy’ Bushell, RAAF (Ret)

"...The Crew & Tools
RAAF Canberras were operated by a two man crew: a pilot who flew it all the way - since there was no autopilot; and a navigator who did just about everything else. The nav had a Martin Baker Mk 1 ejection seat towards the port side behind the pilot’s seat. To his right was a radio rack that housed the HF radio, the Green Satin Doppler controller and the ground position indicator Mk IV. Ahead of his folding nav table was an instrument panel mounting the G4B compass master indicator, altimeter, airspeed indicator, DME, outside air temperature, ADF, and the air position indicator. To his left were the ADF controller, IFF controller and of course the hatch jettison switch. Not to forget the small window carefully positioned so that the view was minimal. As well as the den in the back the nav also spent time in the nose where the bomb sight was positioned. On the starboard wall were found a number of other panels that were the province of the nav, since the pilot could not reach them, including the 12/24 Way bombing selection and control panel and the electrical control panel for AC power. The DC power controls were on yet another panel on the port side of the nav’s route from his navigating position to his bomb aiming position. A long oxygen tube and intercom lead was provided for the nav when down the nose or moving around the aircraft...."

JPG: Canberra Bomber Nose mounted in the Australian War Memorial, Canberra (JPG in the article) ... berra4.jpg

Source: http://vintageaeroplanewriter.blogspot. ... gator.html

Re: Why is the F-35 replacing the A-10?

Unread postPosted: 08 Dec 2018, 15:47
by spazsinbad

Re: Why is the F-35 replacing the A-10?

Unread postPosted: 08 Dec 2018, 17:00
by hythelday
Let's try to keep this at least remotely on topic of F-35s, A-10s, Gatling guns and CAS, shall we?

Re: Why is the F-35 replacing the A-10?

Unread postPosted: 08 Dec 2018, 17:57
by blindpilot
hythelday wrote:Let's try to keep this at least remotely on topic of F-35s, A-10s, Gatling guns and CAS, shall we?

Due to the joint force nature of F-35 CAS, these videos show the potential language barriers, such as whatever "keen as mustard" means in Australian. :shrug: Thus we have a context for the fused data displays used by F-35 in CAS. :shock: :ontopic:

Hope that helps bring it home. :D


Re: Why is the F-35 replacing the A-10?

Unread postPosted: 08 Dec 2018, 19:13
by Gums
Salute hythelday!

There's plenty of meat in these last two pages about CAS and weapons and weapon delivery methods/capabilities and missions. Much directly applies to the Hawg, even if it now as a more capable weapon delivery system than the original model.

The Hawg isn't just about CAS or the gun. It's the lowest rung on the tactical aircraft ladder of high to low as far as capability and flexibility is concerned. But we still have some folks think of CAS as the A-1 down in the weeds strafing, or the Huns dropping snake and bake loads on a rice paddy. Further, the Hawg was supposed to have other missions besides CAS - battlefield air interdiction, armed recce, convoy escort/cover and real interdiction. Let's compare the Stubbie with the Hawg on those, huh?
.Before we leave the old days, the B-57 article has several lines about the various missions, although it did fly CAS for a while. Yours truly flew all of these same missions in combat in two aircraft types, so I feel qualified to comment. The B-57's also flew the night interdiction mission,, but not pointed out in the article. Funny, cause that was its claim to fame after the first year or so, and I saw them in action several nights.

Convoy cover/escort would be a good one for the Hawg, depending on the terrain. Stubbie could have trouble in heavy forest, but would be better in the sand box. It could also cover airborne formations of transports like the Ranch Hand spray birds or rescue helos or Ospreys.

learned that a South Vietnamese truck column had been ambushed and the lead truck was on fire. They were awaiting the arrival of a gunship, but they were in dire straights, so we rolled over and went down to help.

As the C-123s sprayed the jungle in echelon, the Canberras would spiral back and forth across the top of them. Each bomber, in turn, would have the area immediately ahead of the ‘Ranch Hands’ in his gunsight so any enemy ground fire could be neutralized immediately.

Gums sends...

P.S. The 8th Squadron was the last USAF in-country CAS unit and left in October 1972. It was flying the A-37 Dragonfly!!!
And for a glimpse of the night missions the B-57's flew and where I also encountered the Doom Pussy, this is from our Dragonfly book:

Re: Why is the F-35 replacing the A-10?

Unread postPosted: 09 Dec 2018, 04:13
by spazsinbad
In a few days we will know more about RAAF Canberra bomb sights:
"...images of the bombsight, computor & associated controls on Tuesday & post them. "Yes Computor". The T4 was a follow on from the T1 (Lancaster) & from what I can see the T2 was fitted to early Canberras then upgraded to T4."

Re: Why is the F-35 replacing the A-10?

Unread postPosted: 09 Dec 2018, 16:33
by aussiebloke
In the meantime:

T1 was the American built (Sperry) version of the Mk XIV British designed optical bombsight. "Further development of the MkXlV sight in Britain appears to have been based on the T1 series of bombsights rather than the British version.
The T2 and T4 sights were developed and manufactured in Britain after the war for later aircraft and often installed in conjunction with radar devices. With the T2 the effective height range was increased to 600-25,000 ft, a speed range of 150-350 knots and a wind speed of 90 knots. The higher wind speed was to allow for the jet stream at greater heights.

It now seems that MkXlV was the name universally used by RAF and Commonwealth Air Bombers for the bomb sight and most were unaware of the T1 version. However, the version most readily found today in museums and in private collections will be that of the T1 and its derivatives."

"The [Mk XlV ] bombsight consisted of a computer cabinet mounted to the left of the Air Bomber and a stabilised sighting head with optical graticule. The sight was one of the first practical uses for a mechanical computer and Babbage would have been proud of it."

That the T-4 was used on the RAAF Canberras appears to be confirmed by this:
The reference to a Mark 8 bombsight is a mystery to me at least.

The other possibility is that the RAAF bombsight was the T-2:
"for the B2 production aircraft the cockpit was redesigned to accommodate two navigators sitting side by side behind the pilot with provision for visual bombing, using a T2 bombsight with the bomb aimer lying in the nose." ... he_RAF.pdf

The B2 was the initial RAF production version of the Canberra. "The Australian Canberra was based on the British B.2 version but with provision for increased internal fuel capacity in a redesigned wing leading edge, a revised radio suite and a reduction in crew from three to two – pilot and navigator/bomb aimer." ... s2/A84.htm

"The [RAAF] Canberras achieved their proud level of effectiveness and efficiency using a World War II bombsight and, initially, WW II bombs." ... ra-dgc.pdf

To sum up it is likely that the RAAF Canberras used one or both of the improved variants of the Mk XIV bombsight - the T-2 and/or the T-4 version. The differences between these two probably lay in the mechanical computer. It may be though, as in WWII and the T-1 bombsight, that the bombsight, no matter what version, was generally referred to as the Mk XIV in the RAF and the RAAF.

Re: Why is the F-35 replacing the A-10?

Unread postPosted: 09 Dec 2018, 19:15
by spazsinbad
Many Thanks for all that 'aussiebloke' especially with all the links (which I will now read). :applause:

From 'Victoria Museum' the front panel then innards of the 'computor' (with many other views at the above link):
"Electro-Mechanical Computor - H & B Precision Engineers, Type-T4, Bombsight, Manchester, Great Britain, circa 1959 Photographer: Matilda Vaughan; Source: Museums Victoria

Re: Why is the F-35 replacing the A-10?

Unread postPosted: 10 Dec 2018, 00:21
by Gums

Wow! All those knobs and rollers and doofers.

I am glad that to "go manual" I just cranked down the pipper to "x" mils for a planned release angle, speed and altitude, then compensate for drift and pickle when "it looked bout right'. 'course, had to hit parameters fairly close, then rely on experience and adjustments, heh heh. Lots different later by just flying the"death dot" to the tgt and pickle.

Gums sends...

Re: Why is the F-35 replacing the A-10?

Unread postPosted: 11 Dec 2018, 00:41
by spazsinbad
Text via e-mail from RAAF Canberra pilot about the T-4/T4 bombsight in use from his pilot perspective (not Navigator).
"The old Canberra was fitted with a T4 Bombsight. The sight was intended for use at altitude, and the collimator was adapted for low level ops. It proved very accurate in level flight and was preferred by allies for close air support for that reason. As a pilot I did not get to operate it, but I did practice dive bombing with a ‘china graph’ mark on the canopy at Evans Head range; it was a reasonable delivery method with a couple of DHs. Alas I never did any pilot deliveries in Vietnam.

In bombing operations with the T4 sight, the navigator called the pilot to make minor corrections to heading with left, right and steady calls and the nav released the bombs. The nav skill was underrated by many, in that these guys used their reading of terrain slope and wind effect deviations and the speed of moving targets in their correction calls and the eventual ‘pickle’. No other method was as accurate at the time. Much respect from me for their skills. The Squadron was well thought of for the consistent accuracy and reliability, and was honoured by the USA with presidential citations."

Re: Why is the F-35 replacing the A-10?

Unread postPosted: 12 Dec 2018, 11:16
by tailchase
Very interesting. Thank you.

Re: Why is the F-35 replacing the A-10?

Unread postPosted: 14 Dec 2018, 03:13
by lbk000
Gums wrote:Stubbie could have trouble in heavy forest, but would be better in the sand box.

Hi Gums, would you mind elaborating on your thoughts on this? It would seem to me that difficult environments like jungle would only favor broader spectrum sensors more.

Re: Why is the F-35 replacing the A-10?

Unread postPosted: 14 Dec 2018, 06:17
by Gums
Salute LB !

My rationale is that heavy vegetation is harder on almost all sensors than the desert. Plus, zipping along fast or hanging high limits the time to allow the sensors to acquire tgts in the bushes/trees. And I don't think the Hawg would do any better, and most likely worse.

The typical ambush we saw doing the convoy cover would have the bad guys off the road or river and well concealed. Radar would be useless unless using a technique I'll get to later. EO ? Not good, and eyeballs prolly as good. The IR spectrum might be a bit better than the old black and white EO, but not nearly as effective than when used in the desert or mountain type terrain.

For short runs and with a 4-ship, we could run a racetrack around the vehicles or helos ( CSAR and insertion/extraction). So we had RX or strafe on the bad guys within seconds. We could not do that for real long runs due to gas, so we would have another flight come in and trade off. For lower threat areas we would orbit up at medium altitude.

Anyway, that's the way I see it now nd saw it then.

Oh yeah, the possible technique to help.

Ever hear of a gated laser or IR illuminator? Might also work with very short wavelength radar like the MMW thing the Apache has for Longbow. The AC-130's fooled around with this at the end when on the Trail and claimed it helped a lot to find poorly covered trucks and guns, ................... and people.

You pulse the illuminator- IR, laser or MMW radar. Pretty much like we have been doing for the radar since WW2. But we do not "bite" on the first part of the return. With the new timing circuits we have, like GPS stuff, we can look for returns a nanosecond or two or twenty after that initial hit. The Spectre guys told us that it was like "x-ray" eyes and could see thru light vegetation for a few feet.

Gums opines...

Re: Why is the F-35 replacing the A-10?

Unread postPosted: 14 Dec 2018, 07:16
by boilermaker
It is such stupid hype to talk about the F35 replacing the Hawg. The arm forces could instead think in terms of replacing both the Apache and the Hawg with a tilt rotor or fan-jet type gunship. Trying to stretch down the F35 to a Hawg or the Apache up to fill for the Hawg is the approach of bean counters, not that of battle oriented people who can think.

At this rate indeed, bring back the Cambera or the Hunter to replace the Hawg...