The Terrifying Physics of WWII Dive Bombing

The Terrifying Physics of WWII Dive Bombing | World War Wings Videos

YouTube / Smithsonian Channel

The Art of Dive Bombing

The strategy of dive bombing is crucial in Naval aviation during World War II, and a primary tool for that is the SBD Dauntless dive bomber.  

YouTube / Smithsonian Channel

According to Hill Goodspeed from the National Aviation Museum, “The theory was, with a ship maneuvering on the surface, it’s almost impossible to drop a bomb from a high altitude.” 

YouTube / Smithsonian Channel

From 20,000 feet, a carrier is just a speck in the ocean, and hitting it with a free-falling bomb would almost be impossible. However, during a dive, pilots can adjust their aim on the fly, releasing their bombs at 1,500 feet for a much better shot. Pilots usually dive at 275 miles an hour toward their target, keeping an eye on the bomb scope. 

It definitely takes a lot of skill and nerve!

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