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Attacking bombers

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What’s the best tactics on shooting down bombers in this sim?

I seem to always get hit,I try dive tactics getting in fast and putting distance away from bomber but I always seem to get hit.

What distance do you set your guns when attacking?

Now I seem too fire at a safe distance,use my ammo hope for lucky hits and go home still in one piece!

Are the gunner pilots in single player realistic,as far as shooting at enemy fighters?

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Diving on bombers with rear gunners is a tricky thing to get right because as you approach the target in a constant dive from their 6-12 line you are stationary as far as the gunner is concerned.

 

To execute a safe pass, you need to think of your movement relative to the barrel of his gun. The more adjustment needed, the harder it becomes to aim a good shot.

 

As a rule of thumb, try to figure out the blind spots where the gunner cannot go. Assuming defensive armament is present on both top and bottom hemispheres, a safe shot is to come in 500-1000m above, some 500m behind and 300m to either side of the target. Dive parallel to it and watch the gunner try to track you. Once you're almost passing the bomber, turn hard towards it and fire a good burst that hits along its length. That way you'll score hits near the cockpit, wing fuel tanks, engines and fuselage where the gunners are. Most of those won't be critical, but you only need one of those to be severely damaged to complicate the enemy's life.

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I set my convergence to 350m but it's all personal preference. I try and balance an effective range to get ballistic momentum (energy impact) on armoured surfaces and the ability to hit fast moving small targets at close range (fighters). Use quick missions to experiment with varying convergence distances against various target types and find out what suits YOU.

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Diving frontal attack in something that packs plenty of cannons is the only way I've managed to take out bombers and survive (mostly).

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If you look at real WW2 guncam footage most of them show attacks like you are doing ie  fire at extreme range then dodge violently.  The Hollywood style 'come in at medium closing speed on the 6 and take them apart as you pass' is just Hollywood.  Bomber guns are more than cosmetic.   Saying that,  we care less about staying alive in a game so take more risks.  I find the best approach is start from high 2 or 10 out of effective gunner range then make an S shaped attack to fire from high 4 or 8 along the line connecting engines and cockpit.   Climb up on the opposite side and repeat.

Edited by 56RAF_Roblex

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American B 17 bombers claimed to have shot down more German fights than any other type

“Claimed” being the operative word here. Overclaiming by 8th Air Force bomber crews was extreme - for good reason - since there were often dozens of gunners shooting at the same target and little chance of verifying whether a struck fighter was actually destroyed.

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Like lucas said, you don't need to make bomber explode, if you damage him and he turns back and fly home, mission complete. He still can lose all fuel and crash, engine can die etc. No need to risk so much just to get this kill. The more you attack the more risk you take and he can hit you as well.

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Gunners are working fine now.

 

You got to understand that is impossible to a gunner miss an attacking fighter at close range and low differential speed.

 

You can try yourself on quick mission specially if you got a belt fed gun.

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90 degrees straight down from 12 o'clock high. Sniper shots into the cockpit or engine.

 

I saw an interview with a German bomber pilot and he talked about some British fighter pilots who would do that. He said he didn't like it, but found it impressive none the less.

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Like lucas said, you don't need to make bomber explode, if you damage him and he turns back and fly home, mission complete. He still can lose all fuel and crash, engine can die etc. No need to risk so much just to get this kill. The more you attack the more risk you take and he can hit you as well.

The all-important mission kill. If the enemy flies home intact but doesn't bomb your friends, you did good. If you shoot twelve bombers down but they all successfully attack, mission failed.

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The US Navy recommended a frontal attack from above.  It's a bit tricky since it is NOT a head on pass.  You need to be above the target on an opposite course, i would sugesst 500-600m higher. Just before you would pass over the target you roll inverted and dive onto the target from above.  

 

To be honest I have had little luck in the type of attacks you are doing myself and in my research the attack above is what is described.  I got this description from The First Team, Pacific Naval Air Combat from Pearl Harbor to Midway – John B. Lundstrom which I got on google play books, and can read it on my PC.  https://play.google.com/store/books/details/John_B_Lundstrom_The_First_Team?id=oYE4AAAAQBAJ

 

Another attack he describes the High Side Attack as follows: it should be begun from a position 1200 to 1500 feet above the target and 3000 feet ahead and starting from a parallel heading.  You turn towards the enemy, in a dive, as you close the range you turn and fire, then turn and climb so that you set up  on the opposite side for a second attack.  I will try to draw you a diagram and post it shortly.

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Something that has worked for me in other sims even on heavy bombers like the B-17, is a head on low approach and then just before the merge you pull up so the bomber disappears under your nose and then pull the trigger which gives you the needed lead. In this way if you fly something like a Fw-190 which packs a punch the bomber will fly trough a wall of lead and usually you will cause some serious damage. I find this easier than the dead on head attack in which it is easy to either miss or collide. I'm pretty sure the tactic would have worked IRL as well but then I'm sure no sane person without a replay button would pull up in front of a bomber loosing sight of it under the nose but amazingly it works well in the simulator world and you clear the tail quite nicely. ;)

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High Side Attack.

 

The thing to remember is do not let yourself get rushed.  It is tempting to just point your nose at the target and attack.  I do this all too often.  You have to think about what your doing, and set up a proper attack.

 

Sadly you cannot really practice this in the QMB since enemy bombers just circle.

post-90465-0-91639300-1508677186_thumb.jpg

Edited by Mesha44
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Fixed Gunnery Approaches, US Navy, made by Walt Disney.

 

Presented by James "Jimmy" Thatch.

Edited by [CPT]CptJackSparrow
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It sometimes helps to go back to the first world war, where in the beginning, there was no such clear distinction between bomber and fighter.. but it soon became clear that speed to catch and dictate the fight as well as the ability to maneuver into the favourable position to stop the planes doing the main work required a specialized plane: the fighter. It is all about position, speed and armament. The faster the bomber is, the smaller the differential speed, the more the fighter needs to rely on the weakest (and most dangerous) advantage in firepower. The key is to use the safest strength of what makes a fighter a fighter first: superior position. From the element of surprize to hard spotting into the sun over to the fact that the greater the vector difference the harder do the gun solutions get it is all about finding time to position the attacker and the defenders work, as fighter is 90% not in pursuing and shooting down a single fighter but to deny and threaten the positioning of the attacking fighters.

 

 

 

“Claimed” being the operative word here. Overclaiming by 8th Air Force bomber crews was extreme - for good reason - since there were often dozens of gunners shooting at the same target and little chance of verifying whether a struck fighter was actually destroyed.

 

well, but post war analysis of even unescorted raids still shows a high number of fighter losses..  but whole lot of different aspects go into that. From the intercept situation (climbing aft into the emey was least efficent) to lack of pilot training and tons of logistical problems late war for the Luftwaffe. Regardless, I´d say it can be seen as historically proven that the box formations and high defensive armament where somewhat effective and made even unescorted Bomber formations a really tough target, but not tough enough to be in any way sustainable without fighter cover. With fighter cover and the numerical and logistical advantage, the was no way the Luftwaffe could prevail in late war.

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well, but post war analysis of even unescorted raids still shows a high number of fighter losses.. but whole lot of different aspects go into that. From the intercept situation (climbing aft into the emey was least efficent) to lack of pilot training and tons of logistical problems late war for the Luftwaffe. Regardless, I´d say it can be seen as historically proven that the box formations and high defensive armament where somewhat effective and made even unescorted Bomber formations a really tough target, but not tough enough to be in any way sustainable without fighter cover. With fighter cover and the numerical and logistical advantage, the was no way the Luftwaffe could prevail in late war.

Obviously attacking large formations of heavy bombers was risky business. I was just warning against putting any kind of stock in the kill claims of bomber crews.

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Like lucas said, you don't need to make bomber explode, if you damage him and he turns back and fly home, mission complete.

 

How many bombers online do you see turn around after taking damage while still en-route to target. I could probably count on one hand the number of times I've see that happen.

 

As for frontal attacks, well if your already positioned ready for one then sure - but with the size of most online missions, unless you catch a Peshka just after its taken off you probably are only going to get one frontal attack before he is on target. Possibly more for German bombers.

 

My advise, use slashing attacks if you want to reduce the chance you will get hit by the gunners. You are going to need very good gunnery to score hits and unless lady luck is on your side, you are going to need a lot more passes on that bomber to bring it down compared to a "its him or me" attack from direct 6 pouring all your rounds into its backside. Kick in a ton of rudder as you slide past to try get more rounds in on each attack.

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I could say the same about fighters.. today for example I was flying 110 with 2x500 4x50, I was attacked by fighter, he was not good tbh, sit on my tail and I easily hit him multiple times, he was smoking really baldy but also got hit, I dropped all bombs and when he ended up in front of me I hit him once, too damaged too fight so turned around and went home, he was still chasing me even tho we both were heavily damaged and my one engine was dead, it was obvious I would not get home, it was like 150km to closest base. Yet he did not give up and chased me, flying away from his own AF which ends in both of us being destroyed.

Edited by InProgress

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I've found, when attacking mostly German bombers, attacking from the high rear quarter works well. That is coming in from behind, high and off set by about 45 deg from the bomber's tail to whichever side is convenient. I find this mitigates the number of guns shooting back at me and gives a long enough window to fire into the bomber to cause sufficient damage to bring it down. It also allows for a quick reset for a front quarter attack if more damage is required. The other added benefit to this this attack pattern is the dive gives you a goodly dose of speed so the gunners, the AI ones any way, have hard time tracking you; though I still get hit from time to time. This is for the twin engine bombers though. For Stukas I take them from low six and fire at my leisure. No guns down there to get in the way and they are slow enough that I don't have to rush to kill it before it makes target in most cases; but then again precious few use that plane the way it is meant to be on line in the first place.

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Low 6 is not that easy ;P if there is real human gunner he will report you being there, stuka or 110 pulls up and you are in danger. I do it often and seems like many pilots are surprised because they think you will go left or right.

 

But thanks to great WoL AI tail gunner is often bugged and he does not speak so you don't know if someone is behind you which ends tragically.

 

As someone who fly attackers only I am most afraid of side attacks, you can fight back when he is behind and take him with you and you have big chance of being alive even if he destroys your plane which is most important. Side attacks are really deadly and you can't do much against it.

Edited by InProgress

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On Wings of Noobery, every Bomber is on a Suicide Mission, Chances of Retrun basically Non-Existent. But that is true for all Planes on WoL. Planes are worthless, and the People fly em like it. 

 

On TAW and Random Expert it will happen more often that people will avoid loosing Aircraft. 

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That is coming in from behind, high and off set by about 45 deg from the bomber's tail to whichever side is convenient. I find this mitigates the number of guns shooting back at me
 

 

I think you have just been lucky :-)  In a high rear quarter attack a He111 can use the dorsal gun and waist gun.  In many ways you are better making a making a  high six and aiming for the dorsal gunner than a high rear quarter.  For the JU88 there are two dorsal gunners so unless you are confident you can kill them both before they get you then the lower gun is less lethal and a low 3-5 might even avoid his arcs as well.

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My strategy is to scream in from high left or right from the front and try to either put shots into the pilot or engines. I never try to make a pass from a direct angle level with the bomber. It works well. 

9CD3C95AE93B5897EA3A7800386F59ECD5398450

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My Favourite Attack is either from the Side if they are low, but the best way I find to destroy any kind of Bomber is from Below. 

 

You fly in Front and Below the Bomber, outside the Arc of his downward Guns, about 500-1000m below, at high Speed. Then you Pull up into almost Vertical and fire into the Belly. Don't try to stay on him once you get close, just go fully vertical and let him go past you and keep pulling, so as to loop around and gain seperation, complete the loop and repeat the attack. 

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For the JU88 there are two dorsal gunners so unless you are confident you can kill them both before they get you

In real life yes, but not in the game. Here in game you have one dorsal gunner shootig one of the two guns. They are never fired both at once.

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Ohh dis not know they had 2 gunners :/ why they did not put them in game?

 

You can just about see two guns here.  He is firing his right gun but you can see there is another to the left of it (nearest the camera)

 

96209_original.jpg

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Usually I try to fast high side attack aimed at engine, pull up in save distance and repeat from other side - Cuban eight style. I can remember been hit that way by Pe2 gunners. Worst to do it is slow level six , been slow is dangerous. If you barely overtake or catch up with bomber do not attack before you do not accumulated enough potential energy by means of altitude or his position change.

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In real life yes, but not in the game. Here in game you have one dorsal gunner shootig one of the two guns. They are never fired both at once.

You're saying in real life there was an extra crew member that isn't included in game? I'm skeptical of that, doesn't seem like the devs' MO... or maybe you just mean in real life one of the other gunners could move to the dorsal guns depending on where a fighter was attacking?

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You're saying in real life there was an extra crew member that isn't included in game? I'm skeptical of that, doesn't seem like the devs' MO...

The Ju-88 cockpit was *cramped*. In the back gunner and the radio-operator had to arrange themselves, tight and cosy. Early versions of the 88 had a single MG and there was no space for more. The cabin had to be enlarged with those two extra bubbles to find place for a single barrelled MG 81 each. Even then there was no chance for the belly gunner to quickly jump to the second upper gun. The intention still was to place a single gunner handling one of the two MG depending on the sector the fighter came in from. I can't remember any report with two gunners standing and firing in the upper position ... since most of the memories were written by pilots, such an "unimportant detail" might seem not noteworthy to them.

Edited by 216th_Retnek
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You're saying in real life there was an extra crew member that isn't included in game?

Nope, just that in real life both guns were fired at the same time. In the weapons manual of the A4 you can read, that the observer could fire the right rear machinegun. And as long as the aircraft was not attacked from the 12, it definitely made more sense to shoot with the second reargun on attacking fighters, than to wait at the frontgun for fighters passing the bomber.

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Ohh dis not know they had 2 gunners :/ why they did not put them in game?

Han explained on my question about that, it is not possible to give one of the rearguns to another gunner, than the radio operator, as they are in the game his personal guns.

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I must say in my PWCG campaign, my favorite missions are the intercept type missions taking on some bombers in my Yak-1. 

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after loosing my engine to tail gunner fire several times... i've finally figured out a successful strategy to take out bombers. When you're merging head-on(most encounters are like that anyway), try to be higher and then dive onto the bomber formation in a diagonal slash... so from a bomber's perspective u'll be coming in 3 or 2 o clock high and then u will dive past the bomber picking up huge speed...if u missed no problem ( i dont even waste bullets on my first pass). In the dive u've built enough speed to turn around and do another pass but this time, from 8 to 7 o clock, low. If you have cannons u wont need to make a 2nd pass... the juicy view of the bomber's belly will fill up ur gun sight and u'll be much slower this time with a lot of time to line up a death blow, not to mention a great view of the destruction ure causing.

 

I'm no expert, this is just what i've found works for me after getting black oil pooped onto my shiny canopy countless times.

 

I love this game so much. its like being inside one of those classic ww2 aerial paintings.

 

btw. whatever u do...never fly straight and level behind a bomber trying to line up  a shot, u might get him he might get you, for sure him if there are more than 1 of him, its just who gets lucky first...if ure behind the bomber..always weave. like a snake.

 

this is the beauty of this game...what i've figured out through trial and error...is actually how it was done in real life. says a lot about the quality of this here.

 

edited: words

Edited by Shalimar

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Some great info here... Everyone seems to be confirming what I figured out myself tonight in some QMB bomber hunting practice.

I love this game so much. its like being inside one of those classic ww2 aerial paintings.

 

^^ This! I'm hooked, and I have barely scratched the surface.

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I just want to second what PangolinWranglin said.  I like to start well above and abeam of the bomber.  Dive in and vector towards the meeting point with throttle at full.  Speed and angles are your friend.  Fire and dive through.  Extend, reset, and do it again.  Once you have one cut from the herd, focus on him and finish him.

 

I get shot down when I get impatient and lazy and fail to set up the attack.  That usually results in something that looks like a stern attack, which is almost always where a bombers defenses are best and is always where you are easiest to track.  As pointed out earlier, from the gunners point of view you are almost a stationary target.

 

Don't get lazy.  Fly like you actually want to live.

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Head on works miracles (even with lightly armed fighters) - if you know how to aim. Of course, due to lack of time, you can usually perform only one such pass, and then repeat the attack from rear hemisphere, especially if in a fighter with narrow speed margin over bombers.

 

It also helps to know the defensive armament of the bombers you are attacking: UBTs (on Pe-2 and Il-2) punch like hell (they are considerably more powerful than .50 cal M2!) - while 7.x mms usually won't do much harm if you don't stick around them like a sitting duck. They often manage to get you to leak fuel, but usually it's not as bad as it looks.

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