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From: (Ed Rasimus)
Newsgroups: rec.aviation.military
Subject: Re: Missile's top speed(bullets)
Date: Wed, 08 Jul 1998 19:11:51 GMT

Dweezil Dwarftosser <> wrote:

>During my three tours at the "VN replacement training unit" ( MacDill ),
>we patched a few jets that sustained hits from their own M61s. ( TP
>These "newbies" would get fixated on the ground target and forget
>to release the trigger when they brought the nose up.
>F-4s fly faster than 20mm slows down. ( get the idea ! )

Well, yes and no. There have been a lot of instances of aircraft being
hit or at least threatened by their own ordinance. Probably the first
one I recall was regarding an F-100 being hit by his own 20MM.

Usually, though, it involves firing and then forgetting that the
projectiles are going to lose energy and eventually fall. In the case
of those "newbies" getting pinged on the A/G range, the likelihood is
that they were hit by ricochets. The weapons manuals will show you a
pretty impressive graphic about where low-graze angle strafe rounds
have sufficient energy to travel. The key to a clean strafe recovery
is to get the nose above the horizon immediately after cease-fire, and
then get some lateral spacing with a hard turn---in other words, don't
overfly the target.

With more fascinating ordinance, I recall my flight commander in
F-105's had a strong aversion to "Sky Spot" deliveries--those high
altitude level-release ground radar controlled fiascos that someone
determined were the solution to all weather operations in SEA. The
boss' rule was that we would fly our 4-ship in close formation on the
wing of the beacon aircraft and upon the release order he would pickle
one bomb only.

We would then drop down from 20,000 feet into more realistic weapons
delivery parameters where we could acquire the target and drop our
eight bombs per aircraft using manual dive-bomb tactics.

The surprise was that after pickling his bomb, we separated from the
pathfinder bird and spiraled down looking for the target only to
realize to our surprise that we could beat the falling 750 pound bomb
to the ground. Having that blivet fall through the flight got our
undivided attention.

 Ed Rasimus                   *** Peak Computing Magazine
  Fighter Pilot (ret)         ***   (
                              *** Ziff-Davis Interactive
                              ***   (

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