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Hanglands
01-02-2007, 09:11 AM
Hi,

I've been experimenting with the Parafrags. I wondered if they would work as aerial mines, and started reading about aerial mines (not that there is a huge amount out there on the subject). I know that sometimes the phrase 'aerial mine' is used to mean an anti shipping mine launched into the water from the air. What I am talking about is this :

http://i105.photobucket.com/albums/m203/ChickenHawk_2006/il2fb2006-12-0918-15-23-85.jpg

A stream of Parafrags released horizontally from an A-20 over a formation of 50 He-111s, result : two kills, but wasnt sure if this was due to mine strikes or the gunners catching their own aircraft with the bullets.

I thought this might be a more successful run than it was due to the mies falling slowly through the air over the formation, and even if not causing a direct-hit explosion, then at least the collision with a parachute may cause some damage.

I did some work to perfect the technique, but gave it up as a bad job. I originally thought about simply flying fast over the formation and dropping the lot, but the gunners put paid to that! So I had the idea of dive bombing slightly ahead of the formation, so the higher mines/parafrags fall towards the back of the formation.

http://i105.photobucket.com/albums/m203/ChickenHawk_2006/Parafragexperiment.jpg

http://i105.photobucket.com/albums/m203/ChickenHawk_2006/Parafragexperiment2.jpg

I calculated that you could make 1980m stack in a power-off dive from 5000m with an A-20 (enemy formation at 3000m). The 40 parafrags are released in 20 pairs at intervals of 0.4sec. So the load is deployed in a period of 8sec. Thge dive does give an irregular dispersal of parafrags, ie the acceleration means the 'frags at the top of the dive are closer together than those at the bottom.

I also learned that greater dispersal of the frags could be achieved by giving the aircraft a little positive G to cause the 'frags to hang. I could increase the dispersal time to about 12sec by giving three periods of +G, unfortunately the increased time in the dive meant the Vmax was reached and some structural damage occured. It took a further 1500m to recover from the dives meaning the pull-out altitude was around 500m.

I wrote this idea off as a bad job as it clearly is ineffective at destroying aircraft, and never do you see such sizable formations in the world of IL-2. But the idea was considered at one point by the RAF, with 93 Squadron flying Harrows adapted for Pandora (Pandora being the aerial mine project). They later converted to Havocs. Operational use was made of Pandora, against night bombers. The incresed use of night fighters made Pandora redundant.

So despite the in-game failure I learned something about about the RAF i never knew.

The reason I find this interesting is that if Pandora had been used differently, would it have been more successful? My Idea for Pandora would be to use them on both day and night raids, but go out of the way to make the bombs visible with stroboscopic lights or what have you. the idea being that while these things might be poor at destroying enemy bombers, they might be exellent at breaking up formations. Maybe making a formation break up in such a way may have been a better form of defence than night fighters? Maybe thats just a very naive statement?

I did enjoy using the parafrags though, and realised that in game they may have a role in runway-denial. I calculated that it takes 2minutes 26seconds for a parafrag to fall 2km. So a dive like the one illustrated above would produce a stream of frags falling on a runway for 2m 26s, while its unlikely that you will hit anything, it would make takeoffs and landings a bit interesting.

Anyway, does anyone have any info on the use of aerial mines, particularly by the RAF?
Do you think more development should have been done with aerial mines?

I'll stick this on the website when I get a chance.

Regards.<div class="ev_tpc_signature">

http://i105.photobucket.com/albums/m203/ChickenHawk_2006/logoHH.jpg (http://www.geocities.com/hanglands/)

Hanglands
01-02-2007, 09:11 AM
Hi,

I've been experimenting with the Parafrags. I wondered if they would work as aerial mines, and started reading about aerial mines (not that there is a huge amount out there on the subject). I know that sometimes the phrase 'aerial mine' is used to mean an anti shipping mine launched into the water from the air. What I am talking about is this :

http://i105.photobucket.com/albums/m203/ChickenHawk_2006/il2fb2006-12-0918-15-23-85.jpg

A stream of Parafrags released horizontally from an A-20 over a formation of 50 He-111s, result : two kills, but wasnt sure if this was due to mine strikes or the gunners catching their own aircraft with the bullets.

I thought this might be a more successful run than it was due to the mies falling slowly through the air over the formation, and even if not causing a direct-hit explosion, then at least the collision with a parachute may cause some damage.

I did some work to perfect the technique, but gave it up as a bad job. I originally thought about simply flying fast over the formation and dropping the lot, but the gunners put paid to that! So I had the idea of dive bombing slightly ahead of the formation, so the higher mines/parafrags fall towards the back of the formation.

http://i105.photobucket.com/albums/m203/ChickenHawk_2006/Parafragexperiment.jpg

http://i105.photobucket.com/albums/m203/ChickenHawk_2006/Parafragexperiment2.jpg

I calculated that you could make 1980m stack in a power-off dive from 5000m with an A-20 (enemy formation at 3000m). The 40 parafrags are released in 20 pairs at intervals of 0.4sec. So the load is deployed in a period of 8sec. Thge dive does give an irregular dispersal of parafrags, ie the acceleration means the 'frags at the top of the dive are closer together than those at the bottom.

I also learned that greater dispersal of the frags could be achieved by giving the aircraft a little positive G to cause the 'frags to hang. I could increase the dispersal time to about 12sec by giving three periods of +G, unfortunately the increased time in the dive meant the Vmax was reached and some structural damage occured. It took a further 1500m to recover from the dives meaning the pull-out altitude was around 500m.

I wrote this idea off as a bad job as it clearly is ineffective at destroying aircraft, and never do you see such sizable formations in the world of IL-2. But the idea was considered at one point by the RAF, with 93 Squadron flying Harrows adapted for Pandora (Pandora being the aerial mine project). They later converted to Havocs. Operational use was made of Pandora, against night bombers. The incresed use of night fighters made Pandora redundant.

So despite the in-game failure I learned something about about the RAF i never knew.

The reason I find this interesting is that if Pandora had been used differently, would it have been more successful? My Idea for Pandora would be to use them on both day and night raids, but go out of the way to make the bombs visible with stroboscopic lights or what have you. the idea being that while these things might be poor at destroying enemy bombers, they might be exellent at breaking up formations. Maybe making a formation break up in such a way may have been a better form of defence than night fighters? Maybe thats just a very naive statement?

I did enjoy using the parafrags though, and realised that in game they may have a role in runway-denial. I calculated that it takes 2minutes 26seconds for a parafrag to fall 2km. So a dive like the one illustrated above would produce a stream of frags falling on a runway for 2m 26s, while its unlikely that you will hit anything, it would make takeoffs and landings a bit interesting.

Anyway, does anyone have any info on the use of aerial mines, particularly by the RAF?
Do you think more development should have been done with aerial mines?

I'll stick this on the website when I get a chance.

Regards.<div class="ev_tpc_signature">

http://i105.photobucket.com/albums/m203/ChickenHawk_2006/logoHH.jpg (http://www.geocities.com/hanglands/)

leitmotiv
01-02-2007, 09:25 AM
Some bright spark in the U.K. came up with a similar idea ca. 1939-40. A great deal of time and effort was expended on it to no avail. It remains one of the jokes of the period. I believe Winston snarled about it in his memoirs.

JSG72
01-02-2007, 10:01 AM
The reason you can experiment with it within this SIM is. Because you can.
Real War conditions are somewhat harder. IE. how do you know the strength of attacking force, Is it escorted? would you be able to estimate correct course height and speed of enemy.
How could you conduct such tests of equipment other than in action.
Germany tried many Arial bomb type tactics. during the War with limited success.
Found that Bigger guns or rokets and lateraly Guided missiles were the answer to bringing down bombers<div class="ev_tpc_signature">

Is it just me? or can, anyone sook the truth.

Capt.England
01-02-2007, 02:07 PM
There was a item about this in `The Aeroplane` mag a couple of months ago. If I still have the issue, I will scan it in and send you a PM with the pictures (copyright stuff et al). http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/10.gif<div class="ev_tpc_signature">

Why do joysticks break when you need them the most?

Hanglands
01-03-2007, 01:12 PM
That would be great Capt. if you could, no worries if you cant.

Cheers.<div class="ev_tpc_signature">

http://i105.photobucket.com/albums/m203/ChickenHawk_2006/logoHH.jpg (http://www.geocities.com/hanglands/)

Hanglands
06-16-2007, 03:25 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by leitmotiv:
Some bright spark in the U.K. came up with a similar idea ca. 1939-40. A great deal of time and effort was expended on it to no avail. It remains one of the jokes of the period. I believe Winston snarled about it in his memoirs. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Ive just read 'Bomber Offensive' by Arthur Harris.

He talks of a Navy idea to use balloons to carry mines, Harris refers to it as an 'inter alia', a waste of manpower and materials, and a fatuous scheme.

I found an internet reference for it too :

http://www.17balloons.co.uk/pages/page-05.html

There was an even smaller balloon made available in the Humber area from September 1941 and known as the Admiralty Type Mk VI. This spherical balloon only required 320 cubic feet of Hydrogen for its inflation. It was to be part of the Free Balloon Barrage under the code name of &quot;Albino&quot; which was hoped, would knock the enemy aircraft out of the skies as suspended below it was an explosive charge, The Air Mine!

Harris go's on to say how the Nay balloon boys had no concept of cyclones and anti-cyclones, and weather systems being circular - and consequently free floating mine-balloons would come home to roost.

Another idea relevant to this thread is found on the very next page of the book. It involves a few obsolete Handley Page Harrows towing what Harris describes as 'miles of piano wire', I found a eference to this too :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Handley_Page_H.P.54_Harrow

The Harrow also served in a novel operational role at the height of the German night Blitz against Britain in the winter of 1940-1941, with six Harrows equipping No. 93 Squadron RAF which used lone Harrows to tow Long Aerial Mines (LAM) into the path of enemy bombers. The LAM was an explosive charge on the end of a long cable. This unorthodox tactic was credited with the confirmed destruction of six German Bombers. The experiment was however judged of poor value and the planned deployment of Douglas Havocs in the LAM role cancelled.

The weapon, as Harris mentions, had the code-name 'Mutton', and was scrapped after all the mines detonated in one of the Harrows.

Freelancer-1
06-16-2007, 11:20 PM
Thinking about it from the war accounting office angle, I'd say that it would be more cost effective for the same results, to stick with ground based anti aircraft weaponry.

That said:

It would be a hoot to waste half a bomber formation in one pass on some unsuspecting server one night http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

BTW, are you going to put together one of your always entertaining vids of this?

leitmotiv
06-17-2007, 04:44 AM
No. Was during the B of Brit. The idea was to drop explosives in the path of bombers suspended by parachutes. Unlike IL-2, the real people had to deal with (then) unpredictable winds at altitude, and other factors which scuppered the plan. Of course, real bomber formations might tend to change course away from an airplane seen to be dropping objects suspended by parachute in their path.

Hanglands
06-17-2007, 09:15 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">
BTW, are you going to put together one of your always entertaining vids of this? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Ha! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif No video this time, its not a very destructive method.

To test it I changed the 70 ship formation I made for my Air-Air Mistel attack, so that instead of 70 B-17s there were 70 He-111s. I tried various tactics, but only ever gave two or three of them fuel leaks or caused them to smoke lightly. I think I downed a plane on only two occasions.

It would be more effective if the collision detection for the parafrag chute canopies was the same as for the bailing pilots chute canopies. A bailing pilot can cause damage to an aircraft, a parafrag canopy can not. With the parafrags, its a direct hit or nothing.

Regards.

na85
06-17-2007, 09:28 AM
What about two or three A-20's dropping parafrags?

That's a lot more explosives

Poker_4H
06-17-2007, 10:11 AM
Parafrag Betties and you'd probablky take down the whole lot !