Weapons Delivery Principles and Procedures
but also continually cross-check your altitude, airspeed, and dive angle. Initially in the run, dive angle
and pipper placement are most important. Altitude becomes more important as it decreases. As you
approach release altitude, scan the pipper and altitude on your HUD, with occasional references to dive
angle and airspeed. You can check airspeed more precisely after you pickle to allow for power correc-
tions on subsequent runs. You may even have to compute a corrected release altitude. The pipper
should reach the final aimpoint (the bull if there is no wind) just as the aircraft arrives at the release
altitude, 3,000' AGL.
During curvilinear tracking, the aircraft flight path becomes convex, with the dive angle continuously
increasing. This is accomplished by placing the pipper on a point on the ground and holding it there with
forward stick pressure. During curvilinear tracking, g will gradually approach zero; because of this, an
attempted release will either hit long or become hung. For these reasons, curvilinear only tracking is not
This method begins with a curvilinear tracking run, then transitions to straight-path tracking to release.
The initial sight setting for this type of run is one-third of the sight angle. With wings level after roll-in,
immediately reset the nose to put the target (or the offset aim point) a t your initial sight setting and hold it
there. Check your dive angle, noting that during the curvilinear portion of the run it will be gradually
increasing. Upon reaching one and a half times the release altitude, capture the current dive angle and
begin straight-path tracking. If the resultant dive angle is more than 5 degrees greater or less than
planned, abort the run and move your roll-in point in or out appropriately on the next run. This method
provides checkpoints which allow the pilot to determine the required corrections well before reaching
release altitude (Figure 19).
In a bomb run, the weapon is normally released as the pipper reaches the final aimpoint at release
altitude, as stated. In a strafing run, however, there is no single release altitude. Instead, there is an
open-fire altitude and a cease-fire altitude. In a 10-degree strafing run, these altitudes are 1,100' and
800' AGL. The pipper should be at the top of the target when open-fire altitude is reached, and should
be eased toward the bottom of the target. This compensates for decreasing slant range and consequent
decrease in effect of gravity on the weapon.