T. A. Gardner wrote: ↑26 Aug 2021 17:56The problem is from ahead or astern it's more likely to be 1 in 10 than 1 in 6. The link I posted to the "Battle of Palmdale" is a known example of the use of FFAR--very similar to the R4M--where larger salvos were fired at an F6F drone that wasn't maneuvering from closer range and not one rocket hit the target plane.glenn239 wrote: ↑26 Aug 2021 14:50Sure, but the problem is that even if only 1 in 6 salvos hit, that's still a massive increase in the lethality of the attacking aircraft per sortie. Also, I'm not a pilot or a gunnery expert but I would assume that R4M would probably be best in a diving or climbing attack where the much larger profile (maybe 2,500 square feet?) comes into play.
At 600 meters the rockets will have dropped about 12 meters due to gravity. That means your aim point on a bomber would roughly be the top of the tail of the plane. An inexperienced pilot would likely not aim well enough in early missions to make the single salvo of rockets work, or he'd have to get much closer--and into the defensive fire of the bomber--to make sure to get a hit. This would make the R4M no more effective than the 30mm Mk 108.
As for best approach, it would be a beam high-side pass maneuver
But that requires the pilot to be trained and proficient at deflection shooting or the aircraft is equipped with a fire control computer system like the Hughes E-1 used on the F-94 and F-89 postwar. You need this because you get one salvo with rockets. With guns you can correct your fire and walk it onto the target if your aim is off initially. You can't do that with rockets.
This is an R4M rocket, and this is an RG-7L grenade from an RPG-7 (hand-held anti-tank grenade launcher). As you can see, the principle of launching and stabilizing the flight of the R4M rocket and the RG-7L grenade are approximately identical.
I served in the infantry for two years as a senior rifleman, my personal weapons are a 7.62 mm Kalashnikov assault rifle (AKM-2M) and a 7.62 mm SGMB (Heavy Machine Gun - an Upgraded Armored Personnel carrier machine gun).
At the same time, as a senior rifleman, I must be able to shoot from all types of weapons of the shooting branch, namely: 7.62 mm RPK (Kalashnikov light machine gun); 7.62 mm SVD (Dragunov Sniper Rifle) and RPG-7 (Hand-Held Anti-Tank Grenade Launcher). Shooting in a diving or climbing attack for the R4M is about like shooting an RPG-7 while in a moving armored personnel carrier, at a tank that moves along the front (across the line of sight) at an angle (from 0 to 90 degrees).
Such shooting is much more difficult (very-very much more difficult) than shooting at a target that is moving head-on (towards you or away from you).
Shooting at a target that moves head - on, you will learn how to shoot in one day. You will study shooting from a moving armored personnel carrier at a target that moves along the front line for at least three to four months. And there is no guarantee that you will succeed.