God help me, this thread has caused so many face-palms that I've come back from self-imposed exile in order to respond. Now look at what you've made me do...
I'll start from the beginning:
Where are the numbers being discussed coming from?
I created a utility called DAPS for my squadron - the 476th vFG - so that we could realistically employ unguided bombs from both computed and manual passes.
Using a set of conditions entered by the user, DAPS calculates a number of output parameters that are used to:
1) Setup the proper initial geometric relationship between the aircraft and the target
2) Set an appropriate Track reference using HUD symbology
3) Determine the optimum set of parameters for weapon release
4) Determine the minimum set of parameters below which the pass must be aborted.
The supplied data is accurate, using the same trigonometric functions and assumptions used for actual planning. The supplied data is also sufficient to bomb "old-school" using nothing but the Depressible Pipper and good airmanship.
What is a "computed" vs. a "manual" delivery?
A computed delivery makes use of the IFFCC, which provides the necessary inputs to drive HUD symbology such as the PBIL, CCIP pipper, wind-corrected pitch ladder, TVV, and others.
Recall that CCIP stands for Continuously Computed Impact Point; hence the name computed delivery. As its name suggests, CCIP will continuously compute the impact point of the selected weapon, even as variables such as altitude, airspeed, dive angle, g-loading, et cetera are changing.
In practice, this means that even though you might be 5 degrees shallow, 200 feet low, and 25 knots fast, you can still accurately deliver your bombs by simply "putting the thing on the thing".
A manual delivery, on the other hand, makes no use of the above functions and relies instead on the pilot arriving at a point in space at a predetermined altitude, airspeed, dive angle, and g-load. If you are 5 degrees shallow, you miss. If you are 200 feet low, you miss.
Just because you have a CCIP pipper making your life easier, that doesn't mean that you can safely, accurately, or even effectively deliver your bombs if you don't fly the proper parameters.
But if CCIP corrects for all of my errors, why should I fly a proper pass?
The problem with saying "don't worry about the numbers, just do what feels right", is that if you are not capable of flying to the correct point in space to deliver the bombs as planned, then you are going to have problems.
Allow me to explain...
Understand that you don't put bombs on a target for the sake of putting bombs on a target. You don't attack a bridge with CBUs, and you don't attack troops in the open with GP bombs. But why not? Because what you're looking for are "weapons effects".
In the case of a bridge, the desired effect is to drop the span. In order to achieve the desired weapon effect, you need to attack with the correct ordnance. Further still, you need to attack with specific parameters in order to maximize the desired effects.
For instance, if you wanted to drop a stick of six MK-82s on a bridge, would you attack perpendicular to its length, or would you attack along its axis? Would you choose proximity fuzes, or contact fuzes? Does a MK-82 penetrate steel reinforced concrete better at higher or lower impact angles?
Imagine instead that you wanted to attack a Command and Control bunker with a penetrating weapon. That weapon will only have optimum effectiveness if it arrives at the target with a specific impact angle, velocity, and fuze setting.
The way that we control the weapon effects, is by planning the attack carefully, and flying the aircraft to a point in space that satisfies the various planned parameters.
Finally, consider that you might very well line up the pipper on the target and pickle your bombs, only to find that you don't have enough altitude to recover before hitting the ground. You might find that your bombs destroy the target, but that you were too low and flew into your own frag pattern. Or perhaps, your bombs have insufficient Time of Fall to properly arm, and all of your bombs impact as duds.
You should fly every pass as accurately as possible, building proper habit patterns that will eventually prevent you from killing yourself, killing friendlies, or missing a target.
What is the bombing triangle?
This is a simple concept upon which all unguided weapons delivery theory is based. (There have been several pictures of the bomb triangle posted on the forum, so I'm not going to take the time to create another example.)
It is actually a series of triangles that describe the angular relationship between the aircraft, the target, and several spots on the ground. The relationships are generally expressed in mils, though there are certain times when the units are converted to degrees or vice versa.
Here are the basic terms:
Zero Sight Line - An imaginary line that defines the longitudinal axis of the jet. If you set the Deppressible Pipper to 0 mils, you've found the ZSL.
Flight Path - The path of the aircraft through the air. It's depicted by the TVV, which will lag behind the actual flight path at high load factors.
Angle of Attack - The difference between the ZSL and the TVV.
Target LOS - The line of sight between the aircraft and the target.
Desired Release Cue - The DRC is a small horizontal line that moves up and down the PBIL, and represents the desired time of fall (DTOF) set in the DSMS profile. Placing the DRC on the target drives the flight path toward the correct release point.
Pipper LOS - The point on the ground under the pipper. Initially this point must be short of the target in order to allow the pipper to "track" upward toward the target.
Base Altitude - The calculated altitude from which you begin the roll-in.
Base Distance - The calculated distance from which you begin the roll-in. The Base Altitude and Distance are chosen so that when the roll-in is flown correctly, the aircraft will roll-out in the proper position to begin tracking the pipper toward the target.
Track Altitude - The altitude at which the aircraft roll-out on final, with a predictable dive angle and airspeed.
Aim-Off Distance - The calculated distance beyond the target that the flight path should be aligned when rolling out at Track Altitude.
Aim-Off Point - The spot on the ground defined by the AOD, and corrected for wind. This is the point on the ground over which you should fly the TVV. The AOP is constant from Track altitude until release.
Release Altitude - The calculated altitude at which the release parameters should be met, and bomb release should occur.
Minimum Range Staple - The MRS is a staple-shaped symbol that moves vertically along the PBIL. IFFCC calculates the symbol position based on aircraft airspeed, dive angle, load factor. Symbol position is driven by the most restrictive of minimum altitude required for either 1) frag clearance, 2) bomb arming, 3) DSMS MIN ALT. The MRS is currently bugged in DCS.
Minimum Range Caret - The MRC is the dynamic triangular caret withing the CCIP Pipper. It is a graphical representation of the minimum altitude criteria described in the MRS, but converted into slant range. When the analog range bar meets the MRC, the MRS will meet the pipper. The MRC is currently bugged in DCS.
Holy balls! How do I use this information?
First of all, watch the videos that Eddie posted. I don't know why there is continued discussion about technique when Eddie has demonstrated the proper technique several times. Nonetheless, here's what you do:
The entire point behind calculating base distance and altitude, is so that the pilot can make consistent passes from a fairly precise starting point. If there are errors during a particular pass, on subsequent passes the pilot can make adjustment to the distances and angles as appropriate.
For instance, if you roll out at track altitude, with your nose on the AOP, but your dive angle is too steep, you know that you were too close (or too high) when your rolled in, or perhaps you "floated" the turn. On the next pass, adjust your base distance, check your altimeter setting, and make sure that you're rolling into the turn crisply and pulling at least 3g.
By doing this repeatedly, and by observing where the target is in relation to certain cockpit references when starting the roll-in, a pilot can build a set of visual references for a particular type of delivery.
For a 30 degree Dive Bomb, the target is always going to be in the same place on the canopy, regardless of the base altitude used: a fist width aft the canopy bow and abeam the second dust cover.
Similar references can be derived for a 15 degree Low Angle Low Drag, or a 45 High Altitude Dive Bomb. This allows a pilot to make deliveries in combat without any need to setup waypoints, mark points or other navigational references. All he must do is fly at the proper base altitude and maneuver the aircraft so that the target is at the proper point on the canopy, thus ensuring the correct angular relationship.
Yeah, but HOW do I do that?
Assuming you're flying a standard box pattern at a conventional target range, you will have a downwind, base, and final leg, just like a traffic pattern at the airport.
Let's assume we're flying a 30 DB, dropping two MK-82s in Ripple Single (look in the Battle Book for the "82 30DB2" sled). Let's also assume that we're making a left hand pattern with an attack heading of 270°. Before we do any bombing, we need to make sure that the DSMS is properly configured.
1) Create a new profile and call it "82 30DB2".
Set the Mode to Ripple Single, enter a Quantity of 2, and ensure that the spacing is set to 75 ft.
Set the DTOF to 6.7 seconds. This will enable the DRC symbology.
Set the SEM to CLM. This will affect the MRS symbology.
Set the MIN ALT to 1,000 ft. This also affects the MRS symbology.
2) Fly the base leg on 360° at 5100 AGL and about 280 KIAS. Remember to add target elevation in order to convert to MSL.
Pro Tip: It's always better to use HOT elevation with the actual target elevation than to rely on the DTSAS Auto Elevation function (often referred to as "DTS").
3) Since this is training and you're trying to establish and validate cockpit references, go ahead and setup a steerpoint that is offset 090° from the target at 1.2 NM. This will allow help you maintain a consistent starting position, which is ESSENTIAL for making any subsequent corrections.
Do not, under any circumstances use this steerpoint as a reference for when to roll-in. It's only there to make sure that you're flying 360° at the correct Base Distance.
4) Watch the target as is moves aft on the canopy. Note how far above the canopy rail it is. Note its position against the canopy bow.
5) When the target is about a fist width aft of the canopy bow, execute a maximum performance roll to left. Look out the top of the canopy, and find the AOP. When your lift vector on the AOP, "check" the roll and immediately begin a 3g pull toward the AOP.
6) As the AOP nears the top of the HUD glass, begin to reduce load factor. Remember that the TVV lags behind, so initially use the GBL to set the nose on the AOP.
7) Execute a maximum performace roll to wings-level, and center the AOP between the patch ladders.
8) If you've done this right, you should be at 3,600 ft (plus target elevation), with the TVV on the AOP at 30° of dive.
The DRC should be on, or very close to the target, and the pipper should be short of the target.
From this point, you only have three seconds to make any corrections before the pipper will pass the target. You've got to make them count.
9) Aggressively fix any 3/9 error. Use bank and load factor to center the target between the pitch ladders, and place the PBIL on the target.
10) Use load factor to set the DRC on the target. As soon as the DRC is on the target, maintain the pitch angle you have. Don't go bobbing up and down trying to keep the DRC on the target. "Set it, and forget it."
11) Allow the pipper to track up the PBIL toward the target. When the pipper is on the target, press and HOLD the pickle button.
Remember, you're dropping a stick of bombs, sometimes as many as six of them, and they don't all come off at once. Wait until you see the CCIP reticle start to flash. The flashing reticle means that the time required to release all weapons has elapsed.
Don't come off the pickle button until you see the flashing reticle.
12) As soon as the bombs are gone, you have two seconds to establish a 4g wings-level pull Safe Escape Maneuver. Continue the pull until the nose passes 20° nose high, then reduce load factor until you reach 30°.
If you don't do this, you will either frag yourself, hit the ground, or if you set a MIN ALT, descend below the minimum altitude.
13) Recover the aircraft. Since you're making a left hand pattern, make a climbing left turn on to the crosswind leg of the pattern, and return to Base Altitude.
14) Rinse and Repeat. Note any errors you made during the last pass, and correct them.
Why do I keep getting an "X" through the pipper when I use these numbers/techniques?
Unfortunately, the "X" is driven by the MRS/MRC cues, both of which are using incorrect data in DCS.
I have tested this, and verified the erroneous values. That being said, it is a symbology problem only. You will not frag yourself or hit the ground if you use the numbers from the Battle Book, despite what the MRS/MRC is telling you.
I hope ED can fix this issue in the future.
What are all of those other numbers, like "IHP", "ITP", "IAA", etc.?
Those terms are used as alternate methods of setting a track reference. In the example, we used the DRC as our track reference since it is the easiest and most common reference when performing a computed delivery.
Other track references may be used in lieu of the DRC, and must be used when performing a manual delivery.
The use of IHP, ITP, IAA, and IPP is slightly more complicated, and you shouldn't really touch them until you've got the basics nailed. If the Battle Book stuff is "college level", then manual bombing is "graduate level".