: how do fighters/bombers compensate for the sudden shift of weight once they dispense their ordinance?


: how do fighters/bombers compensate for the sudden shift of weight once they dispense their ordinance?

In: 6

Losing a bunch of weight suddenly like dropping a bomb or pushing a payload off the back ramp can cause the plane to jerk up a bit.

Pilots compensate by pushing the nose down a tad but it’s not that significant. You learn to expect it.

You might need to trim the plane off a bit afterwards to keep it flying straight

They do a whole lot of testing on which ordnance can be carried on which hardpoints and what performance restrictions that causes. Then they test dropping or launching the ordnance and see what happens. They also test asymmetric configurations, if only one side is dropped/launched. They figure out which ordnance configurations are allowed, allowed with restrictions, or not allowed. For instance, you may be able to carry 2 Mk84’s on the inner pylons, but not the outer, not because of the weight, but the asymmetric load if one hangs up. All that is in the flight manual for the airframe.

For bombers with internal bomb bays, the bays are pretty close to the center of gravity right between the wings (which is also close to the center of lift). Planes with external hardpoints are also pretty close to the CG. So the pilot just applies some stick input. This is also why you train, so pilots get used to it. The exception is something like a C-130 dropping a MOAB or LAPES, where the payload goes out the back. That takes a little more input and more training. They pretty much stopped doing LAPES because they crashed too many planes.

Launching/dropping one side is often more unsettling than centerline or dropping both.

They “re-trim.”

“Trimming” is the act of making very minute changes to the control surfaces so it flies like you want it to. It’s an act you don’t normally see in TV or movies, and it’s omitted from most video games (you’ll see it in advanced simulators), too. But a pilot often has to make adjustments to their control surfaces that are too small to be done with the yoke or rudder.

Think of it like correcting the steering alignment of your car. If the steering is off, you have to fight the steering wheel a little to keep your car in your lane. Same concept with the aircraft, only they don’t have to go into the shop to do it. A lot of modern aircraft (US ones, anyway) have computer software that handles the trim fairly well, but in the old days a pilot had to do it by hand, and they had to do it often as the burned fuel. Slap a couple of tons of ammo and bombs on the wings and they had to do it a *lot*.

The word you seek is ‘ordnance’, no ‘i’, meaning weaponry, bombs, etc. ‘Ordinance’ is a rule or law.

I remember reading that when the *Enola Gay* dropped Little Boy (which weighed about 9000 pounds) it ascended almost 10 feet upwards due to the reduced weight.