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B-25’s during our bombing trials, pilots from left to right: OscarYankee, Letum, T.}{.O.R.

(On the right, not shown on the picture: FlyingFinn & lewilewi)
- Skins can be found at the end of the manual (LINKS area).
How it all started...
One night on UKD2 I met Letum and we flew together trying to do some level
bombing, together with 3 or 4 pilots. Not discussing anything before takeoff, things didn't go
as we planned, but we had fun… We met again on the BF forums, and this time together with
some pilots who love flying bombers. Although some 6-7 people signed up for UKD level
bombing trials, at the actual event – every one wanted to join us.  Again “history” repeated
itself… For a bombing attack in formation things need to be discussed before, and every one
must know what to do in a given situation. Although I had it in my head how it should be
done, I learned allot from those early attempts. Looking all over the net for a good bombing
manual, I haven’t found one suited to our needs. There are some great ones, but none of them
shows how to do a manual bomb release (in satisfactory detail) which is necessary for level
bombing in formation. Also seeing how people react when they see me on UKD2 server, and
want to join me on my bombing runs – I decided to do it myself. This manual is written to
help anyone who wants to level bomb. Hopefully there will be more organized bombing runs
after this… 
On BF forums we have a “bombing group” with whom I fly mostly, and they are
largely the reason why I wrote this. Thank you guys for flying with me!
- So here it is, my LEVEL BOMBING MANUAL (v1.1):

Pilots listed in our UKD bombing group:

Letum FlyingFinn
BROS_Gastello Joe2L
Skinny Kernow
Happy & many others… (& off course me)

As we fly on UKD2 mostly (until UKD3 goes public), these pilots will get an
advantage over “ad-hoc” pilots, meaning they will get better positions inside formation. Of
course, any one is invited to fly with us. We always welcome good bomber pilots. Lots of
things have been discussed before, about what formation we'll use, what's the best tactic and
what should be done in certain situations. After some time spent in flying together, we’ve
gathered experience to do it right. All that we learned I’m now going to put together, with
some of my findings also.
Manual consists of the following parts: page no.:
PART ONE: Bomber formations…………………………………………… 3
- Small Element flights & large formations;
PART TWO: Formation flying tips…………………………………………. 6
- Takeoff, Forming up & maintaining formation…;
PART THREE: Level bombing……………………………………………… 10
- Single plane lvl bombing & bombing in formation,
- Bombsight guide by plane type;
PART FOUR: Escort fighter tactics……… ……………………………...... 19
LINKS…………………………………………………………………………… 20
PART ONE: Bomber formations
For UKD servers (UKD2 namely and upcoming UKD3) I think that limit on bomber
numbers should be set from 9 to 10 planes (depending on the formation). More than that
provides us without efficient fighter cover. Charts are also drawn for those pilots who didn’t
sign up, named “ad-hoc” pilots. If, by any chance, more than 9(10) bombers assemble, they
will be placed on special positions. These positions are colored in gray – for occasions when
all bomber positions are full. Since that won’t be happening every day, positions should be
filled by certain order depending on bomber numbers, 1 => 9(10).

First I will address smaller flights (3 to 4 planes).

Small flight consisted of three planes flying in close formation, called an Element
formation, and was a basic unit in all formations. Later in war another plane was added, and
so Element consisted of four planes. A three plane Element flew VIC formation. A four plane
Element flew DIAMOND formation with number 4 flying slightly bellow Element Lead
(BS1), thus enabling better defensive gun coverage.

- Main distance flown between aircrafts was “half a wing”. I case of B-17, distance X
on the pictures equals 15,3m/50ft.
- BS = Bomb Sight operating plane
-1 = Element Leader
-2 = Deputy Leader

- No.4 flies slightly bellow leader in DIAMOND formation.

- When flying alone, if a wide target requires it, 4 bombers can even use a fighter formation
Large (squadron) formations

1) “Early war BOX formation”

In the 8th AF, first formation used as a standard formation was known as COMBAT
BOX FORMATION. The combat BOX was also referred to as a "staggered formation".
Between November 1942 and the end of the war various configurations of the combat box
were adopted to meet changing conditions. The combat BOX formation was made up of four
three plane elements - Lead, High, Low and Low low VIC’s. Later in war (late February
1945) modifications were made and MODIFIED BOX FORMATION was established as a
standard. It consisted of three elements of four planes (3 DIAMONDS) – Low low element
was removed. For online purposes and 32 player limit (17 per team) on UKD servers, I have
limited BOX FORMATION to 9 planes, which now consists of Lead(Alpha), Low(Bravo)
and High(Charlie) VIC’s. If more than 9 bombers form up, these additional planes will than

Pros and cons:

Somewhat cumbersome to fly and requires both practice and discipline to maintain
(High Element has difficulties keeping Lead Element in a visual sight due to limitations in
IL2), this formation provides best cover from flak, and serves as good defense against
fighters. It can also be divided up to 3 separate groups (VIC’s), if the target is not
concentrated together (airfield for instance).

- Element in 8th/12th/15th AF often consisted of 2 VIC’s, one flying behind and bellow the first
one – this can be applied to “Early war BOX formation” in case of a larger formation (18

Download printable version here:
2) “Late war VEE formation”
In April 1945, just before the end of the war, there was a major change in the
previously used Squadron and Element formations. At that time the Squadron Formation
became variations of two VEE's of planes, one (Alpha) VEE Lead and the second (Bravo)
VEE behind and just below the first VEE. The center plane in the leading VEE was the
Squadron Leader with a two-plane echelon on both his right and left wings (with the deputy
leader flying on his wing). The second VEE, consisting of as many as 5 planes, was lead by
the center airplane of that VEE. The second VEE leader positioned himself directly behind
but lower than the Squadron Leader. Occasionally, an eleventh plane would fill the slot
behind and below the second VEE. I have excluded number 11 from formation because 10
bombers are more than enough. If by any chance we get 11 or more bombers – eleventh
bomber will than become third (Charlie) VEE leader, on which others (additional pilots) will
form on.

Pros and cons:

Although easier to fly then BOX formation and produces tighter bomb patters, this
formation has uneven defensive gun coverage – very high concentration of guns at 6 OC, but
middle planes cannot cover 3-5 and 7-9 OC. This formation can be separated into 2 attack
groups, if target requires it.

Download printable version here:
PART TWO: Formation flying tips

Setting up a formation is easy, but to maintain it effectively requires skill and discipline. I will
try to explain it in a few steps.

1) Formation takeoff

12th MegaMission, 17.2.2007. Element Leads with lights on for easier forming once in the air.
Formation takeoff is a coordinated takeoff of a whole squadron, in most cases done
with two plane pairs - up to whole elements taking off together. This procedure vastly speeds
up forming up after takeoff. It can be done easily if you follow these tips: Lead plane
accelerates his throttle first, while others accelerate at the same time (taking off in pairs) or
with half a second delay (second pair). Never! (And this applies to all planes btw.) Jump from
0 to 110% throttle. This will cause your plane to deviate from course on the runway and
you’ll end up crushing into your leader/wingman! Always use small incensement of 10% with
delays - give them to the planes taking off over TS, and keep your plane on a straight course
on the runway (RUDDER). This can also be done with trimming, but remember that as faster
you go the less amount of rudder trim you’ll need. Ordinary rudder control is the best (most
precise) option when using formation takeoff, or any takeoff by that matter.
Other than formation takeoff, planes can takeoff in a line, with one plane taking off
after another in small delays. (See Formation Flying Tips, “2) Forming up”)
Formation takeoff won’t be used on dedicated servers because it takes to much time to
line up all planes, and our bombers than present easy targets for low incoming enemy
bombers. If, however, we happened to find ourselves under adequate AAA cover, formation
takeoff can be used. In 95% of the maps we’ll use individual takeoffs followed by RV in a
given coordinates, at agreed altitude. Since there will be aircrafts all over the airfield, the
fastest tactic is to takeoff from a nearest airstrip end. After spawning – TAXI to the nearest
runway end, look if the airstrip is clear for takeoff, and then engage NAVIGATION LIGHTS
to signal the aircraft on the other end that you are taking off. Don’t engage any lights if you
are not taking off.
During takeoff always remember 2 things:
- First: Sq. Leader will wait for you, so take your time. You are not helping us if you crash.
- Second: TAXI to the nearest runway end! Grass is not a good way to takeoff, you’ll need
long runway, especially if we’re taking big loadouts.

2) Forming up
Once in the air, forming a formation often takes too long. Here are a few hints.
Position numbers will be given while still on the ground according to flying skills. If that
doesn’t happen then assume next available number in formation.
Usually you will be forming up from sides, or from formation’s 6 OC. If you are
coming in from 3 or 9 OC, don’t turn in the last second trying to assume your position – this
will often make you overshoot the formation. Try and guess best possible intercept course so
you can form up easily. Remember that you have speed advantage. While forming up, Sq.
Leader will be flying on low throttle thus enabling all to join. As you are approaching your
position, slowly decrease throttle until you find yourself at same speed as the formation. If
you overshoot – don’t do any crazy maneuvers like pulling up or anything similar – nobody
wants an air collision. Cut throttle and wait until formation starts gaining on you. Then adjust
throttle accordingly. For Element joining after takeoff, Element Lead will continue to fly
straight. When all planes from that Element are up 180° must be preformed so all planes can
form into Element. Look at the following picture for better explanation:
3) Formation holding
Formation consists of several Elements flying together. One element is the Lead
Element (containing Sq. Leader) while other Elements follow it. The Element Lead is
responsible for maintaining his Element's position relative to the Squadron Lead at all times.
Planes inside Elements follow Element Leads. Good communication between Element Leads
and Sq. Leader must be established, and is the key factor in formation holding.
When in formation always remember to keep the plane you are following in your
sights {good thing to note is that if you’re flying on UKD2 - or any server with externals
enabled – don’t hesitate to use SHIFT F6 (external padlock on nearest friendly plane)}. Don’t
make any sudden maneuvers - use SMOOTH control movements to keep formation. Except
RUDDER! It should be your primary control surface when trying to stay in formation.

- HERE is a good video showing excellent use of a rudder (thnx Joe2L):

For easier position holding you’ll need to bind LEVEL STABILIZER, RUDDER
TRIM (left, right and neutral) & ELEVATOR TRIM (positive, negative and neutral) keys.
Here is a hint - when on LVL STAB, rudder & elevator trim work! - To shift RUDDER (or
ELEVATOR) faster from one position to another (when correcting course) hold the TRIM
key pressed. Switching to neutral also speeds things up.
Use LVL STAB only when you’re lined up with the plane you’re following. If you see
yourself slipping of course too much – disengage LVL STAB and correct course with
RUDDER. Rudder trim works for small corrections. – Level stabilizer is best used during
bomb run. Throttle adjustments are also needed. For exact precision (60%, 70%, 80% ...) use
keys on the keyboard. When on bombing run – Sq. Leader’s plane will speed up (because of
the LVL STAB) – you’ll need to adjust throttle, 10 – 20 % more than him, depending on the
plane type. Don’t be nervous with throttle – using +/- 5% from Sq. Leader’s throttle setting
will keep you in your position.

4) Formation turning
This is a very dangerous maneuver which can create stragglers (the worst thing that
can happen to a bomber is flying alone). But it can be done without any problems if you
follow these tips. Main thing to remember here is that Sq. Leader’s plane MOVES formation.
Other planes are divided into those on the inner turning circle (planes RIGHT of the Sq.
Leader if formation is turning RIGHT) and those on the outer turning circle (planes LEFT of
the Sq. Leader if the formation is turning RIGHT). When Sq. Leader announces his turn,
planes on the inner circle must CUT throttle and DECREASE ALT. so that planes on the
outer circle don’t collide with them. Planes on the outer circle PUSH throttle to max and need
to GAIN some ALT., while Sq. Leader maintains his throttle and altitude the same throughout
the whole maneuver. If possible bank the plane during maneuver so, that you can maintain
visual sight with the plane you’re assigned to follow.

5) Flying as a Sq. Leader

When flying as a Sq. Leader, straight and leveled flight are a must have for a good
formation holding. Not only that, but every course/altitude/speed change must be given to
squadron in advance. Simplifying things helps a lot! For instance: when turning N from
heading 270, say you’re turning RIGHT to lets say heading 000. When engaging LVL STAB,
report this to the planes following you. They’ll need to adjust speed accordingly. When
turning with the formation, turn SLOWLY. It is impossible for other planes to follow if you
make sharp turns!
If the Lead plane is damaged, resulting in loss of an adequate speed for bomb run (this
tactic was often used by Luftwaffe) – Deputy Leader should take over. Brake from
formation, drop your loadout and go RTB. This applies for all damaged planes which cannot
keep formation.

6) Changing positions inside formation

Bomber losses need to be taken for granted. Rarely will all planes return, sometimes
neither one*. This creates empty positions inside a formation. Those positions need to be
filled up with remaining planes to enable better gun coverage. Positions inside an Element are
filled up first. If more than 50% of Element is lost – remaining planes join the nearest
Element (in our case Lead Element). If the Lead Element is lost, next element in command
(BS3) takes over. Remaining planes from the Lead Element (if any) join new Lead Element.

7) Quick reference bombing and navigation sheet

For easier navigation Happy put together this quick reference sheet, which is
extremely useful. It consists of Bombsight Table 2 offsets (look under PART THREE of the
manual), navigation bearings for easier understanding, and defensive gunner aim points (from
Crash Moses B-25 guide – look under LINKS area)
Download printable version here:

*Heinkel Disaster:
PART THREE: Level bombing
Strength of a bomber formation also depends on a number of qualified BS operators.
The opposing team can easily targets Lead bombers first – forcing us to abandon our bomb
run. Hopefully this guide will help many of you to sharpen your LEVEL BOMBING skills.
There are many bombing tutorials available on the internet, with lots of different plane
(bombsight) types, all concerning IL2, but none of them (at least I haven’t found one) teaches
you how to do a manual bomb release. This part will cover manual bombsight operations
required to bomb successfully single and in formation of bombers. AUTO bomb release won’t
be covered.
Before you start reading further, DL program called “Bombsight Table 2” created by
WT_Pedropan & WT_Pitr. This is a very handy utility, because with it you won’t need
complicated TAS/IAS conversion tables. This little program stays on your screen during the
game, and enables you to do IAS to TAS conversions easily and effectively. It is not perfect
though, it has some bugs and limitations - but I will address those later.


- Program looks like this:

- Its window can be called on and off with SHIFT-PAUSE/BREAK command. Before starting
IL2, try to position it so it doesn’t interfere with the rest of the HUD (or TS overlay).
- Now that you have installed it, bind appropriate control keys in IL2. For even easier use bind
similar keys as those already on BT2. For instance, my controls look like this:

- Manual bomb release will require only these underlined controls! The rest of them are for
AUTO bombing, or a TB-3 which has static sight.
Single plane level bombing

Level bombing isn’t that difficult if you follow these steps:

Locate your target on the map first. Find the best heading to it (from a certain map square),
concerning FLAK strength and enemy FIGHTER concentration. Select the best bomb run alt.
and enter it into BK2. {If possible (on UKD2) you can use CTRL F2 (externals) to take a
closer look of the target.}. Take suitable ordinance for the target, and remember that you
don’t need any bomb delay.
After takeoff, head for a map square where you decided to start your bomb run.
DON’T head straight for the target! Climb first, to selected altitude, and from there start your
bomb run. This has to be done so the bombsight can centre itself. It also gives you enough
time to make preparations for level flight. Once you have positioned your plane towards the
target, engage LEVEL STABILAZER and hop into bombardier’s position. Look through the
sight while increasing (controls increase/decrease sight distance) bombsight angle all the way,
so you are able to see the horizon, and then start searching for the target. It will take some
time for your plane to reach leveled flight, maybe even after you pass the target - adjust BT2
accordingly as changes occur - same applies for the SPEED (IAS) so that you are always
prepared for a bomb release.*
When you spot the target, make corrections to your heading, placing vertical line in
the bombsight optics on the target. Slowly decrease bombsight angle - always keeping target
in your sight (above horizontal line, and on the vertical line – controls increase/decrease sight
distance & rudder trim). Bombsight should be centered by now, if it isn’t then picture yourself
like it is, it will centre eventually. This is where RUDDER TRIM comes in. Use it for keeping
target in your sights. If the target is far away, you can even use it for course corrections. If, on
the other hand, target is close, and you’re a 30 SECONDS away (closer requires another run)
from it – disengage LVL STAB and use RUDDER to correct your heading. RUDDER is more
than enough! Banking the plane to much will only cause bombsight to go off! Then engage
LVL STAB again.** Set your sight angle on the value given to you by the BT2 (taking the
BS offset into consideration – depending on the plane type/altitude) and drop bombs as soon
as the target reaches crosshairs (or aiming point)!
*Important thing is to WATCH your SPEED, ALT and BOMBSIGHT ANGLE
constantly, at the same time matching those entered in BT2 with current values – and your
bombs will drop exactly where you aimed.
**Please note that last second (just as you’re about to drop bombs) sudden rudder
movements to keep target in your sights will cause your plane to slow down, brake up your
aim, and eventually result in missing the target. These changes might not occur on the speed

Level bombing in formation

Level bombing in formation is very similar to single plane level bombing – all the
rules from there apply here. The main difference is that only one plane is manning the bomb
sight, with a second bomber on a stand by (Deputy Leader). While other bombers keep close
formation to produce tight bomb patterns.
When bombing in formation, some things are still different from a single plane
- These mainly apply to Sq. Leader – MAIN (BS1) operating plane:
1) More than 80% throttle during bomb run must never be used! Lead plane will speed up and
rest of the planes will be unable to keep close formation.
2) When aiming at the target all bombers (bombs) must be taken into consideration – study
the target before attacking. Carpet bomb pattern is desirable.
3) Let the formation know you are near bomb release point. Countdown like: “GET READY:
10 seconds ‘till bomb drop, 5 seconds ‘till bomb drop…” – is desirable.
4) Shout “drop your bombs!” loud and clear so everyone can hear you, and most importantly
bear in mind that TS has lag, so your words will reach rest of the players in a 0,5/1,0 sec
delay. If you also take human reaction delay into account – best is if you shout “drop your
bombs!” ONE SECOND sooner than your crosshairs reach target.
- Other planes in formation also need to keep few things in mind:
1) When on bombing run – Sq. Leader will make constant heading changes when keeping
target in his sights. Observe closely the plane you’re following and try to stay close as
possible, and on the correct heading.
2) As soon as Sq. Leader announces that 5 seconds are left until bomb release – engage
LEVEL STABILIZER. This will assure that your bombs drop where they are intended.

- Single plane level bombing tactic won’t be of use to you if you don’t know how to
use bomb sight effectively. In this sub chapter I will guide you through all bombsight types
depending on the country and plane type. Although some planes use same bombsights – they
require slightly different approach. TB-3 bomb sight won’t be covered here, since it lacks
vertical adjustment possibility, and thus requires slightly different tactic. But I might add it
later… 
- I will also describe TB2 program limitations and bugs. Bugs mostly come from what
I imagine is different version of the IL2 when the program was written. Current version of
IL2 is 4.08m. –my research and data are based ON THIS version.

First let’s discuss theory and IL2 limitations. Before you start your bombing practice,
remember that IL2 is an excellent simulator, but still a GAME, and needs to be treated as
such. I’m guessing that most of you use speed bar for speed and altitude info. This is probably
the easiest way to learn how to level bomb, but it has some disadvantages (limitations). I will
explain it anyway. In game when speed bar shows, lets say 280kmph (~174Mph) you don’t
know if it is showing 281 or 289kmph IAS* value (175 or 179Mph). For a 289, 290 must be
entered into BT2. To find exact value – check at the IAS gage in your plane. It will give you
best estimate of your speed. Speed has the biggest influence on your aim (BS angle), so if you
loose +-50 meters from those entered into BT2, it shouldn’t disrupt your aim. Next I will
address BT2 limitations and bugs that were mentioned before.
-When you start BT2 for the first time you’ll notice that it calculates altitude for every
50m (164ft) and speed for every 10km (6Miles). As I said, altitude is second important here.
Exact speed must be entered into BT2, so consider it as your primary value for a good bomb
run. To do this properly, study the plane you’re bombing with. I will tell you what you should
pay attention to with each plane.
- Now we come to the main problem of the BT2. BT2 doesn’t give you the right value
on the bombsight angle! On most planes offset is +1.5° from the real value. It is also
dependant on the altitude and on bomb size! To find out all the values at all altitudes, I’ve
done tests starting from 2000m (6560ft) up to 7500m (24600ft). I used 2000m as a lowest alt.
because level bombing isn’t recommended below it. Bellow 2000m you’re a dream target for
every AAA gun – 2000m should be used only in areas with little or no AAA. I recommend
3000m for level bombing. Not to mention that the higher you go the safer you are from enemy
My tests were done simply and effectively. I used simple quick mission from IL2. Test
altitudes were 2000m (6560ft), 3000m (9840ft), 5000m (16400ft) & 7000m (22960ft).
- Altitudes 4000m (13120ft) & 6000m (19680ft) aren’t in my charts because earlier test
showed that 3000m equals 4000m & 5000m equals 6000m offset**. In addition to my tests,
I’ve recorded tracks*** for each plane showing my bomb runs from 3000m and from 7000m.
This will help you visualize how it should be done.
*IAS (Indicated Air Speed). You only need IAS. TAS (True Air Speed) is already
calculated by TB2 for you. Some planes have TAS gage, so you can check if the right value is
entered into TB2, and if the IAS gage is showing the right value (compared to speed bar). For
IAS/TAS gages location look at the IL2 plane manual in your IL2’46 directory.
**With the exception of B-25J, this plane has different offsets on all altitudes.
*** TRAIN tracks link:

- USAAF bombers use Norden M-9 bombsight.

- Extremely fast, tends to gain speed rapidly during bomb run. Use prop pitch (or lower
throttle) for maintaining constant speed. Easy to hold on level stab, with very little elevator
trim required.
Norden M-9 offsets for A-20C:
@ 2000m (6560ft) BT2 value – 1.5°
@ 3000m (9840ft) BT2 value – 2.0°
@ 5000m (16400ft) BT2 value – 1.5°
@ 7000m (22960ft) BT2 value – 2.0°

- Durable and armed with strong defensive firepower. Has steady bomb run speed, suggested
8-10 clicks nose up on the elevator trim BEFORE engaging level stab.
Norden M-9 offsets for B-25J:
@ 2000m (6560ft) BT2 value – 1.5°
@ 3000m (9840ft) BT2 value – 2.0°
@ 4000m (13120ft) BT2 value – 2.5°
@ 5000m (16400ft) BT2 value – 3.5°
@ 6000m (19680ft) BT2 value – 2.5°
@ 7000m (22960ft) BT2 value – 2.0°
- Aiming point for the Norden M-8 on the crosshairs.
- I couldn’t find info on Japanese bombsight used in G4M1, if any one knows,
contact me and I will credit him in next version (if there is one). However – its use in IL2 is
same as Norden’s. Apart from small bomb load and other disadvantages like no armor and
“One Shot Lighter” nickname (lack of self sealing fuel tanks) - G4M1 “Betty” is very
easy to hold on level flight. I recommend her for level bombing practice to those with no
experience at all.

Betty BS offsets:
@ 2000m (6560ft) BT2 value – 1.0°
@ 3000m (9840ft) BT2 value – 1.5°
@ 5000m (16400ft) BT2 value – 1.5°
@ 7000m (22960ft) BT2 value – 2.0°
- Aiming point is on the crosshairs.

- USSR bombers use SP-1 bombsight, namely Pe-2 which BS is described here.
This is a mechanical bombsight, only manual release works here. It’s one of the trickiest
bombsights to use, with big difference on the angle offset depending on bomb load. I used 2
types of bombs for my test: FAB250, which I designated as medium bombs or “MB”, and
FAB500, designated as big bombs or “BB”. It also has fine angle settings, 3 clicks for each
degree – use closest estimation. Pe-2 is the one of fastest bombers in the game, so keep an
eye on the speed. During BS testing, with 359series, I achieved speeds over 380kmph
(236Mph) IAS leveled and on the bomb run (with 80% throttle). You shouldn’t have trouble
holding any Pe-2 variant leveled.
SP-1 offsets FOR MB:
@ 2000m (6560ft) BT2 value – 1.5°
@ 3000m (9840ft) BT2 value – 2.5° (3.0°)
@ 5000m (16400ft) BT2 value – 3.0°
@ 7000m (22960ft) BT2 value – 2.5°
SP-1 offsets FOR BB:
@ 2000m (6560ft) BT2 value – 1.5°
@ 3000m (9840ft) BT2 value – 1.5°
@ 5000m (16400ft) BT2 value – 1.5°
@ 7000m (22960ft) BT2 value – 1.0°
- Aiming point is where centre circle touches vertical line = on top, as shown here:

- Bombsight used on Luftwaffe bombers is Lofte 7S. In IL2 German BS use is
very similar to Norden’s, but it differs from plane to plane. This is also a tricky BS, because
German planes tend to speed up at the worst possible moment = bomb release.

He-111 bombers are easy to hold leveled because of their big wing surfaces, and
they require shorter runways for takeoff than most bombers, here are their main differences:
- Sturdy bomber with adequate defensive armament for its time period. It lacks heavier
loadouts, thus BS use is slightly different from its successor H6. If you find it difficult to
maintain constant speed, correct it with propeller pitch. (Try without PP first)
Lofte 7S offsets for H2:
@ 2000m (6560ft) BT2 value – 1.5°
@ 3000m (9840ft) BT2 value – 1.5°
@ 5000m (16400ft) BT2 value – 2.0°
@ 7000m (22960ft) BT2 value – 2.5°
- Faster than H2, it can carry heaviest bomb loads, although carries another def. MG in its
tail, it still has insufficient defensive firepower. I do not recommend it after ’43 maps. It
however, has one advantage over other German bombers, and that is BS. It is easy to use and
has constant offset on all altitudes. Propeller pitch settings also apply here, but I don’t think
you’ll need them.
Lofte 7S offsets for H6:
@ 2000m (6560ft) BT2 value – 1.5°
@ 3000m (9840ft) BT2 value – 1.5°
@ 5000m (16400ft) BT2 value – 1.5°
@ 7000m (22960ft) BT2 value – 1.5°


- Germany’s best WW2 bomber, probably the most commonly used plane on online maps. It
can carry big payloads, same as He-111H6, and can also be used for dive bombing, but has
lower wing surface suited for its multi-role purpose. This has negative effects on level
bombing which you’ll notice when engaging level stabilizer. Over 3000m (9840ft) it is very
difficult to hold her leveled, and to correct that, elevator trim is best used on full nose up
setting AFTER engaging level stabilizer. When bombing from high altitudes, altitude value is
as important as the speed. Watch IAS gage until you get the feel for plane’s speed behavior.
Lofte 7S offsets for Ju88:
@ 2000m (6560ft) BT2 value – 1.5°
@ 3000m (9840ft) BT2 value – 2.5°
@ 5000m (16400ft) BT2 value – 2.5°
@ 7000m (22960ft) BT2 value – 1.0°
- Aiming point for Lofte 7S is on the crosshairs.

All these offsets can be found on Happy’s “Quick reference bombing and
navigation sheet” already mentioned in PART TWO Look for DL link there or
in LINKS area at the end of the manual.
General tips on level bombing which apply to all bombers:
- I recommended prop pitch as a way to maintain steady speed – try it without first
and see how it goes;
- Other than propeller pitch, using no more than 80% throttle is a good way to
maintain constant speed;
- If you’re targeting several different targets in a manner of short bomb release
delays, always watch your air speed! It tends to change rapidly - rises if you’re not
damaged, and lowers if you took some hits (in the engine especially).
- If you see that your plane is loosing altitude (“sinking”), use all the elevator trim
you need;
- Engage level stabilizer slightly above bombing run altitude with enough speed, this
way you’ll have enough time to adjust elevator trim and compensate for “sinking”.
Level stabilizer is not an auto pilot;
- Although I didn’t use them on my TRAIN tracks, combat flaps can also be used on
very high altitudes for easier level flight (except on Ju88 which has auto retracting
- Top speed is not recommended for level bombing! Use speeds around 70 to 80%

Few notes about BT2 and its offsets:

Since all bombsights use full degree adjustments (except Pe-2’s) - sometimes it will
be hard for you to take exact offset value form the value BT2 gives you. Usually you’ll get
decimal value that ends with another half a degree like .45 or .67 or something similar – try to
take away best estimated value that equals needed offset. Here are some examples: if the BT2
value shows 41.38° and you need to take 1.5° from it – than BS angle you are aiming with is
40.00°(41.38° – 1.5° ≈ 40.00°). If it is showing 41.86°, you should still aim at 40.00° - few
meters in front of the target. For 2.5° offsets it is best if you take –2° since most of the values
given to you by BT2 are decimal numbers with another half a degree. This is where Pe-2 BS
comes in handy. It gives you more options to choose from with its 3 click fine setting for each
degree.  All this will affect your aim from very high altitudes, on lower altitudes like
2000m (6560ft) and 3000m (9840ft) this doesn’t have big influence on BS angle.

Don’t worry if you miss on your first level bombing attempts. Sometimes I miss too. (Usually
when not paying attention to my airspeed)


Elevator trim: positive, negative, neutral;
Rudder trim: left, right, neutral;
Level Stabilizer (LVL STAB);
Increase Prop. Pitch;
Decrease Prop. Pitch;
Increase Mixture;
Decrease Mixture;
Supercharger Next Stage;
Supercharger Previous Stage;
Increase Sight Distance;
Decrease Sight Distance;
Jump to Cockpit #1 (Pilot);
Jump to Cockpit #2 (Bombardier);
- This eliminates switching to all gunner positions before returning to cockpit.
PART FOUR: Escort fighter tactics

In escorting bombers of any type, your first and primary duty is to see that the
bombers are protected as well as possible from enemy fighters. "A bomber escort is a good
opportunity to get some kills…" – This is probably the biggest mistake when pilots online do
fighter cover, and it is exactly opposite from what should be done when escorting bombers.


- Bombers must always be within visual range of each escort (each wingman as well).
Therefore the escorts must fly about 200-500m (656-1640ft) behind and on both sides of the
bombers and depending on the weather about 800-1000m (2624-3280ft) above. This
difference in altitude must ALWAYS be maintained for escorts to be able to prevent any
faster enemy from bouncing on the bombers. If there are more fighters providing cover, they
should separate into 2 groups – one (larger) flying close cover and one (smaller) flying
sweeps in front of the bomber formation, covering from deadly head-on (nose to nose) attacks
– preferably on much higher altitude form the first group, to enable bouncing on incoming
enemy fighters. Once the aerial engagement begins, the close escort closes to about 50-100
meters from the bombers if the need calls (bandits close) to thwart any surprise attacks. If they
are also attacked, one escort pair (wingmen and leader) must engage the bandits while the
other escorts stay with bombers.
 There is no need to search for combat. You only join in the
combat out of necessity and even then only for defense,
disengaging at the first opportunity.
The main thing is that the bombers get home safely – and mostly to their target. Remember
that bombers are most vulnerable during bomb run and cannot do any defensive maneuvers!
 If you are damaged badly while on escort drag the bandit across close to the bomber
formation and let their guns brush him off – this is especially useful when escorting B-25’s.

I cannot give you instructions how to dogfight, but I’ll tell you something that will help your
aim – and that is gun convergence. Lots of pilots don’t know this, but it is the most important
thing when flying as a fighter. For fighter cover (and any close dogfighting by that matter) use
150m convergence. This will help your aim significantly. Don’t be misled by fighters
equipped with only nose firing guns – they are actually set up to fire in arc, so that rounds hit
centre of your gunsight at convergence settings! – Use your gunsight!

– TEAM SPEAK is a must have for a successful bombing run and fighter cover. On most
occasions fighters flying escort will be on the same channel with the bombers. Sq. Leader
leading the bombers will always be giving his plane settings (throttle, heading, altitude…) and
commands to the rest of the group, if everyone talks TS is of no use to us. Following rules
must be obeyed for a successful communication:
Nobody else speaks unless he sees something worth reporting. Idle chit-chat is the worst
possible way to spam the channel. Especially in air combat everybody tends to talk too much;
there is no reason for telling your own doings in the middle of the fight unless you are in an
awkward situation or you become aware of something new which is of advantage for the
others during the combat.
– Team Speak OVERLAY will help you see who is currently speaking.
(If you’re reading this from word doc. – press CTRL while clicking on the link)

Skins used on my tracks and screenies you’ll find here:
More info on bomber formations used by 8th AF:
More info on formation flying:
More info on bombsights used in WW2:
More info on fighter tactics:

Bombsight Table 2:


Some more BS tutorials:
Tips on using your defensive guns (from Crash Moses B-25 guide):

Formation printable charts & Happy’s sheet:

Bombsight guide TRAIN tracks & screenies:

Other links: (use of a rudder) (Heinkel Disaster)
V1.1 changes:
“Early war BOX formation” chart altered;
Formation tips, more description and tips added;
Happy’s Quick reference bombing and navigation sheet added;
Norden M-8 offsets corrected;
Escort fighter tactics modified for better explanation.
Corrected some errors and added some images …

I didn’t make these things up from nothing. I just summed them all in one place so
they are available to everyone. Other things written here are based on lots of online
experience. Formation charts are on the other hand based on my modifications from the real
formations used by 8th AF. I chose 8th AF and not 15th AF (which flew B-24’s mainly)
because they used VEE formations throughout the war. – IF YOU USE THEM
thank Letum for pointing me in right direction when I was doing “Late war VEE formation”,
and also Steveiy, who noted that 2.VIC must fly right and above the Lead Element which
applies to my “Early war BOX formation” chart. I want to thank Happy for putting together
his extremely useful reference sheet for my manual which also has all BT2 offsets on one
place. 
Also, I never contacted WT_Pedropan & WT_Pitr, so all the credit for this excellent
program goes to them – I just explained its use to you guys.
Big THANK YOU also goes to Chatanooga for hosting this manual and everything
linked to it.

Author’s thoughts:
I tried to create level bombing manual which is simple to understand and helps
people in realizing how single plane and level bombing in formation work. I first thought of
doing several tutorial posts on BF forum, but as I was writing page after page, it soon became
obvious to me that few posts just won’t do.  I hope that this manual will be of use to you. I
did my best in correcting all English lang. errors in my manual, so if you find one or two that
slipped away, contact me so I can correct it. I credited everyone who should be credited to my
knowledge, again, if you think that you’re not mentioned, let me know. If you’re into AUTO
bomb release, more than manual release – help yourself over at links area, some of the best
tutorials on the net are listed there. – Someone asked me if using this program is like
cheating, the way I see it, when all things consider – bombers have hard time flying on
dedicated servers as it is, why not help them a bit…
Also, if you find some information that is not (historically) correct in my manual
(bombsight type for instance) – contact me through forum and I’ll
make corresponding changes. (I think that BS used on He-111H2 is Lofte 7D, since it
dates from BoB – if anyone can verify this let me know.)
 Good luck with your level bombing! You should be hitting targets right in a pickle barrel
after reading my manual.