Bomb Ballistics Strip

Bomb Ballistics Trials on Orford Ness

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Introduction

From the 1930s to the 1960s, research was carried out on Orford Ness into the ballistic behaviour of unguided weapons dropped from aircraft, onto the shingle and into the sea.

At least four bombing lines were used operationally, indicated by markers on the ground and intersecting overhead the Bomb Ballistics Building. This housed a highly sophisticated collection of instruments over its operational life, including a camera obscura, a long-focus ground speed camera, aerial camera, periscope and Vinten high-speed camera in an armoured turret. Remote cameras located along the shore of the Ness were also controlled from that building, as well as six kine-theodolites to track the path of falling bombs. The unique Timing Lamps are also detailed - a set of mirrors reflecting optical signals to the aircraft that coded the precise bomb release time from the launch aircraft.

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Bomb Ballistics Building - Location

 

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Bomb Ballistics Building

Phase 1 1933 to early 1940s with Hills Mirrors Animation

Bomb Ballistics Building

Phase 2 late 1940s to early 1950s

Bomb Ballistics Building

Phase 3 Late 1950s to date