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Bombs stored in airplane fuselage
Illustration of bombing in Woodhouse's 1918 Textbook of Military Aeronautics shows an unsophisticated method of bomb delivery.
Illustration of different bomb sizes
Bombs photographed in midair by aviator 13,000 feet over Germany.

Explosive dropped from aircraft.

First bombing by balloon: siege of Venice, 1849[1]

Patent US-1863-37771 and Patent US-1885-315712 both describe unmanned aircraft designed for bombing.

Fullerton, 1893, Some Remarks on Aerial Warfare said "As regards the projectiles the long cylindrical type will be adopted, heavily weighted with powerful explosives".

First recorded bombing by airplane: 11 October 1911 in Italo-Turkish War.

Spaight, 1914, Aircraft in War, pp. 8–9:

Bomb-dropping or immediately destructive work of other kinds will also certainly be part of their duties, on account not only of the material damage caused but also of the moral effect of such a method of attack.
For the present a secondary rôle, bombarding seems bound to become in time as usual and important a part of the duties of the military airman as reconnaissance is to-day. Already the German Zeppelins can carry a ton and a half of explosives, and the carrying capacity of aeroplanes is being increased daily. Ingold's tanks held 136 gallons of petrol in his great flight of 1,300 miles, and an entrant for the trans-Atlantic aerial journey even proposes to carry 400 gallons. Soon one will see in existence aeroplanes able to lift and to discharge with safety weights of explosives which could destroy a Dreadnought.


  1. Brett Holman, "The first air bomb: Venice, 15 July 1849", Airminded, 22 August 2009.

See also

Enclosing categories Military
Keywords USPC 89, Projectile
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