Norden/Sperry Bombardier Training Film Preview



This collection of ten, rare World War II black and white training films was created by the Army Air Force in 1942 to train bombardiers in use of the Norden and Sperry bombsights. Several months' research were required to locate all of these films and bring them together in this collection. Each film is between eight and twenty minutes in length and has been transferred from the original, 60 year old 16mm or 35mm film archival master to digital media, using digital telecine. DVDs were produced from these high quality digital files. They are not available elsewhere. These films not only provide an insight into how the bombsights worked and how the bombardiers used them, but also provide a look at animation and educational film techniques of the era.

These bombsights were among the first personal analog computers and were used to determine, mechanically, the location in the sky where a bomb should be dropped so that it would hit its target. They are an important part of aviation history and represent the first effort in a long-standing commitment of the U.S. Military to precision weaponry. Virtually all World War II U.S. bombers - light, medium and heavy - were equipped with either the Norden or Sperry bombsights.

The Norden bombsight was the first and most prevalent bombsight and was developed by and for the U.S. Navy in the 1930's. Over 90,000 were produced during the war and they were employed subsequently in both the Korean and Vietnam conflicts. The Sperry S-1 was produced as a stopgap measure by the Army Air Force in the 1940's to accommodate for limiting production of the Norden M-9. Only about 5,000 were manufactured before enough Norden bombsights became available in 1943, and it was phased out. The Sperry was used predominantly in the B-24 Liberator bomber.

Both bombsights were synchronous bombsights meaning that the optics of the bombsight were fixed on the target and tracked the target as the aircraft approached it. They were both stabilized by directional and vertical gyroscopes and both computed ground speed and crosswind drift.

Just how these bombsights solved the so-called "bombing problem," theoretically and practically, is well documented in these films. While many museums have a Norden and/or Sperry bombsight on display, few individuals remember how this mechanical device was used as a weapons system. These films accomplish that task.

DVDs are dual layered DVD9 format, and will play on computer and set-top DVD players. A perfect gift for someone who was there!

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Shoestring Educational Productions
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