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heavy bomber : ウィキペディア英語版
heavy bomber

Heavy bombers are bomber aircraft with the greatest bomb load carrying capacity and longest range of their time. They have also typically been among the largest size aircraft in contemporary military or civil service. Delivery of the largest possible amount of air-to-ground weaponry over long distances to strike enemy targets is the heavy bomber's mission (see also strategic bomber).
The type was first developed in World War I but came to prominence during World War II, when advancements in powerplants and aircraft design enabled four-engined bombers to attack industrial targets in Germany and Japan. Availability of such large, long range aircraft in mass-produced quantity also allowed methodologies of strategic bombing to be developed and employed during the 1940s. Parallel mid-war developments as well enabled the much smaller typical fighter aircraft to carry an increased bomb load, and fighter-bombers were taking over from light and medium bombers in the tactical bombing role. In August 1945, the U.S. B-29 heavy bombers delivered two atomic bombs against enemy targets.
The arrival of nuclear weapons permanently changed the nature of warfare and military strategy. After the 1950s intercontinental ballistic missiles and ballistic missile submarines began to supersede heavy bombers in the strategic nuclear role. Along with development of more accurate "smart bombs" and nuclear-armed missiles which could be carried and delivered by smaller fighter-bombers, these technological advancements eclipsed the heavy bomber's once-central role in strategic warfare by the late 20th century. Russian and U.S. heavy bombers have been used in several regional conflicts since World War II (e.g. B-52s in the Vietnam War) delivering conventional weapons only. Heavy bombers are today only retained in service by the U.S., Russia and China for strategic bombing and tactical bombing roles.
==World War I==
The first heavy bomber was designed as an airliner. Igor Sikorsky, an engineer educated in St Petersburg, but born in Kiev of Polish-Russian ancestry designed the Sikorsky Ilya Muromets to fly between his birthplace and his new home. It did so briefly until August 1914, when the Russo-Balt wagon factory converted to a bomber version, with British Sunbeam Crusader V8 engines in place of the German ones in the passenger plane. By December 1914 a squadron of 10 was bombing German positions on the Eastern Front and by summer 1916 there were twenty. It was well-armed with nine machine guns, including a tail gun and initially was immune to German and Austro-Hungarian air attack.〔Winchester, Jim. "Sikorsky Ilya Muromets." ''Biplanes, Triplanes and Seaplanes (Aviation Factfile)''. London: Grange Books 2004. ISBN 1-84013-641-3〕 It had a wingspan just a few feet shorter but a bomb load of just 3% of a WW II Avro Lancaster.〔David, Donald ed. The complete encyclopaedia of world aircraft. Noble and Barnes, New York 1977. ISBN 0-7607-0592-5〕
The Handley Page Type O/100 owed a lot to Sikorsky's ideas. Of similar size, it used just two Rolls-Royce Eagle engines and could carry up to 2,000 lbs of bombs. It was designed at the beginning of the war for the Royal Navy specifically to sink the German High Seas Fleet in Kiel: the Navy called for “a bloody paralyser of an aircraft”〔Thetford, Owen, British Naval Aircraft Since 1912: 1991 Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD ISBN=1-55750-076-2〕 Entering service in late 1916 and based near Dunkirk in France, it was used for daylight raids on naval targets, damaging a German destroyer.〔Bowyer, Chaz. Handley Page Bombers: 1992 Aston Publications Bourne End, Bucks, England: ISBN 0-946627-68-1〕 But after one was lost, it switched to night attacks.
The uprated Handley Page Type O/400 could carry a 1,650 lb bomb, and wings of up to 40 were used by the newly formed, independent Royal Air Force from April 1918 to make strategic raids on German railway and industrial targets.〔Bruce, J. M. Handley Page 0/100 and 0/400: Historic Military Aircraft No.4. Flight ;27 February 1953,Vol. LXIII. issue No. 2301〕 One was used to support T. E. Lawrence's Sinai and Palestine Campaign.
The Imperial German Air Service operated the Gotha bomber, which developed a series of marques. The Gotha G.IV operated from occupied Belgium from the Spring of 1917. It mounted several raids on London beginning in May 1917. Some reached no further than Folkestone or Sheerness on the Kent Coast. But on June 13, Gothas killed 162 civilians, including 18 children in a primary school, and injured 432 in East London. Initially defence against air attack was poor, but by May 19, 1918, when 38 Gothas attacked London, six were shot down and another crashed on landing.〔Cole, Christopher and E.F. Cheesman. ''The Air Defence of Great Britain 1914–1918''. London: Putnam, 1984. ISBN 0-370-30538-8〕
German aircraft companies also built a number of giant bombers, collectively known as the Riesenflugzeug. Most were produced in very small numbers from 1917 onwards and several never entered service. The most numerous were the Zeppelin-Staaken R.VI of which 13 saw service, bombing Russia and London: four were shot down and six lost on landing. They were larger than the standard Luftwaffe bombers of World War II.〔G.W. Haddow & Peter M. Grosz ''The German Giants, The Story of the R-planes 1914–1919'', Putnam & Company Limited, London 1962〕
The Vickers Vimy a long-range heavy bomber powered by two Rolls-Royce Eagle engines was delivered to the newly formed Royal Air Force too late to see action. Only one was in France at the Armistice with Germany. Its intended use was to bomb industrial and railway targets in western Germany, which it could reach with its range of 900 miles and a bomb load of just over a ton. It is best known as the aircraft that made the first Atlantic crossing from St John's Newfoundland to Clifden in Ireland piloted by the Englishman John Alcock and navigated by Scot Arthur Whitten Brown on June 14, 1919.〔Andrews, C.F. and Eric B. Morgan. ''Vickers Aircraft since 1908, Second edition''. London: Putnam, 1988. ISBN 0-85177-815-1〕

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