Air To Air Gunnery – Theory and Application, Part Three Page 10

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The Disturbed Reticle Sight and How to Use It

I guess the place to start is to explain what ‘disturbed reticle’ means! Let’s take the ‘reticle’ part first. The reticle (or reticule, as some texts spell it) is the name of the circle that many sight images look like.

F-4 Gunsight

In the center of the reticle is a small dot known as the ‘pipper.’ When a fighter pilot uses the term pipper, he usually is referring to the reticle as a whole with specific emphasis on the center dot. Some reticle sight images have a smaller circle within the outside reticle, usually at the one half radius point.

F-105 Double Reticle

Early reticles were not circles at all, but instead were a series of small diamonds arranged in a geometric pattern around the pipper. WW2 and Korean War sights were often of this type. Some referred to this display as a ‘circle of diamonds.’

Circle of Diamonds Reticle

In some sights, this circle of diamonds was adjustable in size. The gizmo that made the sight image had controls that the pilot could adjust. He could set aircraft wingspan as well as desired range. The result was a reticle or circle of diamonds whose diameter represented how big the target’s wingspan should be for a desired range.

MiG Alley Sight Control Panel

Some fighters had a twist grip on the throttle that was linked to the sight image gizmo. The pilot would set the target wingspan into the sight control panel. Then, once the pilot was behind a similar target, he would twist the throttle shaft to either open up or close the reticle diameter until it matched the wingspan of the target. The gunsight computer used the relative size of the reticle, in conjunction with the target wingspan, to compute a range, so once the pilot superimposed the reticle over the target, the gunsight ballistics computer had a range to then use to compute a TOF. The TOF value was then used to compute gravity drop.

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