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Fuel Air Bombs

This is a discussion on Fuel Air Bombs within the Missiles & WMDs forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; Hello everyone! I'm hoping someone can help me. I'm writing a fiction novel and I want it to be as ...


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Old January 8th, 2016   #1
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Fuel Air Bombs

Hello everyone! I'm hoping someone can help me. I'm writing a fiction novel and I want it to be as accurate as possible. One of the characters plans to detonate a fuel air bomb in the sky above a group of spectators without hurting anyone. But I read that thermobaric weapons are not effective at high altitudes. Does anyone know what the maximum effective altitude of a fuel air bomb is? Or does anyone have any suggestions as to another weapon that could be dropped undetected by people on the ground that would create a large fiery blast in the sky? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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Old January 8th, 2016   #2
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Part of my understanding about FAEs and thermobaric weapons is that a lot of them are engineered somewhat akin to shaped charges in that the intended blast is supposed to be in some part directional, to maximize the yield and to minimize the risk to the user. There are a number of ways that this directionality can be used against the potential of the weapon.

Let's say, hypothetically, that the device being used is a similar-format weapon to the "daisy-cutter" (which was actually a ammonium nitrate/fuel weapon) but with a FAE or thermobaric charge: it's designed to be dropped from an aircraft, with a parachute to retard its fall and with a quick fuse to detonate it just before contact with the surface. If it detonates normally, the blast mostly goes DOWN and then REFLECTS across the surface. But if the parachute were sabotaged so that the bomb hangs sideways, and the first explosive charge to disperse the FUEL were to go off prematurely, you could have a blast going UP or SIDEWAYS.
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Old January 9th, 2016   #3
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Thank you Stephen. Definitely useful information. My only concern with this is that in my story, the people on the ground are not supposed to see the blast coming. A big parachute in the sky would kind of give it away, but I suppose that's the nice thing about fiction. I can conveniently write it so that the people's attention is drawn elsewhere and they only look up once the explosion occurs. So good stuff, and again I thank you.
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Old January 11th, 2016   #4
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Originally Posted by Joe Livingston View Post
Thank you Stephen. Definitely useful information. My only concern with this is that in my story, the people on the ground are not supposed to see the blast coming. A big parachute in the sky would kind of give it away, but I suppose that's the nice thing about fiction. I can conveniently write it so that the people's attention is drawn elsewhere and they only look up once the explosion occurs. So good stuff, and again I thank you.
Clear plastic parachute?

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Old August 12th, 2016
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