A bomb is to be dropped from a helicopter at a target on the ground. Explain how it can hit the target.

OR: A bomb is dropped from a horizontally flying bomber when it is vertically above a target, will it hit the target?

If a bomb is dropped from a horizontally flying helicopter when it is vertically above the target, the bomb will not hit the target. It is because the bomb has initial horizontal velocity equal to that of helicopter. So, the bomb follows a parabolic path and hits the ground away from the target. In order to hit the target, the helicopter has to drop the bomb before the target.

If the helicopter is $H$ height above the ground and is moving with $u$ horizontal velocity, then horizontal range $R$ of the bomb is given by,

\[R=u\sqrt{\frac{2H}{g}}\]

Therefore, the helicopter has to drop the bomb before $\sqrt{\frac{2H}{g}}$ horizontal distance from the target.

[Read: Projectile Fired Horizontally from the Top of a Tower]

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