Captain Simeon Petrov, Bulgarian Air Force, invented the world’s first purpose-built air-to-surface bomb in 1912. The innovations included an aerodynamically stabilized x-tail and an impact detonator. The majority of aircraft bombs to date follow Petrov’s design. The Bulgarian Air Force deployed the original prototype, thus becoming the first military force in the world to conduct tactical airplane bombing in a full-scale war in 1912.
The first recorded night bombing was during the Balkan War of 1912. On November 7th, 1912, the Bulgarian Air Force bombed the Turkish positions by throwing handheld grenades out of the plane. This Bulgarian invention set the stage for the modern aerial bomb, with its distinctive elongated shape, stabilizing fins, and nose-fitted detonator. Aerial bombs typically use a contact fuze to detonate the bomb upon impact, or a delayed-action fuze initiated by impact.
In the Balkan War of 1912, Bulgaria, Greece, Serbia, and Montenegro were fighting against Turkey.
Christo Toprakchiev had suggested the use of aircraft for the bombing. Captain Simeon Petrov used this idea and created prototypes of different grenades that were of different types and payload sizes. On October 16, 1912, Prodan Tarakchiev dropped 2 of Simeon’s bombs on the Turkish railroad station of Karagaac from a two-seater Albatros. This was deemed as the first use of an aircraft for the bombing. It became obvious to that just dropping the bomb wasn’t enough.
They needed to consider the altitude, wind, the trajectory of the bomb, how fast the plane was going, etc. After a series of tests, Simeon Petrov created his final prototype that had improved aerodynamics, an X-shaped tail, and an impact detonator. The plans were later sold to the Germans. The first-ever planes made specifically for bombing were the Italian Caproni Ca 30 and the British Bristol T.B.8. Both of these planes were made-produced in 1913.