The Mark 82 Snake eye bomb is a development of the Mark 80 series of weapons designed by Ed Heinemann, designer of the A-4 Skyhawk. The Mark 80 series of bombs were designed as low drag weapons to be carried on pylons of aircraft. Unlike the older Mark 50 series of weapons that had been designed to fit in internal bomb bays of World War II bombers. The Mark 80 series of weapons has been adopted by most of the air forces of the free world and are still in production today.
The Mark 82 was designed as a low level bomb with pop out fins, that deploy when dropped from the aircraft. These fins will increase the drag on the bomb slowing it allowing the aircraft to escape the area before detonation. Otherwise the aircraft would be destroyed in the bombs blast. The Mark 82 series has been around since the early 1960’s and has been used on such aircraft as the CF-104, CF-5 and the CF-18. The first time the Canadian Armed Forces dropped these weapons in anger was during the Gulf War. Presently the Mark 82 is commonly carried with the fins wired shut and dropped from a medium altitude (15,000-25,000 feet). Dropping the weapon from a higher altitude does not require the drag fins to work. In fact they will actually change the ballistics of the weapon in a high altitude drop.
The Mark 82 has also been modified, starting in 1999, having the fin assembly removed and a laser seeker head and glide fins added the Mark 82 can be transformed into a Laser Guided “Smart Bomb”. The Canadian Armed Forces have since used laser guided Mark 82’s in combat over Kosovo in 1999.
The Museum’s Mark 82’s are Snake Eyes with retard fins attached and are mounted on our CF-5 Freedom Fighter as they would have been should the aircraft gone into combat. Our Snake Eyes are dummy rounds, filled with concrete to simulate the weight of a real weapon and would be used to practice loading and unloading bombs on an aircraft by ground crew.