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Guns on a WWII fighter...



 
 
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  #1  
Old December 7th 03, 10:39 PM
Kurt Jeffery
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Default Guns on a WWII fighter...



On a fighter equipped with machine guns and 20mm cannon, how common was it
to fire BOTH weapons at the same time?

Thanks in advance for your response.







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  #2  
Old December 8th 03, 01:13 AM
Michael Williamson
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Kurt Jeffery wrote:
On a fighter equipped with machine guns and 20mm cannon, how common was it
to fire BOTH weapons at the same time?

Thanks in advance for your response.


Presumably it was fairly common, at least if the two had similar
ballistics. I seem to recall that there was a quote in Ethell's
book on the P-38 Lightning about squadrons rewiring their aircraft
so that both MGs and cannon would fire with one switch.

Mike

  #3  
Old December 8th 03, 06:11 AM
Nele VII
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In Soviet Red Army, P-39 Aircobras had four 12.7mm and one 37mm gun. The
Soviet ace, Pokryshkin, noticed that pilots are coming home with full 37mm
magazines. He disovered it was because of the unsuitable location of 37 mm
gun trigger. Then he ordered that all armament is coupled on one trigger.
Once it proved sucessful, he ordered same modification to entire squadron
and wrote to HQ about this problem, so most Soviet Aircobras were firing
12.7 & 37mm guns by pressing one trigger instead of two.

--

Nele

NULLA ROSA SINE SPINA
Kurt Jeffery wrote in message ...


On a fighter equipped with machine guns and 20mm cannon, how common was it
to fire BOTH weapons at the same time?

Thanks in advance for your response.









  #4  
Old December 8th 03, 10:13 AM
Cub Driver
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hen he ordered that all armament is coupled on one trigger.


That's a whole different concept than the early Japanese Zero pilots,
who supposedly used their 7.7 mm guns essentially as targeting devices
for the 20 mm.

all the best -- Dan Ford
email:

see the Warbird's Forum at
www.warbirdforum.com
and the Piper Cub Forum at www.pipercubforum.com
  #5  
Old December 8th 03, 10:55 AM
Dave Eadsforth
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In article [email protected], Kurt Jeffery
writes


On a fighter equipped with machine guns and 20mm cannon, how common was it
to fire BOTH weapons at the same time?

Thanks in advance for your response.



Depends first of all if your gun controls allowed it. I think that most
RAF fighters with mixed armament did, the early Beaufighter being a
notable exception:

On early single-engined RAF fighter aircraft during the war the gun
firing control was located on the spade grip and was a single button
with a rotating safety ring surrounding it. This dated from the eight
gun period.

When the Spitfire acquired cannon, the control column had a triple push
switch fitted for selective firing of; cannon, MGs, and both together.
I do not know what this switch looked like.

The Mosquito FB6 had a gun master switch on the instrument panel and on
the control column there was a forefinger operated trigger for the 20mm
cannon, and a thumb-operated trigger for the machine guns.

The early Beaufighters had a single button for all guns (20mm and .303),
and the later ones had a forefinger trigger for the cannon and a thumb
button for the MGs, similar to the Mosquito.

(Anyone know about the options for the Lockheed Lightning's mixed
armament?)

Later on, a new type of gun firing control came into use in the RAF
which had an exposed camera button next to a hinged safety cover over a
triple pressure gun button for selective fire.

But I don't know precisely when this refinement came in. It was present
in the Hornet, the Sea Fury, the Meteor Mk III, the Vampire etc. (all
cannon-only fighters). A push on any part of the 'wobble button' fired
all four cannon.

I am sure that being able to fire just a pair of cannon selectively
might have been useful at times, but I have not come across an RAF gun
control that allowed this.

I guess that by firing all together you would maintain a better chance
of hitting a target, so when would selective fire be useful? MGs only
against soft targets (strafing troops?) and cannon for hard skinned
(vehicles and aircraft?). I have not come across any doctrine on this.

Perhaps Tony and Emmanuel might be able to comment further?

Cheers,

Dave

--
Dave Eadsforth
  #6  
Old December 8th 03, 05:56 PM
Jukka O. Kauppinen
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On a fighter equipped with machine guns and 20mm cannon, how common was it
to fire BOTH weapons at the same time?


It would depend on the weapons themselves and what was preferred, either
by squadron or by the pilot.

High velocity machine guns combined to low velocity cannons, like in
early Zeros or 109 E-models, weren't too suited to firing together
unless in close range.

Later 109 models or Focke Wulfs were equipped with machine guns and
cannons that had fairly equal bullet trajectory and the weapons were set
up such as the bullets from the various weapons flew approximately (or
exactly) with same trajectory.

Also, the weapons in Me 109 and I suspect as well as in FW 190s were
electrically triggered. The 109 stick had a small "electrical board"
which made it possible to change / connect any of the four buttons on
the stick to whatever combination was needed. Some Finnish pilots
preferred to wire all guns into the trigger, others kept the standard
configuration (machine guns on trigger, cannons on top button). With
cannonboot Messerschmitts nose cannon and machine guns were fired with
trigger, wing cannons with top button.

jok

  #7  
Old December 9th 03, 02:06 AM
Tony Williams
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Cub Driver wrote in message . ..
hen he ordered that all armament is coupled on one trigger.


That's a whole different concept than the early Japanese Zero pilots,
who supposedly used their 7.7 mm guns essentially as targeting devices
for the 20 mm.


It's worth noting that some mixed installations had very different
loadouts. The Bf 109E carried about seven seconds' worth of ammo for
the 20mm, but a whole minute's worth for the 7.92mm.

Tony Williams
Military gun and ammunition website: http://www.quarry.nildram.co.uk
Discussion forum at: http://forums.delphiforums.com/autogun/messages/
  #8  
Old December 9th 03, 02:09 AM
Tony Williams
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Dave Eadsforth wrote in message ...

I am sure that being able to fire just a pair of cannon selectively
might have been useful at times, but I have not come across an RAF gun
control that allowed this.

I guess that by firing all together you would maintain a better chance
of hitting a target, so when would selective fire be useful? MGs only
against soft targets (strafing troops?) and cannon for hard skinned
(vehicles and aircraft?). I have not come across any doctrine on this.

Perhaps Tony and Emmanuel might be able to comment further?


It's not a subject that I've really looked at, but I have a vague
recollection that Hunters could fire two Adens at a time, which was
usual in ground attack to conserve ammo - they used all four in aerial
combat.

Tony Williams
Military gun and ammunition website: http://www.quarry.nildram.co.uk
Discussion forum at: http://forums.delphiforums.com/autogun/messages/
  #9  
Old December 9th 03, 10:11 AM
Dave Eadsforth
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Default

In article , Tony
Williams writes
Dave Eadsforth wrote in message news:RvdnW4AriF1$Ew8+
...

I am sure that being able to fire just a pair of cannon selectively
might have been useful at times, but I have not come across an RAF gun
control that allowed this.

I guess that by firing all together you would maintain a better chance
of hitting a target, so when would selective fire be useful? MGs only
against soft targets (strafing troops?) and cannon for hard skinned
(vehicles and aircraft?). I have not come across any doctrine on this.

Perhaps Tony and Emmanuel might be able to comment further?


It's not a subject that I've really looked at, but I have a vague
recollection that Hunters could fire two Adens at a time, which was
usual in ground attack to conserve ammo


sensible option...

- they used all four in aerial
combat.


sensible default!


Tony Williams
Military gun and ammunition website: http://www.quarry.nildram.co.uk
Discussion forum at: http://forums.delphiforums.com/autogun/messages/


Cheers,

Dave

--
Dave Eadsforth
  #10  
Old December 11th 03, 12:43 AM
Cotton tail 215
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why fire a cannon at a figther ,you needed power to kill a big bomber..a .50mm
would shredd a zero so why would a P-38 jockey waste 20mm on one
 




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