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jamesdietz
04-26-2006, 10:49 AM
A recent thread on the appearance of tracers ,prompted me to ask a few friends what trcers looked like from the pilot's point of view( not the gun-camera...) This response from author Joe Springer was the most complete:

Some gun footage you see (and I've collected gun footage for thirty years) -- like the 109 hosing the B-17 from 6 low -- I think is basically pretty much as seen with the naked eye. I don't know where the gun camera was located on the 109 -- probably wing mounted -- but without the vibration caused by wing mounted guns. That's why that single nose mounted 20mm just kept pecking away at the 17 and the footage was pretty good. The thing that I've always been intrigued about that specific footage is that most people think that it's slow motion footage. It isn't. It's all relative. (History channel producers usually speed it up to make it more realistic not knowing that it IS real time.) The German pilot -- I've always thought it was a rookie pilot looking for stragglers but I have no way of knowing . . . appeared to have throttled back and blasted away yet overtook the 17 when he could have easily stayed on his six until he ran out of ammo. If you've ever seen the entire clip, it's a wonder he didn't run out of ammo. He hammered away for a good forty five seconds or so. And if you look close, the 17 is shot to ****. The ball turret guns are pointed down indicating the gunner already hit the silk, and the nose guns are pointed to the right -- if my memory serves me -- indicating the guys up front already exited the plane. The turret control group is swung to the right for the gunner to exit the seat, thus swinging the chin turret to the right when doing so. As I recall the tail guns are "up", meaning the guy dropped the guns which automatically brought both barrels up in the earlier/older mounting. All in all I'd say there wasn't anyone on the 17 unless they were dead . . . which is possible. The guys back here have discussed that specific footage for about thirty years or so -- or when we first saw the footage on World at War in 1973. I wasn't able to really check it out until I recorded the footage back in 83. And since doing so we've always been fascinated by it and viewed it frame by frame, analyzing it to death. And it's still fascinating to me . . .

Gun cameras . . . I've spoken to Hellcat and Corsair pilots that was always disappointed with their gun camera footage. Haven't met a one yet that had "really good" footage just because of the vibration from the guns. I've seen P-38 stuff -- port wing mounted camera -- that was really beautiful. The Jug always recorded some stable and good footage, too. I've seen some Focke Wulf footage shooting up bombers that's just incredible, without the usual vibration despite four cannons hammering away. I guess it all depends on several factors and untold variables.

As far as tracers are concerned . . . the only thing I know for certain is that the early Mod tracers fired by the .50 caliber Browning burned from ignition -- i.e. burning right out of the pipe. Later a delayed burn was introduced (in 1944) which allowed for a one second (or so) delay before the tracer ignited -- or about a hundred yards out of the tube. What I've noticed about such tracers is . . . and this is no joke . . . the tracer looks like they burn brighter and larger (and much more red) the longer they burn though the round is actually moving down range at an impressive clip from the shooter. AK rounds burn a "beautiful" bright red and green and they look as large as basket balls the farther down range they fly. It never ceases to surprise me when I see them. One guy at my elbow termed it "Basket balls!" and for us it stuck. Every time we would fire AK tracers someone would say, "Basket ball time!" The .50 -- or a certain incendiary tracer Mod type of .50 round introduced late in 44 or 45 -- I've read -- has basically the same characteristic. It was a much faster round, too -- over 3,200 feet per second. That's cookin' for a big .50. As a matter of fact we used them by the millions during Korea.

One thing I've always been pissed about when Hollywood screws around with tracers: no one appears to know what they hell they're doing . . . that is with the exception of P.J. in King Kong. He had those tracers down. Even Spielberg dropped the ball on tracers as far as I'm concerned. The closest thing that resembles tracers -- in my opinion -- is the stars on Star Trek when the ship is flying through space. The stars look just like tracers. They look like they're floating through the air until they get closer.

jamesdietz
04-26-2006, 10:49 AM
A recent thread on the appearance of tracers ,prompted me to ask a few friends what trcers looked like from the pilot's point of view( not the gun-camera...) This response from author Joe Springer was the most complete:

Some gun footage you see (and I've collected gun footage for thirty years) -- like the 109 hosing the B-17 from 6 low -- I think is basically pretty much as seen with the naked eye. I don't know where the gun camera was located on the 109 -- probably wing mounted -- but without the vibration caused by wing mounted guns. That's why that single nose mounted 20mm just kept pecking away at the 17 and the footage was pretty good. The thing that I've always been intrigued about that specific footage is that most people think that it's slow motion footage. It isn't. It's all relative. (History channel producers usually speed it up to make it more realistic not knowing that it IS real time.) The German pilot -- I've always thought it was a rookie pilot looking for stragglers but I have no way of knowing . . . appeared to have throttled back and blasted away yet overtook the 17 when he could have easily stayed on his six until he ran out of ammo. If you've ever seen the entire clip, it's a wonder he didn't run out of ammo. He hammered away for a good forty five seconds or so. And if you look close, the 17 is shot to ****. The ball turret guns are pointed down indicating the gunner already hit the silk, and the nose guns are pointed to the right -- if my memory serves me -- indicating the guys up front already exited the plane. The turret control group is swung to the right for the gunner to exit the seat, thus swinging the chin turret to the right when doing so. As I recall the tail guns are "up", meaning the guy dropped the guns which automatically brought both barrels up in the earlier/older mounting. All in all I'd say there wasn't anyone on the 17 unless they were dead . . . which is possible. The guys back here have discussed that specific footage for about thirty years or so -- or when we first saw the footage on World at War in 1973. I wasn't able to really check it out until I recorded the footage back in 83. And since doing so we've always been fascinated by it and viewed it frame by frame, analyzing it to death. And it's still fascinating to me . . .

Gun cameras . . . I've spoken to Hellcat and Corsair pilots that was always disappointed with their gun camera footage. Haven't met a one yet that had "really good" footage just because of the vibration from the guns. I've seen P-38 stuff -- port wing mounted camera -- that was really beautiful. The Jug always recorded some stable and good footage, too. I've seen some Focke Wulf footage shooting up bombers that's just incredible, without the usual vibration despite four cannons hammering away. I guess it all depends on several factors and untold variables.

As far as tracers are concerned . . . the only thing I know for certain is that the early Mod tracers fired by the .50 caliber Browning burned from ignition -- i.e. burning right out of the pipe. Later a delayed burn was introduced (in 1944) which allowed for a one second (or so) delay before the tracer ignited -- or about a hundred yards out of the tube. What I've noticed about such tracers is . . . and this is no joke . . . the tracer looks like they burn brighter and larger (and much more red) the longer they burn though the round is actually moving down range at an impressive clip from the shooter. AK rounds burn a "beautiful" bright red and green and they look as large as basket balls the farther down range they fly. It never ceases to surprise me when I see them. One guy at my elbow termed it "Basket balls!" and for us it stuck. Every time we would fire AK tracers someone would say, "Basket ball time!" The .50 -- or a certain incendiary tracer Mod type of .50 round introduced late in 44 or 45 -- I've read -- has basically the same characteristic. It was a much faster round, too -- over 3,200 feet per second. That's cookin' for a big .50. As a matter of fact we used them by the millions during Korea.

One thing I've always been pissed about when Hollywood screws around with tracers: no one appears to know what they hell they're doing . . . that is with the exception of P.J. in King Kong. He had those tracers down. Even Spielberg dropped the ball on tracers as far as I'm concerned. The closest thing that resembles tracers -- in my opinion -- is the stars on Star Trek when the ship is flying through space. The stars look just like tracers. They look like they're floating through the air until they get closer.

Low_Flyer_MkVb
04-26-2006, 11:16 AM
A lot of the stuff I've read keeps coming back to the tracer looking like 'switched on electric light bulbs' that only seemed to gain speed as it whipped past. One Bomber Command crewman described the sight over Germany as 'the greatest free show on Earth'. Other accounts confirm that the old WWI description of 'flaming onions' being very apt. It's also common to find accounts that describe the tracer as if directed by a waving hosepipe - snaking upwards in undulating patterns. Something I see a lot in-game.

Breeze147
04-26-2006, 11:54 AM
I saw beaucoup tracers in Vietnam, but I doubt you guys would be interested.

RCAF_Irish_403
04-26-2006, 12:08 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Breeze147:
I saw beaucoup tracers in Vietnam, but I doubt you guys would be interested. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

que?

Low_Flyer_MkVb
04-26-2006, 12:10 PM
Au contraire, Breeze, au contraire.

Breeze147
04-26-2006, 12:34 PM
While in training prior to deployment, my unit burned down an entire complex of about 10 firing ranges at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky with tracers. They lit up the dead grass.

I thought one of the most amazing things was how you could set fire to the target jeeps with M-60 tracers.

In Vietnam, the night was always lit up with tracers. Every time any aircraft took off from Bien Hoa at night, you would see strings of tracers coming up from the town after them. Amazingly, none of them ever got hit, AFAIK.

The Snoopy gunships, converted C-47's, were the most amazing. They fired mini-guns. The rate of fire was so fast that it looked like lasers were being fired, you just saw one continuous unbroken string coming down.

I once watched a battle from about 10 miles away while on a rooftop on Plantation Road in Saigon with my arms around 2 naked girls (except for panties, sorry). All I had on were my G.I. issue olive drab boxers. The entire experience was surreal, watching the gunships, the tracers from the small arms, explosions; you could see it all plain as day. Fascinating!

We had mini-guns mounted on our V-100 Commando Cars, but I never heard of one that didn't jam within 2 seconds! Fortunately, we also had a .50 cal., 2 M-60's and 40mm grenade launchers mounted on it, plus our trusty M-16's, which never jammed on me!

Want an experience. Watch as tracer rounds come out of the night heading straight for your head. That will instantly bring you wide awake.

Low_Flyer_MkVb
04-26-2006, 01:26 PM
That was genuinely interesting. Thanks for sharing http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

joeap
04-26-2006, 03:40 PM
What a story Breeze! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif