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MichaelMar
07-16-2005, 02:10 PM
I was wondering why many mid/late war planes had 303cal guns in the wings? It would seem that these are too weak to do any damage to planes in those theaters.

For example: I was flying the KI61KO the other day against a Yak. The KIs 50 cals were all gone so I had to try to bring it down with the 30cal wing guns. I must of hit it 100 times, many of which where less then 100 meters. I noticed no damage, other then a few parts flying off, and the Yak just continued to fly away like nothing happened. Heck, I was able to close in to almost point blank range before getting off a nice burst of 303 cal on the under belley of the yak...still NO damage. All I saw where a ton of sparks on the Yaks belly and nothing more.

So, why where mid/late war planes still using the weak 303cal guns?

THX

MichaelMar
07-16-2005, 02:10 PM
I was wondering why many mid/late war planes had 303cal guns in the wings? It would seem that these are too weak to do any damage to planes in those theaters.

For example: I was flying the KI61KO the other day against a Yak. The KIs 50 cals were all gone so I had to try to bring it down with the 30cal wing guns. I must of hit it 100 times, many of which where less then 100 meters. I noticed no damage, other then a few parts flying off, and the Yak just continued to fly away like nothing happened. Heck, I was able to close in to almost point blank range before getting off a nice burst of 303 cal on the under belley of the yak...still NO damage. All I saw where a ton of sparks on the Yaks belly and nothing more.

So, why where mid/late war planes still using the weak 303cal guns?

THX

VMF-214_HaVoK
07-16-2005, 02:34 PM
Why? Because in real life it was effective enough. Simple.

Treetop64
07-16-2005, 02:46 PM
Probably to keep aircraft weight to an absolute, operational limit, while still being sufficiently armed.

Zyzbot
07-16-2005, 02:57 PM
Japanese ace Saburo Sakai favored the smaller caliber machine guns:


"The decision to adopt the 20mm cannon on the Zero is generally believed to be an epoch making advance in fighter design. However, having used the cannon in combat, I had always held this weapon in doubt, despite its great destructive power. In fact, I would go as far as to say that I regarded the cannons in disfavor. "

"70% of my kills in fighter vs fighter combat was made with 7.7mm machine guns"


Zero-sen no Shinjitsu , Saburo Sakai ISBN 4-06-205886-3

horseback
07-16-2005, 03:27 PM
Please note that the overwhelming bulk of Sakai's kills were scored before August, 1942. However, HavoK has it dead right. Thirty calibre weapons were usually sufficient to bring down single engine fighters from close (less than 200m) range. Control cables were snapped, fabric control surfaces shredded, fuel tanks, cooling reservoirs and the associated linesor hoses were perforated, along with the odd pilot or two.

Not modelled equally for all aircraft. Next time, try that trick with a Mustang or P-40.

cheers

horseback

nakamura_kenji
07-16-2005, 03:40 PM
i think alot of russian plane have funny dm model but i have no problem use ki-43-la to shoot down p-40/p-49 have even goteen hellcat and p-47 ^_^

VW-IceFire
07-16-2005, 04:07 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by MichaelMar:
I was wondering why many mid/late war planes had 303cal guns in the wings? It would seem that these are too weak to do any damage to planes in those theaters.

For example: I was flying the KI61KO the other day against a Yak. The KIs 50 cals were all gone so I had to try to bring it down with the 30cal wing guns. I must of hit it 100 times, many of which where less then 100 meters. I noticed no damage, other then a few parts flying off, and the Yak just continued to fly away like nothing happened. Heck, I was able to close in to almost point blank range before getting off a nice burst of 303 cal on the under belley of the yak...still NO damage. All I saw where a ton of sparks on the Yaks belly and nothing more.

So, why where mid/late war planes still using the weak 303cal guns?

THX </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
ITs a fair question but when we talk about the Ki-61...the Ki-61-Ko is an earlier model showing up on the frontlines in early 43. The later models have 4 heavy machine guns as the two ligher guns were insufficient.

But what has been said here is also true. Although some aircraft are defeated using light machine gun calibre weapons, others are impossible to bring down...it has alot to do with the complexity of the DM model in question it seems.

raisen
07-16-2005, 04:26 PM
In part at least, with the earlier less powerful engines, it took more performance out of the plane lugging guns heavier than .303's into the air. In the case of the RAF 20mm cannon weren't unavailable,or unknown, but they were hardly common - there was a supply problem.

Raisen

Siwarrior
07-16-2005, 04:58 PM
I fly the ki-43la ALot i have no trouble bringing down la7s, spits, corsairs, fw190s me109s etc, the calibre of the weapon is not as important as how you aim it

Me (Pilot 1)
07-16-2005, 04:59 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by raisen:
In part at least, with the earlier less powerful engines, it took more performance out of the plane lugging guns heavier than .303's into the air. In the case of the RAF 20mm cannon weren't unavailable,or unknown, but they were hardly common - there was a supply problem.

Raisen </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

...and reliabiliy thus the .303/20mm hispano suiza combiation on spitfires.

Smaller cal=more bullets

Fighter armament is an interesting topic and there was lots of R&D back then, a lot of it is in books and i havent read about it in years. If you want to read books on WWII fighter development theres detail spread all over.

I'd rather not fly a plane with a 303 but if you compare it in small-arms (ie 7.62mm) its effective against soft-skinned vehicles, communications and troops. The MK IX Spitfire and earlier were used in a big way (2nd TAF)against the german army after D-day till the end of the war. The later marks of spitfire were used in the A2A role more.

jarink
07-16-2005, 08:45 PM
In the case of the Spitfire, the outboard half of the wings were too thin to accomodate anything larger than a .303 MG and ammo. The RAF resisted going to a cannon-only armament due to reliability issues with the 20mm Hispanos early on, limited ammo load (only 60rds per gun, IIRC) and marksmanship problems. The great majority of pilots on all sides were not deadeye marksmen! Having more MGs with a greater ammo load allowed them to converge the guns in a 'shotgun' pattern, increasing the likelihood of hits.

Oh, and let's not forget bureaucratic inertia. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

Stigler_9_JG52
07-16-2005, 11:36 PM
Does PF even model the Ki-61 Tony with 2 x 20mm cannon? They comprised something like 1/3 of the total production.

shinden1974
07-17-2005, 01:19 AM
yeah, the Ki-61-hei has 20's. I can't be sure if it's the Ki-61 modified with wing mounted MG151's or the actual Ki-61-hei with fuselage mounted japanese ho-5's

nakamura_kenji
07-17-2005, 04:19 AM
it mg-151 i believe as they seem more powerful as seem better than zero 20mm

JG53Frankyboy
07-17-2005, 05:35 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by shinden1974:
yeah, the Ki-61-hei has 20's. I can't be sure if it's the Ki-61 modified with wing mounted MG151's or the actual Ki-61-hei with fuselage mounted japanese ho-5's </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

the Ki-61Hei in PF is the one with the german MG151/20 in the wings - around 388 were modified.

the Ki-61Tei, with the Ho-5 in the nose and Ho-103 hMGs in the wings is missing. so around half of the whole Ki61-I production is missing.
but it would need more modification like a longer fuselage.
this Tei would be the "correct" plane to use over Okinawa and Kyushu.

shinden1974
07-17-2005, 09:16 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by JG53Frankyboy:

the Ki-61Hei in PF is the one with the german MG151/20 in the wings - around 388 were modified.

the Ki-61Tei, with the Ho-5 in the nose and Ho-103 hMGs in the wings is missing. so around half of the whole Ki61-I production is missing.
but it would need more modification like a longer fuselage.
this Tei would be the "correct" plane to use over Okinawa and Kyushu. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I'm not sure about that, per francillon the Ki-61-KAId(Tei) (both the c and d had a new wing and other improvements thus the 'kai') had 12.7's in the nose and 2 30mm ho-105's in the wings. I'm pretty sure the Hei has the 2 20's in the nose.

The 30's in the ki-61-d is probably why it's not in-game, the Ki-84-1c already makes plenty of people mad, and the Japanese are supposed to fly bi-planes and act as aeriel targets to pump up the ego's of not-really-pilots. Only the Luftwaffe may wander the earth with 30's.

Aaron_GT
07-17-2005, 11:17 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">In part at least, with the earlier less powerful engines, it took more performance out of the plane lugging guns heavier than .303's into the air. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

It would be interesting to see what the
relative weights of 2 20mm cannon (120 rounds
each) and 8 .303s was.

There were calls for changes to a 2 .50 armament on aircraft instead of 2 .303s as early as WW1, as it was reported that 2 .303s were not sufficiently effective.

4 cannon was not a common loadout in Spitfires (although available in C and E wings from the Vc onwards) as the extra power wasn't considered worth the reduction in performance. Most VCs in North Africa had armament reduced to 2 20mm cannon.

Aaron_GT
07-17-2005, 11:20 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">The RAF resisted going to a cannon-only armament due to reliability issues with the 20mm Hispanos early on, limited ammo load (only 60rds per gun, IIRC) </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

That all changed by 1942, though. Then it came down to logistics and some issues with performance. Many RAF planes primarily had a 4x20mm armament (sometimes exclusively) without great problems, and USN aircraft also adopted this.

Interestingly the Meteor was intended to mount 6 20mm cannon, but there were problems with, AFAIK, build up of exhaust gases in the cockpit so it was reduced to 4.

One13
07-17-2005, 06:02 PM
The weight difference in the Spitfire between 2x20mm+4x.303 and 4x20mm was 200lb.
The reason the Meteor did not have six 20mm cannon was that if the two lower cannon had a misfire and a shell jammed in the barrel it could only be cleared by pulling it foward out of the fuselage. This was thought to be a hazardous operation for the armourers. So instead of six guns with 120 round each it was fitted with four with 150 rounds each.
There were plans to fit six cannon in the Spitfire and Typhoon as well.

raisen
07-18-2005, 04:20 AM
In many cases a single pair of 20mm would be removed, usually where having gotten the cannon, the local conditions denied supplies of 20mm ammo. Gibraltar was one such case.

The original 8 gun .303 armament on Spitfires and Hurricanes came about as a result of someone at the Air Ministry doing a statistical breakdown of the average weight of munitions required to fell a bomber during one of the conflicts immediately preceding the second world war (Spanish Civil War I think). Eight .303's were chosen as the quickest, easiest way to deliver the computed lethal weight.

Raisen

Slater_51st
07-20-2005, 10:33 PM
With the .30 cal weapons, you have to get CLOSE, and hit something vital(or have 8/12 guns like the Hurri). A well placed(or lucky)rifle round can easily bring down almost any inline engined a/c if you hit a radiator, or whatever it is that makes the 109 turn black.

Last night, I had a 7.92x57 round go through the rear fuselage, and head rest of the LaGG-3 I was fighting in my 109 F2. I know it was a 7.92 cuz I didn't fire the 15mm. That, frankly, amazed me, but thinking about it, I've personally pulled a 7.62x54(russian WWII infantry round)from about 1.5" deep in a chuck of steel, and that was not an AP round, which can do that and more.

But yes, aim for the engine or cockpit, and get close, you'll get something. Once, online, I ran out of 20s in my 190 A-5, and caused a -38 to literally fall apart in mid air through a hail of rifle bullets, so it can happen http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

S! Slater

Kocur_
07-21-2005, 12:37 PM
The most powerful 7,92mm x 57 Mauser cartridge AP projectile was SmK(G): 12,57g, 911ms, 5216J!!, capable of penetrating 19mm of armour steel at 100m at 90 deg. But, as it was very expensive (wolfram carbide core)I dont think it was widely used in aircraft guns (or anywhere else) http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif
One must remeber there are different kinds of steel: from soft to face-hardened.

About original question: the only reason I see is industrial and/or logistic inertia. Every nation involved regarded ~8mm mg's too weak not later than 1941/2 but it took time to replace those guns with larger ones. Even pre-war researches were indicating that in case of modern metal planes only parts vulnerable to mg's fire were: control cables, liquid cooled engines, unprotected fuel tanks and...crew. Structural failure due to mg's fire was a real danger only in case of wood framework planes. Eventually all nations dropped ~8mm mg's sooner or later in favour of ~13mm mgs and/or 20(+)mm cannons-eagerly-wherever possible. Passing caliber large enough to fill projectile with explosive and add a fuse (20mm is that border-line usually) is a huge leap in effectiveness as now target is affected not only with kinetic energy of projectile but also chemical energy of the explosive.