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fordfan25
12-16-2004, 08:41 PM
i was just thinking and even if im on the right track hind sight is always 20/20 so 2 speak but when thay made the spits that were used in BoB would it not been better to have just had the two 20mm wimg cannons and just maxed out there ammo instead of haveing the four 30cals? those 30. cals from what iv seen and read about was kinda ineffective were thay not? i just thinking haveing only the 20mm and expanding there ammo load would have IMO been a better idea. for one you can kill you target much faster so your not haveing to spend near the ammount of time behind him wich would limmit your own chances of his friend geting behind you. also i would think it would make shoting down he111's alot easer. pluse it would make resuplie and repair easyer and less complecated. youd only have to worrie about building one type of gun and makeing one type of ammo. stokeing replacement parts would be far easyer i would think.

John_Stag
12-17-2004, 12:12 AM
Total armament of the Spitfire Mk.1a/Mk.2a was eight .303 browning machine guns, which at the time of design was considered adequate by the Air Minstry. Later of course, it proved not to be the case, and the Spitfire Mk.1b made a hurried appearance with two hispanos, 60 rounds each and no other armament. But it's appearance was a bit TOO hurried; to get the cannon into the thin wing of the spitfire, it was actually mounted on its side, which led to feed problems. In fact in the two weeks the Mk.1b was used it only managed to down two enemy aircraft. Every aircraft in the squadron including the one which managed the kills, inevitably suffered ammo stoppages, so just as hurredly as it was introduced, it was withdrawn. The cannon-mounted spitfires made an appearance again as soon as humanly possible; which was as soon as the designers got it right.

If you're saying that the spit should have been designed with cannon from the outset, I can't disagree; but it wasn't.

ImpStarDuece
12-17-2004, 12:35 AM
When a fighter with an eight machine gun armament was proposed there was much general merriment at the whole idea. Seems that the RAF thought 8 machine guns a mite excessive. At the time most planes had two .303s so imaging\e quadrupling the accepted fighter armament.

When the RAF realised that 8 machine guns mighnt not be excessive but actually inadueqate is a point up for debate. Personally, I believe that the sheer size and weight of the American and British 'heavies' being developed opened their eyes somewhat http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

One of the reassons why British birds weren't armed with 20mms earlier is that production was simply not up to demand. Those Spitfires and Hurricanes that were cannon armed were using pretty much all the existing stocks of Hispanos. It would of been impossible to cannon equip all Spitfires (let alone all Hurris) with cannon until a much later date. The British on the other hand, had a massive stick of Browing .303s as well as ammo that was quite effective.

Jams, bad fusing, complicated installation, high weight and cost all delayed the fitting of Hisapno into British fighters

VW-IceFire
12-17-2004, 09:08 AM
It would not have been practical for the 1940 era Spitfires to mount cannons with no machine guns.

The problem was that the Hispano was new and simply not ready. Firstly, the gun, of French design, was meant to be mounted along the engine and firing through the prop hub. Much like the ShVAK is mounted on the Yak's. So the gun was designed with the idea that the recoil would be absorbed by the engine block.

But there's no room for such a mounting in the Spitfire so it had to be wings.

Plus the Hispano was prone to jamming in the early days...till they solved the problems and started putting red tape over the cannons to prevent dirt and dust getting in.

The machine guns were there for backup. When one or both cannons jammed, it was time for machine guns only. So they were retained for quite a while. By 1944/45 the cannons were deadly reliable (the Mark V Hispano apparently lacks some of the anti-gun jam equipment because the cannon had become so reliable) and there was no problem with having an entirely cannon armament.

p1ngu666
12-17-2004, 09:14 AM
thought the cannon 1b's had 4 303 aswell? not sure anyways.

RAF went to headon attacks also, imagine being in he111, then 8 303's come fireing at up... nearly 10,000rounds a minute fire rate there...

John_Stag
12-17-2004, 09:19 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by VW-IceFire:
It would not have been practical for the 1940 era Spitfires to mount cannons with no machine guns.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

But that's what the Spit Mk.1b had. It was a hurried blip, gone almost as soon as it appeared, but it was there. As a matter of interest, both of the kills achieved by the type during the BoB were by Flt. Sgt. George Unwin, One on the first day they got them, and one on the very day they were due to trade them in in for the (at that time) more effective Browning-armed versions.

Chuck_Older
12-17-2004, 09:57 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by fordfan25:
i was just thinking and even if im on the right track hind sight is always 20/20 so 2 speak but when thay made the spits that were used in BoB would it not been better to have just had the two 20mm wimg cannons and just maxed out there ammo instead of haveing the four 30cals? those 30. cals from what iv seen and read about was kinda ineffective were thay not? i just thinking haveing only the 20mm and expanding there ammo load would have IMO been a better idea. for one you can kill you target much faster so your not haveing to spend near the ammount of time behind him wich would limmit your own chances of his friend geting behind you. also i would think it would make shoting down he111's alot easer. pluse it would make resuplie and repair easyer and less complecated. youd only have to worrie about building one type of gun and makeing one type of ammo. stokeing replacement parts would be far easyer i would think. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

The answer is simple:

They hadn't gone through the process that showed them that the 20mms were what they wanted to have

VW-IceFire
12-17-2004, 10:05 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by John_Stag:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by VW-IceFire:
It would not have been practical for the 1940 era Spitfires to mount cannons with no machine guns.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

But that's what the Spit Mk.1b had. It was a hurried blip, gone almost as soon as it appeared, but it was there. As a matter of interest, both of the kills achieved by the type during the BoB were by Flt. Sgt. George Unwin, One on the first day they got them, and one on the very day they were due to trade them in in for the (at that time) more effective Browning-armed versions. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
The Mark Ib had the some of the same troubles the Mark Vb had. I was speaking in terms of mass deployment which is what I thought the original poster was talking about.

You are right, there were cannon armed aircraft during the Battle of Britain. The Hurricane also had a quad 20mm mount modification in service at the time too. The massive improvement of hitting power was noted the but unreliability of the cannons was a problem.

These were field tested prototypes really.

And still, as the original poster was talking about...they still armed the Mark Ib with 4 .303's. That was the backup.

Still...good point!

John_Stag
12-17-2004, 12:15 PM
Icefire, my sources show that the 1b had cannon only, and that would seem to be reflected in the number of claims that the entire squadron had in the two weeks that the aircraft was deployed; no damaged, no probables, but two solid kills sounds like a brace of Hispanos doing what they were designed for (barring the stated problems).

But only a madman is absolutely certain of all his facts; I'll check mine again. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Ah yes, during the battle a single Hurricane armed up to IIc standard flew one sortie.

The results were "encouraging." http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

fordfan25
12-17-2004, 02:14 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Chuck_Older:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by fordfan25:
i was just thinking and even if im on the right track hind sight is always 20/20 so 2 speak but when thay made the spits that were used in BoB would it not been better to have just had the two 20mm wimg cannons and just maxed out there ammo instead of haveing the four 30cals? those 30. cals from what iv seen and read about was kinda ineffective were thay not? i just thinking haveing only the 20mm and expanding there ammo load would have IMO been a better idea. for one you can kill you target much faster so your not haveing to spend near the ammount of time behind him wich would limmit your own chances of his friend geting behind you. also i would think it would make shoting down he111's alot easer. pluse it would make resuplie and repair easyer and less complecated. youd only have to worrie about building one type of gun and makeing one type of ammo. stokeing replacement parts would be far easyer i would think. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

The answer is simple:

They hadn't gone through the process that showed them that the 20mms were what they wanted to have <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

well that does make sense

John_Stag
12-18-2004, 12:41 PM
From "The Spitfire Story", Alfred Price, 1995:

"By the late spring of 1940 the Hispano cannon was judged to be working well enough for an operational unit, No.19 Squadron, to be issued with two-cannon Spitfires. Before the installation was was placed into large scale production Air Chief Marshall Dowding had to be certain it was working properly. On 24 July he wrote to the Secretary of State for Air, Sir Archibald Sinclair:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>'The present situation is that the guns of about six Spitfires in No. 19 Squadron are working satisfactorily, and the defects in the others will be probably be rectified in about a week or ten days.
I quite realise that information concerning the fighting qualities of the cannon Spitfire is required as early as possible, and I will take the first opportunity of getting it into action; but I am not at all keen on sending it up against German fighters since it will be extremely badly equipped for that task... I say the cannon Spitfire is badly equipped to meet German fighters because it has only two guns and even the Me 109 has two cannon and two machine guns. Furthermore it has fired off all its ammunition in five seconds.
So you will see that the existing cannon Spitfire is not an attractive type, but it has been necessary to produce it as an insurance against the Germans armouring the backs of their engines. They have not done this yet, their engines are still vulnerable to rifle-calibre machine gun fire and, therefore, the eight gun fighter is a better general fighting machine than one equipped with two cannons only' <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>"