A-26 wing guns?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Rufus123, Oct 1, 2013.

  1. Rufus123

    Rufus123 Member

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    I saw an image of an A-26 with internal wing guns and was a bit surprised to see they were outboard of the props. How far apart are these guns. It is my guess there was not room at the wing root to clear the props or perhaps that part of the wing was carrying fuel?

    Were the wing guns this far apart practical?

    I suppose in strafing infantry the nose gun would be hitting the center with two that may or may not be converged at the right distance and if not I guess it can chew up a lot of turf but still the spacing seemed huge.
     
  2. Aaron Brooks Wolters

    Aaron Brooks Wolters Well-Known Member

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    Did a search and this is what I found. I know nothing about it but will do some more research. Very interesting, I had not seen this before and I am not sure if these are guns but it looks like the shell extractor slots are under the wing in line with each tube.
     

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  3. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    I believe that was a post war modification (if not in the 1950/60s)

    War time A-26s could carry under wing gun packs with ammo storage inside the wings for compact pods.

    See: Airplane Projects Trip! | Kermit's Blog

    For a picture. Since most of these aircraft also had nose guns (6 or 8 ) convergence isn't really a problem.

    For war time aircraft the underwing gun packs displaced the under wing bombs. The 1950/60s aircraft had strengthened wings and up-rated engines and stuck the guns in the wings to free up the under side of the wings for bombs/rockets, etc.
     
  4. Rufus123

    Rufus123 Member

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    I saw where it said the wing guns came out at the same time as the 8 gun nose. Of course I was thinking about convergence of the wing guns. Converging wing guns with that kind of spacing would seem to be difficult.
     
  5. Rufus123

    Rufus123 Member

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    After about 1,570 production aircraft, three guns were installed in each wing, coinciding with the introduction of the "eight-gun nose" for A-26Bs, giving some configurations as many as 14 .50 in (12.7 mm) machine guns in a fixed forward mount.

    The question still stands on convergence of the wing guns?
     
  6. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    Rufus - there would be no difference in procedure. The A/C would be jacked up at rear hoist point until the guns could be bore sighted at a desired range. The Kits were developed in WWII in the ETO. A periscope like optical device was inserted in the breech of each .50 while adjustments were made to the gun azimuth and elevation with cross hairs on the target.

    If you have not ever mounted a new scope on a bolt action rifle, you would remove bolt, put rifle in steady base and look through barrel. Move the rifle to see the target in the rifle bore.

    You would set the azimuth (with Cross hairs in '0' position) by adjusting the screw in the mount left or right (in the case of Leupold mounts) until cross hairs lined up with the target while viewing down the bore. Tighten it up and take to the range for fine tuning POI.

    In the case of the B-26 you move the whole frickin airplane until the Armorer says he has the target in his bore sight.
     
  7. Cave Tonitrum

    Cave Tonitrum New Member

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    I read that they could also lock the upper twin .50 turret forward (Has anyone else heard this?) thus bringing sixteen .50's to bear on target.
     
  8. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    Yes to P-61, not sure of A/B-26 but doubt that would be necessary as a gunner does control the turret
     
  9. Rufus123

    Rufus123 Member

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    I know the procedure would be the same but geometrically it would seem the smaller the zone where the ideal pattern would be. those are the widest spaced fixed guns I have ever heard of.
     
  10. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Since the intention is ground strafing does it matter?

    Or would a wider pattern/swath be an advantage?

    If 6-8 .50 cal guns can't destroy the target ( which is either not moving or moving very slowly compared to an aerial target so the chances of hitting are way different) would another 6-8 guns make a difference?
     
  11. Cave Tonitrum

    Cave Tonitrum New Member

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    #11 Cave Tonitrum, Oct 3, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2013
    A single .50 BMG round doesn't inflict a knock out punch. It causes damage. At some point, over the course of several strikes, the damage to a target can become severe enough to qualify it as "destroyed." Another six or eight guns means more damage, a greater chance of hitting a critical area and a greater probability of destroying a target on any given pass.
     
  12. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    It depends on the target, extra .50 cal strikes on a 35-60 ton tank may screw up external fittings but will not move it from the damaged to the destroyed category. Bunkers/pill boxes with concrete walls need a LOT of hits in a SMALL area to effect a breech.

    4-8 .50 cal guns seemed to work just fine on trucks and unarmored vehicles/parked aircraft, let alone personnel.

    On the other hand if you are strafing a column of troops on a road or waves of troops attacking a position perhaps you want a wider swath? A concentration of of fire a few feet wide down the center of the road or along one "wave/line" of troops may be overkill for that few feet. Having guns that hit the shoulder of the road at the same time may hit some of the troops as the they try to scatter/take shelter at roadside ditches obstructions. Or a wider pattern hitting the attacking "wave/line" which probably won't be exactly straight.

    If you are barge or ship busting then ANY hit below the water line lets in water, it doesn't need to be right next to the other hits. Topsides, unless armored, are vulnerable to .50 cal hits already and if armored, unless rather thin, are pretty much invulnerable to .50 cal hits. To try to "'chew" through armor requires bullets to either land in the same hole or at least touching the previous hole, landing several inches away gets NO benefit.
     
  13. yulzari

    yulzari Active Member

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    The same question about convergence arises for the Martin Maryland with x4 .303" MkII Brownings in the outer wings. With 750 rpg they accounted for a few Italian aeroplanes so they must have been useable for air to air battle.
     
  14. glennasher

    glennasher Member

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    I think the "shotgun effect" would be an advantage in ground strafing. They weren't snipers, they were more along the lines of a machine gun squad. Sniping is good with a defined target, but pretty darned hard to do at aircraft speeds (even the slow aircraft are hard to shoot from, movies and TV notwithstanding.)
     
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