Fabric over Guns?

Discussion in 'Weapons Systems Tech.' started by VALENGO, Feb 25, 2010.

  1. VALENGO

    VALENGO Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2006
    Messages:
    404
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    engineer
    Location:
    Zárate city, Argentina
    Home Page:
    I´ve seem many times an old film showing a close up of a Spit´s firing guns. Something that always have my attention is what seems to be a little piece of fabric in the gun´s mouth. This thing waves ahead with every shot (I guess that the plane was not flying, cause there is not wind backwards).
    Well, yesterday I was looking some stuff of the Me163 and I noted this (see picture). If you see carefully you can see what looks like a ripped fabric cover (under a screwed ring) over the MK108´s mouth.
    Here the question: any planes had fabric covers over the guns?.
    If so, I guess that the support personnel musted replace them after every sortie.
    If someone can put more light over this, thanks in advance.
     

    Attached Files:

    • 6.jpg
      6.jpg
      File size:
      442.1 KB
      Views:
      211
  2. gumbyk

    gumbyk Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2009
    Messages:
    1,627
    Likes Received:
    208
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    Aviation QMS/SMS consultant
    Location:
    Blenheim
    I have seen the same. to me it looks like some fabric tape or somethign like that.
    I had presumed that it was to keep water/dirt out of the gun barrells.
     
  3. VALENGO

    VALENGO Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2006
    Messages:
    404
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    engineer
    Location:
    Zárate city, Argentina
    Home Page:
    yes, a protection until the gun is needed.
     
  4. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Messages:
    47,697
    Likes Received:
    1,419
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Cheshire, UK
    Quite right. In the R.A.F. at least, squares of cotton canvas fabric were doped over the gun ports (hence the dull red colour). This was not only to prevent the ingress of dirt and dust into the muzzles and barrels, but more importantly to aid in preventing the guns freezing at altitude, due to the effects of 'wet cold'. Basically, this is cold, damp air, being forced down the barrel(s) of the weapons, causing a vapour which froze around the breech and working parts, preventing the guns from firing, or causing a stoppage after one or two rounds had been fired.
    Until an adequate gun bay/breech heating system was fitted to the Spitfire (and, of course, other types), this was the only way of trying to prevent the problems of gun operation at altitude. Even when heating ducts were fitted, the fabric patches were still used, and these were replaced after each sortie, during the re-arming and re-fuelling of the aircraft.
    Depending on the type and arrangement of an aircraft's armament, the fabric patches were often replaced by discs of waxed, or similarly coated card, or thin rubber membranes, over the muzzles.
     
  5. VALENGO

    VALENGO Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2006
    Messages:
    404
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    engineer
    Location:
    Zárate city, Argentina
    Home Page:
    so, when we make a plastic model is allowed show guns covered with discs or squares.
    Well, enough for me, thanks for the info, airframes.
     
  6. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Messages:
    47,697
    Likes Received:
    1,419
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Cheshire, UK
    You're welcome. Just check reference pics for the type/size/colour etc of any patches/caps on the particular type of aircraft.
     
  7. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    Messages:
    7,895
    Likes Received:
    637
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Long Island, New York
    It would be interesting to see if someone could find an operational picture of the Komet with the "patches" clearly in place over the cannon ports.
     
  8. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2009
    Messages:
    7,528
    Likes Received:
    947
    Trophy Points:
    113
    The square patches on the Spitfire were self adhesive fabric.They functioned exactly as described by Airframes,Spitfire guns being heated by exhaust heat,not electrically. When replaced they also served to warn ground crew that the aircraft was re-armed and the guns cocked. i.e. don't fiddle about in the cockpit and avoid walking in the line of fire. They also served to indicate to the ground crew whether the guns had, or had not, been fired after a sortie.
    The cannon on British fighters wore rather fetching red "condoms" for the same reasons.
    Steve
     
  9. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2009
    Messages:
    3,541
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    Engineer and overgrown schoolboy
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #9 Colin1, Feb 26, 2010
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2010
    Me163A and B. Taken soon after the first of the Klemm-built aircraft was delivered to Bad Zwischenahn in January 1944. Masked cannon port visible on the nearer Me163B.
     

    Attached Files:

  10. VALENGO

    VALENGO Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2006
    Messages:
    404
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    engineer
    Location:
    Zárate city, Argentina
    Home Page:
    Colin1, I thought that I´ve seen every single picture of the komet, but the one you uploaded is new for me. Thanks.
     
  11. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2009
    Messages:
    3,541
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    Engineer and overgrown schoolboy
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    It could have been better
    but I need to buy some scanning software instead of running 30-day trials :)
    I can scan it but can't save it, I then have to close the app, open MS Paint and take it from there.

    There were actually two photos but the other one didn't come to much.
     
  12. wheelsup_cavu

    wheelsup_cavu Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2009
    Messages:
    4,530
    Likes Received:
    43
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Occupation:
    CNC Machinist/Programmer
    Location:
    Corona, California
    Home Page:
    Cool photo Colin.


    Wheels
     
  13. hawkeye2an

    hawkeye2an Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2009
    Messages:
    1,047
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    Salesman
    Location:
    St Joseph, Missouri
    That's a new one for me to, thanks.
     
  14. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2006
    Messages:
    4,441
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    MGR
    Location:
    Phila, Pa
    I always thought they used duct tape or something similar.
     
  15. ppopsie

    ppopsie Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2006
    Messages:
    461
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Occupation:
    to read and receive
    Location:
    East end
  16. gumbyk

    gumbyk Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2009
    Messages:
    1,627
    Likes Received:
    208
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    Aviation QMS/SMS consultant
    Location:
    Blenheim
    Makes sense. The gun ports would set up turbulent airflow over the wings at high angles.
     
  17. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2006
    Messages:
    7,359
    Likes Received:
    561
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Executive, Consulting
    Location:
    Scurry, Texas
    The 355th used duct tape - strictly for keeping debris out of the barrels.
     
Loading...

Share This Page