Fixed tail gun in an He-111

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by B-17engineer, Apr 1, 2008.

  1. B-17engineer

    B-17engineer Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2007
    Messages:
    14,953
    Likes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    model builder
    Location:
    Revis Island.
    Can someone give me more information on this. Thanks!
     
  2. Flyboy2

    Flyboy2 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2008
    Messages:
    676
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    The tail gun was a sometimes included modification in the He-111H-3 varient and onwards. It was not manned but was fired by one of the crew members, I think it was the person who manned the lower gondola. It was not extremely effective from what I gather but since it wasn't very visible it was sure scare the you know what out of any pilot approaching from the tail. It looks like an attempt to make the vulnerable He-111 a little less vulnerable.
     
  3. magnocain

    magnocain Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2007
    Messages:
    394
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    I think it would have been a good idea to equip some fighters with such a tail machine gun, it would have been useful.
     
  4. Grampa

    Grampa Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2005
    Messages:
    542
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
  5. Flyboy2

    Flyboy2 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2008
    Messages:
    676
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    I think it would have been pretty hard to use a fighter tail gun. Because most dog fights where turning fights, the shots would have been very hard to make because the bullets would have flew wide. Would have been useful for formation flying.
     
  6. Micdrow

    Micdrow “Archive”
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Messages:
    7,711
    Likes Received:
    416
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Occupation:
    Manufacture Tech
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    He 111 tail weapon install from book squadron signal He-111 in action.
     

    Attached Files:

    • 111.jpg
      111.jpg
      File size:
      56.4 KB
      Views:
      102
  7. magnocain

    magnocain Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2007
    Messages:
    394
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Not to shoot down enemy planes as to scare them and straft overflown ground targets.
     
  8. Heinz

    Heinz Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Messages:
    7,731
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    Student, Musician, Writer, Thinker, Shelf Stacker...
    Location:
    Melbourne, Victoria
    Thanks for the shot Micdrow!
     
  9. B-17engineer

    B-17engineer Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2007
    Messages:
    14,953
    Likes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    model builder
    Location:
    Revis Island.
    Thanks guys and great Pic Micdrow
     
  10. Flyboy2

    Flyboy2 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2008
    Messages:
    676
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Sure clears up alot of confusion
     
  11. Keith T

    Keith T New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2008
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    I think that the tail gun on some Heinkels was fired by the pilot and he had a rear view mirror to sight it - just like on a car.
    Some Heinkels had a grenade launcher in the tail.
    Keith T
     
  12. Micdrow

    Micdrow “Archive”
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Messages:
    7,711
    Likes Received:
    416
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Occupation:
    Manufacture Tech
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Ive never heard of this configuration that I can think off. Any body have any more info on the grenade launcher version. How many grenade's where carried or any pictures of it installed.
     
  13. Flyboy2

    Flyboy2 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2008
    Messages:
    676
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Umm.... wouldn't that be really dangerous to be firing a gernade launcher in a bomber formation. The gernades what have to have really short fuses to ensure the didn't blow up farther back in the formation and wouldn't there also be danger from the gernade shrapnel damaging the plane it was shot from?
    Are you sure it was a gernade launcher?
     
  14. kool kitty89

    kool kitty89 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    Messages:
    3,069
    Likes Received:
    36
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    One thing to note is that the LW bomber formations in the BoB were much looser than those of the USAAF's bomber boxes. But FB2's point still stands.

    And I'd be skeptical of this too.
     
  15. Denniss

    Denniss Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2006
    Messages:
    835
    Likes Received:
    46
    Trophy Points:
    28
    I never heard of a rear firing grenade lauchcher, too. The Luftwaffe did some unseccessful experiments with rear firing flamethrowers but AFAIR only in Do 17.
     
  16. Flyboy2

    Flyboy2 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2008
    Messages:
    676
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Flamethrowers! that would have been crazy. I know its a little off topic, but do you have any information on those experiments that I can see.
     
  17. Graeme

    Graeme Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2007
    Messages:
    2,713
    Likes Received:
    165
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gender:
    Male
  18. bf109 Emil

    bf109 Emil Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2008
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Location:
    Lethbridge, AB Canada
    majority of RCAF pilots attacked from line astern either to port or starboard, thus hampering the rear gunner from tracking do to slip stream, and limited swing as opposed to lanc/B17/24 ball turret rotating completely...

    bf109 Emil
     
  19. ChrisMAg2

    ChrisMAg2 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2006
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Location:
    Hannover, Germany and/or Manila, Philippines
    Here is a pic from Sq-Sig 85, Ju 88, pt1:
     

    Attached Files:

  20. ChrisMAg2

    ChrisMAg2 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2006
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Location:
    Hannover, Germany and/or Manila, Philippines
    Actually, these were not grenades (as in mortars or guns), but mines.

    IIRC, there were 2 - 4 containers in the aft cone of a He 111. These containers would open upon release and disperse a 200g mine hanging on a cable and a small parachute. A following plane should pick up the cable and the drag of the 'chute would move the mine towards the plane. The mine would detonate on contact.
    Some combat tests were run, but were not that successful.
     
Loading...

Share This Page