IJN/IJAAS use of machine gun training cameras?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by eqsmallcakes, Jul 5, 2012.

  1. eqsmallcakes

    eqsmallcakes New Member

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    #1 eqsmallcakes, Jul 5, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2012
    Hello!

    I am doing research on a peculiar piece of equipment, a Type 89 machine gun training camera. According to what I've been reading thus far, these cameras were commissioned by the Imperial Japanese Navy to train fighter pilots and waist gunners in a variety of naval aircraft.

    My main point of confusion is this: As far as I know, the Type 89 machine gun (the actual gun, not the camera) is an Army Air Service weapon, not an IJN weapon. Was the Type 89 gun camera used to specifically imitate the Type 89 machine gun, or was it intended to cover any and all 7.7mm machine guns for aerial training purposes?

    I've read that the cameras were famously used to train Zero pilots - and the Zero armed Type 97 guns (also 7.7mm like the Type 89 guns) - but have found no references to the camera being used in Army Air Service planes, even though many of those armed themselves specifically with Type 89 machine guns. It's too confusing.

    At the end of the day, considering the laundry list of Imperial Japanese Army Air Service planes that were armed with the Type 89 machine gun, I am curious whether the IJAAS also utilized the Type 89 machine gun training camera, or if the use of that device was restricted to IJN pilots and crew only?

    I am enclosing an image of the camera, below. This one has had its tubular acrylic hood removed from over the barrel. This tube would normally hold a prism and stopwatch that superimposed the stopwatch face onto the film as the shutter mechanism fired. This showed accurate measurements, on film, of how long the gunners fired their bursts, for review by evaluators post-training flights.

    Any information or leads on where I could find out more about the history of this equipment and its use in the IJN/IJAAS, images of trainees in uniform utilizing the camera, or anything along those lines, would be very much appreciated.

    Thank you!

    35mm_WW2_Japanese_Type_89_Rokuoh_Sha_made_by_Konica_.jpg
     
  2. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    The Type 89 machine gun training camera was developed by Rokuoh-sha, later Konica, for the navy in 1929.
    The number 89 simply indicated Empire Year 2589 and had nothing to do with the army Type 89 machine gun.

    Total length: 79cm
    Film: 224shots 35mm roll film
    Shutter speed: 1/300 in rotary system
    Lens: Hexar 7.5cm f4.5

    Hexar 7.5cm f4.5.jpg 8725887.jpg
     
  3. eqsmallcakes

    eqsmallcakes New Member

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    Hi Shinpachi - Thanks so much for your response!

    It's funny, I was suspicious that the Type 89 designation had to do with the Empire Calendar, and simply coincided with an existing machine gun designation. Thank you for laying that issue to rest for me. Oddly enough, of all the 7.7mm machine guns, the Type 89 Army Air Service machine gun (below) looks the most like the Konishiroku gun camera (or vice-versa).

    Do you have any idea if the cameras were used by IJAAS pilots and crew, as well as IJN pilots and crew?

    type_89_MG_IJA.gif
     
  4. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    There might be a few chances that the army obtained the navy's for references but the army had their own licensed products of Thornton-Pickard's Hythe gun cameras.
     
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