P-38 - Disposal of 20mm Cannon Shells and Links

Discussion in 'Weapons Systems Tech.' started by ronl, Apr 26, 2010.

  1. ronl

    ronl Member

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    Can anyone confirm how the expended 20 mm cannon shells and links were disposed of in the P-38 Lightning? The P-38L Erection and Maintenance Manual in the "Other Mechanical Systems" thread provides great information and appears to indicate that the expended cannon shells and links were discharged into a compartment below the cannon and then emptied when the aircraft was on the ground. Unfortunately, the pages that would provide a definitive answer appear to be missing from the manual.

    I hope someone can provide a definitive answer. Thanks.

    Ron
     
  2. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    ronl, i can't tell you definitively but i would bet on it. the ejected inks can the damage aircraft as can the shell casings plus there is significant weight in those shells. ejecting them alters the planes center of gravity
     
  3. ronl

    ronl Member

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    Thanks Mike.

    The .50 cal expended cases and links were definitely ejected from the P-38 through the 4 chutes in the nose. The 20mm cases were a lot bigger than the .50 cal cases, and if ejected, would have been closer to the props. They could possibly have done a lot of damage to the fuselage pod. I suspect that is why they were retained in the nose and emptied when the aircraft was on the ground.

    Ron
     
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