Packet Guns

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by wuzak, May 20, 2012.

  1. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2011
    Messages:
    4,179
    Likes Received:
    167
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Hobart Tasmania
    #1 wuzak, May 20, 2012
    Last edited: May 20, 2012
    I was just looking through a flickr collection that Njaco had linked (in the aviation links thread) and found this great shot of a B-26

    B-26C | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    showing the pilot, co-pilot and navigator(?) with the bombadier having a sneaky cigarette!

    Anyway, my question is about the packet guns attached to the side of the fuselage.

    Were the packet guns in any way aligned, or way just the way that they went on?

    Was the hand aimed nose gun any good in comparison?

    Would that sort of solution have been any good for the B-17 instead of the chin turret to fight off head on attackers? Would that cost less weight and drag?

    Also, is that another gun poking out the lower right of the nose (lower left in the photo)?
     
  2. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Messages:
    2,480
    Likes Received:
    108
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    auto body repair
    Location:
    pound va
    I'm sure the crewchief would align them on the ground so they all fire aligned with the aircraft, they're for low level attacks. The pilot could aim them using tracers and by watching the bullet strikes on the ground. I don't see any sights in the picture.

    Trying to use those guns on any airborne attackers would be more destructive to a formation than any attackers could be.
     
  3. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2005
    Messages:
    20,140
    Likes Received:
    54
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Occupation:
    Engineer
    Location:
    Washington State
    There is at least one instance that I know of where a single .50cal was mounted with a crude sight on a B-17. I've always felt that the .30cals mounted at the nose eyebrow positions were just added weight, but having talked with an actual B-17 pilot from the war his response was "we liked any gun that would shoot".
     
  4. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Messages:
    6,418
    Likes Received:
    64
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    I've seen a picture of a Ju-52 transport with a forward firing 7.92mm MG.

    Maybe the pilot was adding emphisis to his request for transfer to fighter aircraft. :)
     
  5. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2011
    Messages:
    4,179
    Likes Received:
    167
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Hobart Tasmania
    Wouldn't that also be the case for the chin turret?
     
  6. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    5,682
    Likes Received:
    430
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired and living on the dole
    Location:
    Lakeview, AR
    Not a pilot but beng able to shoot back in some way shape or form just "feels" better and with enouh lead in flight you could never tell, you might just hit something. When taking fire on the ground we seldom knew where the rounds were coming from except in a general way, so you just sprayed the treeline and hoped
     
  7. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Messages:
    2,480
    Likes Received:
    108
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    auto body repair
    Location:
    pound va
    The pilot doesn't control the chin turret, the bombadier uses it, and it was flexible.

    Packet guns were aimed only by pointing the nose at where you wanted the fire to go. Can you imagine what would happen to a B-17 in a formation, if the pilot tried to follow a head on attacker by aiming the whole aircraft at it. Stall or collide with other aircraft in the formation, or cause other bombers problems because they have to avoid him..
     
  8. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2011
    Messages:
    4,179
    Likes Received:
    167
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Hobart Tasmania
    I wouldn't imagine B-17 pilots doing that.

    But I could imagine forward firing guns would discourage frontal attacks.
     
  9. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Messages:
    2,480
    Likes Received:
    108
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    auto body repair
    Location:
    pound va
    Just putting a stream of tracers out there in the hope that some one would fly into them seems a waste of .50 cal. to me. It wouldn't take the attackers long to notice that they were fixed, and just avoid the one degee or whatever they'd cover.
     
  10. model299

    model299 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2007
    Messages:
    175
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Occupation:
    Mechanical Designer
    Location:
    Minnysoder
    AFAIK, the cheek guns on operational B-17s were always .50 cal, just like all of the other guns on the ships.
     
  11. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Messages:
    2,480
    Likes Received:
    108
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    auto body repair
    Location:
    pound va
    The cheek guns did have some coverage, nowhere as much as the chin turret though.

    Wasn't the B-17s used in some low level missions in the Pacific, on a very few missions ? Or am I confusing a movie with real history?
     
  12. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2008
    Messages:
    15,187
    Likes Received:
    2,029
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Public Safety Automotive Technician
    Location:
    Redding, California
    Home Page:
    By the way, there were a few B-17s that were field modified with a 20mm nose cannon, and several more that had them in the tail...

    As far as the gun packs go, the B-25 used them to great effect in the PTO against Japanese positions and shipping...if you look at footage of the B-25s strafing Japanese ships, you can see a pretty accurate line of of bullet impacts on the water, so they were definately aligned but what the actual range of convergance was, I'm not sure.
     
  13. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Messages:
    2,480
    Likes Received:
    108
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    auto body repair
    Location:
    pound va
    I can definitly see the use of a gun pack for low level use.
    But I don't see any practical use for it on a B-17 for air to air.
     
  14. Aaron Brooks Wolters

    Aaron Brooks Wolters Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2007
    Messages:
    15,719
    Likes Received:
    339
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Auto Restoration
    Location:
    Abingdon, VA.
    Dave, if I'm not mistaken, they were aimed straight ahead just as they were mounted. Not really needing a convergence because of the size of the target they were going after. I may be wrong though.
     
  15. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Messages:
    2,480
    Likes Received:
    108
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    auto body repair
    Location:
    pound va
    How far apart would the guns be where they're mounted, 5 feet ? If they're mounted parallel, the bullets would be striking only 5 feet from each other. If they converge, they may be concentrated at the convergence zone, but beyound that the bullet streams get further apart, making long range shots impossible.
     
  16. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2008
    Messages:
    15,187
    Likes Received:
    2,029
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Public Safety Automotive Technician
    Location:
    Redding, California
    Home Page:
    We had a B-25 here in Redding during an airshow several years ago and they had the blister cowling removed and you could see the aligning adjusters...

    Now I'm pretty sure they weren't going for nail-driver accuracy like a fighter because ground attack doesn't require it.
     
  17. model299

    model299 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2007
    Messages:
    175
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Occupation:
    Mechanical Designer
    Location:
    Minnysoder
    They also gave the navigator something to do besides plotting the course and dodging flack.

    Are you thinking of "Air Force?"
     
  18. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Messages:
    2,480
    Likes Received:
    108
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    auto body repair
    Location:
    pound va
    I maybe am thinking of the movie " Air Force", just a Hollywood fantasy then I guess.

    Then I guess the bombadier could man the cheek guns when not behind the bombsight.
     
Loading...

Share This Page