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Author Topic: British B.1/39 Heavy Bomber Competition  (Read 946 times)

Offline Avimimus

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Re: British B.1/39 Heavy Bomber Competition
« Reply #15 on: November 14, 2017, 07:01:43 pm »
So assuming all for guns are fired at once (and assuming my calculations are correct) that is 2.77 seconds of fire between reloads. This is similar to the burst length of the 0.303s in British bombers of the time. However, they were belt fed and required cooling, not reloading. So the reload time could have left a considerable period where fire wasn't available. To make matters worse, the gun barrels had set positions during reloading - which means any attacking fighter would have visible cues showing that the gunners were reloading.

So it might be much more ideal to have three two gun turrets (e.g. a tail turret) which would allow one gunner to be operational while the other guns were being reloaded. Doing so would prevent a fighter from safely pressing its attack after the first defensive salvo missed.

That said, this is a really intimidating defensive armament - and a single burst scoring a hit would almost certainly take out the attacker. An interesting side effect is that the Luftwaffe might have invested even more in fighters with larger cannon (37mm or greater) in an attempt to regain a range advantage over the gunners. This would waste funds and might lead to more vulnerable twin engined fighters existing to be shot down in 1944 when long range single-engined escort fighters became more available. Of course, by mid-war both RAF bombers and twin engined Zerstörer would tend to prefer operating at night - and this would mean that engagement ranges would tend to be much closer. So, the actual way this technology would play out might be more complicated.