Monday, 18 April 2016

'Emil' had the best configuration of weapons - do you agree with that?

What is one of the most important issues regarding fighters? The performance of the machine, its maneuverability, and perhaps most important thing: weaponry. Its effectiveness, ability to effectively manipulate fire and functional service. Probably the best example of such a successful configuration in the history of Messerschmitt Bf109, was a version of the E - Emil.
Messerschmitt Bf109E-7 of II Schlachtgruppe, Lehrgeschwader 2, St. Omer, 1940


Two MG 17 7.92 mm installed on the front of the fuselage and firing through the propeller arc. Other 2 cannons Oerlikon MG FF 'M' 20mm was mounted in the wings. 2 MG 17 have a special ammunition cartridge with two chambers. At the top was a tape with bullets, while the bottom, a separate part, the scales fell and slid a worn tape. In the case of built-cannons in the wings, the situation was different. Tape ammunition ran along the wings forming a loop. It was an unusual solution, but surprisingly worked quite well. The shells of bullets were not stored, by the hole they flew out. Importantly, pilot can keep firing each pair of guns used a separate button.
The MG 17 was developed in 1936 by Rheinmetall as a fixed forward-firing weapon for fighter aircraft. Later in the war, when the Luftwaffe removed it's 8mm weapons from fighter service(7.9mm was considered obsolete as aircraft armament and the smallest caliber guns were henceforth 13 and 15mm machine guns), they were given to units on the ground for defensive purposes. Mainly the field units of the Luftwaffe
A team of armourers load ammunition boxes for the engine-mounted MG17 machine guns fitted to an early build 'Emil-1'. Each gun had sufficient ammunition storage for 1000 rounds. Note that the groundcrew have removed an area of the cowling immiediately forward of the cockpit so as to gain easy access to the guns and ammunition boxes.
MG 17 7.92 mm
received them because the German Army suffered from a shortage of machine guns since production of the MG 34 and MG 42 could never meet the demand so the Army was prioritized for delivery of those weapons. Reworking the aircraft machine guns for the ground role began around 1942 and involved new sights, a shoulder rest, mounting the weapon on standard MG tripods or a bipod, spent cartridge deflector and carrying sling. Official production numbers of the MG 17 were 24,271 on 1.7.1944; it is unknown how many of these had been already converted to ground use by the end of the war. This weapon was belt fed, a ROF of up to 1,200, and weighed 10.2 kg

The MG FF was adapted to fire a new type of high-capacity, high-explosive mine shell, called   that featured a projectile with thinner walls that allowed increased explosive charge. This projectile was lighter and generated less recoil than earlier projectiles requiring a modification of the recoil mechanism. With this modification it could fire the new mine shell, but accidentally using the heavier MG FF ammo could damage the gun. The now-called MG FF/M was introduced with the Bf 109 E-4 and Bf 110 C-4 in Summer 1940.
MG-FF 20 mm cannon

In late evaluation of Messerschmitt Bf109, Germans tried make a really big change. Emil was the last version of Bf109 with really useful and rational arming stuff. All late  evaluations as a gondola mounted under the wings, other cannons firing through the propeller hub in comparison to the "human resources" of the Luftwaffe at the end of the war they have not been very effective.