Saturday, 4 March 2017

Focke-Wulf Fw200 Condor - Part 3. German Dzib -Compiler-

Postwar use

Two MG 151/20 cannon fitted to a Finnish TorKK MG-151 2 anti-aircraft mounting. Cannons of Torp museum (2011)
After World War 2, numbers of ex-Luftwaffe MG 151/20 cannon were removed from inventory and from scrapped aircraft and used by various nations in their own aircraft. The French Air Force and French Army aviation arm (ALAT) utilized MG 151/20 cannon as both fixed and flexible armament in various aircraft, including helicopters. The FAF and ALAT jointly developed a rubber-insulated flexible mount for the MG 151/20 for use as a door gun, which was later used in combat in Algeria aboard several FAF/ALAT H-21C assault transport helicopters and on Sikorsky HSS-1 Pirate gunship helicopters. French Matra MG 151 20mm cannons were used by Portugal and Rhodesia(21) fitted to their Alouette III helicopters, while Denel designed its own variant for the South African Air Force.(22)

MG 151 specifications

Type: single-barrel automatic cannon
Caliber: 15×96mm
Operation: Recoil-operated; short recoil
Length: 1916 mm
Barrel length: 1254 mm
Rifling: 8 grooves, right hand twist, 1 turn in 16"
Weight (complete): 38.1 kg (84 lb)
Rate of fire: 740 rpm
Effective range: 1000 m
Muzzle velocity: 850 m/s (AP-T); 960 m/s (HE-T, HEI-T); 1030 m/s AP(WC)
Projectile types:
                       AP-T weighing 72 g
                       HE weighing 57 g. HE filler: 2.8 g
                       AP(WC) weighing 52 g

MG 151/20 specifications

Two versions of the 20 mm MG 151 were built. Early guns used a percussion priming system, and later E-models used electrical priming. Some rounds were available with a timer self-destruct and/or tracer (or glowtracer). There were also different types of high-explosive shell fillings with either standard PETN, a mixture called HA41 (RDX and aluminium), and a compressed version where more explosives were compressed into same space using large pressures (XM).
Type: single-barrel automatic cannon
Caliber: 20×82mm
Operation: Recoil-operated; short recoil
Length: 1766 mm
Barrel length: 1104 mm/55 calibers
Rifling: 1 turn in 23 calibers
Weight (complete): 42.7 kg
Rate of fire: 750 rpm
Effective range:800 m
Muzzle velocity: 805 m/s (M-Geschoss); 705 m/s (HE-T, AP)

Ammunition specifications

US derivative

In the late 1940s the US Army reverse engineered the MG151 in order to adapt it to fire .60 caliber rounds; these had been developed for use in an anti-tank rifle. Around 300 of these T17 guns were built. However none saw service despite the availability of 6 million rounds of .60 caliber ammunition.(23) Almost one million rounds were fired during the T17 testing program. The main US version produced, the T17E3, was made by Frigidaire. Further refinements led to the T39 and T51 versions, but these also did not enter service.(24)

MG 131 machine gun

The MG 131 (shortened from German: Maschinengewehr 131, or "Machine gun 131") was a German 13 mm caliber machine gun developed in 1938 by Rheinmetall-Borsig and produced from 1940 to 1945. The MG 131 was designed for use at fixed, flexible or turreted, single or twin mountings in Luftwaffe aircraft during World War II.
It was one of the smallest, if not the smallest among the heavy machine guns, the weight was less than 60% of the M2 Browning or the Breda 12.7 mm. Despite this, the MG 131 was a rapid fire weapon with an elevated firepower for its mass. It was equipped with HE rounds. The nearer equivalent could have been the Ho-103. The other Axis main machine gun, the Breda 12.7 mm, was around 13 kg heavier and bigger, while slower by at least 150 rpm. The small size of the MG 131 meant the possibility to replace the 7.92 mm machine guns even in the small nose of the Luftwaffe fighters, which was commonplace from 1943 onwards. This weapon was a marked improvement as the greater armour protection Allied aircraft received rendered smaller calibers almost useless. This was especially true when it came to heavy Allied bombers.
It was installed in the Messerschmitt Bf 109, Me 410 Hornisse, Fw 190, Ju 88, Junkers Ju 388, He 177 Greif bomber, Focke Wulf Fw 200 Condor and many other aircraft. The Fernbedienbare Drehlafette FDL 131Z remotely controlled gun turret system, used as a forward-mount dorsal turret on the He 177A, used two MG 131s for dorsal defense, with the experimental Hecklafette HL 131V manned aircraft tail turret design, meant to be standardized on the never-built A-6 version of the He 177A, was also meant for standardization on many late-war prototype developments of German heavy bomber airframes such as the separately developed four engined He 177B and the 1943–44 Amerika Bomber design contender from Heinkel, the BMW 801E radial-powered Heinkel He 277, both airframes being intended to use the HL 131V tail turret unit mounting four MG 131s, two guns each 
mounted in each of a pair of rotating exterior elevation carriages on either side of the seated gunner, with horizontal traverse executed by the turret core's rotation. The design of the turret originated with the Borsig division of Rheinmetall-Borsig (the manufacturer of the guns themselves) and was a design with promise, using hydraulic drive to both elevate the turret through a 60º arc of both elevation and depression, with a capability for horizontal traverse of some 100º to either side, all at a top traverse angular speed of 60º per second.(25) The Hecklafette tail turret design was never produced beyond a small number of prototype test examples and engineering mockups from 1943 onwards, with few relics of their existence remaining.
The MG 131 fired electrically primed ammunition in order to sustain a high rate of fire when shooting through the propeller disc of a single-engined fighter. A pair of MG 131 machine guns was used as cowl armament on later models of the Bf 109G (which originally required one blister or Beule on each side of the fuselage, flanking the upper rear end of the engine, to house the larger breech of the new gun) and the Fw 190.

Technical data

Weight : 16.6 kilograms (37 lb)
Length : 1.17 metres (3.8 ft)
Muzzle velocity : ~ 750 metres per second (2,500 ft/s)
Rate of fire : ~ 900 rounds per minute
13 mm API (Pzgr. L'Spur) - 710 m/s, projectile mass 38.5 grams (594 gr), muzzle energy 989           m/kg(26)
13 mm HE-T (Sprgr. L'Spur) - 710 m/s, projectile mass 34 grams (520 gr)(27)
13 mm HEI-T (Br. Sprgr. L'Spur) - 750 m/s, projectile mass 34 grams (520 gr) with 1.4 grams           (22 gr) PETN + 0.3 grams (4.6 gr) thermite, muzzle energy 975 m/kg(28)

Powerplant: Bramo 323

The Bramo 323 Fafnir

The Bramo 323 Fafnir was a 9-cylinder radial aircraft engine of the World War II era. Based heavily on Siemens/Bramo's earlier experience producing the Bristol Jupiter under license,(29) the engine was not particularly modern and saw limited use.

Design and development

Development of the 323 was the end result of a series of modifications to the original Jupiter design, which Siemens licensed in 1929. The first modifications were to "Germanize" the dimensions, producing the Sh.20 and Sh.21. The design was then bored out to produce the 950 hp (708 kW) Sh.22 in 1930. Like the Jupiter, the Sh.22 featured a rather "old" looking arrangement with rather prominent valve pushrods on the front of the engine, giving it a hint of the appearance of the 1925-origin American nine-cylinder Pratt & Whitney R-1340 Wasp. In the mid-1930s the Reich Air Ministry (RLM) rationalized engine naming, and Bramo was given the 300-block of numbers, the Sh.14 and Sh.22 becoming the Bramo 314 and 322 respectively. The 322 never matured and remained unreliable.
The team continued work on the basic design, adding fuel injection and a new supercharger. The resulting 323 was just under 27 l in displacement, and produced 900 PS at 2,500 rpm for takeoff, improving slightly to 1,000 PS at 3,100 m (10,200 ft). The reduced power at sea level was inevitable for engines with one-speed mechanically driven superchargers when they were regulated to a constant maximum boost pressure below their critical altitude.
The Fafnir powered a number of German pre-war designs, including the Focke-Wulf Fw 200, Henschel Hs 126, Dornier Do 24 and Dornier Do 17, as well as the Focke Achgelis Fa 223 Drache helicopter. Its fairly poor fuel economy kept it from more widespread use, and most designs chose the similar BMW 132 instead, whose specific fuel consumption varied between 220 and 240 g/(kW•h) depending on model, whereas the early versions of the Fafnir got about 255 g/(kW•h), a poor figure for the era. The C/Ds, where the supercharger used less power, improved this to 230 g/(kW•h), but were only useful at lower altitudes.
BMW bought Bramo in 1939 and continued production to supply the small number of designs that already used it, notably the Do 17. The naming at this point becomes somewhat confusing, with BMW, Bramo and Fafnir being used almost interchangeably. 5,500 were produced before the lines were shut down in 1944.


The original 323 design was produced in A and B models, differing in the direction they turned. The engines were intended to be installed in A/B pairs, thereby eliminating engine torque across a twin-engine aircraft. The similar C and D models featured a lower supercharger gearing for better performance at lower altitudes, improving takeoff power to 1,000 PS, but reducing the critical altitude.
The final versions, P, R and T, featured a two-speed supercharger for better all-round performance. This allowed it to generate 1,000 PS at sea level as in the C/D models, but improved altitude performance considerably, delivering 940 PS at 4,000 m (13,000 ft). The R-2 subtype added MW 50 water-methanol injection for added low-altitude performance, boosting power to 1,200 PS at 2,600 rpm.


Arado Ar 196
Arado Ar 232
Blohm & Voss BV 222
Dornier Do 17
Dornier Do 24
Focke Achgelis Fa 223
Focke-Wulf Fw 200
Henschel Hs 126
Junkers Ju 352

Specifications (BMW 323A) (30)

General characteristics
Type: 9-cylinder supercharged air-cooled radial engine
Bore: 154 mm (6.06 in)
Stroke: 160 mm (6.30 in)
Displacement: 26.82 litres (1,636.8 in³)
Length: 1,420 mm (55.9 in)
Diameter: 1,388 mm (54.6 in)
Dry weight: 550 kg (1,210 lb)
Valvetrain: Pushrod-actuated overhead valve
Supercharger: Gear-driven
Fuel system: Fuel injection
Fuel type: 87 Octane petrol
Cooling system: Air-cooled
Power output:
670 kW (900 PS) at 2,500 rpm at sea level for take-off
745 kW (1,000 PS) at 3,100 m (10,200 ft)
Specific power: 27.8 kW/L (0.61 hp/in³)
Compression ratio: 6.4:1
Specific fuel consumption: 0.348 kg/(kW·h) (0.572 lb/(hp·h))
Power-to-weight ratio: 1.36 kW/kg (0.83 hp/lb)

Specifications (31)

Type: Maritime reconaissance bomber, missle platform, and transport
Origin: Focke Wulf Flugzeugbau GmbH, in partnership with Hamburger Flugzeugbau (Blohm und Voss)
Total Production: 276

Model: BMW-Bramo Fafnir 323R-2
Type: 9-cylinder radial
Number: Four
– 1,200hp at 2,600rpm with Methanol-water 
    injection for take-off and emergency
– 1,000hp at 2,500rpm at sea level
– 950hp at 2,500rpm at 13,124ft (4,000m)
Fuel Capacity:
Standard: 1,773 Imp. Gallons (8,060L)
Overload: 2,190 Imp. Gallons (9,955L)
Type: N/A

Wing span: 32.84m
Length: 23.46m
Height: 6.3m
Wing Surface Area: 1,270.14 Sq. Ft.

Empty: 12,951kg (28,550 lbs.)
Loaded: 22,700kg (50,045 lbs.)

Performance of Fw 200 C-3/U4
Maximum Speed:
– 190mph (306kph) at sea level
– 224mph (360kph) at 15,750ft (4,800m)
Maximum Continuous cruise:
– 172mph (277kph) at sea level
– 208mph (355kph) at 13,125ft (4,000m)
Economy cruise:
– 158mph (255kph)
Range at Economy Cruise:
2,210 mls (3,556 km) With Standard Fuel
2,760 mls (4,440 km) With Overload Fuel
Service Ceiling: 19,030ft (5800m) Armament:
Forward Dorsal Turret:
One 15mm MG 151/15, One 20mm MG 151/20 Or One 7.92mm MG 15 with 1,000 rnds mounted in hydralically operated FW 19 turret
Ventral Gondola:
One 20mm MG 151/20 with 500 rnds. manually aimed at front
One 7.92mm MG 15 with 1,000 rnds. manually aimed at rear
Two 7.92mm MG 15 Or Two 13mm MG 131 with 300 rnds.
Aft Dorsal Position:
One 13mm MG 131 with 500 rnds.
Bomb Load:
4,626 lbs. (2100kg) carried in ventral gondola and beneath wings
Missle Load: (C-6 to C-8 models)
Two Hs 293 Anit-Ship Missles under outboard nacells
Fw 200 C-8: Fug 200 Hohentwiel Search And Bombing Radar

1. "Friend or Foe? Two Four - Engined Bombers With Single Tails." Flight 16 October 1941, p. b           (between pages 256 and 257).
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5. Joachim von Ribbentrop in Moscow 1939 
6. Wikipedia, Focke-Wulf Fw 200 Condor.
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12. "The removal." Retrieved: 19 September 2010.
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14. Anthony G. Williams (2002). Rapid Fire: The Development of Automatic Cannon, Heavy                   Machine-Guns and Their Ammunition for Armies, Navies and Air Forces. Airlife. p. 165. ISBN         978-1-84037-435-3.
15. Johnson, Melvin M., Jr. Rifles and Machine Guns William Morrow & Company (1944) pp.384         & 385
16. Anthony G. Williams (2002). Rapid Fire: The Development of Automatic Cannon, Heavy                   Machine-Guns and Their Ammunition for Armies, Navies and Air Forces. Airlife. p. 163. ISBN         978-1-84037-435-3.
17. Anthony G. Williams (2002). Rapid Fire: The Development of Automatic Cannon, Heavy                   Machine-Guns and Their Ammunition for Armies, Navies and Air Forces. Airlife. pp. 166–167.         ISBN 978-1-84037-435-3.
18. Ki-61 survey. Retrieved on 2009-06-04.
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20. Anthony G. Williams & Emmnuel Gustin (2003). Flying guns WWII. Airlife. p. 238. ISBN               978-1-84037-227-4.
21. Peter J.H. Petter-Bowyer. Winds of Destruction: The Autobiography of a Rhodesian Combat             Pilot (2005 ed.). 30°. pp. 278–279. ISBN 0-958-4890-3-3.
22. "GA 1 20mm Cannon". Unofficial Website of the South African Air Force. Retrieved 2013-06-           18.
23. Jump up^ Anthony G. Williams (2002). Rapid Fire: The Development of Automatic Cannon,             Heavy Machine-Guns and Their Ammunition for Armies, Navies and Air Forces. Airlife. p.               154. ISBN 978-1-84037-435-3.
24. Chinn, George (1951). "Parts VIII and IX". The Machine Gun: Development During World War         II and Korean Conflict by the United States and their Allies of Full Automatic Machine Gun               Systems and High Rate of Fire Power Drive Cannon. III. pp. 110–152.
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26. Handbuch der Flugzeug Bordwaffenmunition 1936 - 1945 p.6
27. MG 131 Waffen-Handbuch, Sept. 1941 p. 17
28. Handbuch der Flugzeug Bordwaffenmunition 1936 - 1945 p.7
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