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View Full Version : K-14 Gunsight conversion & convergence..... first hand.



Bearcat99
06-19-2004, 02:44 PM
Taken from "To Fly and Fight" by Col. Clarence E. "Bud" Anderson..........

"In June of 44 we began getting the new K-14 gyroscopic sights. I tested the first such modified Mustang for our group firing at tow targets and writing up a report of procedures. The K-14, a British design, would become to the fighter plane what the Norden was to the bombers............ Unfortunately the K-14 had been mounted right on top of the instrument panel, and in a Mustang the thing extended backward d@mn near to your nose. We complained bitterly-it blocked your vision, and would have been a hazard in any type of forced landing-and finally one of our own maintenance guys, a 23 year old seargent from Buffalo named Idolo E. Augugliano, cut a chunk out of the glare shield and moved the sight away from our faces 6-8 inches. It gave us more room in the cockpit and the sight worked just fine.

We were pretty proud of that, and sent the specifications on what we had done back to the Air Corps' engineering center at Wright Field in Dayton Ohio. Months later we got a stinging rejection that began with "NO!" and went all the wat to "H@ll NO!!" We were told we had destroyed the planes structural integrity or some such bull and ordered to put it back the way it had been. Don Graham by then our commander simply ignored them and our service group tooled up and began turning out mounts, several a day untill we had done about 200 of them. Other groups began installing them the way we had. Eventually the factory began building them our way and Augugliano's ingenuity won him a Bronze Star.

The new sights were straight out of Buck Rogers. With those you had a dot of light bullseye in the center, which we called the "pipper", with eight little diamonds in a circle around it. You would put the pipper on your target and bracket it with the diamonds, moving them in or out by rotating the handle on the throttle control. When you had the taget bracketed tightly you had to hold it there briefly and track it. Then the K-14 would compute the range and angle and move the pipper to the proper aim point, and you moved the nose of the airplane until the pipper was centered on the target again and fired. It was a tremendous advantage. I got some remarkable hits with the K-14 gunsight but I alays thought the new sights took some of the skill out of it. Of course we were in a war and the object was to shoot down enemy aircraft, not impress everyone with your shooting skill. The new sights with the guns in each wing set to fire a box pattern rather than converge on some point up ahead, made a lot more sense for the average marksman.
Once I got lined up behind a German airplane, put my K-14 on him, fired point blank- and missed him completely! I couldnt believe it! Then I realized that the way the guns had been set ,with the bullet streams not converging,Id been so close that I fired around him.

On march 8 we still had the old sights. There were tracers every so many rounds, with maybe 20 in a row at the end so you knew when your ammo was low, and the streams were set to converge at 250-300 yards. Some gunnery experts didnt like tracers. Personally I liked them. Theylet you know you were doing something and where you were shooting. And while the box pattern was helpfull to some, I always preferred the bullets converging. If you hit an opponent where the bullets converged you tore him to h@ll.

So now we're coming from Berlin. Im leading a flight of 3.... suddenly 3 109s cross in front and below us, at about 15,00 feet, diving on a straggling B-17. Thw 12 of us bounce themand right away someone shoots the first German to pieces. Another presses on towards the bomber with a P-51 right behind him. I go after the 3rd one spiraling down, turning and decending with the Messerschmitt, which refuses to run and keeps turning with me. Although the Mustang was superior in most ways you measure it, the Me-109 was a worthy opponent. The messerscmitt was in service from 1935 to the end of the war, and by 1944 they had exhausted most ways of refining it. The later model G or Gustav ws a 400 MPH performer at combat altitudes, although the faster it went, the less maneuverable it was. The Focke Wulf 190 was marginaly faster than the Messerschmitt, carried more fuel, and handled much better at speed although again, it wasnt a nimble plane compared with the Mustang.

Flying skill, Ive always felt, meant more in Europe than it did in the other theaters, where the planes had differing strong points. The P-38 was successful in the Pacific, although it couldnt turn with the Zero, because it was much faster when diving. Its pilot could attack from above and then keep going and te Zero had no chance of catching it. Same with the P-40 earlier on. But the Focke Wulfs and Messerschmitts had more speed, the Pacific tactics wouldnt work on these aircrft, and the P-38 was much less effective on them....... so like Im turning with this 109 now, Northwest of Hanover.

Were flying interlocking circles , but on differing planes. Decending we pass each other once, twice,three times.. at ridiculous angles, with niether of us in a position to fire. I feel like im gaining but not very much, and Im excited and terribly frustrated that I cant get a shot. Ive worked the angle down to where our paths are crossing at 40 to 60 degree angles. What you want idealy is 0-10, wit the enemy either moving almost directly away or coming almost straight at you. At anything over 30 degrees it is almost pointless to shoot with a fixed sight. Of course these same numbers and this same geometry problem are running through the mind of the Messerschmitt pilot.

Id been considered a rather good marksman with the P-39s, and T-6s at both our gunnery school and later the RAF's. Now Ive flown nine missions, triggered my guns only once nd still have no kills. But Im cocky enough to try something bizare. I decide to pull my sights through the german, keep pulling my nose up until I cant see him anymore, then fire, hose him, and hope he flies through the stream. What the h@ll it's worth a try.

I pull up and around and fire a quick stream of tacer as he disappears under me. And another for luck. I ease the stick back and he flies back into my view. HOT D@MN!! He's spilling coolant back into his slipstream. I got him!! Got a Godd@med golden BB on him!! Punctured his radiator or severed a coolant line. Got my fist kill!! And while Im whooping like Id just scored the touchdown that won the Rose Bowl, he throws the canopy off and bails out. His 109 goes straight in exploding."


I wonder if this had something to do with the pre patch gun settings on the mustangs? I thought it was a good read regardless. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

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IMMERSION BABY!!

[This message was edited by Bearcat99 on Sat June 19 2004 at 02:18 PM.]

Bearcat99
06-19-2004, 02:44 PM
Taken from "To Fly and Fight" by Col. Clarence E. "Bud" Anderson..........

"In June of 44 we began getting the new K-14 gyroscopic sights. I tested the first such modified Mustang for our group firing at tow targets and writing up a report of procedures. The K-14, a British design, would become to the fighter plane what the Norden was to the bombers............ Unfortunately the K-14 had been mounted right on top of the instrument panel, and in a Mustang the thing extended backward d@mn near to your nose. We complained bitterly-it blocked your vision, and would have been a hazard in any type of forced landing-and finally one of our own maintenance guys, a 23 year old seargent from Buffalo named Idolo E. Augugliano, cut a chunk out of the glare shield and moved the sight away from our faces 6-8 inches. It gave us more room in the cockpit and the sight worked just fine.

We were pretty proud of that, and sent the specifications on what we had done back to the Air Corps' engineering center at Wright Field in Dayton Ohio. Months later we got a stinging rejection that began with "NO!" and went all the wat to "H@ll NO!!" We were told we had destroyed the planes structural integrity or some such bull and ordered to put it back the way it had been. Don Graham by then our commander simply ignored them and our service group tooled up and began turning out mounts, several a day untill we had done about 200 of them. Other groups began installing them the way we had. Eventually the factory began building them our way and Augugliano's ingenuity won him a Bronze Star.

The new sights were straight out of Buck Rogers. With those you had a dot of light bullseye in the center, which we called the "pipper", with eight little diamonds in a circle around it. You would put the pipper on your target and bracket it with the diamonds, moving them in or out by rotating the handle on the throttle control. When you had the taget bracketed tightly you had to hold it there briefly and track it. Then the K-14 would compute the range and angle and move the pipper to the proper aim point, and you moved the nose of the airplane until the pipper was centered on the target again and fired. It was a tremendous advantage. I got some remarkable hits with the K-14 gunsight but I alays thought the new sights took some of the skill out of it. Of course we were in a war and the object was to shoot down enemy aircraft, not impress everyone with your shooting skill. The new sights with the guns in each wing set to fire a box pattern rather than converge on some point up ahead, made a lot more sense for the average marksman.
Once I got lined up behind a German airplane, put my K-14 on him, fired point blank- and missed him completely! I couldnt believe it! Then I realized that the way the guns had been set ,with the bullet streams not converging,Id been so close that I fired around him.

On march 8 we still had the old sights. There were tracers every so many rounds, with maybe 20 in a row at the end so you knew when your ammo was low, and the streams were set to converge at 250-300 yards. Some gunnery experts didnt like tracers. Personally I liked them. Theylet you know you were doing something and where you were shooting. And while the box pattern was helpfull to some, I always preferred the bullets converging. If you hit an opponent where the bullets converged you tore him to h@ll.

So now we're coming from Berlin. Im leading a flight of 3.... suddenly 3 109s cross in front and below us, at about 15,00 feet, diving on a straggling B-17. Thw 12 of us bounce themand right away someone shoots the first German to pieces. Another presses on towards the bomber with a P-51 right behind him. I go after the 3rd one spiraling down, turning and decending with the Messerschmitt, which refuses to run and keeps turning with me. Although the Mustang was superior in most ways you measure it, the Me-109 was a worthy opponent. The messerscmitt was in service from 1935 to the end of the war, and by 1944 they had exhausted most ways of refining it. The later model G or Gustav ws a 400 MPH performer at combat altitudes, although the faster it went, the less maneuverable it was. The Focke Wulf 190 was marginaly faster than the Messerschmitt, carried more fuel, and handled much better at speed although again, it wasnt a nimble plane compared with the Mustang.

Flying skill, Ive always felt, meant more in Europe than it did in the other theaters, where the planes had differing strong points. The P-38 was successful in the Pacific, although it couldnt turn with the Zero, because it was much faster when diving. Its pilot could attack from above and then keep going and te Zero had no chance of catching it. Same with the P-40 earlier on. But the Focke Wulfs and Messerschmitts had more speed, the Pacific tactics wouldnt work on these aircrft, and the P-38 was much less effective on them....... so like Im turning with this 109 now, Northwest of Hanover.

Were flying interlocking circles , but on differing planes. Decending we pass each other once, twice,three times.. at ridiculous angles, with niether of us in a position to fire. I feel like im gaining but not very much, and Im excited and terribly frustrated that I cant get a shot. Ive worked the angle down to where our paths are crossing at 40 to 60 degree angles. What you want idealy is 0-10, wit the enemy either moving almost directly away or coming almost straight at you. At anything over 30 degrees it is almost pointless to shoot with a fixed sight. Of course these same numbers and this same geometry problem are running through the mind of the Messerschmitt pilot.

Id been considered a rather good marksman with the P-39s, and T-6s at both our gunnery school and later the RAF's. Now Ive flown nine missions, triggered my guns only once nd still have no kills. But Im cocky enough to try something bizare. I decide to pull my sights through the german, keep pulling my nose up until I cant see him anymore, then fire, hose him, and hope he flies through the stream. What the h@ll it's worth a try.

I pull up and around and fire a quick stream of tacer as he disappears under me. And another for luck. I ease the stick back and he flies back into my view. HOT D@MN!! He's spilling coolant back into his slipstream. I got him!! Got a Godd@med golden BB on him!! Punctured his radiator or severed a coolant line. Got my fist kill!! And while Im whooping like Id just scored the touchdown that won the Rose Bowl, he throws the canopy off and bails out. His 109 goes straight in exploding."


I wonder if this had something to do with the pre patch gun settings on the mustangs? I thought it was a good read regardless. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

<UL TYPE=SQUARE>http://www.jodavidsmeyer.com/combat/bookstore/tuskegeebondposter.jpg (http://tuskegeeairmen.org/airmen/who.html)[/list]<UL TYPE=SQUARE>vflyer@comcast.net [/list]<UL TYPE=SQUARE>99thPursuit Squadron IL2 Forgotten Battles (http://www.geocities.com/rt_bearcat)[/list]
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IMMERSION BABY!!

[This message was edited by Bearcat99 on Sat June 19 2004 at 02:18 PM.]

Bearcat99
07-17-2007, 06:43 AM
bump

MrMojok
07-17-2007, 06:51 AM
The whole book is a fantastic read. His description at the beginning of the now-famous "straight up" fight is one of the most exciting descriptions of WWII aerial combat I've ever read.

Anyone who has not given this a read, should do so. The latter part of the book is about Yeager and Anderson as test pilots, post-war. There is some pretty hair-raising stuff in there, too. Not to mention his Vietnam experiences.

Sorry BC I know I have not addressed the point of your post, which was about the K14. But I wanted to throw this in here... I constantly try to push this book on anyone I know who is interested in the subject matter.

Blutarski2004
07-17-2007, 07:00 AM
Interesting read, BC. Thanks for posting. A short while back, I posted a US operational analysis of typical ETO fighter attacks - I thought it made for fascinating reading. Opening fire at 400-600 yards was by no means uncommon for the typical attacking pilot. I wonder whether this analysis had any influence on the Air Corps advocacy of pattern fire as opposed to point convergence.

Bearcat99
07-17-2007, 07:42 AM
NP Mo.. by all means... push on.... I thought it was great too. I got an autographed copy to replace my paperback a few years ago. What a great guy.... so down to Earth.

Heliopause
07-17-2007, 07:56 AM
Hé I have a copy of this book aswell!! Great read http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

TheBandit_76
07-17-2007, 08:43 AM
The later model G or Gustav ws a 400 MPH performer at combat altitudes, although the faster it went, the less maneuverable it was. The Focke Wulf 190 was marginaly faster than the Messerschmitt, carried more fuel, and handled much better at speed although again, it wasnt a nimble plane compared with the Mustang.

http://media.ubi.com/us/forum_images/gf-glomp.gif

edgflyer2
07-17-2007, 08:48 AM
Interesting that he prefered the point conv. to box. Would think it would be easier to hit with the box. But then again it is Bud lol.

I also find it interesting that once again another WWII pilot said no problem mixing it up with the BF109 in a dogfight.

GH_Klingstroem
07-17-2007, 09:02 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by edgflyer2:
Interesting that he prefered the point conv. to box. Would think it would be easier to hit with the box. But then again it is Bud lol.

I also find it interesting that once again another WWII pilot said no problem mixing it up with the BF109 in a dogfight. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Well there must be something in between "point convergence" and "box convergence". According to Bud here it seems like box convergence didnt converge at all! Now that would be stupid. But point convergence is EXTREMLY difficult on the other hand. As I have said MANY MANY times before. The Spitfire in this game has the perfect convergence settings for its MGs!! They would ideal for the P51 and the p47!!!

Blutarski2004
07-17-2007, 10:27 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by GH_Klingstroem:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by edgflyer2:
Interesting that he prefered the point conv. to box. Would think it would be easier to hit with the box. But then again it is Bud lol.

I also find it interesting that once again another WWII pilot said no problem mixing it up with the BF109 in a dogfight. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Well there must be something in between "point convergence" and "box convergence". According to Bud here it seems like box convergence didnt converge at all! Now that would be stupid. But point convergence is EXTREMLY difficult on the other hand. As I have said MANY MANY times before. The Spitfire in this game has the perfect convergence settings for its MGs!! They would ideal for the P51 and the p47!!! </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


..... I don't think that the geometry of a box pattern would permit the individual gun trajectories to meet at any common point.

GH_Klingstroem
07-17-2007, 11:26 AM
ok as far as I understand it. Box convergence is just a bigger spread. While point convergence has the rounds converging in a very very narrow box. Now that box should be much larger than we have in game!
Am I wrong Blutarski?

Hawgdog
07-17-2007, 02:08 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">There were tracers every so many rounds, with maybe 20 in a row at the end so you knew when your ammo was low, and the streams were set to converge at 250-300 yards. Some gunnery experts didnt like tracers. Personally I liked them. Theylet you know you were doing something and where you were shooting. And while the box pattern was helpfull to some, I always preferred the bullets converging. If you hit an opponent where the bullets converged you tore him to h@ll. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/agreepost.gif

Ernst_Rohr
07-17-2007, 02:22 PM
I do have to say that while the operation of the sight isnt as easy in game as it was in RL, the sucker does work!

After playing around with my convergence (again) and setting up an alternate profile on my X52Pro to support the sight, it performs VERY well.

My shooting has never been stellar, it tends to come and go in streaks, but the K-14 sight is just flat out wicked! I followed another pair of P-51's into a mix with some 190's and got a nice deflection shot into one 190 and just total shredded him with a quick burst, he even brewed up!

The second one was a shallow B&Z, I got another slight deflection into the left wingroot and pit. The 190 started leaking fuel, rolled over and went right in.

I have never shot so well in a P-51 before. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

zardozid
07-17-2007, 06:20 PM
thanks for the read...

Their is nothing like a well written description of air combat. Entertaining, inspirational, and informative...

I really HAVE to read more books...LOL http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Blutarski2004
07-17-2007, 08:10 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by GH_Klingstroem:
ok as far as I understand it. Box convergence is just a bigger spread. While point convergence has the rounds converging in a very very narrow box. Now that box should be much larger than we have in game!
Am I wrong Blutarski? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


..... K, I don't consider myself the absolute last word on this subject, but I'll share what USAF manual 335-25 "Fighter Gunnery" had to say on gun harmonization. This manual is dated Dec 1950 and superceded the May 1945 edition of 335-25. The 1950 edition still discusses the F47N, the F51D&H, the M2/M3 50cal, and the K14 computing gunsight.

Quote -


GUN HARMONIZATION - Types of Harmonization


Cones of Dispersion:

In order to harmonize a fighter aircraft's guns to a definite pattern, it is necessary to understand a gun's cone of dispersion. This cone of dispersion is the sum of all the flight paths of all the bullets fired from a gun. This dispersion is measured, in terms of mils, by the angle of the triangle formed from the muzzle of the gun to the diameter of the area of hits. The 4-mil cone (75pct of bullet strikes) is generally accepted and used for all harmonization computations.

The cones of dispersion for ammunition of different calibers are not the same.


Point Harmonization:

The convergence of all guns at a certain point along the sight line is commonly referred to as point harmonization&gt;&gt;. Although point harmonization results in a heavy concentration of bullets, it produces excessive dispersion at others. The heavy concentration of bullets at a selected range is not always desirable, because the density of the concentration is in excess of that required. This is inefficient use of available firepower and requires too many refinements in aiming.

For a superior fixed gunner, point harmonization is probably the best type. For the average pilot, a pattern type harmonization is more desirable because it compensates for minor sighting errors.


Pattern Harmonization:

The best harmonization of guns is one which produces the largest pattern of a uniform lethal density over the entire effective range. Such a harmonization fixes the sight line approximately in the center of the projectile pattern throughout the effective range when the aircraft is flown at the basic harmonization speed. This relieves the pilot of the need to calculate the projectile drop within the limits of effective range. The most effective range for harmonization purposes is considered to be 2,000 feet.

- Unquote


A diagrammatic example of a 6 gun pattern harmonization is provided, which I will try to describe (no scanner). Think of a regular hexagon sitting on one of its sides. The apex of each 120 degree angle is used as the harmonization point for one gun, with its 4-mil dispersion circle sharing a 2-mil overlap with the dispersion circles of its neighboring guns. If this pattern is made effective for a range of 2,000 feet, I estimate the pattern to be approximately 24 feet in width by 20 feet in height.

Unfortunately, the manual provides no detailed diagrams or description of the precise 'nuts and bolts' employed to produce this hex pattern with the F51. The detailed diagrams which are given for harmonization of the F80 and F84 suggest that there was a degree of complexity involved, with certain guns on one side of the a/c sighted to the opposite side of the pattern for example.

VW-IceFire
07-17-2007, 09:42 PM
Awesome read. I love reading about this stuff because of the historical value but also because I feel that I can relate allot better with experience from the sim.

Gumtree
07-17-2007, 10:55 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Bearcat99:
Taken from "To Fly and Fight" by Col. Clarence E. "Bud" Anderson..........

The messerscmitt was in service from 1935 to the end of the war, and by 1944 they had exhausted most ways of refining it. The later model G or Gustav ws a 400 MPH performer at combat altitudes, although the faster it went, the less maneuverable it was. The Focke Wulf 190 was marginaly faster than the Messerschmitt, carried more fuel, and handled much better at speed although again, it wasnt a nimble plane compared with the Mustang.



[This message was edited by Bearcat99 on Sat June 19 2004 at 02:18 PM.] </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Got charts? Tracks?

Seriously though great post will have to read that book have not seen it around, thanks for the heads up.

Blutarski2004
07-18-2007, 06:14 AM
Found this @ Zeno's

http://www.zenoswarbirdvideos.com/Images/P-47/47GECD.gif

P47B/C gun convergence diagram.