PDA

View Full Version : Why were there not more 4 cannons Spitfires?



Xiolablu3
04-01-2006, 06:24 AM
I have just been reading that from 1941, teh Spitfire Vc was introduced which enabled the Spitfire to carry 4x20mm cannon.

2400 Spitfire Vc's were produced.

Yet after this they changed mostly to the 4x303/2x50cal and 2x20mm for the SpitfireVIII and IX and also many other mks of Spit.

Anyone know why they didnt just carry on with 4x20mm? Was the mg armament better than the cannon for other jobs? Was the combination better at that time to have an MG as well?

Does anyone have a good explanation? I would have thought that once the pilots had used 4x20mm they wouldnt want to go back to 4x303 and 2x20mm.

VW-IceFire
04-01-2006, 06:53 AM
A couple of reasons prevented the full deployment of 4 cannon Spitfires.

The C type wing armament provided the necessary space for two cannons in each wing and the option of installing the outer brownings so two .303 calibre machine guns as well (per wing). Initially in the B type wing, there were provisions for a single cannon per wing and the machine guns were necessary because the cannons were not very reliable during that period.

A large number of the 4 cannon Spitfire Vc's were fitted with tropical filters and sent to Malta and North Africa. The extra dirt and dust in this theater meant that the cannons were even more prone to jamming and the weight caused a serious decrease in the handling performance of the aircraft. So a loss of performance combined with the slower top speed imposed by the air filter caused many Malta Spitfires to have two of their cannons removed and no machine guns added. So infact there were quite a few Sptfire Vc's flying around for a time with only a pair of 20mm cannons and no other armament.

Another critical factor in this theater is that the Vc Spits were usually tasked with shooting down high flying Ju-86P recon planes. The weight of the cannons and the good potential for them to jam made this all the more hazardous. Even with two cannons the yaw caused by a single jammed cannon was known to make a Spitfire stall out at 35,000 feet.

Production from that point on in the Vc's removed the outboard cannons and re-added the machine guns (which had been provided for even in the C type schematics). Most of the European and the rest of the North Africa/Malta Spitfire shipments were in what we know as standard C type configuration with two cannons and four machine guns.

I don't think our Vc 4xCannon version adequately simulates the extra weight and decrease in handling (climb, turn, roll, etc.).

They didn't go back to the 4 cannon setup until the Spitfire Mark 21 which had a brand new wing (much more Tempest like) and provisions for the four cannons and no machine guns. By that point the Hispano Mark II and Mark V were far more reliable with very few stoppages.

Incidentally the Spitfire Mark IV prototype, which was meant to be a very serious improvment on the Spitfire design but which ultimately lead to the Spitfire VIII (not as advanced) and the Spitfire XIV after that (more advanced), was actually fitted with 6 Hispano cannons. The weight increase was rediculous and it remained a one of a kind modification.

Xiolablu3
04-01-2006, 07:08 AM
Thanks for your very informative reply, Icefire. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

I didnt realise that the SPitfire could carry 4x20mm And 4X303 too.

I always thought the option was for 4x303 OR a 20mm in the space provided. That would be awesome firepower, but I am sure it would be slow, much like a 109 with gunpods.

Thanks.

HotelBushranger
04-01-2006, 07:16 AM
Why were there not more 4 cannons Spitfires?

Because Spitfires are noob enough http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

VW-IceFire
04-01-2006, 08:10 AM
Originally posted by Xiolablu3:
Thanks for your very informative reply, Icefire. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

I didnt realise that the SPitfire could carry 4x20mm And 4X303 too.

I always thought the option was for 4x303 OR a 20mm in the space provided. That would be awesome firepower, but I am sure it would be slow, much like a 109 with gunpods.

Thanks.
Yeah that configuration is theoretically possible. The C type wing was considered the "universal" wing type as it could accomodate a number of configurations...the RAF wasn't quite sure where the sweet spot was when they went about doing this.

The E type is not all that different either...it just removes the possibility for .303's and incorporates the .50cal in the empty cannon slots. It was also strengthened for better bomb carriage.

For the Spitfires role as superiority fighter the twin cannon I think was decided to be enough without hurting the handling too much. The Typhoon was, by the time they made their decision, doing well enough with the four cannons that they could count on it to help against any possible daylight bomber offensive (which was what the Typhoon was originally designed for). Not that any of that was required and the Spitfire and Typhoon were largely in offensive roles for the rest of the war (obviously comnpletely different roles).

Bearcat99
04-01-2006, 10:24 AM
It was an American conspiracy.. otherwise the Spitfire and not the Mustang would have won the war. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-indifferent.gif


(wow... I got that off with a straight face too....) http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/halo.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/winky.gif

JG7_Rall
04-01-2006, 03:50 PM
It was against the Geneva Convention. So much ownage in one plane was simply too much, and was against the rules of war.

It's the same reason why the F14 is being retired. It simply owns too much, both in combat and by the fact that all of its pilots get all the ladies http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

SnapdLikeAMutha
04-01-2006, 05:24 PM
Chuck Norris roundhouse kicked exactly half the cannons out of every Spitfire ever made. The loss in firepower was more than compensated for by the awesomeness absorbed from his foot on impact.

mortoma
04-01-2006, 07:12 PM
Nevertheless, 2400 is no small production number as far as WWII planes go!! Many famous, well known planes had a smaller production run than that.

VW-IceFire
04-01-2006, 07:42 PM
Originally posted by mortoma:
Nevertheless, 2400 is no small production number as far as WWII planes go!! Many famous, well known planes had a smaller production run than that.
Remember that the vast majority of Spitfire Vc's produced did not have 4 cannon armament. They had the ability for it...but most of that run were configured with 2 20mm cannon and 4 .303 machine guns.

C type armament is the same on all Spitfires bearing that wing configuration. The possibility exists for the Mark IX or the Mark VIII to have 4 cannons as well. It was just never configured that way for those types as that type of configuration had fallen out of favour.

LStarosta
04-01-2006, 07:46 PM
Originally posted by JG7_Rall:
It was against the Geneva Convention. So much ownage in one plane was simply too much, and was against the rules of war.

It's the same reason why the F14 is being retired. It simply owns too much, both in combat and by the fact that all of its pilots get all the ladies http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/agreepost.gif

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/inlove.gif

Grey_Mouser67
04-01-2006, 07:52 PM
Things I have read indicate that the number one reason for not doing it was the 2 cannon configuration was more than adequate for the job and wasn't worth the performance hit.

A couple of notes...real pilots nearly always tended to error or tend towards improved performance over firepower when the decision was available...they had no "refly" button so survivability was the #1 important characteristic...unlike many virtual pilots.

Secondly, and this is just an opinion of mine that I formed from reading stuff, real life weapons were more effective in general than in game weapons....that is a broad statement and not representative of every weapon...in real life, when the enemy was aquired and an effective firing solution realized, the enemy aircraft had a very high probability of going down no matter what guns were used...

The operative words here are "effective firing solution". Primary drivers were range...close for LMG's and mk108's, medium for HMG's and longer range for 20mm's

danjama
04-01-2006, 07:54 PM
Originally posted by SnapdLikeAMutha:
Chuck Norris roundhouse kicked exactly half the cannons out of every Spitfire ever made. The loss in firepower was more than compensated for by the awesomeness absorbed from his foot on impact.

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/88.gif