Re: Aircraft weapons: cannon or machineguns?
- From: "Tero P. Mustalahti" <termusta@xxxxxx>
- Date: Mon, 03 Sep 2007 12:36:05 -0400
Mike Piacente wrote:
Minor point: the F-8F-1 Bearcat had four .50-cal MGs and the F-8F-1B was armed with four 20-mm cannon.
The F-86s had to pump alot of lead into MiG-15s because the MiGs were of much sturdier construction that WW II piston-engine fighters and the .50-cal round didn't quite have the penetrating power against jets that it did against prop aircraft.
The reason was not so much that the MiG-15 was sturdier than WW2fighters but the fact that the USAAF/USAF was overly conservative in its reaction towards increases in fighter armor levels. The best late WW2 fighters such as the later Fw 190 models could already take a lot of hits from ..50 cal bullets and keep flying. The writing was clearly on the wall. However, the post-war USAF still considered the .50 cal 'good enough', contrary to all other air forces and air arms in the World, including the USN.
The fact is that the lackluster performance of the .50 cal should not have come as a surprise in Korea, if USAAF/USAF had done its operational research properly after WW2. The USAF seems to have been kind of 'semi-aware' of the problem though, since they introduced the M3 machine gun with a faster rate of fire.
Tero P. Mustalahti
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