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J2_Bidu

Lewis overwing gun on the SE5a

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The topic of the Lewis overwing gun has been an interesting point if discussion. I had never seen an historical video of it being reloaded and pushed back up, so I was happy to find this video (check 4'30'')

 

 

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4 hours ago, OrLoK said:

And easily pushed up! interesting!

 

Just make sure you're not pulling 5g at the time.

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Most combat reported in those times in personal accounts, say that pilots would endeavour to break away from a furball to change the drum, then re enter the fray.

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12 minutes ago, Trooper117 said:

Most combat reported in those times in personal accounts, say that pilots would endeavour to break away from a furball to change the drum, then re enter the fray.

 

Well I'd never have guessed. Often I've wondered whether they had their pay docked for throwing-away the empties.

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They were not doing it with bare hands, remember. I suspect gloves able to withstand cold and airstream must be ratehr clumsy. The airstream itself didn't help, either.

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Interesting, thanks for that. In-game the animation is made with the gun at 45 degrees angle, which we can see is not correct. They would pull it down almost vertically to change the drums and to fire it upwards. By the video, it was very cumbersome, especially if they tried to tilt the gun half way. It is possible, but I imagine it was seldom used that way due to its difficulties (keep the plane straight while stretching one arm up and keeping the other on the stick and dealing with recoil and the wind stream). They also did not have enough strength to bring the gun back to firing position at altitude because of the lack of oxygen. And they had to pull the gun back every time they had a misfire or a jam.

 

It would be nice to have those things fixed, especially the angle, thus making it less useful for people to use it tilted while pulling Gs and acrobatics.

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1 hour ago, SeaW0lf said:

They would pull it down almost vertically to change the drums and to fire it upwards. By the video, it was very cumbersome, especially if they tried to tilt the gun half way. It is possible, but I imagine it was seldom used that way due to its difficulties (keep the plane straight while stretching one arm up and keeping the other on the stick and dealing with recoil and the wind stream). They also did not have enough strength to bring the gun back to firing position at altitude because of the lack of oxygen.

 

It seems easier to operate than I imagined, and to require not too much strength. The ingame gun angle is clearly incorrect. I think one might be able to hold it at a partial angle if flying straight approaching from below, and given enough time (i.e. Ball style), and maybe full vertical in a pinch. Operating it in other ways seems entirely fictional, I agree.

Edited by J2_Bidu
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I agree the sliding of the gun is "easy" but as the vid shows, fitting the drum, might not be.

 

Realism vs gameplay!

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33 minutes ago, J2_Bidu said:

 

It seems easier to operate than I imagined, and to require not too much strength. The ingame gun angle is clearly incorrect. I think one might be able to hold it at a partial angle if flying straight approaching from below, and given enough time (i.e. Ball style), and maybe full vertical in a pinch. Operating it in other ways seems entirely fictional, I agree.

 

Don't forget there's an assistive spring mechanism for raising the gun. Also in order for the the gun to reach/leave the vertical position, it is necessary to pivot it downwards to prevent fouling the windscreen. While possible, the animation would be more difficult.

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3 hours ago, Cynic_Al said:

 

Don't forget there's an assistive spring mechanism for raising the gun. Also in order for the the gun to reach/leave the vertical position, it is necessary to pivot it downwards to prevent fouling the windscreen. While possible, the animation would be more difficult.

 

The spring mechanism does not seem to be standard or that it would bring the gun all the way up. There are accounts of pilots having to dive to lower altitudes to be able to breathe appropriately and regain strenght to bring the gun back to the horizontal position, even in the case when it got lose and hit them in the head. Even the bungee cord was not standard, and even in the 56th, a top of the food chain squadron, had pilots being banged in the head by a lose Lewis because they did not have a bungee cord. 

 

Anyway, many pilots did not bother to reload the Lewis with another drum such was the hassle and the danger of injury due to accidents and lose drums during its operation down the rail. They used it as a spare gun.

Edited by SeaW0lf
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