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No ammunition counters in British fighters?

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It seems very odd that the tempest and spitfires don't have ammunition counters or gauges so that it can be seen at a glance how much ammunition in the cannon, machine guns (or both) is left. Why would the British decide that such gauges were unnecessary? 

Edited by ZiggyBClark

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Because real life air combat is not a computer game. They add very little, if anything, to the combat effectiveness of a ww2 fighter, but make the aircraft more expensive to built, maintain and service. On the bottom line, it's a waste of resources. Most nations came to that conclusion.

 

Even as a pilot you hardly ever need to know how much ammo exactly you carry. You may care about if it is sufficient to make another attack, and for this you'd have other options, such as different ammo loads in the guns (one pair runs out first, indicating what's left in others) or tracers (last 50 or 20 or whichever you like rounds have more tracers belted in).

Plus, a rough estimate can be made by the firing time. You know you carry enough ammo for 15 seconds of fire, or whatever, and in many cases, you'd know if you've fired for 4 seconds or 12. If you don't, you probably don't have time to look at ammo counters anyway.

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There were ammunition counters in English planes. At least in some. But as it seems they didn't become standard and I have no idea where they were placed in a Spitfire for example.  Nevertheless, such a thing would be a nice addition to the sim (as a modification):

 

spitfire-typhoon-tempest-20mm-cannon_360

(Source:  https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/spitfire-typhoon-tempest-20mm-cannon-277577751)

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Interesting thoughts JtD. I know when I fly the Bf 109s I am always reassured by seeing how much ammo I still have -it will sometimes affect my decision making. The use of coloured tracer to indicate when on the last few dozen rounds could be useful, but I’m not sure that can be arranged in the game. Big Al, I would not be in favour of ammo counters as a mod if they were not really a true thing for a given aircraft. 

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I have looked around as well to see where these ammo counters would have been fitted inside a Spitfire cockpit, but I have yet to find anything. A strange one indeed.

Edited by LukeFF

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22 hours ago, 6FG_Big_Al said:

There were ammunition counters in English planes. At least in some. But as it seems they didn't become standard and I have no idea where they were placed in a Spitfire for example.  Nevertheless, such a thing would be a nice addition to the sim (as a modification):

 

spitfire-typhoon-tempest-20mm-cannon_360

(Source:  https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/spitfire-typhoon-tempest-20mm-cannon-277577751)

 

Good find, but it does not prove that any of these gauges were actually fitted to planes, especially Spitfires, Typhoons or Tempests  - this one probably was not, given that it comes in what looks like the original box .  I think this is just marketing puffery by the vendor.

 

The Tempest and Spitfire manuals I have seen give very thorough documentation for instrumentation, and none of them include gun counters.  What could have happened was that someone thought this would be a good idea and placed a small order, but it was then found that they either did not work when trialed, there was insufficient space to mount them, or it was decided that they were simply not useful.   

 

Alternately, they might have been made for larger planes like the Beaufighter or Mozzie, given the maximum number or rounds indicated (1,100) is far more than could be carried by any RAF single engined fighter but about right for a four cannon Beaufighter.  I cannot see them, however, in any of the cockpit pictures online. 

 

If someone finds a reference or photo for them actually being used in Spits or Tempests I will certainly revise my opinion, but for now I do not think these things were ever used in action in these planes and should not be a mod. 

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You can also find photos of a .303 version of the ammo counter instrument 6FG_Big_Al linked above, reading up to 1000 rounds. This webpage has a photo of one, along with the cannon version, and states that the .303 versions were used in gun turrets. It suggests that they were also 'probably' used in some fighters, but the reasoning looks questionable to me.

http://spitfirespares.co.uk/instruments.html

 

 

 

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i ain't ever heard of no ammo counters in no RAF fighter cockpits.

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I had a quick look around at the pilot's notes for most of the Spitfires (including post war models e.g. F.24) but couldn't find any reference of ammo counters being fitted. I checked Quill's autobio and he claims he pushed for them to be included but they never were, he didn't give a reason why.

 

On 2/17/2020 at 12:21 AM, 6FG_Big_Al said:

There were ammunition counters in English planes. At least in some. But as it seems they didn't become standard and I have no idea where they were placed in a Spitfire for example.  Nevertheless, such a thing would be a nice addition to the sim (as a modification):

 

spitfire-typhoon-tempest-20mm-cannon_360

(Source:  https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/spitfire-typhoon-tempest-20mm-cannon-277577751)

I'm wondering what sort of aircraft the Brits were expecting to have up to 300 rounds of 20mm per gun?! Even Beaufighters and Mossies weren't carrying that much were they?

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The British had the practice of using what they called a "Residue Belt":   Basically, they put different color tracers on the last 30 or so rounds of the ammo belts, so the pilot could tell he was running out.  No need for fancy gauges, aka: something else that need repairs.

 

 

This has the theoretical tradeoff that a very clever and observant enemy could also be able to tell that his shooter was running low.

 

However, none of my targets in CloD (where residue belts are simulated) has ever mentioned noticing that I was low in this way. I suppose they had other priorities in mind at the time...

 

I don't recall ever reading or hearing about anyone actually going "Aha! Red tracers! He's almost out of ammo! Now he'll see..." about their pursuer in real (or simulated) combat, especially not of also being in a position where it proved of any advantage to know this.

 

Thus I reason it is safe to conclude, the brits made a sensible decision towards simplicity of design there.

 

Edited by 19//Moach

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4 hours ago, HBPencil said:

I'm wondering what sort of aircraft the Brits were expecting to have up to 300 rounds of 20mm per gun?! Even Beaufighters and Mossies weren't carrying that much were they?

 

According to this website, some Mosquito versions carried 300 rounds of 20 mm per gun, and 2000 rounds of .303 per gun.

https://ww2-weapons.com/dh-mosquito-fb/

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2 minutes ago, AndyJWest said:

300 rounds of 20 mm per gun

So much squirt... Can't wait.

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Beaufighters had 280rpg standard. Which is more than the Mosquito 150/175 standard/max for all versions I have data for.

 

That also applies to the F.II version the article mentions, both early and late war.

 

image.thumb.png.0e58318574319b482a5e6a46940c722a.pngimage.thumb.png.29753c4e045f67501c6759847705dc6f.png

 

You don't design ammo counters or any other standard instrument for a particular application, where end of scale means maximum achievable. Just look at the speedometer of your car. 😉

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1 hour ago, JtD said:

Beaufighters had 280rpg standard. Which is more than the Mosquito 150/175 standard/max for all versions I have data for.

 

That also applies to the F.II version the article mentions, both early and late war.

 

image.thumb.png.0e58318574319b482a5e6a46940c722a.pngimage.thumb.png.29753c4e045f67501c6759847705dc6f.png

 

You don't design ammo counters or any other standard instrument for a particular application, where end of scale means maximum achievable. Just look at the speedometer of your car. 😉

You telling me I can't get my minivan up to 200 km/h??
Another dream shattered.

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Now I feel bad...

 

Thank god everything is relative, so maybe it helps that earth travels 30km/s around the sun. It means your van is doing 100000+km/h all the time without even consuming a single drop of fuel. Great car you've go there. :)👍

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1 hour ago, JtD said:

You don't design ammo counters or any other standard instrument for a particular application, where end of scale means maximum achievable. Just look at the speedometer of your car. 😉

 

7abb5ffdff664349fdb78de37d704e36.jpg

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2 hours ago, LukeFF said:

 

7abb5ffdff664349fdb78de37d704e36.jpg

Maybe it is for an air rifle and really means 20 meters:P

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2 hours ago, JtD said:

Now I feel bad...

 

Thank god everything is relative, so maybe it helps that earth travels 30km/s around the sun. It means your van is doing 100000+km/h all the time without even consuming a single drop of fuel. Great car you've go there. :)👍

They really have made great strides in fuel efficiency since they factored in orbital mechanics.

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Posted (edited)

Probably same reason they never moved the carburetor of Rolls-Royce engines to allow use of moteur-canon...Didn't occur to them they should.

Edited by J2_Trupobaw

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