Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

LOL "What if?" B-17s had 20mm miniguns?! LOL

Discussion in 'What If - European Theater - Western Front & Atlan' started by JCFalkenbergIII, Jun 28, 2008.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Messages:
    10,480
    Likes Received:
    425
    I ran across this from awhile back on another forum :eek:. I know it may not fit the guidelines LOL :p. But this was so hilarious I had to post it here! :D. Talk about a video game mentality and knowledge of history :rolleyes:.

    " I personally would love the versatility of the 20mm Gatling Gun and its ability to spray out bullets and cause maximum damage to an enemy aircraft, armored vehicles, enemy troop movements, submarines witch hunts........

    I believe that the US ARMY AIRCORP. should have utilized this technology against NAZI U-BOATS, during the Battle of the Atlantic.

    Not only could these modified and beefed up B-17 fly cover as escort planes, when A NAZI U-BOAT was location if could either bomb or shoot the NAZI U-BOAT into submission.

    With extra fuel and ammo aboard these modified B-17 Fighter Bomber's could have changed the results of the Battle of the Atlantic and saves thousands of innocent lives.

    The engines for the B-17's were already being produced in Britain, why not assemble to entire aircraft and test it over the skies over Britain and take the fight to the NAZI's.

    With the extra fuel, extra ammo, lighter 250 pound incendiary bombs, this B-17's could have destroyed a great number of "NAZI AIRFIELDS in Germany and France"."
     
  2. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2002
    Messages:
    22,347
    Likes Received:
    1,061
    Location:
    Kotka,Finland
    Low-level attacks with B-17?? At least I think targets like troop movements, air fields and armored vehicles with a 20 mm would mean this. I don´t think it a good idea...
     
  3. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Messages:
    10,480
    Likes Received:
    425
    Well not to mention that the 20mm M61 "Gatling Gun" for aircraft wasn't really developed till long after the war LOL. The weight of the system alone would have procluded the use.
     
  4. Devilsadvocate

    Devilsadvocate Ace

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Messages:
    2,194
    Likes Received:
    346
    It's not, but the 5th. Air Force in the SWPA did work out a doctrine for low level (and mast-head height) attacks during hours of restricted visibility. These attacks were not frequent because the B-17 did not have the firepower necessary to overcome defensive AA like the later B-25 strafers

    see:http://http://aupress.maxwell.af.mil/Books/Rodman/rodman.pdf
     
  5. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Messages:
    10,480
    Likes Received:
    425
    "With the extra fuel, extra ammo, lighter 250 pound incendiary bombs, this B-17's could have destroyed a great number of "NAZI AIRFIELDS in Germany and France"."

    Extra fuel,extra ammo,extra weight smaller bombload and slower speed because of this would make then sitting ducks.
     
  6. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2003
    Messages:
    5,945
    Likes Received:
    760
    Location:
    Phoenix Arizona
    Let's see: A M61 gatling gun with 1200 rounds provided weighs about 1,500 lbs. This means if you strip off all the current armament and provide say, six of these guns instead (say one in a top turret, bottom turret, tail, nose, and two waist positions) and delete the entire bombload you end up about the same weight load as the original aircraft. Now, this gives about 20 seconds of fire at the 6000 rpm rate or about 40 seconds at the 3000 round rate.
    Given the sighting systems of the day, one might estimate three bursts of one to two seconds per target are necessary for a kill. Overall, it might be effective but it pretty much makes the aircraft worthless as a bomber.
     
  7. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Messages:
    10,480
    Likes Received:
    425
    You got it T.A.!! LOL. On the other forum I posted all the things that were wrong like that.
     
  8. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Messages:
    10,480
    Likes Received:
    425
    And it was pointed out that engines were not being made in the UK too ;). Pretty funny on what people will come up with for a "What If?". LOL
     
  9. Tomcat

    Tomcat The One From Down Under

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    Messages:
    4,048
    Likes Received:
    266
    Assuming everything TA said is right (which I am not doubting that:)) In theory the idea could be good, but only with removing the bombs racks and only using the basic set up TA described. It could be an effective, 'fireplane' designed to keep attackers at bay, I doubt it would be very useful though considering the fact that air combat is not as simple as forward and back, but also up and down, side to side and diaganal. One or two of these in a formation of bombers might be useful for moral and the sheer weight of firepower they have could be deterant, but the ammo would sertainly run out very quickly.

    So the plan just isnt feasible, I don't think it is worth the loss and time to build these aircraft, but who knows they try almost anything in war.:)

    Good find anyway JCF, a good laugh. hehe
    Did the uboat forget how to dive?
    Would incendiaries be any good against an armoured say against a Surface ship or a lighter armoured Submarine?
     
  10. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Messages:
    10,480
    Likes Received:
    425
    LOL It may have worked but the system wasn't even availible until YEARS after the war. And was not as compact as they are today. In addtion to the gun mounts the electrical firing systems and added weight of the 20mm ammo alone would be heavy The weight alone IMO would have still been too prohibitive.
     
  11. Tomcat

    Tomcat The One From Down Under

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    Messages:
    4,048
    Likes Received:
    266
    Oh, I must admit I do not know to much about this type of system, so I will take your word on that:D.
     
  12. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Messages:
    10,480
    Likes Received:
    425
    You do have a point too that the modifications alone would be costly in just amount of time it would take to do so :).
     
  13. Carl W Schwamberger

    Carl W Schwamberger Ace

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2007
    Messages:
    1,051
    Likes Received:
    81
    The four engine aircraft were used to search for & attack submarines. Their long range and ability to carry extra 'eyeballs' made them usefull. The armament would be a combination of bombs and depth charges. The usual technique was to cruise at a realtively slow speed at altitiudes ranging from 500 to 3000 feet, depending on the weather/visability. Two types of searches were used. One was a set patrol route along suspected submarine transit routes or operating areas. The other was a directed search, towards a suspect location derived from radio direction finding and Enigma decrypts of the radio signals. The Japanese of course did not have the advantage of message decryption as they broke few US or British radio codes. But, they did use their large four engine patrol planes for ASW.
     
  14. Devilsadvocate

    Devilsadvocate Ace

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Messages:
    2,194
    Likes Received:
    346
    Radar was also a big help and all US ASW planes carried it from the spring of 1942 on. The Japanese, of course, didn't get an effective airborne radar set until late in the war. The Japanese did occasionally get RDF fixes on US subs, but seldom acted quickly enough to get the information to the ASW commands in time to be useful.
     
  15. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2003
    Messages:
    5,945
    Likes Received:
    760
    Location:
    Phoenix Arizona
    Now, putting a couple of gatling guns on the front of a B-25 in the SWPA and having them strafe Japanese shipping......
     
  16. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Messages:
    10,480
    Likes Received:
    425
    I like that idea too T.A. :)
     
  17. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

    Joined:
    May 12, 2003
    Messages:
    8,809
    Likes Received:
    371
    Location:
    Portugal
    I dunno, but the reinforced B-17 (YB-40) had been tried already but it was found to be an operational failure. YB-40 Flying Fortress Info

    [​IMG]

    from YB-40 Experimental B-17 for close escort (early war)
    Now perhaps if they followed a different aerodynamic formula...
    [​IMG]
     
  18. FramerT

    FramerT Ace

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Messages:
    1,570
    Likes Received:
    37

    Good Lord, I wonder who volunteered to test fly that thing?
     
  19. Joe

    Joe Ace

    Joined:
    May 22, 2007
    Messages:
    2,948
    Likes Received:
    124
    Tell me, is that for real?


    (I do have a sneaky suspicion it may be photoshoped, but knowing me it probably won't...)
     
  20. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

    Joined:
    May 12, 2003
    Messages:
    8,809
    Likes Received:
    371
    Location:
    Portugal
    So now we just need one more comment like the two above and we'll have The Three Stooges :rofl:
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page