The Lewis gun was one of the most widely used machine guns fitted to Allied WW1 aircraft. It was lightened and modified to fire 900-1000 rounds per minute, and had a 97 round magazine. Once Interrupter gear was invented, the gun was used by the observer for self protection, with one or two guns fitted to a Scarff ring. This animation also looks at the problems of aiming in aerial warfare.
Apart from the problem of vibration from the aircraft, and the target’s manoevering, it is also necessary to aim where the target will be when the bullets reach him. The ‘Aim off’ varies depending on the direction the target is flying. An added problem for the observer firing a gun out the side is that the bullets also inherit the aircraft’s velocity. For this reason, a special sight ‘the Norman vane’ was introduced to automatically correct for the component of aircraft speed added to the bullet.
Hi, I’m Rob, otherwise known as VBBSMYT.
I create the animations on my iMac using Cinema 4D, which I find very intuitive, and allows me to add smoke and flames, and then send the model to my trusty Render farm.
I make my models as accurate as possible through reference books and particularly good drawings. You may have seen my animations of early torpedoes and machine guns on YouTube. I enjoy finding out how things work and it has been fascinating to track the development from the late Victorian period up to World War 1.