Flying Guns World War I
Amendments and Additions

On this page additions to the book and error corrections will appear. Last updated 2 June 2011.


Acknowledgements


Introduction


Chapter One: Technical Developments

Page 27
I have come across a couple of sources which indicate that the Germans modified captured Lewis guns to fire their 7.92 × 57 ammo. One source is documentary, the other the discovery of a corroded Lewis mag stuffed with the ammo!
(Tony Williams)

Chapter Two: Pre-war Experiments and the First World War

Page 51
The Martinsyde S.1 Scout flown by Louis Strange belonged to No 6 squadron, not No 1 squadron.
(Wing Commander C J Jefford MBE BA, in his review for the RAF Historical Society Journal 32 (2004).)
Page 67
The first aeroplane to drop bombs on London was an LVG C.IV on 28 November 1916, not a C.II on 28 November 1915.
(Wing Commander C J Jefford MBE BA, in his review for the RAF Historical Society Journal 32 (2004).)
Page 74
The German airships L3 and L4 were built by Zeppelin, not Schütte-Lanz.
(Wing Commander C J Jefford MBE BA, in his review for the RAF Historical Society Journal 32 (2004).)
Page 80
When the RNAS was merged with the RFC, it had sixty-six (not eleven) airships, of which 50 immediately available, including four (not eight) rigids.
(Wing Commander C J Jefford MBE BA, in his review for the RAF Historical Society Journal 32 (2004).)

Chapter Three: Aircraft Cannon Development and Use, 1914-33

Page 80
Considering the loss rates for No 80 squadron quoted here, the reviewer considers them “grossly in error”, adding that during the relevant period, No 80 squadron lost 37 men killed in combat, 11 taken prisoner and 13 wounded. Wing Cdr Jefford argues that these loss rates that are not that much greater than that of most single-seat squadrons, and adds that Nos 3, 54 and 65 Sqns all had 34 fatalities during this period.
(Wing Commander C J Jefford MBE BA, in his review for the RAF Historical Society Journal 32 (2004).)
Comment from the authors: It may be interesting to add that the original source for the figure of 168 men lost ("struck of strength", which presumably includes all seriously wounded pilots) in the last ten months of war, and an average monthly loss rate of 75%, appears to be Wing Cdr Slessor. It is claimed that he cites this in a series of post-war lectures, in which he argued that the RAF should not continue to fly strafing missions, as these were too costly.
Page 92
In 1918, the French also experimented with a single-shot weapon known as the "boîte à mitraille". This was a very simple gun, weighing between 4 and 5 kg, and consisting of two pieces. It fired a cartridge of 500 g, containing 36 steel balls of 16 mm diameter. Patented by Gnome-Rhône, it was designed to be bolted to the hub of a rotary engine, so that it extended in front of the propeller and rotated with the engine and propeller. This explains some pictures that appear to show guns firing "through the hub" of a rotary engine, which isn't technically possible.
(Nieuport 1909 - 1945, by L. Rosenthal, A. Marchand, M. Borget and M. Bénichou; Editions Larivière, 1997.)
Page 94
A number of Wight-built Admiralty Type 840 seaplanes, retired from service in the spring and summer of 1916, were used as targets for demonstrations of the Davis guns: Towed by a motor boat, they were fired at by Short 184 No.8364, first with a 2-pdr and later with a 6-pdr Davis gun, and by a Voisin with a 12-pdr Davis. (Micheal H. Goodall, in “The Wight Aircraft”, published by Gentry Books, London, 1973.
Page 97
A better translation for Ausstoßrohr is "ejection tube".
(Dirk Paulfeuerborn)

Chapter Four: Absorbing the Lessons: Aviation to 1932

Page 105
See the note for page 80.
(Wing Commander C J Jefford MBE BA, in his review for the RAF Historical Society Journal 32 (2004).)
Page 107
The Curtiss F8C was a two-seat aircraft, not a three-seat aircraft.
(Wing Commander C J Jefford MBE BA, in his review for the RAF Historical Society Journal 32 (2004).)
Page 112
The prototype Lysander was sent to India in 1938, not 1936.
(Wing Commander C J Jefford MBE BA, in his review for the RAF Historical Society Journal 32 (2004).)
Page 119
The Fairey IIID was a three-seat aircraft, not a two-seat aircraft.
(Wing Commander C J Jefford MBE BA, in his review for the RAF Historical Society Journal 32 (2004).)

Appendix 1: Installation Table

Page 147
Airco D.H.4: The table says that in RNAS service, some D.H.4s had twin fixed guns. On aircraft operated as escort fighters the twin sychronized Vickers guns could be supplemented by twin Lewis guns fixed to the centre section of the top wings. Twin Lewis guns on the observer's Scarff ring were also used.
(Mick Davis, in Airco – The Aircraft Manufacturing Company, Crowood, 2001).

Appendix 2: Ammunition Table


Appendix 3: Gun Table


Appendix 4: Gun Drawings


Glossary


Bibliography


Index