Bullet traces (smokes) do not match bullet flight path - Page 2 - ED Forums
 


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Old 08-14-2020, 08:56 AM   #11
Tom Kazansky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flagrum View Post
Isn't the gun canted upwards a bit, i.e. not parallel to aircrafts center line? To counter a bit of bullet drop and/or help in turning into the enemy.


That could explain what you see: if you shoot exact parallel to the ground, your aircraft attitude would actually be a bit nose-down - i.e. you dive under the traces/bullet path. Or the other way around: if you fly straight an level, you would shoot slightly upward.

that would explain a lot. i'm about to test in super slow motion. will check back later.
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Old 08-14-2020, 10:06 AM   #12
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i consider myself to be corrected.


just tested with the F-86F in super slow motion. i took the F-86 because the tracer ammunition is much more visible than the MiG-15bis's. And the smoke traces are the same. (btw: is this really smoke for 100m or is it some kind of contrail?)


my results confirm what Flagrum said. and it is no miracle that they seem to travel upwards the more AoA you pull while firing. that's how it should be imho.


i know that was not quite the OP's issue anyway, but i thought this might contribute to understanding those traces.
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Old 08-15-2020, 03:18 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flagrum View Post
Isn't the gun canted upwards a bit, i.e. not parallel to aircrafts center line? To counter a bit of bullet drop and/or help in turning into the enemy.


That could explain what you see: if you shoot exact parallel to the ground, your aircraft attitude would actually be a bit nose-down - i.e. you dive under the traces/bullet path. Or the other way around: if you fly straight an level, you would shoot slightly upward.
Afaik, most aerial guns are canted up slightly for this exact reason, including old WWII planes. There are also a few that have their guns canted DOWN slightly to facilitate strafing. I think a perfectly straight boresight would be the exception rather than the norm.

As for the MiG-15... the cannons it's firing are a mix of 23s and 37s, neither particularly great, but the 37 especially is a big bowling ball being lobbed out there. I believe there was an account of a Sabre pilot relating being in the sweet spot one time where the 23s were going over him, and the 37s were going under him.... imagine that was a very frustrated MiG pilot....

Regardless, they're not ideal fighter weapons, it was designed in an era when bombers were the main threat in a nuclear war, and were designed accordingly to one shot B-29s/B-36s/B-47s etc. They do have a relatively low trajectory.

As for tracers themselves, they're just a burning phosphorous tail or some such, leaving a glorified smoketrail. On a low velocity round like on the MiG-15, I could see how under certain conditions you might could fly through your own tracers, but it's just smokey stuff and won't hurt anything, the bullet is well up at the head.
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Old 08-22-2020, 02:52 AM   #14
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I know seeing diagrams of the F/A-18A Hornet, it's gatling Vulcan is significantly canted at an upwards direction, presumably for making it a little more convenient for shots either at longer distances, or while maybe doing high alpha in a turn fight.

And while I've never truly confirmed this, I believe the A-10 may have an ever so tiny downward cant... so close to centerline, but just slight downward by maybe half a degree. Dunno if that's true, just seems to look that way to me.

I seem to think the big 37mm on the Mig had an especially slow velocity, making it harder for the poor Mig pilot to do anything with it. It makes perfect sense that it was chosen with enemy nuke bombers in mind, rather than dogfighting with enemy fighters!
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Old 08-23-2020, 06:14 PM   #15
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there is also the problem that most tracer ammunition doesn't actually have the same ballistics as normal rounds. Tracers, as most people think of them are largely a Hollywood myth. My understanding is that they generally aren't used in aircraft anymore, because if you're trying to walk your fire with tracers they will throw off your aimpoint.
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Old 08-29-2020, 02:35 AM   #16
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It's true that they often/usually aren't "exactly" the same ballistics... but the armies of the world still use a lot of it even in recent years. Not in rifles or carbines, but in medium and heavy MG's, and autocannons. It has some degree of intimidation factor. With the much increased use of NVG's though, tracers in general see a lot less use nowdays among the well equiped, in part because of the intensifier's "bloom effect", and because now you have some suppliers offering "invisible tracers", that is, a cartridge that features a trace element that puts out IR light, fully appropriate for night intensifiers and NVG's, but invisible to the enemy troops who don't have such fancy gear.

Also, it's not "always" true they have a different trajectory, sometimes they go to great pains to try and match the arc, at least at useful distances where it could matter. That's something that came well after WW2 AFAIK. I'm not sure about recent and current fighter cannons... they might feature trace elements on each round, or not at all. I personally don't recall seeing video of trace from aircraft cannons in recent years... but it might not be visible the same at 90degrees, the same as it might appear to the pilot/gunner. But ground vehicles, especially Infantry Fighting Vehicles can be often seen using rounds with a trace element, at least at the training ranges... that might not be true of deployed armored units in theatre though.

Personally, I think that trace will continue to be popular among the low-budget wars, but in powerful advanced militaries I think we're gonna see it fade away for the most part, only to be retained in small quantities for special purposes, where there might be a very specific reason for wanting to use it.
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