04 April 2006

Bullet Hose

The "Charley Model" Huey Gunship I flew in Viet Nam was armed with two 9-shot rocket pods and two .30 calibre miniguns.
The miniguns were each capable of firing 3,000 rounds a minute.
Continuous firing at that rate would literally melt the barrels on the guns, so there was a relay in the system that would only allow the guns to fire for three seconds, then the "interrupter" would shut the guns down.
To fire again, you had to release the trigger, then pull it once again.
This system worked well to keep excited Gunship Co-Pilots from turning the six barrels into the consistency of cooked spaghetti.
Normally the Co-Pilot would fire the mini-guns,
the Aircraft Commander would fire the rockets......a nine-rocket pod mounted on each side of the aircraft, next to the the miniguns.

I found a video on the minigun here that illustrates their awesome power.
As you watch, keep in mind that between each of the red tracer rounds that you see are three "ball" rounds that you cannot see.
Therefore, what you see leaving the gun is only 1/4th the actually rounds striking the target.

Another thing.......no helicopter would actually fly down a target line like you see here.
The video demonstrates the lethality of the gun, but in the real world the pilot would use whatever means necessary to avoid being brought down by surface to air missiles or small arms fire.

These new weapons systems can be computer assisted, making the manually adjusted system in the old "Charley" look pretty inaccurate. Still, I wouldn't have wanted to be on the receiving end of my attention in that old bird.

(Thanks to Compfused.com)


Ann (boss darlin' from Philly) said...

Hi Greybeard -

I can keep you up to date in the OLD MAN - just send me a note at imaginescape@hotmail.com and I will send on the updates. The newest is that there is some improvement and his chances have been increased to 50/50 - still not enough but he is nice and cranky so there is hope - take care - Ann


Do you prefer fixed-mounted miniguns or a door gunner?

I wouldn't want to go into battle with a Huey without those guns, period. They are simply devastating.

My other favorite aircraft to have on station, is the AC-130. It just doesn't seem like a fair fight when one of those babies is orbiting the battlefield.

Greybeard said...

Ahh Dave, the world is full of compromises.....

EVERY SINGLE TIME I took off in Viet Nam, my Charlie model was over max. gross weight! Most times, the aircraft was so heavy it wouldn't hover, and we had to do a "running takeoff" to get airborne...tense.
My crew chief and gunner were both armed with the old, trusty M60, with 1500 rounds of ammo. They were secured in the aircraft by what we called a "monkey strap", which allowed them literally to step out on the skid and fire beneath the aircraft if they wanted to.

It would have been wonderful if they could have been armed with this new minigun, but the ammunition to feed this monster would be VERY heavy. That weight would have made the Charlie model so heavy it would have been a permanent lawn ornament!


Yes, but with an ornament like that, no one would dare come into your yard.