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English Electric Lightning Gun Pods


andyelbac
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Hi, building my first ever aircraft and am seeking advice on a little bit of info on scratch building. I'm working on Airfix's 1/48 Lightning F2A. I really need some advice on the separate panels that show the recessed area that allows the rounds to leave the guns without striking the air frame. Those of you who have built the Lightning will know what I mean. They sit top and bottom and either side of the air frame just forward of the cockpit. In the kit they are provided as separate panels. Looking at the box art and photos it is clear that the recess in the kit panels are too shallow plus they have no exit hole for the rounds. Are ther any previous builds on here where someone has resolved this to show a more detailed realistic appearance including a description of how they did it? Any advice would be appreciated.

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Remove plastic behind panels leaving just a ledge.

use a drill and sharp blade, start in the middle.

Once the hole is large enough, use a file

Drill shell chute and open following shape.

Again drill and carve, use a sharp blade

Thin edges as far as you dare..

Use a curved edge blade, with the point in the opening, work slowly and carefully 

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They didn't leave the airframe the ground crew emptied then spent links ( the bits that connect each round) and cases after the sortie.

Edited by tweeky
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Thank you. I realise I worded my question very badly. I should have referred to gun PORTS. I notice in the Airfix kit that if building the F6 variant the gun ports in the ventral tank are well defined and deep enough to easily drill out the actual gun port. However, if building the F2a variant, the drop in panels for the gun ports top and bottom forward of the cockpit are very shallow. I was hoping to get some expert advise on the best way to open them up without screwing up the panels.

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Not sure if this applies to the 2/2A, but a lot of aircraft use(d) frangible plastic covers over gun ports. I have a dim recollection the Lightning may have done, but if so (and Airfix intended to depict them), the covers would probably be quite flush with the fuselage.

BTW, did the 2A actually feature the lower guns? I guess this is a case for @canberra kid!

Edited by tempestfan
lower guns question
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On the F6 nothing covered the cannon ports. There were open the only thing close to the ports were blast deflectors basically a set of rings to stop a wayward round striking the airframe.

 

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Quote

did the 2A actually feature the lower guns

The F2a had two options  1st option 4 cannons 2x upper and 2x lower in the removable weapons pack.  2nd option 2x Cannons in upper position and x2 Firestreak missiles in a different weapons pack. 

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Ah yes, thanks, now you mention - so in theory as the 2, but I wonder whether the cannon pack option was actually used to any extent on the 2A.

 

It just occured to me I have the AirDoc booklet on the Lightning; it has a number of pics - though apparently all 1A's - that seem to have pale straw coloured inserts in their cannon ports. And one pic of a 2A in which what is described as "the rare 4-cannon configuration".

Edited by tempestfan
Adding the AirDoc
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Remembering a conversation with an ex RAFG F2A weapons instructor, he praised the F2A over the F6 for having a bigger capacity ventral tank and still having the two cannon. I'm guessing therefore that the ventral cannon on the F2A were not routinely fitted, fuel being always at a premium on the Lightning.

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2 hours ago, viscount806x said:

Remembering a conversation with an ex RAFG F2A weapons instructor, he praised the F2A over the F6 for having a bigger capacity ventral tank and still having the two cannon. I'm guessing therefore that the ventral cannon on the F2A were not routinely fitted, fuel being always at a premium on the Lightning.

 

The F3a cannon option two in the upper fuselage and two in the lower fuselage then was an F2a that had the F6 "Guntank" fitted but from memory its was a publicity shot.

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3 hours ago, viscount806x said:

Remembering a conversation with an ex RAFG F2A weapons instructor, he praised the F2A over the F6 for having a bigger capacity ventral tank and still having the two cannon. I'm guessing therefore that the ventral cannon on the F2A were not routinely fitted, fuel being always at a premium on the Lightning.

  • The lower cannon in the Lightning 2 and 2A displaced the Firestreak missile pack so even their breeches were forward of the ventral tank.  XN734/G-BNCA had a gun pack in the fore part of the ventral tank but may have been fitted for this for trials purposes connected with the Mk. 53 programme and/or the 27mm weapon for the Tornado.  Sadly this jet met a gruesome end at Cranfield some time in the mid/late nineties.
Edited by stever219
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56 minutes ago, tweeky said:

 

The F3a cannon option two in the upper fuselage and two in the lower fuselage then was an F2a that had the F6 "Guntank" fitted but from memory its was a publicity shot.

The F. 3 was the first Lightning not fitted for guns; the small ventral tank of that mark would certainly preclude a retrospective gun installation there.  The F. 3As were always intended to be brought up to full F. 6 standard but still lacked the upper nose guns.  The ventral tank gun pack came some years after the F. 6s introduction into service.

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24 minutes ago, stever219 said:

The F. 3 was the first Lightning not fitted for guns; the small ventral tank of that mark would certainly preclude a retrospective gun installation there.  The F. 3As were always intended to be brought up to full F. 6 standard but still lacked the upper nose guns.  The ventral tank gun pack came some years after the F. 6s introduction into service.

ooopsy typo. I know the differences i spent 5 years on Lightning's 

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On 9/15/2021 at 4:02 PM, tweeky said:

On the F6 nothing covered the cannon ports. There were open the only thing close to the ports were blast deflectors basically a set of rings to stop a wayward round striking the airframe.

 

I think you will find that the blast deflectors were there to deflect the gun blast! You dont get wayward rounds, if a round hits the frame on firing somebody has seriously mucked up!

 

Selwyn

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1 hour ago, Selwyn said:

I think you will find that the blast deflectors were there to deflect the gun blast! You dont get wayward rounds, if a round hits the frame on firing somebody has seriously mucked up!

 

Selwyn

Spoke with the Sqn plumbers and that's what they said.... mind you the bombheads did have a habit of pulling peoples legs.  The did say it was if the jet was pulling

G at speed and firing the cannons. 

 

The early Lightning gun pack didn't have the rings around the ports.  

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3 hours ago, tweeky said:

Spoke with the Sqn plumbers and that's what they said.... mind you the bombheads did have a habit of pulling peoples legs.  The did say it was if the jet was pulling

G at speed and firing the cann

The early Lightning gun pack didn't have the rings around the ports.  

The ADEN guns fires at around 20 rounds per second,  pulling G would have no effect on the trajectory of the round, it would be well in front of the aircraft in a few milliseconds aftrer leaving the barrel.

 

Selwyn

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20 hours ago, tweeky said:

Spoke with the Sqn plumbers and that's what they said.... mind you the bombheads did have a habit of pulling peoples legs.  The did say it was if the jet was pulling

G at speed and firing the cannons. 

 

The early Lightning gun pack didn't have the rings around the ports.  

A gun gas deflector should help stabilising the aircrafts trajectory by counteracting the off center recoil effects.

In this case pushing the nose up sightly, while the low mounted gun recoil produces a nosedown momentum

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1 hour ago, exdraken said:

 

A gun gas deflector should help stabilising the aircrafts trajectory by counteracting the off center recoil effects.

In this case pushing the nose up sightly, while the low mounted gun recoil produces a nosedown momentum

Like muzzle brakes or compensators (showing off my non existent gun knowledge)

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2 minutes ago, Bozothenutter said:

Like muzzle brakes or compensators (showing off my non existent gun knowledge)

Muzzle brakes are more designed to limit recoil forces.

Hand gun compensators yes :), but they deflect the gun downwards, whereas the recoil makes  the gun turning upwards.

 

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6 minutes ago, Alex Gordon said:

There's this photo in the Walkarounds department

Wow! Looking crude somehow!

The station Smith had to quickly bend some metal sheet :D

 

in more earnest, one can see the idea behind those deflector ring angles.... simply so far away from what one would see today! 

 

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