Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Now that's a gun.

The GAU-8/A, better known as the A-10 Warthog's gun.

The plane itself is also impressive.

See those engines. One of them alone will fly this puppy. The pilot sits in a very thick titanium alloy "bathtub."

That's typical of the design.

They were smart enough to make every part the same whether mounted on the left side or right side of the plane, like landing gear, for instance.

Because the engines are mounted so high (away from ground debris) and the landing gear uses such low pressure tires, it can operate from a damaged airport, interstate highway, plowed field, or dirt road.

The landing gears are also designed so they can be "blown down" in case of hydraulic failure. If they're still stuck the wheels stick out so the plane can do a fairly safe "belly landing".

It's an ugly, rugged, relatively cheap but effective airplane.

Naturally, the USAF hates it.

But back to the gun.

The .50 BMG is really big. Mike Beasley has one on his desk. Everyone who picks it up thinks it's some sort of fake, unless they know big ammo. It's really huge with a bullet that weighs 750 grains and goes as fast the Lapua.

I don't have data on the Vulcan, but hang on to your hat.

The bullet for the 30x173 Avenger has an aluminum jacket around a spent uranium core and weighs 6560 grains (yes, over 100 times as heavy as the M16 bullet, and flies through the air at 3500 fps (which is faster
than the M16 as well).

The gun shoots at a rate of 4200 rounds per minute. Yes, four thousand. Pilots typically shoot either one- or two-second burst which set loose 70 to 150 rounds. The system is optimized for shooting at 4,000 feet.

Quite the beast.

Go to the link for more.

Via Robb Allen.

Who quips: "My God, a projectile that is just south of a pound, moving at 3500 feet per second. 178,427 foot pounds of energy / 242,661 joules."

As for scale go to the link to see Exurban Kevin's comment. Milk indeed.

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