Question: What is 'Airborne Barrel Change'?
Answer : It is the process of changing the canon's barrel in the air, during gunship flying.
Question: Why airborne barrel change is necessary?
Answer: Its an option criterion when the barrel is hot or found defective in operation.
Question: How heavy is the barrel?
Answer: Weight: 22lbs 14ounces, Length: 43 1/2ins.
Question: Why don't change it on ground?
Answer: When time does not permits due to operational requirement.
Question: Who is responsible for the barrel change?
Answer: The Air Gunner.
Question: Is it difficult to change the barrel while flying?
Answer: It is not difficult but quite challenging and proofs easier with some technical know-how applied.
Question: What are the technical know-how applications?
Answer: See below:
Pilot's Command: "Commence barrel change" bringing gunship speed to 30 knots.
Air Gunner: "Roger".
Air Gunner's Technical Know-how:
- Canon MG151/20set to safety first.
- Bullet chute removed.
- Swing the canon to the left, pointing the barrel to aft of the gunship.
- Air Gunner wearing glove and 'monkey harness' will stood over the canon with his right hand holding cargo door handle.
- The barrel is then clamped to safety as to avoid barrel dropping to the ground.
- The barrel catch unlocked and with gunner's left hand twist anti-clockwise, the barrel is detached from the canon. At this point, holding the barrel with the left hand, the stand alone barrel must be positioned horizontally to the gunship flight path as to allow a balanced of air flow into the barrel.
- Slide slowly the barrel into the gunship and removed the barrel clamp after securing the barrel.
- Same reversed procedures repeated for the inserting of a new barrel to the canon.
- When completed placed canon to its normal resting position with bullet chute fixed and check for canon safety.
- Informed pilot when barrel change is completed.
Changing the barrel in the air is common among the air gunners. A must during the gunship training and an option in operation areas and you need a courage to do this. Its is an heroic accomplishment.
My gunship's 'Airborne barrel change' sorties:
FM1315-Kapt(U) Ripin / Sgt Ismail(Self)-Scorpion1, BW-Song-Song-BW.(Fired 96 rds Ball)-1:30min.
FM1315-Kapt(U)Ripin / Sgt Ismail(Self)-Scorpion1, BW-Song-Song-BW.(Fired 195 rds Ball)-1:45min.
FM1304-Kapt(U)Ripin / Sgt Ismail(Self)-Scorpion1, Kroh-Mkr.'V'-Kroh(Kroh Detachment).(Fired 310 rds Ball and HE)-(Including hot barrel experienced)-1:20min.
Above are only few to name.