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Journal queries: Drums, Stops and Rolls

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Adrian Roberts View Drop Down

Joined: 17 Apr 2009
Location: United Kingdom
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    Posted: 21 Jan 2012 at 02:11
A few queries resulting from the latest C&C Journal [vol 42/4]:
1) On page 247, Lt Baker's report mentions that his gun would only fire single shots and so he "tested the drum". But he is flying a Spad VII. Did this type sometimes have a Lewis gun rather than a Vickers? If not, what does he mean by "drum"?
2) There are several quotes on that page and some other pages, about guns jamming in No.1 position. (Or no.3, or no.4 etc). What does this mean? Presumably something about the firing cycle. But how could they tell which position it jammed in, in mid-air with gloved hands and people shooting at them?
3) In Norman Starbuck's logbook, page 263, he says he was flying a BE, and "looped....., followed by a series of cartwheels". What does he mean by cartwheel? A true cartwheel is very difficult to achieve even by an expert pilot in a fully aerobatic type. Does he just mean a roll? Or maybe what today we call a stall turn or  hammer-head turn, but I can't really imagine a BE doing that; if you try sliding backward in an aeroplane not designed for it, you risk breaking the tail off, or at least breaking the rudder hinges which is barely less undesirable.
4) Is anything known of Starbuck's later life, and when he died? (Presumably he didn't open a chain of jolly expensive coffee shops).
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KK View Drop Down
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Joined: 26 Jan 2011
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KK Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Mar 2012 at 20:54
The drum on an early SPAD was actually a reel to feed the ammo belt into the Vickers gun.A second reel took up the slack of the empty canvas belt. These were positioned below the machine gun but were prone to jamming and the disintegrating belt system replaced the drum version.
Forget about a Lewis gun here.
As to the cartwheel lm guessing Starbuck was doing some steep wing-overs.
l dont know what he did post war but l hope he didnt drop the S from his name and go into comedyClown
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