The Germans had some their JU 88' night fighters equipped with a pair of 20mm Cannon, mounted in the top of the A/C, (Vertically). The pilots of the type referred to this very effective contraption , as Schragge Musik!
(Forgive my spelling) My Q is: Can anyone tell me what the english translation of Schragge Musik is? Chr's H/Snort
A variety of German and Japanese WW2 aircraft were fitted with variations on this theme. As for the Brits..... There was the "Sunflower" Hurricane with an upwards firing rocket battery mounted aft of the cockpit. I would be interested if anybody has any more details of this project.
"Schrage Musik" was developed as a pair of 20mm cannon at 70 degrees from the horizontal. The pilot with the aid of a reflector sight flew the night fighter underneath the bomber safe from the mid-upper and tail gunners (RAF Bomber Command aircraft did not have belly gunners) and camouflaged against the darker earth. The pilot would open fire into the wing fuel tanks between the outer and inner engines on either wing in an attempt to to set the aircraft on fire without being exposed to return fire from the two gunners or the dangers of the bombload exploding and destroying the nightfighter as well.
Why the "Sunflower" Hurricane ? Allegedly because of the explosive manner that the sunflower uses to eject its seeds. I do believe that the project reached physical form -either a mock-up or prototype. A bit of thread drift, but at the same time the "Slanted/Jazz Music" name was explained to me by a German I also got the explanation for the Ju 88- "Stortebakker" ( Excuse spelling etc.) intruder aircraft.
The Luftwaffe had Scharage Musik fitted in several a/c types, with both 20 and 30mm cannons. They were fitted in the fuselage of twin engined nightfighters, JU 88, Bf110, He119 Uhu (not sure of the 119 bit) [The Radio Operator re-armed them]. Also fitted to [some] FW190s [three per wing]. ALL installations were between 60-70 degrees from the horizontal. You sat back in the bombers "blind spot" watp,iktch
Chig, both Focke Wulf 189 and Heinkel 219 were called Uhu. The FW 189 was primarily a recconaisance aircraft, but several were modified to act as night fighters with radar and a Schrage Musik installation. The Heinkel was a dedicated high speed fighter, again equipped with radar and some were modified to have the upward firing cannon. Would be interested if you have any further detail re the FW 190 variant, I have never heard of this arrangement on a single engine fighter (especially in the wings).
Kitbag, Yes, I did mean the He219...[muppet] I think that the FW190 was in "Fighters of the Third Riech" [a Huge book, which someone borrowed.....permanently ] But I have seen other references to the FW...can't think where, at the mo. I didn't know that the Schalke was so modded [no google, just [a bad?] memory watp,iktch
How should I know? But I can't remember reading of an upward firing installation on an FW190. Also, though they were used on ('scuse my German) 'wilden sau' night operations of opportunity, surely it was primarily a day fighter. How those guys flew aircraft with such massive engines at night from unlit fields I'll never know.
Last edited by Footless Halls; 29th Sep 2007 at 13:52.
There was IIRC an upwards firing mortar type mount in a fuselage installation tested on the FW 190. This was for day use against bombers however, and was triggered by a photosensor as the fighter flew through the bombers optical shadow...... In addition I recall that there was a wing mounted vertical rocket system also tried . This however fired downwards as an anti-tank weapon. Work was certainly done on triggering similar systems by sensing the tank's magnetic field. It all never sounded exactly habit forming to me!
I always thought it translated as ' Night Music ' which might make more sense - a version was fitted on the ME163 with a battery of upward firing rockets - once armed, as I thought in all these systems, they fired automatically by dint of a Selenium ( ie camera light meter ) sensor as soon as the attacker got under the 'shadow' of a bomber.
From what I've read it worked surprisingly well, I suppose it let the pilot get on with flying / surviving...