Fotopulemet (fotokinopulemet) - automatic camera, which is installed on combat aircraft for the purpose of objective control use of weapons, usually gunnery (control operation of sighting systems and systems of complex systems is carried out on a number of parameters). Turning fotokinopulemeta synchronized with the trigger (firing switches). In more modern aircraft instead of film fotopulemetov use camera capable of recording video to digital media or tape.

The first photo-guns appeared during the First World War. Initially, they were used to train combat pilots (both on bombers and on fighter planes), usually the photocell was attached to training aircraft on the fuselage, suspended on the underwing pylon or installed instead of defensive weapons. A little later they began to practice the embedding of a photo-bullet in the design of an aircraft. Photo-guns, which were used to train the shooters, usually repeated the appearance, dimensions and main components of the weapons used in aviation. Presumably it was thanks to this feature that the device was called the "photo-gun".

Fotopulemet photo

Stock shots

During the Second World War fotopulemety widespread. They are mounted on a training aircraft, fighters, attack planes and bombers. These materials with their help serve as proof of the victory of the shooter or the pilot. Mainly used in the British, American and German fighter aircraft. The Soviet army had fotopulemety not all parts of the aircraft. Even where they were not always used. Many military newsreel footage was filmed using fotokinopulemetov.

The first survey of German attack on the Soviet fighters and-153, which took place in 5 hours 20 22.06.1941, the minutes, kept at the British Museum of World War II in London.

The most common in the German aircraft was fotopulemet EK 16, in Soviet - PAH-22.

Photo-guns did improve the fixation of downed enemy military aircraft. They were represented by chambers, which were activated by pressing the gunner's guns with machine guns and guns. Initially, they were used only for educational purposes. In the training battle, it is simply unacceptable to use real weapons, and the only way to fix the results of the battle was to provide the photopaclete. During training, the photo-guns were sometimes suspended, not even near the weapons, but instead. Also, the use of the photo-gun was caused by economic considerations. The cost of the high-explosive projectile "ShVAK" in 1936 was 20 rubles, and the pilot of the fighter during the training flight could shoot his annual salary for one flight. The analysis of the film helped to determine whether the pilot had correctly determined the distance to the ground or air target, how many shells and bullets he had fired (this was determined by the duration of the survey). PAU-22 was installed on Soviet aircraft before the war. At I-16 he was fixed on a gaugerote of an airplane in a special fairing. However, in real combat, the effectiveness of photoproducts was the worst. Despite the fact that the photo camera is very similar to the movie camera, the shooting rate of this device is slow, about 8-10 frames per second. And the most important thing is that the photocell was switched off immediately after releasing the flame gun. Accordingly, he could not fix the defeat of the target with the last projectile and stopped shooting even until the moment when the projectile reached the target. Moreover, he did not follow the actions of the enemy aircraft after the hits. Precisely to establish, the plane of the enemy crashed after the fire line or disappeared in appearance was impossible.


If the film were not detected bright pyrotechnic effects, for example, the explosion of tanks, can be determined only correct aiming and no more. This is especially true of American fighters, which were the main weapon caliber machine guns 12,7 mm. A bullet fired from this gun, could easily kill the pilot, but for the total destruction of the aircraft needed to exact hit a large number of bullets.

Queues of heavy machine guns in field conditions saw off the plane like a circular saw, but to repeat the same in the real battle was difficult. The results of the shooting worsened mounting machine guns in the wings. Convergence trails firing of the guns were at 300 meters in front of the aircraft. If aerial target is closer or farther away, it affects only part of the machine-gun armament. Not all was in order with the cannon fighter USSR.

Modifications German planes "Messerschmitt-109" later version "Bf.109F-4" duralumin trimmed armor. These were 27 sheets each having a thickness 0,8 mm. Armor-piercing shells and heavy machine gun could penetrate this barrier, but the partition forced prematurely trigger the detonators high-explosive shells.

The explosion of the projectile in the tank did not happen, so getting into the "Messerschmitt" one or several 20-mm shells could not guarantee the destruction of the aircraft.

Bullets were very imperfect device fixing the results of the battle in the air. Despite the fact that they were actively used by the Germans and allies during the war, and from 1943 began to massively install PAH-22 on Soviet combat aircraft, they did not reveal the real picture of the shot down. 

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