The Fokker E1 was the first German aircraft to carry a synchronised machine gun, the LMG 08. It was quickly recognised that a water cooled wepaon was in appropriate on an aircraft and modifications were made specifically on the cooling of the barrel. Standard sized water jackets were manuactured with perorations to allow air flow for colling while still retaining sufficient strength for the recoil of the mechanism. The front cover was also perforated and the trunnion was adapted on the bottom for a bolt mount.
When the MG 08/15 was introduced into service in 1915 it was soon adapted for aircraft use in a similar fashion to the 08. After modification the LMG 08/15 weighed 26 lbs compared to the original MG 08 weight of 57 lbs. One very visible modification was the change to the cocking handle (Durchladehebel). Because the guns were fixed and mounted ahead of the pilot, the normal method of clearing blockages, loading and unloading could not be practiced. To overcome this deficeny a series of cocking handle styles were implemented. There appears to be no firm rule as to when a specific style was utilised and it is thought that much of the decision was based on pilot preference.
Two other practical modifications were the introduction of rear mounted safety interlocks, a useful adaptation considering that ground crew had to stand in the l,ine of fire during engine start up, and round counters. While there were several style of round counters implemented, all were of the ‘rounds remaining’ countdown stlye. All LMG 08 and LMG 08/15 were manufactured at the Spandau Arsenal and, because of the Arsenal imprint on the Fusee cover, quickly became known as Spandau’s to the Allies.
LMG 08/15 Specifications
Caliber: 7.92mm x 57.
Muzzle velocity: 2,821 feet per second.
Sighting range: 2,200 yards.
Rate of fire: 400-500 rounds per minute synchroniser and engine speed dependent
Length (overall): 46 inches.
Barrel length: 28.35 inches.
Weight: 26 pounds.
Spandau LMG 15/08 machine gun
This product was added to our catalog on 29 March, 2011
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