Dutch F-16 flies into its own bullets, scores self-inflicted hits

2019 04 10 7 43New version of friendly fire:

’Two F–16s were conducting firing exercises on January 21. It appears that the damaged aircraft actually caught up with the 20mm rounds it fired as it pulled out of its firing run. At least one of them struck the side of the F–16’s fuselage, and parts of a round were ingested by the aircraft’s engine. The F–16’s pilot managed to land the aircraft safely at Leeuwarden Air Base.

The incident reflects why guns on a high-performance jet are perhaps a less than ideal weapon. The Vulcan is capable of firing over 6,000 shots per minute, but its magazine carries only 511 rounds—just enough for five seconds of fury. The rounds have a muzzle velocity of 3,450 feet per second (1050 meters per second). That is speed boosted initially by the aircraft itself, but atmospheric drag slows the shells down eventually. And if a pilot accelerates and maneuvers in the wrong way after firing the cannon, the aircraft could be unexpectedly reunited with its recently departed rounds.…’

Via Ars Technica