A machine gun is a type of firearm that is designed to fire bullets at a rapid rate, typically at least several hundred per minute. Machine guns come in a number of calibers, each suited to a particular role.
Machine guns should not be confused with cannon, a similarly self-loading repeating weapon, distinguished from machine guns by a slower fire rate and considerably larger caliber.
Machine guns are usually available in .30, .40 and .50 caliber, and are typically fitted to combat aircraft either singly or in linked pairs.
.30-cal machine guns are optimised for engaging lightly-armored targets such as Boat balloons, and are a popular choice for turret weapons, as their light weight makes them easier to traverse.
.40-cal machine guns are common on lightweight fighters such as the Hughes Bloodhawk. More powerful than .30-cal, the .40-cal offers greater punch in exchanged for increased weight and decreased fire rate.
The .50-cal machine gun is the most popular choice for dogfighting craft, combining respectable offensive firepower with an acceptable fire rate and ammunition capacity. The .50-cal became the standard caliber for anti-aircraft turrets, as well as one of the standard calibers for fighter aircraft by 1938.
.60-cal and .70-cal machine guns are considered more specialised weapons, mostly employed on heavier aircraft like the Curtiss-Wright P2 Warhawk and the Bristol Type 140 Balmoral when those aircraft are employed in an anti-zeppelin role. These types of gun suffer from a slow fire rate and a small ammo capacity, leaving them the preserve of highly-trained pilots.
Behind the scenesEdit
In Crimson Skies, it was possible to customise an aircraft with up to four sets of guns. With the ability to double-link guns, it was possible to mount up to 8 guns on an aircraft, although only two could be fired at once. Each set of guns could be loaded with its own ammunition, for optimal versatility.
Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge massively simplified this system, by having only two types of primary weapon - linked machine guns, up to six of them, which all fired in order; and heavy cannon, up to four (on the Brigand), linked either sequentially like the machine guns or simultaneously. The weapons were decided by the aircraft, and improved once with the upgrade system.