Page:Aircraft in Warfare.pdf/119

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CHAPTER VIII.

(October 23rd. 1914).

RAPIDITY OF FIRE AND ITS MEASURE. ARMOUR IN ITS RELATION TO ARMAMENT.

§ 49. Rapidity of Fire and its Measure. The measure of the rapidity of gun-fire from an aeroplane or dirigible as an index of its fighting value depends upon the nature of the objective or target. in

some cases the mere number

is

the most important factor,

any object

in

which a hit

is

in

evident that

example, in attacking

a hit whether the projectile

is

any reasonable relation

weight of the

to the

weight of projectiles discharged per

projectile, the total

second (or per minute) affords a better criterion.

and

of the comparatively flimsy it

is

minute

of projectiles per

as, for

In other cases, where the mischief

be large or small.

done

It is

doubtful whether

the

In view

fragile nature of aircraft,

energy

equivalent

discharge will ever be of the importance which

the

of it

in

is

the case of the battleship, where the destruction of the

enemy depends

to a

of foot-tons with ful

very large extent upon the number

which he

Thus

is assailed.

it is

doubt-

whether a factor representing the horse-power of the

offensive

armament would,

as

applied

to

the fighting

Now

aeroplane, will have any useful significance. scarcely

probable

that

in

the

immediate

future

it

is

the

fighting-machine can be furnished with complete bulletproof protection,

at

least

effective at short range.

that its

it is

such

as

can

be

Consequently we

considered may take it quite unimportant whether the bullets used in

destruction be of the u.sual British 215 grains or the

77