Interrupter Gear

An interrupter gear is a device used on military aircraft and warships in order to allow them to target opponents without damaging themselves.

The term covers two related technologies: the first, more accurately referred to as synchronization gear, or a gun synchronizer, is attached to the armament of a tractor-type craft so that it can fire through the arc of a spinning propeller without the bullets striking the blades. Introduced during the First World War, the gun synchronizer was a significant development in the history of aerial warfare and remained in operational use until the Korean War, after which the universal adoption of propeller-less jet aircraft rendered such gears unnecessary.

The other, true interrupter gear stops the firing of the machine gun when some part of the aircraft is in the way. For much of the early history of the fighter aircraft this was limited to the propeller. This would change with the introduction of gun turret mounts on bomber aircraft.

Though their effects were the same, there was a subtle difference between the concept of the interrupter and the synchronizer. A machine gun fitted with interrupter gear had the trigger normally enabled and the interrupter mechanism would disable the trigger when a propeller blade was in the way. A machine gun fitted with synchronization gear had the trigger normally disabled and the synchronizer mechanism would enable the trigger when the propeller was clear, essentially with the rotating parts of the engine (the crankshaft and other parts connected to it with an inline engine, the crankcase with a rotary engine) firing the gun. In reality, the technical difficulties associated with reliably halting, or co-ordinating, the firing of a Maxim-type machine gun meant that no working interrupter system was ever developed — all successful implementations used the concept of synchronization.

Read more about Interrupter GearOrigins, Fokker's Synchronizer, Further Development, Turrets, Obsolescence

Other articles related to "interrupter gear, gears, gear":

Interrupter Gear - Obsolescence
... The usefulness of synchronization gears naturally disappeared altogether when jet engines eliminated the propeller, at least in fighter aircraft but gun ... guns, with the additional weight of their synchronization gear (which slowed their rate of fire, albeit only slightly, and still occasionally failed, resulting in damage to ...
Roland Garros (aviator) - Biography - Development of Interrupter Gear
... The so-called interrupter gear did not come into use until Anthony Fokker developed a synchronization device which had a large impact on air combat however, Garros also had a significant role in the process of ... it that after examining the plane, German aircraft engineers, led by Fokker, designed the improved interrupter gear system ... With the advent of the interrupter gear the tables were turned on the Allies, with Fokker's planes shooting down many Allied aircraft, leading to what became known as the Fokker Scourge ...

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