Madsen Aircraft Cannon

The Dansk Industri Synrlikat of Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1926 announced to military attaches of all nations that its company had produced the pilot model of what it considered to be the ideal automatic cannon for aircraft armament. The weapon, which was given the name Madscn, was 20 mm in bore, employing a rimmed cartridge. Its rate of lire was listed as 180 rounds a minute; it was magazine fed, air cooled, and operated from short recoil; and it was identical in principle with the already well known rifle-caliber Madscn machine gun. The only feature different from the earlier model was the employment of a hydraulic buffer cylinder to absorb excessive recoil brought about by the larger powder charge. The ammunition was specifically designed to be used both in the air and. if necessary, on the ground as a defense against tanks.

This Danish company was very fortunate in that its plant was in a free port which allowed the custom-free importation of an unlimited supply of materials. This gave access to the world's best metals. For instance, Sweden, which had long been internationally famous for her high-grade steel, furnished blanks for the Mad-sen barrels, the work of boring, reaming, and rifling being done at the Copenhagen plant. In some instances, the finished barrel was also purchased in Sweden.

The' weapon was designed, according to the company, for wing and flexible mounting only, and it was not recommended for engine installation. This was believed dangerous since its em-ployment of a specially designed high-velocity cartridge would lead to excessive vibration during automatic fire. Although the announcement of the prototype Madsen cannon was made in 1926, actual development of the weapon beyond the crude stage was exceedingly slow. It was 2 years before it had been refined enough to permit foreign observers to witness a demonstration. According to reports, the performance was far from impressive.

Well realizing that it was by no means far enough advanced to interest aviation authorities, the company's next step was to promote it for antitank and antiaircraft use and to this end it directed all its efforts. The transportation problem for ground work was set tled bv mounting it

Madsen 20-mm Automatic Aircraft Cannon, Model 1926 (Prototype). 020512°—51-™ 537

Madsen Observer Machine Gun

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