I have often daydreamed about my own replica WWI or WWII fighter, complete with faux machine guns, just like Eric Clutton's original FRED in its "FRED Baron" guise. It still wears the replica gun today, but in a yellow 1940s RAF trainer scheme.
I have seen some propane-powered gunfire simulators in use by the replica Nieuport Dawn Patrol and others, but that solution strikes me as complex, heavy and potentially dangerous. It strikes me that there has to be a better way.Has anyone tried, or does anyone have any bright ideas on, an all-electric machine-gun simulator?
The way I see it, there are three components to making it work: 1) the flash, which should be easy to do with bright modern LEDs; 2) the noise, which could be as simple as an MP3 recording of a real machine gun firing played through a hidden speaker; and 3) the smoke, which ought to be possible with light machine oil or glycerine squirting on an electric element as used in electric trains. Of the three, I'd say the smoke is optional (flash and noise would already be pretty cool, cleaner and require less maintenance) but it would be the icing on the cake.
I definitely see some challenges in terms of sychronizing the three effects and I wonder if the noise would be loud enough and the smoke visible enough. Maybe something other than a speaker would work better, some sort of snapping relay or spark effect? Maybe the glycol mixture used in smoke machines would be an alternative? It might be good to find a way to generate the smoke at a single point and pipe it to as many guns as are needed.
Just imagine a replica Hurricane or Mustang tearing down the runway with all guns blazing!