Scarff ring

Scarff ring

The Scarff ring was a type of machine gun mounting developed during the First World War by Warrant Officer (Gunner) F. W. Scarff of the Admiralty Air Department - for use on two-seater aircraft. The mount incorporated bungee cord suspension in elevation to compensate for the weight of the gun(s) that allowed an airgunner in an open cockpit to swivel and elevate his weapon (typically one or two Lewis machine guns) around and easily fire in any direction. It was simple, rugged, and gave its operator an excellent field of fire. It was widely adapted and copied for other airforces.

As well as becoming a standard fitting in the British forces during the First World War, the Scarff ring was used in the post war Royal Air Force for many years - perhaps the last British aircraft to use the mounting being the Supermarine Walrus amphibian.

Scarff was also involved in the development of the Scarff-Dibovsky interrupter gear.

Although a deceptively simple device, later attempts to emulate the Scarff ring as a mounting for the dorsal Vickers K in World War II Handley Page Hampden was a failure. Handley Page had designed a carriage with ball-bearing wheels running on a track around the cockpit. Vibration when firing shook the balls out, jamming the mounting. cite book
last=Wallace |first=G. F.
title=The Guns of the Royal Air Force 1939-1945
publisher=William Kimber


* cite book
last=Barker |first=Ralph
title=The Royal Flying Corps in World War I

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