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M61A1 Vulcan Cannon

DAYTON, Ohio -- M61A1 20mm Vlucan Cannon at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- M61A1 20mm Vlucan Cannon at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

The M61A1 Vulcan cannon is a six-barrel 20mm weapon capable of firing 6,000 rounds per minute. Incorporating the same basic principle invented by Richard J. Gatling in the 1860s, the M61A1 multiple gun barrels rotate rapidly to allow a high rate of fire. Because each barrel fires only one of every six rounds, the wear and heat generated are less than with a single barrel gun. Vulcans can be driven electrically, hydraulically or by a ram-air engine.

In service since the 1950s, the Vulcan has armed such USAF aircraft as the F-104, F-105B/D/F, A-7D, F-4E, B-58, B-52H, F-15 and F-16. Also, aircraft lacking an internally mounted gun could carry a ram-air driven M61A1 in an external pod. Before coming to the museum, the Vulcan on display was carried internally on an F-4E Phantom II assigned to the 1st Tactical Fighter Wing at Langley AFB. The 1st Fighter Wing currently flies the F-22 Raptor armed with the lighter M61A2.

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Mask Policy:
In accordance with the updated guidance released by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Department of Defense (DoD) and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force will require all visitors to wear face masks indoors effective July 30, 2021 until further notice.

Visitors ages three and up will be required to wear masks while indoors at the museum. This policy applies to all visitors, staff and volunteers regardless of vaccination status. Visitors may wear their own masks or a free paper mask will be provided. Cloth masks will also be available for purchase in the Museum Store.
Additional information available here.

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