The MG FF is a German aircraft cannon developed from the Oerlikon FF F in 1936. An exceptionally powerful new type of HE shell called minengeschoss ("mine shell") was developed, but due to the shell actually weighing notably less despite packing significantly more explosive filler, the lighter weight resulted in the gun being unable to cycle properly, and thus the recoil system was modified to create the MG FF/M. The MG FF/M was otherwise effectively identical, but using the old (heavier) ammo in the newer gun could cause damage, and thus they couldn't share ammo.
They served as the Luftwaffe's standard 20mm cannon until being superseded by the MG 151/20 in 1941, though the MG FF and MG FF/M would continue to see use in supplementary roles, notably in Schräge Musik mounts. Schräge Musik was the term for the installation of upward-firing cannons in night fighters (such as the Bf 110), with the intent being to pull up under bombers at night, where they're far less likely to notice the fighter and in some cases (like the Lancaster) have no ventral turrets. This tactic proved exceptionally effective, partly inherent to its nature, but also due to Allied brass not accepting that such tactics existed for many months, these losses instead being attributed to flak.
The Japanese Type 99 Mark 1 is also a development of the FF F.
The MG FF and variants can be seen in the following films, television series, video games, and anime used by the following actors:
|Bitch War (Suchya voyna)||Nose-mounted on Bf 110; Seen in documentary footage||2014|
|SAS Rogue Heroes||Wing-mounted on BF109Es||2022|
|Game Title||Appears as||Mods||Notation||Release Date|
|Forgotten Hope 2||Mounted on Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-7 fighter||2012|
|Heroes & Generals||Mounted on Messerschmitt Bf 109 D-1 and Bf 109 E-4 fighters||2016|
|Brave Witches||MG FF/Ms mounted in Bf 109 fighters||2016-2017|