The M240 Incinerator Unit, known colloquially as the Bake-a-Flake, is a carbine-style flamethrower employed by the United States Colonial Marine Corps. The weapon could be supplied with fuel either through canisters attached to the weapon or a direct main supply.
The M240 Incinerator is designed for use in close combat at the squad and fireteam level. It uses ultra-thickened napthal fuel as a base, stored under pressure and ignited by a nozzle burner as it leaves the weapon's barrel, and is capable of shooting a stream of flame up to 30 meters, although this range can be extended by firing the flame upwards at an angle, causing the stream to arc down onto a target. The weapon itself is 88 cm long and weighs 2.7 kg with a full reservoir. The reservoir can be unscrewed and replaced to reload the weapon; alternatively, a valve at the rear of the incinerator allows for the weapon to be refueled directly. A control can be used to alter the amount of fuel flowing to the weapon's barrel, while a thumb switch on the pistol grip ignites the nozzle burner. The weapon is fired by squeezing the hand grip trigger, and will continue to fire until the trigger is released.
One alternate mode of fire available to the operator is a so-called "wetshot", where the Incinerator is fired with the nozzle burner switched off and a stream of liquid fuel is sprayed at the target. This fuel has a tendency to partially vaporize, and a subsequent shot with the nozzle burner switched back on can ignite this vapor cloud to create an intense fireball. Another option is a blind angle burst, often used in close quarters fighting in an urban environment — the flame burst from the M240 can be 'bounced' off of walls or other solid surfaces to attack enemies out of the line of sight.
The M240 is undoubtedly one of the most fearsome weapons in the Marine inventory, and has proven especially useful in close combat against soft targets. It is also ideal for use against fortifications — flame can be directed through defensive apertures, causing both direct incendiary damage and also burning up the enemy's oxygen supply, causing incapacitation or death by asphyxiation. Its primary limitations, as with all flamethrower weapons, are its limited range. It has also been known for the unit to detonate catastrophically when the fuel reservoir is struck with certain types of incendiary ammunition.
The thickened fuel fired by the M240 has a tendency to stick to targets as it burns, continuing to heat even non-flammable targets after the incinerator itself has ceased firing. The fuel is difficult to extinguish, and as a result a commander must carefully consider the tactical situation before authorizing the use of flame. The amount of kindling and burnable materials and/or debris in the environment must be assessed to prevent unintentional fire hazard. It is especially important to note that naked flames should not be permitted in any pressurized environment with a high oxygen content. This potential for unwanted collateral damage is a serious constraint on the use of incendiary weapons like the M240.
Behind the ScenesEdit
There were a number of different versions of this weapon made for filming, each used for particular requirements on set. Unlike the rest of the film's arsenal, this weapon is more of a custom fabricated prop and is not based on any existent military hardware. The source for the M240 is actually two M16 assault rifles moulded and spliced together. The M240s used the upper receiver assembly of an M16A1 — cut into two parts, using the carrying handle facing forward, but the section with the ejection port turned backwards. The front section is a M203 grenade launcher frame painted brown (the same color as the film's Pulse Rifles and sentry guns).
Some of the props made for the film were actually military-spec liquid-fuelled flamethrowers, as opposed to the vastly more common (and far safer) gas-powered models usually seen in films, although some gas-burning models are also used in the movie, usually in scenes with actual actors using the weapons. The liquid fuel flamethrower is most notably seen in the sequence where Ripley incinerates the Hive in the Atmosphere Processor near the end of the film.
"Prop Store" FlamethrowerEdit
The "Prop Store" Flamethrower, or the "Colonial Marine Flamethrower" as it is known on the Prop Store's site, is the M240 prop owned by the Prop Store. The "Prop Store" Flamethrower had a functioning small blue pilot flame which was powered by a gas canister inside the main housing. It is currently unknown exactly who used the "Prop Store" flamethrower in the film, but it could have been used by Apone, Dietrich, Drake, Frost, Ripley or Wierzbowski.
- The use of the M240 in Aliens continued the tradition of flamethrower weaponry featuring in the films of the Alien franchise — Alien prominently featured incinerator units, Alien Resurrection would feature the Draco Double Burner and Prometheus would feature the Prometheus flamethrower. The only movie not to include the use of flamethrowers is Alien3; however, fire is still used as a weapon against the Runner in that film.
- The site Marauderinc.com sells the "Flamethrower Incendiary Weapon" 1:18 scale weapon for 3-3/4 inch action figures in black for $1.79 and "PAINTED" fro $3.49 which is based on the M240 Incinerator Unit. The description for the black version reads "1 (ONE) Superior & highly detailed custom weapon from Series #6. Accurate 1:18 scale recreation of a Sci-Fi style Flame-Thrower weapon. Features authentic details, accurate styling and removable fuel cylinder. Scaled for use with all 3 3/4" Figures. Weapon measures approximately 2 inches long. If you wish to purchase a single weapon or low multiples, use this item. If you wish to purchase more than 2, check out our "Value-Sets" for discounted quantity pricing." and the description for the "PAINTED" version reads "1 (ONE) Superior & highly detailed custom weapon from Series #6, tooled in "Gun-Metal" Gray plastic with FACTORY APPLIED paint applications. Accurate 1:18 scale recreation of a Sci-Fi style Flame-Thrower weapon. Features authentic details, accurate styling and removable fuel cylinder. Scaled for use with all 3 3/4" Figures. Weapon measures approximately 2 inches long."
- Similarly, the site used to sell the "'NCM' Rifle" which was based on the M41A Pulse Rifle.
- Aliens/novel (First Appearance)
- Aliens: Newt's Tale
- Aliens versus Predator 2
- Aliens: Colonial Marines/Stasis Interrupted (video game)
- Ripley's Pulse Rifle - The legendary M240/M41A combination used by Ellen Ripley.
- Frost's Flamethrower - The M240 used by Ricco Frost during the investigation of Hadley's Hope.
Behind the scenesEdit
- ↑ Stasis Interrupted
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Lee Brimmicombe-Wood (1996). Template:ACTM. HarperPrism, 22.
- ↑ Lee Brimmicombe-Wood (1996). Aliens: Colonial Marines Technical Manual. HarperPrism, 23.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 http://www.propstore.com/cms/the-prop-store-collection/aliens/flamethrower/
- ↑ James Cameron, Gale Anne Hurd, Gordon Carroll, David Giler, Walter Hill, Stan Winston. Superior Firepower: The Making of 'Aliens' [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
- ↑ http://www.marauderinc.com/servlet/Detail?no=374
- ↑ http://www.marauderinc.com/servlet/Detail?no=473