1940: Luftwaffe's ideal heavy fighter?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by tomo pauk, Aug 14, 2012.

  1. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Time to gather all of the Fw-187 fanboys into one place ;) - how would the ideal heavy fighter for the LW, in 1940, looked like if you were in charge?
    Two engines are mandatory, and 2 crew members are minimum (so the flying in adverse weather is easier, also the night flying combat). The emphasis is, as always in fighter debates, on performance (speed, RoC), punch, range, protection, maneuvrability, suitability for mass production, all while using the historically available bits pieces (no DB-603 here, nor MG-151, or something else not produced on large scale in Germany in 1940). Bomb carrying ability is also a plus, as is ability to switch onto engines of another type, in case there is such a need.
    The fighter should enter the fray in the time of invasion vs. West, May 1940.
     
  2. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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  3. DonL

    DonL Banned

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    #3 DonL, Aug 14, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2012
    Eh?

    You have given the answer in your own post.

    You can't built a better heavy fighter (2 crew man) then the original Fw 187 with 2 x DB 601 engines, 4 x MG 7,92mm and 2 x 20mm FF at 1940.
    To me as a hardcore fan, I would say in the whole world (1940), but that's only my very personal opinion.
    The Fw 187 with 2 x DB 601 is near the absolute ideal heavy fighter from speed, agility, climb performance, punch, payload and range.
    From the viewpoint of the whole a/c and the focus to the fighter ability.
    Also you could change the DB 601 engines to Jumo 211 engines.

    To me it is a no brainer.
     
  4. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Spitfire Mk I.
    Loaded weight = 5,750 lbs.
    RR Merlin II engine. 1,030 hp.
    .18 lbs per hp.

    Fw-187A0
    Loaded weight = 5,000 kg. 11,023 lbs. Or perhaps a bit lighter without liquid cooling system.
    BMW 132J engine. 947 hp. Two = 1,894 total hp.
    .17 lbs per hp.

    I wouldn't recommend this option but I believe the Fw-187 would be competitive during 1940 even with BMW132 engines. You can hardly go wrong with the Falke airframe as long as it has engines producing at least 900 hp.
    fw-187.jpg
     
  5. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    I would think that the radials would cut performance quite a bit, purely because of their much larger frontal area.
     
  6. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Might cut max speed by 20 mph or so. Acceleration and climb should still be good as long as you've got a good power to weight ratio.

    Not that I would recommend radial engines. The Falke was designed for DB601 engines and that's what it should have.
     
  7. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    I would suspect more than 20mph in top speed. The BMW 132 as 54in in diameter, which is about 60% wider than a DB 601/Jumo 211, and about 10% taller.

    The extra drag will also cause a reduction in continuous climb.
     
  8. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Ok...here's a question...what about the Hs129?

    I know it was designed around a GA role, but consider for a moment, if it were modified for fighter duty?

    As it stands, it had a decent service ceiling though it's speed was less than 300 mph with the Gnome-Rhone radials (700hp each), but with improved powerplants, that max speed could change.
     
  9. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    No way.

    Hs129 was designed for CAS. Best performance @ an altitude of 1,000 meters. Slow speed maneuverability (for accurate weapons delivery) and excellent armor protection against ground fire. Turning the Hs129 into a fighter aircraft would be like converting the twin engine A-10 into a twin engine F-15.

    If you don't like the Fw-187 then Me-110 is your best bet. However the Me-110 will never be as good for daytime aerial combat.
     
  10. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    3 August 1937.
    Dornier files patent number 728044 for rear prop shaft design useful for tandem engine aircraft.

    Eventually this led to the Do-335 fast bomber during 1945. However there were many starts, stops and specification changes along the way.

    Give Dornier a clear directive for a tandem engine (2 x DB601) fighter aircraft during 1937 and they might have something operational during 1940. It would be considerably smaller and lighter in weight then the historical Do-335. No weapons bay as this would be a fighter aircraft.

    An intriguing possibility. However Focke Wulf had a Fw-187 prototype flying during the spring of 1937 and performance was so good that it's difficult to justify any other choice.
    Foke_Wulf_FW187_Falke.jpg
     
  11. gjs238

    gjs238 Well-Known Member

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    Feel that way about the FW190 as well? :)
     
  12. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    400 liters. Me-109 internal fuel.
    535 liters. Fw-190 internal fuel.
    770 liters. Me-309 internal fuel.
    1,100 liters. Fw-187A internal fuel. (1,300 liters planned for Fw-187B)

    Fw-190 had a bit more endurance then Me-109 but it was still a short range aircraft. Not in the same league as the long range / endurance Fw-187 and Me-309.
     
  13. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    IIRC, Do-335 was flying 750-760 km/h, and Me-410 was managing 620-630 km/h on the same engine HP. So maybe going for the hi risk / low risk would be the way? Hi risk involving a tandem configuration, low risk being a 'classic' twin (Fw-187 with 'proper' engines).
    BTW, in order to solve the weapon firing time issue, we might go for an 8 LMG Falke (and the tandem), with, say, 600 rounds per gun?

    I've proposed this some time ago, basically the wing planform (but not the thickness) is from Do-17, and the engines are Jumo 211:
     

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  14. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Fw-187 is zero risk as the initial prototype was flying during the spring of 1937 and it had few problems. Even the most inept program manager could get the Falke into mass production by 1940.
    fw187-003.jpg
     
  15. Gixxerman

    Gixxerman Member

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    Whilst undeniably an interesting aircraft I have always thought the Fw 187 was probably rightly rejected on the grounds that it had little scope for further development.
    I'm happy for the Fw 187 fans to correct me if I'm wrong but isn't it another case of shoehorning the smallest airframe around the then most powerful engines available?
    (yes I know it didn't get the BD601 but even so....)

    In contrast the Me 110 not only had room for the enormous quantities of electronic night-fighting kit - and a 3rd crew-man - that would be so useful to the LW later on but it made for (as best as I can tell) an excellent fast fighter-bomber.
    Of course it was no nimble single-seat fighter....but then I suspect neither was the Fw 187 which, again as far as I can tell, had little room for a 2nd crew-man as it was nevermind hoping to fit radar kit etc etc.

    In my opinion the Fw 187 with DB601s helps the LW survive the earlier years of the war - especially the BoB - with fewer losses, sees the RAF suffer heavier losses but is still not enough to decisively tip the scales......and in Russia and beyond I just don't see that it offers anything the LW need - the Me 110 being more useful in it's fighter-bomber role and of course capable of a very useful night-fighter role.
     
  16. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    - Two Jagdgeschwader to serve as bomber escorts.
    - One Jagdgeschwader to serve in North Africa ILO the less effective Me-110.
    - One Jagdgeschwader to serve in Sicily ILO the less effective Me-110.
    - One Jagdgeschwader to serve in the Balkans ILO the less effective Me-110.
    - Two Jagdgeschwader to serve in Norway ILO the less effective Me-110.
    - One Jagdgeschwader to protect the Bay of Biscay ILO the less effective Ju-88C.
    - Two Jagdgeschwader to protect German airspace against enemy day bombers.
    - Two Jagdgeschwader to serve as long range recon aircraft ILO the Me-110.

    Looks like about 1,500 long range figher aircraft to me and we haven't even considered roles the Fw-187 might have grown into such as light bomber and chasing down pathfinder Mosquitoes.
     
  17. Tante Ju

    Tante Ju Banned

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    #17 Tante Ju, Aug 15, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2012
    How does Fw 187 replace Me 110 in night fighter role? The answer is simple - it can't. If German choose Fw 187 in place of Me 110, they would be near defenceless against Bomber Command attacks until a proper two seater is introduced (which was historically easy to do by simply re deploying existing 110 units to Nachtjagd, since they already had training for bad wheater flying).

    Given a fixed number of DB 601 engines, you either sacrifice a Me 110 for each Fw 187 built, which leaves with a huge gap in NF capability. Or you produce it alongside the 110, which brings up the same problem as the Germans had with the 110.. it was not performance, but the number available. There were too few 110s to compete with hordes of cheap, numerous single engine RAF fighters.

    Third way is the sacrifice TWO 109s for each 187, which is downright silly IMHO. The 187 simply offers no advantage over the 109, the same dilemma as with P-38 vs P-51.. I am extremely doubtful that the 187 would have any greater range with the same engine.. 1100 liters total, thats 550 / engine, the 109 had 400 liters that is true, yet the 190 with 530 or so liter had exact the same range as 109, because of the increased drag from radial engine. A twin engine heavy has the same problem, simply it has more drag.

    But let's say for second that the Fw 187 with 550 liter / engine had 10-20% better range than existing and half the cost 109 with 400 liter / engine... nothing that 10 Pfenning light alloy drop tank cannot solve on the 109, however (700 liter / engine)...

    IMHO the Fw 187 had the same problem as the Whirlwind or P-38. It really just do the same job as a SE fighter, at twice the price tag.
     
  18. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    German AI radar entered service during the fall of 1941. Until then the Fw-187A is as good a night fighter as the Me-110C.
     
  19. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    DB601 engine production isn't fixed. Neither is non-production of the Fw-187. Those were choices made by RLM.
     
  20. DonL

    DonL Banned

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    #20 DonL, Aug 15, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2012
    This isn't proved!

    This two a/c's were ordered from the RLM with plans from FW, so FW engineers think they can built a nightfighter FW 187!

    But that isn't the point!
    The Ju 88 and the DO 17Z/Do 215 B5 (KauzIII) could play this role more then equal to the Me 110!
    Your statement that germany would be defenceless is simply bogus, also the FW 187 could play without discussion the nightfighter role till the introduction of the on board radar Lichtenstein (middle of 1942). Before the Lichtenstein radar the ground station Himmelbett play the eyes of the nightfighters and the FW 187 could fly at night and bad weather as good as the Me 110!

    First your statement for NF capability is wrong! (see above)
    Second it was the performance of the Me 110 which suffered heavy losses, because the Me 110 wasn't an equal match to the Hurricane and Spitfire since BoB or any other single engined fighter at the west. This would be total different with the performance of the FW 187.

    What was with Norway, North Atlantic, Mediterranean, Mediterranean Sea, North Sea and South England?

    The FW 187 offers many advantages over the Bf 109!
    It was faster, had more punch, range and a much better payload.

    The Fw 187 had a better aerodynamik then the Bf 109 and could cruise at higher speed with less ata of the engine. It had the 20% more range with equal fuel to the engines and it could carry through it's payload a 900 Liter drop tank.
    With the planed FW 187 D version from FW, the FW 187 could carry 1290 Liter internal fuel plus 900 Liter drop tank, that's 2100 Liter fuel, a little bit different to 700 Liter!?

    Also the Bf 109 was at it's limit with the Bf 109F with it's development capacity, the Bf 109G was very clearly a step back! The Bf 109G was even at 1943 not realy competitive as Bf 109 G6 with it's two Gondulas at the defence of the Reich.

    At 1943 the LW suffered badly because it's firstrate frontline fighter Bf 109G6 wasn't anymore competetive at the west and also the Bf 110 suffered heavy losses since the end of 1942/43 at Norway, North Sea, the Mediterranean and Mediterranean Sea and was retired at this frontlines. It wasn't anymore competetive to the Moussie and the Beaufighter.
    At 1943 the Bf 110 only fly as night fighter or at th east.

    From the plans of the FW engineers, the development capacity of the FW 187 was better amd much more promising then the development capacity of the Bf 109 and the Me 110.
    The nightfighter role isn't decisive because germany had alternatives with the Ju 88 and till 1943 with the Do 17/215 B5 (KauzIII, later with better engines DB 601 E, DB 605 or Jumo 211 series).
    The Bf Me 110 was only an adaquate nightfighter till the end of 1943 and with the Ju 88 (C and G1, G6) germany had the best nightfighter (for germany) in stock, the Bf 110 wasn't needed in this role.

    The FW 187 would be mostly an a/c against the west allies. At Norway, North Sea, Mediterranean, Mediterranean Sea, South England and very important at 1943, it would be the best possible fighter (without DB 603 and Jumo 213) at the defending of the Reich, which much more potential to be competetive against P47, P38, spitfire and later the P51, that was shown from the reached test flight data's and the estimated performance from FW engineers.

    For the rest please read my whole statemnet of this post.
     
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