A curious German weapon

Discussion in 'Aircraft Pictures' started by pampa14, May 26, 2014.

  1. pampa14

    pampa14 Active Member

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    Undoubtedly one of the most interesting weapons used by the Luftwaffe during the World War II, the Mistel. The following link shows a full report and photos:

    Aviação em Floripa: Mistel


    Hope you enjoy and I count on your visit!
     
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  2. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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  3. pbehn

    pbehn Well-Known Member

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    Good stuff, I think there was a plan for US bombers to carry their escorts in a similar manner which could also be recovered. Dont think it ot past experiments though
     
  4. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    That had to be really a challenge for the pilot to steer.
     
  5. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    Surprisingly not at all.

    The control system was developed by Dr.-Ing. Fritz Haber working under Prof. Heinrich Hertel at Junkers Dessau. Haber wrote.

    "Because mechanical connections between the upper and lower aircraft would have resulted in unacceptably high control forces, electrically powered servo actuators were developed to ease the pilot's workload. These actuators, at least in Germany, were the only ones to be put into large scale production and used extensively.
    Control of the composite during cruising flight used open loop control principles governed by the Mistel's speed. The control rods of the upper aircraft were linked to potentiometers, the movement of which regulated, after attenuation and amplification, the power supply to the electrically driven servo actuators fitted to the carrier aircraft's flaps, ailerons, elevators and rudder. The speed at which the system operated was dependent on the differences between the control surface deflections of the upper and lower aircraft. This form of control worked extremely well and, in particular, fulfilled all aircraft handling and performance requirements. Pilot's were unanimous in their opinion: flying the composite did not present any problems. Later, it transpired that there was hardly any need for conversion training. Tests successfully demonstrated that the servo system gave the pilot the impression that his control column and rudder pedals were mechanically linked to the control surfaces of the aircraft beneath him, though this was not the case."


    There you have it from the horse's mouth !

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  6. planb

    planb Member

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    What was the purpose?
     
  7. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    The lower, unmanned, component was fitted with a war head known as the SHL (Schwere Hohlladung) 3500. It contained 1,700 Kg of explosives. It was designed to pierce the armoured steel of battleships or blow open reinforced concrete targets. Once released the lower component became, in effect, a large guided missile.
    Cheers
    Steve
     
  8. Aaron Brooks Wolters

    Aaron Brooks Wolters Well-Known Member

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  9. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    The Soviets did this with their TB-1 and TB-3 bombers as the Zveno project (operationally as the Zveno-SPB), it carried various types like the I-4, I-5, I-16 or the I-Z fighter types.
     
  10. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    The idea of composite aircraft is was not new. There is a 1928 UK patent by a chap called Norman Macmillan for 'aircraft coupled in pairs or trains'.
    The earliest upper and lower combination I've seen photographic evidence for is a Fairey III F with a gunnery target glider on top, taken at Gosport in 1933. Various combinations of flying boats and mail planes were built and tested throughout the 1930s by the British in particular.
    Cheers
    Steve
     
  11. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Good shots!
     
  12. pbehn

    pbehn Well-Known Member

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    I thought all the horses were supporting infantry divisions?
     
  13. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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  14. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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    Interesting pictures alright. A number of the pictures of the Fw 190/Ju 88H combinations were taken at Schleswig, where the Mistels were taken for delivery to the UK after surrendering at Tirstrup, Denmark, particularly the ones with British markings - These were flown by the Brits and appeared at the Enemy Aircraft Exhibition at Farnborough in October/November 1945. Sadly, the only surviving component of these is Fw 190A-8/R6 WNr 733682, assigned the British Air Ministry number Air Min 75, belonging to the RAF Museum, but on permanent loan to IWM at Lambeth, where it can be seen here (and between you, me and the gate post, it also features in Dave's (Grau Geist's) siggy!):

    [​IMG]

    I think it is in the second photo from the bottom. The first and the 11th picture of the camouflaged Ju 88/Fw 190 in British markings was Air Min 77, both pictures were taken at Farnborough; the aircraft were scrapped.
     
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