A fresh look at the German Jets

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Seawitch, Oct 6, 2007.

  1. Seawitch

    Seawitch Member

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    Hi all
    Elsewhere I've suggested that the ME 262 may have been the worst fighter of the war because of the price paid to have it.
    Perhaps theres a flip side to the fact that they could have produced thousands of really good piston engined aircraft with the resources spent instead.
    By the second half of 1944 when it and a few others began entering service I gather a lot of Luftwaffe units were starting to spend a lot of time on the ground when they should have been aloft for the lack of fuel available to them.
    Jets didn't use the Petrol that was hard to get, was their Paraffin fuel readily available.
    Would the thousands of extra Piston engined Aircraft being debated have had to drink from the same sized pool of fuel that was already to small or would the Luftwaffe have got a bigger share for them, looking at some of the fuel acquiring tactics in the Ardennes Offensive makes me wonder.....and of course, could so many more pilots have been found?
    Your thoughts?
     
  2. Civettone

    Civettone Active Member

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    Well, to me that's nothing news and half a year ago I remember having a discussion about this too. In essence I agree that the J2 fuel was easier to produce than the B4 and C3 fuel. So yes, it's clear that it would have been better for the Germans to have more jets.

    But two other things: these early jets drank fuel like crazy, more or less levelling the advantage out, and throughout its operational career the Me 262 was continuously plagued by shortages of jet fuel.

    So had the German infrastructure had time to transform itself to produce more jet fuel, maybe it could have provided more fuel for the jets thereby effectively putting more jets in the air. If that would have been a good thing remains to be seen as many people believe they were not as good as the latest Tank piston fighters.

    Kris
     
  3. Seawitch

    Seawitch Member

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    Hi Kris
    Thanks for that, well, just about keeps the origionaal conclusion in place!
     
  4. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    As good as Fw190D and Ta152 were, they were not difference makers. Galland was right that the LW should standardize on the Fw190 and Me262 when he championed that cause in early 1944.

    He didn't need 'thousands' more piston engine aircraft - he needed hundreds of Me262s with the best pilots in them to have any chance of making a difference.. the LW was never going to match pilot training and piston engine production and fuel supply against the allies from 1944 forward - they could only hope to gain a quantum leap in performance, not a slight or incremental boost that they got with FW190D series and way too late, the Ta152.
     
  5. Civettone

    Civettone Active Member

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    Well said. That's also a good argument to use agains those against the Me 262. It may have had numerous flaws but it was still the only aircraft which was vastly superior to anything the enemy had. If they had put all their efforts on piston fighters, they would have sealed their fate out of pure economical/industrial reasons.

    Kris
     
  6. V-1710

    V-1710 Member

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    I think the Luftwaffe's real problem after the second half of 1944 was a shortage of pilots first, then followed by fuel and lastly aircraft. Large numbers of intact, and in may instances new aircraft were discovered at war's end in storage, there just wasn't anyone left to fly them.
     
  7. Kurfürst

    Kurfürst Banned

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    Very well put, Bill! :idea:
     
  8. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    there were plenty of pilots, the 262 should of been mass produced and one aspect entirely missing was putting it in the hands earlier of Kurt Welter in the Nachtjagd force, something that was going to pay heavily from the RAF pounding the Reichs industry/war machine
     
  9. Seawitch

    Seawitch Member

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    ...I hope so...the hard to fly 262 killed about 200 pilots in training!:(
     
  10. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    it was not that hard to fly even in the evening nights, I have all that from interviews from former kommando Welter pilots for my book
     
  11. SoD Stitch

    SoD Stitch Banned

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    Yes, there were plenty of a/c, and plenty of pilots left; I think the problem came down to logistics. The Germans couldn't move all the stuff they were producing to where it was needed because their tranportation infrastructure was being systematically destroyed by the Allies. They couldn't move the a/c to the airfields fast enough to replace loses; same with the tanks. It takes a lot of time energy (i.e.: fuel) to move aircraft tanks, neither of which the Germans had by '45, which explains why advancing Allied soldiers found fields full of brand-new a/c , and factories full of new and remanned tanks. The Germans had the stuff, they just couldn't move it to where it was most needed.
     
  12. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    The 262 was not a hard aircraft to fly from I read, but like other twin engine aircraft of WW2 there was a high accident rate due to the lack of training with regards to engine out technique and procedures (or lack there of) -

    {here goes Joe on his soap box again :rolleyes: }​



    A big killer of pilots during WW2 and even today was engine out procedures on take off and landing. Although the 262 didn't have the torque problems associated with piston engine aircraft, loosing an engine still involved quickness and skill to overcome the drag from the dead engine. From what I understand the 262 was not a handful on takeoff engine outs, but landing seemed to be the problem. (I would guess there was a problem stabilizing the approach on one engine, combine that with a combat situation and its a recipe for disaster) In any event I would guess that if you factor out the engine reliability issue, the 262 probably had a similar attrition rate to any other twin engine fighter of WW2.
     
  13. Soundbreaker Welch?

    Soundbreaker Welch? Active Member

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    Great sig, Stich.
     
  14. The Basket

    The Basket Well-Known Member

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    In his book...wings of the luftwaffe...Eric Brown states that the 262 had a safe single engine speed of 180mph. On takeoff, if an engine failed, the pilot had a moment to correct the problem otherwise the aircraft will lose control and crash. It was worse for the jabo and nightfighters. He said that the chief test pilot Gerd Linder told him this.

    The Ar 234 had no such probs and was a more docile aircraft.

    He also flew the He 162 and Me 163.
     
  15. Snautzer

    Snautzer Member

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    maybe because the 262 was ment/designed to be a fighter and all things added to make it a jabo or nightfighter shifted the CoG to much in the front
     
  16. AL Schlageter

    AL Schlageter Banned

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    If one can find the book '262' Vol 3 by Smith Creek (ISBN 1-903223-00-8 ), one can read the Pilot Notes for the 262.
     
  17. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    What was describes is typical for all twin engine aircraft - jet or recip. The recip were/ are a bit more complicated during engine out. The Ar 234 would have to be quickly trimmed and then single engine climb speed must be maintained - again common for all twin engine aircraft. If the Ar 234 was more docile during engine out situations, I would believe it was inherently stable about its vertical axis.
     
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