Aircraft Production Facilities

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Velius, Mar 24, 2008.

  1. Velius

    Velius Member

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    Hello Everyone,

    Every time I see books dealing with the aviation industry in WWII, I always see American assembly lines producing hundreds/thousands of P-51s, B-24s, P-38s, B-17s, etc in giant facilities using mass production methods. After seeing such pics I began to wonder how the aircraft facilities in other countries were. So, hence the question; what were Non-American aircraft production facilities in WWII like? Did they use mass production? Were they large facilities? Were some underground (as in the case of some He-162)? Any info and any pics will be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks!8)

    For the record- the book "The American Aircraft Factory in WWII" is the book that really got me wondering this question.
     
  2. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    Have any more info on that book?
     
  3. Velius

    Velius Member

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  4. Burunduk

    Burunduk New Member

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    In USSR there were about 20 big aircraft factories. We didn't build underground factories, but moved many industries to the East.

    Before the WW2 main aircraft factories were in Moscow, Leningrad (now Saint-Petersburg), Kharkov, Gorky (now Nizny Novgorod), Saratov, Voronezh, Kazan, Novosibirsk, Komsomolsk-na-Amure (far east), motor factories in Moscow, Perm, Omsk, Kharkov.

    During the war Kharkov plant was lost because of occupation, many Moscow and Leningrad factories moved to other cities: Kazan, Novosibirsk, Tashkent, Kuibyshev (now Samara). Usually 2-3 plants "consolidated" into one. For example, 124-th plant in Kazan "assimilated" two factories: one moved from Moscow, other from Leningrad.

    During the war USSR produced about 120000 planes, it's second achievement after USA. For example, only 292th plant in Saratov (new one, established just before the WW2) produced in 1942 3474 Jak-1 fighters and in 1943 2720 (the reducing is because it was transferred to Jak-9 production). It means about 10 fighters per day.

    We used conveyor and other mass-production methods.

    And in the picture he is Novosibirsk plant in 1943 (153th plant, later named after Chkalov). Each hour the new fighter Jak-7 flew from this factory.



    [​IMG]
     
  5. wingnuts

    wingnuts Member

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    Australia had 3 main aircraft production facilities during WW2, The De Havilland factory in Sydney and in Port Melbourne there was the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation and next door the Government Aircraft Factory (GAF or DAP).

    CAC made the Wirraway and Boomerang aircraft as well as overhauled US and RAAF aircraft. GAF manufactured the Beaufort and Beaufighter aircraft.

    The attached URL shows the post war Mustang assembly at the CAC factory

    Keith Meggs : The Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation

    Australian-Built Aircraft, and the Industry by Keith Meggs
     
  6. MONDARIZ

    MONDARIZ Member

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    I don't have location details right here, but in the UK the production was often spread around the countryside.

    Rather than having huge assembly lines, they used smaller factories to produce their aircraft. This was mainly due to the bomber threat, which did not exist in the US, and was countered by moving production in the USSR (one of the really great achivements of WWII).
     
  7. wingnuts

    wingnuts Member

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    Aircraft production in the UK was spread around in so called specially built "shadow factories" such as at Castle Bromwich run (not very well) by Nuffield the automobile company, eventually it was taken over by Vickers Supermarine. Car factories were converted to aircraft manufacture and overhaul, many small components were made in service garages. Many parts for the Mosquito were made in former furniture and piano factories etc.
     
  8. Velius

    Velius Member

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    Very informative guys!

    Any info on Japanese facilities? And for that matter- German ones? I’ve read (still trying to find where I found this in one of my books) that despite all the strategic bombing in the middle years of the war, Me-109 production managed to increase to a peak
     
  9. model299

    model299 Member

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    Remember that some of those production numbers from German figures include salvaged airframes that were completely refurbished, rather than "new" construction.
     
  10. Burunduk

    Burunduk New Member

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    Here are figures for USSR from the book Aircraft production in USSR (1917-1945), two volumes. Publishing TsAGI (Central Aero-Hydrodynamics Institute), 1994.

    1940 - 10565 aircraft

    1941:
    7081 fighters,
    3754 bombers,
    1542 attack,
    257 transport,
    3101 trainers
    Total: 15735 including 5858 aircraft before 22.06.1941 (before the war)

    1942:
    9918 fighters,
    3534 bombers,
    8229 attack,
    469 transport,
    3286 trainers
    Total: 25436

    1943:
    14627 fighters,
    4057 bombers,
    11193 attack,
    1241 transport,
    3766 trainers
    Total: 34886

    1944:
    17895 fighters,
    4200 bombers,
    11110 attack,
    1543 transport,
    5493 trainers
    Total: 40241


    1945:
    11136 fighters,
    3120 bombers,
    6645 attack,
    1231 transport,
    4347 trainers
    Total: 26479

    Total 1941-1945
    60657 fighters (mostly Yak-1,3,7,9, LaGG-3, La-5,7, MiG-1,3),
    18665 bombers (mostly Il-4, Pe-2),
    38719 attack (mostly Il-2),
    4741 transport (mostly Li-2, licenced Douglas DC-3),
    19993 trainers (mostly Po-2)
    Total: 142775

    Minus 5858 made 01.01-22.06.1941, minus about 12000 made after 08.05.1945 means about 125000 aircrafts produced during war with Germany (22.06.1941 - 08.05.1945) .
     
  11. SoD Stitch

    SoD Stitch Banned

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    IIRC, Speer had a lot to do with that; he streamlined production facilities, but he also did more controversial things, like increasing the number of "slaves" working at the aircraft (and, for that matter, all) factories. This was a double-edged sword: you had more workers available, but they were very unmotivated (and, in most cases, unskilled), so efficiency dropped off.

    Another thing the Germans did, particularly from the mid-War period on (due to to Allied bombing), was disperse their manufacturing facilities; that's why you ended up with Me 262's being manufactured in mountain tunnels and assembled by semi-skilled workers at the end of the War.
     
  12. Catch22

    Catch22 Well-Known Member

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    In regards to the Fw 190, its components were built by subcontractors at all different plants, so that if one plant got hit, it wouldn't destroy precious airframes but just smaller components. Only final assembly was done in one factory.
     
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