Airforces just pre-WW2: you run the show

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by tomo pauk, Feb 27, 2012.

  1. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    ...and decide (among other stuff) what gets into production and what does not, and in what quantities. The quantity is one of major determinants, so please don't choose jets for 1942, or multiple Hispano cannons for RAF fighters for BoB etc.
    Your role starts 2 years prior the chosen country is in the war.
     
  2. Gixxerman

    Gixxerman Member

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    Interesting.
    I'll just pick 2.

    For the UK I doubt there really is a lot more that can be done, they were flat-out by 1937 trying to get ready for the obvious coming war (and I am much more inclined to the 'Chamberlain was buying time at Munich' view, regardless of what anyone else was up to).
    Maybe additional resources to optimising production and eliminating bottle-necks where they can be identified but I'm sure it's nothing that wasn't thought of at the time.
    I'd be looking hard at trying to further standardise components where possible have production dispersed with sub-contractors making prefab'd sections components.

    For Germany.....hmmm, where to start?
    IMHO one of the biggest problems Germany has is simply incapable of being addressed.
    It's the political system.
    Riven with personalities, petty jealousies and all the rest.
    I'm not sure, given the back-drop, Germany could ever do much different to what she did.
    With enormous duplication of effort all the wasted resources that implies.
     
  3. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    With the benefit of hind sight many countries performance could be improved. With only 2 years there in no time to develop new engines although there may be time to cancel some engines and throw support to others. It also takes more than two years to develop a new aircraft gun.

    The British ordered too many planes off the drawing boards that turned out to be duds. The British may have wound up with the worlds biggest collection of target tugs. :)
    Can't figure out what to do with 500-1000 Armbruster-Miles-Wentworth Gnatgashers you ordered that are useless as operational aircraft? don't admit the screw up, turn them into target tugs :)

    The Japanese needed to standardize something, anything...... engines, guns, ammo..... something :)

    Germans did pretty well in 1937-39, their problem was thinking that the war was already over (it would be won with what was in production in late 1939 and 1940). I am talking about basic models and not minor upgrades. And then, instead of a steady progression, they tried to leap frog development with things like the bomber "B" program and going for remote control turrets before they had good manned turrets.

    The Russians are pretty much stuck, without a different engine they are pretty much out of luck and since a different engine is out of the question all you can do is juggle which less than adequate plane is produced until the As-82 engine comes along.

    All countries could have improved their performance, but there are definite limits.
     
  4. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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  5. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    That thread is more about like what would you purchase, this one is more about production.

    What kind of engines, guns and/or airplanes would receive more funding, so there is more of them earlier?
     
  6. fastmongrel

    fastmongrel Well-Known Member

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    Dear Rolls Royce

    Heres this newfangled gas turbine thing please can we have a thousand working examples by 1942.
    We enclose a blank cheque for your convenience.

    Yours sincerely the Air Ministry
     
  7. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    For the British, toss the Sabre in the rubbish bin. Put some engineers to work at Bristol to improve the Mercury/Pegasus. Knowing that 100 octane is coming, improve cooling (more/bigger fins) and strengthen the bottom end. Put 2 speed supercharger on the Mercury. Put at least 2-4 more guys on the Centaurus. Send the rest to R-R work on the Griffon. Maybe send 1-2 men to Whittle?
    Work on more constant speed propellers.
    Try to get the Dewilde incendiary ammunition going sooner. Stop R-R from mucking about with guns. Try to either lighten up the .5 Vickers or scale the .303 Browning to .5in vickers (like the Japanese army 12.7mm gun). Probably won't make the BoB but could useful after that.
    Realize that single engine semi-strategic bombers (the Battle had way too much range for a tactical bomber) are NOT a good idea.
    Realize that 18,000lb twin engine torpedo bombers with 900hp engines are also not a good idea. Botha, Beaufort, Hamden.

    More later
     
  8. fastmongrel

    fastmongrel Well-Known Member

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    Dear Miles Aviation

    Please design a 550 mph fighter. Rolls Royce will build any engine you require.
    We enclose a blank cheque for your convenience.

    Yours sincerely the Air Ministry
     
  9. fastmongrel

    fastmongrel Well-Known Member

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    Dear Blackburn Aviation

    Please stop. Just stop whatever your doing and go and find something else to do, anything as long as it doesnt have to fly.

    Yours sincerely the Air Ministry
     
  10. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    1937 is ideal for Germany. Change two historical RLM engine production decisions and the effects will ripple through several important German aircraft programs.

    1. The Genshagen DB601 engine plant gets the historical 1940 expansion three years early.

    2. The DB603 engine program does not lose RLM funding during 1937. We will do the opposite, putting DB603 development on the fast track with generous funding. During 1939 to 1940 RLM will fund construction of a Genshagen size factory complex that will start production of DB603 engines during 1941.
     
  11. Siegfried

    Siegfried Banned

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    Its a fair assesment in some ways, but in other ways their mentality was more along the lines of that long wars favour the enemy, France and Poland need to be defended against defeated first and resources need to be put into that first, they gambled on a short war but to an extent that is a result of the situation: no point having a long range fighter and bomber if French and Polish tanks are rolling across your border in a simultaneous invasion while your navy is bottled up in the baltic.

    With hindsight one can see some serious mistakes in project and procurment managment and a failure to have the types of aircraft needed at critical times.

    1 He 177B with 4 engines is produced as per Ernest Heinkels recommendations. This is a no brainer. Something was wrong with the risk managment here, a lack of a Plan B to ensure a vital aircraft is available. Ernest Udet wouldn't signe of on the He 177 unless it had dive bombing capabillity but that was never realistic anyway.

    2 Me 210/410. The aircraft was designed by Waldemer Vogt but Professor Messershmitt personally intervened to shorten the tail and remove the slats: the two features which had to be restored to make a combat flyable aircraft. This deprived the Luftwaffe of an excellent aircraft by over 1.25 years.

    So some kind of 'rish managment' ovesight is needed to make sure these 'paint into a corner' decisions are not terminal.

    Several important types are missing from the German procurment program.

    Something more competitive to the Mustang when it appeared in December 1943. It could be a better 109 or a developed 309 or FW 190.

    A powerfull and fast night fighter that can cruise at high speed to where the raids are (after spoofing raids are discovered even with radar but could also provide cover for u-boats at long range out to see; possibly a derivative of the HS 127 ie something between a Ju 88 and an Me 110 that could take on Liberators,Costal Command Mosquitos Beufighters on an equal footing as well as be a fast night fighter.

    Long range: Drop tanks on the 109 before the battle of Britain: even if it is the 50 gallon types used on He 51's during the spanish civil war.

    The Germans did fairly well with the Me 109 and FW 190 but it just wasn't good enough. In particular the crude modifications to the Me 109 that cost so much drag. This aircraft really needs to be replaced or at least substantially improved and modifed.

    One factor was insufficient high octane fuel production; alkylation plants were comenced in 1940, too late to provide the quamity of fuel needed untill too late.

    The Germans had grand plans for aviation, there are some rediclously large Blohm Voss flying boast that can be cancelled.

    Emphasise pilot training. Don't kill your instructors by getting them to fly out of date transports into combat zones.

    Get a more efficient transport.

    Cypher Security.

    Push radar even more, diversify frequencies, plan for radar war.

    **************
    For the French:
    Get industrial relations sorted (they were on the precipace of communist by some accounts) and start making sufficient numbers of aircraft. The MS 460 is fine. Do something about engine power sooner: the HS-12Y is 200hp behined the DB601 by the time of the battle of France. The French will need radar to protect their border, they are however way behined the Germans and British.

    For the British:
    Hard to fault the RAF, Dowding did pretty well, start looking at radio navigation in a realistic fashion. Arrogance in some quarters of the RAF assumed their flyers were so good they didn't need aids (the use of beams by the Germans was taken as a sign of their inferior piloting and navigation skills by some)

    Also get rid of that clod who thinks water cooled engines are faster than aircooled, Freeman I think?
     
  12. Siegfried

    Siegfried Banned

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    It's possible to see several ripple decisions comming out of this:
    1 FW 187 with DB601/DB605 is produced, giving the Luftwaffe a reasonably long ranged fighter.
    2 FW 190D9 or Me 309 with a 1900hp DB603 is introduced in late 1943. The DB603 progresses to its higher output DB603G or DB603E version about 1 year sooner.
    3 Aircraft such as the Ju 88 are given the basic DB603A engine in late 41, about 1 years before it otherwise entered service. This is now a rather fast aircraft.

    What elese would have changed?
     
  13. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

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    For all choices, I'd pick aircraft with protype first flight prior to January 1, 1938

    For my USN carrier aviation, I'd choose maximum development and production of

    Fighter: Brewster F2A-1 (If pre-1939 introduction is required, then the Grumman F3F or Gloster Sea Gladiator)
    Dive Bomber: Vought SB2U-1
    Torpedo Bomber: Douglas TBD-1
    Maritime Patrol: Consolidated PBY

    Land based fighter: Curtiss P-36A Mohawk
    Attack: Curtiss A-18 Shrike
    Light Bomber: Lockheed Hudson
    Medium Bomber: North American XB-21
    Heavy Bomber: Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress
    Transport: Douglas DC-3
     
  14. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    USA's war starts almost in 1942, so the prototype list that covers Jan 1st, 1940 would yield some better planes.
     
  15. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Why wouldn't the Fw-190 have a DB603 engine from the beginning, just as Dr. Tank preferred historically? The timing is perfect. Fw-190 design began during 1937. Same year the decision is made to produce the DB603 engine. It's my understanding Dornier also preferred the DB603 engine for the Do-217 bomber.

    IMO the BMW139 and BMW801 engine programs are unlikely to get off the drawing board if Focke Wulf and Dornier have the option to use DB603 engines.

    There will be enough DB601 engines available by 1940. I think the He-100 would enter production even if the Luftwaffe doesn't acquire any. Finland, Sweden, Switzerland, Spain, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey etc. will purchase hundreds of these low cost fighter aircraft.

    Italy may import DB601 engines directly from Germany when their efforts to build a reliable DB601 copy encounter problems. That could do wonders for the Italian air force during 1940 to 1943.
     
  16. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

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    #16 oldcrowcv63, Feb 27, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2012
    You are right and that was tempting. There a bunch of first flights in 1939 of great aircraft but I figured I'd play it as if the USA war began in 1939and had foreseen it and prepared. It made it kinda of fun discovering some new (to me) undeveloped aircraft (e.g.: XB-21 and A-18 ) and some old favorites. :D
     
  17. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    The dates for official war are correct but the US was pumping out and improving warbirds as soon as 39 to quench the thirst for aircraft by France the UK and Commonwealth
     
  18. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Some of the absurdity of the Bomber B program can be seen just by a little number crunching. If wiki is to be believed ( and I welcome a correction)

    "Bomber B called for a new medium bomber with a maximum speed of 600 km/h (375 mph), able to carry a bomb load of 4000 kg (8,820 lb) to any part of Britain from bases in France or Norway. To improve crew performance and defensive firepower, the designs were to have a pressurized cabin with remote control armament. With the extended range, larger payload and better performance, the Bomber B design would replace all existing bombers in service."

    Now if your currant bomber needs a pair of of 1400hp engines to do 300mph it would need a pair of 2700hp engines to do 375 AT THE SAME ALTITUDE with the same load and shorter range if the extra speed (power) is used. Flying higher is one way of getting less drag and higher speed if your superchargers can do it. SO Bomber "B" NEEDED much more powerful engines, not a 50% increase but about a 100% increase in power. It needed pressurized crew compartments, it needed remote control armament AND it was supposed to carry about double the bomb load further than existing German bombers. at least 4-6 major advancements in one aircraft.

    The Allies never came close to fielding such an aircraft excluding the B-29, which kind of shows the enormity of the specification. The allied "heavy" bombers were slower, un-pressurized, no remote armament even if longer ranged with a bigger bomb load. High speed is in direct conflict with range and payload.

    The British managed to bomb Turin, Italy from England using Whitley's, hardly the most advanced bomber of 1940 but shows what a big wing wing can do even with low power. the Germans didn't NEED a wonder plane. They just needed a bomber 1 step up from the He 111. another 8-12 feet of wing, 1600-1800hp engines, a power turret on top with a pair of MG 131s and a tail position. Something that was doable without break through's in a number of areas in aeronautical engineering.
     
  19. Siegfried

    Siegfried Banned

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    #19 Siegfried, Feb 28, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2012
    Bomber B got into trouble because it was dependant on a new generation of engines and only one of these vital engines was pushed and then finally put on such a low prirority it was effectively suspended. There was also an element of politics (breaking up industrial concerns) and philosophy Specifically that of favouring large scale production of standard types over what might be compromised quatitities of advanced types.

    Spcifically the Ju 288 got into trouble when the specifications changed such that the aircraft became a 4 man aircraft instead of a 3 man with a wider fueselage. This it was thought required 2500hp engine, ie the full specified power from the start, to achieve its performance goals, something the engine was hard pressed to do from the get up and go. The Jumo 222 was required to produce 2200 Military and 2500hp takeoff and emergency(exactly the same as the R-3350) and to do it all on 87 octane by 1942. Maybe if the Germans had of had a "Battle of Kansas" style campaign they might have matched the R-3350 timeline. (an engine which actually ran in 1937 a year before the Jumo 222 progam started)

    Ju 288 introduced many very ambitious features. It's surface was extremely smooth and flush by any standards of the war. The detailed streamlining was to be to a very high standard that was to be sustainable in mass production using a high level fo automation to achieve economy.

    The backup engine, the DB610 (a pair of coupled DB605's) was also poorly implemented. Though apparently more reliable an installation on the Ju 288 than the He 177 and comming at a time the problems had been improved its higher fuel consumption albeit at much higher speed of over 408mph) plus ongoing engine issues meant the decision maker (milch) got cold feet. Having both the He 177 and the Ju 288B suffer from the same problem, especially after the issue had been forewarned by the He 177 would have been simply too much for any decision maker to carry the can for. I believe a coupled engine should have been viable but I believe only the more thorough Allison stype V-3420 style of arrangment would have been succesfull.
     
  20. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Just some cuts/changes:
    -no Chrysler aircraft engine, build either Merlins or V-1710s
    -no Continental AC engine(s), build V-1710s
    -no Bristol Taurus, most of the funding effort goes to Hercules, some for Perseus
    -no 37mm cannon for USAAC, not until it can fire the shell from AAA cannon (event then it's not necessary to have one)
    -no Botha, Roc, Defiant, Battle, Beaufort (make upgraded Skuas, and twin-Merlin fighter-bombers), no P-63 (make more P-51s),
    -Curtiss does not build P-47
     
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