BMW 801 engined Bf110?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by wiking85, Jul 12, 2013.

  1. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    Could the Bf110 have handled the larger, heavier BMW 801 instead of the DB601/5 it historically sported?
     
  2. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Me-110 carried 1,270 liters of internal fuel. Not a lot for a night fighter aircraft and about half what Me-210C carried. BMW801 engines would add weight and drag. I'd be concerned about aircraft endurance.
     
  3. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Sounds good, but we should remember that Bf-110 initially was equipped with Jumo 210 engines, that were much lighter than DB-601/605 series. The quirk might also be the CoG change, since the radiators (that were relocated behind the rear spar, once the DB-601 was installed), would now be missing, while the front would've received the heavy BMW.
    Another thing that is peculiar for the Bf-110 was that it's DBs were partially installed in the wing itself, and that was obviously out of the question for the radial engine - yet another thing with repercussions to the CoG. As kindly pointed out earlier by one of our members from Germany, and can be seen here.
     
  4. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    The first one or two Bf 110 prototypes flew with DB 600 engines. The lack of flight cleared Db 600 engines ( a lot of trouble with the DB 600 series engines) called for low scale production of the Bf 110 with the small Jumos until the DB 600 mess could be straightened out. Get the factory tooled up and workers trained so that production could be quickly increased when the engine supply got better. Get a few dozen aircraft to the squadrons for initial training.

    It still may be an unacceptable CG shift to go to BMWs but at least it wasn't from the small Jumo.
     
  5. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    There are many reasons why it would be a difficult match but CoG limits are surely not one. Just think how many WW2 era aircraft flew with significant amounts of ballast to overcome just this problem.
    It might not be an elegant solution and obviously detracts from performance, but it works.
    Cheers
    Steve
     
  6. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    #6 GregP, Jul 14, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2013
    Would certailnly be possible, but the real question is to what end?

    To go faster you need either more power, less drag, or a combination of both. The Bf 110 G-2 had a maximum spee of 370 mph (595 kph) on two DB 605 V-12's of 1.455 hp each. The BMW 801 radials would supply 1,700 HP each and add about 12% to the drag area. If you think the increase in drag area would be different, post it. I'll caculate it however you think it should be. I calculate it might go 375 mph or so on 3.400 HP with my assumed 12% increase in drag area. The question, to me, would be "Was the BMW 801 more readily avialable or was the DB 605?" Is it worth the very slight increase in maximum pseed, which is hardly ever used in real life, for the production interruption to be suffered? Why?

    If they didn't add any fuel, the range would be shorter if they kept the speed up and maybe as long or longer if they cruised SLOWER than the DB-engined version. I SEE that it could be done. I don't wee why they would do so.

    The Bf 110 was a pretty decent utility, night fighter, recon, etc. aircraft when not confronted by single seat fighters in numbers. It was no better and not much worse than most of the other multi-seat twins of the time, and had very good flying characteristics. It seems to me the main faiure for the Bf 110 was that nobody ever defined it's role. Instead, they searched around trying to find things to do with it after it failed as a heavy fighter escort instead of defining specific aircraft for specific roles by virture of performance IN those roles.

    The Allies were sometimes seemingly guilty of the same thing but, really they adapted some very good aicraft, such as the Mosquito, by dint of seeing high performance that suggested a trial in a new role instead of searching around for new roles for a plane that had failed in its primary mission. To be sure, we had failures. I'm thinking of the P-39. It soldiered on for some time until newer designs could be poroduced in sufficient numbers to replace it, but they never went through many roles looking to extend its life. As better planes became available, the P-40 also was moved to the lower-priority theaters until enough replacements became available so that it, too was eventually replaced. It stayed in use as a fighter, albeit in places with a lesser level of competition.

    The Bf 110 stayed in front line use, in the primary theater, bouncing from task to task, throughout the war. It maybe started being retired in 1945 when things were impossible to rescue anyway. When it became obvious that the design was not suited to it's main role, production should habve been examined for its suitability to spoecific roles in the Luftwaffe's plans. If they had abandoned the Bf 110 and had built the Fw 187 instead, they might have done a lot better.

    In this case, however, hindsight doesn't have 20-20 vision. It is entirely possible the Fw 187 would not have done better in the real world, but it would probably have done SOME things better than the Bf 110. Whether or not night fiighter would be one of them is a guess that I won't predict. I think the Bf 110 was a very credible night fighter.

    In the end, the Bf 110 could have been fitted with the radials, but the gains might not be worth the effort. It certainly wouldn't change the character of the aircraft and turn it into something it wasn't before the change. All it really might do is to free up some DB 60X's for other purposes. That all by itself, might have been a good thing, but it wouldn't have made any great change that I can see.
     
  7. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    It may be even worse than you state. Max speed at altitude was on about 1355 PS at 5700 meters for the DB 605A, if the engines in the 110 were much different ( aside from prop gear ratios?) I am open to correction.
    The BMW 801 that gave 1700hp for take-off was only good for 1440hp at around 5700 meters (?).

    The BMW engines might add to it's utility as a low altitude strike aircraft (or not, increase in empty weight might actually decrease payload unless the plane and landing gear are strong enough to handle increased gross weight the extra power would allow).

    The BMW engines don't seem to do much for the plane at 15,000-25,000ft?
    The "climb" rating for the 605A at altitude being 1250PS vs the BMW's 1360.
    Max cruise is about 1080 to 1215?

    At 5-6000meters it seems the engines were closer to 6-12% in power than the 16% or so the take-off power shows.
     
  8. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    In that case, Shortround, I see even less reason to attempt the change ... unless the supply of DB 60x V-12's became critically short for first-line aircraft. If that happend, it would have made more sense to halt the Bf 110 and concentrate on such twins as the Ju 88.

    Had they persisted with such designs as the Ta-154 instead of going off on dead ends like the Do.335, it might have made a difference.
     
  9. Denniss

    Denniss Active Member

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    In short: far too many CoG issues to correct for little to gain in performance.
    The 801 is heavier than the 605 (although some weight may be neglected due to the cooling system removal) and the installation would also end up more forward than the 605.
     
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