Earlier Jets

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Flyboy2, Apr 13, 2008.

  1. Flyboy2

    Flyboy2 Member

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    OK so I'm just wondering what everybody thinks would have been the effect of jet engine technology being introduced earlier? What effect would have that had on the air war?
     
  2. SoD Stitch

    SoD Stitch Banned

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    Actually, not as much as you might think; the strategic bombers of the time would've been much more vulnerable to attacks by jet fighters, but this would've been offset by the development of opposing jet fighters. For instance, if the 262 had been introduced a year earlier, this simply would've speeded up development of the Vampire and the P-80.
     
  3. kool kitty89

    kool kitty89 Well-Known Member

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    But the ealy jets lacked the range for deep penetration. Even the P-80A (the longest ranged of the early jets) had a maximum range of under 1,500 mi. (probably ~600 mi combat radius)

    The F-84E made it to 2,000 mi (with 2x tip tanks + 2x under wing drop tanks), but that wasn't until the very end of the 1940's.



    But as SoD said, both sides could have had jets earlier, if Whittle's Power Jets had teamed up with Rolls in the first place the Meteor and the jet program would have been 2 years ahead in development. Or if more concentrated effort had been put on the Vampire's development it could have been in service quite a bit earlier.
    Likewise Heinkel's projects could have been taken more seriously earlier on, and his class I engines should not have been canceled. (HeS-8/001, HeS-30/006) Or if some of the earlier designs like the HeS 6 had been developed a bit further and produced as an intrim measure. (the HeS-6 was already running well at 1,300 lbf thrust at the end of 1939) The He 280 could have been adapted to these engines inthe intrim for the other engines.
    While inferior to the Me 262, the 280 could have entered service with necessary modifications with intrim powerplants by the end of 1942, at least for operational training. There were a few other bugs, mainly some problems with the control surfaces at high speeds (Mach limit .79) and problems with the tail structure, but minimal mosifications for operational standards: improving aileron design (not sure abot problems with this, but may have been similar to the P-47's), and using a single fin tail unit should have been sufficient. Range and weapons capacity weren't outstanding, but adequate at ~400 mi combat (improving with better engines, and some fuel capacity improvements) and the 3x MG 151/20 which were decent for a bomber killer and more than sufficint for a dogfight. (though it probably could have carried 2x Mk 108 ath the very least, maybe 3x 108 or even 2x larger MK-103 high velocity cannon)



    The Soviet and US jet programs are a different matter though, as the Soviets got strted with government backing in the late 1930's (privately in the late 20's) but progress was modest, and much hindered by the German invasion. (political problems aside)

    The NACA was doing a stusy on various jet and rocket schems starting in the mid 30's lookin into both RATO/JATO and primary power plants. They came to the decision that the use of such s a prime mover was impractical and the study was canceled ~1939/40. Studies on JATO/RATO continued. Then the British developments came in and in 1941 the NACA reintroduced a study on jet development (including their own pet motorjet/ducted fan project) but the only one fruit came from this: the Westinghouse J30. (the Firs indigenous US engine to run, and fly -on the XFD/FH Phantom-)

    The GE TG-180 and TG-100 turbojet and turboprop projects which would become the J35 were started independantly by GE, parallel to the Whittle based I-A, I-14, I-16, and J31 engines. (also the I-20, cancelled) And of course the further development of the I-40 becoming the J33.

    And the convoluted development of the P-59 was just sad, while it still holds an important place in history, it could have been much better. The same basic design, but with decent wind tunnel testing (partiularly the intakes and nacelles, but also the wing and tail) and less conservative design approach could have resulted in a decent combat quality aircraft. Though still inferior to the P-80.
     
  4. Eurofighter

    Eurofighter New Member

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    That is an interesting "what if"; either side (the British or the Germans) would have been benefited greatly if they would had pushed the concept forward in the 1930s but since early jet-powered aircraft were fuel thirsty, Great Britain would have had the upper hand if a jet-powered interecptor would had been ready for the Battle of Britain.
     
  5. Flyboy2

    Flyboy2 Member

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    Wow didn't think i'd see this thread again for awhile
     
  6. kool kitty89

    kool kitty89 Well-Known Member

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    I don't think (even with the benefit of hindsight) there was a chance to get jets into service by the BoB. I think with in best circumstances, they could have become operational in early 1942. (for either side)
     
  7. Kiwikid

    Kiwikid Member

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    The Me 262 was being test flown in 1943 and it's development was delayed a year by Hitler's opposition to a fighter version.

    I think it is quite possible that Germany could have achieved air superiority over Europe and driven back daytime bomber raids had the Me262 been pressed into service as a fighter during 1943.

    That breathing space could have kept the war going until 1946.
     
  8. SoD Stitch

    SoD Stitch Banned

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    There are some who even argue that the War in the ETO could've reached a stalemate if German opposition to the USAAFE and RAF had been more intense earlier on, say by introducing the Me 262 (and, possibly, the He 162) a year earlier than it was. This most likely would've also speeded up the development of advanced versions of the Me 262 (like the nachtjager and zerstorer versions), which would've made the Allies job of bombing continental Europe even more deadly. They go on to say that the strategic bombing of Festung Europa would've become prohibitively expensive, both in men and materiel, for the RAF and the USAAFE to continue beyond 1944.
     
  9. fly boy

    fly boy Member

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    all I know is if the war went anylonger against germany we could have seen jet to jet dog fights
     
  10. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    I think you have to take into account the prevailing opinion of bombers and airwar at the time - say mid 30s. Many countries were having a hard time being convinced that airpower would be a major player in the next war. It took Germany to jumpstart everyone. And with that lackadasical attitude towards airpower I think jets would have been just a unique oddity among air forces. Not really a player.
     
  11. kool kitty89

    kool kitty89 Well-Known Member

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    And in some cases there was the opposite problem, dominance and destructiveness of air power alone was overestimated. (RAF's massively disproportionate focus on bombers compared to fighters in the interwar period, and of course "the bomber will always get through" philosophy)
    (and Goring tended to grossly overestimate the capabilities and limitation of the Luftwaffe)
     
  12. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    'The He 111 doesn't need any more weapons - its faster than any fighter anybody has!"

    :)
     
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