Earliest possible combat ready Allied Jets

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by fastmongrel, Jun 29, 2011.

  1. fastmongrel

    fastmongrel Well-Known Member

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    There have been several threads on how with the right timing and resources the Luftwaffe could have got the Me 262 into full production in 42 or 43 and the USAAF/RAF would have been knocked from the sky by transonic swept wing jets.

    Without going into the realms of fantasy if the Allies had got solid intelligence in say 1942 that the Me 262 was in full production how quickly could they have got the first generation jets the Meteor, Vampire and P 80 up to combat readiness. From my admittedly brief research the Allies seem to have put relatively small design staff and resources into jet fighters, particulary the Vampire seems to have almost been a hobby project for DeHavilland. Something to tinker with when they had the spare time.

    I am not asking how quick swept wing supersonic aircraft could have been produced I will leave that to the Luft46 brigade. I just wondered how long it would have taken to produce solid, reliable, combat ready 1st generation jet fighters, with all the problems like snaking at speed and throttle response sorted.
     
  2. Readie

    Readie Well-Known Member

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    My understanding is that Whittle was beavering away with the Gloucester jet

    Living Gloucester - Jets into Battle and it flew in 1941.

    The Germans were more advanced with their various jets and rocket planes and if Herr Hitler had let Willy M have his way with the 262 instead of another lunatic demand we may have seen more of them earlier in the war.

    However, the main events were still determined by piston engined planes till VE VJ day.
    Had WW2 continued or, if the Germans had had the resources ( and someone else in charge) to build the next generation of jet/rocket planes missles the allies may have been caught with their trousers down.

    Cheers
    John
     
  3. riacrato

    riacrato Member

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    The pace-setter for all early jet programs were the engines. Germany could have won about a year had they mass produced the early, resource-hungry Jumo 004A, but it wasn't done. Unless you want to go into dreamy and highly speculative what-if scenarios regarding the priorities of strategical resources and the relative focus on jet vs. piston engine development, the jets for each nation arrived about as soon as they could.
     
  4. davparlr

    davparlr Well-Known Member

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    Combat ready or combat competitive? The first Allied jets could have been ready very early, however the Meteor and the P-59 were aerodynamically significantly inferior to the German jets. It would not be until the Vampire and P-80 where the airframes were competitive. I believe the jet engine development was roughly equal with the Germans being maybe 6 months ahead but the Allies with their less complex and better thrust to weight performance centrifugal flow engines could catch up quickly. I believe that, with an early presence of effective German jets, competitive Allied jets would be about one year behind. This would be due more to airframe design and integration than to engine development. The design of the P-59 was incredibly cumbersome.
     
  5. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    RAF Bomber Command had priority in Britain. If you want an early introduction of British jet engines then you need to design a jet powered bomber.
     
  6. fastmongrel

    fastmongrel Well-Known Member

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    I believe there were plans to fit RR Nenes to a cleaned up Lancaster with nose and top turrets removed.
     
  7. Lighthunmust

    Lighthunmust Banned

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    Or you could temporarily mute Harris to hear other voices. But considering the short range of the early jets I don't think it is realistic to expect long range jet bombers or jet fighter escorts immediately. Perhaps all Allied bombing would have to be conducted at night for awhile. Still by muting Harris perhaps they would develop jet fighter escorts sooner. I am sure the Germans would be thinking jet fighter escorts would make even He111s bombing in daylight viable if only fighting off piston-engined defenders.
     
  8. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    PM Churchill was the driving force behind the huge RAF Bomber Command expansion. Harris was just a cog in the machine.

    I agree that early jet engines were not well suited for heavy bomber aircraft. But perhaps you could demonstrate a turbo prop engine for PM Churchill. Something to replace all those Packard built Merlin engines on the Lancaster Bomber.
     
  9. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Why?

    AS I am saying on another thread, if you can build a turbo prop you can build a jet. Put that together with early turbo props being very thirsty engines compared to similar power piston engines (there is a reason they didn't catch on post war for civil aircraft for quite some time) and you wind up with a shorter ranged bombing force with little gain in speed or carrying capacity.
     
  10. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Higher power to weight ratio then piston engines.
     
  11. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Great, you can put the weight saved into fuel. 40-70% more fuel for the same power levels as the piston engines as a rough estimate.

    Might work for a short engine interceptor, for bomber engines they would be a great gift for the enemy. Much more fuel burned for fewer bombs dropped.
     
  12. Lighthunmust

    Lighthunmust Banned

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    Certainly Churchill was a “driving force behind the huge RAF Bomber Command expansion”, but upon completion of expansion Harris was far more than “a cog in the machine”, he was sometimes a monkey wrench in the machine. It is my understanding Harris was so obstinate in wanting to continue the campaign against industrial workers homes in the face of the superior strategic results of bombing the oil industry, that he threatened Sir Charles Portal with his resignation. If I recall correctly Harris was so adamant about Bomber Command being the first priority it hindered support of Fighter Command.
     
  13. Mustang nut

    Mustang nut Banned

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    If the jets appeared in 1942 very little could be done immediately, it would be a long time before a jet could be made that could fly far enough to act as an escort. The big delays with jets happened much earlier. By 1942 things were being pushed as fast as possible IMO
     
  14. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    I tend to think you are right. WWII era jet engines have no place in RAF Bomber Command. Which is why Britain isn't going to provide their jet engine program with additional funding.
     
  15. Readie

    Readie Well-Known Member

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    WHAT...:shock: You jest.

    RAF BOMBER COMMAND IN WW2

    Aerial bombing was seen as a preferable method of attack to the terrible loss of life in the trenches in World War One.

    For almost the entire war, Churchill was a strong advocate of aerial bombing, realising the importance of forcing the Germans to defend their own homeland. In September 1940, at the height of the Battle of Britain, he declared:

    ’The fighters are our salvation but the bombers alone provide the means of victory. We must therefore develop the power to carry an ever-increasing volume of explosives to Germany, so as to pulverise their entire industry and scientific structure on which the war effort and economic life of the enemy depends, whilst holding him at arm’s length from our island’.

    I thinks its important to understand that the WW2 leaders were WW1 veterans and the countries desire not to repeat the wholesale slaughter of WW1 was overriding.
    With respect to our American friends this level of slaughter from 1914 - 1918 was more a European / Commonwealth experience and goes a long way to explain the French inability to repulse the Nazi's.
    This is not cowardice at all, it was only 21 years since the end of WW1 and who in their right mind wanted another bloodbath?
    Britain and her allies didn't but, accepted that we had to do the right thing.
    The resultant destruction, loss of life and cost beggars belief.
    It a way WW2 destroyed more than we realise.
    Cheers
    John
     
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