FW187 as a fighter-bomber/ground attack aircraft?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by wiking85, May 9, 2014.

  1. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    BRITISH WW2 MULTI
    Using an article about the ideal pre-war British multi-role aircraft as a start, the author, Tony Williams, uses the Fw187 as a comparison aircraft in his exploration of the question. He seems to think that the FW187 was nearly ideal in terms of the roles laid out (long range escort, fighter-bomber, ground attack). What are your thoughts about the suitability of the FW187 for this?
     
  2. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    "After comparing these planes, it is obvious that the Whirlwind was too small.............The Fw 187 looks close to our needs"

    Is he reading the same figures as me ? :)

    Steve
     
  3. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    According to his figures the Whirlwind had a longer wing span, but had less wing area, was shorter, and had less height. I think the cockpit was quite a bit smaller on the Fw187 though.
     
  4. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    I'm not sure who reads what, so here are the numbers from Wikipedia (Whirly vs. Falke):
    -wing area: 250 vs. 327.22 sq ft,
    -wing span: 45 ft vs. 50-something ft
    -length: 32 ft 3 in vs. 36 ft 6 in

    Falke is about as big as P-38, the Whirlwind is about as big as Hurricane (one of biggest S/E, single seat fighter, piston-engined, V-12 engine).
     
  5. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    Any opinion about the viability of the FW187 as a fighter-bomber/ground attack aircraft with glide bombing modifications and center line auto-cannon mount?
     
  6. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    If the CoG issues can be easily dealt with (since it would be good to have a more powerful/heavier engine installed), then I'm all for it.
     
  7. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    According to the wikipedia entry it was tested even with the BMW 801 engine, along with the DB605, and was tested as a fighter-bomber, though I don't recall if that was advanced well with the FW187C prototype in our other long thread on the subject. I know it was lengthened in the high altitude version, so I imagine they would be able to adapt it well enough if they could handle a 500kg bomb, which IIRC the FW187C could do. If the BMW 801 could be tolerated it would make a fine ground attack aircraft, but I imagine the DB605 would be needed for the fighter-bomber version.
     
  8. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Like most fighter aircraft Fw-187 would have been horribly vulnerable to ground fire. Add 900 lbs of armor to protect crew and other vulnerable areas (i.e. similar to Me-210 protection) and it's not much of a fighter aircraft anymore. Nor does it compare well to Ju-87, Ju-88 or Me-210/Me-410 for air to ground weapons delivery.

    If you want a fast, long range light bomber then use an aircraft designed for the job.

    Me210-02-px800.jpg
     
  9. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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    There, that's fixed it. :)
     
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  10. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    Don't think the BMW Fw 187s were anything more than paper airplanes.

    Don't think any flew with the DB 605 either.
     
  11. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    D-AXAK (WkNmr 949) Equipped with Jumo210D - first flight 10 April 1937 - crashed (fatal) 15 May 1938
    D-AZAX (WkNmr 950) Heavy Fighter, single seat - first flight 14 June 1937 - delivered 2 September 1939
    D-AODE (WkNmr 1707) Single seat, Jumo 210G - first flight July 1938 - crashed, engine fire October 1939
    D-ORHP (WkNmr 1976) Two-seat, B-O series - first flight 27 October 1938 - scrapped late 1939
    CI+NY (WkNmr 1976) DB601V test platform - first flight October 1939 - last record February 1942
    (WkNmr 1976 was recycled, when they say scrapped, it wasn't destroyed, it was rebuilt and reconfigured)

    There were several others built and used in development as well (9 total). These were more than "paper airplanes"...

    They used the Jumo210D/G, DB601 and one airframe had BMW801s fitted. It's entirely possible they tested an airframe with the DB605 when Tank was looking to make the Fw187 into a night-fighter.
     
  12. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    GG, is there a photo of BMW-outfitted Falke?
     
  13. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    Fighter-bombers rely on speed, not armor per se. The FW190F was able to go the job despite its uparmoring and was fast enough to get out. It wasn't a dog fighter, nor intended to be. It was meant to be fast in to avoid accurate ground fire and fast out the avoid fighters. As to the comparisons, we don't have a fighter-bomber version that was operational to compare it to, so its not exactly fair to say it wouldn't have been as good with some modifications. The Bf110 wasn't supposed to be a fighter-bomber or ground attack aircraft pre se, yet was able to adapt to other roles.


    We are talking about a fighter-bomber like the FW190G, but with two engines and not external mounted fuel tanks.


    As as aside the Fw187 could mount a centerline cannon for strafing, as the HS129 with a similarly small (or smaller) fuselage was able to. Does anyone know the dimensions of the FW187C after being adapted to fighter-bombing and bigger engines?
     
  14. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Tomo, I'm looking, though I don't recall ever seeing a photo.
     
  15. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    So do Jacky Fisher's battle cruisers. Neither were good ideas...
     
  16. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    Armor didn't really work out for the Sturmovik or Hs129 either.
     
  17. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Both aircraft were well protected against ground fire. So were Ju-87D, Me-210/Me-410 and bomber versions of Ju-88.

    I think you are confusing ground fire with attack by enemy fighter aircraft. You cannot armor aircraft wings so there is no effective protection against enemy fighters except to have plenty of friendly fighter aircraft for escort.

    If you don't want to wait for Me-210c.....
    3cm Mk101 cannon kit for Me-110 was tested during 1939 and they also had an armor kit for protection against ground fire. So you can have a few geschwader of this CAS aircraft during 1940 if you are willing to increase Me-110 production.

    mk101bf110ye8.jpg
     
  18. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    The Hs129 had an armored tub for the pilot much like several verions of the IL-2 which offered excellent protection.

    The problem with the Hs129, was that it's engines were not up to the task of hauling all the weight around, especially with the excellent up-gunned version armed with the Bk37 cannon. Being as slow as it was, it was vulnerable to enemy aircraft, not ground fire.
     
  19. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    Yet most HS129s were lost to ground fire; not sure about the Sturmovik, but thousands were lost, perhaps over 10,000. Yes, the HS129 had its issues vis-a-vis its engines being exposed, which is the major reason it was very vulnerable to ground fire, as its engines weren't powerful enough for it to survive losing one. The IL-2 was okay against anything up to 20mm, but once it ran into 30mm+ it was too slow and shot down in droves, as it was an ideal target to ground fire. There is a reason that the heavily armored ground attack aircraft was not used by the West and abandoned by Germany as a concept by 1943 (though the HS129 and 123 soldiered on due to lack of anything else; even the Ju87G was pretty much an acknowledged dead end by the end of 1943 due to loss of air superiority).
     
  20. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    No aircraft is immune to ground fire. Not even Hs.129 or modern day A-10.

    Soviets probably produced well over 50,000 fighter aircraft during WWII. If most German CAS aircraft losses were caused by ground fire it suggests Soviet fighter aircraft weren't terribly effective. German fighter aircraft certainly had no trouble shooting down the Il2.
     
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