German fighters and training aircrafts

Discussion in 'Aircraft Pictures' started by gekho, May 24, 2012.

  1. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    The design of German World War 2 planes commenced years before the conflict. When the armistice that puts an end to the First World War is signed in November 1918, the power of the German army and aviations is still considerable. The treaty of Versailles, signed June 28, 1919, will organize a total dismantling of the enemy military power. This treaty has clauses putting an end to the existence of the military aviation in Germany. All the aeronautical equipment must be delivered to the allied powers. There still remain some 20,000 military aircraft of which 2,400 bombers, fighters and recognition airplanes. 15,000 of them and at least 27,000 airplane engines will be thus "distributed". But, the treaty does not forbid the manufacturing of civil aircraft, probably because to this era, the German civil aviation is practically nonexistent. The German authorities will seize this opportunity to begin an expansion that will first result in the creation of the Lufthansa (civilian organization), and then the Luftwaffe (the German air force). Under peaceful cover, many flying clubs and piloting schools will see the light of day. There will be no longer any obstacles for the development and the formation of crews. In 1920, the Professor Hugo Junkers creates an aeronautical construction corporation. In 1922, Ernst Heinkel launches his business on the Baltic Sea shore. In 1924, Heinrich Focke and Georg Wulf are the founders of the Focke-Wulf Flugzeugbau in Brême. Finally, Willy Messerschmitt assumes the direction of another aeronautical construction corporation. In 1926, the Deutsche Lufthansa is created, and we see the construction of large airfields and the improvement of equipment and flight instruments, to the point that the company will become, in the years that follow, the most effective airline company in Europe.

    The world-wide economical crisis of the thirties will allow Hitler and his nazi party to come into office, causing many upheavals. In 1934, the mandatory military service is reestablished and the Minister of the Defense becomes the Minister of the War. Hitler becomes the undisputed leader (Furher) of Germany, when Hindenburg dies in 1934. Hermann Goering, who supported Hitler for his whole career, becomes Minister of the Air. As early as 1934, truly aircraft are produced, like the Heinkel He 51, equipped with two 7,9 mm machine guns and capable of speed of 338 km/h (211 mph). At this point in time, the German Air force is comprised of 1888 airplanes and of some 20,000 officers and soldiers. In 1935, the production reaches 200 airplanes a month, and then 300 a month in 1936. In March 1936, the Bf 109 E and the Bf 110 fighters are born, as well as the Ju 88, Do 17, Ju 87 Stuka and He 111 bombers. France and England have no idea what is going on, and they are not preparing at the same pace – far from it. During the civil War in Spain, Hitler gladly assists Franco (both are fascist regimes leaders). This conflict allows the German to test their war equipment. At first, a small squadron of He 51B fighters and about twenty Ju 52 are sent in Spain under the name of "Legion Condor". During the summer of 1937, the Legion Condor receives Messerschmitt Bf 109Bfighters and Heinkel He 111 and Dornier Do 17 bombers, and goes into attack mode. These first air fights will be the occasion to create revolutionary tactics regarding formation and strategy. Orderly formations are athing of the past; here comes the "Rotte" (the pair), composed of two flying airplanes to a sufficient distance to protect themselves mutually (a tactic that is still used today).

    Alongside the Spanish civil War, a conflict in Europe is avoided by an agreement concluded between Chamberlain (Prime Minister of England) and Hitler in 1938. But the German military officers are not fool, for they know that a conflict of big breadth is inevitable. They will take advantage of the period that is given to them to increase the massive production of equipment, to the point that in summer 1939, the Luftwaffe may count on 3,750 superior airplanes that can pratically outclass any of their potential opponents in Europe, to the exception of the Supermarine Spitfire of the Royal Air Forces. In May 1939, Germany and Italy (which at the time has also fallen into fascist regime headed by Mussolini) sign a mutual assistance pact. On September first, 1939, the Third Reich divisions and military aircraft invade Poland, an ally of both France and the U.K. Hitler is unaware of the ultimatum of the Great Britain and France. On September 3 at five o'clock in the afternoon, the western democracies declare war to Fascist Germany.
     
  2. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    The Arado Ar 96 was the Luftwaffe's standard advanced trainer, and was a two-seat low-wing all-metal monoplane that first flew in 1938. It was designed to fill the gap between the biplanes used for basic training and the advanced monoplane fighters just entering service, in particular the Bf 109. The Ar 96 was designed by Watler Blume and was a clean low-wing monoplane off all-metal construction, using many light alloys. The instructor and pupil sat in tandem seats under a long glazed canopy. On the V1 prototype the wheels retracted outwards, but this meant that the gap between the wheels was quite small, and so on all production aircraft the wheels retracted inwards. The V1 was powered by an Argus As 10C inline engine and had the typical Arado tail, with the horizontal surfaces at the very rear and a tall fin and rudder just in front of them.

    The V1 prototype underwent some trials at Rechlin during 1937, although it made its maiden flight in 1937. V3 and V4 were also at Rechlin in 1938, while V6 remained there until September 1940. A small batch of A-0 aircraft was produced during 1939, but these were felt to be under-powered. The main production version as the B-series, which used the more powerful Argus As 410A-1 inverted inline engine, and had a longer fuselage which allowed more fuel to be stored. A total of 11,546 aircraft were produced, although very few were built by Arado. Junkers' Ago subsidiary did most of the work until 1941, before being replaced by the Czech firm Avia. The Letov factory in Prague also began production of the Ar 97 in 1944.

    The Arado Ar 96B was used by the A/B pilot training schools, and also by thirteen fighter training wings, the fighter replacement units and the officer cadet schools. 110 were used by the Royal Hungarian Air Force and four in Slovakia. The most dramatic moment in the aircraft's service career came on 28 April 1945 when Hanna Reitsch used an Ar 96 to fly Ritter von Greim, the new Commander-in-Chief of the Luftwaffe out of the ruins of Berlin. An improved Ar 296 was planned but abandoned, while the Ar 396, which used fewer strategic materials, didn't arrive in time to serve with the Luftwaffe.
     

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  3. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    Klemm L.25, later Klemm Kl 25 was a successful German light leisure, sports and training monoplane aircraft, developed in 1928. More than 600 aircraft were built, and manufacturing licenses were sold to the United Kingdom and the United States. With low cantilever wing, fixed landing gear, and two open cockpits,[1] the aircraft was developed by Hanns Klemm who used his previous design, the Klemm Kl 20, as a starting point. It first flew on a 20 hp (15 kW) Mercedes engine. About thirty different versions of the Kl 25 were made, and these were equipped with engines ranging from 32 to 70 kW (43 to 94 hp). The fuselage was covered with plywood. Depending on the model, the aircraft's weight was 620 to 720 kg (1,367 to 1,587 lb), and it had a 10.5 to 13 m (34 to 43 ft) wingspan. Take-off was achieved at only 50 km/h (31 mph) and the maximum speed was between 150 to 160 km/h (93 to 99 mph).

    In relation to similar aircraft of the time, assembly was very easy, and this made it a very popular aircraft. According to the sales brochures, only 25% of the engine's power was needed to keep the aircraft flying, compared to biplanes of the period, which required 50% engine power. About 600 were built in Germany between 1929 and 1936, serving with various flight training organizations, on either wheels, skis, or floats. Fifteen were sold to Britain before the Second World War, being fitted with a variety of domestic engines, while twenty-eight more were built by British Klemm Aeroplane Company as the B.A. Swallow. Production in the United States was carried out by the Aeromarine-Klemm Company which enjoyed moderate success as well as developing models for the American market in isolation from the parent company, with approx. 120 built of all models.

    Klemm L 25s took part in many competitions, among others in International Touring Aircraft Competitions (Europa Rundflug) in 1929 (best 4th place) and in 1930 (best 2nd and 3rd places, L 25E variant).[2]
     

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  4. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    No-one can accuse the World War II German aircraft designers of conservatism and, while the majority of combat aircraft were of conventional design, there were many others which pushed the forefront of aeronautics. Unhampered by tradition, German designers sought fresh means to solve old problems, and in so doing provided the Allies in both East and West with a wealth of advanced research material following the end of hostilities. One of the most famous of the bizarre shapes which took to the air over Germany was the Dornier Do 335 Pfeil, a brave attempt to provide the Luftwaffe with a potent fighter-bomber, night-fighter and reconnaissance platform.

    Prof Dr Claudius Dornier was the genius behind the famous company of Dornier-Werke GmbH, and he had established a long line of successful aircraft, notably in the field of flying-boats. For most of the late 1930s and World War II, Dornier was primarily concerned with the production of bombers for the Luftwaffe. Since the end of World War I, Claudius Dornier had been interested in the field of centreline thrust, whereby two engines shared the same thrust line (one pulling and one pushing). Benefits of this system were obvious over a conventional twin layout, with only the same frontal area as a single-engined aircraft, the wing left clean of engine nacelles and attendant structures, and no asymmetric pull if one engine cut out. However, problems did exist in the area of the drive shaft which drove the rear propeller. The unconventional tandem engine layout was patented by Claudius Dornier in 1937.

    Dornier's extensive flying-boat experience gave him a wealth of knowledge in simple centreline thrust arrangements, where two engines were mounted back-to-back over the centreline of many of his designs. By the mid-1930s, he saw the possibility of using this concept to power a high-speed fighter, but first the rear engine extension shaft arrangement had to be proved. To that end Ulrich Hutter was commissioned to design a small testbed for the arrangement. Designated the Goppingen Go 9, and built by Schempp-Hirth, the testbed featured a pencil-slim fuselage contained a 80 hp (59.6 kW) Hirth HM 60R engine mounted at the centre of gravity beneath the shoulder-set wing. Stalky main undercarriage units retracted into the wing, while a nosewheel unit retracted forward into the extreme nose. Behind the wing a long and slender tail boom hid the drive shaft, which extended past a cruciform tail to a four-bladed wooden propeller.

    Flying for the first time in 1940, the Go 9 proved that the rear pusher principle was both efficient and safe, which gave Dornier new impetus to his fighter designs taking shape on the drawing boards. However, the Technische Amt of the RLM decreed that Dornier abandon his work with fighters and return to the main job in hand of producing bombers and flying-boats, despite some initial interest in his radical designs. Nevertheless, in 1942 the Technische Amt issued a requirement for a high speed unarmed intruder aircraft, and Dornier submitted his Projekt 231 design, incorporating the tractor-pusher engine arrangement. After evaluation Dornier was awarded a development contract in the face of opposition from Arado and Junkers, and the designation Do 335 was assigned to Projekt 231.

    As design got underway, the RLM issued a new directive to redesign the Do 335 as a multi-purpose day fighter, night-fighter, fighter-bomber, Zerstorer and reconnaissance platform, which caused a delay in production of the prototype. By the autumn of 1943 the Do 335 was ready for flight.

    Dornier's concept had emerged as a fearsome looking aircraft, appearing as purposeful as a fighter could. In the forward fuselage a Daimler-Benz DB 603 featured an annular-ring cowl, while exhaust stubs just aft of the trailing edge belied the position of the rear engine. Underneath the rear fuselage a large air scoop aspirated the second unit, which powered a three-bladed propeller mounted behind a cruciform tail. Under the centre-section of the wing were doors for a small weapons bay, capable of carrying a single 1,100 lbs (500 kg) or two 550 lbs (250 kg) bombs. The undercarriage was a tricycle arrangement, with the wide-track main units retracting inwards into the wing and the nosewheel retracting backwards (following a 90 degree rotation) into the area beneath the cockpit.
     

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  5. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    The broad wing was set well back, and although the name Pfeil was used semi-officially, the service pilots who became acquainted with this extraordinary machine soon dubbed it Ameisenbär' (ant-eater), thanks to its long nose. A Dornier pilot was at the controls for the first flight from Oberpfaffenhofen, this taking place on 26 October 1943 with the Do 335 V1 first prototype (CP+UA). After initial Dornier trials, it moved to Rechlin to begin extensive official trials. Reports from Oberpfaffenhofen and Rechlin were favourable, with only slight longitudinal stability problems encountered. Most pilots were surprised at the speed, acceleration, turning circle and general handling of the type, and development continued smoothly. Further prototypes joined Dornier and Rechlin trials, introducing new improvements such as redesigned undercarriage doors and blisters in the canopy accommodating mirrors for improved rearward vision.

    By the fifth prototype armament had been installed, this comprising two 15 mm MG 151 cannon in the upper fuselage decking and a single 30 mm MK 103 cannon firing through the forward propeller hub. Subsequent prototypes were used for further flight trials and engine tests, culminating in the Do 335 V9 built to pre-production standards. The first Do 335A-O pre-production aircraft (VG+PG) followed shortly in mid-1944, with full armament and ready to start operational evaluation. The Erprobungskommando 335 was established in September 1944 to conduct tactical development using many of the 10 Do 335A-0s built. Service trials began with the V9 with the Versuchsverband des Oberfehlshabers des Luftwaffe. By late autumn in 1944, the Do 335A-l full production model appeared at Oberpfaffenhofen, this introducing the definitive 1,800 hp (1342 kW) 12-cylinder DB 603E-1 engine and two underwing hardpoints capable of carrying fuel or 550 lbs (250 kg) bombs. Similar in airframe details to the Do 335A-1 was the Do 335A-4 (T9+ZH) unarmed reconnaissance version. Only one was completed, adapted from a Do 335A-0 with two Rb 50/18 cameras in the weapons bay and increased external fuel. Daimler-Benz DB 1,900 hp (1417 kW) DB 603G engines were to have been fitted with higher compression ratio and more powerful superchargers. The sole example was later tested at 1./Versuchsverband OKL.

    Next in line of the Pfeil variants was the Do 335A-6 (prototype Do 335 V10), which was the night fighter variant. Armament remained unchanged from the fighter bomber, but FuG 220 Lichtenstein SN-2 or Fug 217J Neptune/FuG 218 Neptun V airborne intercept radar was to have been incorporated, the aerials being located forward of the wing (lateral beam port and vertical beam starboard). To operate the radar a second crewman was needed, and to accommodate him a cockpit was incorporated above and behind the pilot. Giving the Pfeil an even stranger appearance than before, the second cockpit also meant a considerable restructuring of the fuel system since fuel capacity was reduced to 600 litres. To augment this the weapons bay area was converted over to fuel storage. The negative effect on performance of the extra cockpit, aerials, weight and other modifications such as flame damping tubes over the exhaust ports was in the region of 10 percent, but production aircraft would have offset this partially by being fitted with DB 603E engines with MW-50 (water/methanol) boost instead of the DB 603A retained by the sole example. Production was scheduled to have been undertaken by Heinkel in Vienna, but this plan was overtaken by events and the tooling was never assembled. There was only one operational Do 335A-6, flown by Werner Baake in I./NJG 3 flying Do 335 V-10 (CP+UK) with FuG 220 Lichtenstein SN-2 radar. The final pair of Do 355A variants comprised the Do 335A-10 and Do 335A-12, both featuring the second cockpit for use as conversion trainers. The former was powered by the DB 603A engine (prototype Do 335 V11) and the latter by the DB 603E (prototype Do 335 V12). With full controls in the raised cockpit for the instructor, the two prototypes were both delivered without armament, but this was rectified in the pair of Do 335A-12 production aircraft.

    After development of fighter-bomber, reconnaissance, trainer and night-fighter variants, the role of heavy Zerstörer was next to be developed, as a direct result of the worsening war situation. During the winter of 1944/45, the Do 335 V13 (RP+UP) emerged from the Oberpfaffenhofen factory as the Do 335B-1. This aircraft featured the replacement of the weapons bay by a fuel tank, and the replacement of the 15 mm cannon by 20 mm MG 151 cannon. More heavily armed was the Do 335 V14 (RP+UQ) which, intended for service as the Do 335B-2, featured the same armament and an added MK 103 30-mm cannon mounted in the wings.

    In the event, these were the only B-series aircraft to be completed, although others (V15 to V20) were on the construction line at the termination of the project. These included more B-l and B-2 prototypes, and a pair of Do 335B-6 prototypes, these being night-fighters similar to the Do 335A-6 but with the heavy armament of the Do 335E-l. Other prototypes would have featured DE 603LA engines with a two-stage supercharger. The Do 335B-3 was to be powered by two 2,100 hp (1566 kW) Daimler-Benz DB 6O3LA engines. One other development deserves mention, the B-4, B-5 and B-8 models which featured a 14 ft 10 in (4.3 m) increase in wing span for greater altitude performance. The development of these new outer wing panels had been undertaken by Heinkel, but they remained on the drawing board. The last flight took place on 20 April 1945, when Hans-Werner Lerche took Do 335A-02 from Rechlin to Oberpfaffenhofen. Derivative designs included the Do 435 night-fighter, with side-by-side seating, cabin pressurisation and long-span wooden wings, the Do 535 mixed-powerplant fighter with the rear DB 603 replaced by a jet engine, and the Do 635 long-range reconnaissance platform which aimed to mate two Do 335 fuselages together with a new centre-section. When the Allies overran the Dornier factory at Oberpfaffenhofen in late April 1945, some 37 Pfeils had been completed, with about 70 others awaiting final assembly and the arrival of components.

    As far as is known, the Pfeil never entered into combat, although US pilots reported seeing the strange aircraft in the sky during sorties over Germany, and the Erprobungskommando was forced to send aircraft into a sky which could not be guaranteed as being free of hostile aircraft. In its single-seat version it was one of the fastest piston-engined fighters ever built, with a claimed top speed of around 475 mph (765 km/h). Despite this high performance, it was the much slower two-seat night-fighter version which would probably have proved the most effective if the war had continued. Equipped with excellent radar and powerful weapons, and blessed with good visibility, combat persistence and performance, the night-fighter would have wreaked havoc against the RAF bomber streams. Flying the Pfeil was an experience, thanks to its high performance and unusual configuration. While the performance provided an exhilarating ride for the pilot, the configuration prompted some doubts. His main concern was the ejection seat, the Do 335 being only the second production type to feature this (after the Saab J21). Before firing the seat, explosive bolts which held the upper vertical tail surface and rear propeller were fired to clear a way for the egressing pilot. Despite the ejection seat, he had to jettison the canopy manually. As another safety feature, the lower vertical tail surface was jettisonable in case a wheels-up landing was attempted.

    To conclude, the Pfeil proved to be a sound design with no major faults. If development had been allowed to continue at a steady pace, and had sufficient resources been made available, the teething problems which remained with the type could have been ironed out, and the Pfeil could have emerged as a warplane of major importance to the Luftwaffe. However, as the military situation facing Germany darkened during 1944/45, resources continued to be split between dozens of projects, and development of the Do 335 was rushed, to compensate for the dislocation wrought by allied bombing and the advance of the Allied armies, Development and production was also delayed by the state of German industry, which could not provide the necessary sub-contracted components such as propellers, engines and radios. The development effort was further diluted by unnecessary effort on unattainable advanced derivatives while the basic fighter-bomber was starved of both manpower and money.
     

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  6. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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  7. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    Another excellent thread!
     
  8. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    Super stuff!
     
  9. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    The Heinkel He219 Uhu (Owl) was potentially one of the Luftwaffe's best and most effective night-fighters but suffered from the misjudgements of senior members of the government and the Luftwaffe (most notably Generalfeldmarschall Erhard Milch, Inspector General of the Luftwaffe, who took over from Ernst Udet when the latter committed suicide in November 1941) as did many other programmes, such as the Me262. Despite the aircraft being fast, manoeuvrable and having devastating firepower, proving itself the equal of Allied fighter-bombers such as the de Havilland Mosquito, Milch succeeded in having the programme abandoned in favour of the Junkers Ju388J and the Focke-Wulf Ta154. However, a number of aircraft were produced even after the secession of formal interest and production totalled around 288 aircraft, including prototypes. The Reichsluftfahrtministerium (RLM) had been lukewarm about the project from the very beginning. It stemmed from a private venture by Ernst Heinkel AG, designated the P.1060 fighter-bomber and was proposed as a multi-purpose aircraft. The programme languished however until 1941, when night raids by the RAF were becoming such a problem that the RLM asked for it to be redesigned as a night-fighter. The all-metal shoulder-wing cantilever monoplane with a tailplane having considerable dihedral and ending in twin rudders and fins incorporated a number of novel features. The pilot and navigator who were seated back-to-back enjoyed excellent visibility from a cockpit that was placed at the very front end of the fuselage at the nose, well forward of the guns so that their flashes did not affect their eyesight. The crew were also equipped with ejector seats, the He219 being the world's first operational aircraft to carry such equipment and it was also the first aircraft that had tricycle landing gear (with a steerable nosewheel) to achieve operational status with the Luftwaffe.

    The first prototype was flown on 15 November 1942, powered by two 1,750hp Daimler-Benz DB 603A engines, with armament trials following at Peenemünde in December. The aircraft was originally armed with two 20mm MG151 cannons in a ventral tray and a moveable 13mm (0.51in) MG131 machinegun in the rear cockpit. In February 1943, the aircraft was fitted with four 30mm MK108 cannon in place of the MG151s, but this showed a tendency to part company with the fuselage when all four were fired. The second prototype meanwhile, flown in December 1942, carried four MG151 cannon in a ventral tray and two similar weapons, one in each wing root. On 8 January 1943, the He219 V2 was flown in competition with the Ju188 but the test proved somewhat inconclusive so they were followed on 25 March 1943 by more extensive trials. The aircraft, flown by Major Werner Strieb, competed against a Junkers Ju188S flown by Oberst Viktor von Lossberg and a Dornier 217, which retired early. The He219 V2 acquitted itself well in the trials, so much so that the 'off the drawing board' order for 100 was increased to 300. Additional prototypes were constructed to run in the development programme, including a fourth which was equipped with the FuG220 Lichtenstein SN-2 radar, while production got underway at Rostock, Vienna-Schwechat as well as Mielec and Buczin (both of which were in Poland). From April 1943, a small number of He219A-0 preproduction aircraft were flying with 1 / NJG1 at Venlo in Holland and on the night of 11/12 June 1943, Major Streib shot down five Avro Lancasters in a single sortie. The first six operation sorties resulted in claims of some twenty British aircraft being downed, including six Mosquitoes. In December 1943, Milch suggested that the entire He219 programme be discontinued in favour of the Ju88G. Milch's main objection was that the He219 would be disrupting production lines at a critical time and that the performance of the Junkers was sufficient to take on bombers such as the Lancaster and Halifax. The major flaw in this argument was that the British had begun to use Mosquitoes to escort their night bombers and the Junkers was incapable of combating this superb British fighter-bomber. He initially put forward three proposals that firstly, that Heinkel should abandon the He219 altogether in favour of the Junkers Ju88G and Dornier Do335; secondly that He219 production was reduced in favour of the Ju88G; and thirdly production of the He219 should go ahead as planned. Despite the third option being followed for a time, Milch eventually got his way and the programme was cancelled in May 1944, despite the aircraft being universally popular with air and ground crews alike. A number of variants were produced however and deliveries were made to several units, principally 1 / NJG1 and NJGr10. The He219A-1 reconnaissance bomber was abandoned early in the development stages, so the first variant to roll off the production line was the He219A-2/R1 night-fighter, equipped with two MK108 cannons in the ventral tray and two MG151/20 cannon in the wing roots, while a Schräge Musik installation with two MK108 cannon installed behind the cockpit firing obliquely up and forwards was fitted retrospectively.

    The first major production version however, was the He219A-5 series, with the A-5/R1 being similar to the A-2/R1 except for the fitting of an eighty-six Imp gal (390-litre) fuel tank at the rear of each nacelle adding some 400 miles (645km) to the range. A variety of other sub-variants were produced however, including the He219A-5/R2 with 1,800hp DB 603Aa engines and the He219A-5/R4 that had a third crew member and a stepped cockpit with a 13mm (0.51in) MG131 machinegun in a trainable mount. The need to find a counter to the RAF's Mosquito's led to the development of the He219A-6 series, which was introduced in early 1944. This was basically a stripped down version of the He219A-2/R1 equipped with 1,750hp DB 603L engines and armed with four 20mm MG151/20 cannons, a similar aircraft but one that was armed with only two MG151/20 cannon was built under the designation He219B-2. The final production version consisted of the A-7 series, which introduced larger supercharger intakes for the DB 603G engines but were otherwise similar to the A-5 series and all carried the then-standard Schräge Musik installation. The A-7/R1 had, in addition, two MK108 cannon in the wing roots, along with two MG151/20 and Mk103 cannon in the ventral tray, while the A-7/R2 had two MK108 cannon instead of the MK103s in the ventral tray and the A-7/R3 had MG151/20 cannon in the wing roots rather than MK108s. The A-7/R4 carried tail warning radar but only four MG151/20 cannon. The six He219A-7/R5 aircraft were powered by 1,900hp Junkers Jumo 213E engines but were otherwise identical to the He219A-7/R3. A single He219A-7/R6 was produced, equipped with 2,500hp Junkers Jumo 222A/B engines, as was a single three-crew He219B-1 which was to use the same powerplant but instead used DB 603Aa engines. Finally, a He319 version was proposed as a night fighter being basically the same as the He219 but with a single fin and rudder. The design was abandoned in November 1942 in favour of the He419. The He419A-0 was basically the He219A-5 fitted with a new, enlarged wing and DB 603G engines. This aircraft was followed by six He419B-1/R1 aircraft, which had exhaust-driven turbochargers and an increased wing area of some 635sq.ft (59m.sq). The standard armament was four MK108 and two MG151/20 cannons while the B-1/R2 was projected as having four MG212 weapons and the B-1/R3 having four MK103 cannons.
     

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  10. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    In 1934, the Klemm Leichtflugzeugbau set up a new factory at Halle, for production of all-metal aircraft (as opposed to Klemms normal light aircraft) and transferred the development of a new twin-engined transport, the Klemm Kl 104 to the Halle factory, the type being redesignated Fh 104. Klemm transferred control of the factory to Fritz Siebel in 1937, the year the Fh 104 prototype first flew. It had a metal fuselage, plywood covered wings and a hydraulic undercarriage that retracted into the lower part of the engine nacelles. It became known as the 'Hallore' after the name given to those born in that city. Fh 104s' won long distance flying competitions in 1938 and an example flew 40,000 km around Africa in 1939. It won the principal award in the 1938 Littorio Rally. During World War II the aircraft was used as a personal transport aircraft by some senior Wehrmacht officers and officials including Adolf Galland, Albert Kesselring and Ernst Udet. At least 15 aircraft appeared on the pre-war German civil register. The larger Siebel Si 204 was based on it.
     

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  11. herman1rg

    herman1rg Well-Known Member

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    Great info as ever
     
  12. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    Great stuff as always.

    Thanks,

    MM
     
  13. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    yep, keep it rolling along...
     
  14. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    Quirky though it was, there can be little doubt that if the Me163 Komet had been available to the Luftwaffe in reasonable numbers a year earlier, the Allied bombing campaign would have suffered even greater casualties in men and material than it did in actuality. With an extra year of development time behind it, it is very likely that the problems the Me163 had, particularly those concerning its unstable fuel mixture, would have been fixed but the entire programme was then at the cutting edge of technology and time was a luxury that Germany didn't have. Research into the use of rocket propulsion in aircraft had been going on in Germany since the 1920s, with Dr Alexander Lippisch developing the DFS194 glider, which would form the basis of the Me163. Lippisch had built his first tailless glider, known a Storch (Stork) in 1926 and flown it the following year. The glider was progressively developed and eventually fitted with an 8hp engine coupled with a pusher propeller, becoming the Storch V, making its first powered flight on 17 September 1929. Lippisch was always keen on the delta-wing configuration and turned his attention to designing a glider in this form, having obtained some private financial backing. The glider, known as the Delta I, began flying in the summer of 1930 and was later fitted with a 30hp engine to fly at speed of up to 90mph (145kph) in early 1931. It has been said that the Horton brothers were inspired to work on tailless aircraft after seeing a flight of Delta I but official reaction was quite the opposite – the aircraft had no tail so no airworthiness certificate was issued. By 1932, Lippisch was working with both Focke-Wulf and collaborating with Fieseler on Delta III and the following year saw him move to DFS at Darmstadt where work continued on both the Delta III and IV. After both aircraft had crashed in the same fortnight, an order came from RLM banning further work on tailless designs. This was eventually removed, due to Dr W Georgii (the then Director of DFS) and work continued on modifying the design to the Delta IVa so it became the Delta IVb and received the RLM designation DFS39. The reconstructed aircraft had a modified wing platform, twin vertical surfaces instead of a wingtip anhedral and a 75hp engine driving a tractor propeller. In this form it received an airworthiness certificate as a two-seat sports aeroplane and in 1937, an RLM order came for a second DFS39 which was to be powered, as it eventually turned out, by a top secret rocket motor.

    This was the beginning of Project X where DFS was to build the wing and Ernst Heinkel AG were to build the remainder of the airframe as they had the full spectrum of manufacturing facilities and had already started developing their own rocket aircraft, the He176. Although the RLM had already selected the DFS39 for conversion to rocket power and stipulated a modest 217mph (350kph) top speed, Lippisch started design work on the DFS 40 and DFS194, both intended to have conventional propulsion for research work. Using models and wind tunnel tests at AVA, Göttingen, Lippisch concluded that the DFS39's wingtip rudders would be a source of flutter from the sweptback wing and that future designs would require a central fin and rudder arrangement for improved control. Such an arrangement was needed (as in the case of the Horten designs) to balance the effect of the fuselage nose which protruded beyond the wing contour. The division of the production arrangements as well as the tight security surrounding the project hampered the progress of the project but Lippisch was able to have the work transferred from Heinkel and DFS into a single unit based at Messerschmitt AG, Augsburg where he and his team formed Section L on 20 January 1939 and immediately began work to adapt the more promising DFS194 airframe to take the 882lbs (400kg) thrust Walter rocket motor. This unit had already flown in the experimental He176 but the programme proved unsatisfactory. On the other hand, during tests the DFS194 managed to reach a top speed of 342mph (550kph) leading to the programme gaining momentum and Messerschmitt receiving an order for six prototypes, designated the Me163A.

    The first prototype was flown as a glider, towed behind a Bf110, to test its flying characteristics (which were good – a few problems being easily sorted out). In the summer of 1941, two prototypes were taken to Peenemünde for powered trials using the new Walter HWK RII-203b rocket motor that gave out 1,653lbs (750kg) of thrust, propelling the Me163 to 550mph (885kph). As only a small amount of fuel could be carried, there was a risk that the aircraft would run out of fuel before higher speeds could be obtained but on one occasion, test pilot Heini Dittmar was towed to a height of 13,125ft (4,000m) and after casting off, accelerated to a speed of 623.85mph (1,003.9kph) before suffering a loss of stability due to compressability effects. Such a phenomenon became well known in later years as aircraft approached the speed of sound, as it was Dittmar managed to control the situation and a redesign of the wing was undertaken to combat the problem. There was in fact a greater danger posed by the instability of the fuel which consisted of hydrogen peroxide (80%) with oxyquinoline or phosphate (T-Stoff) and an aqueous solution of calcium permanganate (Z-Stoff). An inbalance in this fuel mixture could lead to instability in the combustion chamber and lead to an explosion – which occasionally did happen. A replacement for Z-Stoff using a different catalyst was developed (30% hydrazine hydrate solution in methanol) called C-Stoff, for use in the Walter RII-211, which in its production form equipped the Me163B and was designated the HWK 109-509A. Since the aircraft had to be as light as possible to take advantage of its limited fuel load, the weight penalty involved with a retractable landing gear was unacceptable and so the aircraft took off using a two-wheel dolly (that was jettisoned on take-off) and landed using a retractable skid beneath the forward fuselage plus the rear landing wheel. The method caused problems however as take-offs had to be directly into the wind and if a concrete runway was being used and a crosswind was present, the aircraft would not stay straight below the speed at which the rudder became operational. A subsequent modification partially fixed this.

    On the back of the six prototypes, a batch of ten Me163A-0 aircraft was built by Wolf Hirth, the sailplane company, and the aircraft were used as training gliders. Considerable redesign had to take place however, before the production version (Me163B Komet) flew. Six prototypes and seventy production models were ordered, but there was trouble with the rocket motor which held up the programme and fuel consumption was almost double the calculated figure. Production was then subcontracted to a number of component manufacturers and the aircraft were assembled in the Black Forest by Klemm Technik GmbH, although again, there were many problems as the component manufacturers were unused to the close tolerance work that was required. Initial deliveries of the Me163B-1a began in May 1944 and the aircraft made it combat debut on 28 July 1944 when five Me163s from 1/JG400 attacked a formation of B-17s near Merseburg. They failed to bring any bombers down but the difficulties can be appreciated in taking into account that the fighters would be closing on the bombers at around 559mph (900kph) and the bombers themselves would be moving at 250mph (402kph), the combined closing speed allowing only a three second burst from the slow firing MK108 cannon. An alternate weapon therefore had to be found. In fact the SG500 Jagdfaust, which consisted of five vertically mounted firing tubes mounted in each wing root, each containing a 50mm shell. The system fired a salvo when a shadow passed over a light-sensitive cell and so the Me163 just had to fly at high speed underneath a target for the system to be activated. The system was fitted to twelve Me163Bs but was never issued for operations, although it did manage to destroy a B-17 on one occasion.

    To help convert a number of the dwindling supply of pilots to the Me163, a tandem trainer was developed, designated Me163S, with various internal components including ammunition and T-Stoff tanks removed to make way for the extra seat. It was flown as a glider but only a few were converted. Production of the Me163B-1a ceased in February 1945 after almost 400 aircraft were built. Projected developments included the Me163C and Me163D, the former being a development of the Me163 with an auxiliary cruising chamber to enhance endurance, a new centre section and a streamlined fuselage with a blister canopy. Three Me163C-1a aircraft were built but only one was flown. The Me163D was a further refinement with a retractable, tricycle landing gear. One prototype was built and since Junkers had been responsible for its development and series production, it was known as the Ju248 before reverting to a Messerschmitt designation. It did not enter production and the prototype was captured by the Soviets who fitted it with straight wings and modified tail surfaces and flew it in 1946 under the designation I-270(ZH). Lastly, there was a license built version of the Me163B, the Mitsubishi Ki-200 (J8M1) which was to be built in Japan with Mitsubishi and Yokosuka building the HWK 509A rocket motor. Loss of the aircraft on a ship bound for Japan left the Japanese with only an instruction manual and it is to their credit that they began design of an airframe based on the Me163B. The first aircraft flew in July 1945 but crashed after its motor failed. Several others were built but the programme was terminated by the end of the war.

    Source: Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet
     

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  15. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    On 2 October 1933 the Gotha aircraft company was re-established. The first aircraft manufactured was the Gotha Go 145,[2] a two-seat biplane designed by Albert Kalkert made out of wood with a fabric covering. The Go 145 featured fixed landing gear and was powered by an Argus As 10C air-cooled engine fitted with a two-blade fixed-pitch propeller. The first prototype took to the air in February 1934, and was followed by a production model, the Gotha Go 145A, with controls in both cockpits for trainee and instructor. In 1935, the Go 145 started service with Luftwaffe training units. The aircraft proved a successful design and production of the Go 145 was taken up by other companies, including AGO, Focke-Wulf and BFW. Licensed versions were also manufactured in Spain and Turkey. The Spanish version, called the CASA 1145-L actually remained in service until long after World War II.

    Without prototypes 1,182 Go 145 were built in Germany for Luftwaffe service and an unknown number of license-produced Go 145. Further development of the aircraft continued, the Gotha Go 145B was fitted with an enclosed cockpit and wheel spats (an aerodynamic wheel housing on fixed-gear). The Go 145C was developed for gunnery training and was fitted with a single 7.92 mm (.312 in) MG 15 machine gun for the rear seat, after removal of flight controls for the rear seat. By 1942, the Russians began using obsolete aircraft such as the Polikarpov Po-2 to conduct night harassment missions against the Germans. Noting the success of the raids, the Germans began conducting their own night harassment missions with obsolete aircraft on the Eastern Front. In December 1942, the first Störkampfstaffeln (harassment squadron) was established and equipped with Gotha Go 145 and Arado Ar 66. The night harassment units were successful and by October 1943 there were six night harassment squadrons equipped with Gotha Go 145.

    Also in October 1943, the Störkampfstaffeln were redesignated Nachtschlachtgruppe (NSGr) (night ground attack group, literally night battle group). In March 1945 Nachtschlachtgruppe 5 had 69 Gotha Go 145’s on strength of which 52 were serviceable while Nachtschlachtgruppe 3 in the Courland Pocket had 18 Gotha Go 145’s on strength of which 16 were serviceable. When the war in Europe ended on 8 May 1945 the Gotha Go 145 equipped the majority of the Nachtschlachtgruppe.
     

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  16. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    #16 gekho, May 30, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2013
    The Me 410 Hornisse was developed in 1942 to replace the Me 210 and was essentially similar to the late-production examples of this latter aircraft. In addition to embodying in its design all the modifications incorporated into the Me 210 - including the new cockpit canopy, lengthened fuselage and wing leading-edge slots - it introduced Daimler-Benz DB 603A engines. Initial tests were carried out with aircraft converted from Me 210As and these were followed by a true Me 410 prototype which flew for the first time at the end of 1942.

    Demonstrating far more attractive characteristics than those of its forerunner, the Me 410 was ordered into production and some 1,100 were built before construction came to an end in September 1944. Versions included the Me 410A-1 high-performance light bomber; A-1/U-2 fighter conversion of the A-1; A-2 destroyer; and A-3 photo-reconnaissance aircraft; similar B-1, B-2 and B-3 versions; B-5 torpedo bomber; and B-6 anti-shipping strike aircraft. A number of variants of the foregoing were built, but several projected versions failed to enter production.
     

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  17. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    The Klemm Kl 105 was a two-seat sport aircraft developed in Germany in 1938. It was a low-wing cantilever monoplane of conventional design with fixed, tailskid undercarriage, and side-by-side seating for two within an enclosed cockpit. Construction throughout was of wood, with the fuselage built using a new semi-monocoque technique which Klemm patented. Plans to produce the design in series were abandoned with the outbreak of the Second World War.
     

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  18. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    Austria ordered 45 CR.32bis aircraft in 1936, and used them to equip Jagdgeschwader II at Weiner Neustadt. After the Anschluss with Germany of March 1938 the CR.32s were taken over by the Luftwaffe, and Jagdgeschwader II became I.Gruppe/ Jagdgeschwader 138. This was a short-lived experiment, and the surviving 36 aircraft were soon sold to Hungary.
     

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  19. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    The Bücker Bü 131 Jungmann was a biplane primary trainer that played an important role in the growth of the Luftwaffe, before seeing limited active service as a night harassment aircraft late in the Second World War. The Bücker Flugzeugbau was founded in 1932 by Carl Clemens Bücker, with the Swede Anders J. Andersson as its chief designer. The Bü 131 was the new company's first product, and was an immediate success. The Bü 131 was a conventional single bay biplane, carrying two people in tandem open cockpits. The wings had a fabric covered wooden framework. All of the wings carried ailerons, making the aircraft very manoeuvrable. Both upper and lower wings had dihedral and eleven degrees of sweepback. The upper and lower wings were interchangeable, making it easier to repair damaged aircraft. The fuselage was made with a steel-tube fuselage, fabric covered for most of its length but using light alloy around the engine and cockpits. The prototype was powered by an 80hp Hirth HM 60R inline engine.

    The aircraft made its maiden flight on 27 April 1934, and in the same year entered production as the Bü 131A Jungmann. Early aircraft went to the Deutscher Luftsportverband (German Air Sports Union), a civilian organisation that was used to train further Luftwaffe pilots. Direct deliveries to the Luftwaffe began in 1935, and the aircraft was used as the standard basic trainer until it was replaced with the Bücker Bü 181 Bestmann. The total number of aircraft produced is unknown, but probably ran to at least 3,000 before production was phased out in 1940-41. The Jungmann did see some limited front line service when a number of aircraft were allocated to night harassment units operating on the Eastern Front. These aircraft were modified to carry 2.2lb and 4.4lb bombs and were used to keep up a constant stream of minor attacks on the Russian front lines.

    The Jungmann was exported to eight European countries, starting in 1935. Spain received more than 100 German built aircraft, and then began licence built construction of the aircraft as the C.A.S.A. 1.131. The first 200 of these aircraft used imported Hirth engines, but these were then replaced by the Spanish ENMA Tigra G-IVA engine. The Swiss also began licensed production, at the Dornier-Werke. Bulgaria, Hungary, Sweden, Finland, France, Holland, Poland, Portugal and Romania also purchased the type. Outside Europe the aircraft sold in South Africa, Brazil, Uruguay and Chile. The largest export market was Japan, where both the Army and Navy ordered the aircraft into production, as the Ki-86A and K9W1 respectively (see below). The Bü 131 was also developed into the single seat Bü 133 Jungmeister aerobatic trainer.
     

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  20. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    The Macchi C.205 (also known as MC.205, "MC" standing for "Macchi Castoldi") Veltro (Italian: Greyhound) was an Italian World War II fighter aircraft built by the Aeronautica Macchi. Along with the Reggiane Re.2005 and Fiat G.55, the Macchi C.205 was one of the three "Serie 5" Italian fighters built around the powerful Daimler-Benz DB 605 engine. The C.205 was a development of the earlier C.202 Folgore. With a top speed of some 400 mph and equipped with a pair of 20 mm cannon as well as 12.7 mm Breda machine guns, the Macchi C.205 Veltro was highly respected by Allied and Luftwaffe pilots alike. Regarded as the best Italian aircraft of World War II , in action it proved to be extremely effective, destroying a large number of Allied bombers and capable of successfully clashing on equal terms with such renowned fighters as the North American P-51D Mustang, a capability which encouraged the Luftwaffe to use a number of these aircraft to equip one Gruppe.

    Macchi had used a licence-built DB 601 engine in the C.202, an engine which was closely comparable in size to the later, more powerful DB 605. This meant that the C.202 airframe could be easily adapted for the DB 605. The C.205V Veltro first flew on 19 April 1942, and was considered a stop-gap measure with the definitive variant being the 205N Orione (N stood for "new"). In testing, the Fiat G.55 Centauro and Re.2005 Sagittario proved to be better performers at high altitude due to their larger wing area. In fact, the Veltro used the same wing as the earlier Folgore but its weight had increased from 2,350 kg (5,180 lb) to 3,408 kg (7,515 lb) and the wing loading from 142 kg/m² (29 lb/ft²) to 203 kg/m² (41 lb/ft²). The Veltro's performance was similar to German designs with their higher wing loading, and was at its best at medium altitudes where it could reach 642 km/h (399 mph). The C.205 Veltro was placed in production until the G.55 and the Re.2005 could become available.The M.C.205V was good enough to be used by the Luftwaffe, equipping a single fighter Gruppe, and was the best Italian fighter aircraft designed during the Second World War to be produced in any numbers.
     

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