Glider tug questions

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by mexchiwa, Mar 7, 2016.

  1. mexchiwa

    mexchiwa New Member

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    Just a few simple glider tug questions:

    I guess when using transport aircraft, C-47s or Ju-52s the tugs were flown empty? Or did they carry paratroops?

    The RAF used Halifaxes, Stirlings, and Albemarles, right? Any other types widely used?

    USAAF just used C-47s? Did the Navy use R4Ds when they tested their gliders?

    Did the Japanese make much use of gliders? (I know there were a few experiments, but don't know of any operational use)

    Anyway, just wondering. Sorry for the stupid questions.
     
  2. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    The Germans used a variety of glider tugs, including the He111Z for towing the Me321 although it was originally towed by three Bf110s. The Go242 was towed by either a Ju52, He111 or a modified Ju87D-2.

    For the Japanese, they did have a few types, but the ones used for regular operations, was the IJA's Meada KU-1, which was capable of carrying up to 8 troops and used as a trainer. The Kokusai KU-8 was capable of carrying up to 18 troops. It was used in Manchuria and the Philippines for the most part.

    As far as having a load in the towing aircraft, it would depend on the capacity of the towing aircraft in relation to the load being towed. If a Ju52 were towing a DFS230, for example, then yes, it could carry a load onboard, as the DFS230 weighed roughly two tons at max load and could even be towed by a Bf109.
     
  3. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    The Ju 52, Tante Ju, was used by the Germans in a number of rolls:
    1. As a TROOP CARRIER - carrying 15 - 20 fully-equipped combat troops
    2. FREIGHT - to haul various types of supplies up to 5260lbs (2391kg)
    3. AMBULANCE - as a medical transport it carried 12 stretchers
    4. PARATROOP CARRIER - carrying 12 fully-equipped fallschirmjager
    5. GLIDER TUG - when used as a glider tug it could tow ONE Go 242 glider carrying 23 men or up to 3 smaller gliders carrying 10 -12 men each
    The big boy tug was the He 111Z which was made by joining TWO He 111H-6s at the left and right wing and then adding a 5th engine at that juncture. Its role was to tow the massive Me 321 cargo glider. At 92feet long and a wing span of 180ft (B-29 was only 141ft) it had required 3 aircraft to tow it plus the glider it self had 6 rocket assist pods to get it airborne
    Eventually the Germans added 6 engines to it to create the Me 323
    Gotha_Go_242_glider_in_flight.jpg messerschmitt-me-321-glider.png
     
  4. Biggles44

    Biggles44 New Member

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  5. Biggles44

    Biggles44 New Member

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    Dakotas (DC3) were used as glider tugs during the D day Landings.
     
  6. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Dakotas (C-47s, not DC-3s) were indeed used, on numerous airborne operations. Depending on location, range, operation etc,, an Allied Forces tug would not normally carry troops, due to the differing requirements of glider launch and para dropping, but might carry stores, to be dropped on a 'go around' after releasing the glider.
     
  7. mexchiwa

    mexchiwa New Member

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    I was wondering more about the RAF tugs. I guess all armament was removed from the bombers, right? We're Lysanders ever used to tow gliders operationally? I'm thinking they may have towed Hotspurs in training.

    Soviet tugs - the TB-3? Li-2?
     
  8. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Antonov A-7 was typically towed by the Ilyushin DB-3 or Tupolev SB
    Gribovsky G-11 was typically towed by the Tupolev SB
    Kolisnikov-Tsibin KC-20 was typically towed by the Ilyushin DB-3
     
  9. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    Hawker Hectors were used to tow Hotspurs at No.1 GTS at Thame and No. 2 GTS at Weston on the Green (and probably elsewhere) in 1941-42 as were Miles Masters.

    Experiments were done prior to D-Day using Spitfires to tow Hotspurs.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  10. bobbysocks

    bobbysocks Well-Known Member

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    i think the OP wants to know were the Dakotas also loaded with supplies or troops? so, after the gliders were released did they also drop ammo..etc or airborne troops?
     
  11. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    The OP's question regarding the C-47 or Ju52 were touched on in a few posts:
     
  12. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    I do not believe the Japanese every used gliders operationally. I know they built them and I know they took the Ku-7 and added engines to create the Ki-105 to help shuttle fuel back to Japan.

    The US also used C-46s to tow gliders
     
  13. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    #13 stona, Mar 10, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2016
    British tugs don't seem to have done anything other than tow the gliders to a release point before turning back for home (and dropping the tow ropes after a designated time on the return leg). There is no mention of carrying or dropping an other troops or supplies. I doubt that they could have done this and towed a glider in any case.

    British night time glider operations (starting with those as part of Husky) were seen as a way of maintaining surprise, whilst landing troops in small concentrations not needing the time of parachute troops to assemble. The last thing you needed was the tugs flying about overhead.
    This was considered by Montgomery and others a sound tactic for quickly seizing objectives like Ponte Grande bridge near Syracuse (Operation Ladbroke). Later and more famously the same tactic was used to seize the Ranville and Benouville bridges over the River Orne and Caen Canal (Operation Deadstick) prior to the British landings on Sword Beach on D-Day.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  14. Aozora

    Aozora Well-Known Member

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    Attached are the Orders of Battle for the RAF & USAAF units used during the Battle of Arnhem: these relate specifically to the British areas of operation.

    The worst casualties occurred during the resupply operations from Tuesday, 19 September 1944, through Friday 22nd. On Thursday 21st, German fighters were able to attack the formations, because most of the escort fighters and fighter-bomber supports were grounded due to bad weather - concentrated German Flak also took a heavy toll. 629 sorties had been flown, 371 by Stirlings, 258 by C-47s; 43 Stirlings were shot down and 23 C-47s = 10.5% loss rate overall.
    540 men were lost, including 360 aircrew and 180 RASC despatchers: 222 were KIA (144 aircrew, 79 despatchers), 123 became POWs and 195 landed in Allied held territory, or were rescued by the Dutch

    In spite of the best efforts of the supply units, less than 200 tons of the 1,488 tons dropped were recovered by the British troops. Arnhem001-001.jpg Arnhem002-001.jpg Arnhem003-001.jpg Arnhem004-001.jpg
     
  15. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    Tug and re-supply sorties were separate, certainly for the British. The sorties given above confirm this.
    The Operational Orders for Operation Comet, which was superseded by the rather more ambitious Market/Garden, had the glider tugs releasing gliders, turning to fly on a reciprocal course for two miles before dropping tow ropes and then continuing home.
    Cheers
    Steve
     
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