He 162 v P-80 V Vampire

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Waynos, Jan 21, 2009.

  1. Waynos

    Waynos Active Member

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    After seeing various 'versus' threads this is one comparison I thought I would like to see. I won't be able to contribute too much myself beyond starting it but I would really like to see the views of you guys.

    What were the advantages and drawbacks of each design. Was the Vampires engine installation more practical than the other two? I think it was given that the top mounted engine gives balance issues and the P-80 had a thrust losing extended tail pipe.

    Which was the better fighter in terms of range and armament (Vampire for armament, P-80 for range perhaps?)

    Can the most manouverable of them be quantified, I would have thought the Vampire would turn well but the He 162 would have a phenomenal rate of roll?

    I do hope this isn't a duplicate thread as it is the first time I have actually tried to start one :D
     
  2. Soren

    Soren Banned

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    The top mounted engine doesn't give any balance problems, not the slightest. You can be sure that where'ever the engines are situated the airframe is built around them to keep the center of gravity at a certain optimum point.

    As for performance, the He-162 sweeps them all away with a 905 km/h top speed. The He-162 turns, rolls climbs significantly better than the rest. The early DH Vampire wasn't anything to cheer about, it was underpowered and heavy, and the same goes for the early P-80A.

    But better than all of them is the Me-262, it was simply the best jet of the war and for a good time afterwards, proving to be the baseline for the future generation of fighters.
     
  3. red admiral

    red admiral Member

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    If the Vampire is underpowered, what does that make the Me 262? The F.1 has a significantly higher power to weight ratio. Thrust to weight ratio is very similar to the He 162. The climb rate is very similar as well. Speed of the F.1 is slightly down at 540mph over 562mph which is the biggest problem. Handling is more difficult to quantify but there were no problems identified with the Vampire. The only real problem was the cockpit framing restricting vision, which was rectified with a single piece type.

    The He 162's greatest problem is avoiding structural failure from poor build quality.

    None of the following fighters were anything like the Me 262 and the Meteor F4 beats the Me 262 hands down in performance whilst being available only months later.
     
  4. HellToupee

    HellToupee Banned

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    Vampire IMO, best armed of the 3 with good performance it was not underpowered its power to weight was similar to the he162 the prototype engines had less thrust than the production ones.
     
  5. Waynos

    Waynos Active Member

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    I didn't specifically say so but I was thinking about the first round of single engined jet fighters to see service, which is why I didn't include the 262 and Meteor.

    Just to add a bit to the debate I have dredged up the following data from the 1945 Janes All the Worlds Aircraft, which was produced with official manufacturers data and was published after the end of the war, so there is no guesswork going on.

    I don't know how to do tables so forgive me if this is hard to follow (as I type I do not know how these figures will compare as I haven't even read them yet - an adventure for me!)

    Heinkel He 162;

    Speed 490mph at sea level, 522mph at 19,680ft and 485mph at 36,000ft
    Ceiling 39,400ft
    weight loaded 5,940lbs
    powerplant data (BMW 003 A-1) - weight 1,252lbs, thrust 1,760lbs

    (my rough calc T/W for the aircraft coming out at 0.296)


    DH Vampire;

    Speed 540mph ("over a wide altitude range")
    Ceiling 45-50,000ft
    weight (Loaded) 8,000lbs
    Powerplant data - weight 1,500lbs, thrust 3,000lbs

    (my rough calc T/W for the aircraft coming out at 0.375)

    Lockheed P-80;

    Speed 550mph
    Ceiling 45,000ft
    weight (Loaded) empty 8,000lbs, mtow 14,000lbs
    Powerplant data - not supplied

    Ironically, for a British book, the Vampire is the aircraft with the least available data! The Heinkel data is meticulous and exhaustive and there is a note under this entry that states ''the above figures are official but were not achieved with the early production aircraft"

    Although the He 162 was a smaller and lighter aircraft it does seem to have had a worse T/W ratio than the Vampire F.1, The P-80 is surprisingly heavy to me, weighing the same when empty as a fully loaded Vampire, which itself is about 2,000lbs heavier than the He 162.
     
  6. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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  7. Waynos

    Waynos Active Member

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    How so? Is Janes not the most respected publication ion the world?

    The data in Jane's is, and has always been from the first edition in 1909 to the present day, supplied directly to the publishers by the aircraft manufacturers themselves, who surely would know?

    I notice none of the websites linked give a source for their data so who is to say that they are not merely repeating the same error? Also, if I may say so, posting Wikipedia as proof that Janes is wrong must also be the weakest argument ever, surely? You do know how Wiki works don't you? Apart from Wiki, another one of the sites (WW2 Database) contains this quote from the site author;

    so once again this falls short of Janes by its own admission

    If there is an official source that contradicts Jane's then that is different.
     
  8. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    It may be but I've seen glaring technical errors in some of the listings. In some cases performance data was wrong as well as other data. One error that comes to mind was Jane’s stating in one of its late 80s issues that the CP-140 (The Canadian version of the Lockheed P-3) was built in Canada. Not true! About 40% of the Canadian birds were built in Canada but final assembly was in California.

    Of the errors I seen in Jane's leads me to believe that those providing information on the aircraft are not pilots or have not worked around aircraft in a technical capacity.
     
  9. Burunduk

    Burunduk New Member

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    I very doubt that in 1945, during the war, Heinkel supplied Jane's by "data from manufacturer", don't you agree?

    Jane's staff just did some estimations.

    The same story was about Soviet aircrafts. Jane's data very often was completely wrong, sometimes they even mixed design bureau.


    PS. "Data from manufacturers" also not always are the best data. Consider marketing, propaganda, desinformation (remember He.112 story?) and other issues.

    So I would not believe to Jane's 1945 (!) data about German aircrafts.
     
  10. Waynos

    Waynos Active Member

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    All the data from the German manufacturers was in the hands of the allies following the end of the war. This volume was published in February 1946.

    This volume of Jane's, which was a 'catch up' edition after 5 years of secrecy and estimation, contains, as far as I am aware, the most comprehensive collection of official performance data on German wartime aircraft ever published.

    By contrast the data of British aircraft in there is much more open to speculation as, due to the general secrecy of the Air Ministry of the time, the figure provided for the very latest British types were supplied in rounded figures (ie 540mph, 50,000ft etc) and very little of it.

    The Vampire data I quoted above was actually the total amount of data published for it, whereas the He 162 data alone is split into 11 sections with the 'performance' section alone running to 20 lines, and the comprehensiveness of it is why I am inclined to believe it. remember ''the above figures are official but were not achieved with the early production aircraft"

    BUT, of course they are not 100% infallible, but what other sources can be believed and why, that is the main question as my data post seems to have dragged the thread off topic.

    IF those figures generally are correct then they do make sense as the He 162 does seem to have a lower T/W ration than the Vampire, so it ought to be a little slower maybe.

    However, if Jane's is wrong, what are the correct figures? And can they be sourced from somewhere reliable, unlike the websites quoted above?

    I admit I have always thought that the He 162 was at least as fast, if not faster, than its contemporaries and the 522mph figure came as a surprise, but kind of fits in with its lower t/w ratio, if indeed that is also correct.

    My intention in quoting those figures was to stimulate more debate on the planes themselves rather than a debate on the book :|
     
  11. Burunduk

    Burunduk New Member

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    Here is data of He.162 obtained in the Soviet NII VVS in 1946 during tests of captured airplanes.

    Probably, the speed achieved is less than maximal: there was no full documentation and, may be, engine and aircraft were used not in optimal manner.

    Short-time speed (1 min):
    Speed, km/h Height,m
    900 6000
    790 11000

    Max continous speed (5 min)
    785 0
    834 6000
    760 11000
     
  12. Waynos

    Waynos Active Member

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    Interestingly the '5 minute' speeds you posted correspond very closely to the Janes figures - Speed 490mph at sea level, 522mph at 19,680ft and 485mph at 36,000ft
    except the last one works out at 475mph on the Russian figures, not 485.

    Coincidence?

    Owing to the 'vagueness' of the Vampire data as I mentioned above I have looked up some more reliable info, this is from Putnam's 'De Havilland Aircraft since 1909' published in the 1980's and not subject to Air Ministry classification.

    engine - one 3,100lb D H Goblin2 or one 4,400lb Ghosts 2/2 (I think the former is the fairer choice for this comparison due to timescale)

    All up weight 10,480lb (F.1)
    Speed 540mph
    climb 4,300ft/min
    range 730 miles.

    Given these figures I can now revise the T/W ratio of the Vampire F.1 with the Goblin 2 to 0.296. This is exactly the same figure I got for the He 162!

    Now that I have a bit more data for the Vampire I have looked up the equivalents for the He 162 in Jane's and it gives a climb rate of 4,200ft/min at sea level, very close to the Vampire figure. The range of the He 162 (highest figure) is quoted as 620 miles at 36,000ft (reducing at lower altitudes but I wont repeat all the figures as there is nothing to compare them with)
    I certainly don't see the He 162 being vastly superior though as Soren suggested, they seem to be almost perfectly matched.

    Makes me wonder how a He 162 powered by a Goblin might perform though?
     
  13. delcyros

    delcyros Well-Known Member

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    The production model He-162A had BMW-003E engines, which could be forced for a short time to 920-940 Kp thrust instead of the normal 800 Kp rating. With forced power it has a higher thrust / weight ratio, and therefore improved acceleration, climb and top speed. It can´t be used for prolonged periods!
    I think we had already some lengthy discussions of this A/C on this board.
    The greatest asset of the He-162 would be the slightly higher critical mach figure, allowing some more "maneuvering window" at high speed.
    The Vampire is an excellent A/C, too with good all around balance and superior armement. The P-80 has some advantages wrt structure and equipment over both.
    Burunduk, You posted interesting figures. Can You cite the report based on them? I understand that the soviets tested at least two He-162A.

    Conversely, the P-80A (and YP-80A) used the earlier GE/Allision engine with only 3850 lbs ST, the 4000 lbs jet engine came in 1946 and by the late 40´s they had water injection which increased thrust to 5.200 lbs.
     
  14. SoD Stitch

    SoD Stitch Banned

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    Or a 162 with the 004E? Or, even better, a Jumo 012?
     
  15. Waynos

    Waynos Active Member

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    Yes, but I was thinking of the Goblin as a reliable 3,000lb thrust engine available at that time.
     
  16. red admiral

    red admiral Member

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    de Havilland Twin Boom Fighters by B Jones has performance details on most of the marks of Vampires, Venoms and Sea Vixen.

    I can't see any way how a Goblin engine would fit into a He 162. Now, fitting a Ghost engine and thinning the wing on the Vampire...both of which had been proposed in 1944 but took some years until the Venom made it into production.
     
  17. Waynos

    Waynos Active Member

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    Owing to its design, plonked on top, I don't see why not? Not that it would be easy, or even desirable, but not impossible, I'll put it a different way. Maybe I should have said I wonder what the He 162 would have done with 3,000lb thrust, rather than a specific engine, 5,000lb even by 1947?

    I love the design of the 162, but I have seen it called 'advanced'. Now I know there is nothing advanced about the airframes of the Vampire and P-80 beyond what the piston fighters were already achieving and that any of the allied jets would have flown just as happily with props (thinks - Merlin pusher Vampire - latter day DH2? :) )

    However just what was it that was so advanced about the 162? it had straight wings and a top mounted engine, nothing special. I certainly think its whole was muich greater than the sum of its parts as they say, like all other jets of the day. Maybe the Messerschmitt P.1101 was the only truly advanced jet fighter under construction at the time, or is that just an invitation for a big row?

    Back on topic. was the landing/take off handling of the aircraft compromised unduly? The weight in relation to thrust of the P-80? The short span of the He 162? The t5win boom layout of the Vampire? I don't begin to know this, I'm just wondering out loud in the hope that I will be answered.
     
  18. HellToupee

    HellToupee Banned

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    A centrifugal jet engine like the goblin wouldn't be a good fit for a he162 they are much fatter, Fitting a Jumo would also push up the weight quite alot.
     
  19. red admiral

    red admiral Member

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    The Goblin is about 46" in diameter rather than 27" so its more difficult to make it fit.

    I'm not sure why the He 162 is "advanced" apart from using non strategic materials and being easy to manufacture - though that also compromised structural integrity.

    Compared to the barely later d.H. 108 with 40° swept wings and tailless layout, which was pretty much a Vampire with new wings and rear fuselage.
     
  20. KrazyKraut

    KrazyKraut Banned

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    Barely later? Work on the D.H.108 started in autumn 1945, the first prototype flew over a year after the war in Europe had ended. the "real" prototype only flew in september '46 and broke apart. Airframe wise, the plane did nothing the Me 163 didn't already do years before.
     
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