He 162 volksjager

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by mikewint, Mar 19, 2010.

  1. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    been reading about this "throwaway" aircraft and once again find confusion.
    several sources state that the wings were made of plywood due mostly to war shortages. to me this means go to "home depot" for plywood. then another sources stated that this was a true "composite" material of sawdust glued together with carbon fibers, which i did not think had been around in 1944.
    anyone know for sure?
    mike
     
  2. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    It was a combination of both, but with that said, there is aircraft grade plywood that is made much better than the stuff you'll find at home depot.

    Plywood is used today in many homebuilts.

    Plywood from Aircraft Spruce
     
  3. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    FBJ, i never really considered what home-built aircraft would be make out of, nor did i know that there was an aircraft-grade. i am familiar with marine-grade.
    if understand you correctly the german plywood used was a carbon fiber composite? i did not think such technology was available.
    the article i read stated that the Tego? glue factory had been hit by the RAF and as a result the german were forced to substitute a highly acidic glue which did not bond properly with the wood.
    on the first test flight a nose-wheel door flew off and on the second (account #1 said the leading edge of the wing collapsed and account #2 said an aileron flew off) causing the plane to roll over and crash killing the pilot.
     
  4. Milosh

    Milosh Well-Known Member

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  5. Maximowitz

    Maximowitz Active Member

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    Here's what happened:

    [​IMG]
     
  6. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    Max, as a non-pilot, i can understand how the collapse of the leading edge of a wing would cause serious problems with the aircraft but... if a single aileron is lost and you only have one, moving the stick would push that wing down or up but wouldn't the roll just continue until the plane was back in normal flight?
    i also read that the very design of this aircraft caused it to have a strong tenancy to do this. the german engineers thought it was a form of "dutch roll" and tried to correct it aerodynamically (changing the dihedral which would require a redesign). as i now understand it what was actually going on was inertial coupling which had never been seen before until jets came along and that, as i understand it is a structural problem.
    your series of pics, what is the source? i have another post on inertial coupling and i like to see a video because i can't visualize it.
     
  7. Maximowitz

    Maximowitz Active Member

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    #7 Maximowitz, Mar 19, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2010
    The source of the pictures is a thread on the Luftwaffe Experten Message Board. As you have found my post in your thread on Inertia Coupling the best I can do is say check your pm box.

    You will see that the problem with the 162 in the photos was not just the loss of part of the aileron, it's that and the weight and positioning of the jet engine in the design. Note this aircraft was the prototype and therefore did not have the Lippisch wing tips which would have prevented IC problems.
     
  8. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    Max, after your post i went to the luftwaffe experten site and registered. i just got approved today and spent the am looking over their posts. i found the pics you posted and they were in a larger format and the alieron loss was very clear. from everything that i have been able to read about this aircraft it was a design that was excellent in initial concept: cheap, easy to fly, designed for Hitler Youth with minimal training BUT ended up very difficult to fly even for experienced pilots.
    i also found a statement on the luftwaffe experten board that stated the the glue was mixed with charcol, not carbon fibers, in an effort to fill and lighten not to provide the strength properly aligned carbon fibers would have done
    i also now see the pm message, i'm very new at these forums so please excuse. i'm also a non-pilot, most of my time in vietnam was spent in helos and my interest in german aircraft is an extension of my original interest in their tank development.
    mike
     
  9. Maximowitz

    Maximowitz Active Member

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    It's good to be able to help Mike. It is indeed an irony, that as you rightly point out, an aircraft that was meant to be easy to fly ended up such difficult machine to create in the end. However, as you have now found out it wasn't half as bad as the myths that surround it.

    Incidently I shall be visiting one next week and shall take a few pictures. :D
     
  10. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    max, if/when you can please post your pics
     
  11. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    There were actually a number of aircraft in the works that were all similiar to the He162's design, like the Hs132, and all were intended to have the wood composite materials for construction.
     
  12. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    i've read a number of articles stating that the germans did that deliberately to make their aircraft "stealthy" (espec with the Ho 229) and others that stated it was simply a war shortage of aluminum. since radar was pretty rudimentary at this point i tend to favor the "shortages" explanation the germans were dispersing production due to bombing raids. furniture makers could now make aircraft parts something that could not be done with Al construction. i recall reading somewhere that even the Me 262 was getting wooden parts toward the end. the tail section as i recall.
    were british planes, like the mosquito made of wood for the same reasons?
     
  13. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    You probably saw the show on the History Chanel about the Horten fighter. It seems that there was some graphite found in the material and that could have been to provide some stealth characteristics, it could have also been to provide a partial ground plane for lightening and static dissipation.

    The Mosquito was also stealthy, but that was not by intension. In both cases each aircraft offered a reduced radar signature and as pointed out on that show, that combined with speed lessens the ability to scramble aircraft to intercept it.
     
  14. Timppa

    Timppa Active Member

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    #14 Timppa, Mar 23, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2010
    You have a source for "sawdust glued together with carbon fibers" ?
     
  15. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Not unless you're looking for a cheap way to install a di-electric ground plane. I'd bet you could custom order that material if you give material specifics.
     
  16. Waynos

    Waynos Active Member

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    #16 Waynos, Mar 24, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2010
    After the war F G Miles in the UK also recycled the layout for the Miles Student light trainer.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    max, gave me the luftwaffe experten site. i read a number of posts there on the He 162. one of the posters had interviewed the man who designed the 162. he clearly stated that "stealth" was never a criteria and the carbon used was charcoal mixed with the glue to use as a filler and lightener and not carbon fibers.
    the germans had certainly noticed the difficulty of detecting and defending against the british mosquitos. if i recall correctly, in 600 or so raids, only one mosquito had been shot down. the germans had even attempted to build their own version the Ta 154 Moskito but as i recall few were produced and they did not perform very well. i don't think "stealth" as we think of it today was a criteria in WWII
     
  18. bobbysocks

    bobbysocks Well-Known Member

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    I hadnt thought of it before but the question dawned on me hit me. i wonder why they went with that wing design instead of the swept wing? the 163 and 262 had swept wings which dealt with compressability better. if it was to be a small fast attack aircraft wouldnt you want the same characteristic?? i am sure there is a logical reason...just perplexed me. its max speed i saw listed was 562 mph so it would have a decent chance ( if all the bugs were worked out and it flew ) to go well over 600 in a dive.
     
  19. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    am curious on these Mossie raids as to time frame because there were Mossies shot down by a variety of LW a/c including one by my cousin flying a Do 217N just confirmed several days ago.

    also for the future had it been able to stem the tide of Allied might the LW would of used swept back wings for the 262, that was the plan and having a larger internal fuel capacity this was both for day and night operations
     
  20. magnu

    magnu Member

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    A further proposed development of the Hs 162 was for swept forward wings and a V tailplane.
    Although it had a bad rep. from poor construction techniques and was not for the novice, I do really like the look of it.
    Eric Brown commented that it had one of the best control harmonization of all the types that he had flown
     
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