Heavy fighter: you are in charge

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by tomo pauk, Jan 26, 2012.

  1. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Many nations were trying to design manufacture heavy fighters in WW2, some being more successful than others. Typically a twin engined, those were to offer a distinctive edge over the single-engined ones, in payload range, some times in performance. The offset was purchase maintenance cost.

    So how would such a plane looked like of you were in charge?
    Oh, yes, this should not turn in a debate if such planes were 'better' than SE, etc - just what kind of design would be good for a particular air force, or it's ally. You may propose a 'starting' design (in service from 1939-42) and a 'mature' design (in service from 1943-45) if you wish. A brand new design gets extra points over a modified existing design :)
     
  2. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    A single seat Mossie that would look very like a Hornet
     
  3. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    FW187A2R2L.jpg
    If the Fw-187 program is properly supported with state of the art engines and periodic airframe updates I think it would be the best long range single seat day fighter in the world from 1939 through 1945.
     
  4. pinsog

    pinsog Member

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  5. spicmart

    spicmart Member

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    Second that.
     
  6. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    Starting design:
    Single seat. Radials, say the R-2600 of 1,600 HP, close set on the wings but with sufficient prop clearance for the nose and armament to stick out. Along the lines of the Beaufighter and Tigercat, but with a thinner airfoil and more streamlined. I think a twin tail and rudder for better control in an engine-out situation. Heavy armament, probably four 20 mm cannons and maybe a single 37 mm cannon, all in the fuselage. Ability to carry some bombs, but with removable shackles.

    Growth version:
    Same basic layout but with R-2800 engines and four 30 mm cannons only, probably a 15% bigger wing and tail.

    Should be in the high 380 – 390 mph class to start with and grow into the 400 - 425 mph class or maybe slightly faster. Probably along the the performance of the P-38 Lightning and Grumman Tigercat. I think hydraulic ailerons would have been a good thing.

    Or simply take the Grumman F7F Tigercat and use that design, perhaps with twin tails, but maybe not. Maybe a competitive flyoff for the tail design.

    For a single-seater, I'd opt for the Grumman F8F Bearcat. Personal preference and holder of the curent world piston speed record at 528+ mph. Later this year, Rare Bear will probably set a faster record. At least there are planes to do so.
     
  7. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Somehow I've knew that mr. davebender would propose the 187 :D
     
  8. CORSNING

    CORSNING Active Member

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    How about a P-63 with contra rotating props and a Griffon 65 engine? The P-63 could outmaneuver a P-51 and out range it.
     
  9. cimmex

    cimmex Member

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    Out range with the thirsty Griffon? Don’t think so.
    cimmex
     
  10. Elmas

    Elmas Active Member

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    #10 Elmas, Jan 26, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2012
    Interceptor?
    Long range escort?
    Air superiority?
    Night figther?
    Fighter-bomber?
    All-purpose fighter?
    All these tasks require different configurations, to have the "best of all" aircraft.

    Europe theater?
    Pacific theater?
     
  11. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    It all rather depends on what the actual "mission requirements" are. The Japanese Ki-45 was a heavy fighter but only in relation to the Ki-43.
    If plane "A" only has to carry 1/2 the armament load 80% as far in range as plane "B" does and is allowed to have a service ceiling 5,000ft lower you are going to wind up with rather different aircraft even if they have the same top speed. Other mission requirements can affect aircraft size and performance. Why was the Bf 110 as large as it was? Partially because the rear seater operated the "standard" German long radio set, the same one used in a He 111. He was also the loading system for the two 20mm cannon (changed the drums). Not much sense in building a long range escort fighter if it can't radio back to land for a good part of it's range or it runs out of ammo for it's main guns in 8 seconds.
     
  12. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Think the Fw-187 (or any other heavy fighter Germans would've fielded) with 8 x MG-17 would've fared just fine in 1940 - 400-500 rpg, guns centrally mounted.

    Perhaps 2 basic designs should satisfy the needs? You can tailor your plane to excel in one area, and be good in others.
     
  13. jim

    jim Banned

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    Fw 187 is the most obvius answer for germany
    from the historicaly produced aircrafts i would propose an imroved Me410 with the following improvements.Target is the creation of a multi purpose day heavy fighter/attack for the east and NF version for west.
    1) Reshaped nose section, as planned for the D version, for improved visibility and less drug
    2)Remove the side MG 131 to reduce drug, save weight (~300 kgr) and create space for either extra fuel or electronics(NF version). If required put a flexible Mg131 in rear canopy.
    3) Reposition of radiators .2 choise a) like 190 d9 b) in inner wings leading edges like the Hornet. If possible oil coolers too. I am not sure which choice would produce less drug but either should be better than the stock one.
    4) Ydravlicaly boosted ailerons for better high speed manouvering
    5) Use of Mw50. As far as i know no Mw50 was used operationaly with Db603,so a change to jumo 213 should be examined. In the east altitude performance was not important so this would not be a problem.
    6) Find a way to replace the nose 13mm with 20mm for a total front battery of 4x20mm without using the bomb bay
    7) Reduce avionics to absolutely nessecary to save weight. Hs123 had proved that fancy,heavy , radios are not required for effectivness

    I would expect for this aircraft to have a speed 0f 650km/h with out Mw50 (25 km/h better than the 410A ),better hanling and range. In the east would be unstopable as attack aircraft with its internal bomb bay and dive bombing capability.It would be able to operate even in the west but only during night. As heavy fighter would be unable to mix it with Yaks and Las but would be fast enough for hit and run tactics and very dangerous against Il2s, Bostons,etc...
    Perharps with proper tactics would be possible to eliminate the gunner for even less drug and weight(-250 kgr?) and additional fuel and 20 mm ammo
    I would expect such an aircraft to be a fine basis for NF as well, with the freed space behind the gunner used for electronics,.
    Of course all these changes ,while i believe totaly realistics, would be impossible to be introduced in a Germany that needed 3 years to intriduce fully covered main landing gear in 109 production lines
    Me 410 is unfair to be judged by 43/44 Defence of the Reich actions. Mosquito would have better results in the same conditions and emloying the same tactics?
     
  14. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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    What about an upgraded Whirlwind for Britain? 4x20mm centerlined firepower, upgraded engines, relatively inexpensive to use an existing airframe with minimal modifications...
     
  15. pinsog

    pinsog Member

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    What were the performances standards of the FW187? How did it compare to the P38K?
     
  16. muscogeemike

    muscogeemike Member

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    #16 muscogeemike, Jan 26, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2012
    I’m very surprised no one has listed the P-38 - seems to me to meet all requirements.

    Oops! Sorry pinsog - I missed your post.
     
  17. muscogeemike

    muscogeemike Member

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    I’m very surprised no one has listed the P-38 - seems to me to meet all requirements.
    Oops! Sorry pinsog, I missed your post.
     
  18. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Assumption. Production date spring 1944.
    I don't think the P-38K could be mass produced any earlier.

    P-38K.
    2 x V-1710-75/77 engnes. 1,875 hp.
    ~17,500 lbs loaded weight. Similiar to P-38L.
    410 gallons internal fuel. Plus drop tanks.

    Fw-187G6 My best wild guess for a 1944 model Fw-187.
    2 x DB605ASM engines. 1,800 hp take off. 1,500 hp @ 6,400 meters.
    ~14,000 lbs loaded weight. 3,000 lbs more then Fw-187A0.
    1,100 liters internal fuel for Fw-187A0. 1944 version will have at least this much. Plus drop tanks.

    The Fw-187 is smaller and would probably have a superior power to weight ratio at most altitudes.

    By 1944 the Fw-187 will have at least two and possibly four MG151/20 cannon mounted in the fuselage sides. A lot more firepower then the P-38.

    Both aircraft have plenty of internal fuel resulting in excellent endurance.

    The P-38 was very expensive to produce. I have no price data for the Fw-187 but it would almost certainly be less expensive.
     
  19. Siegfried

    Siegfried Banned

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    The concept of heavy Fighter is however quite conflated.

    Is a heavy fighter an aircraft like the FW 187, P-38 or DH Hornet which could take on single seaters on their own terms or is
    it like the Me 110 or Britains Beaufighter?

    The Me 110 was regarded as a failure due to not coping with single seat fighters when working as an escort in the BoB and latter after being a succesfull bomber destroyer it was also eventually mauled by long range escorts. However the 370 mph Me 110G2 (G4 radar equiped) was a succesfull night fighter (Bad weather fighter was one of its roles) and the Beaufighter a rather limited in (when used as a night intruder its performance was too limited versus the German night fighters althout it served well as a night interceptor early in the war) however the Beaufighters was an excellent coastal command fighter bombers using rockets, torpedoes, its guns. Neither aircraft could handle single engined fighters however P-38, FW-187 and even the Hornet would have had limitations as night fighters. (the hornet coudl carry a radar opperator in a bubble mid fuseselage).

    In the case of 'proper heavy fighters' such as the P-38 and FW 187 I would lay down some rules:

    1 Wing loading should be less than or equal to competing single engined fighters.
    2 Power to Weight ratio should be better than or equal to competing single engined fighters.
    3 The temptation to use the superior size of the aircraft to cram in significantly higher levels of armament, fire power and second crew members must be avoided.

    The size and power advantage of the aircraft must be used to increase primarily range and performance, though slight increases in fire power will be possible.

    The large size will help the aircraft carry external ordinance with less degradation of performance.
     
  20. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    I still go with a Hornet like development. The UK stripped out the extra equipment needed for the navigator from a normal Mosquito and saved (if I remember correctly) 1,800 lb in weight and it made a significant difference in performance. If I can find it I will post the difference it made.

    The idea of swapping the engines of the Fw187 to DB605 sound easy but I am willing to bet that a change like that would add a lot more weight to the aircraft.
     
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