Instead of the ME 262...why not THIS...

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Burmese Bandit, Nov 5, 2009.

  1. Burmese Bandit

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    It is a question that has been asked by historical speculators probably from the day WW II ended: what could Germany have done in the area of aircraft design, production, and tactics combined, given her resources available in the period 1939-45, to have a plausible chance of winning the war?

    Many, many are the threads that have been opened in this forum on this topic, including the latest "Time Machine Consultant" one.

    This thread has a similar idea, but will take a radical approach, with an idea which I believe has not yet been explored yet.

    We all know that the ME 262 was a potential war winner, or at least a stalemate bringer in the area of German aviation technology.

    We also know that German jet engines of that time suffered from many weaknesses that limited the tactical use of early German jets. They were gas guzzlers. They had a short life of about 12 to 30 hours. They were expensive to produce. They produced very little thrust at low speeds. They could not be opened up quickly, meaning they needed a very delicate, steady hand on the throttle.

    Thus the 262 was built around those engines had short legs, was very vulnerable on takeoff and landings, and was strictly a zoom and boom fighter with little to none dogfighting ability. These weaknesses are known to all.

    My idea is: why not combine the best of both worlds, and build the Do 335...but with a Jumo jet engine in the rear?

    THE PROPOSED BANDIT 435 AND 535

    Engine: the 1400/1500 hp historical DB and Jumo engines on the 435. As the higher output DB and Jumo engines become available, they will be mounted in the nose of the next version, which we will call the 535. The extra weight forward will be offset by simply moving the rear jet engine backward.

    Wing: as the historical 335. Same wing for both the 435 and 535.

    Fuselage: as the historical 335, but with a cut down rear fuselage so that much better rear vision can be achieved. Forward vision is already excellent. Convetional tail, not the cruciform tail dictacted by the rear engine of the 335.

    Landing gear: As historical, but with a shorter and therefore much stronger main landing gear. Nosewheel landing gear is also shorter. Aircraft now has a slight nose up configuration on landing, however enough separation between jet exhaust and ground still exists so that airfields are not damaged on takeoff.

    The shorter front landing gear means that larger and longer underbelly stores are now possible.

    Take off/landing characteristics: excellent, especially in bad weather. Ground taxi performance will be the best of all Luftwaffe aircraft.

    Weights: as per the 335. The lighter weight of the jet engine will be countered by the need to carry more fuel for two different engines.

    Performance: I would expect about 440 mph for the 435 and 460-70 mph for the 535.

    Handling: I would expect the same handling characteristics as for the 335, which is to say very good. A heavy aricraft like this cannot of course be as nimble as a single seater, but I would expect this to be nimbler than, say, a Mosquito or a P-38 although clumsier than even a Heavy Mustang.

    Aramament: I propose a heavy fighter configuration of one 20 mm on top of the cowl, two 20 mm in the wing roots, and one 30 mm Mk 103 firing through the propellor boss.

    Underbelly bombs or fuel tanks can also be carried.

    Design problems: I do not see any major ones.

    Production: with only one jet engine per aircraft I believe that at least twice as much numbers as the 262 could be produced. If Werher Von Braun and the Army Rocket-o-crats are shot or assassinated early on four to six times as many.

    Political: Since this fighter can also carry heavy bombs at high speeds (with the shorter forward landing gear fitting a central bomb bay is now possible) I foresee a much earlier green light for this design from Hitler than any other design.


    Over to you, Gentlemen. Your thoughts.
     
  2. riacrato

    riacrato Member

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    What exactly makes you think a DB 603 or Jumo 213 is less expensive than a Jumo 004?

    The only advantage I see in your proposal is extended range / flight time. Performance will be worse than Me 262 by far. I would also bet anyone the Do 335 airframe is more expensive to produce than a 262 airframe.

    For daytime use it will be very vulnerable to escort fighters. Before you doubt this: Consider that the Ekdo who tested the 335 themselves made that assessment and your design is comparable in speed. For nightime use the 335 design is inherently handicapped and I'd rather spend my money on a mix of Ju 88 Gs and possibly converted Ar 234s.

    No real niche for your aircraft just as with the historical 335.
     
  3. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    If your talking about a "late in the game" fighter/interceptor, I would have put my money on the TA-152. About a year before the TA-152, there should have been a second look at the Me-209-II.

    I agree with Riacrato that the Do-335 airframe would have been more complex, costly, and (I'm guessing) heavier than the Me-262 as it was a very large aircraft. The 335 was 11 feet longer than the 262 and had a 4 foot longer wingspan.

    However, your post also seems to point out your looking for something that could have carried a decent bomb load. Again, my money would have went with the planes I listed above and put the bombs in the Ju-88G and developed the Ar-234.
     
  4. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    The plane with a single jet engine was capable to make 500+mph during WWII, so I really see no need to develop a plane that would need another engine too. If one wants range, drop tanks were known even then.

    The plane along the lines of Pfeil, but weighting only 1/2 and using 2 DB-601/603 looks more decent in my eyes.
     
  5. Bug_racer

    Bug_racer Member

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    I guess it would be kinda like the role a misquito took in the war ? Far too heavy for a fighter , maybe a night fighter ?
     
  6. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    The Jumo 004A engine was production ready before the end of 1942. No other German aircraft option comes close in performance and early availability. Germany will need to make different strategic decisions to insure an adequate supply of chromium for the engines though.
     
  7. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

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    Would the pilot kick the jet engine in at combat altitude?
    if not, I can see a possible endurance mismatch between the rear-fitted jet engine and the piston engine up front, unless there are changes to the airframe, more of the airframe is given over to internal tankage or the use of external tankage. The piston engine on its own might have trouble hauling that lot off the runway.

    Once the jet engine is online, how is the pilot going to juggle the power to a given snapshot of the dogfight? The slow-spooling, doesn't-like-to-be-revved-quickly first-generation jet engine is going to have trouble keeping pace with the snappy, responsive, final-generation piston engine - it's going to be almost one full combat manoeuvre out of phase with the piston engine ie spooling up just as the recip is throttling back and spooling down as the recip is gunning it.
     
  8. Bronc

    Bronc Banned

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    Your thinking is in direct parallel with the Friedrichshafen and Dornier companies at the time. All of the
    issues and positive points you raise were actually raised by Prof. Dornier and Reidenbach. The Dornier P.254
    was exactly your idea with either a Heinkel or Jumo turbojet in the back. A prototype was expected to be
    produced and production was planned. They could see all the benefits you raise, but by early 1945, it was
    way to late to get it done or do anything with it.

    They were expecting higher speeds than you, 510 mph at altitude. They proposed it as a night fighter and ground-attack aircraft.
    Design work went all the way back to May, 1943 which was even before the Do-335 prototype flights.

    Congratulations: You have now qualified as a Time Travel Aircraft Design Engineer! (But I think what the Luftwaffe
    needed most were Time Travelling Bureaucrat Pencil Pusher Firing Squads to get some of these ideas moving forward.)

    This comes out of Eagle in Flames - The Fall of the Luftwaffe by E.R. Hooton and paraphrasing: In 1944, the British
    (completely ignoring American production, the British) had a dozen (12) aircraft factories employing more than
    10,000 people (and two of these employed over 25,000). The Germans had only (4) four, the largest employed
    14,000 people, a big chunk of whom were slave laborers...
    The British mobilized every sector of their economy to
    produce aircraft. Companies with vacant floor space were put to work building airplanes. Except for Kurt Tank, the Germans
    were reluctant to exploit production facilities outside of traditional aircraft manufacture. The enormous new Volkswagen and
    Opel works thus stood vacant and unutilized for aircraft manufacture.

    Aircraft production decisions made in early 1940 by Goring, Udet, the RLM, and Hitler doomed the
    air war effort.

    Bronc
     
  9. riacrato

    riacrato Member

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    #9 riacrato, Nov 5, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2009
    Just out of my head I can already count more than 4:

    Not to even mention the mere numbers don't say much at all since the degree of dispersion and the degree of delegation to sub-suppliers is very important which is high especially for the Fw 190 for example.

    Arado: Warnemünde; Brandenburg- Havel
    Blohm Voss: Wenzendorf Hamburg
    Dornier: Friedrichshafen, Oberpfaffenhofen, Wismar
    Fiesler: Kassel
    Focke-Wulf: Bremen, Cottbus, Hannover, Posen...
    Heinkel: Rostock, Oranienburg, Vienna...
    Junkers: Magdeburg, Leipzig, Dessau...
    Messerschmidt: Augsburg, Regensburg...

    Also Germany was involved in the largest ground war in history. Naturally, that binds a lot of capacity.

    And would it kill you to stop using such overly dramatic language (not necessarily in this post) and writing every second (2nd) word in bold? Surely you are not that desperate for attention are you?
     
  10. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Britain and the USA did not have several hundred infantry divisions in continual combat from June 1941 to May 1945 consuming enormous quantities of weapons, ammunition, field rations, fuel, field equipment etc. That's why Germany could not build as many aircraft as the western allies.
     
  11. Bronc

    Bronc Banned

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    #11 Bronc, Nov 5, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2009
    I use bold more to see the type than for dramatic effect. I am so far-sighted, 20-10 in my right eye and 20-15 in my left eye that everything is blurry until it gets about 10 feet away. :shock: I've tried using a larger font, but some people hate that too. :rolleyes:

    As to my "overly dramatic" language... Well... making prose "overly dramatic" is quite difficult. It isn't as easy as it looks. "Dramatic" is easy. "Overly dramatic" is not. There is an art to it.

    I have convinced an incredibly large number of extremely attractive women into doing incredibly inventive things using dramatic and interesting prose. Made a lot of money writing it. It works quite well for me. You should try it. In fact, everyone should. :lol:

    Bronc
     
  12. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

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    #12 Colin1, Nov 5, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2009
    In that case
    wouldn't it likely have gone even faster without the recip? At those sort of speeds, the prop disc (and I'm talking about a production-line WWII fighter here, not a 21st century one-off Reno racer) is just getting in the way not to mention the added weight of the piston powerplant.

    Won't there also be an unwelcome demand on resources for two types (or grades) of fuel?
     
  13. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    That is wrong. The Germans had many more than 4.

    AGO Flugzeugwerke
    Adlerwerke
    AEG (might not have been producing aircraft in WW2 though)
    Arado Flugzeugwerke
    Bachem
    Hamburger Flugzeugbau (operated by Blohm Voss)
    Bölkow (Stuttgart)
    Bölkow (Ottobrunn)
    Bücker Flugzeugbau
    Deutsche Forschungsanstalt für Segelflug (Darmstadt)
    Dornier Flugzeugwerke
    Fieseler Flugzeugbau (Gerhard Fieseler Werke)
    Focke-Achgelis
    Focke-Wulf Flugzeugbau AG (plants in Bremen, Marienburg, Eastern Germany, and Poland)
    Gothaer Waggonfabrik
    Heinkel Flugzeugwerke
    Göbler-Hirthmotoren GmbH
    Henschel Son
    Junkers Co
    Klemm Leichtflugzeugbau GmbH
    Luftschiffbau Zeppelin GmbH (built V-2s)
    Messerschmitt AG (utilized multiple plants)
    Saarpfalz Flugwerke (not sure if they built or just maintained)
    Schempp-Hirth Flugzeugbau GmbH
    Siebel
    Fokker (Dutch but built German aircraft during WW2, utilizing many factories)
    Weser Flugzeugbau GmbH (Berlin, Bremen, Liegnitz, Hoykenkamp and Lemwerder)

    This list also does not include the numerous Foreign factories that the Germans took over and utilized in occupied countries.
     
  14. Civettone

    Civettone Active Member

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    The Do 335 was probably the most complex Luftwaffe fighter of WW2.

    I like the idea though and Dornier had several designs with a prop in front and a jet engine in the back. But the problem is that the front prop engine loses efficiency with the jet engine in the back. Another design of Dornier had two engines powering two props ... in the back!
    Also except for the Fireball none of these designs were taken in production. And the FR-1 was not very succesful. These aircraft are complicated machines.

    Nevertheless I think they have two possible uses: as a night fighter and as a long-range escort fighter.

    Kris
     
  15. Civettone

    Civettone Active Member

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    #15 Civettone, Nov 5, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2009
    nitpicking here but doesn't Fokker belong to the foreign factories taken over by Germany??


    Oh, and I think you misread Bronc's post. He probably meant the Germans only had 4 factories utilizing over 10,000 workers...

    Kris
     
  16. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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  17. riacrato

    riacrato Member

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    Which just shows there was a large level of dispersion.
     
  18. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    You are probably correct, I should have included it in the foreign ones. I think I used it because I believe they had a factory inside the German border as well (not sure on that though).


    No, in his post he quoted:

    The Germans had only (4) four, the largest employed
    14,000 people, a big chunk of whom were slave laborers...


    That means that Germany only had 4 factories. The largest of them employing 14,000 people.

    This is wrong. Germany had many many more than that, and many companies had several factories. Now I am not saying that he himself wrote this. I believe he is quoting from a book, but it is still incorrect. If you are going to use sources, make sure they are correct (or at least state you are not sure of something). A quick search shows that there are many many many more.
     
  19. Marcel

    Marcel Well-Known Member

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    I don't think so, in 1939, Fokker had a few locations in the Netherlands and had a factory in the US. I don't believe they made that many German a/c either, apart from the T.8 and the G.1. They did however do a lot of maintenance and part-jobs for the Germans.
     
  20. Bronc

    Bronc Banned

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    Sorry for the mixup here. Hooton discussed factory dispersal and said even when factoring
    all the dispersal (dispersed factory workers) back in, there were only 4 factories that employed
    over 10,000 people.

    Hooton (and his book) are pretty well-respected. I don't think he would make an obvious and
    silly error like saying, "Germany only had 4 aircraft factories."

    The book is pretty dry reading, academic and dense, but Hooton writes VERY well and it
    is well worth the difficulty in finding it.

    Bronc
     
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