Luftwaffe glider tugs

Discussion in 'Technical' started by BV238, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. BV238

    BV238 New Member

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    Can anyone advise me of the types of Luftwaffe / Regio Aeronuatica types which were used to pull the following type

    GO242 ( and were they flown as a pair - if so pulled by what ? )

    Was a BF110 ever used ?

    Thanks

    JOHN
     
  2. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    He 111 Glider Tugs were used to tow them. I don't know about other aircraft that were used though.
     
  3. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    When pulled by the He 111Z, they were pulled in pairs.
     
  4. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Here are some pics...

    Being towed by He 111's

    The bottom one is He 111Z's

    Heinkel-He-111H-carrying-Go-242-Gliders-03.jpg Heinkel-He-111H-carrying-Go-242-Gliders-01.jpg he-111z-go-242.jpg

    Being towed by a Ju 52.

    go242_3.jpg
     
  5. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    That last pic might be a Ju-52
     
  6. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    The Go 242 was towed by other types too,certainly Ju 87s.
    The Bf 110 was used as a tug for the much larger Me 321,or more precisely three Bf 110s in a "troika" tow. A Ju 90 was also used at Obertraubling.
    Cheers
    Steve
     
  7. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Yeap, and I labeled it "Towed by a Ju 52"...;)
     
  8. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Of course many aircraft were used. I think Ju 87D's were converted for glider tugs.
     
  9. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    I have read of such things but I don't think they were common. Gliders were typically towed by aircraft that were inexpensive and not occupied doing something more important. For Germany that primarily means Ju-52 and He-111.
     
  10. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    The Germans had a chronic shortage of transport aircraft which got worse as the war went on.

    Tow planes have to have enough power to get the pair ( tow plane and glider) off the existing runways. Planes with marginal power or small wings need not apply. Max towing speeds of gliders tended to be in the 120-150 mph range ( a few were outside that) which means a good tow plane will have a fairly low stall speed to give as wide a speed range as possible for safety and ease of flying.

    Martin B-26 would be a lousy tow plane, it had enough trouble getting itself off the ground in a reasonable distance and it's stall speed was way to close to the max tow speed of the gliders to make for comfortable (or safe) towing.
     
  11. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    One of the troika tows with 3 Me110s of a Me321 ended in a total disaster.
    One of the rocket assist on the Me321 cut off early, causing the Me321 to yaw bad enough to cause the tow planes to collide, all was lost . All crews on all 4 aircraft plus 100+ troops on the Me321.
    That was when they started working on the zwilling, twin He111's, with 5 engines.
     
  12. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    Dammit, I missed that......:oops:
     
  13. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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    Great pictures!
     
  14. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    #14 stona, Feb 3, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2013
    During testing at Obertraubling initially three He 111s were used to tow the Me 321,later reduced to two. The difficulty of maintaining position was also a factor in the decision to try to use one tow aircraft like the He 111 "zwilling".
    The Me 321 could however be towed by a single Ju 90.

    [​IMG]

    The first Ju 90 tow ended in disaster when the tow snapped at around 500m and the glider dived into a forest near Kelheim killing all on board.

    Three Bf 110s could do the job but it was as dangerous as it looks.

    [​IMG]

    On 24th June 1941 there was the first fatal accident with the "troika" system when one of the towing Bf 110s suddenly and inexplicably veered of towards the Fliegerhorst motor transport sheds and crashed,killing the crew.Towing accidents continued on acceptance flights,the Bf 110s suffering more than their fair share.
    This is the wreckage of a Bf 110 tow aircraft in which Unteroffizier Erhardt (pilot) and Gefreiter Greiner (radio) died.

    [​IMG]

    All this was just on test and acceptance flights,generally with unladen gliders and always with highly experienced pilots flying the tow planes.
    It's for a different thread,but having read many of the first hand accounts of the glider pilots the Me 321 might qualify as a clunker.

    Cheers
    Steve
     
  15. Denniss

    Denniss Active Member

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    Ju 87B and R as well
     
  16. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Germany had a chronic shortage of everything after June 1941 as their forces were scattered over most of Europe and North Africa. That wasn't the case during 1939 and 1940.

    1940 Norway was arguably the most successful airborne operation in history. Near simultaneous air drops at multiple locations allowed Germany to seize southern Norway before the Norwegian Army could mobilize or Britain could land their own invasion force. After southern Norway was secure air transport allowed German troops to hold their own in Northern Norway.

    Air Corps X which provided support for Operation Weserübung included about 500 transport aircraft. A concentration of air transport which was impossible for Germany to achieve after Operation Barbarossa began.
     
  17. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    It was almost impossible before Operation Barbarossa began.

    About 150 JU 52s had been lost in Norway.

    Of the 430 used in the attack on Holland about 2/3 never returned or were badly damaged.

    This large number of transports were obtained by stripping the planes and crews from the training establishments which is hardly an indication of adequate numbers of transport.

    The Attack on Crete saw about 1/2 of the 493 Ju 52s used destroyed or damaged. After repairs were done to some 170 remained written off. Production of JU 52s had NOT kept pace with losses. Less than 200 were available for the initial stages of Barbarossa.
     
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