Luftwaffe two-seat trainers: Worth it?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Sagittario64, Dec 13, 2011.

  1. Sagittario64

    Sagittario64 Member

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    Were the Bf.109G-12s and Fw.190S's really worth their airframes? Were they effective trainers at all? I keep hearing about how the back seater had so little control over the aircraft. I know the Germans invested heavily in two-seater versions of their fighters, including the Me.262, Do.335, Me.163, Bf.109, and Fw.190 ( and the glider He.162S). Im sure the Germans had plenty of Ar.96s and Fw.58s, as well as the old Buckers for training fighter pilots. Why devote entire model production lines of these fighters to two seat training airframes?

    Oh and if anyone can give me production numbers for the Bf.109G-12 id be very grateful
     
  2. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    #2 Shortround6, Dec 13, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2011
    The Idea behind two seat fighter trainers is to give the student pilot just a few hours experience in the type of high performance aircraft he will be expected to fly in service. It is to acquaint the student with the quirks and tricks of a particular air frame rather than give general training. being able to take-off and land a 100hp Buckner Biplane no more prepares a pilot for taking-off and landing a 1500hp fighter monoplane than driving a riding lawnmower would prepare somebody to drive a Formula I racing car.

    The Americans gave "rides" to "new" P-38 pilots crammed behind the pilot of a normal P-38 to help show them some of the tricks to handling the plane that could not be shown in a stationary plane on the ground.

    The idea is to drastically reduce the number of crashes suffered by student pilots in their first few flights of a high performance fighter or to help them transition from one type to another.
     
  3. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    The Brits ddid the same with Beaufighter
     
  4. vanir

    vanir Banned

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    #4 vanir, Dec 14, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2011
    Normal convention also is that the instructor takes the back seat or any seat fitted which isn't in the normal cockpit position of the single seat version. The trainee/cadet flies the aircraft under supervision, from the seat which is place where it would normally be in the single seat version.

    So for example, in the G12 the instructor sits in the back, the cadet in the front. In the MiG-25U the instructor sits foward in the nose where the radar used to be, the cadet in the back where the single seat cockpit is.
    The idea is just having a supervised flight training.

    This kind of flight training is also not about learning to fly, far from it. You'll need a lot of hours before they'll let you in a conversion trainer. They're just there to upgrade your skills for a particular fighter type, under supervision. The instructor should never have to touch a thing, he's just there for safety reasons.

    It's a good idea for both a 109G or any BMW 190. They're both unstable aircraft (the 109 at slow speed, the 190A at any speed).



    I'll try to quantify it, but this is some real hand waving off the top of my head, 1938 it might take 2mths to convert cadets to the 109 and they'll fly it real well when you toss them right into combat. Halve the familarisation time if you've got conversion trainers. Don't have to do so much ground running, so much turnarounds and within 1km ten minute flights and all that bizzo to get them used to that deadly 1500m wing dip the 109 has at 180-250km/h.
     
  5. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    The Luftwaffe wouldn't have built such training aircraft if they weren't worthwhile.
     
  6. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    Given the brevity of German training from (circa) 1943 onwards ... and getting more desperate with passing time ... I would think ANY training time in a 2-seater with a gray beard in back :)-)) would be enormously helpful. Worth the investment many times over, :)

    MM
     
  7. Sagittario64

    Sagittario64 Member

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    Well the way you all make it seem so valuable, i would guess the germans instead would make more than they did. only 58 Fw.190Ss for the hundreds and possibly thousands of trainees? I dont know how many Bf.109G-12s were produced but i guess i couldnt have been that many
     
  8. Sagittario64

    Sagittario64 Member

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    Not to mention that they were heavily used as liason aircraft instead of training aircraft
     
  9. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    It looks like between 344 to 500 were accepted with a few more actually converted but not yet accepted.
     
  10. Denniss

    Denniss Active Member

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    Conversion at Blohm Voss obviously started in November/December 1943 with 72 aircraft delivered by March 1944. They had 20 planned in january, 26 in February and 30 in March and this 30 or a little above would be the monthly conversion target. Airframes were taken from repair facilities.
     
  11. Sagittario64

    Sagittario64 Member

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    Thanks for the numbers. that is a very nice signature vikingberserker. i too am in the winter spirit.
     
  12. Rivet

    Rivet Member

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    The major physical problem with the two-seat conversions was the alteration of the center of gravity of the parent single seater. That Germany utilized trainer conversions was indicitive of the need to train pilots at a greater rate than her standard Luftwaffe course syllubus would allow. One off-shoot of the conversions provided a potential for night fighter usage of the airframes, the center of gravity, lack of fuel tankage problems remaining, though space for a radar operator and some of the equipment being created. I consider the two-seat conversion concept a rational one for the air arm of the period considering manufacturing and loss considerations. Regards
     
  13. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Not true. With the removal of the weapons, some equipment and the reduction of the size of the fuel tank, there were no C/G problems that would prevent this model of the -109 from acheiving its mission, and that is to provide a basic conversion to the pilot that already had time in a high performance tail dragger. The Italians operated 2 G12 trainers for conversion into the -109s they flew and in the post war years the Czechs and Israelis operated CS-199s as an advanced trainer for the Czech C-199 which had Jumo 211 and had way more "bad habits" than the -109.
     
  14. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    USAAF had Dublebolts two-seater P-51s, VVS had Yak-7 (trainer, then a fighter), I-16UTI; the P-40s, Spitfires and Hurricanes were tried as two-seaters. Any post-war single-seater did have a two-seater sibling. Seems they were worth any penny spent.
     
  15. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    AFAIK none of these aircraft had a C/G issue when these conversions were carried out. If the original C/G was calculated from a moment-inch arm or from % of Mean Aerodynamic Chord (MAC) engineers calculated this into the modification and made adjustments accordingly, as in the case of the BF-109G12. Worse case scenerio was to limit maneuvers and G loads on the airframe.
     
  16. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    us8.jpg

    Let's not forget this ....

    MM
     
  17. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Ugly duckling, never the less a welcome addition for P-39 users.
     
  18. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    #18 michaelmaltby, Dec 21, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2011
    Ga*d yes .... :). I think the Soviets did their own 2-seater conversions ...

    Seasons best,

    MM
     

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  19. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Their Hurricane even featured a trainable rear gun.

    Greetings from this side of the pond :D
     
  20. Sagittario64

    Sagittario64 Member

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    The G.50B didnt seem to have too many complaints about it either. The soviets did EVERYTHING with every type of aircraft they got their hands on, especially the hurricanes. they re-armed them, re-engined a few with radials, and converted some into two seaters with the rear machine gun.
     
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