Me-309: how good was it?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by tomo pauk, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Seems the data about the Me-309, German prototype fighter design, is a conflicting one - eg. 1st it's noted that speed was way above 700 km/h, then it was claimed the performance (once armament is installed?) is lower than contemporary German prop-driven fighters.

    So how good was it? Is there a definite resource about the plane? Was it a missed opportunity for the LW/RLM not to produce it use?
     
  2. spicmart

    spicmart Member

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    #2 spicmart, Feb 1, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2013
    Looks wise it is very good.
     
  3. riacrato

    riacrato Member

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    One of the mystery aircraft of WW2. Not much solid data from primary sources seems to be available. I guess all we can say is that it didn't really impress anyone at the time.
     
  4. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    4 real prototypes built but many features tested on bf 109 airframes. It seems a case of trying to stuff a quart (liter) into a pint (500ml) pot.

    A lot of changes to radiator and tail planes, Wing was almost the same size as a Bf 109 but a pressure cabin, nose wheel, about the double the internal fuel of the 109 and, on the last prototype four 13mm mg 131s, two 20mm mg 151s and two 30mm MK 108s measn the take off weight was roughly 50% more than a 109 using the same engine. Poor performance is not hard to predict. Better aerodynamics will only get you so far.
     
  5. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    It wasn't very good at all which is why it was binned in late 1942.
    The project went the same way as V-1s nose wheel!

    [​IMG]

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  6. spicmart

    spicmart Member

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    What I read its speed advantage compared with the Me 109 was not that much to warrant production. The Me 309 was less manoeuverable (at what speed?). It could not do what a Fw 190D couldn't. And the Dora did not need completely new rigs and tools for mass production.
    It used the DB 603 instead of DB 605.
     
  7. Denniss

    Denniss Active Member

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    And the very good performance without armament may have been flown with the DB 603G, an engine that was not accepted for serial production.
     
  8. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    To make matters worse RLM cancelled funds for testing and development a year after the first prototype.

    How many WWII era aircraft were production ready after only 4 prototypes and a year of testing? Not many I can think of. So we will never know for sure how a production model Me-309 would perform.

    If looks mattered Me-309 would have been a world beater. But they don't. :(
    me-309-s.gif
     
  9. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    The P-51 went into production from one prototype, the F4U also. The P-38 went into limited production from 1 prototype, the Zero went into limited production from 3 prototypes.
    The list goes on, evidently everybody could do it except Messerschmitt. Of course after the Me210 debacle Messerschmitt knew he'd better not release anymore duds for production.
     
  10. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    Not strictly correct Tyro.

    The P-38 may have had only the one XP-38, but there were several "pro-production" prototype YP-38s, which were significantly different to the XP-38.
     
  11. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Messerschmitt was also able to do Bf-109 110 rather smooth from prototype to mass production.
     
  12. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Mustang Mk.1 went into mass production after 1 prototype. It wasn't exactly a world beater. About 1,500 Mustang variants were produced prior to P-51B, which is generally considered the first really good Mustang.

    P-38E is generally considered the first combat capable variant. 80 P-38s were produced prior to P-38E.

    The list goes on.....
     
  13. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    #13 tyrodtom, Feb 1, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2013
    One big difference, the P-51, P-38, etc. all showed enough promise to be developed into a successful series of aircraft.
    The Me309 evidently, didn't show enough promise.
    Or is this going to be explained away as another one of those inexplicable decisions made by the 3rd Reichs air ministry?
     
  14. The Basket

    The Basket Well-Known Member

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    The 309 offered nothing new and so was not followed.

    He 100? Hee hee. But the Me 309 I like the canopy and trike undercarriage but war is no time to play with new fighters. The 109 was adequate and jets were the money so lets go there instead.
     
  15. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Yes it does.........but........How many of the first few hundred Bf 109s would have judged "combat capable" in 1941?? Or even a "E-1" with four machine-guns and no armor or protected tanks?

    Those NOT "really good Mustang"s saw extensive combat in three theaters. While not "world beaters" they seemed to stand up to FW 190s at low level pretty well, Guess that means the Fw 190 wasn't a world beater? They were not phased out until about 1 to 1 1/2 years after they left the factory and the British were still flying 2 squadrons of them at VE day. Well over two years after they were built. I guess they weren't very good. :)

    The German system of ordering several prototypes was better because it avoided lost time if something happened to a single prototype. But claiming fully combat capable aircraft that were delivered to fighting squadrons were prototypes or development aircraft for later models is not being honest.
     
  16. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    I think that hits close to the truth.

    Erich Hartmann shot down 158 enemy aircraft during 1943. How can anyone suggest his inexpensive Me-109G needed to be replaced with a Me-309?
     
  17. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    HIS inexpensive Me-109G doesn't need to be replaced.

    However, Sgt. Schmidt, killed on 2nd operational flight might have survived with a better plane, likewise Sgt. Klaus and Sgt. fill in the blank________ and the hundreds of other new pilots lost in their first few weeks or months of operations.

    Picking your best 2 or 3 pilots and saying that NOBODY needs a better plane because they are doing so well is a sure way to fall behind the development curve and lose the war.
     
  18. The Basket

    The Basket Well-Known Member

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    From the details I've read the 309 offered nothing over the Gustav and was problematic as well.

    The Fw 190D was better bet and an hour spent on the 309 was an hour lost on the 262.

    The Germans made mistakes but cancelling the 309 was a sound move And even the best prop job was only marginal at best against the latest allied fighters.
     
  19. CobberKane

    CobberKane Banned

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    From the picture, obviously the product of an incestuous liaison between a Bf 109 and an ME 262...
     
  20. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    Can I nominate the Spitfire.
    One prototype (K5054) first flew March 1936. First production order issued for 300 aircraft at the end of July 1936 (28th?),backdated to 3rd June.
    Of course the Spitfire will feature on most lists of "clunkers" :)
    Cheers
    Steve
     
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