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Discussion in 'Aviation' started by spicmart, Nov 23, 2014.
What would it take to make the Me 309 a competitive fighter plane?
Unfortumately all I have seen is spotty data with very little hard information on exactly how it performed and how combat-ready it was. Without knowing, it's tough to say with any degree of accuracy.
I hope someone else out there HAS good information as I have been interested in this plane for a long while, and the data leave a LOT of questions.
The Me309 was a good idea and Willy put several advanced ideas into the design (tricycle landing gear, pressurized cockpit) but it was just too heavy (about 2,000 pounds heavier than a Bf109G). Even though it was slightly faster that a Bf109G-2, it wasn't as maneuverable so the concept pretty much died on the vine.
The Me 309 was expected to carry up to 3 cannons and 4 HMGs in the air combat.The engine whole powerplant group was also much heavier, the undercarriage weighted maybe twice as much, fuel tankage was surely greater.
I'm not sure why anybody in RLM and LW would be expecting it to be as maneuverable as the 109G-2 (one cannon, 2 LMGs).
The wing was way to small (16,6 sq m), barely bigger than of the Bf 109, and much smaller than the Fw 190. It was only like 2/3rds of Spitfire's or P-51's wing. Good for straight run speed, not for anything else. We can recall that Fw 190 prototype also started with a small wing (14,9 sq m), that was quickly changed to a bigger wing (18,3 sq m); even bigger wings were suggested. So I'd suggest the work on a new wing, at circa 20 sq m area.
The Me 209 (of 1943, the competitor vs. Fw 190D) was also featuring the wing of increased area vs. the Bf 109; so did the Me 109H.
GregP, you got a point. Maybe this is a case of too little or misinformation.
But with all the knowlegde about wing loading effects even back then why would they use such a small wing in the first place?
Maybe a case of Willy thinking in keeping everything to a minimum to achieve maximum speed performance at the expense of everthing else?
A normal development period (at least two years) with adequate funding for R&D.
Pressurized cocpits, tricycle landing gears, fancy radios, heavy armor and armament. All these things are nice to have if, IF, a huge IF, you have the power to Carry them. Germans did not have powerful engines so very ,very naturally the Me 309 failed.As it is certain that Ta 152C would also fail for he the same reason, wayyyyyyyy too heavy for the available power
In my opinion the very basic parameters to judge a WW2 Air superiority fighter was power loading, wing loading, and equivelant drug plate. Many more qualities were necessary but if a fighter was no competitive in these categories , no matter what other advantages had, could not be competitive. In Me309 s case it was worse than the 109 in two of the three categories. Very naturally it failed
Given the lack of powerful engines in germany, the 309 should be just an extensively improved 109. It should have the under belly radiator, a larger laminar flow wing with stronger structure, a classic but wider landing gear, some more fuel, 3 x20 mm Internal guns, the ability to accept both DB 605 and DB 603 engines. In any case normal take off weight should not exceed 3500 kgr with DB 605 or 3800kgr with db603 in order to be competitive.
Even better, take the Fiat G55/56 make some changes for easier production and you have the best all around Air superiority airframe in the World.
Seems you've described the Me 209? The DB instead of Jumo, extra cannon through the prop and that's it.
A quick look at the G.55/G.56 shows how much a decently sized with is necessary. The Ta-152C was also outfitted with a notably bigger wing than the Me 309. The two-stage DB 603L/LA in the 152C was a very powerful engine, something like the two stage R-2800 C series on the F4U-4, or the two stage Griffon. The Ta 152C was much lighter and smaller than the F4U.
Apparently the 309 suffered from longitudinal instability; from what I can see, it looks a lot like Willi and co made the rear fuselage too short and shallow, repeating the mistake they'd made with the Me 210. They tried to compensate by enlarging the tail surfaces, but that didn't help much. Basically it needed a bigger wing and longer, deeper rear fuselage...
Those long, thin wings remind me of a Blackburn Skua (a comparatively mediocre plane). No wonder it didn't go anywhere. All it needs is more wing surface area and it could stand a chance.
The wings of the Me309 (36'3" - 11.04m) were nearly identical to the Bf109G-6 (32'6" - 9.92m) in width, form and leading edge slats.
1. The Bf 109E came in at 4,431 lbs empty and 5,600 lbs loaded. 176.5 sq. ft.
2. The Bf 109F-4 came in at 4,330 lbs empty and 6,054 lbs loaded. 172.7 sq. ft.
3. The Bf 109G-6 came in at 5,893 lbs empty and 7,495 lbs loaded. 173.3 sq. ft.
4. The Me 309 came in at 7,782 lbs empty and 9,370 lbs loaded. 179 sq.ft.
And they used the same wing area? And expected great things? The wing loading went up 10.4% for the F model, 36.3% for the F, and 65.0% for the Me 309. That just doesn’t make sense for a fighter. Willy must have alseep at the wheel.
I think it looks a bit like an Aircobra.
No i did not described the Me 209-II. I said, among other things, a NEW larger wing and strict weight control
As far as the Ta152c was concerned with its redecilously heavy armament, heavy armor equipment and fuel had a take off weight of 5200KGR!!! . For such weight its 19,5 m2 wing resulted almost 270kgr/m2 wing loading!!!! That Number could be the wing loading of a light bomber ! Also with 2300 ps for over 5 tons of weight i really wonder what expectations Kurt tank had for this 1945 fighter. In my opinion the only propeller german fighter,after 1942, that had competitive performance with the Western fighters was BF109K4 and Ta 152H when flown with the wing fuel tanks empty.
The Ta 152C can also be flown with wing fuel tanks empty, if the mission dictates so, the weight is down to 4900 kg when only half of fuel is aboard (cca. 530L).
The Me 209 also featured a bigger wing than the Bf 109.
RLM funded only four Me-309 prototypes. How many prototypes were typical for development of P-47, P-51, F4U etc. ?
Was it really nessecary even one prototype , for experienced designers, to realize that the aircraft was a dog?
That about covers it.
This thing also had laminar flow wings probably. If so would it have worsened the flight characteristics?
The wing had a "tapered planform with rounded tips and considerable dihedral and was fitted with automatic leading-edge slats and large plain flaps which extended from the wing root to the inboard end of the ailerons."
The design of the airframe isn't a bad one per-say (there have been many worse designs), but there were too many problems that Willy needed to iron out.
The nose gear was weak and on V1, had a brutal shimmy and even collaped at one point. On V2, the nosegear collapsed on landing after it's first flight, causing considerable damage to the aircraft to the point that it was written off.
It suffered from high wing-loading and the control forces were way to high to be practical in a combat situation. It had a higher than average landing speed which equates to the need of a longer roll out.