Me262 vs. P-80

Discussion in 'Polls' started by Anonymous, Jan 4, 2005.

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P-80 v Me-262?

  1. P-80

    51.8%
  2. Me-262

    48.2%
  1. pattern14

    pattern14 Member

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    #381 pattern14, Oct 15, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2014
    Not intending to derail the thread too much, but does anyone have any credible evidence of the alleged mock dogfight between the He 280 and the FW 190? I have a book on the He 280, which mentions a race between the two, but no evidence of mock battles. From what I have read over the years, the He 280 bested the FW 190 in every aspect of dogfighting, not just outright speed. It was supposedly held in front of high ranking Nazi's to boost the possibility of being awarded a production contract, which of course never came. The He 280 was completing pure jet flights before the Me 262 prototypes were barely getting airborne with a Junkers piston engine. It already had tricycle undercarriage, an ejection seat, and three 20mm cannon fitted in the nose, although it remains unclear if any actual gunnery practice took place. There were plans for a single fin and rudder and improved armament,and it was designed purely as a fighter, with no indications of having any kind of bombing capability. The problems with the engines sealed its fate, and it would have never been ready or reliable enough to enter combat in any numbers, so the "what if" scenario is pretty much dead in the water. I still consider it one of the most elegant aircraft ever made, classically beautiful and unique for its time.
     
  2. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    The RLM had the "golden egg" dropped in their lap in 1939, when the He178 took to the skies, but they dismissed it's significance as a technilogical leap (and potential military value).

    Had they embraced it's potential, and provided the needed funding, the HeS011 (the intended engine for the He280) would have been ready by the time the He280 was production ready (at a time when the Me262 was still being developed).

    Even still, proper funding for engine development may have seen the "bugs" worked out of the HeS08 engines that were installed in the He280 and carried the He280 aloft for trials and successful demonstrations.

    So that oversight by the RLM early on, created a "what fortunately didn't happen" instead of a "what if".
     
  3. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    Heinkel He 178 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    It wasn't a combat aircraft, it was a proof of concept aircraft. The reason the RLM didn't run with it is there were better options at the time like the Me262 and the Jumo 004. The He178 was not a viable path to a combat model, while the He280 didn't have a viable engine; the Me262 and Jumo 004 were ready first.
     
  4. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    You couldn't be further from the truth, honestly.

    The He178 obviously was not a combat aircraft, (and I never said it was) even though in the following decades, jet design would adopt several innovations that the He178 possessed.

    Now, the point being, that the He178 proved to the RLM that jet engines were a viable concept and not a "flash in the pan" like several other parallel technologies (like Caproni's ducted fan project), etc. and had the RLM fully backed the jet engine development in earnest in 1938/39, then the Hirth, Jumo and BMW engine development would have been far ahead of the game by the early 1940's. It wasn't until the war was well underway when the RLM suddenly realized their mistake.

    So in a nutshell, the RLM looked at early jet technology much like the old school Admiralty looked upon steam engines fitted in ships, back in the day. It was different and they didn't like it.

    And I am not sure where you got your information, but the Me262 was still on paper when the He178 was taking to the air. The He280 was much further along than the Me262 and was demonstrated to the RLM in April of 1941, while the Me262 prototype made it's first flight under piston power (Jumo210 mounted in the nose) a few days later (18 April 1941). It wouldn't be until 18 July 1942 that the Me262 flew under jet power for the first time.

    The Jumo004 (and BMW003) was still on the bench, being developed in 1940, while the Hirth engine (HeS3, HeS8) had already been used to power the Heinkel aircraft.
     
  5. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    #385 wiking85, Jan 28, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 28, 2015
    Several jet engine issues had to be worked out before the RLM started funding jet engine projects in 1939 just before WW2 started; it was on the eve of WW2 that jet engines finally worked out several issues that finally made the RLM realize it was worth it. The He280 never got its engines working though:
    Heinkel He 280 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  6. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    However, the fact remains, the He280 was presented to the RLM in full battle dress, demonstrated as a capable fighter aircraft, while the Me262 was still being developed. And the Jumo004 was too heavy for the He280, which was designed for the lighter Hirth engines.

    So let's look back to 1938/39: the RLM yawned at the jet program. It didn't fully back and fund the program. So jet engine development was primarily left to the manufacturer. HAD the RLM fully backed and funded the programs (including exotic material aquisition), then the development would have moved forward instead of struggling along as it did historically.
     
  7. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    The He280 was presented only in late 1943 when the Me262 was in the process of being introduced and would form its first demonstration unit within 6-7 month; even at that point the engines for the He280 were not production ready and were behind Jumo 004 development. In the 1938-39 period jet engines still had not demonstrated they were worth pursuing, as the He178 was largely a stunt and not militarily viable; when the development level finally demonstrated potential in 1939 Franz Anseln was tapped to start the Jumo 004 project with major funding:
    Junkers Jumo 004 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Helmut Schelp - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  8. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    I am really curious...where are you getting your information from?

    First off, I think calling the He178 a "stunt" plane is a little bit ridiculous...it was a pioneer in the field of turbojet technology and was the world's first turbojet powered aircraft to achieve flight.

    I don't see why you're so adamant to point out the He178 was not a military aircraft. It was never intended to be a combat aircraft. What it was intended for, was to prove the viability of jet powered flight and it did remarkably well, too. However, the RLM maintained the attitude that piston powered aircraft were adequate and jet development wasn't a priority.

    Now, let's step away from Wiki for a moment and get down to some real information:
    The He280 timeline is far ahead of the Me262.

    He280 (Factory designation: He180)
    First mockup and pre-assembly completed 1939
    *It should be noted that from the beginning, the He280 had tricycle gear and a compressed air ejection seat system.

    He280 V1 (WkNmr 0001) DL+AS
    First successful glide test: 22 September 1940
    First powered flight: 2 April 1941 - HeS 8 engines
    First RLM demonstration at Marienehe airfield, 5 April 1941

    He280 V2 (WkNmr 0002) GJ+CA
    First flight: March 30, 1941 - HeS 8A engines

    He280 V3 (WkNmr 0003) GJ+CB
    First flight: 5 July 1942 - HeS 8A engines

    He280 V4 (WkNmr 0004) GJ+CC
    First flight: August 1943 - As014 engines (pulsejet)

    He280 V5/V6
    glide tests only (JUly 1943 onward), no engines available

    He280 V7 (WkNmr 0007) NU+EB
    First flight: 19 April 1943: Jumo004 engines

    He280 V8 (WkNmr 0008) NU+EC
    First flight: 19 July 1943: Jumo004 engines
    V-tail concept trial tests flight on 29 September 1944

    He280 V9 (WkNmr 0009) NU+ED
    First flight: 31 August 1943 - BMW003 engines

    Me262 (Factory designation: P.1065)
    First mockup (plywood) inspected by RLM on 1 March 1940
    *It should be noted that the first four airframes had conventional landing gear (tail-dragger).

    Me262 V1 (WkNmr 0001) PC+UA
    First flight: 18 April 1941 - Jumo210G piston engine (mounted in nose)
    First jet flight: 2 March 1943 - Jumo004B engines

    Me262 V2 (WkNmr 0002) PC+UB
    First flight: 2 October 1942 - Jumo004A engines

    Me262 V3 (WkNmr 0003) PC+UC
    First flight: 18 July 1942 - Jumo004A engines

    Me262 V4 (WkNmr 0004) PC+UD
    First flight: 22 April 1943 - Jumo004B engines
    (tested by Gen Lt. A. Galland)

    Me262 V5 (WkNmr 0005) PC+UE
    First flight: 26 June 1943 - Jumo004B engines
    First tricycle gear airframe

    Me262 V6 (WkNmr 130001) VI+AA
    First flight: 17 October 1943 - Jumo004B-1 engines
    First fully retractable undercarriage
    Demonstrated for Hitler at Insterburg, 26 November 1943

    Me262 V7 (WkNmr 130002) VI+AB
    First flight: 20 December 1943 - Jumo004B-1 engines

    Me262 V8 (WkNmr 130003) VI+AC
    First flight: 15 December 1943 - Jumo004B-1 engines
    First fully armed version - 4 Mk108 30mm cannon

    18 April 1944 sees 13 pre-production (Me262A-0) units completed

    And we'll end the statistics at this point.

    So now, let's recap on this comment:
    How is this possible when the first He280 airframe was being glide tested in 1940 at a time when the only Me262 in existence was made of plywood?

    Also, if the Jumo 109-004 was given major funding, then why did development languish?
    There was continuous meddling by the RLM, in particular, Hans Mauch of the the RLM's "Engine Development Bureau". The Helmut Schelp, who replaced Mauch, ordered several changes, which set back the engine developers yet again. And it was during this confusion that the RLM ordered Heinkel to abandon work on the HeS 30 (which was developing well and showed great promise) and instead, work on the HeS 011.

    So let's look at the turbojet timeline here:
    Heinkel
    HeS 1 - first test: 1937
    HeS 3 - first test: 1939 (first flight: 27 August 1939, He178)
    HeS 6 - first test: 1939
    HeS 8 (109-001) - first test: 1940 (first flight: 2 April 1941, He280)
    HeS 30 (109-006) - first test: 1940
    HeS 011 (109-011) - first test: 1943

    Junkers Jumo 004 (109-004)
    004A - first test: 1940
    004A-0 - first flight: 18 July 1942, Me262 V3
    004B - first test: 1943
    004B-0 - first flight: 22 April 1943, Me262 V4

    BMW BMW003 (109-003)
    003A - first test: August 1940
    003A - first flight: November 1941, Me262 V1
    003C - first test: 1943
    003E - first flight: 6 December 1944, He162 V1 (note: 003E was designation for mount modifications)

    And even Porsche was in the process of developing a turbojet engine (109-005), but it was a little late in the game and not much came of it's development.

    So we can still see a difference in your timeline and what really happened.

    Hopefully, these figures might better help you understand the actual timeline of events!

    Sources used:
    Manfred Griehl; "X-Planes", J. Smith/A. Kay; "German Aircraft of the Second World War", A. Kay; "German Jet Engine and Gas Turbine Development 1930-1945", Jane's "Fighting Aircraft of World War II"

    And all are highly recommended reading.
     
  9. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    The airframe was the easiest part of development. Its the engines that held up the whole project. The biggest part of the problem was the lack of nickel and several other metals that Germany did not have a major source for in wartime. So they couldn't get the Jumo 004A, which had no restrictions on metal usage and ready in 1942, into serial production, so had to go back and develop it again with steel parts and improved cooling so as not to melt the metals, which delayed introduction of the Jumo 004B until 1944, which also pushed back Me262 development. The HeS engines were never developed to take the steel parts that the Jumo and BMW did:
    Heinkel HeS 8 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    The HeS8 never solved its major issues and was much weaker in thrust than the BMW and Jumo engines, while requiring more rare metals.
    Heinkel HeS 30 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    There was nothing this engine could offer that wasn't already on the table and would need redesigns to conform to the lack of necessary metals heat resistant metals, which delayed both of the Jumo and BMW projects.
     
  10. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    The HeS 30 had a better Power-to-weight ratio than the contemporary 003 or 004, it was more compact, it was less complex, required less exotic materials and had better fuel economy.

    109-006: weight 860 pounds - max. thrust 1,896 lbf
    109-003A: weight 1,375 pounds - max. thrust 1,760 lbf
    109-004A: weight 1,805 pounds - max. thrust 1,980 lbf

    So back to the original point: Had the 109-006 been allowed to develop (along with the rest of the jet engines in the various programs) then they would have been much further along in development and ultimately into production.

    It might also be noted that the He280 was designed with the HeS 8 (and ultimately, the HeS 30) in mind...since these engines were lighter, more compact and required less fuel, the He280 was doomed when the ax fell on the HeS 30 development. It simply could not accept a different engine without drastically altering it's performance.

    The Me262 even had to be altered from it's original design to accept changes in it's engine installation (hence the "swept" wings) to counter the change in CoG.
     
  11. Tagurrit

    Tagurrit New Member

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    I know this thread is old but I find it very interesting. Especially the discussions of the armaments of the aircraft in question. I always thought the 50cal was a good weapon but not a great weapon. I've watched a lot of gun camera film of FW-190's and ME-109's shooting apart B-17's. Those 30mm's really tear apart a 17. I was surprised to read about the range of the 30mm's being so low. I assumed they'd carry further than a 50cal. I also have read a lot about the 20mm's being very effective. Was the 50cal really that superior to the other machine guns on fighters in WW2?
     
  12. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    If by "machine guns" you mean guns with a bore under 14mm then it was in the top 3. If by "machine guns" you include guns with bores larger than 14mm (like 15-20mm ) then it falls (as all the 12.7-13.2mm guns do) a number of places.

    The Russian 12.7mm and Japanese 13.2mm (Navy) guns were sort of a 3 way tie in effect on target with the US .50cal.
     
  13. Guv

    Guv New Member

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    The 262's 30mm cannon would have been a major short coming against the F-80's .50 guns. Such low muzzle velocity would have seriously affected the range and hit probability. The F-80 would have swept the skies.
     
  14. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    How many hits would you need from the .50" hmgs to get the same effect as one hit from the 30mm?
     
  15. Fighterguy

    Fighterguy Member

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    #395 Fighterguy, Aug 9, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2017
    A hit with a .22 beats a miss with a .44, you have to hit first. The 30mm cannon was designed to take down bombers, the primary target for 262 pilots. A group of hits from a .50 cal, likely using high explosive or incendiary rounds, if not outright destroying the aircraft, will damage sub-systems, causing the stricken fighter to disengage.
     
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