Mistel aircraft

Discussion in 'Other Mechanical Systems Tech.' started by Bob_Semple_Airplane, Apr 3, 2013.

  1. Bob_Semple_Airplane

    Bob_Semple_Airplane New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2013
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    #1 Bob_Semple_Airplane, Apr 3, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2013
    So in WWII the Germans stuck fighters on top of unmanned bombers stuffed with generous quantities of high explosive.

    Mistel.jpg

    I figure they had big cranes at the factories to hoist up the fighters to weld or bolt the structures together, and then flew the completed airframes out to forward operating bases. But how did the pilots climb up into those things? I don't see any ladders!

    Edit: wrong forum, maybe should have gone in Aviation
     
  2. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Messages:
    47,658
    Likes Received:
    1,416
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Cheshire, UK
    Simple, they just used an ordinary ladder, propped against the side, then the ground crew removed it when the pilot was aboard the '190.
     
  3. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2007
    Messages:
    23,053
    Likes Received:
    994
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Animal Control Officer
    Location:
    Southern New Jersey
    Speaking of Mistels, I found this pic on the net a few weeks ago. Didn't save the site, so I have no source. Its supposed to show a mistel being shot down by a fighter from the 55FG/343FS in 1945.

    .
    1-Junkers-Ju-88-Mistel-shot-down-by-55FG343FS-1945-02.jpg
     
  4. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    5,682
    Likes Received:
    430
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired and living on the dole
    Location:
    Lakeview, AR
    The mistel was quite something alright. It was the first stand off weapon ever as well as the first fly by wire controlled plane. The Mistel laid the basis for weapons like the tomahawk missle of today. It was quite a devastating weapon if it could reach its target. This Ju88/Bf109 mistel had a 3000 kilo explosive warhead instead of the Ju-88 cockpit. The large pointed nose cone is the fuse for the explosive.
    This is one of the earliest mistels (using the Bf-109 instead of the FW-190). This was dangerous combination for the 109 because when they launched the mistel the plane would nose up fast, which could result in either a violent stall, or a crash with the mistel itself.
    The mistels were slow and difficult to maneuver and were thus fairly easy to shoot down before reaching their target
     

    Attached Files:

    • M08.jpg
      M08.jpg
      File size:
      68.1 KB
      Views:
      97
  5. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    Messages:
    12,162
    Likes Received:
    123
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    The back of beyond
    Sequence of preparing a Mistel ( - not all same aircraft). From 'Mistel' by Hans-Peter Dabrowski (captions from book).


    Ju 88A-4 is modified as a Kampfmistel and is fitted with a warhead; the nose glazing has already been removed.
    STA51999.JPG

    The control plane is affixed.
    STA52000.JPG

    The hollow-charge warhead is made ready.
    STA52001.JPG

    Attaching the warhead to the block and tackle assembly.
    STA52002.JPG

    Lifting the high explosive load to the same height as the Ju 88 fuselage.
    STA52003.JPG

    Then the warhead is bolted onto the fueslage.
    STA52004.JPG

    The Kampfmistel is operationally ready; notice the starter cart being wheeled up.
    STA52005.JPG

    Additonal pic to show entry ladder:
    STA52006.JPG
     
  6. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2009
    Messages:
    7,523
    Likes Received:
    947
    Trophy Points:
    113
    #6 stona, Apr 4, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2013
    Nice picture from Njaco. I think it is probably from the same gun camera footage as this image,taken before the fighters seperated.

    [​IMG]

    The Mistels are from II./KG 200 and the footage is from Lt.Col Righetti or Lt. Bernard Howes who were flying P-51s and were indeed from the 55th F.G. It was taken on February 3rd 1945 "east of Hagenow".

    There is other footage from some of their colleagues (Lt.Moore,Lt.Gibbs) who all engaged the Mistels. The US pilots reported the upper components as Fw 190s but in fact only one was (Fw 190 A-8 W.Nr 737989). The other two were Bf 109 F-4s (W.Nmn. 10053 and 13141). So much for aircraft identification,even by these experienced Americans,in combat.

    I have the attack made by the 388th F.S. who were returning home from escorting a 900 bomber raid on Berlin. They had spotted and attacked a couple of railway locomotives when,according to Righetti.

    "At a distance of two miles from the train I spotted three piggy-back aircraft at 10.30 to me,at our same altitude of about 600 feet,headed almost directly at us,and half a mile off.I mistakenly identified them as buzz bomb equipped He 111s and broke off rapidly,left and up,in a 200 degree chandelle,positioning myself on the tail of the middle one.I started firing two short bursts at 600 yards and missed.I swung into trail and closed to point blank range,firing a long burst.I saw many excellent strikes on the fuselage and empennage of the large aircraft and scattered strikes and a small fire on the fighter............

    This Mistel crashed and Righetti turned his attention to the next one.

    "I still did not know what we were attacking. I turned slightly to port for another look.As I closed,and before I could open fire,I discovered that the buzz bomb was actually a Fw 190 fastened atop the heavy twin engined aircraft. As I was closing to fire the heavy aircraft seemed to be jetissoned,went into a shallow diving turn to the left,and crashed and burned in a small hamlet...........
    The Fw 190,relieved of its load snapped to the right and then began a wild evasive action.I drove up to two hundred yards directly in trail,firing intermittently and secured excellent strikes along the fuselage,wing roots and canopy,and induced good fire. Jerry went out of control and crashed straight ahead."

    Fritz Lorbach was one of the 6./KG 200 pilots assigned to fly from Tirstrup to Hagenow that day.

    "Our Staffelfuhrer,Oberleutnant Schiffer and his crew took off first because of the low cloud and made a good landing at Hagenow.The rest,three"Huckepacks"with their pilots,Willi Kohlhoff,Franz Pietschmann,and I flew in loose line astern from airfield to airfield listening out for warnings of approaching enemy aircraft because our fighters were not armed.A group of fighters flew across our path before we reached Hagenow. I thought they were 109s. My mistake. They were Mustangs as I discovered when they began to fire at us as we flew in closer formation over the airfield and I saw the American markings........"

    "Our altitude was 150m,that of the cloud 300m.The Mistels flown by Kollhoff and myself seperated,the 109s heading for the clouds,but they were shot down.Pietschmann's Mistel dived into the ground.Kollhof made an emergency landing on the bank of the river Sude but was strafed on the ground. A member of his crew was killed and he was wounded in the elbow.The crew of my Ju 88 was not injured even though the left engine was on fire,and I had to make an emergency landing in the woods."

    This is another gun camera capture from the combat. It is probably Pietschmann's Ju88 combo. The upper element is clearly a Bf 109. There is a crew member abandoning the Ju 88 but I don't think there were any survivors.

    [​IMG]

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  7. Ivan1GFP

    Ivan1GFP Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    Messages:
    636
    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    18
    My understanding is that the biggest problem was that the landing gear of the bomber was not up to the additional weight of a 8,000 pound fighter and would often blow a tire at take-off with bad consequences.

    - Ivan.
     
  8. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2009
    Messages:
    7,523
    Likes Received:
    947
    Trophy Points:
    113
    There was no problem with the early versions which were rather different,being a means of delivering a glider which is relatively light. Much testing was done with a Bf 109 E/DFS 230 combination.

    As far as I can tell from the reports from Ainring on the initial Ju 88 A/Bf 109 F combination this was not a problem,despite a take off weight (without explosive charge) of 12,844 Kg.
    About 1,500 Kg was removed from the Ju 88 (dive brake hydraulics,automatic dive mechanism,all defensive armament,radio and bomb aiming equipment are listed) and eventually the Bf 109 was completely disarmed as well.
    The maximum take off weight,with a 3,156Kg war head was 16,000Kg.

    Kurt Tank made a desperate bid to save the Ta 154 with a double Ta 154 combination. This was abandoned because the landing gear was not capable of taking the loads. A Ta 154/Fw 190 A combination was also proposed. Herr Schoffel from the Focke-Wulf Entwurfsburo reported:

    "With this combination [Ta 154 A/Fw 190 A-8] there are no fundamental difficulties from a structural point of view. The heavy take off weight (up to 15 tonnes) is still possible for the landing gear if a concrete runway is used. A landing of the combination is not possible.......... The good stable rolling characteristics of the nosewheel promise good take-offs"

    The plan was to increase pressure in the main gear oleo legs from 60 to 97 atmospheres and to jetisson the nosewheel explosively after take-off.

    Whether any Ta 154/Fw 190 A combinations were ever completed is by no means certain. Some sources maintain that six were built and tested at Enschwege.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  9. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    Messages:
    12,162
    Likes Received:
    123
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    The back of beyond
    Read somewhere larger wheels were later fitted to help compensate for the extra weight.
     
  10. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2009
    Messages:
    7,523
    Likes Received:
    947
    Trophy Points:
    113
    #10 stona, Apr 4, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2013
    That wouldn't surprise me,16 tonnes is a lot. I'll have a look and see if I can find anything.
    I didn't find any reports of problems with the U/C from the initial tests with the Ju 88 A/Bf 109 F combo.......yet.
    Cheers
    Steve

    I found a French article which claimed that when the heavier Fw 190 was fitted as the upper component there were problems with tyres failing on the Ju 88. Unfortunately there is no source given for the claim so I'll keep looking :)
     
  11. Bob_Semple_Airplane

    Bob_Semple_Airplane New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2013
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Well.

    That makes sense.
     
  12. FalkeEins

    FalkeEins Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2005
    Messages:
    227
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Occupation:
    ex- Air France dispatcher LGW
    Location:
    Capel-le-Ferne, Kent, England
    Horst-Dieter Lux, senior test pilot on the Mistel programme, post-war sales director on the Starfighter programme at Lockheed

    " ..It was a challenging programme - two aircraft, a fighter and a bomber, had to be mounted together, a fly-by-wire system developed so that the combined aircraft could be flown from the fighter cockpit and a large warhead (3.5. to of TNT) had to be mated to the nose of the bomber, replacing the cockpit..I made the first flight about two months after the start of the programme. The development of the fly-by-wire system made up the bulk of the flight test programme followed by stability and control tests to establish safe separation over a wide speed range. The single-channel fly-by-wire system was a hazard in itself and we were lucky if there were no upsets - mostly there were, ranging from sudden hard-overs to instability to explosive bolts which failed to explode...eventually the bugs were worked out and on D-Day five of my aircraft were prepared for their first combat sorties....."
     
  13. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2007
    Messages:
    23,053
    Likes Received:
    994
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Animal Control Officer
    Location:
    Southern New Jersey
    Desperation is the Mother of Invention?
     
  14. fubar57

    fubar57 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2009
    Messages:
    11,089
    Likes Received:
    1,046
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Heavy Equipment Operator
    Location:
    Jungles of Canada
    I saw a photo of a bomber that had a third large tire mounted under the fuselage, close to the wing trailing edge. This fell away when the mistel lifted off the runway. I'll see if I can find it. Also, I di not know that the bomber still carried crew members on the way to the target.

    Geo
     
  15. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2009
    Messages:
    7,523
    Likes Received:
    947
    Trophy Points:
    113
    #15 stona, Apr 6, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2013
    The bomber didn't carry crew on the way to the target. The entire cockpit section of the Ju 88 was removed and the warhead literally bolted on. Four bolts held either in place. The conversion could be done in a day by six mechanics,two armourers and a crane capable of lifting four tonnes.

    [​IMG]

    The bomber's flight crew was retained for training and shuttle flights. The combinations could be landed as such but often seperation was part of the flight programme,both elements being piloted independently back to earth.
    A combination with a warhead,which was much heavier,could not be landed.In an emergency the lower component would have to be jetissoned.

    Ofhr.Georg Gutsche of III./KG (J) 30.

    "The cockpit of the Ju 88 was manned by a training crew,while the pilot of the Fw 190 climbed into the cockpit by means of a five metre ladder*. After I had made a few flights in the cockpit of the Ju 88,I found that the contraption was relatively easy to fly and land. The same was also true of the pilot of the Fw 190,who after all had to steer the Mistel..........However as the pilot of the Ju 88 I was seriously concerned about the fact that the propeller of the Fw 190 was only 20cms above my head!"

    He was right to be worried. At least one Ju 88 pilot was killed when the Fw 190 support struts collapsed on landing and its propeller sliced through the cockpit of the Ju 88.

    * Oberstleutnant Jope,

    "To get into the cockpit of the fighter one had to climb up a long ladder placed against one wing. Climbing it,I felt rather like a window cleaner!"

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  16. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2009
    Messages:
    7,523
    Likes Received:
    947
    Trophy Points:
    113
    #16 stona, Apr 6, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2013
    Initially the original Ju 88 1140 x 410 tyres were fitted to Mistels. These were rated for a maximum overloaded weight of 20.6 tons.
    Later larger 1220 x 445 tyres were fitted,rated for 23.4 tons.
    The rest of the U/C system was unchanged (I don't know if the oleo pressure was increased,it would make sense) and collapses and blow outs did occur. The runways were carefully inspected as even a small pot hole or similar could have dire consequences for the Mistel.
    Cheers
    Steve
     
  17. fubar57

    fubar57 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2009
    Messages:
    11,089
    Likes Received:
    1,046
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Heavy Equipment Operator
    Location:
    Jungles of Canada
    Thanks Steve...and I also notice a typo in my quoted sentence.

    Geo
     
Loading...

Share This Page