Most Promising Amerika Bomber?

Discussion in 'Polls' started by SpicyJuan11, Jun 5, 2015.

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Most Promising Amerika Bomber?

  1. Me 264

    55.6%
  2. Ju 390

    22.2%
  3. He 277

    11.1%
  4. Fw 238

    11.1%
  5. Ta 400

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  6. Fw 300

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. SpicyJuan11

    SpicyJuan11 Member

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    #1 SpicyJuan11, Jun 5, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2015
    Hello, I was wanting the forums opinion on the most promising Amerika Bomber design. Which aircraft do you think would've been the "best" if properly developed?

    Here are some pictures of the contenders:

    Me 264

    [​IMG]


    Ju 390

    [​IMG]


    He 277

    [​IMG]


    Fw 238

    [​IMG]


    Ta 400

    [​IMG]


    Fw 300

    [​IMG]


    Here's a small table comparing the performance of the bombers:

    [table="width: 500, class: grid, align: center"]
    [tr]
    [td][/td]
    [td]Me 264[/td]
    [td]Ju 390[/td]
    [td]He 277[/td]
    [td]Fw 238[/td]
    [td]Ta 400[/td]
    [td]Fw 300[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]Max Speed (in mph)[/td]
    [td]350[/td]
    [td]314[/td]
    [td]357[/td]
    [td]416[/td]
    [td]447[/td]
    [td]394[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]Max Range (in miles)[/td]
    [td]9,315[/td]
    [td]7,452[/td]
    [td]6,900[/td]
    [td]6,396[/td]
    [td]5,589[/td]
    [td]5,465[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]Payload[/td]
    [td]4,408 lbs @ max range [/td]
    [td]*11,020 lbs @ 6,200 miles/22,046 lbs @7,452 miles[/td]
    [td]6,612 lbs @ 6,900 miles or 13,224 lbs @ 5,340 miles[/td]
    [td]22,040 lbs @5,278 miles or 11,020 lbs @ 6,396 miles[/td]
    [td]22,040 lbs at 5,589 miles[/td]
    [td]n/a[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]Service Ceiling (in feet)[/td]
    [td]26,000[/td]
    [td]29,192[/td]
    [td]30,000[/td]
    [td]n/a[/td]
    [td]30,000[/td]
    [td]n/a[/td]
    [/tr]
    [/table]

    *Conflicting Data

    My personal pick would have to be either the Me 264 or He 277 since they were actually in development and had prototypes up and running (although there has been this whole He 177B/He 277 naming controversy that has left me completely confused), the Ju 390 just isn't cut out to be a bomber but could make a great maritime patrol craft/transport, and ditto for the Fw 300. On the other hand, the Ta 400 and Fw 238-albeit purely paper designs-look extremely promising.
     
  2. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    There is what was claimed/proposed and what was actually possible.

    See Boeing B-50 and Convair B-36 for actual flying hardware.

    Initial B-36As had : "Six Pratt Whitney R-4360-25 Wasp Major air cooled radial engines, each rated at 3250 hp for takeoff and 3000 hp at 40,000 feet. Performance: Maximum speed 345 mph at 31,600 feet. Cruising speed 218 mph. Stalling speed 113 mph. Initial climb rate 1447 feet per minute. An altitude of 20,000 feet could be attained in 53 minutes. Service ceiling 39,100 feet. Combat ceiling 35,8000 feet. Combat radius 3880 miles with 10,000 pound bombload. Ferry range 9136 miles. Armament: No defensive armament initially fitted. Maximum bomb load 72,000 pounds."
    From Joe Baughers website. These B-36s were delivered in 1948.
    What the Army had 'asked for" in 1941 was " 450 mph top speed, a 275 mph cruising speed, a service ceiling of 45,000 feet, and a maximum range of 12,000 miles at 25,000 feet. It had to be able to carry a 10,000 pound bombload a distance of 5000 miles away and return." Granted post war work was slower than war time work.
     
  3. SpicyJuan11

    SpicyJuan11 Member

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    Very true Shortround, I guess I'll delete the more "Luft '46" proposals such as the Ta 400, Fw 238, and He 277. Do you have any idea how to delete poll options? I can't figure out how.
     
  4. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    No need to delete them...

    Instead, examine why they weren't built and if they had been, what would have been the advantage to their operation versus historical aircraft/operations.
     
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  5. SpicyJuan11

    SpicyJuan11 Member

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    I'm honestly a bit confused as to what you mean GrauGeist, as most of them (Me 264/364, He 277, Ju 390) were cancelled by the Jägernotprogramm, the Ta 400 was supposed to be a backup to the Me 264, but the RLM deemed its development as "a waste", the Fw 238 (all versions) were cancelled in early 1943 by the RLM (not exactly sure why, but wiki says the RLM "required companies to focus as a priority on the development of models to be used in the air defense of German territory."), and finally, the Fw 300 was simply not on the priority list of development and was virtually stillborn.
     
  6. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    You originally said:

    Which is a valid question. The Germans had quite a few good designs, but it takes time to properly develop an aircraft (look how long it took the B-29 from concept to combat) and the Germans simply did not have this luxury.

    Had they put off the start of the war and fully developed a long-range strategy along with a sound design, I'm sure they would have come up with a winner. As it turns out, they jumped into the water without looking and all the designs they worked on from 1940 - 1941 onwards, were done in a halfassed rush, because of shrinking raw materials, deteriorating war situation and a change from the offensive to defensive...
     
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  7. SpicyJuan11

    SpicyJuan11 Member

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    Ah ok, I get it, sorry for being a little slow:oops: So which aircraft do you vote for?:)
     
  8. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    I dont even think the LW embraced strategic bombing as part of doctrine like the US and UK.

    Regardless, the only military use for an aircraft like that would be to bomb Russian industrial plants in the Urals. The loss rate for all reasons against the US would be unsustainable after the first couple missions.
     
  9. SpicyJuan11

    SpicyJuan11 Member

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    Yes, but the Amerika Bomber plan was not the destruction of important miitary/industrial/civilian bombings of the Allies, rather "nuisance" raids that could have a severe psychological effect on the American population like that of the Doolittle raids on Japan.
     
  10. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    The Doolittle raid weren't demoralizing to the Japanese, but rather a wake-up call challenging the myth of Imperial invincibility.

    Remember, in Imperial Japan, the people were told what they needed to know, so the public at large weren't affected. The raid did do some damage but it was more of a morale booster for the Allies than a blow of Japan. In addition, the Japanese now knew they weren't immune from attack and the raid did succeed in diverting manpower and equipment to the defense of Tokyo and other important areas that otherwise would have been lightly protected until later in the war.

    Just as the Amerika Bomber would have just pissed off the American public, much like Pearl Harbor did and would have been a huge waste of manpower and materials that could have been used on more strategic programs.

    But in regards to the earlier points: had the Germans developed a solid heavy bomber (prewar) with decent range and payload and provided an escort that could at least cover most of the bombers range AND develop a solid plan for the fighters to adequately protect the bombers, then the bombing of British and other targets might have more serious consequences.
     
  11. SpicyJuan11

    SpicyJuan11 Member

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    I don't doubt that it wouldnt have knocked the U.S. out of the war, but as you said with Japan, it would cause large psychological effects among the population. For example, the war so far was only in the newspapers and the radios and most thought that the vast expanse of the Atlantic would protect them. Then, suddenly, without warning, a large cluster of four-engined birds are barely visible in the distance. Few notice at first, but more lookup soon, perplexed. Many think that they are US Bombers training, but why were they training directly over NYC? Then the horrific happens and much of Manhattan is set ablaze.

    Not only would it scar the American mindset that the war was far away, but it possibly could bring a certain psychological element to large projects (like the B-29) to get them done as soon as possible furthering the risk of it ending in a disaster.
     
  12. pbehn

    pbehn Well-Known Member

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    Sounds OK in theory but to set a city ablaze you need something like 1000 of them unless it is a city made of wood. America was perfectly capable of taking out such a force since it produced so many aircraft and aircraft carriers. If Germany was ever to produce such bombers and the fuel to use them I cannot see any more than one raid being a success.
     
  13. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    If the Bombers could reach Kansas it might have some validity. The East coast of the United States has seen ships torpedoed within sight of shore and many people there were certainly aware that the war could come to their shores.
    Next you are assuming the coast of America was totally defenseless and the Germans could achieve the same sort of surprise the Japanese did at Pearl Harbor. Like the US kept no radar sets at home, there were no patrol boats at sea, there were no aircraft performing anti-sub patrols of the coast that might spot the "intruders", that several years of magazines, newspapers and movie news reels publishing recognition posters/ features of axis and allied aircraft (more in the hope of stopping false alarms ?) will be ignored by ALL possible visual sightings. That the defense authorities had no idea what training flights were being conducted in their area/s.

    Picture of 16" gun mounted during WW II Protecting NEW York.
    16inguncamphero.jpg

    These emplacements mounted the guns in pairs several hundred ft apart and a number of shuch batteries were built on Long Island, Rhode Island, Massachusetts shores (and other places) along with spotting towers, fire control stations and a few local defense Pill boxes. With that amount of money and effort spent for anti-ship defense ( and these are NOT WW I left overs) thinking that Air defense would have stayed the same as it was in 1939-40 takes a LOT of wishful thinking.
    You had several Aircraft Factories East of NYC and aircraft training schools dotted all over the place So while air traffic was high, it was controlled and it also means that there were probably several squadrons of fighters working up that could supplement the 'normal' squadrons assigned to area defense, (you really think the US shipped ALL it's aircraft over seas?).

    Assume the flip side, the German air armada gets spotted and identified while still around 200 miles from New York, say around Nantucket. What happens as the German bombers are shot down by the dozens?
    Both by fighter defenses and AA guns?

    Setting Manhattan ablaze is going to be a good trick too, It has been mostly masonry construction for much of the last 100-150 years and had a large, well equipped fire dept with a good system of water mains and hydrants. Burn down building yes, burn square miles? Not without hundreds and hundreds of bombers.
     
  14. SpicyJuan11

    SpicyJuan11 Member

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    The whole "setting Manhattan ablaze" thing was not meant to be used literally. And yes, I did give the German's a "best case" scenario.
     
  15. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    It is more than "best case"as it ignores US coastal defenses or assumes that mid to late war US coastal defenses are either non-existent or have made zero improvements since 1939-40.

    For example the US made over five hundred 120mm AA guns in WW II, most late in the war, one Battalion went the Philippines in March of 1945, 4 went to Norther Ireland and the rest stayed home, emplaced around US cities/ports. Granted there is an awful lot of the US and no one city would have more than a few dozen but there would also be 90mm guns and these were being given one radar set per battery fairly early in the war even if the radar wasn't good enough for tracking (it was good enough for range) but by 1944 a new radar set was being issued on the battery level that was good enough for tracking/directing the guns.

    Even such aircraft as the Grumman Widgeon flying boat (two 200hp engines) were being used for anti-sub patrols at times.

    You can go to a Casino and bet on the zero at roulette 7 times in row. You might win :)
     
  16. pbehn

    pbehn Well-Known Member

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    Any air Armada hitting New York would also have to return. Any time after mid 1944 they would have to pass within range of fighters based in UK or N Africa and have its home bases given round the clock 100% effort raids from all suitable bombers in the RAf and USAAF.
    The only place for an Amerika Bomber is in a scenario where Germany controls all of Europe and N Africa.
     
  17. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Also, late in the war, there was a considerable presence of U.S. Jeep Carriers in the Atlantic.

    While some were assigned to escort duties, there were also "hunter-killer" groups that were roaming the Atlantic waters in search of U-Boats and their "milch cows". This means that not only would an "Amerika Bomber' have to make it's way to North America, deliver it's load while avoiding coastal defenses and return but it had to do so running the gauntlet of the CVEs and their fighter compliment in both directions.
     
  18. SpicyJuan11

    SpicyJuan11 Member

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    Ok, could we please get back on topic about the Bombers themselves, and not about the Amerika Bomber as an operation? Only one person has voted so far...
     
  19. Koopernic

    Koopernic Active Member

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    #19 Koopernic, Jun 19, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2015
    The Luftwaffe drew up a list of targets in the USA. They were after the Aluminium industry and Pratt+Whitney.


    The Me 264 always had sceptics in the Luftwaffe concerned by something, runway length, take-off speed, armament levels, penetration speed, even how could it make use the plentiful Jumo 211. As a result the aircraft split into what must be 50 different variants. The variants in the Creek/Forsyth book are bewildering. Technology such as more powerful engines or new control systems for the guns addressed all of these concerns in good time.

    The interesting thing is that when not forced to carry a massive load of fuel for a mission to America the aircraft could perform shorter missions with most of the issues such as runway length and armament alleviated by absence of the prodigious fuel load required for a return mission to the US East Coast. It might have been an effective substitute for the He 177 for shorter 2000 mile range missions.

    The aircraft however was the only aircraft that had flown as a prototype that could do the job. Had it been given the resources it needed it would have been successful.
    Me 264 could do the job but required a long runway or RATO or more powerful engines.
    Ju 290 couldn't do the job
    Ta 400 never built, required 6 engines.
    He 277B7, never built, radical modification, essentially new aircraft could carry out a recon mission to the US east coast, barely.
    Possibly Ju 290B variants with Jumo 222C/D engines could do the job.


    The aircraft flew in December 1942, some 2.4 years before the end of the war.

    Imagine this scenario: Someone pulls the plug on the He 177 and the DB606 and DB610. Heinkel looses a few of his engineers and workers but gets to do the He 219. The 16000 workers at Arado dedicated to manufacturing He 177 go and do other useful things like the Ar 234. The poor bastards who had to work on the coupled DB606 and DB610 work on a proper engine.

    The Me 264 flies, as before, with the 1700hp BMW801 in December 1942 or better still with the DB603A, the tests reveal the minor action necessary, dampers and masses to stop control surface flutter, increased tail area, changed tailplane incidence, extended wing tips for better range. Lots of minor tidying up work that is made light work by many hands.

    Many variations of armament are explored but they settle on a pair of twin 20mm dorsal/ventral turret aimed by a combined upper lower periscope aimed by a single gunner in an upper sighting blister, he can see and shoot over the tail. The system has been successfully developed by Arado for the Ar 240 and 440 and is considered a success.

    There is a another manned dorsal turret with a single 13.2mm gun just behind the cockpit and a pair of optional waist guns. The latter manned positions I should think are optional.

    Perhaps 13 months latter Me 264 start conducting maritime patrols with radar replacing Ju 290's in that role, their performance and radar allows them to detect convoys and easily detect and evade allied aircraft.

    16 months latter, 40 RATO equipped Me 262 roar down a runway at 20 second intervals at night and head in the direction of the US East Coast. Some 16 hours latter after penetrating in a thinly populated stretch of coast and curling around 180 degree they appear put of the sun over a poorly defended industrial target and drop incendiaries and one SC2500 'satan' bomb.

    In response the USAAF and USA divert several fighter squadrons, SCR-584 radars and M3 guns leaving Britain open to V1 attacks. 1 year earlier the RAF handed the Luftwaffe H2S ground mapping radar and the Me 264 is bigt enough to carry the copies. Subsequent raids keep up the pressure, the Me 264 carrying 750kg of GM-1 to approach at high speed at high altitude befor entering a dive that evades interception. Coastal targets are hit, the ME 264 crews take losses but they are compensated by a reduced presence in Europe.

    If the resources used for the He 177 truly are made available for the Me 264 by 1941 the Me 264 aircraft probably flies a few months earlier, say early to mid 1942 and missions in early 1944 (when 2050hp BMW radials are available) might have occurred.

    Griehl's book "Luftwaffe over America" talks of several successful in flight refuelling experiments conducted between Ju 252 and Ju 290 aircraft in 1943. That technique is of course considered completely standard but many in the Luftwaffe remained sceptical yet it can easily extend range by 33.33% and would have completely solved the Me 2624 problems with takeoff weight, armanet load, range. In flight refuelling kits had in fact been ordered for a short time for the He 177A1.
     
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  20. SpicyJuan11

    SpicyJuan11 Member

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    Thanks for the well thought out post Koopernic, but could the Me 264 really compete with the He 277 at shorter ranges, I thought it only had a max payload of ~11,000 lbs? Also, wouldn't the Me 264 need larger, redesigned wings as I thought that it extremely high wing loading?
     
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