On German bombers

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by tomo pauk, Nov 16, 2014.

  1. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2008
    Messages:
    7,990
    Likes Received:
    435
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Deep in the shade that the LW fighters non-intentionally created, the LW bombers reside. How good they were? The missed opportunities? Claims that became 'facts' after years, if not decades of repeating?

    To start the ball rolling, here is the excerpt from the He-177 A-3 manual (open the pic separately for hi res). My translation, so you know whom to blame:

    he17 kenn.JPG
     
  2. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2008
    Messages:
    7,990
    Likes Received:
    435
    Trophy Points:
    83
    From current thread:

    LW wanted it. From the Do-19, He-111, He-177.

    .

    The bomb raid does not need to go during the night only, so the navigators can actually guide the bomb stream to the target and bomb-aimers can actually hope to hit something. The LW heavy bomber will not do the 25000 ft bombing run either (like the B-17s did), but more likely from 17-18000 ft. The escorts need to kill VVS in process.

    There was almost 1200 of the He 177s built, not a few hundreds.
    That would mean that Soviets will relocate their factories twice. Not very good for the output of the war material. The dispersed production is lessefficient than huge factories.
    The Baku oil fields cannot be relocated, it will took a while to start or increase production on other oil fields.

    The ww2 for the Nazi Germany was the dead end anyway.
     
  3. KiwiBiggles

    KiwiBiggles Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2008
    Messages:
    136
    Likes Received:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Engineer
    Location:
    Grey Lynn
    I wonder what 'payload' (Zuladung) really means here. 11 tonnes is way beyond any value I can find quoted for the bomb load of the He 177, but it is very hard to interpret the term payload as applied to a dedicated bomber, as meaning anything other than the bomb load. I guess it really depends on what "Rüstgewicht" means. Tomo has translated it as "Equipped" (and my German is nowhere near good enough to dispute that), and Google offers nothing at all.
     
  4. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2008
    Messages:
    7,990
    Likes Received:
    435
    Trophy Points:
    83
    #4 tomo pauk, Nov 16, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2014
    11 tons is the weight of the fuel plus bombs.

    The bomb carrying capability of the He 177A-0. Caption on the low left corner: Mischlast-Sonderfall = mixed payload, special case. It allows for the bombs between 50 and 1700 kg to be carried on the 'Schlossebene I' (roughly = row one racks). If only 2 SC 1800 bombs are to be carried, they will be mounted at 'Schlossebene II'. As above - open the pic separately.

    he17bay.JPG
     
  5. KiwiBiggles

    KiwiBiggles Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2008
    Messages:
    136
    Likes Received:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Engineer
    Location:
    Grey Lynn
    Thanks Tomo, that makes sense now.
     
  6. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2008
    Messages:
    7,990
    Likes Received:
    435
    Trophy Points:
    83
    #6 tomo pauk, Nov 16, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2014
    Some sources give the 13 tons to be the payload (fuel + bombs), like Griehl's book about the He 177. This is the early He 177A-0, it does have less gun armament vs. the A-3 and subsequent, the engine should be lighter, too. The Beh.4 and Beh. 5 are two front fuselage fuel tanks, that can be replaced by two bigger tanks instead of bombs. Beh. 7 and 8 are outer wing tanks, Beh. 2 and 3 are inner wing tanks. Beh. = Behalter = Tank:

    He177A_O A_1 load_range.jpg
     
  7. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Messages:
    6,418
    Likes Received:
    64
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    He-177A3 was probably the best overall heavy bomber in the world during 1943. However only a few hundred were produced that year. Not enough to amount to a hill of beans for a war stretching from Kharkov to the English Channel.
     
  8. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2009
    Messages:
    7,521
    Likes Received:
    947
    Trophy Points:
    113
    #8 stona, Nov 17, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2014
    Do 19 never flew as an operational bomber. Mentioning it smacks of desperation. The He 111 was hardly a strategic bomber comparable with those fielded by the Anglo-Americans. 2,000 Kg bomb load is barely adequate, and early versions carried even less.
    They might have wanted such a force, certainly before Wever's demise, but they were not capable of building it. They weren't later either, as demonstrated perfectly by the He 177 saga.

    1200 He 177 constructed is not the relevant number. The Germans needed something like that number in service at any given time to provide a genuine and meaningful strategic bombing force. They rarely even had a double figure number operational on any given day.

    The He 177 was certainly not the best bomber operating (I use the term loosely for the He 177) in 1943. That was the Lancaster and by a country mile.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  9. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2008
    Messages:
    7,990
    Likes Received:
    435
    Trophy Points:
    83
    In the very important time of 1938-41, the He 111 was one of the best strategic bombers in service. RAF have had the Wellington, Hampden and Whitley as strategic bombers in that time, not the Lanc and Halifax.
    Mentioning of the Do 19 is to show that LW kept a whether eye on the strategic bombers even before shooting started.

    The 'simple He 177' should enable more examples both produced and in service.
     
  10. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2009
    Messages:
    9,762
    Likes Received:
    794
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    retired Firefighter
    Location:
    Central Florida Highlands
    The He 111 was pretty comparable to the Wellington. It was a strategic bomber, just an early one and not overly large. Germans then sat on it and never gave it a 1500-1600hp engine until waaaayyyy to late. It doesn't get a "power" turret until late 1942 and that is powered in traverse only with one gun (a year after the same turret is used on the DO 217).

    Full agreement there.

    Lets see about the He 177

    1. restricted bomb bay for some missions/loads............Check
    2. Crappy defensive armament for 1943.......................Check
    3. Low ceiling for daylight raids....................................Check
    4. Poor engine reliability (after the 'fix')........................Check

    Yep, it is hitting all the check marks for "best" :)

    To be best it would have had to have been as good or better than the American or British bombers doing the same missions.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2008
    Messages:
    7,990
    Likes Received:
    435
    Trophy Points:
    83
    The He 177 needed to switch to 4 individual engines ASAP, along with increase of defensive firepower in the same time, in order to became a more useful (day) bomber.
    The fuel and bombs weight for the Lanc (here):
    -9774 liters, 4540 kg of bombs (vs. 10730 liters and 4000 kg for the He 177A-0; DB 606 - coupled 601E)
    -7387 liters, 6350 kg of bombs (vs. 8800 liters and 7000 kg for the A-0)

    Cruising speed - 410 km/h (per Griehl) vs. 365 (Lanc, on max lean mixture; how much at max. cont. power?). Max speed 480 kmh @ ~18000 ft vs 447 km/h @ 11500 ft (Lanc on combat power; 435 km/h @ 20000 ft). Granted, switching to individual engines would lower the Heinkel's speed, unless those engines are DB 605A or BMW 801s.
    Lanc has more powerful armament for rear hemisphere, but none for 'belly' defense.

    BTW:

    Still capable to lug 2 x 1800 kg (~7940 lbs) or 4 x 1000 kg (~8820 lbs) bombs in the bomb bay, with increased fuel.
     
  12. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2009
    Messages:
    7,521
    Likes Received:
    947
    Trophy Points:
    113
    #12 stona, Nov 17, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2014
    In 1944, bombing from altitudes averaging about 17,000 feet, in daylight, totally unopposed, the average radial standard deviation of bomb patterns attained by the RAF over 10 raids in Normandy was 620 yards. The average displacement of the mean point of impact over the ten raids was 408 yards. The very best was 100 yards and that is exceptional. Even with an average displacement of the mean point of impact of 100 yards the chances of hitting that 200' x 200' warehouse or machine shop are not good.
    Your Luftwaffe bomb aimers will indeed be hoping to hit something.

    100 RAF Lancasters achieved a bomb density of 10 bombs per acre at the centre of their bomb pattern.

    The same rules applied to any other WW2 bombing force with comparable equipment and this is why the idea that a relative handful, even 40 or 50 heavy bombers could mount a precision type raid to destroy Soviet production facilities, factories , power stations, dams etc is just pie in the sky thinking.

    It is historically demonstrated that a concerted campaign by hundreds or even thousands of bombers was required to have a significant impact. How significant that impact was is still the subject of debate seventy years later.

    The Germans could never have afforded such an investment, even if they had had the means to build the force. They should never have attempted a half arsed programme like the He 177 and instead cut their losses and invested in something that might actually have proved useful to their war effort. The contribution of the He 177 to the German war effort was as near to zero as makes no difference.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  13. Koopernic

    Koopernic Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2013
    Messages:
    638
    Likes Received:
    74
    Trophy Points:
    28
    #13 Koopernic, Nov 17, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2014
    Early He 177A3 continued to use the DB606 (paired DB601) as it was feared the DB610 would be unreliable, however the latter He 177A3 received the larger DB610 (Paired DB605) both being essentially the same engines used with fair reliability in the Me 109 and Me 110. All He 177A5 used the larger DB610. By early 1944 the engine was giving reliable service according to Griehl with MTBO of 220 hours. The solution being a combination of pilot training, maintenance procedures and most of all making sure the maintenance crews have the proper equipment. More or less the same solution as applied to the B-29. Obviously the 'fix' took far too long and its obvious that the Germans could have done very well with 4 equally distributed Jumo 211 and then transitioning to larger engines such as the Jumo 213, DB603, BMW801.

    The maximum speed of the DB610 version 550kmh, that is 343mph, certainly faster than the Lancaster, Halifax or B-17. It was fast enough to avoid Soviet fighters.

    The next version was the He 177A7 which had DB613 engines (twined DB603) and a larger wing. The wing had been designed structurally to allow 4 separate engines and in this form was known as the He 277A7. I suspect the engine issues would have been resolved in the He 177A7 but no one had the Stomach for it and they were going to head direct for the He 277 version.

    It would have been in every way as magnificent as the B-29.

    I don't see that the bomb bay was 'restricted', the criticism being valid perhaps for the He 177A1

    There is no point 'gunning' a bomber engine to full power from the initiating of take off roll. It is best to wait until half of take-off speed is reached, to get a good airflow, and then go for full power. The increase in take off run is negligible as improved acceleration helps more in the second half of the take-off. B-29 crews were eventually trained to do their spark plug checks during the initial roll. They had been doing them waiting in line and also had the bad habbit of going to full power with brake on and then releasing rather than easing forward the throttles so that air was flowing.
     
  14. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2009
    Messages:
    7,521
    Likes Received:
    947
    Trophy Points:
    113
    #14 stona, Nov 17, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2014
    He 177 A-3s and A-5s still had a bomb bay divided into three separate compartments. The Lancaster's bomb bay was 33' long and had width of 5'. Given that the entire aeroplane was only 68' 10" long that is nearly half the total length

    No A-7 was ever built, so hardly relevant to WW2.

    We can compare an estimated performance of an He 277 with that of a B-29 but not the actual performance and that's the point. The US built nearly 4,000 B-29s and many saw operational service, the same can't be said for the He 277 which was little more than a paper project.

    When Major Kurt Schede who commanded I./FKG 50 refused to take responsibility for sending his He 177s out on operations in October 1942, due to on going problems he had some sympathy from Milch who is reported to have said.

    "What good is a racehorse that displays its best speed over 200 metres but drops dead after 300."

    The remarkable thing is that it was nearly another two years before the He 177 programme was finally abandoned.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  15. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2008
    Messages:
    7,990
    Likes Received:
    435
    Trophy Points:
    83
    #15 tomo pauk, Nov 17, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2014
    There bomb bay was divided longitudinally (=halved), but there were no divisions within those halves. See diagram above.

    Thanks for that data.

    I'm sure that nobody will suggest a 40-50 bomber raid for a factory complex or oil processing facilities, stretching out at many square meters.

    Even if we just calculate the expenses Germany had on the air defense (AAA, fighters, radars, shelters, communications), the impact was surely felt.

    Here we disagree.

    The He 177 was not a half-arsed programme. That might be said for, say, turning the Fw 200 into a combat aircraft. The Germans wanted too much of an aircraft, instead to go for a classic-layout 'horizontal' bomber with 4 separate engines.

     
  16. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    Messages:
    1,321
    Likes Received:
    32
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Chicagoland Area
    Which is why they shifted to planning to use the Fritz-X bombs for their He-177s in strategic bombing, but didn't get the engines worked out in time. With the guided bomb the Germans would get much better accuracy per bomber during daylight.
     
  17. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2009
    Messages:
    7,521
    Likes Received:
    947
    Trophy Points:
    113
    No, it was divided into three compartments. I don't know the origin of the diagram above, but this is a German original for the A-5.

    [​IMG]

    When I said half arsed I was really meaning attempting to create a 60 degree dive bomber of the size of the He 177 and subsequently never really having any clear idea of what it was supposed to be.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  18. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2009
    Messages:
    7,521
    Likes Received:
    947
    Trophy Points:
    113
    #18 stona, Nov 17, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2014
    .

    WW2 era guided munitions just weren't very reliable. You still need a lot of He 177s and a lot of Fritz Xs to do any meaningful damage to the production capacity of an entire nation.

    Hundreds of human guided bombs couldn't stop an American fleet, never mind destroy entire industries in an enemy country.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  19. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2008
    Messages:
    7,990
    Likes Received:
    435
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Here is the part of the previously posted diagram. It can be seen that 3 lower bombloads would be impossible if the bomb bay way cut in 3 sections. The picture is from the manual of the He-177A-0.

    bay.JPG

    The 'Shlossebene' 1 and 2 were removable, so the fuel tanks 4 and 5 (fuselage front pair of tanks) can be replaced with bigger tanks, as can be read in the post 5 in this forum.
    Also this diagram shows it, the 3rd case would be impossible with a 3-sectioned bomb bay (Nahbomber - short range bomber; Fernbomber - LR bomber):

    bay2.JPG
     
  20. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2009
    Messages:
    7,521
    Likes Received:
    947
    Trophy Points:
    113
    #20 stona, Nov 17, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2014
    Well, frames (spant) 13 and 19 on the drawing I posted are not solid bulkheads to the bomb doors so I suppose the loads illustrated above would be feasible with some jiggery pokery.

    A 'rustzustande' is not something that could be done in the field but was a factory modification. It is a sub-designation of a sub-type.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
Loading...

Share This Page