Polish AF: preparing for 1939

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by tomo pauk, Aug 12, 2013.

  1. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Helo, gents,
    What tecnological paths hould`ve been undertaken by the Polish air force in the 1930s, in order to be better prepared for the September war in 1939? Not that it would`ve changed the outcome, but just to give Polish air crews better chances once airborne.
     
  2. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    I think you have run into a problem here Tomo.

    Anything the Poles needs to be in production in numbers by the spring of 1939 in order to be in service in any numbers by Sept. This rather limits the available engines.

    I know it is wiki but......: PZL.50 Jastrz

    The best they could really hope for was the improved Mercury or Gnome-Rhone N engine or buying Hispano V-12s, it was probably too late to set up a Polish Hispano factory.

    More use of variable pitch or constant speed props?

    Plans for better aircraft in 1940 don't do any good.
     
  3. pattle

    pattle Member

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    #3 pattle, Aug 12, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2013
    The Polish had some good aircraft designers and what may have been promising modern fighters on the drawing board including the PZL 50 series, this was a low wing radial engine monoplane fighter unlike earlier PZL parasol designs. Maybe if the Poles had been able to develop this aircraft sooner it could have made life more difficult for the Luftwaffe, unfortunately though the development of this aircraft was out of hands of the Polish as they were dependent on foreign engines and other components. Poland just didn't have the money to afford a modern air force large enough to threaten the Luftwaffe, and Poland was never going to be able to defend itself against attack from Germany and the USSR at the same time.
    The Greeks used the PZL 24 against the Italians with success, it was a little faster than the PZL 11, but I don't think the Polish having the PZL 24 rather than the PZL 11 would have made much difference except that it may have made catching bombers a little easier.
     
  4. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

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    Were the Poles in a position to buy foreign products? Hawker Hurricane, and/or Curtiss Hawk 75 come to mind as possible imports?
     
  5. Greyman

    Greyman Active Member

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    All the Hurricanes time would allow.
     
  6. Greyman

    Greyman Active Member

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    The Poles had struck a deal with Britain and France in March '39, and had received one Hurricane for evaluation purposes before the invasion. Nine more were en route, but it was over before they could be delivered.
     
  7. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

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    So they were late in perceiving the threat?
     
  8. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps just late in perceiving how fast the threat would turn into action.

    They might have been able to have PZL 50s in squadron service ( at least a few squadrons) using Mercury engines but 250-260mph monoplanes aren't really going to do much more than the PZL 11s. They thought they had time for Bristol Taurus or Hercules engines but the engines weren't available in time. Same with the G-R 14N engines, which model of the 14N was available for production when in 1939?

    If they thought the war wouldn't start until 1940 then waiting for the better planes might be a good idea.
     
  9. Civettone

    Civettone Active Member

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    There is not much they could have received before September 1939...

    Maybe they should have tried with light weight fighters. For instance, the Gnome Rhone 14K 700 hp air cooled radial and the Walter Sagitta 600 hp air cooled inline engine. Also, licence producing the Morane Saulnier MS 406 could have been done in 1938/1939.

    Kris
     
  10. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Light fighters were a waste of time/money/pilots. The Gnome Rhone 14K 700 hp air cooled radial is a poor start. If you mean the 14M that is a bit different but still leaves you with a 2nd rate fighter.

    As far as the licencing the Morane Saulnier MS 406, it is possible but the deal has to be done in early 1938. Any later and the factories ( airframe and engine) will NOT be tooled up in time to produce more than a handful of aircraft by Sept 1939.
     
  11. Civettone

    Civettone Active Member

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    Yeah, I meant the 14M.

    Of course you are right about the MS.406. However, that is a matter of capital and resources. If the Poles wanted it badly, they could have sped up the licence production of both airframe and engine.

    I disagree that light fighters were a waste. What else is the Yak-3? Also the Italian SAI.403 would have made a name for itself if the war had continued.
    The GR 14M powered the excellent Roussel 30. Also arrived too late.

    All these aircraft could be substantially lighter and use less resources, thereby allowing more aircraft to be build.
    It is the only option I see for the Poles.

    Kris
     
  12. bobbysocks

    bobbysocks Well-Known Member

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    #12 bobbysocks, Aug 12, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2013
    [HR][/HR]what was the size of the polish AF at the time of attack vs the size of the LW? i think no matter what ac they get they will still be overwhelmed by the LW. the germans did take some losses and might have taken more but i dont think acquiring any other ac would have changed the outcome. in 39 the 109 was high tech and an ac to be reckoned with....the stuka was in its hayday....the german tactics no one had ever seen before. with all the spits, hurris, etc the western allies couldnt stop germany in france and belgium....those planes arent going to be a factor. and remember they were fighting the russians at the same time.... basically you face a difficult decision. if you prolong the conflict which you cant win you will subject your civilian population to more casualities...tough call
     
  13. Greyman

    Greyman Active Member

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    Perhaps it would be more efficient for Poland to focus maximum effort into building a vicious level of anti-aircraft guns.
     
  14. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    The SAI.403 one and only prototype first flew in early 1943, that's about 5 years too late to help Poland.
    And it's earlier derivative the SAI.207 that first flew in late 1940, never entered service.

    There's lightweight fighters, early model Bf109, A6M2 Zero, Oscar and a few other early WW2 fighters might fit that definition with around 4000 lbs empty weights.
    But the Yak 3 with a 5600 lbs empty weight can hardly be considered a lightweight, maybe light for a late WW2 fighter though.
     
  15. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    The Yak 3 is a small fighter designed around the most powerful V-12 engine the Russians had in production at the time. It was NOT an even smaller fighter designed around a 2nd rate engine. While later in timing and light for it's time period it weighed within a few hundred pounds of a Spitfire I.

    Pilots cannot be scaled down, cockpits cannot be scaled down, radios cannot be scaled down. Armor cannot be scaled down. And if you scale the armament down you need more planes to get the same amount of guns/ammo into the air.


    Poles need a general purpose engine that can be used in several aircraft, not a 2nd rate engine usable in 2nd rate fighters.

    We have no idea how any of the these fighters would have fared in combat but the FIVE light French fighters were either totally outclassed or have little reliable flight test information and what does exist points to rather poor rates of climb even if the speed is in the ball park. A lot of the details don't seem to add up well.
     
  16. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    The Yak may have been 5600lb loaded.

    The French light fighters ALL weighed around 4,000lb loaded except the Caudron-Renault 770 with the 16 cylinder Renault engine.

    I am left wondering HOW some of these fighters achieved the claimed performance on the available power, straight line speed is one thing but climb and ceiling with low powered engines?
     
  17. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    There's quite a bit of disagreement between Wiki and a book I have on fighters, on the Yak 3, but Wiki appears to be right, the Yak was much lighter than what I posted. But the SAI S403 weighted around 4300 empty, not loaded, according to both.
     
  18. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Nothing will help. The historical scenario was national suicide for both Poland and Germany. To make things better Poland and Germany must fight on the same side against the common Russian enemy just as the 1938 Soviet war plan anticipated.
     
  19. bobbysocks

    bobbysocks Well-Known Member

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    i dont think allying up with poland would put a nail in the coffin for the ussr even at this early date.
     
  20. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    That should not be the objective. At least not during 1930s. Poland and Germany must strengthen border defenses and grow their economies for a few years. At same time they should attempt to add other nations such as Hungary, Romania and Finland to the anti-communist military alliance. A 1939 version of NATO.

    Unfortunately Britain, France and USA will be absent as those nations were flirting with communism during late 1930s / early 1940s. :cry:
     
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