Production rate versus type effectiveness

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Burmese Bandit, Jan 8, 2009.

  1. Burmese Bandit

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    Most of us, myself included, tend to forget that while WWII was a war of leadership, a war of tactics, a war of the skill and heroism of individual pilots, soldiers and sailors, it was mainly...

    ...an industrial war. A war of machines. And factories to produce the machines.

    Being reminded of the fact after poring through several studies of the economies of WW II, I got to thinking...

    What is the tradeoff between cost of warbird, speed of production of that warbird, speed of learning curve of that same warbird, and effectiveness of that warbird?

    The last two metrics are mostly subjective, although some hints could be found through the Darwinian process of combat.

    But for the first two, I am sure that the Forumers will have largely objective data.

    Let's start with cost in WW II currencies and production in man-hours for:

    Me-109 (by model and year)

    Spitfire (ditto)

    Hurricane (ditto)

    P-40 (ditto)

    P-51 (ditto)

    FW-190 (ditto)

    And after we have digested that...let's try to factor in the other considerations...
     
  2. fly boy

    fly boy Member

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    i think the 1944 p-51 took only a couple hours with enough supplies and hellcat only took about a day to make like 20
     
  3. Thunderbolt56

    Thunderbolt56 Member

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    I'll see what I can find, but this is a good comparison that can be reflected in the Tiger-vs-Sherman tanks. The Tiger was hands-down preferred, but in the time it took to produce one Tiger, the big automakers could produce a dozen Shermans...or more.
     
  4. fly boy

    fly boy Member

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    yeah it depends on where you are two so like one p-51 plant makes 20 in a day on average and then another plant makes 10 because of people not waking up and then somewhere else they are makeing like 30 to 35 a day because they come early
     
  5. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    The P-51 all in labor per airframe reduced from 12K to 2K+ hours by war's end. The production rate varied slightly from Inglewood to Dallas but I don't have the peak numbers at hand yet.
     
  6. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    It only took a few hours to build a P-51???:shock:

    This of course was with everyone waking up on time right?
     
  7. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    Chris - I think he meant that a 51 rolled off the combined assembly lines every couple of hours. At peak it was probably 1/hr off a 100 ship assembly line (guesstimation).

    Actually the rate was probaly averaging around 20-25/day in 1944/45 until the B/C/D/K lines stopped
     
  8. Kurfürst

    Kurfürst Banned

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  9. Burmese Bandit

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    From this link, supplied by the very knowledgeable DAVE BENDER who posts often at Naval Weaps website

    Spitfire, Supermarine

    I came across this amazing sentence.,,

    "..It has been reported that the Bf 109 took one-third the man hours to construct as the Spitfire..."

    !!!

    Who can give a graph with good head to head - or wingtip to wingtip - comparisions???
     
  10. Burmese Bandit

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    By the way, Flyboy, if we want to compare the production of planes, the best metrics are

    How many man-hours per plane it took...average,,,

    and the price of the plane in currency units. The price metric, however, is very misleading. Currency controls, the ability of dictatorial countries to dictate wages, distort this factor. On the whole, the factory man-hours per plane is the best bet.
     
  11. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

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    man-hours is a good, maybe the best, measure unit, but remember that country with low efficiency machinery, in other words more poor countries, obvsiously use more man hours that advanced country. (machinery increase work productivity)
     
  12. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Was that the Revell or Monogram kit? :rolleyes:
     
  13. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Yes I know, I just could not resist.
     
  14. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

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    maybe i don't understand, you tell that production time for P-51 it's a couple of hours because the factory build 20/25 at day?
    if so this it's wrong, a factory can build 20 planes at day and need 3 months for build a complete plane (each day it's end the 20 planes started 3 months before) and an other factory can buil 5 planes at day and need only a week for build a plane ( each day it's end the 5 planes started a week before)
     
  15. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    There are labor hours (direct/indirect) to fabricate, build, assemble and inspect.

    There are line hours measuring the flow of the aircraft from raw material to final product

    There are production rates which measure the number of products completed per unit of time (hour, day, etc).

    I don't know what the line hours for each Mustang were at the end of the war - only the burdened labor hours per unit produced. 2077 man hours/Mustang in 1945 translates to ~260 shift days of 8 hours/shift

    So, it's all about how many people per aircraft can productively work on it and how many shifts per day.

    If 20 persons on various sub assemblies, then ~ 1 Mustang per 20 person team every 13 days on one shift, 1 Mustang per 4.33 days if three shifts per day.

    Also North American was building a lot of B-25s and AT-6s in parallel at Ingle wood. Offhand I think Dallas was solely P-51B/C and K's
     
  16. Burmese Bandit

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    I have been searching for hard wingtip to wingtip data without success. However I have found some data which is very, very interesting.

    This data is supposedly from a Finnish book by Hanno Valtonen or Valtosen. (Juha, help!!!)

    Also the development of the air fleet is quite expensive. The prices are Reichsmarks from 1941 for German planes. The Hurricane is from 1940 and Spitfire 1943.The American planes are from 1942. The prices are changed into Reichcsmarks for the year. The engines are included in the price and the last number tells how many times more the plane is worth than BF 109 E.

    BF 109E / 85 970 RM / -
    Me 110 C / 210 140 / 2,4
    Do 17 Z / 235 000 / 2,7
    He 111 H / 265 000 / 3,1
    Ju 88 A / 306 950 / 3,5
    Ju 87 B / 131 175 / 1,5
    AR 196 A / 124 000 / 1,4
    Ju 52 / 163 000 / 1,9

    Hurricane / 160 000 / 1,4
    Spitfire / 180 000 / 2,1

    P-47 / 422 000 / 4,9
    P-38 / 482 000 / 5,6
    P-51 / 235 000 / 2,7
    B-17 / 1 035 000 / 12
    B-24 / 1 217 000 / 14,2
    B-29 / 3 575 000 / 41,6


    If we are to believe this data, the Spitfire is twice as expensive as the 109 and the Hurricane 1.4 times.

    Are these numbers believeable???
     
  17. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

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    prices in currency weren't usefull for a comparison, the exchange value of them wasn't from a free market (for true also the today exchange was not the best for a real comparison but this is an other history) how told also from you need find the man hours
     
  18. Burmese Bandit

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    But who has the man-hours available for a wingtip to wingtip of the 109,the 190, the 51, and the Spit 9?
     
  19. red admiral

    red admiral Member

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    Price in currency doesn't mean a great deal in a country that is bankrupt.

    The numbers don't seem right anyway. The actual price paid for a Mk I Spitfire in 1940 was £6033, which works out as around 75000RM.
     
  20. KrazyKraut

    KrazyKraut Banned

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    It says Spitfire from 1943 so not it's most likely not a Mk I.
     
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