Spitfire V ME109. I have found these links on the net.

parsifal

Colonel
13,354
2,117
Apr 6, 2008
Orange NSW
The figures given by Ellis in his statistical reference for 1940 Britain/Germany are

Fighter: 4283/2746
Gnd Attack: 0/603
Bombers: 3488/2852
Recce: 387/971
Transport: 0/388
Trainers: 6415/1870

Production of SE engined fighters during the BoB for the two protagonists was as follows

Jun: 446/164
Jul: 496/220
Aug: 476/173
Sep: 467/218
Oct: 469/144
Nov: 458/150
Dec: 413/c150

Total: 3195/1519

According to an unrefernced appendix that I photocopied more than 30 years ago, the Germans spent more than 5.08 Billion RM on aircraft procurement in 1940.

I dont have conclusive figures for the RAF, but it seems pretty clear to me that the British were getting a more efficient return for the investment in aircraft production:

From this site:

http://spitfiresite.com/2010/04/fro...r-force-rearmament-programme-1934-1940.html/4


The priority given to the RAF did not, however, mean the end of financial considerations. On the contrary, successive proposals for revision of the Scheme F of came up for discussion, and all of them were beyond the available financial resources. Even the great rearmament vote and loan of 7th March 1938 fell short of the needs of the RAF. That vote brought the total planned expenditure of the RAF over the next four years to about £500 millions, but the cost of the minimum programmes which the Air Ministry had formulated at the end of 1937 was established as at least £650 millions by 1941.

In March 1938, the negotiations between the Secretary of State for Air and the Cabinet were suddenly overtaken by Hitler’s annexation of Austria, which at once made the dangers in the international situation become more immediate and apparent. There was little time to lose, and for the first time a real mood of urgency crept into the discussions of the air plans at the highest level. Suddenly, finance was no longer considered the worst obstacle. The question was no longer what the country’s finances could afford but what industry could turn out. So when the Cabinet met in the early days of April to decide finally and urgently the scale of the aircraft programme, they were compelled to define it not in terms of finance but in those of industrial capacity.

An entirely new principle entered into the plans. The revised Air Ministry proposals required a whopping 12,000 aircraft in two years. Analysis of the industrial capacity showed that this was also the maximum which the aircraft industry could produce by that date. On 27th April 1938 Cabinet authority was consequently given to the new plans, and Scheme L of 12,000 aircraft in two years came into operation.

The passing of Scheme L was a real turning point. Not only did it reflect the heightened sense of urgency in the Government, but it also signified the end of the purely financial checks on rearmament. The RAF was the first among the Services to enter into what to all intents and purposes were wartime conditions of supply, for from now on expansion in the air was to subject only to industrial limitations: production capacity, raw materials, labour and management.

The scale of the upswing in the overall rearmament programme in 1938-1939 can be illustrated by the following numbers. The annual cost of equipment and stores for the fighting Services rose nearly eightfold from about £37 million in the financial year ending March 1934 to £273 million in the year ending March 1939. During the same time, standard rate of income tax rose from 4s. 6d. in the pound in 1934 to 5s. 6d. in 1936 and 7s. 6d. in 1939. In 1937, the Government launched a five-year rearmament loan of £400 million, but in the spring of 1939 this had to be raised to £800 million.


In point of fact I think the relative efficiency in production of the Brits versus the Germans arose not so much from the "produceability" of given types, as the arrangements made at the factory floor. The prewar Brit military expenditure was all about getting factories and industries ready for the "big push". Setting up aluminium industries, shadow factories skilling up of unskilled labour, that kinda thing. The Germans failed to do this, make the investment in basic infrastructure to maximise production efficiencies later. its one of the choices they made that probably lost them the war. Why did they do this. because the country was being run by supreme gamblers, and they thought it was better to go for the quick victory rather than the long haul. Later, when it was too late, the germans did make their industries efficient, under Speer.....
 

Tante Ju

Banned
664
9
Jan 24, 2011
As early as January 1940 when the first wartime programme embodying the heavy bombers was settled, it was reckoned that ratios of weight to man-hours would, for the principal types, work out as follows:
HyperWar: British War Production [Chapter IV]

Type / Man hours need in 1000 hours:

Spitfire 15,2
Hurricane 10,3
Whirlwind 26,6
Tornado 15,5
Battle 24
Whitley 52
Wellington 38
Manchester 52,1
Halifax 76
Stirling 75

German type / Man hours need in 1000 hours:

109E 7,9 (Q4 39) to 5,4 (Q3 40) at Regensburg
Ju 88A 37 (Q1 40, at JFM


British and German production, 1940.

British:
HyperWar: British War Production [Appendix 4]

Heavy bombers: 41 Manchester, Stirling, Lancaster and Warwick.
Medium bombers: 1,926 Wellington, Hampden, Hereford, Whitley and Albemarle.
Light bombers: 1,521 Blenheim, Battle, Mosquito
Fighters 4,283
General reconnaissance 387
Transports and A.S.R. -
Naval 476
Trainers and miscellaneous 6,415

German:
USSBS Aircraft industry Report

Heavy bombers: 38 (36 Fw 200, 2 He 177)
Medium bombers: 3,338 (2184 Ju 88, 15 Do 217, 827 He 111, 7 Hs 129, 315 Do 17)
Light bombers: 611 (Ju 87)
Fighters 1236 2 engine (incl. 5 Me 210) + 1868 1 engine (Bf 109, incl. 2 Fw 190) = 3104
General reconnaissance
Transports and A.S.R. 763 (incl. 401 Ju 52 :)
Naval 98 (Ar 196)
Trainers and miscellaneous 1132 trainer, 1275 misc., 455 glider (DFS 230) Total 3005

It seems German produce 1940 more emphasis on heavy aircraft (bigger bombers), British on light units (light bomber, fighter) and trainer.

Combat aircraft only (Fighter + bomber):
7091 German (ca. 70% of product)
7771 British (ca. 50% of product.)
 
Last edited:

Tante Ju

Banned
664
9
Jan 24, 2011
I understand in 1940 production of Spitfire was at Southhampthon Spitfire works. Essentially small manufacture rather than true factory. This may effect. Also Hurricane much faster to produce.
 

tyrodtom

Senior Master Sergeant
3,447
989
Sep 6, 2010
pound va
When you look at detailed cutaways of the Spitfires and Me-109 you'll see a lot of built up parts on the Spitfire, where the Me will have castings.
Like the motor bearers, magnesium casting on the Me, but a multiple tubing affair on the Spit. The same with landing gear mounts, main spar ect.

It doesn't take a lot like that to make assembly times quite different.
 
Last edited:

Juha

Senior Master Sergeant
3,725
102
Jan 8, 2007
Helsinki
Hello Tante JU
the figures in the Postan's table seems to be theoretical, because the next sentence after the table in Postan's book is
Quote:" The actual figures, especially those for man-hours, were modified in the course of the subsequent three years, but the basic relations between weight and man-hours remained the same, and the heavier aircraft continued to require much less manpower per pound of weight than the lighter ones."

That is easy to believe because man-hours tended to decrease during the production run, as the Bf 109E example shows.

Juha
 

stona

Major
9,364
3,053
Mar 28, 2009
I see we are back to lies, damn lies, and statistics. Does anyone really believe you could build a ME-109 in less than a third or even half of the time you could build a Spitfire?

Yes. It took three times as many man hours to build a Spitfire but that doesn't reflect the time needed to build the aircraft. We comprehensively out built the German aircraft industry despite this. British factories worked a different shift system,some effectively worked 24hrs a day. The British aircraft industry,its supply chain etc was better organised,bang goes another stereotype.The German aircraft industry in 1940 was not on a comparable war footing.
Cheers
Steve
 

Lighthunmust

Banned
532
2
May 16, 2011
Scottsdale, Arizona
Yes. It took three times as many man hours to build a Spitfire but that doesn't reflect the time needed to build the aircraft. We comprehensively out built the German aircraft industry despite this. British factories worked a different shift system,some effectively worked 24hrs a day. The British aircraft industry,its supply chain etc was better organised,bang goes another stereotype.The German aircraft industry in 1940 was not on a comparable war footing.
Cheers
Steve

I was already aware of the difference between the German and British attitude toward production. I have read that some people dispute the superior British commitment and organization. The myth of superior German organizational skills unfortunately still lives in the minds of many.

All of you bring up good reasons why a ME-109 could be built in less man hours but I still doubt they required 66% to 50% less time to make if a balanced analysis was made. Unfortunately, a balanced analysis cannot be made because of the different sources and statistical methods for the statistics being presented. I think the similar requirements of the ME-109 and Spitfire for production are far closer than presented here. I am aware of how similar weapons can be produced in greatly differing amounts of time, i.e., Sten < MP-40, M3 < Thompson. I just don't thing the Spit and 109 were as different as those examples. I will agree the ME-109 could be produced with less man hours but I think common sense indicates the ME-109 took more like 33% to 25% less time. I admit I could be wrong but before admitting error I would have to see a better presentation of facts than what I have seen here.
 

P-40K-5

Banned
387
0
Oct 6, 2010
Earth
on average each of the Bf109 plants were producing four Bf109's/ day. so 4 into 24 is 6hours.
keep in mind this is all averaging. some plants produced more, others less.
 

stona

Major
9,364
3,053
Mar 28, 2009
on average each of the Bf109 plants were producing four Bf109's/ day. so 4 into 24 is 6hours.
keep in mind this is all averaging. some plants produced more, others less.


We need to be careful here. Assembly and production are not the same thing.
Steve
 

Juha

Senior Master Sergeant
3,725
102
Jan 8, 2007
Helsinki
What you mean "theoretical"?

As I wrote right after the table it is mentioned that actual numbers differ and in the table there is a figure for Tornado, its first prototype was flown Oct 39 and they could not have the actual man-hour figure for production Tornado in early 1940. So probably the figures were theoretical for allocation of labour to different production facilities or for some other use.

Juha
 
Last edited:

Hop

Senior Airman
615
43
Jul 11, 2005
All figures from Sebastian Ritchie:

1942, Supermarine man hours for Spitfire Vc: 13,000
1941, Castle Bromwich man hours for Spitfire (V, presumably): 10,400

1944, Castle Bromwich man hours for a Spitfire: half the hours Supermarine required in 1944.

Given that man hours reduced throughout the war, Supermarine should have required a lot less than 13,000 man hours, and Castle Bromwich would therefore require less than 6,500.

Ritchie also points out that in 1941 Britain had far fewer workers in the aircraft industry, used less aluminium, and yet built 20,094 aircraft to Germany's 11,776. In terms of weight British production was 87 million pounds, Germany's 68 million.
 

Juha

Senior Master Sergeant
3,725
102
Jan 8, 2007
Helsinki
Thank a lot, Hop
I found it difficult to find out man-hours for Spit production, only found out that the price fell
Still Bf 109 was clearly more inexpensive in man-hours, if the British and German figures are comparatively. Bf 109 Messerschmitt's Regensburg factory, 1. quartel of 44 1800 man-hours and IV quartel 1600 man-hours.

Juha

ADDITUM: the Bf 109 times are probably assebly line times, so not necessarily comparable to the British man-hours.
 
Last edited:

parsifal

Colonel
13,354
2,117
Apr 6, 2008
Orange NSW
All figures from Sebastian Ritchie:

1942, Supermarine man hours for Spitfire Vc: 13,000
1941, Castle Bromwich man hours for Spitfire (V, presumably): 10,400

1944, Castle Bromwich man hours for a Spitfire: half the hours Supermarine required in 1944.

Given that man hours reduced throughout the war, Supermarine should have required a lot less than 13,000 man hours, and Castle Bromwich would therefore require less than 6,500.

Ritchie also points out that in 1941 Britain had far fewer workers in the aircraft industry, used less aluminium, and yet built 20,094 aircraft to Germany's 11,776. In terms of weight British production was 87 million pounds, Germany's 68 million.


In fact the numbers of workers employed in the aircraft assembly plants was marked. 25000 British workers in 1940, to over 63000 in Germany. German workers were still working standard shifts to British double shifts, and there are unknown numbers of workers in associated industries. One of the main bottlenecks for German industry were the constant bottlenecks that occurred in component supply. There were frequent shortages because of the lack of co-ordination in their production program....a product of poor pre-war organization and prepration. This is what makes the hours per airframe a bit dodgy. I bet those figures dont include all the hours and space occupied by partially completed units as they awaited the arrival of componentry from outside the factory. This is the only way to explain why airframes that in theory might tyake a half or quater the build time, employing 2.5 times the numbers of workers, with approximately two times the floorspace, but turning out 50% of the numbers of fighters, and at roughly twice the cost per unit manufactured can be adequately explained. Either that, or the German workers were building things blindfolded or with one arm tied behind their backs.
 

P-40K-5

Banned
387
0
Oct 6, 2010
Earth
We need to be careful here. Assembly and production are not the same thing.
Steve

Hello Stona,

The British War Economy, Michael Postan, is one of the post war British government publications detailing war industry in Britain.
It gives man hours figures as:

Hurricane - 10,300
Spitfire - 15,200


German air minsitry publications detailing war industry in Germany. It gives man hours figures as:

Bf109 - 4,000 * this was late war 1944-1945
 

Lighthunmust

Banned
532
2
May 16, 2011
Scottsdale, Arizona
In Germany the hand gesture for the number three is a thumb, forefinger and middle finger; in England it is fore, middle, ring finger. With two cultures have such a fundamental difference in representing a basic numerical concept is it really any surprise that it is near impossible to make comparisons when almost assuredly their statistical methodologies also had great differences. A little more common sense and less number thrashing should indicate that three or even two 109s in the time it takes to make one Spit is very improbable.
 

Juha

Senior Master Sergeant
3,725
102
Jan 8, 2007
Helsinki
Hello P-40K
Postan's figures might be for resource allocation, see my message #292 and anyway they are early 1940 figures, IVQuartel/1939 figure for Bf 109 at Messerschmitt's Regensburg factory, Durchlaufzeit in Production Stunden, was 7900, for III/40 5400, so anyway early 40 and 44 figures are not comparable.

Juha
 

Tante Ju

Banned
664
9
Jan 24, 2011
It seems data is consistent through war you could build 109 1/3 time of a Spitfire. In 1944 or 1940.. Hawker Hurricane, in 2/3 time. Anyone has figures for Hawker Typhoon or 190? I believe it was more or less meant replacement of Spitfire/109.
 

Users who are viewing this thread