Super Adolfine ?

This forum contains affiliate links to products on Amazon and eBay. More information in Terms and rules

l'Omnivore Sobriquet

Airman 1st Class
Jun 16, 2013
deep France
Profitting from remaining leisure time, I would submit here an idea I've had for some moons and that I consider serious technically speaking, and credible in the historical, industrial and strategical context.

I'm afraid it is going to be a German case again, but promise I won't do it anymore. Then, after the 'single engined Do-335 flying canon', you will be in position to judge of my mental capacities.

- We all know about the Bf-261, dubbed 'Adolfine', a very nice looking and interesting long range record airplane, designed before WWII to carry the Olympic torch direct from Berlin to Tokyo. It used the coupled Db-606 engines of later He-177 'fame', without any of the latter's troubles, once you discard the normal teething problems for any brand new types.
It was a pure courrier plane, packed with huge amounts of fuel, but had the capacity we are told from West Europa to go fly rings inside US eastern states and back.

- We all know about the Henschel Hs-130 hight altitude flyer, and especially its -E variant with the "Höhen Zentral Anlage" system, which consisted of an extra engine buried in the fusalge dedicated to run one supercharger, solely to feed the normal propeller driving ones outboard. It worked. Not exactly weight efficient but worked.

It should noted that neither the coupled 610 nor the 'Hôhen Zentral Anlage' were exactly world beaters in terms of efficiency, being both quite heavy for their tasks, and large. It may be argued easely that in term of 'power for long range' efficiency, some straightforward 'big radials' à l'Américaine would be better, just like some Boeinguesque or Lockheedian turbos for altitude should do.
But :
1 - This is Prussia not California.
2 - More importantly : if somewhat behind in term of efficency, the German systems are still among the lead in term of extreme performances capacity. That is, at the cost of some weight and room, that will have to be called for one way or another, those two systems (Db610 and HZ-Anlage) can deliver ultra long range and ultra high altitude respectively. That is, although not the best efficient, they can deliver ultra performances. We will have to pay for it, but we can do it nonetheless, at extreme values if we make the necessary choices.

Finally :

- We all know of the He-177 bomber, in particuliar its later 'reworked' variants, running on Db-610s and that we will consider hereforth as trouble free at last.

- We all know about the Fritz-X radio controlled heavy bomb, that proved its worth in precision and damage against the Roma in 1943.

Now let us all see if you find the following thread funny :

Decide to go ahead with the following receipe, sometime in mid-1943.
(especially when realising the shortcomings of the Me-264 and Ju-390, as machines, industrial concepts and strategical use) :

1. Take a set of standard He-177 wings, complete with engines and undercarriage.

2. Insert at the wing root a copy of that same existing part, that is between fuselage and engine. It is rectangular (from above) so no big deal at the factory. The wing section is rectangular also just outboard the engines, so you insert a 'copy' here too. Widening the span. One has to be cautious not to offset the engines too much from the central fuselage line, in order not to loose too much 'directional' (lateral? ) stability, that would then require a big tail.
You are free to insert as many 'rectangles' as you wish, both inside and outside the Db's, and then bolt the remainder of the standard wing as an outer section. Make sure you beef up the main spar inside those added segments (although of course no 30° dive high-g attack requirement this time !, as you'll easely understand), keep the driving airscrews within bounds of reason somewhat close to the fuselage centerline, and there you have at little cost a wide-span, high aspect ratio 'new' wing.
The original profile of the Heinkel little wonder remains pretty modern, so ready for some fast and high flight of sort.
Of course, you copy the flaps and inner tanks as well.

3. Throw away that expensive and bourgeois Heinkel fuselage and replace it with a new, simple tubular one. Its cross section will be noticably smaller than the original one, in fact, just wide enough to enclose :
- two pilots side by side
- one Fritz bomb complete with its little wings
- one buried engine of whatever type before its very large compressor for the HZ System (Anlage=system, arrangement IIRC)
... whichever has the largest frontal section.

4. At the front end of this fuselage, a high altitude cabine enclosing a good bomb aimer window in front, then two pilots, two other crews and a rest compartment for an extra or partial crew. Use old technology, no need for large nor numerous windows there. The 'bin' of the He-130 being a good start to proceed with. Let Heinkel and Boeing toy with their pressurized greenhouses and niceties, you've got to go real high and you've got to do it fast.

5. Allow for one remote barbette at tail's end, one 20mil should be fun but the ready twin 131 of the Ju-288 will do. In fact, I would take the entire tail section of the 288, if stability and control permit, the fuselage being long, and small. Has to be controlled by periscope(s) though, the little use forseenable for it forbidding a pressurized bubble to drag along the way.

6. Fill the rest with fuel tanks, structural integrity permitting.

7. Gear the new central wing sections to allow attachmment of jettisonnable fixed undercarriages. Do as well for Ratos rockets. For overweight take offs. Double it all eventually. I for one, would also prepare the thing for a good tow behind a He-111 Zwilling, just in case.

8. Drop tanks are an option.
Lavish amounts of Görings Mischung as well (GM 1), engine tolerence permitting, to keep those Anglo-American pursuits happy hot rides. Repeatedly along a single mission.

9. Nominate me Führer of the.... euh.. non.
Non non.

10. Have a little room as mendatory for a good reconnaissance gerat, taking exotic pictures, and also for some powerful radio broadcaster...

And there we have it : SUPER ADOLFINE.

First operational prototype, plus a handfull of its clones ready by early to mid 1944.

As interesting as the plane itself may be, and its various conceivable performances, are its possible employs, integration in the militaro-industrial German activities of the day, and various strategical implications. All these are limited yet substantial.
I'll try to expose them in a second post below.
Last edited:
I think you are under a misconception. We welcome all countries and their machines including Germany. If you want to post about a German design or aircraft - go ahead. Just no politics, thats all.

As for the Bf 261 - I never heard of it before. Can you give us more information about it?
A few of observations. First, this is a lot of effort to deliver only 700 lbs of bomb although precision would certainly multiply the effect. And, according to wikipedia, at 20k ft the Fritz X was only 20% accurate. As altitude increases this accuracy may degenerate geometrically. Also, as with the B-29, unknown high altitude winds could play havoc with accuracy, even if radio controlled. I kinda suspect accuracy from 9+ km altitude is not going to be good.
You are right davparlr, actual accuracy of the Fritz X bomb from very high altitude under visual control is one true weak point of the whole concept.
Some dedicated apparatus both for the aimer and the bomb itself would have to be developed, radio and optical most certainly. However, just pick targets valuable enough that fit inside the predictible accuracy cone... either military, industrial or propaganda qualified. More about it later.

@ Njaco : Don't you worry, I'm no Napoleon tin hat chest pocketting garden wizzard of the institution... And several decades of toying with WWII aviation's real history have made me rather armoured against any 'Hugo Boss appeal' (the historical designer of Ss uniforms.) You can feel safe about it I know my life. Right from the early teen years..
My ultimate ideal for the 1940 era would be more along the Pierre Closterman lines... (if anybody ignores the great scoring guy, just google the name.) And that includes the young playboy in peacefull 1941 California son-of-a-diplomat period !!
(Or Marcel Bloch/Dassault really, but somewhat more distanced, considering all what he went through...) (ito.)
Don't worry there is no hidden nor frustrated horror willing to spill out this thread, and I will personnaly check it out, naturally and in all obviousness. Hard facts consolidating...

So, for this concept I stand ready to get as much flak as you can throw... up there !
Go on guys !

As for Me-261, just check - Das Archiv der Deutschen Luftwaffe , wikipedia, or simply Bill Gunston.
Last edited:
I believe the 261 was designed after Messerschmitt had already absorbed the Bayerische Flugzeugwerke (Bavarian Aircraft Works). So I believe it is the Me 261, not the Bf 261. Could be wrong, but that's what my references say. I often wondered why they didn't come up with a military version of the 261 myself. It never went anywhere, as with a LOT of German prototypes.

The concept of cobbling together a high-altitude, long-range bomber is interesting. Historically using various parts of existing aircraft to make a new one doesn't work very well (think Fisher P-75), but that is not to say it could not do so. Might work. In any case, the result would probably be longer-ranged and with a higher ceiling than existing real planes that were used. I tend to doubt the accuracy of the Fritz-X from higher altitudes, but it also might work to an extent.

Another possible scenario would be an agent on the ground helping guide the Fritz-X as it got closer to the ground. Don't know how feasible that would be, but an agent located, say, 1,000 meters from a target would probably get a closer hit than a bombardier from a plane at 40,000 feet. There were certainly enough German agents around the UK to at least try it out. If you could get even 50% hits, you'd be doing better than area bombing.

Interesting idea. Not sure there would be much payload left over from the engines and fuel for offensive operations, but it might be worth looking into, especially for specific high-value targets.

I was thinking why not go ahead and BUILD the Me 264 in quantity. Of course, then they'd have to come up with a long-range escort fighter ... like the P-51 since the Me 264 had a service ceiling of 26,000 feet. Of course, they COULD have added turbochargers to the Me 264 and gone higher.

In the USA, we might have a competition in which maybe 3 - 4 or even 5 companies built a prototype to a specification. We would then fly the prototypes and, if the mission was still high on the list, choose one to build. In Germany, they seemed to build all sorts of prototypes that were never followed through with, even though they rather obviously needed some follow-on aircraft in several roles. I have great doubt the resulting new aircraft developed as your Super Adolfine would see production, but it could have been useful in small to medium numbers for specific missions.
Last edited:
1. Forseenable performances.
Obviously we are dealing with a plane with huge fuel capacity. I'm betting for a true Me-261 class range. That is, capable of flying comfortably into American East-coast airspace and back. From bases in West Atlantic occupied France, very nordic Norwegian ones, or even at some cost Germany itself.
The distant New-York aera should reachable certainly from South-West France, East Canada and North-East USA from artic routes, and perhaps, West-Coast USA/Canada from Japan or Manchuria.
The flight profiles to perform thoses feats are open to seperate thinking, they would certainly involve some long overweight dragging at low altitude for a part, and 'efficient' altitude cruise for some other. Then the dash upwards.

Ultra long range is one thing, very high altitude upon target is another. For a pure altitude performance like some Britain bound mission, we can hope for some 'up to the limit' behaviour.
Fuselage drag may be low, but the wing is very wide and there are only two 2000hp class engines at disposal there. The wing however should be well fitted for the task, with high aspect ratio and a decent profile (the latter taken from Heinkel's bests of 1940 breed, some dedicated Hütter style complete change a later variation, if 1st generation proves worth the effort.)
Considering the importance of speed to sustain very high altitude flight and the exceptionnal help from one dedicated engine buried in the fuselage feeding compressed air to the other two, themselves Db-610 full gas, half cut or anywhere in between, and of the latest high altitude available brand ( picking historical ones) , there is no denying that we get a lot of power, that should prove sufficient to provide good speed that in turn should afford a lift at extreme altitude.
We are talking of aeras where even a gentle turn is a very touchy affair, in the 13-15km range I suppose. (?)

There is the Westland Velkin of course, to show us through lengthy trials the limits of sustainable high alitude flight with propeller+recip. engine technology. Also the Lockheed U-2 later on to confirm : at these upper limits it is speed that governs it all. I understood from ancien readings that the U-2 pilots had to spend lengthy missions the eyes set on their speed indicator, having to remain within a very tiny window that they called "the two sides of the coffin" : letting the speed go any highter and they would come into transonic regime, however rarefied the air may be, thus loosing cleaness and controllability, while letting the speed drop just a little and they would simply stall.
Of course mach 2+ surfing bullets are another matter altogether.

In this Super Adolfine concept I think we're having the proper amount of power up there to allow sufficient speed for the drag, providing the whole was not too heavy.., and certainly the best combination in the world at the time anyway. Short of any dedicated effort in front that is... I don't think extra engines should have been necessary, the fuselage being slim, air friction as well.

For an American profile mission of course there would be the necessary fuel for the return trip to carry, but yet again, especially with GM1 provision a top performer should be at hand, if no more a sheer wonder.
Last edited:
The so-called "coffin corner" is very real at high altitudes. When the first business jets to be certified at 51,000 feet came along, they were definitely in the coffin corner at that altitude. I believe the early Lears certified at 51,000 feet were cruising along ±2 - 3 knots to avoid mach tuck or stall. Today's Gufstream G650 is probably ±35 knots and is MUCH more confortable to fly as a pilot.

I think some sort of Me 261 might able to get to 40,000 feet or higher and have the range to get to the USA if needed, but IS it needed? I seriously doubt it.

Once the first bomb dropped, the USA would be on alert and would be getting ready for tghe next raid. The damage done would be inconsequential, and public anger would be aroused. It would be so counter-productive as to be ludicrous to contemplate. If there was ever a bomb dropped on the USA, you can be sure swarns of B-29's would be shortly forthcoming over Germany. Public outcry would demand it.

So where would the new Super Adolfine be used?

Maybe to bomb high-priorioty targets in the UK, which was already being bombed, or to attack specific factories in the Soviet Union that made critical war materiel. Other than that, maybe to target the Royal Navy anchorage in Scappa Flow or elsewhere?

I'm getting close to being at a loss as to how to use the Super Adolfine, but bombing the USA would have focused the entire attention of the USA on Germany with an eye toward immediate attack on a large scale. You might have seen 2,000-plane raids if that had happened.

The logical thing to do would be to come up with the missions you contemplate for the plane and see if the potential damage done is worth the effort to build the limited-use aircraft. What if the very targets you are building it for become low-priority before the plane is ready? Is the plane still useful or would it have to be abandoned? If so, don't build it at all.
Last edited:
2. Industrial and military context.
In the second part of 1943 in Germany the Heinkel 177 is in good production pattern. The high altitude cabin should be ready fast enought considering what's existing at Henshel works (Junkers ?) Ratos (jatos?) are ready, jettisonnable undercarrige for take-off were worked upon for the Me-264 earlier on.
The Fritz-X radio controlled bomb is ready but an aid for the high altitude aimer should be devised. Of course clouds might comme into view but this impondérable is more an issue for the mission profiles than for materials. To counter radio jamming that would sure comme into play, some cat and mouse game using a multi band radio transmitter-receiver with an array of settings to be tuned on the ground before each missions. Also sheer power perhaps. No clean cut solution but some ways to offset the unescapable reaction from 'those in front' for some time.

No need to order wild amounts of this plane for 1944. Even with ideal precision or utopian impunity (save this one for the V2!), there cannot be enough tonnage delivered for the cost to engage general offensive with it.
For instance against an operation like Overlord there can be little usage short of irrealistic simultaneous numbers. (magic waves of bomb carrying Me-262s being arguably a better option!)
However as we'll see later its employ could be more than just symbolic...

All in all, I should aim at a sustained fleet of some 50 operational aircrafts. Especially when one consider that some missions would last longer than a whole day.
Some 5, 10, 15 at first, up to 50 and fulfilling losses later in the year.

It is all compatible with Germany's situation in early 1944. Just consider the cost of the silly Little Blitz of late 43 early 44 - all for inner propaganda purposes...

The requirements should aim at :
Some 5 aircrafts in operation daily or weekly from Southwest France into the 'New-york aera'.
Some 5 aircrafts idem from nordic Norway into Northeastern America.
Some 5 aircraft daily from anywhere into anywhere in the UK, 'low on fuel and high in sky.'
Some 5 aircraft daily/weekly from bases in Japan/Mandchuria to anywhere there that's worth, but most 'hopefully' reaching Westcoast America.
Some 5 aircrafts 'temporarily east of the Vistula', to go at any Soviet target at will yet with moderates hopes of 'striking Russian morale' or even irritating Oncle Jo, but possible combined valuable operations nonetheless.
Eventually a handfull of aircraft for the miscallaneous objectives here and there, close or remote.

Which should bring in all a total to 50 aircrafts around, through a maintained production of some 5 a/c a month thoughtout the year.
Not even disturbing the 'romantic' V1 V2 program !
Last edited:
Well, let's see. The Fritz-X was very useful against armored ships and the small fleet of Super Adofines would be used to ... destroy or disable the British Battleships and Heavy cruisers in their anchorages.

Early on, if the Battlewagons and heavy cruisers had been cleared away or at least disabled, then perhapos the invasion of the UK becomes a bit more possible, assuming you can cobble together some transportation craft to ferry the men and materiel across the channel. With the big ships out of the way, Graff Spee, Bismark, Tirpitz, Scharnhorst, and Gneisenau ... along with others, could cover the invasion.

Is that what you had in mind?

The entire intent of the high-altitude ceiling is to get above accurate flak from the heavy ships and the Firtz-X is used to sink or disable the ships ... of force them even farther North, but still not out of Super Adolfine range. Cheaper than U-boats!
Last edited:
Why Fritz-X's. Why not air launched V-1s?

If you could carry a couple of them in the Super Adolfine, launch them at high altitude from a couple hundred miles and then turn back.

Accuracy wouldn't be great, but there are some rather large cities on the US east coats, and V-1s lobbing on them may cause some consternation among the public and the government.
@ GregP
Na !
But repeated blows at Scapa Flow yes, unpunished and provoking discernable harm even under the finest anaesthetics, would garantee to turn Mr Winston Churchill into a REAL mad man this time !
And The Lords would only know of the consequences !
Pray invade Narvick at once, and Mont de Marsan too !

This is one of the good possible employs.
More about it tomorrow..
Last edited:
@ wuzak :
V1s are quite cumbersome (large) and their town wide 'accuracy' not very... exciting. Oh yes 'some consternation' for sure but , short of a deluge, there is more to play in this field. Just using the tinier Fritz-x as you can hope to lead it into compound sized targets from high above.
Beside I think there is no need for the aircraft to flee out of the targeted scene as it can dash high and quite fast. Sometimes, at the contrary even... I did list 'powerfull radio broacaster' among the necessary requirements here's a clue...
A couple of things; what altitude are we talking about to operate the Fritz X? When the Do 217s attacked the Roma the attack was made from about 5,000 ft (?) with good visibility, using a glide bombing angle. To direct the bomb onto the target a flare in the tail of the Fritz X was ignited, meaning that the bomb sight had to be kept on target and the bomb aimer had to be able to see the bomb at all times. If you are talking about dropping the Fritz X from say 35-40,000 ft the problems of keeping sight of the bomb and target would increase exponentially.


Secondly, what happens when the Allies develop decent high altitude fighters, or improve and use the ones they had already built? It didn't take long for the Brits to design and build the de H Mosquito XV and Spitfire IX when the Ju 86Ps started operating over Britain in 1942 and, by 1944, the Spitfire XIV, for example, could operate at 40,000 ft. +
It didn't take long for the Brits to design and build the de H Mosquito XV and Spitfire IX when the Ju 86Ps started operating over Britain in 1942 and, by 1944, the Spitfire XIV, for example, could operate at 40,000 ft. +

Don't forget radar.

With sufficient warning aircraft such as the Spitfire XIV would be at the required altitude before the bomber arrives.
I think you could surprise them several times. With the range we're talking about, you could hit from Iceland or Greenland and land back in Germany. You could also sortie, say, 4 or 5 too many planes and use those 4 or 5 to drop thier bombs on internediate targets. Maybe you could sneak up in Scappa Flow a few times.

Let's not forget the Me 261 could make 385 mph. Perhaps the super Adolfine could cruise in at 330 mph or so. It sure was effective with Mosquitoes.
Last edited:
4 and last. Possible employs.

- This Super A. airplane can quite comfortably reach the Eastern States of the USA, even penetrate a bit on a direct flight from W. Europe.
- Following a polar route it should be able to strike into USA's Northern states, and North Eastern too, and central southern Canadian ones. I think.
- From east territories Germany still held it can reach any part of 'valuable USSR', including outer Ural cities.
- From about anywhere in Europe in can reach any target in the UK, doing so at extreme altitude.
- Equally towards any Mediterranean objectives.
- From Japan or Mandchuria let's assume it can reach assets of the North American Pacific coast, and Canada.
- Other operations including possible refuelling at some temporay secret base faraway from Germany may bring nasty surprises about 'anywhere in the world.'

Target size and accuracy.
For very distant attack the altitude at bomb drop may not extreme anymore (fuel for the return trip), but 'very very high' nonetheless. Security of the Super A. demands it. The Fritz-X bomb is visually controled through radio link and therefore in itself precise. But there are strong winds in the stratosphere which the bomb's flight characteristics may not be able to counter, and that are let's assume quite unpredictible. However the bomb's falling time is long so it is perhaps possible to correct it in the lower two thirds of the fall. Better controllability would require longer wings and this would run counter to the aircraft's narrow section but possibilities would be worked upon (more cord to the Fritz's winglets, optimal use of the given fuselage size.)
Visibility for both target and bomb are also an issue : but with added brightness for the bomb's tail smoke emitter and longer burning time, and some reasonnably handy optical aid for the bomb aimer (and controller) inside his aeroplane, much of this problem can be adressed on cloudless runs. Centimetric radar use is out of the question, until longer studies.

So what minimal size the target would have to be for a 50%-75% strike probability ?
Big ships on the move are certainly too demanding, but big ships at rest and shipyards worth a try. And training for. Ports yes, but it still depends on where the bomb actually falls.
Large factories are within the 'precision cone' certainly, yet camouflage might come in the way. Fuel and gaz processing ones (raffineries) rather easy, especially as 'there's always something worth a knock in the vicinity.' And much difficult to conceal.
Power factories, although very tempting in this scenario are perhaps off limits but with a good training who knows...
Predicted city parts no problem, yet for propaganda and 'morale' only.
Various heavy industries should be just ok.

However it is one bomb for one plane, so even within the precision cone there would be 'unlucky shots', like into the parking place, coal or waste depository, sea etc.
At times some cheating thanks to an emitter placed in the target in a good location by some secret agent, that the bomb would home into, would make precision real good. But you cannot have them everytime, and meteo (weather) caprices imply you have to plan several separated targets for each mission making it rather hard to organize, save for targets of special interest.
Leaflet drops are 'much too cheap' for this little wonder but interfering with main public radio stations yes ! "The fulfilment of a whole life's work !" Herr Goebbels would be jumping.
Photographic session over ennemy territory is also a must, given the unique opportunity.

Possible employs.

- With one or a handfull of planes, you come towards a large metropolis, interphere with the main public radio(s) popular there (eventually multiband), have your little propaganda tirade, then you suddenly announce the precise target you are going for. Preferably well inside the said metropolis. Some 'good' target everybody recognize as such preferrably like a weapon factory etc. (although nastier ones for reprisals is another option.) Supplicate the authorities to evacuate immediately the said target of "all its honnest and innocent workers". Then bomb the thing right away. Impossible to conceal as an accident. And everybody would know an important war's effort has just gone to ashes.

- The simultaneous attack of 5 nearby power stations fournishing a large industrial and populous aera. Direct hits from such a bomb in predictably one or two main buildings would be very long to repair, while at least a temporay power cut from 3 to all is almost certain. That would be worrysome in a sizable way for anybody in charge. Again, you can play the radio trick much along the line : "Hello it's us again. We're cutting electricity this time."

- Repeated attacks of Britain's Royal Navy's main nest at Scapa Flow is an obvious must. Either in port, base or ships there has to be dammages. Considering the real strategic importance of it coupled with the cherished place it holds in the heart of its Prime Minister, if unchecked these attacks alone and their repetitions may offset the course Britain is leading in the war. Being it known to the public or not.

- Various heavy conglomerates may suffer noticably even from one single good shot at times.

And I'll repat an odjective for 5 simultaneous attacks on a daily-to-weekly basis for each front, East, North, West America, Britain, Russia, is credible within the German historical war's effort of that time, 1944.

- Pure propaganda missions, like the Solemn declaration of AH to the American People, the 'bombing of Wall Street' being certainly high on agenda of the little mustashoed man too, whatever actual results may come from it...

What effects ?
The nazy dream of striking America at last and the fantasies of 'its impredictible consequences' is certainly overrated. The American people would endure it, especially after realising how small it is, and from what I know I cannot see how they would loose any motivation, to carry on. It is true that America remained virgin from direct outrages of the war, and that such a campaign had to draw military means back home on morale/opinion grounds alone. 1944 America could afford that.
And we have to keep in mind that for all its engagements faraway overseas, the complete American war machine originated from the American soil. Men, machines, munitions etc., they all were rolling there in the US before having to leave, and so the 'drawing back of military means' through careful planning could amount to little more than modifications of transit patterns... Of which I'm certain 1944 America would have quickly adhered to.
However beyond morale and opinion were hard wounds inflicted nonetheless. Not that big but difficult to accept.
However still, 1944 in America was an election year.

As for reactions and Allied means to counter it all, direct and indirect, further posts and discussion should follow. And as I have read, are already coming in. The effect on Russian 'morale' (uh?) and Britain's eventual attitude are left for later as well. Just like its questionnable effects on the course of the war in general, aviation in particular.
At this stage I'll simply surmise that those attacks could be possible on a repeated basis, with a chance of success (not being shot down) comparable to the rates of Mosquitos above Germany in 1943-1944. For some months.
Last edited:
Two thoughts: Proximity fuses and centimetric radar - acceptable loss rate:

Proximity fuzes: The British made use of proximity fuses during the anti-Diver (V-1) campaign to great effect against what were small, usually low flying and fast targets, albeit they flew straight. The U.S navy deployed them against Kamikaze aircraft, also to good effect. A large bomber flying at 35-40,000 feet gives good reception on centimetric radar with plenty of time to pick up the incoming raider. Heavy guns using CM radar and proximity fuses, against high flying bombers giving plenty of time to track and mangle. Sure, the Mosquito did a lot of damage, but then the Germans didn't use decent cm radar, nor did they devise proximity fuses that worked.

Antiaircraft Artillery - U.S. Army Signal Corps SCR-584 Antiaircraft Radar

So, say 50 bombers available at a time? What would be an acceptable loss rate? How many of these specialised, presumably expensive bombers shot down before the loss rate becomes unacceptable?
Couple of thoughts here.

P-38s and p-47s? cut gun and ammo load. Fly with partial internal fuel and small drop tanks. Once at 30,000ft or so drop the tanks and continue intercept on the lower fuel load. Might increase altitude enough to catch the German planes.

The Fitz-X was an optically aimed bomb. While a very considerable improvement over dumb bombs it required the bomb aimer to visually track the bomb (with the aid of flares in the rear of the bomb) ALL the way to the target. Worked pretty good at 10-20,000ft. Keeping track of the bomb from 40,000ft? More cloud layers, getting flare to burn that long, spotting flare from that distance, bomber had to fly relativity straight and level for bomb aimer to work, with the drop time from 40,000ft the plane may have to circle to keep bomb in sight. How far does plane travel in the time it takes for the bomb to drop from 40,000ft.

The difference in success rate is the Allies (at least the Americans and British) had numbers of fighters that could operate at 35,000ft and above normally unlike the Germans and could be stripped down to operate higher in emergencies (like the Spitfires intercepting the high altitude) JU-86s. P-38s can ditch the 20mm cannon and a considerable amount of .50 cal ammo and lighten the plane by over 600lbs, cut fuel to 300 gallons instead of 410 gallons, Strip armor? P-47 can drop to four .50 cal guns and limited ammo. 305 gallons or less once the drop tank is gone. armor? P-51D had a theoretical service ceiling of 41,600ft at 8,000lbs. They went heavier but again pull guns, limit ammo and after some fuel is burned off?

How much trouble to put extended wing tips on some of these fighters? Change the aspect ratio and lift/drag of the wing as much as increasing wing area.
Dropping bombs on the US would make us really, really annoyed. This did Japan very little good, and it would do Germany even less: the repayment for a Fritz-X dropped on NYC would probably be a Little Boy dropped on Berlin.

Users who are viewing this thread