The Engine Conumdrum

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by GrauGeist, Jul 9, 2012.

  1. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    I was doing some reading on the Foke-Wulf Fw191 being built for the "Bomber B" program and it, along with many other potential aircraft seemed to have fallen by the wayside because of the delay (or failure) of the proposed engines.

    I know that potential world beaters never happened because of this, such as the Heinkel He280, for example. Look at how some airframes that had real promise languished for years until they became obsolete without ever having the engine it needed.

    I'm wondering just how the face of the war would have changed had the Axis and/or Allies had the engines they needed for these promising new machines.

    I was just curious to see what others thought about this
     
  2. Trilisser

    Trilisser Member

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    It is highly likely that there would have been no measurable effect at all. The importance of the performance etc. of individual aircraft was next to meaningless in the overall picture. The key importance was quantity.
     
  3. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    It goes for both sides (axis and allies) and goes through History. The RAF was lucky that WW I ended when it did because their 1919 program was based on the ABC Dragonfly engine which was a complete turkey. See: ABC Dragonfly - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Post war the US Navy got into a lot of trouble because of Westinghouse's inability to deliver promised engines at the promised power levels, some planes were able to adopt other engines and some weren't and ended up as footnotes in aircraft history.

    For the British in WW II the failure of the RR Vulture probably delayed the Tornado/Typhoon 6months/year. The Tornado might have been in Squadron Service by the end of 1941, cutting markedly into the Fw 190s superiority in 1942.
     
  4. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    One of the major problems with the Me 262 was the engines. You remove those problems and you could have changed the landscape of WWII but probably not the outcome. Hitler may have had his blitz-bomber for D-Day, etc. Even if the timeline was the same, you might have more pilots trained properly on the 262 and more Gruppen equipped with it.

    IMHO :)
     
  5. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Good point regarding the Me262, but remember, the He280 was production ready while the 262 was still in it's test stages...so if the engines had been available for both aircraft, there would have been the possibility of the Me262 heading into battle with the nimble He280 flying top cover.

    Then again, the Japanese might have had several fighters into mass production that otherwise atrophied.

    Same can be said for the U.S. and several of thier projects, including the Bell XP-59 which first flew in '42.

    I agree that the war would have had the same ending results, but just how different would the skies have been had the engine problem (for all sides) didn't exist...
     
  6. Trilisser

    Trilisser Member

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    From the German PoV even reasonably massive introduction of sandsuckers (=jets) e.g. one year earlier wouldn't have helped a zit. Plus the fuel situation alone was such that massive training program would have been impossible. There is an excellent newish book on the subject of production: Arming the Luftwaffe by Daniel Uziel.
     
  7. Gixxerman

    Gixxerman Member

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    I agree, set against the vast output of the USA USSR in 1943/44 Germany just can't produce enough fuel, trained men or quality machines.

    ....which makes the point (and in debate about the 3rd Reich I do not think this can be stressed enough) that slave labour was a disaster for the German armed forces.

    Between these points the utter destruction of Germanys heavy transportation ability they really were on a hiding to nothing drawing out the inevitable.
    But as Speer others so rightly said at the time the looming defeat just encouraged a parallel fantasy reality.....and the horror went on, even when it came to them were feeding their own 13yr old children into the military machine.
    It's simply incredible what people will 'normalise' may become.
     
  8. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    If RLM fully supports DB601 and DB603 engine programs the consequences would be huge as they would take effect early on.
    - Significantly more Me-109s and/or He-100 fighter aircraft operational by 1940.
    - Fw-187 long range day fighter operational by 1940.
    - DB603 powered Fw-190C operational during 1941.
    - DB603 powered variant of Do-217 bomber operational during 1941.
    - DB603 powered Ju-88G night fighter could enter service during 1942.

    IMO the above changes would do a lot more to help Germany then production of the Jumo 222 engine during 1942 and production of the Jumo 004A engine during 1943.
     
  9. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    That's not so for many reasons.
    Call up of skilled workers,continued construction of facilities particularly at Regensburg, confused and conflicting RLM production schedules,continued construction of the Bf 108 which was not curtailed until after its production was moved to Regensburg in 1940.
    Finally,and numerically probably most significant,Messerschmitt continued to produce aircraft for export. They made much more profit on these than on aircraft for the Luftwaffe. As war approached in 1939 the Third Reich delivered Bf 109s to the following countries.

    Switzerland 79
    Spain 40
    Yugoslavia 73
    Bulgaria 19
    Romania 69
    USSR 5
    Hungary 40
    Japan 3

    That's 328 fighters that might have come in handy a few months later.That represents almost exactly 30% of the Luftwaffe's total single engined fighter establishment of June 1940.

    Of the 144 Bf 109 Es built at the new Regensburg plant in 1939 only 25 went to the luftwaffe.

    Engines were the least of their problems. It is a lack of forward planning on a monumental scale,one of the principle reasons that Germany lost the war.

    Steve
     
  10. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    Curious how the He 177 would have fared....
     
  11. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Not sure how that factors into this discussion.

    RLM had the option to produce the He-177B (4 Jumo 211 engines) as Heinkel recommended during 1938. Historical German engine production would not be a factor as they had plenty of Jumo 211s.
     
  12. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    What's wrong with that?

    You want your allies to be strong so they can pull their weight during a major war. That's why the USA sold F-16 fighter aircraft and all sorts of other military hardware to NATO nations.
     
  13. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    Well, I surely doubt that Germany wanted to make USSR stronger, or Switzerland. Those were trade questions, and more DB 601s would have meant more He 111Ps and maybe even more Do17Ss. And LW high command had decided certain ratio between bombers, fighters, heavy fighters etc and more 601s probably would not have changed that ratio, LW was meant as an offensive arm, so more bombers than fighters etc.

    Juha
     
  14. Trilisser

    Trilisser Member

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    The way I see it is that Germany had two strategic "weapons" suitable for its war economic capabilities available. In the west it was the submarine arm, and in the east it was skilled diplomacy and occupational policy. And we know how well or poorly these weapons were provided for...
     
  15. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    He-111P maybe. Do-17 / Do-215 was a dead end. All the more so if Dornier has DB603 engines available for the new Do-217 during 1941.

    There will be Hungarian built He-112Bs using DB601 engines imported from Germany just as they wanted to do historically. Perhaps Heinkel will shift all fighter production to Hungary. That works to German advantage. Let Hungary build He-112B fighter aircraft to arm the nations of Central Europe.

    Most important of all, there will be enough DB601 engines to allow production this magnificent aircraft. :)
    Fw187.png
     
  16. Gixxerman

    Gixxerman Member

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    This is another very interesting area for discussion, tho perhaps not in depth here.
    From what I have read the Type 21 ElektroBoot was not an especially advanced technology (certain sub-systems aside, obviously) but the fundamental proposal of a U-boat with 3 times the battery capacity (and the resultant performance enhancements that gave) is at heart something that was firmly rooted in pre-WW2 submarine tech.
    It is (yet another) one of those 'thank God' matters.
    If Churchill was genuinely scared by the Atlantic war (and he was of that there is no doubt) think how much more catastrophic a U-boat arm equipped with something very close to the Elektroboot instead of Type 7's etc would have been.
    It would not have taken a huge leap in an engineers imagination for that to have happened.
     
  17. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Wasn't going to happen.

    I believe the point of the thread was the effect of "new" engines "IN PLACE" of old engines affecting the performance of planes and their effect on the war, not the simple increase of production of old engines and old airframes.
     
  18. Trilisser

    Trilisser Member

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    Actually I am not meaning type XXI or similar. Simply more VIIs and IXs coupled with maritime aircraft recce, air defence of U-boat bases etc. plus proper security measures concerning communications. I don't remember who said it, but it is quite amazing that Dönitz failed to suspect breaking of their codes. In general it seems that Germans failed miserably with both intelligence and counterintelligence.
     
  19. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    While the RLM insisted on the coupled engine design which gave them problems, Heinkel developed the He177B/He 277 in his own until Goering relented and allowed him to build it - around 1943-44.
     
  20. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    The Vulture is an interesting case. We all know that the only production type that received them was the Manchester - and that two of them wasn't really enough for that size aircraft.

    If the Vulture had continued it could have been used in projects which had been slated to use the Sabre, but were slowed or didn't continue because of the problems with Sabre production.

    Projects such as the Hawker High Speed Bomber

    http://img44.photobucket.com/albums/v136/paul1/Hawker_high_speed_bomber.jpg
     
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