The urban legend of the "He 277" being a "cover designation". It REALLY existed!

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by The PIPE, Jan 6, 2010.

  1. The PIPE

    The PIPE New Member

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    #1 The PIPE, Jan 6, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2010
    Dear Fellow WW II Aircraft Fans:

    The PIPE Here...and one of the very best books I've ever obtained for my personal library of historic aviation books is the English language edition of a book first published in 1989, and authored by Manfred Griehl and Joachim Dressel, on the most "enigmatic" aircraft of the Luftwaffe, the He 177 ''Greif'', whic I've variously known as "Stuck-Ugly" (it was NOT a "handsome" aircraft, by any stretch of the imagination!), and more recently as "The Gruesome Griffin", from its history of engine fires and many, many other failings that led it to be considered the biggest "failure" of the Third Reich's entire aviation industry, esopecially of those Luftwaffe aircraft that actually saw some serious front line action.

    It's IN that book, one of the most recently authored and RESEARCHED volumes on an otherwise enigmatic aircraft, that the whole story of one (of three) of the 'individually" four-engined developments of the 177A, the "He 277" design, as having the "cover designation" of "He 177B", was totally blown apart by research, and supported by Heinkel factory documents, as evidence as nothing more than what is called today, an "urban legend".

    It's in the pages of that book that the "He 177B" is actually proven to be a REAL development of the A-series Griffin, backed up by Heinkel factory documents and research, and by the reality that of the three project aircraft that Heinkel did work on later in WW II that were meant to be "four-individually-engined" developments of the "coupled-engine" 177A series...the He 177B, the "He 277" and the He 274...

    ...FOUR prototypes of the He 177B (He 177 V101 to V104) WERE built at Heinkel's southerly production facility near Vienna, with three of them flying; two prototypes of the He 274 were started before the war's end, and complted and flown in France after the war, but none...NONE...of the parts that were made for the "He 277" design were EVER brought together into a complete aircraft at any time, before OR after the war.

    In a thread started by "rousseau" of our forum, at http://www.ww2aircraft.net/forum/engines/engine-quastion-about-he-177-a-11699.html , in wondering why the Gruesome Griffin was not powered by twin-tandem layout DB 601 or 605 inverted V12s at thje start, where a French bomber or two, and a number of Dornier flying boat designs, had used tandem multi-engine configurations with quite a degree of success, wanted to know a bit more about why the clumsy DB 606 610 "poewr system" powerplants had to be used...

    ...and it was for a number of reasons (streamlining, less drag, and a demented :crazy: "Big Stuka" mentality by some in the RLM, among others) that had cursed the Griffin-A series to have what Reichsmarschall Goering would deride, by late summer of 1943, as "those monstrosities of welded-together engines" as first related in the Griehl/Dressel volume, when Goering described what he thought of the DB 606 and 610.

    I was the one who brought up, in Rousseau's thread, the "welded-together engine" monicker that Goering had placed on the DB 606 610 in his thread, and the facts of the He 177B being the "furthest-along in development" solution to giving the Luftwaffe a real four engined, Allied style "heavy", as told in the Griehl/Dressel book. That effort was getting Rousseau's original thread a bit sidetracked, so I thought it would be best to revisit that whole issue of the He 277 NEVER having actually been completed, at ANY time, versus the four He 177B prorotypes actually being built, with three of them flying, in a thread of its own.

    When I've got some more time later in this thread, I'll quote some of the things I spotted in that book that bear out what sure LOOKS like the whole "coomplete He 277s was/were flying before the end of the war" story to BE nothing more than an urban legend...and where so many things seem to be different in the Griehl/Dressel book, from almost everything that's been printed before about HOW the development of four-individually-engined improvements of the Gruesome Griffin occurred, seem to bear out that the He 277 was not only not even built as a complete aircraft at any time, but that the He 277 design was also considered to be a competitor, right alongside the Me 264, Fw 300, Ta 400 and Ju 488, all as possible piston-engined candidates for the "Amerika Bomber" project, as Chapter 5 of the Griehl-Dressel book relates.

    I'll be letting them know over at rousseau's thread about this NEW one...

    Thank you and Yours Sincerely,

    The PIPE!
     
  2. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

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    Can't you just go Edit/Go Advanced?
     
  3. The PIPE

    The PIPE New Member

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    Dear Colin1:

    The PIPE here...THANKS for the forum editing tip, it's just that's getting a bit late for dinner in New England "right now", so I've got to hit the kitchen for the meal...!

    Yours Sincerely,

    The PIPE...!
     
  4. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    What about the Ju-89 / Ju-90 / Ju-290? It appears to me that 4 engine heavy bomber was more or less ready by 1939. However the Ju-290 program was was apparently given only scraps for resources. Consequently I don't think they produced more then 100 Ju-290s in all and that includes aircraft used for recon and long range transports.

    Not that I think the Third Reich could afford a heavy bomber program. But the option was there. 8)
     
  5. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Don't forget the Me264, which was a very capable 4 engined heavy bomber.
     
  6. lesofprimus

    lesofprimus Active Member

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    For the love of God, stop calling urself "The Pipe", its retarded....
     
  7. beaupower32

    beaupower32 Well-Known Member

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    LOL, I was thinking the same thing, quite annoying....
     
  8. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    Ok, first question:

    My understanding is that, for whatever reason, Heinkel, in order to keep the four engine concept secret, designated the new airframe the "He-177B". After May 1943 when Hitler gave his blessing, it was officially known as the "He-277". Uwe Feist refrences mention of this designation in several correspondances that Heinkel made.

    Does the book you have cover this?
     
  9. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    LOL. sounds like a Saturday Night Live skit.. :lol:

    :lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:


    next he'll be describing himself in 3rd person ....
     
  10. beaupower32

    beaupower32 Well-Known Member

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    Shhh, dont give him any idea's.
     
  11. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    some pics of what we're talking about......
     

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  12. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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  13. Waynos

    Waynos Active Member

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    Can I ask a different question.

    How widely was it thought that the He 277 did not exist and was just a cover designation? This is something I was completely unaware of. However the OP seems to be quite excited to be making this announcement.??
     
  14. riacrato

    riacrato Member

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    I was thinking the same:lol:
     
  15. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    He think that the 177 would have been a better machine with four seperate engines, is he right? ;)




    The 13
     
  16. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    I think it definately was needed. Whether it was the 277, 274 or any other is up to debate. But time to operations probably would have been quicker without playing with those coupled engines.
     
  17. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    Good waste of time trying to get those four coupled engines working together....would have been some force to reckon with, those Heinkel 277's and Messerschmitt 264's!
     
  18. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    Now on Me 264
    its problems were at first that Messerschmitt didn't have design or production capacity for it, that's why progress was so slow, RLM gave the job once to Dornier because of that, but Dornier ignored it, it neither had any surplus design capacity, so RLM sent the project back to Messer. And when the proto V-1 flew they found out that the wing was after all too small to so heavy a/c. That is at least Manfred Griehl's version how things went. One must remember that at least also British had problems with design capacity during the WWII.

    On He 177 coupled engines,both Milch and Heinkel claimed in Aug 43 that HE had asked/offered He 177 with 4 separate engines years ago.

    Juha
     
  19. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    WWII Germany definately needed a lot of things, most of which were more important then a heavy bomber. For instance it would be nice to have enough aviation gasoline for existing aircraft.
     
  20. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    #20 comiso90, Jan 11, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2010
    If (and its a BIG if) the Germans produced a 4 engine bomber in any meaningful numbers, i wonder which counter measures the allies would develop:

    more 20mm cannons in interceptors?
    Accelerate development of the meteor?

    Maybe a B-29 interceptor version! Bristling with machine guns and cannon. :D

    The Germans get a lot justifiable kudos for their innovative aircraft design but you also have to fold the context and doctrine into the situation. Many of their brilliant innovations were more defensive in nature. i wonder what the allies would have come up with if they were forced to build some desperation weapons.

    .
     
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