To much development

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Watanbe, Jul 28, 2007.

  1. Watanbe

    Watanbe Member

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    I have a question. Do you think that the Germans researched to much into strange and different plane designs that were realistically difficult to produce and could only be produced in small numbers.

    Designs like the Me-162 had almost no impact on the war. Do you think funding and resources would have been better directed to produce piston engined fighters. Planes like the Me-262 obviously would argue this point, however this was the only plane that had any sort of real impact.

    While I understand the importance of research and development and the need for Germany to improve and create new designs in the long term. However considering the position of Germany in 1944 and 1945 I would have thought defence and survival would have been a top priority. :lol:

    Feel free to express your opinion as I dont know much on the subject and im interested to learn more
     
  2. Heinz

    Heinz Active Member

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    Well a lot of the weird designs were first thought of in the late 30s. Germany was losing therefore I guess it was a throw of the dice in the fact they were trying new things. Secondly fuel kept a lot of these birds on the ground not to mention lack of pilots.

    But survival is what they were working for when you think about it. Wholey my opinion of course.
     
  3. Watanbe

    Watanbe Member

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    Fair enough, to kinda re-phrase the question would the germans have been better taking the Russian approach and manufacturing cheap and quick, rather than producing complicated designs and over-engineering planes????

    But as Heinz hinted at, planes are useless without the pilots to fly them.
     
  4. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Being on the losing side yes I agree. I think a limited amount of R&D should have continued but they should have invested more into designs that could win the war.
     
  5. mkloby

    mkloby Active Member

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    I agree that they wasted considerable resources in foolish projects. Mass assembly proved its abililty to win wars. The cost and production time of military equipment is an incredibly important trait - a virtue that a lot of German equipment lacked, going beyond just aircraft.
     
  6. delcyros

    delcyros Well-Known Member

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    The Me-163 was specificly designed to intercept high altitude, high speed bombers, such as the B-29. This requirement the bird could fullfill but their was no thread around deployed this way. There were certainly invested to much ressources in this program, this helped the allied war effort.
    Altough I like the design. It was in it´s own way very simple and easy to manufacture. Arguably the airframe was excellent and a joy to fly. They probably would have better done in enlarging the plane, so that it could be equipped with a normal tricycle landing gear (Me-163D) and replacing the terrible rocket engine with a lightweighted jet engine (BMW-003 or better the excellent but suspended HS-S30) comparable to the Lippisch P-15. This was considered in late42/early 1943 and with such a modification, the -163x could be put into mass production more rapidly than the -262, with equal or better performances. A plane like the He-162 wouldn´t have been necessary at all, saving additional ressources.

    The numerous ressources spend in the V-2 projects have been self critisized by Albert Speer already, who in retrospect would have better spend ressources into the SAM-project.

    The V-1, unlike the V-2 was a pretty good investment because the V-1 could at least be intercepted and thus required ressources beeing spend into the Air defense of Britain.

    Less radical developments such as improved gyroscopic gunsights,
    prosximity fuses and predictors were pursued by the allies to great effect but have been developed in Germany, too.

    The jet engine program is particularely interesting. While Jumo was first with a developed jet engine (Jumo-004A in 1942), powerful enough to be used, this indeed was the second worst choice avaiable at this time. The engine was pretty heavy and a fuel gulp. it was reliable and passed several 500 hours runs but the high degree of critical ressources like Chromium and Nickel nearly canceled the program. Nickel is essential to limit creep and fatigue in the blades. Without this material the British engines would not have lasted minutes as they lacked the German cooling techniques. The resulting redesigned Jumo-004B had a much lower service life (typically 20-25 hours for the turbine section but it could be as high as 100 hours and as low as 6 hours) but could be produced in a quantity of several thousends engines until wars end.
    Thanks to additional research forced by the shortages of certain materials, they were thus well ahead in blade root cooling, hollow cooled blades, film cooling and were making progress in ceramics for the
    stator blades. (Anthony Kay In his History of German Gas Turbines estimates early 1946 for ceramic turbine stators). This effort helped to make the Jumo-004 B4 and-D mre reliable (~60 hours service life for the turbine section) but they still were not matching the BMW-003 service life (200 hours for the turbine section).

    The best jet engine, however, has been suspended in 1942. The axial He-S30 was the worlds best jet engine in terms of specific fuel consumption, cross sectional area and weight to power relation well into the early 50´s. Fortunately for the allies, it was late in development compared to the Jumo BMW engines and therefore was canceled as the third engine type of this powerclass.

    The jet propulsion probably was the right answer to increasing problems the Luftwaffe faced in terms of fuel quantities. While Fighters and most bombers like the Fw-190 and Me-109 consumed high grade fuel, the jet fuel was indifferent to octane grade and thus more easily avaiable than high grade fuel.
     
  7. HoHun

    HoHun Active Member

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    Hi Watanbe,

    >Designs like the Me-162 had almost no impact on the war.

    Assuming you meant the Me 163, it was not obvious that it would end up with the limited endurance it finally had since Walter had been expecting a much better specific fuel consumption from the engine type.

    One area where the Me 163 development has been criticized by Späthe, who led the operational test unit, was that it wouldn't have been necessary to develop a finely-variable thrust motor. Späthe reasons that a simpler constant thrust motor could have just been toggled on and off by the pilot to achieve the necessary degree of control, and such a simpler engine could have been made reliable earlier than the variable-thrust unit.

    However, conventional wisdom was that fine throttle control was essential in fighter operations in order to make formation flying possible, and I don't think it would have been possible to ignore decades of experience when drafting the requirements for the rocket fighter.

    Regards,

    Henning (HoHun)
     
  8. trackend

    trackend Active Member

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    In the scheme of things jets overall had little impact on WW2 compared to the mass produced standard weapons that ran the show Eg: 75mm Sherman , ME 109, P51, B17, 88mm , MKV, T34 etc but never the less some of the development that the Germans and the allies spent much of their time on did yield fruit and it is much easier with hind sight to say which was the better investment, at the time the thought of (in the case of the V2) producing a missile that required no crew to fly and could strike at the enemys heart land with impunity must have seemed a tempting weapon to invest time in.
     
  9. Watanbe

    Watanbe Member

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    Good replies guys. Yeh sorry I meant the Me-163, the dangerous little beast it was.
     
  10. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    German manufacturers had a free hand most times developing new planes but it did inhibit good research. As the war went on, time was not a commodity that Germany had. At various times throughout the war, research was stopped to focus on proven designs. But troubles still existed.

    The He 177: Germany had no long-range bomber for strategic roles. The He-177 was 4 engined with 2 engines coupled together. Good idea but teething troubles led to a long working up. Heinkel tried a common four-engine placement but was eventually told to leave it alone. So while a possible answer for the "Ural" bomber existed, effort was put forward on a troublesome design.

    And while situations like this existed, older models such as the Bf 109 and Ju 88 were modified (not exactly what they for built for) for pressing needs until new designs could be produced. One reason why the Bf 110 lasted so long.

    In a nut shell:
    1. Too much effort on inpractical designs and ideas.
    2. Too much government interference ( everything has to dive-bomb!)
    3. Not enough time.

    Quality isn't what really killed the Germans. It was quanity. Doesn't matter if you've got the best tank around if your up against 50 ordinary ones. And they didn't always come at you like Villers Bocage.
     
  11. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    Once heard somebody describe the German war effort as an attempt to fight this war with the next war's weapons. In that they could not be finished in time or easily mass produced, they were right.
     
  12. Watanbe

    Watanbe Member

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    Thats a very good description!!:eek:
     
  13. Konigstiger205

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    Now I read on a site that the Allies most efficient general was Hitler himself and thats very true...as we all know it is possible to win a war with small numbers too if you know how to use your advantages but since Hitler stuck his nose everywhere good decision where hard to take.So assuming that Hitler would have left his capable generals do to the fighting perhaps it wouldn't have won the war but peace would have come much early and in better conditions for Germany.And perhaps Me262 would have made a much larger impact if would have stuck to his role as a fighter but Hitler saw in it the "blitz bomber" and the production was delayed.Same for the Stg44 or Mp44 who had to be renamed to entered production.Or think about if Germany never entered the war in the first place...
     
  14. model299

    model299 Member

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    I was under the impression that it wasn't so much Hitler's desire of a bomber version of the 262 that led to its delays as much as it was the lack of reliable engines to put in them. And fuel and pilots of course.

    One other aspect of this that's always struck me was the total lack of a reliable and capacious transport aircraft. The Ju-52 was an old mid-thirties tri-motor design that soldiered on much longer than it should have in my opinion. The Germans had nothing whatsoever to compare to the C-46 and C-47, and they needed it badly, as toward the end of the war, they were squandering by-then scarce He-111's by pressing them into cargo transport service.
     
  15. Konigstiger205

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    You're right model299, the germans did lack a proper transport airplane.But returning to the matter at hand, even if they did focused on mass production they lacked the man power and they needed that something to compensate their inferiority in numbers.
     
  16. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    The Germans did not have a monopoly on innovation. The environment they operated under greatly facilitated innovation. They were under pressure to develop "Force Multipliers" to help stave off the onslaught of allied forces even if the result were more favorable surrender terms.

    EXTREME HYPOTHETICAL:

    The US never enters the war in Europe.
    The Battle of Britain rages on and Germany develops heavy bombers.
    Raw materials from north America are still getting through.


    I'm 100% certain that our British friends would have developed some pretty wacky and desperate designs.

    Why didn't the allies develop more exotic weapons? They didn't have too! We were getting the job done. When you're on the offensive, it's better to build 35 spitfires than 1 Meteor
     
  17. HoHun

    HoHun Active Member

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    Hi Comiso,

    >The Battle of Britain rages on and Germany develops heavy bombers.

    Hm, I don't think the presence of absence of Luftwaffe heavy bombers had any impact on the Battle of Britain at all.

    The B-17G in 1944 could carry 2.7 t of bombs to Berlin, requiring 2 pilots, 8 trained 8 crewmen and 4 engines in one airframe.

    The Ju 88A-1/A-5 in 1940 could carry 1.9 t to London, requiring 1 pilot, 3 trained crewmen and 2 engines in one airframe.

    Of course, the B-17 was a more advanced aircraft that carried its 2.7 tons over a much longer range, but the Ju 88 was based in Northern France and thus could fly short-range missions when it was attacking London.

    To sum it up, I don't think it would have mady much of a difference for the outcome of the Battle of Britain if the Luftwaffe had had a four-engined bomber available in 1940.

    Regards,

    Henning (HoHun)
     
  18. Soundbreaker Welch?

    Soundbreaker Welch? Active Member

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    Hohun, that makes sense. Some people say the Allies should have done their long range bombings with just P-38's!
     
  19. Konigstiger205

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    Well what would have been if Luftwaffe continued to attacks on british airfields instead of concentrating on London...what would have happened if the 6th army would have been retreated from Stalingrad....the germans were capable to design capable airplanes,tanks and so on but they lacked proper leadership and of course raw materials.And just as a curiosity what would have happened if Great Britain wasn't surrounded by waters?
     
  20. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    The statement about bombers was prefaced with "Extreme Hypothetical". My intention was illustrate that had the RAF been subjected to the same conditions as the Luftwaffe, they would have developed more exotic weapons of desperation too...

    In other words, German aircraft development was driven by conditions they encountered.
     
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