Waste of a good engine/crying out for a better engine

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by wuzak, Jun 21, 2013.

  1. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    Which airframes, that were in production for at least a short period, were a waste of perfectly good engines? Engines that could have been more useful if used elsewhere.

    And which airframes were crying out for better engines, but never got them?

    For example, IMO, a Hurricane built after 1941/42 is a complete waste of a good 20 series Merlin - which could have been used in Lancs, Halifaxes, Mosquitoes, etc.
     
  2. OldSkeptic

    OldSkeptic Active Member

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    Agree about the XX, should have been used in Spits. The Spit Mk III, with a XX engine (unlike the X prototype) was actually a very close match to the 190.

    The Hurricane is such an odd plane, basically a single wing Fury. Later changed to have a metal wing (the early ones were fabric). Full of tubes and dope covered fabric (which killed a lot of pilots through fire and cannon shells passing though and hitting the pilot).

    A reflection of Camm, who ran things like an autocrat. Compared to (I think) Mitchell and Kurt Tank who were not just personally brilliant but could manage, lead and inspire their teams, to really get the best out of them (DH was the same). So he took ages (until the Tempest) to come to terms with the fact that thin wings were the way to go.

    The Hurricane should have been shut down in mid 41 and concentration made on Spits. But Camm was a good salesman and his Typhoon, promised to be an 'uber' plane kept him in the game. He even, get this, promised that if he got Griffon engines he could produce a Hurricane that would do 430mph.... Yeh right (by that time MAP had enough of his promises).

    So I always seem him as the British counterpart to Willy Messerschmitt, played politics (a lot) , denigrated his opposition, promised the earth, did deliver sometimes (the Hurri was great in 1938, marginal in 1939 and obsolete in 1940, the Tempest was superb, ditto the Sea Fury and so on), also failed a lot. (ie the Typhoon).

    Funny man, waste of good engines.

    But agreeing with your argument, yes it was a waste of time to put good Merlin XXs in Hurris.
     
  3. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    #3 Juha, Jun 21, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2013
    I agree that Hurricane as a fighter was out of date by 1941. I see Hurri as necessary stop-gap fighter until Spit production achieved necessary level and after that it could be produced as a limited production fighter-bomber and ground attack plane until a better plane could replace it at those roles.

    Other one was Firefly, a waste of Griffons. Other big navies managed to do fine without SE two crew strike fighter. Again a limited production as a night-fighter OK after they solved the problems of that version. Because the RN kept Griffon alive during early war, maybe some Griffons should have alloved earlier to produce Barra Mk V earlier so the RN would have had decently powered Barra during the war. But most of RN Griffons to Spits and other possible RAF projects.

    Juha
     
  4. Aozora

    Aozora Well-Known Member

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    Fairey Battle: production should have stopped at c. 200 instead of the 2,100 odd built, with all of 2,000 Merlin IIs and IIIs wasted. In 1938 Dick Fairey absolutely refused to allow any other manufacturer's aircraft to be built in his factories, including a proposed Sea-Spitfire. The Battle was obsolescent before it was built and was only good for training and target towing.
     
  5. gjs238

    gjs238 Well-Known Member

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    P-38 P-40: Those engines (whether Allisons or Merlins) should have gone into greater production of P-51's.
     
  6. Civettone

    Civettone Active Member

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    DB 603 and Jumo 213 for bombers like the Do 217 and Ju 188. Better to go to Fw 190s.
    All those Merlins in British bombers. Should have used Bristols instead.




    Kris
     
  7. gjs238

    gjs238 Well-Known Member

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    Packard Merlins in British bombers. Probably better off in Hurricanes, P-40, Spitfires and P-51.
    Perhaps even in P-39.
    Or better yet, in P-38's (might have reduced/eliminated the P-38 ETO escort debacle.)
     
  8. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    Packard Merlins for bombers were single stage versions - 20 series. By the time they were rolling off the line in quantity the Spitfire was getting the Merlin 60 series, and the P-51B would soon be in development.


    The single stage Merlin might just fit!


    Which debacle?

    Fuel issue - which would probably not have come up.
    Range issue - which would be worse with Merlins comapred to turbo Allison.

    Also, Merlins weren't yet equipped for opposite rotation. Might do bad things for P-38 handling.
     
  9. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    You would have the Mosquito use Hercules?

    FWIW, I believe the Lancaster performed better with Merlins than it did with Hercules. But the Halifax performed better with Hercules.
     
  10. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    I agree, Lanc Mk II wasn't a success but same to Wimpy Mk II, the version with Merlins. Early Hercs had rather poor superchargers, so difficult to say on early Halis.
     
  11. Civettone

    Civettone Active Member

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    Was more thinking of the heavies, not the Mossie.



    Kris
     
  12. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    #12 Shortround6, Jun 21, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2013
    The P-38 ETO escort debacle was the result of a number of things. One of which was plain lack of experience in the ETO
    The First P-38s to arrive in England flew few, if any, long range escort missions before they were re-assigned to cover the Torch landings and the NA campaign. Then they covered the Sicilian landings and then the main Italian invasion.
    The P-38s go operational with the 55th fighter group on Oct 15 1943. P-51s perform their first long range escort Mission Dec 13 1943.

    Two months is not a lot of time to get things sorted out.

    Some of the debacle could have been avoided if the pilots had flown the planes according to BOTH Allisons and Lockheeds recommendations INSTEAD of what the USAAF was teaching.
    Failing to follow manufacturers recommendations and then blaming the manufacturers product doesn't seem quite fair.

    Flying P-51s or P-38s equipped with Merlins the wrong way would have resulted in higher fuel consumption and less engine life at the very least too.

    Cockpit heating is a different story but again the P-38s weren't being flown in Europe in the winter UNTIL the winter of 1943/44.

    Edit: there were 7 fighter groups in England with P-47s operational before the first P-38 group was operational.
     
  13. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Crying out for a better engine was the Zero from 1943 on.

    Just about any Italian airplane from 1939 on.

    Just about any Russian aircraft that didn't have a M-82 engine ( a few exceptions).

    A few thousand Hawker Typhoons ;)
     
  14. gjs238

    gjs238 Well-Known Member

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    Henschel Hs 129 - was begging, pleading, praying for better engines.
     
  15. Civettone

    Civettone Active Member

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    The Gnome-Rhone 14M engines were just fine.

    The bad reputation comes from the North African sand, which caused problems for all combat aircraft, until sand filters were installed.

    The Hs 129 is often said to have been underpowered. This was only true for its preserie with much weaker Argus As 410 engines.


    One aircraft which did 'beg' for better engines was the He 177 and He 219. In some sense, also the Bf 109G of 1942/1943 which was stuck with a derated DB 605, no improvement over the lighter DB 601E at all.

    But I guess the biggest losers in the engine department were the Italians. They did not manage to produce a single reliable engine over 900 hp.
    Kris
     
  16. Dogwalker

    Dogwalker Member

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    #16 Dogwalker, Jun 21, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2013
    Used in production aircrafts: A.80, P.XI, P.XII, P.XIX, Ra.1000, Ra.1050, AR 128.
    Homologated, but used in aircraft prototypes only: AR 135, A.82, P.XV, Zeta.
     
  17. herman1rg

    herman1rg Well-Known Member

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    Westland Whirlwind, anything other than the RR Peregrine
     
  18. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    One of WW II's enduring aviation myths.

    1. Nothing else would really fit.
    2. The closest alternative, the Bristol Taurus may have been a cure worse than the problem.
    3. 300 engines, the manufacture of which STOPPED in 1940, kept two squadrons in front line service until 1943.
    4. aside from some initial teething problems (which many engines had) nobody seems to be able to point out what problems the Peregrine actually had, At least as far as reliability or durability. Nobody was using Merlin IIIs in combat in 1943.
     
  19. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Fairey Fulmar was in need for more engine power, ditto the Firefly (rectified once two stage Griffon was installed). Spitfire could've used more HP, from time after BoB until the 2-stage Merlin entered service. Fw-190 and Bf-109 needed more power in 1944. Albacore needed, say, Twin Wasp, ditto for the Beaufort? French airplanes needed more HP, too.
     
  20. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    The Fulmar needed the Griffon.

    Spitfire needed the higher boost limits sooner.

    Beauforts would have had more Twin Wasps if the ship carrying the first batch hadn't been torpedoed (in 1940, showing what was thought of the Taurus at the time). Australian Beauforts got Twin Wasps.

    French planes needed more HP, propellers, guns and instruments :)
     
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