What if: Fighter Command faced He100s instead of Bf109s

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Colin1, Jul 23, 2010.

  1. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

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    Could the Luftwaffe have won it?
    Would the RAF have still held them at bay but at far greater cost in terms of men and machines?
    The Hurricane I would have been dog meat but how would the Spitfire I have fared against an opponent with the pace of a Spitfire IX and a range fully 400kms greater than the Bf109?
     
  2. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    I have my doubts that the He-100 would be operational in quantity before 1941. The He-100 was a decent fighter but I don't consider it superior to the Me-109F.
     
  3. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    Same problems, same issues, same result
     
  4. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

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    Well spotted
    for the start of the Battle of Britain
     
  5. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    RAF would have won in a walk.

    Since the engine mounted cannon on the Bf 109Es didn't work at the time there is no reason to believe it would have worked on the He 100 either. That leaves it with just pair of synchronized 7.92 mm MGs for armament.
    Granted it probably could have been beefed up a bit. Replace engine mounted 20mm with a third 7.92mm MG but that didn't seem to work all that well either.
    Put another 7.92mm MG in each wing out board the landing gear?
    Four rifle caliber MGs vs the British eight?

    I am not sure were the 400km of extra range comes from. Most sources give about a 240KM difference. Certainly an advantage but not so great. Since both planes carried about the same amount of fuel and used the same engine I would imagine that endurance would be about equal even if the He 100 did travel further per unit of time.

    some accounts speak of a lot of trouble with the Landing gear. About 1/2 of the 9 prototypes being written off due to landing gear collapse or troubles. It may have wide track gear but apparently no real advantage over the 109 here either.
     
  6. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

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    put another way
    both aircraft had undercarriage issues. I think it's reasonable to assume that the He100's issues could have/would have been overcome whereast the Bf109 was pretty stuck with its narrow-track arrangement.

    I can't see any issue that would prevent the He100 from adopting engine-mounted MG-151s and beefing up the existing armament with replacement MG131s.

    I'm showing ranges of 900km for the He100
     
  7. zoomar

    zoomar Member

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    Glad to see all the sensible responses in this thread, leaving me little else to say.

    Bottom line, the He-100 is one of those good planes out there that for one reason or another (most of them legitimate) was not selected for production because an excellent plane with essentially similar performance and probably better overall development potential was already in service. Like other Heinkel aircraft, a major cottage industry of "what ifs" has developed around it.

    I can think of three or four other Axis planes that might make more interesting BoB speculation if available in quantity to the Luftwaffe by mid 1940: (1) The original twin-engine single seat variant of the Fw-187, (2) either of the original "Ural Bomber" designs (Do-19 or Ju-89), or (3) the A6M Zero. What the Germans lacked were effective long-range fighters able to engage Spits and Hurris on roughly equal terms (something the Falke and Zero might have provided) and a real strategic bomber, which the Do-19 or Ju-89 (even though obsolescent) might have provided.
     
  8. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

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    Feel free to open a thread on one
    this one's about the He100
     
  9. zoomar

    zoomar Member

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    Fair enough
     
  10. gjs238

    gjs238 Well-Known Member

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    nah, threads get highjacked all the time :twisted:
     
  11. imalko

    imalko Well-Known Member

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    One should note that Luftwaffe lost BoB not because Bf 109 was inferior to RAF fighters but for tactical blunders of its high command. In my oppinion even the better aircraft than Bf 109 (had it been available) wouldn't change the outcome with such poor leadership at the highest level.
     
  12. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Neither can I but then neither gun was ready for the BoB.
    Which if you are going against Hurricane MK Is and Spitfire MK Is is the time frame we are talking about.
    Fair enough but many sources give a range 410-412 miles for the 109E which is 661-664 km for a difference of 240KM. Dividing by 3 for a combat radius estimate gives the He 100 about 80km more radius, stretch that a bit if you wish.
     
  13. Marcel

    Marcel Well-Known Member

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    That might be so, but range could have made a lot of difference in the second stage of the BoB, where the LW tried to lure the RAF into a battle of attrition.
     
  14. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

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    So when did either enter frontline service?
     
  15. zoomar

    zoomar Member

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    That is true, but I doubt if the modest advantage in range/endurance the He-100 might have had would have made all that much difference. They needed an effective escort with at least twice the range/endurance of the Bf-109 to beat Fighter Command in a war of attrition.
     
  16. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    Gotta agree with Imalko on this one, it wasn't so much a problem of aircraft but mistakes in the use of the aircraft (with the exception of the lack of a strategic bomber) and the targets of the aircraft. And pretty poor intel by LW (or maybe lousy interpetation of the results). The He100 probably would've helped, just from a range perspective, but it wouldn't have been decisive. The problems were greater than one aircraft.

    Lack of Air Superiority wasn't because the 109 wasn't a good enough airplane or didn't have the range. An He100 tied to the bombers would've been at just as much of a loss as the 109s.
     
  17. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    This is a Hijack, Take this thread to Cuba!
     
  18. gjs238

    gjs238 Well-Known Member

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    Present day Cuba or Cuba at the time of BoB?
     
  19. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    The MG 151 doesn't show up in any quantity until the 109F models and not the first one.
    The MG 131 doesn't show up until the 109 G-6?
    or the 190A-7?
     
  20. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

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    More than likely true
    but the Bf109E, whilst never inferior to the Spitfire Ia, was never markedly superior either, with a fighter as pacy as the He100, the escorts may well never have ended up tied to the bombers anyway; I would venture that even if they were, the performance margin was great enough to still cause Fighter Command a big headache.
     
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