While Ernst Heinkel and his company are remembered chiefly for his long-serving He111

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Rosco P. Coltraine, Jan 12, 2012.

  1. Rosco P. Coltraine

    Rosco P. Coltraine New Member

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    While Ernst Heinkel and his company are remembered chiefly for his long-serving He111 medium bomber, it's often forgotten that early in the Nazi era his company was Germany's most prominent.

    Much of its decline in status is attributed to the Nazi-party membership and connections of his rival Willy Messerschmitt and the Bf109 prototype beating Heinkel's He112 prototype to meet the requirements of the RLM's Rüstungsflugzeug III . It was the best decision at the time, in most aspects the Bf109 prototype was the better choice as it had slightly overall better performance. More importantly the Bf109 was less sophisticated and thus had easier maintenance and was easier to mass-produce (despite being more expensive).

    Yet the He112 did enter limited production for export to Hungary, Romania, Spain and the Japanese navy. It was loved by its crews as a flying machine but its heavy maintenance made it unpopular amongst the leadership and difficulty in obtaining spares led to it quickly becoming phased out of Japanese service.
    With spares easier to obtain in Europe, it did see combat in Hungarian and Romanian service from 1941 and proved very effective despite having no development since 1937-8.

    With the benefit of hindsight I can't help but be thankful that the RLM didn't also accept the He112 for production and service as a second fighter type. The Bf109 really served far too long and the weakness of the airframe was evident with later Me109 versions by 1944 where to get enough high-altitude speeds to match the Mustang Me109's were stripped of Armour and armament and sacrificed much agility. Could've the more advance He112 been easier to develop and improve further?
    And how useful could've another fighter type (using the Junkers Jumo engine) been for the Luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain and during the industrial disruptions of the Allied bombing campaigns?

    What's more is that Heinkel on his own initiative decided on a radical development of the He112 which resulted in the even more advanced He100 fighter of 1940. Despite this aircraft breaking speed records, having overwhelming positive feedback and being easier to produce than the He112 the RLM again wasn't interested.
    This time its main reason for its rejection was the fact it used the same Daimler-Benz engine already prioritised for the Bf109 and the Bf110. In hindsight, could've the Luftwaffe given up on the Zestorer concept that led to the Bf110 and sent those two engines needed for one Bf110 to build two He100's?
     
  2. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    There you go and that problem is fatal for both the Fw-187 and He-100 programs unless different engine production decisions are made during late 1935.

    October 1935. Original RLM proposal to Daimler-Benz for production of DB601 engine.
    …..10 million RM provided by RLM.
    …..Daimler-Benz would borrow 40 million RM for the remainder. RLM would guarantee the loan.
    This proposal was rejected by Daimler-Benz management.

    Late 1935. Final production agreement for DB601 engine.
    …..New factory to be constructed at Genshagen during 1936. 20 million RM cost.
    .....All but 750,000 RM to be provided by RLM.

    1936 DB601 engine program funding for factory construction was reduced from 50 million RM to 20 million RM. A 60% cut. If the original RLM proposal had been approved there would have been plenty of DB601 engines available by 1940. The He-100 and Fw-187 could both enter production during 1940 without effecting Me-109 and Me-110 production.
     
  3. Rosco P. Coltraine

    Rosco P. Coltraine New Member

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    Thankfully the RLM were rather incompetent.

    Gotta say though, are we sure that the Luftwaffe really needed a zestorer heavy fighter anyway?
    I can see you've got an Fw187 as your avatar and I'm assuming you're a fan of it (it had undoubted great potential) but in hindsight were they really worth the RLM's investment in? what they did best for the Luftwaffe could've been done well by single-engined fighters and single engined fighter could do what the heavy fighter couldn't.
     
  4. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Internal Fuel Capacity.
    340 liters. Me-109.
    535 liters. Fw-190A.
    1,100 liters. Fw-187.
    1,270 liters. Me-110.

    If Germany wants a high performance day fighter with serious range / endurance then nothing comes close to the Fw-187 prior to the 1945 Do-335. The Falke could do for 1940 Germany what the P-51 did for the USA during 1944 and 1945.
     
  5. Rosco P. Coltraine

    Rosco P. Coltraine New Member

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    But did they want that?
    What role in the Luftwaffe would it fill?

    Germany had no program of heavy strategic bombing needing an escort fighter. Aside from the battle of Britain (where unsuitable tactical medium bombers were impressed for strategic bombing) Germany never had the immediate need nor resources for strategic bombing and an escort fighter like the Fw187.
    The Luftwaffe after the failure of Sealion was committed to keeping air superiority over France and rebuilding for Barbarossa. Then came commitments in Greece/Balkans/North Africa/Mediterranean. Then came the tactical battles over the Soviet Union.
    All of these roles were easily fulfilled by single-engined fighters such as the Bf109 and Fw190 despite their short range.

    So it may have been ideal as an escort fighter in the Battle of Britain. And then as a long-range fighter in the Mediterranean. Or at least (in those two roles) much better than the Bf110. Is that worth investing in?
    And would it handle a dogfight with the best of the single-engined fighters such as the Spitfire well? that was the big drawback of all twin-engined fighters including the P-38 in that they almost always had dogfighting disadvantages against single-engined fighters. I could be wrong but I think no Bf110 ever shot down a Spitfire in a dogfight.
     
  6. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    The P-51D had a internal capacity of 1018 litres, and that just feeding one engine. With the ability to carry 2x 416 litre tanks for another 832 litres.
     
  7. DonL

    DonL Banned

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    #7 DonL, Jan 13, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2012
    Salve,

    I don't think that's correct. The most prominent and by far the leader of technology, engineers and skilled workers was Junkers!

    To my opinion, that's the wrong conclusion! As you have described the He 112 was much more difficult to mass produce and too expensive in comparison to the BF 109! Also I doubt that the He 112 had much more potential then the Bf 109.

    The second LW fighter was the FW 190 and as we know it had the most potential from all LW fighters because it could be matched with radials and inline engines and was more robust and one of the best gun plattforms of all WWII fighters. The FW 190 was at the timeline between 1936-1940 the logical consequence to bring the BMW company with it's radial engine in action and production.

    The He 100 D-0 wasn't a good concept because of it's water evaporation cooling system.
    And the He 100 D-1 was far too late to switch the production.

    As Dave has written the destroyer concept with the Bf 110 was too much destroyer and less long range fighter.
    The Fw 187 had solved this problem, it was much more fighter with the possibilty to handle all other tasks of the Bf 110 because of it's very good payload.

    The Fw 187 had the advantage of speed, estimated speed with two DB 601 E was 650-670km/h (frontline plane)and as all FW fighters it had a very good roll rate simular to the FW 190.
    It would and could be a true multirole plane as long range fighter, heavy fighter and destroyer!
    For some more infos:
    http://www.ww2aircraft.net/forum/av...d-vs-fw-187-vs-p-38-a-26065-2.html#post712499

    That's totally incorrect!
    The LW had a program of heavy strategic bombing with the needing of an escort fighter.
    Ural Bomber and Bomber A!
    This was the reason, that at the advertisement of the destoyer one main feature was long range escort fighter.
    With the death of General Wever and the replacement of Genral Wimmer both in 1936, the incompetent people for strategic planning took the lead at the LW (Göring, Udet, Kesselring, Jeschonnek)
    Walther Wever (general) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    But we are talking about planes and fighters which were developed at 1936/37!

    The Tank 152-H1 has also 1035 liters internal capacity.

    Edit:

    This is OT but very important for the whole range of topics.
    The ultimate problem of the german economy/war economy was, that they had no specialists and no experience with mass production. All this must be learned between 1934/35-1944 with a very slow learn effect graph.
    At the 1930..... assembly lines with for a example the size of Ford at the USA were non existent in germany and there were no experience nor men with profound knowledge.

    All the production specialists for the Volkswagen factory at 1938, were all poached away from Ford USA! Most of them were former german emigrants.
    An other example was the production of the Pz III. The whole production time from 1938-1942/43 there were no assembly lines!

    Some of this problems were homemade because at the most advertisements at the 1930.... the Opel and Ford companys with by far most experience in mass production in germany, weren't involved, because the Nazi's had fear that technology would be transfered to the USA.
     
  8. Tante Ju

    Tante Ju Banned

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    1944 Me 109 was not stripped of anything sorry you have that wrong.. also I do not believe He 112 had anything to offer over Bf 109, that is why it lost. Final coffin in trial of 109-112 was that He 112 had much inferior handling.

    Yes because all Heinkel had was prototype, meanwhile 109E was come off from assembly line 2 years.. and Mtt tooling up for 109F in 1940 which was far more suited for actual frontline work, been tried and tested and had similar performance than He 100. Main advantage of He 100 was speed, but this was achieved by a impractical radiator solution, and by clipping off 1,5 sq. m. from wing compared to Me 109..

    I do not think. He 100 couldn't do same job as Me 110. It could not have range, because it is VERY small, it could not deliver bombs, it could not use for ground attack the same, nor as night fighter. Bf 110 was built simply because in mid-1936s engines were simply too weak, so that one would suffice power for requirements in carry capacity. Think for minute for example later Mustang had engine power in one engine equivalent of the power of two engines of twin engine plane in 1936..
     
  9. Rosco P. Coltraine

    Rosco P. Coltraine New Member

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    #9 Rosco P. Coltraine, Jan 13, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2012
    Junkers WERE the leaders, until Hugo Junkers ran foul of the Nazis. After they placed him under house arrest (and effectively caused his early death) their status gradually diminished considerably. Other than the Ju88 they never produced any more stand-out aircraft.
    What do you base that opinion on?

    For starters, the He112 was much more technologically advanced than the Bf109.
    Kurt Tank didn't design the Fw190 until some time later.

    While it was undoubtedly an excellent aircraft, the main reason for its adoption by the RLM was because it used the more available BMW 801 as its powerplant.
    And remember that it wasn't until it was fitted with the Junkers Jumo powerplant in the "Dora" versions that it enjoyed great performance at altitude.

    Prior to the Dora's becoming availadle the Fw190 wasn't so much the Luftwaffe's "second fighter" sharing the Bf/Me109's role but more filling the different role of the "multi-role" low-altitude fighter that was so valuable in the tactical battles on the eastern front.
    And in any case the Fw190 wasn't able to enter service until late 1941. The He112 could've entered service in 1937 and the He100 in 1940.
    I'm aware of the evaporator cooling system and the considerable technical problems it introduced.

    However, the Japanese came very close to producing the type under licence. The aeroplane clearly worked even if minor damage to the wing could cause the engine to overheat and seize or explode. By the end of 1940 the RAF were adopting 20mm cannon armaments for their fighters anyway, and a cannon shell to the wing of any fighter was likely to be catastrophic as was a hit from a US .50 cal machine gun.
    I wasn't suggesting switching production from the Bf109 but from the not-very-useful Bf110. I'm pretty sure that two He100's would be more useful than one Bf110.
    I'm not disputing that the Fw187 was a very good aircraft.
    But so was the Westland Whirlwind.

    No matter how good a twin-engined fighter could be it would always struggle to match the agility of a single engined fighter. Even Kelly Johnston's P-38, possibly the lightest and most agile of twin-engined fighters, struggled against single-engined fighters.
    :rolleyes:
    Did you miss the part about General Walther Wever perishing in 1936?

    Wever was the Ural Bomber, without him the project died. So the Luftwaffe never had a strategic bomber force and thus no strategic bombing program, as was evident in 1940. So there was no need for the Fw187.
    And I also have to question your judgement when you consider its abandonment incompetence. With the hindsight of;
    1) how German industry would struggle to equip and supply the existing tactical-oriented Luftwaffe, the Panzerwaffen and the Ubootflotten.
    2) the poor return on the British and US investments in strategic bombing.

    I can curse the fact that Wever wasn't able to waste German resources on attempting to build a strategic bomber force. There's a good chance that even if he'd selected the Ju-89 for production, it wouldn't have been able to equip many wings anyway and possibly would've been abandoned.
    The UK was able to build its strategic bomber force by sacrificing building a very large armoured force. The USA simply enjoyed a much larger industrial capacity.

    And why even mention the Amerikabomber? the whole project was very pie-in-the-sky.

    The Germans never even had strategic bombers to have a strategic bombing project with. So as impressive as the Fw187 was, what role could it possibly fill?
    Well those dilemmas weren't anything on the industrial problems the French and Italians failed to overcome!

    But at the end of the day, I was wanting to discuss whether the He112 and/or He100 should've entered production and Luftwaffe service at some stage as another Jager type to compliment the Bf109 at the expense of the b=Bf110
     
  10. Rosco P. Coltraine

    Rosco P. Coltraine New Member

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    #10 Rosco P. Coltraine, Jan 13, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2012
    I'm pretty sure that they removed the cockpit armour to save weight.
    I'm pretty sure that the He112 had markedly better turn performance thanks to its eliptical wing. Just like the Spitfire enjoyed an advantage in turn performance over the Bf109.

    Oh and it had much better range. How useful would've that been in the battle of Britain?
    I've never heard that.
    I'm not saying it isn't true. But I'm also pretty sure that the production versions that served in Hungary, Spain and Romania were all regarded for their generally easy handling.

    I'm also pretty sure there wasn't that much between the two prototypes performance-wise although the Bf109 was a bit faster and climbed much better thanks to it's smaller size and lower weight. The He112 also initially failed spin tests. But the main reason for the Bf109's selection was its ease of production and lower maintenance.

    But I just think that Germany should've also selected the He112 for more limited procurement and service. There were service advantages to having two fighter types, and with the eventual Jumo 211 it perhaps could've been developed into something with really impressive performance. It was still probably a better aircraft than many that served in other airforces such as the Hawker Hurricane and the Morane-Saulnier M.S.406.
    With the benefit of hindsight to me it seems thankful that the Luftwaffe stuck to only one fighter type and pursued the flawed Zestorer concept.
    But why couldn't the Luftwaffe cut-back production of the Bf110 for a second fighter type?
    If the prototype of the He100 broke speed records then what could the airframe achieve with some further development?
    The Bf110 was relegated to ground attack because of its failures in the Battle of Britain (although it would again achieve air-to-air successes in Barbarossa and as an inteceptor of daylight bombers before the USAAF organised effective fighter escorts). And was the Bf110 really crucial as a night-fighter? and couldn't it just have re-entered production if needed? Carrying bombs and nightfighter radar wasn't actually the Bf110's job anyway, it's job was to shoot down other aircraft which is a job I'm certain the He100 would've been overall better at.
    So in other words the Bf110 and the Zestorer concept were obsolete by 1940?
     
  11. DonL

    DonL Banned

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    #11 DonL, Jan 13, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2012
    @ Rosco P. Coltraine

    How do you want to get something in production, if you havn't the capacity?
    You can't switch production lines as easy as you might be thinking, above all things not if you are needing numbers in the war.
    The HE 112 and much later the HE 100 were not much more promising then the Bf 109. And the Bf 109 did her job very good till the Bf 109F.
    The first HE 112 hadn't even a closed cockpit.

    Based on which facts?

    At 1938 the time for the HE 112 was out, because the Bf 109 was in production and the decission was made.
    The HE 100 and the FW 190 (first flight 01.06.1939), were at near the same timeline. Also the HE 100 D-1 had problems with it's retractable cooler, if the engine get's better or larger. More horsepower more cooling!
    And as you have correct stated, the BMW engine should go in production to have more engines and planes available.

    You have read my post?
    Your statement that Wever was the Ural Bomber is wrong, also your statement about the Amerikabomber, because the Amerikabomber had nothing to do with the advertisement of the Bomber A, which was the replacement of the Ural Bomber!
    The Bomber A was a advertisement from the year 1936/1937 and the development was the HE 177 as strategic bomber.
    The major failure was that Ernst Udet wanted a dive bombing strategic bomber! Ernst Udet was the replacement of General Wimmer!
    The plans and models of the HE 177 existed at 1937 as a normal 4 engine strategic bomber, only the very stupid subsequent requirement of dive bombing from Ernst Udet, convert this advertisement to a chaos with the coupled engines!

    Also there was the advertisement of the Bomber B from 1937 (JU 288 ).
    And again, at the advertisement of the destroyer project from 1936 one main feature was long range escort fighter!

    The only time you can switch production lines is after the loss of the Battle of Britain (1940)and to my opinion the FW 187 is much more promising then any other aircraft for the replacement of the Bf 110!
    A estimated FW 187 B or C with DB 601 E engines would be at roundabout 6000kg take off weight with 2700PS (2 x 1350PS). As you can see there would be much more agilety then a P-38!

    I was refering to the Junkers company!
    Which other Company could or had developed five planes at the same time between 1935 and 1938?
    Ju 87, Ju88, Ju89, Junkers EF 61, Ju 288
    Also Jumo 205, 210, 211, 213, 222
     
  12. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Udet and Goering both blame Erhard Milch for rejection of the 1938 He-177B proposal (4 Jumo 211 engines).

    Goering cannot escape some blame as he was Milch's boss. However I tend to think Milch was the main reason for this decision. And many other bad decisions too such as cancellation of the DB603 engine program during 1937, cancellation of Me-210C and Ju-252 aircraft programs during 1942.
     
  13. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    I disagree.

    Gen. Wever implemented the more advanced Bomber A program before he died. That effectively superseded the Ural Bomber even though a few Ju-89 protypes were allowed to complete construction.
     
  14. DonL

    DonL Banned

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    @ davebender

    Dave, from which source/s you have this information please?

    I disagree but we should discuss this in an other thread!
     
  15. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Wikipedia. I have no idea what they used for source data.
     
  16. Gixxerman

    Gixxerman Member

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    I've mentioned this before here myself.....but I was under the impression that proper mass-production lines had been made by German Ford etc and that the surprise was that the armaments people never bothered looking to the mass-producing car companies to see how it was done.
     
  17. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    He made some lovely cars and scooters post war
     
  18. DonL

    DonL Banned

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    @ Gixxerman

    I think later at 1937,38,39 the responsible persons getting the idea that they needed help.

    To my sources for example, at the advertisement of the Pz.III and Pz.IV (1935), Opel and Ford (Germany) weren't involved on purpose, because the Nazi party had fear that first, someone in the USA could find out that the german government break the versaille treaty and second, military technology would be transfered to the USA.
     
  19. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Will this myth never die?

    Ju-88.
    http://www.econ.yale.edu/growth_pdf/cdp905.pdf

    Jumo 211 engine.
    Junkers Engines - Jumo 211
    Three state of the art aircraft engine plants that were producing a total of 1,700 engines per month by the fall of 1942.

    Of course German and Austrian mass production goes back much further. Steyr was producing about 100,000 rifles per month prior to WWI, most of which were exported. Krupp had 75,000 employees during 1887 and was probably the largest steel producer in the world at that time. German chemical firms controlled about 85% of worldwide synthetic dye production during 1913. During 1916 BASF built a plant from scratch at Leuna that produced 75,000 tons of synthetic ammonium per year.
     
  20. Siegfried

    Siegfried Banned

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    #20 Siegfried, Jan 14, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2012
    The "Zerstoerer" concept to which the Bf 110 was built is usually misunderstood because of the misuse of the aircraft as an escort fighter during the BoB. It shouldn't be conflated with Kurt Tanks FW 187 concept.

    The original Zerstoerer specification brought in competition from Henschell, Focke-Wulf. (Henschell Hs 124, Focke-Wulf Fw 57. These were three seater aircraft. Messerschmitt however submitted a lightened non conforming tender that won since the orginal spec was oberburdened with weight adding requirements.

    The Zerstoerer concept envisaged the following duties:
    1 High speed Fighter Bomber with heavy gun armament designed to self penetrate enemy airspace and straff up enemy aerodromes ahead of main level bomber force to prevent enememy fighers taking off.
    2 Bad weather fighter (ie bad weather and night fighter) by virtue of multicrew and instrumentation.
    3 Bomber Destroyer (Zerstoerer) ie it was meant to destroy ememy bombers by virtue of high fire power.

    It did very well in these roles! The belated Brtish equivalent, the Beaufighter, was inferior or at best equal in every respect except its longer range and commodious fueselage (good for the bulky first generation radar equipment). However the RAF never tried to misuse the Beaufighter to escort its Bombers into the Reich: they did use it succesfully as a night fighter, long range anti-shipping and coastal strike (with P-51 escort) aircraft and it was used as a bomber destroyer against maritime patrol aircraft and Ju 88 torpedo bombers and heavy fighters. They played to its strengths while avoiding its weaknesses.

    Bf 110 was never designed as an bomber escort meant to mix it with single engined fighters. It was pressed into this due to the lack of a long range escort and rather misused even then due to the order to close escort.

    The FW-187 concept was to retain wing loadings and power to weight ratios equal to or better than that of its single engined opponents. It would thus be able to offer acceleration, speed and turn rates and radii equal to or better than single engine aircraft. Rather than using the advantages of twin engines and greater size to carry extra crew members, equipment, rear armament, heavy forward armament the advantages would be used primarily to obtain better range and speed without sacrificing agility.

    The FW 187 compares more with the P-38 than with the Me 110 or Beaufighter.

    The 1100L fuel capacity of the FW 187 was 3 times that of the Me 109 but it had only two engines. It should have obtained 1.5 times the range. However it was a faster aircraft, would have cruised faster and range increases disportionatly to fuel increases due to the initial effect of climb on fuel consumption. In addition FW 187 was likely capable of fuel tankage increases (in the wings for instance)

    It's likely the FW 187 could have fullfilled the role of long range escort, coastal strike and high speed reconaisance aircraft (equal to the Mosquito/P-38 perhaps in that role). A two seat version was possible, allowing a radar opperator who while not able to opperate rear armament would at least have provided the Luftwaffe with a fast radar equiped night fighter.

    It's worth noting that the Hs 124 apparently was able to roll and out dive an Me 109 and that the bomber derivative the Hs 127
    (which lost out to the Ju 88 due to smaller bomb load) allegedly managed 357 mph on a pair of 960hp DB600 engines; it could
    have been the Luftwaffe's Mosquito by 1938!
     
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