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Me-262

Discussions on all (non-biographical) aspects of the Luftwaffe air units and general discussions on the Luftwaffe.

Me 262 A-2

Postby Scott Smith on 18 Apr 2002 05:26

Rudel&Tiger_fan wrote:Perhaps.But with some experience ,german pilots (as Adolf Galland) prefered it in a fighter.The Hitler's decision to keep bomber capascity was contrary to pilots advices...


Only a few JaBos (fighter-bombers) were ever built, and which were tested experimentally with success. The shortage of airframes of any type was due to technical problems mass-producing the engines, which were not solved until AFTER the Führerbefehl giving priority to JaBos had been rescinded in favor of fighters.

I posted on this in detail not long ago but can't seem to find it right now...
:)
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Postby Mistel1 on 18 Apr 2002 09:44

Erich wrote:You may also be intersted in that there were 2 Me 262A-1a's of 10./NJG 11 that had only 2 Mk 108's.......didn't need much to shred a Mosquito to pieces.

E


Sorry, but here i have to ask: Did the NJ gruppen have Me-262A's? They were one manned daylight fighters AFAIK...I've always thought the jet fighters of NJG's were two seater Me-262B's...
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Postby Erich on 18 Apr 2002 15:50

All the photos published so far show the two seater version at the surrender in Schleswig. There was only one pilot flying the two seater in combat with only 1 confirmed victory, the rest of the victories were done in Me 262A-1a's........more in our book to come.

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Postby Rudel&Tiger_fan on 19 Apr 2002 12:45

Which was the fire rate of the Mk 108? 600/min? less? more?
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Postby Huckebein on 19 Apr 2002 14:15

Rate of fire for this weapon is irrelevant, because you can bring down anything (small fighters to heavy bombers) with only 1 to 3 rounds. More important is muzzle velocity and ammunition weight, which tell that you have to be relatively close to the target to get a precise shot: ~ 300m.

MK 108:
muzzle velocity 505 m/s
weight 335 g
rate of fire 660 rpm

But this cannon was envisioned mainly as a bomber killer. For dogfighting Luftwaffe had another one (in two variants with 20 and 30mm rounds):

MG 213C/20
muzzle velocity 1050 m/s
weight 112 g
rate of fire 1400 rpm

MG 213C/30
muzzle velocity 530 m/s
weight 330 g
rate of fire 1200 rpm

MG213 is a revolver cannon and is the common ancestor of all important post war cannon designs (except M61 which is a rotary cannon).
Last edited by Huckebein on 19 Apr 2002 16:28, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Erich on 19 Apr 2002 16:12

Check your sources again please ! The mg 213 units were not in operational production, the MK 101, 103 used a different 3cm cartridge and were very effective for dealing with armored vehicles. The MK 108 3cm was a short range weapon and as mentioned was a very effective anti-bomber weapon. The standard in almost all Luftwaffe a/c was the MG 151/20 using the AP and HE minen rounds.
By the way we have found with intense research that the MK 108 usually fired at about 580-600 rpm due to frequent jamming problems.

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Postby Rudel&Tiger_fan on 19 Apr 2002 21:59

oh ok.there was a choice to make: small caliber with high rate (and velocity)
big caliber with small rate (and velocity).
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Postby Erich on 19 Apr 2002 22:52

T & R :

There were experiments in JV 44 and a test Kommando using different 2cm and 3cm wepaons systems in the nose of the 262 with upwards of 6 kanon. The 3cm MK 108 was chosen because of it's light weight, short gun barrel which could be hidden in the nose and the use of the lethal Minen round. The Mk 103 was on an experimental basis but the barrel was too long and there was too much vibration which cracked the supports for the nose back even to the canopy and the drag that was introduced against the speed of the aircraft. They had felt that the 4 2cm wepaons would be nice but the jet usually had only one quick pass at the Allied bombers or fighters, therefore a much large concentrate of firepower and the advent of the mine- round took precedence over the 4 2cm weapons.

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ARMAMENT...

Postby Scott Smith on 19 Apr 2002 22:59

Rudel&Tiger_fan wrote:oh ok. there was a choice to make: small caliber with high rate (and velocity)
big caliber with small rate (and velocity).

It all depends on what job you're going to do.

For attacking bombers you want big cannon and rockets; for fighters, you want fast 20mm cannon or a lot of fast 13mm machine guns.

The Americans opted for the latter with the 0.50 caliber (12.7mm) Browning machine gun because they mostly went after fighters or soft ground targets.

The 30mm MK 103 was a higher-velocity gun than the MK 108, but heavier and a little slower. It was more reliable, and the flatter trajectory (on account of the higher-velocity) not only gave it more kinetic energy but made it easier to hit the target with.

Even with an unprecedented FOUR 30mm MK 108 cannon, it was difficult to acquire the target with the fast Me 262. That's why the R4M rockets were essential--but they didn't appear until April, 1945.

Without the R4M rockets, four 20mm MG 151 cannon and two 30mm MK 103 cannon would have probably been a better weapons-package, IMHO.
:)

30mm MK 108 cannon

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Last edited by Scott Smith on 20 Apr 2002 20:27, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Erich on 19 Apr 2002 23:38

Read the last part of my post concerning too many weapons in the nose of the Me 262. The 4 2cm weapons and the Mk 103 were not ideally suited for the 262. The first use of rockets by JG 7 was March 18, 1945 and was in widespread use by I. and III. gruppes from then on. The change over to an AP/HE mix which the head resembeld the Panzerschreck round head (R4M) was devastating against Russian armor and M/T columns at the end of April through May of 45.

E nice pic of Alfred Price and the Mk 108 showing an Minen round incendiary.
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Postby Huckebein on 20 Apr 2002 00:32

Yes, thank you Erich for correcting me. I never intended to say that these guns were used operationally, just wanted to mention that Luftwaffe had another new cannon design for fighters use. It did not entered in production, but in 1944 was already fully developed. If any of the new fighters projects had appeared they surely would have had them on board. Almost all from miniature fighters to heavy piston fighters and jet or mixed propulsion nightfighters projects mentioned this type of cannon. But until then Luftwaffe considered that cannons already in production have enough fire power.

Anyway, after ww2 till present day revolver cannon was and still is one of the most deployed cannon type (especially in Europe). British Aden and french DEFA were direct copies of the MG213, but with different ammunition (propellant mixture). The americans used it on F-100 and F-5 (M39 cannon). But the most important is that the most poweful cannons of today are revolver cannons. A short comparison:


ammo weight muzzle velocity

revolver
KCA 30 mm 360 g 1030 m/s
DEFA 554 30 mm 275 g 820 m/s
GIAT 30M791 30 mm 275 g 1025 m/s
BK27 27 mm 260 g 1025 m/s

rotary
M61A1 20 mm 101 g 1035 m/s

linear action
GSh-30-1 30 mm 400 g 890 m/s


I didn't listed here rate of fire for each cannon (around 1500 rpm) because rate of fire has relevance only when you have ammo to spend (like over 2000). Rotary designs like M61 have over 6000 rpm, but because you have just 4 seconds of sustained fire (for a 500 cartridges drum) you are constraint to shot only in short bursts of few rounds, which makes any fire rate comparison futile. More so, rotary cannons need time to reach nominal rate of fire - 0.4 sec - while a revolver cannon just 0.05 -> for a short burst rotary designs have no advantage. Plus, in case of M61, a single burst of 20 mm rounds may not be enough to damage the target, although Vulcan has better ballistics (but with modern day CCIP delivery this is not a real advantage too).

I think the table does a pretty good job in showing the advantages of revolver cannons and why I thought MG213 should be mentioned here. If it had entered in production it is certain that fighter versions of Me262 would have received an upgrade of armament.
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ME 262 ARMAMENT

Postby Scott Smith on 20 Apr 2002 01:48

Erich wrote:Read the last part of my post concerning too many weapons in the nose of the Me 262. The 4 2cm weapons and the Mk 103 were not ideally suited for the 262. The first use of rockets by JG 7 was March 18, 1945 and was in widespread use by I. and III. gruppes from then on. The change over to an AP/HE mix which the head resembeld the Panzerschreck round head (R4M) was devastating against Russian armor and M/T columns at the end of April through May of 45.

E nice pic of Alfred Price and the Mk 108 showing an Minen round incendiary.


I think the MK 103 tests on the Me 262 used a nose with bulges on the sides to accomodate two MK 103 cannon. Are these the tests you are refering to with the cracked airframe?

If the higher-velocity 30mm cannon couldn't be fit then the Me 262 could have accomodated six 20mm MG 151 cannon.

There was also some experimentation with the BK 5 50mm cannon.

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Postby Erich on 20 Apr 2002 05:15

The 6 kanon bird was flown by ace Heinz Bär. The Bk 5cm weapon was field tested by a night fighter ace once and in so doing reduced the airspeed by ? miles per hour. when fired the kanon nearly tore the front half of the plane off the fuselage. Supposedly in 1 account that I have if I could find it the unit was taken out against US bomber formations. I am trying to find if there was a success which I seriously doubt.

still looking for the article(s) and yes the Mk 103's were used with difficulty as the nose cone did not fit proportionaly to the front of the airframe.

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Me 262A-1a/U4 w/ 50mm MK 214

Postby Scott Smith on 20 Apr 2002 06:58

I'm not aware of any difficulties with the 50mm but I don't think it was actually tried in combat.

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Postby Erich on 20 Apr 2002 17:06

Scott, we will release some pretty interesting info on the 262 weapons systems in our book, especially the secret documents available to us about the B-2 and the B-3 night fighter projects with schräg waffen, etc......

more to come !

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