Quantity Not Quality Fighters

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Carl Schwamberger
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Post by Carl Schwamberger » 13 Feb 2021 18:50

R-Bob The Great! wrote:
15 Feb 2003 19:41
peter_suciu wrote:Germany also wasted the pre-war eras trying to do too much. Why build a fleet of surface raiders when U-Boats do the trick? The money that went into building the high seas fleet would have been better spent developing a heavy bomber and increasing the amount of planes.
How could Germany have invaded Norway without a surface fleet.
IIRC they nearly did it without a surface fleet. Two dozen destroyers and a half dozen cruisers? The Scharnhorst & sister were not essential. Either the German transports get through a step ahead of the Brits as they did OTL, or they don't & the whole thing is buggered.

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Takao
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Re: Quantity Not Quality Fighters

Post by Takao » 13 Feb 2021 18:58

T. A. Gardner wrote:
13 Feb 2021 18:08
Richard Anderson wrote:
13 Feb 2021 17:02
Cantankerous wrote:
12 Feb 2021 00:40
What would the chances have been of the Luftwaffe taking on the Eighth Air Force if Focke-Wulf had modified hundreds of Fw 190s in late 1941 to use either a Jumo 004 or Heinkel HeS 8 turbojet?
How do you "modify" an airframe designed for a radial prop to use turbojet engines? Why would you want to substitute marginally developed, experimental engines, that were not in serial production, for a developed engine in full production?
The Russians managed it...

Image

Lavochkin La 156 based on the La 11 radial engine fighter...

But, the resulting plane has a very short range and poor performance compared to properly designed jets. You still need an engine that's working though...
Ummm...The Russians did not manage it.

The Lavochkin La 156 was a progressive design beginning with the La 150, followed by the La 152, then the La 154.

The La 156 had nothing to do with the La 11 design.

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Re: Quantity Not Quality Fighters

Post by Cantankerous » 13 Feb 2021 21:31

Takao wrote:
13 Feb 2021 18:58
T. A. Gardner wrote:
13 Feb 2021 18:08
Richard Anderson wrote:
13 Feb 2021 17:02
Cantankerous wrote:
12 Feb 2021 00:40
What would the chances have been of the Luftwaffe taking on the Eighth Air Force if Focke-Wulf had modified hundreds of Fw 190s in late 1941 to use either a Jumo 004 or Heinkel HeS 8 turbojet?
How do you "modify" an airframe designed for a radial prop to use turbojet engines? Why would you want to substitute marginally developed, experimental engines, that were not in serial production, for a developed engine in full production?
The Russians managed it...

Image

Lavochkin La 156 based on the La 11 radial engine fighter...

But, the resulting plane has a very short range and poor performance compared to properly designed jets. You still need an engine that's working though...
Ummm...The Russians did not manage it.

The Lavochkin La 156 was a progressive design beginning with the La 150, followed by the La 152, then the La 154.

The La 156 had nothing to do with the La 11 design.
The Yakovlev Yak-15 was a Yak-3/9 with the piston engine removed and replaced by a Junkers Jumo 004B (captured and reverse-engineered Jumo 004Bs were given the Soviet designation RD-10). Focke Wulf would have created a jet derivative of the Fw 190 by removing the BMW 801 and replacing it with a Heinkel-Hirth or Junkers Jumo 004B turbojet fed by an air intake in the nose, with jet exhaust from a scoop below the rear fuselage.

The La-156 and La-152 were derived from the La-150, which also used a captured Jumo 004B and resembled the MiG-9 and Yak-15 as well as some early Focke-Wulf jet fighter studies.

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Re: Quantity Not Quality Fighters

Post by Richard Anderson » 13 Feb 2021 22:29

Cantankerous wrote:
13 Feb 2021 21:31
The Yakovlev Yak-15 was a Yak-3/9 with the piston engine removed and replaced by a Junkers Jumo 004B (captured and reverse-engineered Jumo 004Bs were given the Soviet designation RD-10). Focke Wulf would have created a jet derivative of the Fw 190 by removing the BMW 801 and replacing it with a Heinkel-Hirth or Junkers Jumo 004B turbojet fed by an air intake in the nose, with jet exhaust from a scoop below the rear fuselage.

The La-156 and La-152 were derived from the La-150, which also used a captured Jumo 004B and resembled the MiG-9 and Yak-15 as well as some early Focke-Wulf jet fighter studies.
Yet again, the question you refuse to address. A total of 80 development series Jumo 004A were built 1940-1942. The first static test of the 004A was 11 October 1940. First flight was 15 March 1942 in a Bf 110 test bed. First flight in an Me 262 was 18 July 1942. However, the 004A was impractical for production, so was redesigned as the 004B, with work beginning in the summer of 1941. The first three 004B pre-production types were completed in early 1942 and tested into 1943. Serial production began in mid 1943 and by the end of 1944 c. 4,566 were completed, about 250 per month. There were 3,350 completed in the first three months of 1945, about 1,100 per month. By mid 1943, when 004B production began, over 700 BMW 801 engines were completed per month. By January 1944, it was 1,000 per month. By July 1944, it was 1,400 per month. Why would the Germans sacrifice a proven engine, established production lines, and an airframe tailored to the engine, in order to get a half-baked, jury-rigged, jet into minimal production?

The Heinkel is an even sillier idea.

HeS 1 through 6? Totally impractical.
HeS 8 cancelled in 1942.
Total of about 30 engines completed for the development program.
HeS 0-11, first flew in 1944 and 19 completed.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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T. A. Gardner
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Re: Quantity Not Quality Fighters

Post by T. A. Gardner » 14 Feb 2021 02:29

Takao wrote:
13 Feb 2021 18:58
Ummm...The Russians did not manage it.

The Lavochkin La 156 was a progressive design beginning with the La 150, followed by the La 152, then the La 154.

The La 156 had nothing to do with the La 11 design.
It was in the same way Yakovlev did this with the Yak 3 and 9. It was a quick way to get something with a jet engine in the air immediately postwar.

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T. A. Gardner
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Re: Quantity Not Quality Fighters

Post by T. A. Gardner » 14 Feb 2021 02:34

The advantage to such a program, assuming you get a halfway reliable jet engine is that those early turbojets took a small fraction of the manpower and skilled labor to manufacture compared to a piston engine. The problem, of course, was that the German turbojets were horribly unreliable and had design issues as well.

It is also clear that shoving a turbojet into a piston engine airframe results in a pretty mediocre aircraft.

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Re: Quantity Not Quality Fighters

Post by danebrog » 15 Feb 2021 13:44

From a design point of view, the German A/C were of high quality, but later the manufacturing quality was lacking.
When a captured Spitfire was examined in 1942, 75% of all rivets would have had to be replaced according to the quality standards in force.
As the war progressed, attempts were made to simplify the complex designs, and it became clear, for example, that alone the cowling of the Fw190 would have required a complete redesign.
The list could be continued indefinitely.

The main limiting factor for more powerful designs was the high-octane fuel required for high-performance engines, which could not be produced with the best will in the world. From 1943 onwards, there was also a noticeable shortage of alloys. (Which, for example, made turbochargers illusory for large-scale production - and caused tremendous problems at the development of Turbojets).

Really efficient (or high quality) operational types like Do 335, Me262 or Fw 190-D were absolutely not front line usable before mid 1944.
One must not forget that the establishment of appropriate production capacities and the necessary infrastructure on the ground required far more time and resources than getting a prototype ready for series production.

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Takao
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Re: Quantity Not Quality Fighters

Post by Takao » 15 Feb 2021 14:38

T. A. Gardner wrote:
14 Feb 2021 02:29
Takao wrote:
13 Feb 2021 18:58
Ummm...The Russians did not manage it.

The Lavochkin La 156 was a progressive design beginning with the La 150, followed by the La 152, then the La 154.

The La 156 had nothing to do with the La 11 design.
It was in the same way Yakovlev did this with the Yak 3 and 9. It was a quick way to get something with a jet engine in the air immediately postwar.
Are we redefining "quick"? It was 2 years from the Yak-15 concept to acceptance, more if we go to operational status. Which also included many modifications to the aircraft.

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Re: Quantity Not Quality Fighters

Post by Peter89 » 15 Feb 2021 17:15

The Luftwaffe had some good types at the beginning of the war, but they almost all neared obsolescence in 1940.

Udet, Jeschonnek and Göring were simple minded pilots, and had little to no managerial skills, production experience or strategic insight.

The Germans could not phase out their existing models, because they were struggling to produce enough of them to cover the losses.

Between 1939 and 1941, the German aircraft industry was experimenting much with very little result.

When Milch came to power, he suddenly stopped most of the tinkering and experimenting, and tried to focus on the production of existing models. He understood that the spare part supply, the mechanics' skills, the logistical system, etc. can't cope with the introduction of many new models on the field. A move like that could only be done with much, much less pressure on the air force.

In the meanwhile, it was also clear that the Germans will lose the aerial war if they can't find a technological breakthrough. The problem one was that the Wallies were working on their jet fighter, too. Problem two was that to find extra production capacity in the Reich was hard if not impossible. Problem three was the "too late, too little": if the Germans wanted to change the outcome of the aerial war, they would have to implement changes sooner - way sooner. Problem four was what T.A. Gardner have said: the jet engine technology was not ready for use 2-3 years before. In order to change that, one does not simply need to change a decision, but a development procedure. Rocket engines were useless. And last but not least, the fifth problem - and I think this was the most important one - was the human factor or decision making factor, whatever you call it.

The Germans simply did not anticipate the need to fight a war of attrition; had they done so, they'd have anticipated a lost war.
“And while I am talking to you, mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again, and again and again. Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." - FDR, October 1940

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Re: Quantity Not Quality Fighters

Post by T. A. Gardner » 15 Feb 2021 18:20

Peter89 wrote:
15 Feb 2021 17:15
In the meanwhile, it was also clear that the Germans will lose the aerial war if they can't find a technological breakthrough. The problem one was that the Wallies were working on their jet fighter, too. Problem two was that to find extra production capacity in the Reich was hard if not impossible. Problem three was the "too late, too little": if the Germans wanted to change the outcome of the aerial war, they would have to implement changes sooner - way sooner. Problem four was what T.A. Gardner have said: the jet engine technology was not ready for use 2-3 years before. In order to change that, one does not simply need to change a decision, but a development procedure. Rocket engines were useless. And last but not least, the fifth problem - and I think this was the most important one - was the human factor or decision making factor, whatever you call it.
This is the heart of this problem. The Germans needed a paradigm shift in technology, something revolutionary, that would upend the balance of power between them and their enemies in the air.

The jet was possibly one, but development was slow and the Allies had that technology too. Any development here would be short-lived rather than fundamentally changing the air war.

Another would have been to develop a working SAM that could take down a bomber say every third launch. Even at that low a rate of kills it would have been cheaper and more effective than manned fighters were. The problem here is this is very much an unknown technology and the problems of getting it to work daunting. This is compounded by the poor state of development in electronics the Germans had compared to the Allies.

The rocket fighter amounted to a manned, reusable SAM, that was extremely difficult to use. It was hardly a substitute for a working SAM but it did solve the guidance problem. The Japanese might have gotten this to work as a system by having the pilot suicide into the bomber with his rocket plane.

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Re: Quantity Not Quality Fighters

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 15 Feb 2021 18:31

Peter89 wrote:
15 Feb 2021 17:15
... The Germans simply did not anticipate the need to fight a war of attrition; had they done so, they'd have anticipated a lost war.
It looks like a lot of them did anticipate a lost war, but their opinion was dismissed.

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Re: Quantity Not Quality Fighters

Post by Peter89 » 15 Feb 2021 18:32

T. A. Gardner wrote:
15 Feb 2021 18:20
Peter89 wrote:
15 Feb 2021 17:15
In the meanwhile, it was also clear that the Germans will lose the aerial war if they can't find a technological breakthrough. The problem one was that the Wallies were working on their jet fighter, too. Problem two was that to find extra production capacity in the Reich was hard if not impossible. Problem three was the "too late, too little": if the Germans wanted to change the outcome of the aerial war, they would have to implement changes sooner - way sooner. Problem four was what T.A. Gardner have said: the jet engine technology was not ready for use 2-3 years before. In order to change that, one does not simply need to change a decision, but a development procedure. Rocket engines were useless. And last but not least, the fifth problem - and I think this was the most important one - was the human factor or decision making factor, whatever you call it.
This is the heart of this problem. The Germans needed a paradigm shift in technology, something revolutionary, that would upend the balance of power between them and their enemies in the air.

The jet was possibly one, but development was slow and the Allies had that technology too. Any development here would be short-lived rather than fundamentally changing the air war.

Another would have been to develop a working SAM that could take down a bomber say every third launch. Even at that low a rate of kills it would have been cheaper and more effective than manned fighters were. The problem here is this is very much an unknown technology and the problems of getting it to work daunting. This is compounded by the poor state of development in electronics the Germans had compared to the Allies.

The rocket fighter amounted to a manned, reusable SAM, that was extremely difficult to use. It was hardly a substitute for a working SAM but it did solve the guidance problem. The Japanese might have gotten this to work as a system by having the pilot suicide into the bomber with his rocket plane.
I think you are right about the SAM project, but it was also unlikely given that the population as well as the decision makers were fascinated by the idea of revenge instead of the effective defense. So the most resources and best minds went to the Vergeltungswaffe programs instead of the SAM programs. If there was any in an advanced stage?

I am not familiar with any German SAM projects, so if you can help me out with that, I'd really appreciate it :milsmile:
“And while I am talking to you, mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again, and again and again. Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." - FDR, October 1940

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Re: Quantity Not Quality Fighters

Post by KDF33 » 15 Feb 2021 19:54

Peter89 wrote:
15 Feb 2021 17:15
The Germans simply did not anticipate the need to fight a war of attrition; had they done so, they'd have anticipated a lost war.
I agree with most of your post, but I'd disagree on this last, specific point. The Germans most definitely anticipated a war of attrition - with the Anglo-Americans. The failure to quickly defeat the Soviet Union meant that they could never reorient their efforts toward fighting that war, and thus doomed them to defeat.

The best Milch and Göring could have done in the circumstances of 1942-3 would have been to terminate bomber production and shift all resources toward fighter output earlier, as well as never develop the V-weapons. Even then, with the Soviets closing in from the East, this couldn't have prevented defeat.

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Re: Quantity Not Quality Fighters

Post by historygeek2021 » 15 Feb 2021 20:39

Peter89 wrote:
15 Feb 2021 17:15

The Germans simply did not anticipate the need to fight a war of attrition; had they done so, they'd have anticipated a lost war.
Hitler anticipated a 15 year war. Germany invested considerably in autarkic synthetic industries before and during the war in order to be able to survive in a war of attrition. A major goal of the Russian campaign was to secure enough resources to be able to survive a long war.

To say that Germany's leaders did not anticipate the need to fight a war of attrition is simply ignorant.

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Re: Quantity Not Quality Fighters

Post by Richard Anderson » 15 Feb 2021 21:10

Has no one noticed that the professional necromancing spammer has moved on without replying? It seems to be their trolling MO.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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