P.59 project not cancelled in 1940 (Do335)

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P.59 project not cancelled in 1940 (Do335)

Post by stg 44 » 17 Sep 2012 02:18

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dornier_Do_335
What if the P.59 project had not been cancelled in 1940 and was designed around the pull-push layout that powered the Do335?
The P.59 project was a high speed bomber project that would end up as an intruder aircraft, but could be adapted to all the roles filled by the Ju88, Bf110/Me210/Me410, and Ta154 or He219 historically and been faster than all of the above, while also taking about any engine for its front unit, while having to use a liquid cooled unit for its rear engine due to airflow issues.

I think that it could have been ready in 1943 in the high speed bomber, heavy fighter, night fighter, and destroyer roles with others perhaps there after (all weather intruder, fighter-bomber, ground attack, etc.). It could have conceivably used wood in its construction for some roles like that of bomber, night fighter and heavy fighter. It had hard points for additional gear too, so could add on bombs or gun pods as needed.

Basically it makes just about all of the two engine aircraft in the German arsenal redundant and can beat all of their performance too. So there won't be a need to manufacture the Me410 when its finally ready in 1943, nor the need for the various night fighter designs and can replace the aging Ju88 design.

Obviously this wouldn't win Germany the war by any stretch, but it would help massively for pilot survivability in the critical year that the Allied fighters gutted the last of the Luftwaffe and bad aircraft killed so many new and experience pilots. Of course the air war was already turning against Germany by this point, as the constant raiding of flight schools of instructors for pilots, like over Stalingrad in 1942-3, since 1940 had badly degraded the already inadequate training programs early in the war, so the Luftwaffe was already suffering badly from attrition, but the tide hadn't totally turned until 1943-early 1944.

Had this aircraft been available in operations at such a crucial point in the war, what would it have meant for the air war over Europe?

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Re: P.59 project not cancelled in 1940 (Do335)

Post by phylo_roadking » 17 Sep 2012 15:15

I'm not sure it could fulfil ALL their roles as good as the original aircraft ;)

Do 335 - "Up to 1,000 kg (2,200 lb) bombload"

Ju88 - "900 kilograms (2,000 lb) in the main internal bomb bay. 500 kilograms (1,100 lb) in the secondary bay created by removing fuel tanks. The lower fuel level reduced range greatly and the extra weight degraded the aircraft's performance characteristics. Up to 3,000 kilograms (6,600 lb) minus the internal load could be carried externally. Carrying bombs externally increased weight and drag and degraded performance still further. Carrying the maximum load required rocket-assisted take-off."

That translates as the Ju88 carrying a bombload that was three times larger! 8O

And remember - that was the 1942 spec of the 335! If the earlier project had been completed and put into service, it would have been built for an even smaller bombload.

I also see no sign in that article of airframe strengthening or fitting air brakes to allow it to divebomb - so it wouldn't be able to fulfil THAT Ju88 mission profile. It's only conceivable useful bomber role would have been as a Jabo.
Obviously this wouldn't win Germany the war by any stretch, but it would help massively for pilot survivability in the critical year that the Allied fighters gutted the last of the Luftwaffe and bad aircraft killed so many new and experience pilots.
While the articles DOES contain that famous Hawker Tempest encounter...
French ace Pierre Clostermann claimed the first Allied combat encounter with a Pfeil in April 1945. In his book The Big Show (pages 273-274) he describes leading a flight of four Hawker Tempests from No. 3 Squadron RAF over northern Germany, when he intercepted a lone Do 335 flying at maximum speed at treetop level. Detecting the British aircraft, the German pilot reversed course to evade. Despite the Tempest's considerable low altitude speed, the RAF fighters were not able to catch up or even get into firing position.
...it's worth remembering that the Tempest DOES give away 15-20 mph to some of the later Spitfire marks...and there WERE nice little things like the Supermarine Spiteful and Martin-Baker MB5 in testing by that final year of the war :wink:

Also - I'm a tad dubious about thet 474 mph top speed of the Do 335 in that article; Green & Swanborugh only gives 455...which benchmarks against the Spitfire F Mk 21's 454mph, for example :wink: And I've a feeling that despite all those good things said in the article, a Spitfire who's loaded weight was 9,600lbs would be at somewhat of an advantage in a dogfight against a 20,996 lb Do 335! 8O
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Re: P.59 project not cancelled in 1940 (Do335)

Post by phylo_roadking » 17 Sep 2012 15:38

Just as an aside...
French ace Pierre Clostermann claimed the first Allied combat encounter with a Pfeil in April 1945. In his book The Big Show (pages 273-274) he describes leading a flight of four Hawker Tempests from No. 3 Squadron RAF over northern Germany, when he intercepted a lone Do 335 flying at maximum speed at treetop level. Detecting the British aircraft, the German pilot reversed course to evade. Despite the Tempest's considerable low altitude speed, the RAF fighters were not able to catch up or even get into firing position.
...if anyone is reading this thread with a copy of The Big Show open on their knee as I am right now - the page reference is wrong! It should be pages 220 and 221 in the original hardback editions :wink:

The writer of that Wiki entry should actually READ the reference too, because THIS - "RAF fighters were not able to catch up or even get into firing position" - is not what Clostermanns wrote!

Instead, his account makes it clear that he decided not even to TRY to pursue the strange aircraft...although he had full supercharge power still in hand if he had decided to! ...because of the speed it was already doing ;) His aircraft were at the end of a long and exhausting anti-flak patrol, they were exhausted even before take off! 8O ...and "a stern chase is a long chase" (my quote, not his!) Clostermanns still had enough boost in hand if he had wanted it to wring 3,040 bhp out of his Tempest for a short time, but decided just not to bother! :lol:

So the Do 335 wass not really put to the test against the Tempests...despite what that article says ;)
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Re: P.59 project not cancelled in 1940 (Do335)

Post by stg 44 » 17 Sep 2012 19:25

phylo_roadking wrote:I'm not sure it could fulfil ALL their roles as good as the original aircraft ;)

Do 335 - "Up to 1,000 kg (2,200 lb) bombload"
We don't know if that was internal or external. Perhaps like the Ju88 it was internal...also that is the fighter version, NOT the bomber variant. The bomber version could potentially take a larger load externally that wasn't specified in the wikipedia article.

phylo_roadking wrote: Ju88 - "900 kilograms (2,000 lb) in the main internal bomb bay. 500 kilograms (1,100 lb) in the secondary bay created by removing fuel tanks. The lower fuel level reduced range greatly and the extra weight degraded the aircraft's performance characteristics. Up to 3,000 kilograms (6,600 lb) minus the internal load could be carried externally. Carrying bombs externally increased weight and drag and degraded performance still further. Carrying the maximum load required rocket-assisted take-off."

That translates as the Ju88 carrying a bombload that was three times larger! 8O
Over design spec. It was only designed to take a maximum of 1400kg internally and later added hardpoints. As above, we don't know if the bombload cited above was the internal or external load. If it was internal, there were external hardpoints that could have added extra bombs like the Ju88.
phylo_roadking wrote: And remember - that was the 1942 spec of the 335! If the earlier project had been completed and put into service, it would have been built for an even smaller bombload.
I referenced the 1940 spec, which doesn't cite the bombload. The 1942 spec was for an intruder.
phylo_roadking wrote: I also see no sign in that article of airframe strengthening or fitting air brakes to allow it to divebomb - so it wouldn't be able to fulfil THAT Ju88 mission profile. It's only conceivable useful bomber role would have been as a Jabo.
The Ju88 never was capable of dive bombing even with the changes to its airframe, which ended up resulting in the dive requirement being deleted in 1940-1 IIRC. Also by 1942 dive bombing was no longer even being performed by the Ju87! By 1943 the Ju87 was being used as a night bomber or ground attack aircraft with gun pods. At that point the dive requirement is no longer even viable for anything the Germans flew, nor was it AFAIK a requirement since 1941-2.
phylo_roadking wrote: While the articles DOES contain that famous Hawker Tempest encounter...
French ace Pierre Clostermann claimed the first Allied combat encounter with a Pfeil in April 1945. In his book The Big Show (pages 273-274) he describes leading a flight of four Hawker Tempests from No. 3 Squadron RAF over northern Germany, when he intercepted a lone Do 335 flying at maximum speed at treetop level. Detecting the British aircraft, the German pilot reversed course to evade. Despite the Tempest's considerable low altitude speed, the RAF fighters were not able to catch up or even get into firing position.
...it's worth remembering that the Tempest DOES give away 15-20 mph to some of the later Spitfire marks...and there WERE nice little things like the Supermarine Spiteful and Martin-Baker MB5 in testing by that final year of the war :wink:

Also - I'm a tad dubious about thet 474 mph top speed of the Do 335 in that article; Green & Swanborugh only gives 455...which benchmarks against the Spitfire F Mk 21's 454mph, for example :wink: And I've a feeling that despite all those good things said in the article, a Spitfire who's loaded weight was 9,600lbs would be at somewhat of an advantage in a dogfight against a 20,996 lb Do 335! 8O
That's in 1945, in 1943 even the P51 doesn't have the speed to catch the DB603 (it was available in 1943) engined Do335.
The Do335 wasn't a dog fighter, same as any aircraft in the Destroyer class, which it would not have been. Though supposedly it did turn like a single seater...
But the best use of it would be to break into a dive and run away when confronted by the nimble Spit. But then the Spitfire didn't have the range to escort bombers into Germany in 1943-4.

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Re: P.59 project not cancelled in 1940 (Do335)

Post by stg 44 » 17 Sep 2012 19:32

phylo_roadking wrote:Just as an aside...
French ace Pierre Clostermann claimed the first Allied combat encounter with a Pfeil in April 1945. In his book The Big Show (pages 273-274) he describes leading a flight of four Hawker Tempests from No. 3 Squadron RAF over northern Germany, when he intercepted a lone Do 335 flying at maximum speed at treetop level. Detecting the British aircraft, the German pilot reversed course to evade. Despite the Tempest's considerable low altitude speed, the RAF fighters were not able to catch up or even get into firing position.
...if anyone is reading this thread with a copy of The Big Show open on their knee as I am right now - the page reference is wrong! It should be pages 220 and 221 in the original hardback editions :wink:

The writer of that Wiki entry should actually READ the reference too, because THIS - "RAF fighters were not able to catch up or even get into firing position" - is not what Clostermanns wrote!

Instead, his account makes it clear that he decided not even to TRY to pursue the strange aircraft...although he had full supercharge power still in hand if he had decided to! ...because of the speed it was already doing ;) His aircraft were at the end of a long and exhausting anti-flak patrol, they were exhausted even before take off! 8O ...and "a stern chase is a long chase" (my quote, not his!) Clostermanns still had enough boost in hand if he had wanted it to wring 3,040 bhp out of his Tempest for a short time, but decided just not to bother! :lol:

So the Do 335 wass not really put to the test against the Tempests...despite what that article says ;)
Again in 1945. Did they have that speed and power in 1944 when they were introduced?

At least throughout 1943 the Do335 or whatever its called in an alternate version would not have a serious competitor. The odds would even somewhat in 1944 though, but then again the Germans would also be evolving and if the USAAC can be stopped during the day in 1943 through excessive attrition and the RAF attacked by intruder versions at night, then perhaps the Germans will get enough of a reprieve to recover enough for the next attempt at daylight attacks when the P51D and Tempest enter the air war.

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Re: P.59 project not cancelled in 1940 (Do335)

Post by BDV » 17 Sep 2012 19:59

Germans already have the 109, the 110, the 210/410 are in the works, the mighty 190 was on the frontline in 1941, so on and so forth. Where is the Do going to fit?

But, more importantly, where do the exterminatorially-happy nazis find the extra man hours needed to do this? As I said before, my granfather was a little bi-zi
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Re: P.59 project not cancelled in 1940 (Do335)

Post by stg 44 » 17 Sep 2012 20:10

BDV wrote:Germans already have the 109, the 110, the 210/410 are in the works, the mighty 190 was on the frontline in 1941, so on and so forth. Where is the Do going to fit?

But, more importantly, where do the exterminatorially-happy nazis find the extra man hours needed to do this? As I said before, my granfather was a little bi-zi
It would replace the Bf110/Me210/Me410 in the Destroyer role during daylight hours...maybe at night, but not sure how the radar issue would work.
It was designed as an intruder, so could do well to replace the Ju88C and Me410 later in that role. It also could work as a fighter-bomber or with gun pods, as the historical Do335 had the potential for, could work as a ground attack gunship.

So what I envision is that it would work with the 109 and 190 during the day as the bomber-killer, at night as an intruder, and on the Eastern Front as a gunship/fighter-bomber/light bomber as needed. Basically a faster, more survivable Me410 slightly earlier, but without the dive bombing silliness.

It could prevent the Me210/410 by 1941-2, as it was taking way too long and the Do335 would offer much better performance at a lower weight, less materials, and fewer crew members. Its more survivable and overall a better performer.

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Re: P.59 project not cancelled in 1940 (Do335)

Post by phylo_roadking » 17 Sep 2012 20:29

We don't know if that was internal or external. Perhaps like the Ju88 it was internal...also that is the fighter version, NOT the bomber variant. The bomber version could potentially take a larger load externally that wasn't specified in the wikipedia article.
The rear of the front undercarriage bay seems to stop only a couple of feet from that portion of the airframe occupied by the rear engine installtion. But I'll keep on looking...
Over design spec. It was only designed to take a maximum of 1400kg internally and later added hardpoints.
900 kilograms (2,000 lb) in the main internal bomb bay.
500 kilograms (1,100 lb) in the secondary bay created by removing fuel tanks.
The Ju88 was designed with 2,000lbs internally initially, then stretched by another 1,100lbs internally...which means that even just internally the Ju88 could carry 3,100lbs to the 335's 2,200lbs total. That's "only" ~50% more....
I referenced the 1940 spec, which doesn't cite the bombload. The 1942 spec was for an intruder.
In May 1942, Dornier submitted an updated version with a 1,000 kg (2,200 lb) bombload as the P.231, in response to a requirement for a single seat high-speed bomber/intruder.
The "1940 version", the Projekt P.59 ONLY got as far as THIS - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%B6ppingen_G%C3%B6_9 ...a concept tester. Ahem...

Image
Image

I somehow doubt it had a bombbay! :lol:

The Ju88 never was capable of dive bombing even with the changes to its airframe,
Tell this to the pilots of KG 30....and the crews of HMS Rodney and HMS Gurkha! 8O E.R. Hooton notes that the Ju 88 was particularly effective at dive-bombing. Between 13–24 May, I. and II./KG 54 flew 174 attacks against rail systems, paralysing French logistics and mobility, although...
which ended up resulting in the dive requirement being deleted in 1940-1
The Ju88 airframe was successively modified for a LOT of reasons - including the fact that the early divebomber versions were difficult to fly, and the difficulties and high accident rates apparently scared the shit out of LW pilots! :lol: But don't necessarily mistake a general expansion of its role in the C and G models etc. with a change away from anything...
Again in 1945. Did they have that speed and power in 1944 when they were introduced?
The history of the Tempest is odd; what came into service was the Tempest II...although the earlier-built and -tested (and frankly far prettier!) Tempest I was actually FASTER! With its Napier Sabre IV engine it would have been 10 mph FASTER than a 335! 8O But Napier didn't progress any further with the IV...

However...the Tempest V actually entered service first, in April 1944...with its Sabre IIB then IIC engines - THEN the Tempest II arrived into service with its Bristol Centaurus engine. It started entering service in October 1944...it's unclear from Clostermanns what engine installation he had.

But there's ONLY 5 mph difference between them ;)
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Re: P.59 project not cancelled in 1940 (Do335)

Post by stg 44 » 17 Sep 2012 20:48

Dive bombing had died out by 1942-3 as a method, replaced by glide bombing, a shallow-medium dive at higher speeds to escape ground fire.
As to the P.59 we then don't know what the bomb bay would have looked like when it was ready. But for the sake of argument, let's say that it couldn't replace the Ju88. So then it replaces the Bf110/Me410 as a heavy fighter, fighter-bomber, gunship (as it was the only aircraft that could mount the Mk103 30mm cannon), and intruder.
The Ju88 keeps it roles.

In 1943 before the Tempest enters service and the Do335 has to worry the Do335 can inflict some serious damage to the bomber forces of the USAAC, as it can outrun the P47 while making higher speed passes or slow down and use its 30mm cannon to knock down bombers with more accurate shots with they are unescorted.

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Re: P.59 project not cancelled in 1940 (Do335)

Post by phylo_roadking » 17 Sep 2012 20:52

Aha! Aircraft of the Luftwaffe, 1935-1945: An Illustrated Guide by Jean-Denis G. G. Lepage...
"A bombload of 500kgs (1,100 lbs) was carried on racks placed under the fuselage in proposed fighter/bomber configuration."
...so the other 1,100 lbs (500kg) would have been on wing hardpoints?
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Re: P.59 project not cancelled in 1940 (Do335)

Post by phylo_roadking » 17 Sep 2012 20:58

Funny the things you find when trawling round the Internet!!!

From the Smithsonian entry on the Do 335 they have on display...
Ten Do-335A-0 preproduction aircraft were then produced at Dornier's Oberpfaffenhofen plant in July-October 1944, by which time the Allied bombing campaign was delaying arrivals of engines, propellers, radios, and structural subcomponents. This had a serious effect, because the Do-335 was not a simple aircraft: installation of the electronics alone took 60 hours of assembly, and the electrical parts list was 112 pages long. Production of Daimler-Benz engines, for example, was switched to factories set up in underground salt mines and gypsum mines, but high humidity caused corrosion problems and production dropped 40 percent.
!!! 8O
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Re: P.59 project not cancelled in 1940 (Do335)

Post by stg 44 » 17 Sep 2012 21:03

http://www.militaryfactory.com/aircraft ... aft_id=104
Supposedly yes. The Go9 was a separate project from the P.59, but was testing concepts for other projects.

phylo_roadking wrote:Funny the things you find when trawling round the Internet!!!

From the Smithsonian entry on the Do 335 they have on display...
Ten Do-335A-0 preproduction aircraft were then produced at Dornier's Oberpfaffenhofen plant in July-October 1944, by which time the Allied bombing campaign was delaying arrivals of engines, propellers, radios, and structural subcomponents. This had a serious effect, because the Do-335 was not a simple aircraft: installation of the electronics alone took 60 hours of assembly, and the electrical parts list was 112 pages long. Production of Daimler-Benz engines, for example, was switched to factories set up in underground salt mines and gypsum mines, but high humidity caused corrosion problems and production dropped 40 percent
!!! 8O
So earlier production would have been easier and better without components being delayed by bombing...but the complex production especially of electronic would be problematic and was not something I was aware of.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jK8ydLY5QHQ
Last edited by stg 44 on 17 Sep 2012 21:08, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: P.59 project not cancelled in 1940 (Do335)

Post by panzerplatten » 17 Sep 2012 21:06


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Re: P.59 project not cancelled in 1940 (Do335)

Post by phylo_roadking » 17 Sep 2012 21:10

Then I found THIS -

Image

....on airpages.ru; it looked like at least one prototype had an auxiliary fuel tank in the available space in the bottom of the fuselage...then I found THIS table! http://www.airpages.ru/eng/lw/do335_52.jpg

The specification was for 1,000Kg (2,200 lbs) - but from that...it looks like only one aircraft - the one pictured above! - carried bombs...and they were external and half Dornier's planned 1,000kgs! 8O

Looks like Dornier designed a remarkable aircraft - that ALSO had a remarkable thirst! :P And needed an extra fuel tank put somewhere...
installation of the electronics alone took 60 hours of assembly, and the electrical parts list was 112 pages long.
Well...two separate engine managment/ignition systems AND gauges etc for same! 8O
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Re: P.59 project not cancelled in 1940 (Do335)

Post by stg 44 » 17 Sep 2012 21:12

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jK8ydLY5QHQ
It looks like there was a nightfigher version and turbojet version.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E6ROSTqm2KQ

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