Ju 390 in flight refuelling

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Universal the God of War
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Ju 390 in flight refuelling

Post by Universal the God of War » 18 Jul 2006 23:57

I am looking for info on the Ju 390 in flight refuelling tests/trials. All I know is that it was conducted by Ju 390s for Ju290A's near Prague in 1944 and that the tests were sucessful.

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Universal the God of War
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Post by Universal the God of War » 23 Jul 2006 23:12

anyone ?

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medieval dudes
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not really what you want

Post by medieval dudes » 26 Jul 2006 08:09

Hello comrade
I have no information about the refuiling test you mention yet there seems to be some highly contradicting theories on the flights it conducted. All sites I found concerning the plane did not mention anything about flight refuling but mainly that it was used to a carry a certain A-bomb. Some Wikipedia site even doubt that the flight to Prage actually took place.
Here are the sites comrade:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Junkers_Ju_390
http://www.geocities.com/hjunkers/ju_ju90_a1.htm

Sorry if this is not really what you are searching for but the "flight to America" seems to be the main story of the plane

Gregory :)

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Grzesio
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Post by Grzesio » 26 Jul 2006 09:07

Some information about Ju 290 and Ju 390 inflight refuelling trials is included in Griehl's "Luftwaffe over America". As far as I remember four Ju 290A were converted to this task and the trials took place in December 1943-January 1944, conducted by Junkers in Dessau.

Regards

Grzesio

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R Leonard
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Post by R Leonard » 26 Jul 2006 13:59

Since you're located in Germany, you might want to take a look at "Die großen Dessauer. Junkers Ju 89, 90, 290, 390. Die Geschichte einer Flugzeugfamilie" ("The Big Ones from Dessau. Junkers Ju 89, 90, 290, 390. A history of an aircraft family") by Karl Kössler and Günter Ott. As I understand it there is some info on these tests there. I do not read German, but one of my correspondants reports this information is there. In fact, as I understand it, the description of the events and their timing go a long way in debunking the "Amerika Bomber' myth.

Rich

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Scarlett
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Post by Scarlett » 30 Jul 2006 17:01

I also recommend Kössler/Ott "Die großen Dessauer", by far the best, comprehensive and most reliable source on all aspects of the Ju 390

Some in-flight-refuelling tests were done according to this source, with Ju 290 and Ju 390.
No detailed information on these tests is available.

Kössler/Ott also give the source for the fairy-tale about the New-York-flight
and give all the data technically and time-wise, why this flight never could have happened.
The aircraft (Ju 390 V1) was not structurally capable of the take-off-weight necessary for
the flight and was in Prague all the time this flight is reported to have happened.
As this is common knowledge now I was very amazed that it now even reported in
Wikipedia.

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R Leonard
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Post by R Leonard » 30 Jul 2006 20:13

Harumph! Wikipedia.
But some of us know better.

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Post by ohrdruf » 31 Jul 2006 20:47

Griehl's "Luftwaffe Ueber Amerika" contains details of the mid-air-fuelling project in Germany from its inception. Trials were conducted over the Atlantic successfully in mid 1944 using Ju 290s.

It seems likely from the archive documents that there was a second Ju 390 aircraft, Ju 390 V-2. Two test flights at Rechlin are recorded in the log of Oberleutnant Eisenmann for March 1945: an SS report at the Berlin Document Centre states that this second prototype was at Schweidnitz near Breslau in April 1945 for the evacuation of Kammler's Bell project. It was known to have flown from there to Bodo in Norway after which German records are silent. (I can provide closer details regarding the test flights and the SS document if requested.)

The Argentine archive contains one single document reporting the arrival of a multi-engined German aircraft at a private aerodrome near Gualeguay, Entre Rios province, "in May 1945" and carrying a device and materials which link it to Kammler's Polish project. The Argentine Government had made it known that it was anxious to receive weapons and technical projects from Germany immediately postwar and had a large budget for cooperation. This document is from the Economics archive. During the period 1943-1944 an air shuttle operated between Madrid and El Palomar military aerodrome, Buenos Aires, FW 200 aircraft were used.

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Post by Scarlett » 01 Aug 2006 12:54

ohrdruf wrote:Griehl's "Luftwaffe Ueber Amerika" contains details of the mid-air-fuelling project in Germany from its inception. Trials were conducted over the Atlantic successfully in mid 1944 using Ju 290s
The tests were conducted with Ju 290 V5 and a FW 58, then with Ju 290 0169 and Ju 290 0170 in Dessau and continued with Ju 290 0151 and Ju 390 V1 in Prague-Rusin. all in autumn 1943. Further tests were planned in Mont-de-Marsan during the period May-July 1944, but there doesn't exist any documentary evidence they actually happened. .
It seems likely from the archive documents that there was a second Ju 390 aircraft, Ju 390 V-2. Two test flights at Rechlin are recorded in the log of Oberleutnant Eisenmann for March 1945: an SS report at the Berlin Document Centre states that this second prototype was at Schweidnitz near Breslau in April 1945
Joachim Eisenmann's flight-log is the most convincing evidence, that a second Ju 390 was completed. It states two test-flights on February 9, 1945, one flight of 55 minutes in Rechlin and the other 22 minutes with take-off in Rechlin and landing in Lärz nearby. The flight-log doesn't state the registration No of the aircraft; it was obligatory to state it in the flight-log. According to Eisenmann the aircraft staid then in Lärz. Crew-members of the Ju 290's of FAGr. 5, who were in Lärz between March 20 and April 12, 1945, don't remember having seen a Ju 390 there. And there is no known photo of Ju 390 V2, all existing photos of Ju 390 have been identified as showing V1.

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Post by ohrdruf » 03 Aug 2006 16:23

There is a photograph of a Ju-390 at:

http://www.members.tripod.com/chip2500/id177.htm

in which the aircraft carries the markings "R+C D+A" below the wings. All known photographs of Ju 390-V1 have a port-wing marking "U+K". It might be an idea to have a very close look at the indicated photograph to see if there are any external differences to the structure of the machine proving that it is not Ju 390-V1.

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Post by Scarlett » 03 Aug 2006 17:04

ohrdruf wrote:There is a photograph of a Ju-390 at:

http://www.members.tripod.com/chip2500/id177.htm

in which the aircraft carries the markings "R+C D+A" below the wings. All known photographs of Ju 390-V1 have a port-wing marking "U+K". It might be an idea to have a very close look at the indicated photograph to see if there are any external differences to the structure of the machine proving that it is not Ju 390-V1.
The markings are fake. It is a well known pic, in Kössler/ Ott "Die großen Dessauer" it is on page 110
with the very clear marking U+K.. The pic on the link is a mirror-image of the original with faked markings.

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Post by Andreas » 03 Aug 2006 17:13

ohrdruf wrote: During the period 1943-1944 an air shuttle operated between Madrid and El Palomar military aerodrome, Buenos Aires, FW 200 aircraft were used.
Where did those planes refuel?

All the best

Andreas

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Post by ohrdruf » 04 Aug 2006 21:31

Andreas

To answer your question, the greatest known distance for a non-stop FW 200 flight occurred on 10 August 1938 when a passenger version flew from Berlin to New York.

The possibility that a very long range secret version of this aircraft had been constructed was suggested by Wolfgang Hirschfeld in his book "Atlantik Farewell: Das Letzte U-boot". Oberfunkmeister Hirschfeld sailed aboard U-234 for Japan direct. The submarine carried a cargo of secret war material for the Japanese war effort and surrendered to a US Navy destroyer in mid May. Hirschfeld stated that a "special version of the FW 200" with additional fuel tanks had been built to tranship the most important items of U-234 cargo to Japan, with a fuelling stop in Manchuria. The idea had been scrapped when it was determined that it was not possible to reach Manchuria without overflying Soviet airspace.
Manfred Griehl ("Luftwaffe Over America", Greenhill Books, 2004) also mentions FW 200 designs with transoceanic range enabled by long range tanks inside the aircraft hull.

The shuttle service between Madrid and Buenos Aires was known as Operation Condor. The distance is about the same as that between Norway and Manchuria, and so if the FW 200 aircraft alluded to by Hirschfeld actually existed, no refuelling stop would have been necessary.

CEANA, the Argentine Congressional Committee enquiring into Argentina's Nazi connections postwar alleged that regular flights occurred between Spain and Argentina between 1943 and 1945. This is supported by US intelligence documents which describe the organisation and says it has a list of the pilots, although this has never been published. The radical Senator Santander led the accusations, but the Argentine armed forces, mainly Fascist dominated then and for decades afterwards, rejected any such flights as "impossible", since German aircraft of the time did not have the range to make the flight non-stop. See, for example, General Carlos van der Becke: "Destruccion de una Infamia").

The very strong evidence for the arrival of "a multi-engined German transport aircraft" at Gualeguay, Entre Rios at the war's end appears in a 1945 Argentine intelligence document. This document describes the laboratory equipment known as "the Bell" aboard the aircraft, and its purpose. The information about the Bell did not become public knowledge until 1998, when the Polish archives released certain information about the experiments which matches precisely the Argentine description.

All radical Argentine writers allege a refuelling stop in Spanish Sahara.

I trust this answers your question.

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Post by Andreas » 05 Aug 2006 08:47

ohrdruf wrote:Andreas

To answer your question, the greatest known distance for a non-stop FW 200 flight occurred on 10 August 1938 when a passenger version flew from Berlin to New York.
I know - that is far shorter than Madrid - Buenos Aires.
ohrdruf wrote:The possibility that a very long range secret version of this aircraft had been constructed was suggested by Wolfgang Hirschfeld in his book "Atlantik Farewell: Das Letzte U-boot". Oberfunkmeister Hirschfeld sailed aboard U-234 for Japan direct. The submarine carried a cargo of secret war material for the Japanese war effort and surrendered to a US Navy destroyer in mid May. Hirschfeld stated that a "special version of the FW 200" with additional fuel tanks had been built to tranship the most important items of U-234 cargo to Japan, with a fuelling stop in Manchuria. The idea had been scrapped when it was determined that it was not possible to reach Manchuria without overflying Soviet airspace.
Since Ju 290 did do that run, I can not see any logical reason for converting a FW 200, especially since that would have cut down on cargo space, but then again, the Nazi regime was not known for its logic, so that is at least a theoretical idiocy. However, more importantly the distance Berlin - New York is less than the distance Norway - Manchuria, so there would not have been any need to convert anything on the FW 200. Since the constricting value is going to be MTOW and not range, adding fuel is going to cut down on cargo load for no benefit. That does not make sense to me.

Why would it matter that one has to go across Soviet airspace, and why did they only figure out that they can't do it without going across the SU AFTER building the plane. A look at a map would have confirmed that beforehand. That part does not make sense to me.
ohrdruf wrote:Manfred Griehl ("Luftwaffe Over America", Greenhill Books, 2004) also mentions FW 200 designs with transoceanic range enabled by long range tanks inside the aircraft hull.
First I hear about that. When were these designs made, and were they ever built?
ohrdruf wrote:The shuttle service between Madrid and Buenos Aires was known as Operation Condor. The distance is about the same as that between Norway and Manchuria, and so if the FW 200 aircraft alluded to by Hirschfeld actually existed, no refuelling stop would have been necessary.
Quite wrong - the distance Kirkenes-Beijing is 3,114 nm, and that is further than the trip to Manchuria. Madrid to Buenos Aires is 5,433 nm.
ohrdruf wrote:CEANA, the Argentine Congressional Committee enquiring into Argentina's Nazi connections postwar alleged that regular flights occurred between Spain and Argentina between 1943 and 1945. This is supported by US intelligence documents which describe the organisation and says it has a list of the pilots, although this has never been published. The radical Senator Santander led the accusations, but the Argentine armed forces, mainly Fascist dominated then and for decades afterwards, rejected any such flights as "impossible", since German aircraft of the time did not have the range to make the flight non-stop. See, for example, General Carlos van der Becke: "Destruccion de una Infamia").
I have no problem believing that the flights existed, and a refueling stop in Spanish Sahara or maybe on the Canaries appears it least plausible. I have a problem with the claim that they were undertaken by a FW 200, since even from Las Palmas it is still 4,500 nm to Buenos Aires. The Ju 290 should be able to do that, but not the FW 200. The commencement date for these flights that you mention would also indicate that it was by Ju 290 rather than FW 200.

All the best

Andreas

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Post by ohrdruf » 05 Aug 2006 18:09

Dear Andreas

All I am doing is quote from the available material. Hirschfeld may have been confused between the types of aircraft to be used, or assumed it would be an FW 200, or deliberately misled. Griehl mentiones "designs" but that does not mean anything proceeded beyond the blueprint stage. The important point about not crossing Soviet airspace after the aircraft was converted was the designated cargo. The material to be shipped aboard the aircraft was the famous ten cases of "uranium oxide". This material could not be allowed to fall into Soviet hands under any circumstances, and the containers would have survived a land crash (being lead cylinders lined with gold.)

Personally I would agree with you that the Ju 290 was the likely choice, although I do not see why the commencement date of 1943 makes one aircraft more likely than the other. Incidentally I have not meaured it but Spanish Sahara is significantly nearer Buenos Aires than Las Palmas. Ju 290 aircraft predominated in the successful air refuelling trials of 1943/44.

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