Luftwaffe aircraft turrets

Discussions on all (non-biographical) aspects of the Luftwaffe air units and general discussions on the Luftwaffe.
Mike R
Member
Posts: 555
Joined: 04 Jun 2002 04:20
Location: Ohio, USA

Luftwaffe aircraft turrets

Post by Mike R » 11 Apr 2003 20:41

Inspired by a similar post regarding British turrets in the Allied equipment section, I have become interested in the use of turrets on Luftwaffe aircraft. What aircraft had them? I think the FW 200 Kondor had a turret, and perhaps a version of the DO 217...were there any others? How were the turrets operated (mechanical, manual...)? Why didn't more German designs user power-operated gun turrets?

On another note, I caught a program the other day about the ME 410. I thought the barbettes used on that aircraft were rather... "neat"! :)

Regards,
-Mike

User avatar
Trommelfeuer
Member
Posts: 403
Joined: 31 Mar 2003 15:40
Location: Hamburg, Germany

BLOHM & VOSS Bv 222

Post by Trommelfeuer » 12 Apr 2003 15:01

Interesting topic, don't know where to start...hmmm....how about this big bird... :)

The wiking was initially developed for Deutsche Lufthansa, which ordered three of the type. Only the first prototype entered civil service with the remainder being developed into freight transports for the Luftwaffe. Nine prototypes were built, no two being alike. The V9 became the first of four production Bv 222C-0 aircraft.
From 1941 onwards the Wikings shuttled freight throughout the Western and Mediterrainean theaters. Despite improving equipment and armament the Wiking proved vulnerable to Allied fighters and most were shot down or straffed at thier moorings. Four Wikings did survive until VE day but one was subsequently scuttled by it's crew. The other three were went to Britain and the United States for testing after which they were scrapped.
Armament: Bv 222C-0

One 13mm MG 131 manually aimed in bow
Four 13mm MG 131 manually aimed in 4 beam hatches
One 20mm MG 151 in forward dorsal turret
One 20mm MG 151 in two wing turrets (between outboard engine nacelles)

http://www.warbirdsresourcegroup.org/LRG/bv222.html

With friendly greetings, Sven
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

User avatar
Trommelfeuer
Member
Posts: 403
Joined: 31 Mar 2003 15:40
Location: Hamburg, Germany

Heinkel He 177 Greif (Griffin)

Post by Trommelfeuer » 12 Apr 2003 20:02

Arguably the largest bomber built by the Germans, the He 177 suffered many flaws and turned into one of the Luftwaffe's biggest failures (when compare service use to the amount of resources invested.) A significant problem that plagued the program from the beginning was a ludicrous requirement that this extremely large aircraft be capable of dive bombing. This combined with the attempt to reduce drag by coupling the engines, while theoretically sound, proved to be impossible in practice for no aircraft in history had engines that would so readily burst into flame. 75% of the prototypes crashed and a good percentage of the 35 A-0 pre-production airframes were written off in crashed or in-flight fires.
About 700 served on the eastern front using 50mm and 75mm guns for tank-busting while a few brave aircrews ineffectually bombed England.
The He 177 proved to be such a big problem that Goering forbid Heinkel to develope a four engine version (though Heinkel did anyways, the result being the He 277).

Armament: A-5/R2:

One 7.92mm MG 81J manually aimed in nose
Ammunition: 2000 rounds
One 20mm MG 151 manually aimed in forward ventral gondola
Ammunition: 300 rounds
Two 13mm MG 131 in remote front dorsal turret
Ammunition: 750 rounds per gun
One 13mm MG 131 in electric aft dorsal turret
Ammunition: 750 rounds
One 20mm MG 151 cannon in in tail position
Ammunition: 300 rounds

Links

http://www.warbirdsresourcegroup.org/LRG/he177.html
http://www.simviation.com/fsdcbainhe177.htm
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

User avatar
Redbaron1908
Member
Posts: 2023
Joined: 31 Dec 2002 17:52
Location: Texas

Post by Redbaron1908 » 12 Apr 2003 20:43

Intresting plane I never heard of it. Would it have been usable if they did not incorporate the dive bombing feature?

User avatar
Harri
Member
Posts: 4230
Joined: 24 Jun 2002 11:46
Location: Suomi - Finland

Re: Luftwaffe aircraft turrets

Post by Harri » 12 Apr 2003 21:48

2ndPanzerEnthusiast wrote:What aircraft had them? I think the FW 200 Kondor had a turret, and perhaps a version of the DO 217...were there any others?
At least later Heinkel He 111H models and Junkers Ju 188 had turrets with one gun. Also Blohm & Voss Bv 138A had one 20mm MG 151 cannon in bow turret and Bv 138B and C had one 20mm MG 151 cannon in bow and stern turret.

Many later German twin-engine fighter and bomber (Junkers Ju 388) aircraft had a very "thin" remote-controlled rear turret in which two guns (usually MG 131 heavy MGs) were one on the other.

User avatar
Trommelfeuer
Member
Posts: 403
Joined: 31 Mar 2003 15:40
Location: Hamburg, Germany

Me 323 E-2/Waffenträger

Post by Trommelfeuer » 12 Apr 2003 23:43

Here's one crazy design, the Messerschmitt Me 323 E-2/Waffenträger (gunship) and the Me 323 F-1 were designed as "schwerer Geleitschutz" (heavy Escort protection) for Heavy Cargo Transporters Me 323 D-& E-series, they were armed with eleven 20mm MG 151 cannon & four 13mm MG 131 Machine Guns.
This version also carried several tonnes of armor and bulletproof glass.
(...no extra load possible...)
Eventually it was decided that escort fighters would be more effective and this version did not see wide-spread production.

The Me 323 E-2/WT had a crew of 17.
Just under 200 Me 323's were built before production ceased in April 1944. There were several production versions, beginning with the D-1, which is the subject of this kit. Later D- and E- versions differed in the choice of power plant and in defensive armament, with improvements in structural strength, total cargo load and fuel capacity also being implemented. Nonetheless, the Me 323 remained significantly underpowered. There was a proposal to install six BMW 801 radials, but this never came to pass. The Me 323 was also a short-range aircraft, with a typical range (loaded) of 1,000 - 1,200 Km. Despite this, the limited numbers of Me 323's in service were an invaluable asset to the Germans, and saw intensive use. The Me 323 was something of a 'sitting duck', being so slow and large an aircraft. In the final weeks of the North African campaign in April/May 1943, 43 Gigants were lost, along with much greater numbers of Ju 52's. In terms of aircraft design, the Me 323 was actually very resilient, and could absorb a huge amount of enemy fire - the Afrika Korps' nickname of Leukoplastbomber (Elastoplast Bomber) was somewhat unfair. However, no transport aircraft can ever be expected to survive without air superiority or at least, comprehensive local air cover, and it is believed that no Me 323's survived in service beyond the summer of 1944
MFG, Sven
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

Mike R
Member
Posts: 555
Joined: 04 Jun 2002 04:20
Location: Ohio, USA

Post by Mike R » 13 Apr 2003 00:41

The phrase "Heavy escort protection" in the description of the above ME 323 reminds me of the specially modified B-17's that carried an additional upper turret and two waist guns at each waist window.

Germany also had a glider version of the 323...I believe this was the ME 321. As far as I know it was the same design without the engines...not sure if any armament was kept on the glider version or not..

I had also been unaware that the He 177 had a remote-controlled turret, as well as the Ju 388s mentioned by Harri. Previously, I had thought the B-29 had been the first bomber to utilize these!

Thanks and Regards,
-Mike

User avatar
SM79Sparviero
Member
Posts: 136
Joined: 18 Oct 2002 09:01
Location: Culqualber

Piaggio p108

Post by SM79Sparviero » 13 Apr 2003 10:11

the first bomber that utilized remote-controlled turrets in the world was Piaggio P-108B, projected in 1937 by Eng. Pierluigi Casiraghi after two years spent in USA, workin for Boeing. The maiden flight of this modern ( if related to the aeronautical italian projects in these years as Fiat CR42!) aircraft was in November 1939 at Villanova d' Albenga airport ( Liguria).
The two turrets on the outer engine nacelles had each two SAFAT 12.7 mm machine guns they were controlled by two gunners in two domes on the upper side of the fuselage by an electric-hydraulic system. Each gunner could control in the same time the two turrets or only the one of his side, exactly as each gunner of B-29 could do with the top and bottom turret of his level.Traditional ventral and front turrets had each one 12.7 mm Breda-Safat. One 7.7 mm Breda-Safat was on each side of the fuselage.
The aircraft had 4 Piaggio PXII 1350 CV 18 Cyl two row engines ( the project was derived from the American Pratt & Withney Wasp series), but the prototype of a P-108 Bis ( or P-133) was ready .The bomber had to be armed with remotely controlled 20 mm mg-151 guns or , alternatively, in fuselage turrets, a 20 mm tail "stinger" , four 12.7 mm in the front turret , it was heavily armoured, the engine were four Piaggio P XV (1700 HP) or P-XXII ( 1800 HP), with a maximum projected speed of 490 Kmh.
The P-108 appeared too soon for an air force that was still linked to biplanes. The P-133, too late.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

User avatar
Robert Hurst
Member
Posts: 1192
Joined: 04 Oct 2002 15:11
Location: Worksop, Notts, UK

Post by Robert Hurst » 14 Apr 2003 14:37

Hi 2ndpanzerenthusiast

Just thought you might be interested in the types of turret used by the Focke Wulf Fw 200 Condor.

The Fw 2000C-3 used the Fw19 hydraulically-operated turret with a single 7.9 mm MG 15 machine gun. The Fw 200C-3/U1 differed in having a large hydraulically-operated HDL 151 forward turret housing a single 15 mm MG 151 cannon with a 500-round belt and a spare 300-round belt. The Fw 200C-3/U2 reverted to the Fw 19 turret. The Fw 200C-3/U3 had an EDL 131 forward turret with a 13 mm MG 131 machine gun. The Fw 200C-3/U4 retained the Fw 19 forward turret. The Fw 200C-4 reverted to the large HDL 151 turret. The Fw 200C-4/U1 and the Fw 200C-4/U2 transports both mounted an Fw 19 forward upper turret and a generally similar Fw 20 aft dorsal turret. The Fw 200C-4/U3 had the Fw19 forward turret. The Fw 200C-6 and the Fw 200C-8 were fitted with the large HDL 151 turret.

The above text and photos were taken from "The Warplanes of the Third Reich", by William Green.

Regards

Bob
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

User avatar
Robert Hurst
Member
Posts: 1192
Joined: 04 Oct 2002 15:11
Location: Worksop, Notts, UK

Post by Robert Hurst » 15 Apr 2003 13:06

Hi

Some side view drawings of turret installations of other Condor sub-variants.

These were taken fron "The Warplanes of the Third Reich", by William Green.

Regards

Bob

User avatar
Robert Hurst
Member
Posts: 1192
Joined: 04 Oct 2002 15:11
Location: Worksop, Notts, UK

Post by Robert Hurst » 15 Apr 2003 13:06

Hi

Some side view drawings of turret installations of other Condor sub-variants.

These were taken fron "The Warplanes of the Third Reich", by William Green.

Regards

Bob
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

User avatar
Trommelfeuer
Member
Posts: 403
Joined: 31 Mar 2003 15:40
Location: Hamburg, Germany

....

Post by Trommelfeuer » 15 Apr 2003 13:52

Here's a closer view of a Condor MG-131 turret:
(...found via websearch, sorry, don't know where I found it..)

MFG, Sven
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

Return to “Luftwaffe air units and Luftwaffe in general”