Best american bomber compared to german bombers

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SpicyJuan
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Best american bomber compared to german bombers

Post by SpicyJuan » 04 Jul 2015 23:43

Hello, I was wanting the forums opinion on the most promising Amerika Bomber design. Which aircraft do you think would've been the "best" if properly developed?

Here are some pictures of the contenders:

Me 264

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Ju 390

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He 277

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Fw 238

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Ta 400

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Here are some small lists comparing the performance of the bombers:

Max Speed (in mph):
Ta 400: 447
Fw 238: 417
He 277*: 407
Ju 390*: 392
Ju 390**: 357
He 277: 354
Me 264: 350
Ju 390: 314
*with Jumo 222 A/B
**with Jumo 222 E/F

Service Cieling
The base types were all about average at 30,000 ft (except the Ju 390 with BMW 801's whose was 20,000 ft), of course this would change with the plethora of powerplant proposals given.

Bombloads
Fw 238: 33,069 lbs @ 5,592 miles
Me 264: 29,100 lbs @ 5,343 miles
Ta 400: 22,040 lbs at 5,589 miles
He 277: 13,224 lbs @ 5,340 miles
Ju 390: 9,680 lbs for long range missions (exact range unknown)*
*for shorter ranges a bomb pannier was envisaged, the Ju 290E incorporated one which raised the max payload to 44,000 lbs).

IMO, the Me 264 is the best choice as it was an exceptional aircraft in all regards, not only in performance but in handling qualities as well.

NOTE: There is a reason why this is in the aircraft section, because this is a place to discuss the technical aspects of the competing aircraft, and NOT to discuss the Amerika Bomber program as a whole, nor its results if carried out.

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Re: Best Amerika Bomber

Post by durb » 06 Jul 2015 23:04

I think that a long-range missile like some very advanced modification of V 2 rocket would have been better "Amerika bomber" than any aircraft. Perhaps a submarine-launched ballistic missile...but those were just "daydreams" during WW2.

The Me 264 existed as a flying prototype but what I have read it was far from promising: lots of technical problems, difficult handling charasteristics and very heavy wing load. Germans had nothing equal to Superfortress B-29 (or even to B-17).

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SpicyJuan
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Re: Best Amerika Bomber

Post by SpicyJuan » 06 Jul 2015 23:44

durb wrote:I think that a long-range missile like some very advanced modification of V 2 rocket would have been better "Amerika bomber" than any aircraft. Perhaps a submarine-launched ballistic missile...but those were just "daydreams" during WW2.
Perhaps, but that would've taken much longer than bombers.
durb wrote:IThe Me 264 existed as a flying prototype but what I have read it was far from promising: lots of technical problems, difficult handling charasteristics and very heavy wing load.
What are your sources, because that is absolute Jiggery-Pokery. There were relatively few technical issues, it did have high wing-loading, and portrayed no significant handling issues.
durb wrote:IGermans had nothing equal to Superfortress B-29 (or even B-17).
The first one is true for service aircraft, but the Ju 390, and Me 264 were more than a match for the B-29, but for the B-17 that's laughable. The He 177, Ju 290, and even Bomber B medium designs were completely superior in mosts, if not, all respects.

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Re: Best Amerika Bomber

Post by durb » 07 Jul 2015 01:15

Well, I probably know very little about Me 264, but this site in web looked quite convincing - including the reports of test pilots it seems to tell that the plane was technically "raw" and would have needed a long development work: http://www.luft46.com/prototyp/me264.html

The Germans had not equal aircraft to B-29 or B-17 in big scale series production to put effectively in operational use. With more time and more allocated resources they could well have developed Me 264 or some other type to be equally fit for service.

When it comes to strategic or long-range bombing, the Luftwaffe in a way lost a war even before it was started. Luftwaffe and its planes were designed to tactical close support to ground forces and for short-term offensive campaigns. Long-term war against such countries as Britain and USA (or even USSR) was not in the plans in 1939 - Germany had limited resources and for this very reason it needed quick knock-out victories to win the war (even Hitler understood this well). Therefore Luftwaffe was built for the tactical "blitzkrieg" with twin-engined medium and dive bombers.

Germany was not prepared for the long war against major powers of world because such war would be lost against countries that had more raw materials and more human resources (like USA, USSR and even British Empire). I think that this was the primary reason why Germans "failed" to produce multi-engined long-range bombers in significant numbers. When the need of "Amerika bomber" or "Ural bomber" was finally discovered and the first prototypes built for that, it was already too late...and "Das Amerikabomber" destined to be just a utopistic idea without practical importance.

When it comes to some wild ideas, I remember to have read that there was a plan of some very high-flying plane with unconventional technology - I guess it was "Silbervogel"? Another idea was to use He 177 to carry some Dornier 217´s over the Atlantic to the distance that the Dorniers would be able to make one-way attack to USA ("parasite bombers"?). After the bombing the Dorniers would ditch to Atlantic where their aircrews would be rescued by German U-boats...So the best "Amerikabomber" could have been Dornier 217!

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Re: Best Amerika Bomber

Post by SpicyJuan » 07 Jul 2015 11:08

durb wrote:Well, I probably know very little about Me 264, but this site in web looked quite convincing - including the reports of test pilots it seems to tell that the plane was technically "raw" and would have needed a long development work: http://www.luft46.com/prototyp/me264.html

The Germans had not equal aircraft to B-29 or B-17 in big scale series production to put effectively in operational use. With more time and more allocated resources they could well have developed Me 264 or some other type to be equally fit for service.

When it comes to strategic or long-range bombing, the Luftwaffe in a way lost a war even before it was started. Luftwaffe and its planes were designed to tactical close support to ground forces and for short-term offensive campaigns. Long-term war against such countries as Britain and USA (or even USSR) was not in the plans in 1939 - Germany had limited resources and for this very reason it needed quick knock-out victories to win the war (even Hitler understood this well). Therefore Luftwaffe was built for the tactical "blitzkrieg" with twin-engined medium and dive bombers.

Germany was not prepared for the long war against major powers of world because such war would be lost against countries that had more raw materials and more human resources (like USA, USSR and even British Empire). I think that this was the primary reason why Germans "failed" to produce multi-engined long-range bombers in significant numbers. When the need of "Amerika bomber" or "Ural bomber" was finally discovered and the first prototypes built for that, it was already too late...and "Das Amerikabomber" destined to be just a utopistic idea without practical importance.

When it comes to some wild ideas, I remember to have read that there was a plan of some very high-flying plane with unconventional technology - I guess it was "Silbervogel"? Another idea was to use He 177 to carry some Dornier 217´s over the Atlantic to the distance that the Dorniers would be able to make one-way attack to USA ("parasite bombers"?). After the bombing the Dorniers would ditch to Atlantic where their aircrews would be rescued by German U-boats...So the best "Amerikabomber" could have been Dornier 217!
I have found Luft '46 to be wrong several times before, but to quote the site-and one of the test pilots that flew the plane:
After an uneventful flight, Knemeyer was completely enthusiastic about the Me 264, in his opinion all problems could be overcome in the further testing and refinement of the aircraft.
The problem with German R&D was that nearly everything that could go wrong, did. Whether it would be the cancellation of the He 100, Fw 187, Arado 240, and Heinkel 280, the Me 210 and He 177 debacles, the low development priority of the Ural bombers, everything to do with Udet, Milch going unchecked and destroying the Bomber B and Jumo 222/DB 604 engines, the Me 264 and He 219 (what these guys did could be considered treason) the screw-up of the RLM not pursuing jet engines until much later than they could have, as well as completely wrecking pre-war engine production by canceling the DB 603 and not completely funding the DB 601 plant, the failure in getting the Fw 190C in production during 1942/43, the failure to phase out the Bf 109 in favor of the Me 309 or Fw 190 during 1942-44, and the list goes on.

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Bader's Briar
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Best Amerika Bomber - and some CORRECTED He 277 graphics!

Post by Bader's Briar » 20 Aug 2015 21:06

Dear SpicyJuan:

Bader's Briar here...I noticed that your "He 277" graphic...

Image

...has a few of the ERRORS that are alluded to, from the illustrations and text in the Griehl/Dressel book that "defines" the He 177 FAMILY better than any other volume ever published. In that volume, an actual "Typenblatt" drawing for the TRICYCLE-geared version of what was intended to BE the He 277 — an aircraft that only got its 8-277 RLM airframe number by February 1943 — is shown below...

Image

...and for the official Heinkel factory's BOMBLOAD and consumable weights of this above model, featuring a seven meter long by 1.75 meter-beam dimension bomb bay...

Image

...I'd bet that the initial graphic you'd found was potentially inspired by the "oft-told story" that appeared in dozens of post-war aviation book articles, that conflated the actually produced (three examples) He 177B prototypes (V101 through V103) and the incomplete V104 with the never-produced He 277 airframe, only known by that name by the time February 1943 rolled around.

One glaring example is the Bugstandlafette BL 131V quadmount remote "chin turret" on the nose of the "dreamt-up He 277" in the "quoted graphic" that starts this reply. The BL 131V HAD been thought to have been a potential "chin turret" for future He 177 family developments, but the engineering studies done concerning its use for ANY version of the He 177 found that mounting it would have caused a 30 km/h reduction in top airspeed and a loss of a metric tonne of bombload capacity, and THAT is why you see a much lighter FDL 151Z (the "FDL" standing for "Fernbedienbare Drehlafette", or "remotely controlled rotating gun-mount") "chin turret" on the He 277 Typenblatt drawing I've shown from the Griehl/Dressel book.

There WERE studies of using the exact same, Heinkel-specific Kraftei unitzed powerplants for the DB 603 as had been created by the Heinkel firm for the He 219A — and also used for the quartet of produced He 177B prototypes — on the He 277 for a taildragger version, but as shown on the Typenblatt drawings, a quartet of the BMW 801E radials were intended to be the He 277 Amerika Bomber's production-ready powerplant selection.

Don't feel bad, SpicyJuan...a LOT of people made the same errors in thinking that the graphic you found was a "definitive one" for the He 277, but as no complete examples of the aircraft ever existed (only parts of the nosewheel version shown in the Typenblatt drawings were ever known to have been fabricated) and before the Griehl/Dressel book on the entire He 177 family of airframes came out in 1998 from Airlife, a LOT of goofs had occurred regarding the He 277, with next to nothing known about its eventual role as Heinkel's Amerika Bomber design competitor.

You COULD also do a Google for the term, "DB 606 welded-together engines" to help understand what I'm getting at, just a small bit better!

Yours Sincerely,

Bader's Briar.. :wink: ..!!

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Re: Best Amerika Bomber - and some CORRECTED He 277 graphics!

Post by SpicyJuan » 20 Aug 2015 23:28

Bader's Briar wrote:Dear SpicyJuan:

Bader's Briar here...I noticed that your "He 277" graphic...

Image

...has a few of the ERRORS that are alluded to, from the illustrations and text in the Griehl/Dressel book that "defines" the He 177 FAMILY better than any other volume ever published. In that volume, an actual "Typenblatt" drawing for the TRICYCLE-geared version of what was intended to BE the He 277 — an aircraft that only got its 8-277 RLM airframe number by February 1943 — is shown below...

Image

...and for the official Heinkel factory's BOMBLOAD and consumable weights of this above model, featuring a seven meter long by 1.75 meter-beam dimension bomb bay...

Image

...I'd bet that the initial graphic you'd found was potentially inspired by the "oft-told story" that appeared in dozens of post-war aviation book articles, that conflated the actually produced (three examples) He 177B prototypes (V101 through V103) and the incomplete V104 with the never-produced He 277 airframe, only known by that name by the time February 1943 rolled around.

One glaring example is the Bugstandlafette BL 131V quadmount remote "chin turret" on the nose of the "dreamt-up He 277" in the "quoted graphic" that starts this reply. The BL 131V HAD been thought to have been a potential "chin turret" for future He 177 family developments, but the engineering studies done concerning its use for ANY version of the He 177 found that mounting it would have caused a 30 km/h reduction in top airspeed and a loss of a metric tonne of bombload capacity, and THAT is why you see a much lighter FDL 151Z (the "FDL" standing for "Fernbedienbare Drehlafette", or "remotely controlled rotating gun-mount") "chin turret" on the He 277 Typenblatt drawing I've shown from the Griehl/Dressel book.

There WERE studies of using the exact same, Heinkel-specific Kraftei unitzed powerplants for the DB 603 as had been created by the Heinkel firm for the He 219A — and also used for the quartet of produced He 177B prototypes — on the He 277 for a taildragger version, but as shown on the Typenblatt drawings, a quartet of the BMW 801E radials were intended to be the He 277 Amerika Bomber's production-ready powerplant selection.

Don't feel bad, SpicyJuan...a LOT of people made the same errors in thinking that the graphic you found was a "definitive one" for the He 277, but as no complete examples of the aircraft ever existed (only parts of the nosewheel version shown in the Typenblatt drawings were ever known to have been fabricated) and before the Griehl/Dressel book on the entire He 177 family of airframes came out in 1998 from Airlife, a LOT of goofs had occurred regarding the He 277, with next to nothing known about its eventual role as Heinkel's Amerika Bomber design competitor.

You COULD also do a Google for the term, "DB 606 welded-together engines" to help understand what I'm getting at, just a small bit better!

Yours Sincerely,

Bader's Briar.. :wink: ..!!

Image
Hello, Bader's Briar, thank you for taking your time to contribute :milsmile: Unfortunately, the large amounts of typos left by the author/translator have left me questioning much of his arguments. Contradictory evidence given by Griehl leads me to believe that he has fallen for the myth as well! This is what I mean:
Image
Image

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That "Belademöglichkeiten" ordnance loadout sheet IS significant...

Post by Bader's Briar » 23 Aug 2015 18:34

Dear SpicyJuan:

Bader's Briar here again - if you take a real close look at what ADMITTEDLY is a "MIS-captioned caption" in the Griehl/Dressel book for what's essentially the He 277 nosewheel version, a caption I chose to DELIBERATELY omit...

...the bomb bay length for the nosewheeled He 277 Typenblatt drawing shows a precisely SEVEN METER length bomb bay, and as specified in the included "belademödglichkeiten" ordnance loadout sheet, the lower half of which represents the He 277 nosewheel variant that I included in my post from the 8/20/2015 reply, the seven meter (almost exactly twenty-three foot) long bomb bay was also intended to have a 1.75 meter (five foot nine inch) beam/width interior measurement.

The 7 m x 1.75 m bomb bay version ALSO lists a set of figures for a three metric tonne (half-a-dozen SC 500s) bomb loadout for a very long range mission for such an He 277 mission configuration. Given a total mass of 12.2 tonnes (12 200 kg) for the Kraftstoff-figure for engine fuel and lubricants, an He 277 nosewheel version with the three-tonne internal warload would have a total range of 11,100 km, equating to a roughly 5,500 km combat radius, just enough for an He 277 with the BMW 801E radials to hit the US nearly anywhere east of the front ranges of the Appalachians, almost anywhere from southern New England down to almost all of Florida, from the oft-proposed Azores airfields for the He 277 Amerika Bombers' bases.

Also, after checking the bomb bay dimensions and placing the raster-format scanned three-view of the nosewheeled He 277 Typenblatt drawing up within a CAD vector editor for an eventual three-view drawing for the English language Wikipedia page, it seemed quite likely that the 7 x 1.75 meter planform bomb bay COULD have just enough depth to it as well, to actually carry a pair of Fritz-X MCLOS guidance PGM "smart-bombs" internally, with a nearly-identical mass as the six SC 500 bombs would present for very long-range missions.

In addition, the DATE of the ordnance loadout sheet of May 12, 1943 (12.5.1943, day/month/year format dating) occurred well before the July 23, 1943 date that the RLM first asked the Heinkel firm to develop an alternate set of 45 meter span/170 square meter area wings for the He 277, that COULD take either a half-a-dozen BMW 801E radials on there...or a quartet of the quite troubled Junkers Jumo 222 multibank liquid-cooled 24-cylinder inline engines as an alternative for the Amerika Bomber's trans-Atlantic primary mission requirement. The sheet you've provided from the Griehl/Dressel book is comparing the SIX-engined, 45 meter wingspan version of the Heinkel Amerika Bomber design with Focke-Wulf's six-engined Ta 400, a comparison that could not have been undertaken BEFORE the date of the bomb loadout sheet I've provided.

I've also wondered HOW far INLAND such a mission profile of a 5,500 km combat radius might have been able to get to, if, say, the Wehrmacht military (the Heer, Kriegsmarine & Luftwaffe together) had been able to operate long-range stretegic bomber raids from what existed as Kindley Field in BERMUDA...

...nearly the entire continental (the "lower 48") USA landmass east of the front range of the ROCKIES (and even all of Ontario AND eastwards in Canada!) could have been said to been within the nosewheel He 277's range, making the potential attack directly against Manhattan Project targets in Oak Ridge, TN, with the Fritz-X 1400 kg armor-piercing bombs easily able to penetrate any and all of the fissile materials (uranium and even SOME plutonium!) processing facilities' roofs, and the ability to do it with a serious degree of precision.

With the Kreigsmarine's Type XXI U-boats patrolling the entire North Atlantic, supported with the long-ranged Bv 138 trimotor maritime patrol flying boats (trio of Junkers Jumo 205D diesels in their airframe), the U.S. Navy could have had some serious problems in trying to attack a "Fliegerhorst Kindley" He 277 base in Bernuda without warning, unless a surprise atomic bombing of such a base could have been attempted by the USAAF, without the Luftwaffe knowing about it...then again, if a significant number of Do 335A Zerstörers had also been based there, a mix of day and night fighter versions, a formation of SIlverplate B-29 atomic bombers would have been detected quite early, and as provisions existed to place a trio of the long-barreled MK 103s in a number of Do 335 variants (one Motorkanone firing through the prophub, and one in each wing panel), trying to strike such a forward-location Luftwaffe strategic bomber base in Bermuda could have been near-suicidal for the USAAF from land bases, and USN carrier pilots.

The Fritz-X ordnance idea for the He 277, and Bermuda base situations are strictly ones I came up with on my own, but such situations could have occurred if the war "had" gone differently — we can all thank goodness that they didn't, of course.

But PLEASE remember that the types of He 177 bomber developments actually planned by Heinkel's aviation designers and engineers, NEVER had the "Bugstandlafette" quadmount nose turrets proposed for them...the BL 131V remote "chin turrets" were simply too heavy, AND too drag-producing, to have ever taken the place of the much lighter, twin-gun or twin-cannon Fernbedienbaren Drehlafette FDL 131Z or FDL 151Z remotely-operated undernose "chin turrets" actually shown on the blizzard of the Heinkel factory's He 177 development drawings shown in the 1998-published Griehl/Dressel book.

Thanks again and Yours Sincerely,

Bader's Briar..:wink:..!!

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SpicyJuan
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Re: That "Belademöglichkeiten" ordnance loadout sheet IS significant...

Post by SpicyJuan » 24 Aug 2015 00:15

Bader's Briar wrote:Dear SpicyJuan:

Bader's Briar here again - if you take a real close look at what ADMITTEDLY is a "MIS-captioned caption" in the Griehl/Dressel book for what's essentially the He 277 nosewheel version, a caption I chose to DELIBERATELY omit...
Griehl and Dressel's English edition does have many frustrating typo's, but the German edition does correct them. I checked the German edition and it is not mis-captioned.
...the bomb bay length for the nosewheeled He 277 Typenblatt drawing shows a precisely SEVEN METER length bomb bay, and as specified in the included "belademödglichkeiten" ordnance loadout sheet, the lower half of which represents the He 277 nosewheel variant that I included in my post from the 8/20/2015 reply, the seven meter (almost exactly twenty-three foot) long bomb bay was also intended to have a 1.75 meter (five foot nine inch) beam/width interior measurement.

The 7 m x 1.75 m bomb bay version ALSO lists a set of figures for a three metric tonne (half-a-dozen SC 500s) bomb loadout for a very long range mission for such an He 277 mission configuration. Given a total mass of 12.2 tonnes (12 200 kg) for the Kraftstoff-figure for engine fuel and lubricants, an He 277 nosewheel version with the three-tonne internal warload would have a total range of 11,100 km, equating to a roughly 5,500 km combat radius, just enough for an He 277 with the BMW 801E radials to hit the US nearly anywhere east of the front ranges of the Appalachians, almost anywhere from southern New England down to almost all of Florida, from the oft-proposed Azores airfields for the He 277 Amerika Bombers' bases.

Also, after checking the bomb bay dimensions and placing the raster-format scanned three-view of the nosewheeled He 277 Typenblatt drawing up within a CAD vector editor for an eventual three-view drawing for the English language Wikipedia page, it seemed quite likely that the 7 x 1.75 meter planform bomb bay COULD have just enough depth to it as well, to actually carry a pair of Fritz-X MCLOS guidance PGM "smart-bombs" internally, with a nearly-identical mass as the six SC 500 bombs would present for very long-range missions.
Great job! I tried to do this myself a few months ago, but was missing some critical information. How many could be fitted underneath the wings?
In addition, the DATE of the ordnance loadout sheet of May 12, 1943 (12.5.1943, day/month/year format dating) occurred well before the July 23, 1943 date that the RLM first asked the Heinkel firm to develop an alternate set of 45 meter span/170 square meter area wings for the He 277, that COULD take either a half-a-dozen BMW 801E radials on there...or a quartet of the quite troubled Junkers Jumo 222 multibank liquid-cooled 24-cylinder inline engines as an alternative for the Amerika Bomber's trans-Atlantic primary mission requirement. The sheet you've provided from the Griehl/Dressel book is comparing the SIX-engined, 45 meter wingspan version of the Heinkel Amerika Bomber design with Focke-Wulf's six-engined Ta 400, a comparison that could not have been undertaken BEFORE the date of the bomb loadout sheet I've provided.
Nice catch! I didn't notice that myself, but there is a 20,000 lb difference between the loaded weight of the He 177B-5 and the 6-engined He 277. That difference is not made up by adding two BMW 801's. Is that difference the amount of fuel? Could the six-engined version have been modified to carry more bombs and maintain the range of the bombload data sheet you mentioned?
I've also wondered HOW far INLAND such a mission profile of a 5,500 km combat radius might have been able to get to, if, say, the Wehrmacht military (the Heer, Kriegsmarine & Luftwaffe together) had been able to operate long-range stretegic bomber raids from what existed as Kindley Field in BERMUDA...

...nearly the entire continental (the "lower 48") USA landmass east of the front range of the ROCKIES (and even all of Ontario AND eastwards in Canada!) could have been said to been within the nosewheel He 277's range, making the potential attack directly against Manhattan Project targets in Oak Ridge, TN, with the Fritz-X 1400 kg armor-piercing bombs easily able to penetrate any and all of the fissile materials (uranium and even SOME plutonium!) processing facilities' roofs, and the ability to do it with a serious degree of precision.

With the Kreigsmarine's Type XXI U-boats patrolling the entire North Atlantic, supported with the long-ranged Bv 138 trimotor maritime patrol flying boats (trio of Junkers Jumo 205D diesels in their airframe), the U.S. Navy could have had some serious problems in trying to attack a "Fliegerhorst Kindley" He 277 base in Bernuda without warning, unless a surprise atomic bombing of such a base could have been attempted by the USAAF, without the Luftwaffe knowing about it...then again, if a significant number of Do 335A Zerstörers had also been based there, a mix of day and night fighter versions, a formation of SIlverplate B-29 atomic bombers would have been detected quite early, and as provisions existed to place a trio of the long-barreled MK 103s in a number of Do 335 variants (one Motorkanone firing through the prophub, and one in each wing panel), trying to strike such a forward-location Luftwaffe strategic bomber base in Bermuda could have been near-suicidal for the USAAF from land bases, and USN carrier pilots.
Sounds like a pretty cool alt-hist to be honest.
The Fritz-X ordnance idea for the He 277, and Bermuda base situations are strictly ones I came up with on my own, but such situations could have occurred if the war "had" gone differently — we can all thank goodness that they didn't, of course.
Something of note is that the Messerschmitt designers thought of this when designing the Me 264, thus the long-range version of the Me 264 could carry 6 Fritz X bombs over 11,300 km (from Brest, France to NYC) and the short-range version could carry 10(!) over 8,150 km (from the Azores to NYC is 8,250 km so just over the limit) all within in fuselage!
But PLEASE remember that the types of He 177 bomber developments actually planned by Heinkel's aviation designers and engineers, NEVER had the "Bugstandlafette" quadmount nose turrets proposed for them...the BL 131V remote "chin turrets" were simply too heavy, AND too drag-producing, to have ever taken the place of the much lighter, twin-gun or twin-cannon Fernbedienbaren Drehlafette FDL 131Z or FDL 151Z remotely-operated undernose "chin turrets" actually shown on the blizzard of the Heinkel factory's He 177 development drawings shown in the 1998-published Griehl/Dressel book.
Yes, I heard that they settled on 2 x Mk 103's instead. Would you please provide a page number?
Thanks again and Yours Sincerely,

Bader's Briar..:wink:..!!
Thanks for the great post Bader's Brian!

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There IS a "real He 177B" Typenblatt drawing in the Griehl/Dressel book...

Post by Bader's Briar » 25 Aug 2015 21:45

Dear SpicyJuan:

Bader's Briar here...if you check on page 166 of the English language version of the Griehl/Dressel book, you'll find the Typenblatt drawing of the He 177 B-5's first prototype, the He 177 V101 as shown below...
He 177B V101 Factory 3-vu-sm.jpg
...and I feel quite strongly that the ABOVE image is what should have been on page 159, and not the one of the He 277 Amerika Bomber's general arrangement that ended up there, and resultingly mis-labeled!

The above drawing quite correctly shows what Heinkel had intended the V101 to look like, as it did late in 1943 when the "foggy German airfield" setting photo below was taken, a VERY well-known one of the V101...
He 177B V101 Photo.jpg
No photos of the V102 twin-tailed prototype have survived to the present, but the V101 most likely ended up at Cheb, Czech Republic just after VE-Day as a wreck, whose fuselage had been QUITE thoroughly "wrecked" by Luftwaffe demolition experts in the pair of following photos from the "fronta.cz" website IN the Czech Republic...
POSSIBLE Wreck of V101.jpg
POSSIBLE Wreck of V101-2.jpg


...and then, there's the following photo of a quite "anomalous" four-engined He 177 B-series-apparence aircraft, whose Stammkennzeichen of "NE+OD" matches NOTHING of the documented facts of the four ordered He 177 B-series V101 through V104 prototype airframes, as recounted on page 226 of the Griehl/Dressel book...
'Anomalous' B-Series Aircraft-1.jpg
There's also, in the Griehl/Dressel volume, some curiously shown side views from Heinkel's drafting rooms of various "takes" on what a "truly four-engined" He 177 successor should have looked like. These — mostly for the He 277 Amerika Bomber — exist on page 195, with the largest of the sideviews showing a likely tailwheel version of the Heinkel Amerika Bomber, and the trio of smaller drawings, from top to bottom - the "3c" drawing, most likely an He 177B variant not much different from the B-7 (which had no rear dorsal turret), the "3b,e,f" as a likely DB 603-powered nosewheel version of the Heinkel Amerika Bomber, and a very similar drawing labeled "3a" to the larger sideview at the top of the page. SImilar drawings on pages 160 and 161 in the book DO realistically show variants of the B-5 and B-7 versions with the upgraded cockpit for the A-6, A-7 and B-series aircraft. In addition, the drawing on page 162 of the book shows the "cabin 3" production He 177A cockpit above, labeled as "alte Ausführung", and the upgraded, Airspeed Horsa-like cockpit for the A-6/A-7/B-series aircraft below, labeled as "besserter Ausführung", with an FDL-series twin-gun "chin turret" in place, as intended for the B-series airframes.

There is simply SO much in that book to document the true history of the He 177, that I have to admit that it's Hermann Goering's complaints to "Poor Edgar", Colonel Edgar Petersen — as documented on pages 52 & 53 of the Griehl/Dressel book — about the He 177A's "welded-together engines" causing virtually all its problems with engine fires and other catastrophic accidents with such badly maintained and accommodated twinned-up DB 601s and DB 605s that had been stuffed into the He 177A's wings far enough that only the second cylinder of each cylinder bank was even with the wings' leading edges, that got me sooo intrigued about the "oft-told story" I'd read from many years before, regarding the veracity of the "He 177B" only being a "cover designation" for the never-built He 277 Amerika Bomber - which DID turn out to have too many discrepancies in it, and with the Griehl/Dressel book showing, much more accurately, that the He 177B WAS a real aircraft, of which three prototypes were built to flying condition by at least December 20, 1943, when the V102 twin-tailed airframe first flew with its DB 603 unitized engine installations. each virtually identical to what existed on Heinkel's He 219A from all external appearances.

From his archival Bundesarchiv photo, one can easily imagine the "schadenfreude" Poor Edgar was going through, whenever his boss Goering called him concerning the He 177A's engine "complications" from August 1942 onwards... 8O !!

And the Griehl/Dressel book's influence can be noticed here as well...in another WW II aviation book's text, viewed online from Google!

That's "all for now"...looking forward to more dialogue regarding one of WW II's most misunderstood AND misread aviation mysteries...!

Thanks and Yours Sincerely,

Bader's Briar
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Simon Gunson
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Re: Best Amerika Bomber

Post by Simon Gunson » 21 Sep 2015 16:15

The He 274 was Germany's preferred choice and was intended to be the real Amerika Bomber

Image

The He 277 (official designation He 177 A-8) by contrast was intended to be an ultra high altitude bomber for missions over England, with a service ceiling of 49,210ft. At this height no Allied fighter could catch it. There are specious false claims that some Spitfires reached altitudes in excess of this but upon closer examination either their claims do not stack up or pilots were hypoxic & exaggerated.


When He 177 A-6/R1 & R2 projects with pressurised cockpits were cancelled, six prototype He 177 A-6/R1 prototypes and one He 177 A-6/R2 prototype (with a tail turret) were converted to He 277 B-5 production aircraft at E-2 Rechlin. An equal number of He 177 A-7 are also thought to have been converted to He 277 at Rechlin. He 177 A-7 aircraft arose from a cancelled order by Japan. Just one He-177 A 7 example captured at Toulouse-Blagnac "GP+RY" fell into American hands in September 1944:

Image

A realistic comparison reveals the He 277 was much superior to the B-29:

Image
B-29 performance graphs

The B-29 had an empty ferry range of 5,600sm, but for practical purposes had a radius of about 1,800sm with 5,000lb of bombs. Whilst the B-29 is often quoted for its maximum bomb load of 20,000lb, it only had a high altitude radius of 750sm at this weight or 1,450sm at low altitude. The service ceiling for the B-29 was 36,000ft however the practical altitude with 10,000lb bombs & balance in fuel weight was around 30,000ft.

The He 277 B-5 could carry a maximum 12,000lb of bombs at "high altitude" with a bombing radius of 1,000sm. Lifting a 6,000lb bomb load the He 277 B-5 could manage 3,750sm at a prodigious 49,210ft.

The projected He 277 B-6 aircraft with Jumo 213F engines would manage 4,500sm, but was intended for maritime reconnaissance, not bombing.

Image
B-29 take off performance
Last edited by Simon Gunson on 22 Sep 2015 01:57, edited 2 times in total.

Simon Gunson
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Re: There IS a "real He 177B" Typenblatt drawing in the Griehl/Dressel book...

Post by Simon Gunson » 21 Sep 2015 17:03

Bader's Briar wrote:
The above drawing quite correctly shows what Heinkel had intended the V101 to look like, as it did late in 1943 when the "foggy German airfield" setting photo below was taken, a VERY well-known one of the V101...
He 177B V101 Photo.jpg
No photos of the V102 twin-tailed prototype have survived to the present, but the V101 most likely ended up at Cheb, Czech Republic just after VE-Day as a wreck, whose fuselage had been QUITE thoroughly "wrecked" by Luftwaffe demolition experts in the pair of following photos from the "fronta.cz" website IN the Czech Republic...
The aircraft in the mist NE+OD was in fact the V-102 aircraft. Confusingly Reichlin gave this V-102 aircraft a new identity with He 277 stkz "GA+QQ"

Image

The aircraft NN+QQ destroyed at Cheb was the V-101 aircraft. In 1945 prototype He 177 B-0 V101 with Luftwaffe codes (Stammkennzeichen) NN+QQ was destroyed on a compass turntable at Cheb airfield in Western Czechoslovakia. Sources in the modern Czech republic commented online that the aircraft destroyed at Cheb was deliberately torched by the Germans to prevent it's capture. The aircraft in question at Cheb was fitted with four experimental Jumo 222 engines. These engines whilst more powerful than the Jumo 211, thought to have been fitted on He 177B aircraft were not high altitude performing engines like the Jumo 213F, or DB 603G fitted to the He 227 B series.

The V-103 aircraft W.Nr.550036, was first converted to He 177 B-0 resembling the V-102 in the mist, then later converted to He 277 B-5 standard with addition of "H" tail. The He 177 A-06 aircraft DL+AT was also converted as He 177 B-0 prototype V104.

Once rebuilt from He-177B-O standard into true He-277 airframes they were reassigned new identities for example:

GA+QQ = Heinkel He 277 V9
GA+QR = Heinkel He 277 V10
GA+QM = Heinkel He 277 V26
GA+QX = Heinkel He 277 V18

According to Josef Garlinski, Hitler’s Last Weapons, Magnum Books 1979, Wartime Nazi records captured by the Allies revealed that eight He 277 aircraft were produced between January and April 1944. Two the V-103 aircraft and V-104 both with the H tail arrangement were destroyed by Allied bombing at Schwechat airfield near Vienna in April 1944. The factory itself however including four assembly halls were only lightly damaged by this raid.

Another German author named Uwe published claims in the 1960s that prototype He 177 A-6/R1 aircraft were converted to He 277B-5 series by Rechlin E-2 which possessed it’s own assembly facilities.

...and then, there's the following photo of a quite "anomalous" four-engined He 177 B-series-apparence aircraft, whose Stammkennzeichen of "NE+OD" matches NOTHING of the documented facts of the four ordered He 177 B-series V101 through V104 prototype airframes, as recounted on page 226 of the Griehl/Dressel book...
'Anomalous' B-Series Aircraft-1.jpg
I have on good authority from a person who can't be named that Griehl was pressured by German authorities to delete & amend information gathered in research so I suggest one keeps in mind that he was arbitrarily limited in what he was permitted to reveal. Even to this day the German Government is highly sensitive to disclosures of some ww2 issues. I regret my inability to name the source, but suffice to say there is more untold by Griehl in his research material than was disclosed. Some will choose to disagree with this comment or seek to argue with it, but that can't be helped. take it or leave it as you choose.
Last edited by Simon Gunson on 22 Sep 2015 02:10, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Best Amerika Bomber

Post by ChristopherPerrien » 21 Sep 2015 20:08

What and where on Earth is that large hole that plane (V101) is falling into?

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Re: Best Amerika Bomber

Post by Simon Gunson » 22 Sep 2015 02:49

SpicyJuan wrote:Hello, I was wanting the forums opinion on the most promising Amerika Bomber design. Which aircraft do you think would've been the "best" if properly developed?

Service Cieling
The base types were all about average at 30,000 ft (except the Ju 390 with BMW 801's whose was 20,000 ft), of course this would change with the plethora of powerplant proposals given.

Bombloads
Fw 238: 33,069 lbs @ 5,592 miles
Me 264: 29,100 lbs @ 5,343 miles
Ta 400: 22,040 lbs at 5,589 miles
He 277: 13,224 lbs @ 5,340 miles
Ju 390: 9,680 lbs for long range missions (exact range unknown)*
*for shorter ranges a bomb pannier was envisaged, the Ju 290E incorporated one which raised the max payload to 44,000 lbs).

IMO, the Me 264 is the best choice as it was an exceptional aircraft in all regards, not only in performance but in handling qualities as well.

NOTE: There is a reason why this is in the aircraft section, because this is a place to discuss the technical aspects of the competing aircraft, and NOT to discuss the Amerika Bomber program as a whole, nor its results if carried out.
The Me264 was itself rejected as too hazardous by RLM due to runway length requirements. Officially only one Me264 was built however it appears a second Me264 was assembled from parts & flew LR communications flights under Kommando Nebel. With a serious bomb load & fuel for a transatlantic mission using RATO, the Me264 required a 2,400m take-off run. RLM concluded the handling & risks of using RATO were too great for the average pilot.

The Ta400 was problematic because of the limitations imposed by the BMW801 engine two stage superchargers. The first stage cut in at 21,000ft and practically doubled fuel consumption. I can't recall to hand what altitude the second stage kicked in, but suffice to say, reaching 35,000ft would treble the fuel flow.

The Ju-390 was never suited to a bombing role as the entire aircraft was far too slow. Quite modest turns induced wing flutter in the Ju-290 and the shorter V1 aircraft with a bomb pannier forward of the wing root suffered longitudinal instability. Intended use of the Ju290 V3 as a bomber against New York with three Hs293 glide missiles was abandoned for the simple reason the wings could not cope structurally with the weight so far outboard. There was no practical way with a low mounted wing in the Ju390 to incorporate a bomb bay. The projected Ju290E bomber however did incorporate a pannier extending the entire length of the belly. in practical terms they could not fly fast enough to survive fighter defences nor fly high enough due to fuel consumption to avoid fighters.

Of all the proposals, RLM was most impressed by the He274

Image
(photoshopped image)

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Re: There IS a "real He 177B" Typenblatt drawing in the Griehl/Dressel book...

Post by SpicyJuan » 22 Sep 2015 02:58

Simon Gunson wrote:The He 274 was Germany's preferred choice and was intended to be the real Amerika Bomber.
I'm quite sure that it was not. The Me 264 was the original preference, but evolved into the He 277. Besides, the 274 didn't even have enough range to reach Amerika with IFR.
I have on good authority from a person who can't be named that Griehl was pressured by German authorities to delete & amend information gathered in research so I suggest one keeps in mind that he was arbitrarily limited in what he was permitted to reveal. Even to this day the German Government is highly sensitive to disclosures of some ww2 issues. I regret my inability to name the source, but suffice to say there is more untold by Griehl in his research material than was disclosed. Some will choose to disagree with this comment or seek to argue with it, but that can't be helped. take it or leave it as you choose.
Would you mind being a bit more specific on what type of information was left out? Did he perhaps include it in his book "Luftwaffe Over America"? I find it a little suspect that Griehl was pressured whereas Dieter Herwig, the author of Luftwaffe Secret Projects: Strategic Bombers, and the overall tone of his book is Nazi-sympathetic, yet was originally released in German.

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