Luftwaffe air-to-air refuelling

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Panzermahn
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Luftwaffe air-to-air refuelling

Post by Panzermahn » 23 May 2004 15:18

Hi,

i read somewhere that the Luftwaffe had perfected the technique of air-to-air refuelling before the war ended..

is this a fact or a myth?

ohrdruf
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Post by ohrdruf » 23 May 2004 15:27

Dear Panzermahn

Is true. Have translated a whole chapter from a German work. Will attempt to post a synopsis next few days.

Ohrdruf

Panzermahn
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Post by Panzermahn » 23 May 2004 15:49

Ohrdruf


Als danke! Thanks a lot

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MAX_theHitMan
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Post by MAX_theHitMan » 23 May 2004 15:51

I would be most intereted in reading about this.

Another question I would like to know, or add to the above question already mentioned, is, Where the germans the FIRST to test out this new way of refuelling aircraft, or did the allies also tried it?



Many Thanks
MAX-thehitMan

ohrdruf
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Post by ohrdruf » 24 May 2004 01:03

Panzermahn/Max The Hit

Original Work is Manfred Griehl: Angriff auf Amerika, will be published later this year under title Luftwaffe Over America by Greenhill Books, London.

Will come back probably Tuesday. Chapter is about 4000 words, will condense.

Ohrdruf

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MAX_theHitMan
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Post by MAX_theHitMan » 24 May 2004 14:22

Many thanks my friend Ohrdruf.
I will be looking forward to reading that article/book.


Thanks
MAX-theHitMan

ohrdruf
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Post by ohrdruf » 25 May 2004 13:47

(1) Pre-war the Luftwaffe had no interest in mid-air refuelling. The first experiments were undertaken by DFS and involved a Ju 52, Do 17 and Her 111 towing a DFS 230 glider to examine ways of coupling and uncoupling aircraft pairs in flight.

(2) The next step involved a Ju 52 fitted with retractable hawser and drogue. The second machine docked into the drogue using a rod at the nose. The first successful docking manouevre was between a Ju 52/3m and Fw 58 V17.

(3) Between 18.6.1941 and 18.7.1941 at Dessau, Ju 90 V5 (Wks No 4917 D-ANBS) and Fw 58 V18 (Wks No 2307 D-OXLR) connected by short hawser in flight.

(4) On 16.8.1941 Heinkel and RLM discussed fitting an He 177 A3 with air refuelling equipment. A speed of 200-250 km/hr was planned, the operation being supervised by the rear-gunner.

(5) During 1941, Fieseler carried out coupling-up and towing trials described by Rechlin as "very promising".

(6) Mid-air refuelling was considered too futuristic and horrified the Luftwaffe High Command. Jeschonnek was the mouthpiece for the scepticism of the General Staff. However, flight tests proved that the Fw 58 had no problem docking into a Ju 52 or Ju 90, and that was the main obstacle overcome. On 17.4.1942 Fieselers received an RLM contract for the development of an airborne fuel transfer system.

(7) On 15.7.1942 it was reported that the most favourable coupling body for speeds above 170 km/hr was a ball and not a cone. The hawser released astern hung 4 to 6 inches to the right due to aerodynamic forces acting on the twist of the hawser. Towing an unpowered glider was found completely successful and it was considered possible for a bomber to tow a Jabo with props feathered. At that time, fuel transfer had still not been tried.

(8) Three other methods were tested and reported on.

(9) For the remainder of 1942, Dorniers carried out studies. On 5 March 1943, the need for mid-air refuelling was finally seen as urgent and Milch ordered four Ju 290s converted into tankers or refuelling-equipped bombers.

(10) On 12 Nov 1943 at Dessau, Ju 290 A4 (Wks No 0169 PI+PW) and Ju 290 A4 (Wks No 0170 KR+LA) flew the first successful mid-air refuelling exercise.

(11) According to the Ju 390 V-1 log, this prototype was refuelled in mid-air over Dessau by Ju 290 A4 (Wks No 0151 CE+YZ) on dates between 10 and 15 Jan 1944 and over Rechlin between 17 and 23 Jan 1944. These tests were filmed from a Ju 88.

(12) As I mentioned elsewhere, from 24 Jan 1944 onwards, two Ju 290s operating from Mont de Marson practised the technique regularly over the Atlantic.

Ohrdruf

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Post by ohrdruf » 25 May 2004 16:42

Sorry - missed a block out. At (8) insert:

"Attempts to stabilize the hose by means of a slightly cone-shaped drogue while attempting to insert it into the filler aperture at the nose were found difficult in turbulence. It was therefore considered a better method to take in the ball end of a lightly weighted hose at least 25 metres long by means of a fork with tines 1.62 metres apart. The trapped hose end would then be brought into the aircraft by hand."

Ohrdruf

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MAX_theHitMan
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Post by MAX_theHitMan » 25 May 2004 17:12

Most interesting ohrdruf, Thanks for that info.

I my opinion if the Luftwaffe could have prolongued these tests a bit further they could have dealt with their problems of not having any long-rage bombers during the war, and continued still using their available aircraft. Too bad.


Many thanks friend 8)

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