He 177/277

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procrazzy
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He 177/277

Post by procrazzy » 06 Sep 2004 12:48

How good was the he 177? and what could have happend if the he 277 got into mass production? If possible could you please send me some pics of thease two areoplanes.

cheers

procrazzy

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bryson109
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Post by bryson109 » 06 Sep 2004 14:53

He 177

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).


from: http://www.warbirdsresourcegroup.org/LRG/he177.html

He 277

An attempt by Heinkel to rectify the problems of the He 177 by mounting four single engines in place of the dual coupled engines, the He 277 was originally met with indifference by Goering. Heinkel was actually banned from developing this aircraft and secretly proceeded by designating it the He 177B. During a meeting with Hitler, Heinkel mentioned the aircraft as a solution to a specification Hitler was making. Hitler ordered the type into production, at which point it reclaimed it's legitimate name of He 277. Numerous prototypes were built but on July 3, 1944 production was halted as the German aviation industry focused on fighter production..


from: http://www.warbirdsresourcegroup.org/LRG/he277.html

Huck
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Post by Huck » 08 Sep 2004 03:27

Unfortunatelly none of the informations regarding He-177 given by the source above are correct.

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).


Most of the development was privately funded by Heinkel, RLM constantly refusing to support it with money, people or any other resources.

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.


Not only that coupling the engines proved very much possible, but the reliability of DB610 was as good as the reliability of any other German powerplant. If you look at the non-combat losses suffered by He-177 you'll see that is very much the same with the other LW bombers. What's even more remarkable is that He-177, who did most of it's service with antishipping groups (which serviced many types of multiengine aircraft at the same time, complicating the maintenance significantly) proved many times to have a better serviceability than the much simpler twin engine aircraft. Just take a look at the OOBs of LW antishipping units.

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.


I don't remember the number of prototypes that crashed but it is hardly a significant information. For instance most of the P-47B sent for evaluation crashed in a couple of months (more than 40), then this type of P-47 was retired from operational service. Should we consider P-47 a faulty aircraft because of this? I don't think so. Most of the aircrafts developed during the war suffered from a lot of problems and delays during development. About the preproduction aircraft: most of them survived for more than 2 years in service which is exceptional for a long range bomber, in Feb '44 there were 12 A-0 in service (almost 50% of A-0 produced), as many as A-5 were in service at that date.

About 700 served on the eastern front using 50mm and 75mm guns for tank-busting while a few brave aircrews ineffectually bombed England.


This is a funny one. In total 700 is the total number of He-177 airframes produced (there were also around 300 upgraded airframes). So most of them served on Eastern Front, interesting information :roll: In fact no operational He-177 group ever served on an airfield on Eastern Front. KG1 did some 100 He-177 raids in Russia for a couple of months in mid '44 but they were operated from airfields in Germany.
The ineffectual He-177 bombings in England: He-177 did bomb British harbours during Steinbock raids, but their results do not appear in British statistics because they only counted the bombs that fell on land. In He-177s case this means they counted only the bombs that missed their targets.

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)


In reality Goering specifically asked Heinkel to transform He-177 from a 2 engine heavy bomber with dive capabilities in a 4 engine level bomber. However, Goering had no intention to put the modified bomber into mass production, he was interested only in delaying it.

The history of He-177 is a convoluted one. It was designed to a '38 RLM requirement for a heavy bomber/ long range antishipping aircraft with dive bombing capabilities. Hitler was personally interested in this aircraft. Goering however, feared that once the plane developed it will require an independent Kriegsmarine air fleet (if it was to be used effectively in antishipping role), which he always tried to prevent (in order to avoid the split of resources between LW and KM). Still, he wanted the long range bombing capability to harass the Allied production centers and large depots (with surprise raids and precise strikes from high altitude), but made sure that He-177 production remained at a low output.

Milch was also very much against He-177, but for different reasons. He wanted to marginalize or even eliminate the companies favoured during Udet's period, such as Messerschmitt, Heinkel and DB, and award the most lucrative contracts to Junkers, Focke Wulf and BMW. Together with Goering he modified He-177 requirements several times, tried to publicly compromise Heinkel for delays and when the tooling for He-177 production was ready he ordered production to be cancelled, because the aircraft was "not safe" for flight. At that time He-177 already had 1 year of flight testing (most of it in actual combat, though the aircraft was not yet operational). An independent board called to investigate He-177 situation, concluded that none of the problems with He-177 could be attributed to the aircraft itself: there were training, maintanance and operating troubles due to LW own capacity to operate such a complex bomber.

When the production and service of He-177 started for real (mid '43) many thought that LW was already fighting a defensive war (an opinion largely voiced by Milch) and production should concentrate on fighters and fighter bombers. A strategic bomber ready for production so late made little sense to them, therefore He-177 remained rather a couriosity with LW. Nevertheless He-177 shared with B-29 the distinction of being the most advanced piston engine bombers in service during ww2.

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He-177

Post by brustcan » 10 Sep 2004 00:52

Hello, The Luftwaffe cancelled the "Ural Bomber programme" types Do-19
and Ju-89. It was decided to mass produce the Junker-88 instead. When it became apparent that the range of the Ju-88 was going to be shorter than planned the RLM came up with Projekt 1041. The specs called for a bomber with a max speed of 335mph, bomb load of 4,410lbs, with a cruising speed of 310mph and to make medium angle diving. These specs were very advanced for 1937! The job was awarded to Heinkel, with no
competition. To be able to dive and get the high speed, Director Hertel decided to use the successful Heinkel 119 as a basis. This had set a number of world records using two coupled DB engines. The first prototype
flew on Nov. 19, 1939 and only made 285mph when all the problems
began. The Reclin test center ordered over the period from 1939 to May 10 1942 1,300 minor modifications! There were 56 possible causes of engine fires. and in March 1942 Reclin investigations revealed the wing strength to be one third less than estimated by Heinkel. On June 16, 1942 Erhard Milch and Albert Speer were visiting Peenemunde to see the A4 rocket tests. They watched a brand new He-177 take off with four tons of bombs. Just as the plane flew out of sight, it banked to the right and side slipped into the ground killing everyone on board. The investigation showed that a coupling sleeve broke on the propeller shaft. Rechlin reported that a week before the same thing happened while a plane was trying to take off. Both Heinkel and Daimler-Benz had covered up that this had been happening for sometime. To overcome these problems as early as 1940, Heinkel suggested 4 engines, but the RLM said no. Heinkel on his own buildt one four engined version he called the He-177B so the RLM would not know what he was doing. At a meeting in May 1943 Hitler expressed his wish to bomb London and Altantic Convoys, with a long range bomber, Heinkel said he could do it with the 177B. Now under official
RLM sanction the first He-277V-1 flew late 1944. In May of 1944 Heinkel received orders to begin production of the He-277B-5/R2(long range heavy bomber), and only eight were built when it was decided to stop production and concentrate on fighters. Cheers brustcan

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Re: He-177

Post by Huck » 10 Sep 2004 02:15

brustcan wrote:Hello, The Luftwaffe cancelled the "Ural Bomber programme" types Do-19
and Ju-89. It was decided to mass produce the Junker-88 instead. When it became apparent that the range of the Ju-88 was going to be shorter than planned the RLM came up with Projekt 1041. The specs called for a bomber with a max speed of 335mph, bomb load of 4,410lbs, with a cruising speed of 310mph and to make medium angle diving. These specs were very advanced for 1937! The job was awarded to Heinkel, with no
competition. To be able to dive and get the high speed, Director Hertel decided to use the successful Heinkel 119 as a basis. This had set a number of world records using two coupled DB engines. The first prototype
flew on Nov. 19, 1939 and only made 285mph when all the problems
began. The Reclin test center ordered over the period from 1939 to May 10 1942 1,300 minor modifications! There were 56 possible causes of engine fires. and in March 1942 Reclin investigations revealed the wing strength to be one third less than estimated by Heinkel. On June 16, 1942 Erhard Milch and Albert Speer were visiting Peenemunde to see the A4 rocket tests. They watched a brand new He-177 take off with four tons of bombs. Just as the plane flew out of sight, it banked to the right and side slipped into the ground killing everyone on board. The investigation showed that a coupling sleeve broke on the propeller shaft. Rechlin reported that a week before the same thing happened while a plane was trying to take off. Both Heinkel and Daimler-Benz had covered up that this had been happening for sometime. To overcome these problems as early as 1940, Heinkel suggested 4 engines, but the RLM said no. Heinkel on his own buildt one four engined version he called the He-177B so the RLM would not know what he was doing. At a meeting in May 1943 Hitler expressed his wish to bomb London and Altantic Convoys, with a long range bomber, Heinkel said he could do it with the 177B. Now under official
RLM sanction the first He-277V-1 flew late 1944. In May of 1944 Heinkel received orders to begin production of the He-277B-5/R2(long range heavy bomber), and only eight were built when it was decided to stop production and concentrate on fighters. Cheers brustcan


Hi brustcan,

What you say is true, but unfortunately it only underlines the troubles with the prototypes and the preproduction types and says nothing about the operational aircraft. The aircraft was ready for mass production in summer of '43 when all the problems were solved. The production and operational service started in autumn of '43 but it was never on a large scale (for reasons I already mentioned). A-3 model was the first real production model, earlier ones, A-0 and A-1, were mostly used for training, testing and tactical planning. The last batch of A-0 were finished as late as September '43, together with the last batch of A-1. From then on the real A-3 (the one powered by DB610) entered production. A-5 was only a minor modification of A-3 (upgraded armament and different length flaps). In service He-177 proved to be quite reliable, even the earlier models had a very lengthy service: from a total of 105 A-0 and A-1 in service, only 38 were lost to all causes after an average of 1 year and a half of service, though all the pilots that flew them were new to the type!

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Re: He-177

Post by brustcan » 10 Sep 2004 21:32

Huck wrote:
brustcan wrote:Hello, The Luftwaffe cancelled the "Ural Bomber programme" types Do-19
and Ju-89. It was decided to mass produce the Junker-88 instead. When it became apparent that the range of the Ju-88 was going to be shorter than planned the RLM came up with Projekt 1041. The specs called for a bomber with a max speed of 335mph, bomb load of 4,410lbs, with a cruising speed of 310mph and to make medium angle diving. These specs were very advanced for 1937! The job was awarded to Heinkel, with no
competition. To be able to dive and get the high speed, Director Hertel decided to use the successful Heinkel 119 as a basis. This had set a number of world records using two coupled DB engines. The first prototype
flew on Nov. 19, 1939 and only made 285mph when all the problems
began. The Reclin test center ordered over the period from 1939 to May 10 1942 1,300 minor modifications! There were 56 possible causes of engine fires. and in March 1942 Reclin investigations revealed the wing strength to be one third less than estimated by Heinkel. On June 16, 1942 Erhard Milch and Albert Speer were visiting Peenemunde to see the A4 rocket tests. They watched a brand new He-177 take off with four tons of bombs. Just as the plane flew out of sight, it banked to the right and side slipped into the ground killing everyone on board. The investigation showed that a coupling sleeve broke on the propeller shaft. Rechlin reported that a week before the same thing happened while a plane was trying to take off. Both Heinkel and Daimler-Benz had covered up that this had been happening for sometime. To overcome these problems as early as 1940, Heinkel suggested 4 engines, but the RLM said no. Heinkel on his own buildt one four engined version he called the He-177B so the RLM would not know what he was doing. At a meeting in May 1943 Hitler expressed his wish to bomb London and Altantic Convoys, with a long range bomber, Heinkel said he could do it with the 177B. Now under official
RLM sanction the first He-277V-1 flew late 1944. In May of 1944 Heinkel received orders to begin production of the He-277B-5/R2(long range heavy bomber), and only eight were built when it was decided to stop production and concentrate on fighters. Cheers brustcan


Hi brustcan,

What you say is true, but unfortunately it only underlines the troubles with the prototypes and the preproduction types and says nothing about the operational aircraft. The aircraft was ready for mass production in summer of '43 when all the problems were solved. The production and operational service started in autumn of '43 but it was never on a large scale (for reasons I already mentioned). A-3 model was the first real production model, earlier ones, A-0 and A-1, were mostly used for training, testing and tactical planning. The last batch of A-0 were finished as late as September '43, together with the last batch of A-1. From then on the real A-3 (the one powered by DB610) entered production. A-5 was only a minor modification of A-3 (upgraded armament and different length flaps). In service He-177 proved to be quite reliable, even the earlier models had a very lengthy service: from a total of 105 A-0 and A-1 in service, only 38 were lost to all causes after an average of 1 year and a half of service, though all the pilots that flew them were new to the type!


Hi Huck, The Luftwaffe ordered 30 He-177A-0's from Heinkel and 5 He-177A-0's from Arado. 25 of the 35 were destroyed from various causes, with the 10 remaining aircraft were used for crew training at Ludwigslust.
The original production model was never built by Heinkel, all 130
He-177A-1's were built by Arado March 1942 to June 1943. In October of 1942 Heinkel started producing the improved He-177A-3 at the rate of five per month(total was 170). Heinkel and Arado then started producing which was considered the best model, He-177A-5 delivering a total of 565 when
production was stopped in favour of fighter production. The initial deliveries
went to KG 40 in the West for maritime attack and recon duties. On the Russian front KG4 and KG 50 used the type. KG 50 was employed in the
Stalingrad airlift. A Mk101cannon was added into the front gondella to surpress russian flak. All aircraft used in transport duties were re-equipped with anti-tank guns and used by KG50. KG4 was renamed KG100
and sent to the west, and finally KG50 was also renumbered and became
part of KG40 in the West. The only bomber group that continued to use the
He-177 on the russian front was II/KG1 Hindenburg based at Prowehern,
East Prussia. They attacked russian military installations and communications. Even the He-177A-5 still had problems. On Feb. 13, 1944
Goering was at Rheine to watch 2. and 3./KG100 takeoff for England. 14
taxied out, with 13 getting off the ground. 8 soon returned with overheated, or burning engines. Only four aircraft found the target: London, of which 3 came back. The amount of time, energy, and materials
wasted on this aircraft, cost the Luftwaffe dearly. Cheers brustcan

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Post by Huck » 11 Sep 2004 03:19

Hi brustcan,

The Luftwaffe ordered 30 He-177A-0's from Heinkel and 5 He-177A-0's from Arado. 25 of the 35 were destroyed from various causes, with the 10 remaining aircraft were used for crew training at Ludwigslust.


Well, not really. The actual numbers are: 27 saw active service, 8 were sent to flight schools (usually schools got batches of 4 bombers). The service period was from 06.42 when first 3 were delivered to I./KG50 to 08.44 when the last one was lost (IV./KG100). 2 were lost due to enemy action and 6 were lost in various accidents, so 8 were lost in total, not 25.


On the Russian front KG4 and KG 50 used the type. KG 50 was employed in the
Stalingrad airlift.


The plane was not operational at this point, and won't be until Autumn of '43.


The only bomber group that continued to use the
He-177 on the russian front was II/KG1 Hindenburg based at Prowehern,
East Prussia. They attacked russian military installations and communications.


All KG1 groups took part in those missions, they were "all effort" missions.


Even the He-177A-5 still had problems. On Feb. 13, 1944
Goering was at Rheine to watch 2. and 3./KG100 takeoff for England. 14
taxied out, with 13 getting off the ground. 8 soon returned with overheated, or burning engines. Only four aircraft found the target: London, of which 3 came back.


In I./KG100 reports these aircrafts appear as A-3 not A-5. Also they were in the process of moving in France for the Steinbock raids, 3./KG100 began to move from Lechfeld to Chateaudun 3 weeks prior this raid, 2./KG100 started to move the week before the raid. The maintenance facilities required to operate He-177 were still to come, prior this move only one He-177 squad operated from Chateaudun. In plus all the He-177 that 2. and 3./KG100 had were new builds, not yet flown in combat, so the manufacturing defects were yet to be discovered. I'm not surprised that they didn't flew well on the first mission and most aborted it.

In general bombers had much stricter safety requirements than fighters, which translated in many aborted missions. For example in average USAAF fighters had 1 inefective sortie in 15-20 sorties flown, USAAF bombers on the other hand had 1 aborted sortie in 5 flown, and some even 1 in 3! When one bomber had problems all its squad mates had to check for the same problems, because they could be affected by the same maitenance deficiencies common to the squad. There are many such instances. I can give you an example from B-29 missions against Japan:

92 plane leave India
79 reach China
75 dispatched for mission
68 leave China
47 reach the target
1 single bomb managed to fall somewhere near the target


The amount of time, energy, and materials wasted on this aircraft, cost the Luftwaffe dearly.


The development of a 4 engine bomber is expensive, He-177 was not an exception. But it was certainly not more expensive than its Allied counterpars. It was even cheap if compared with the B-29, a bomber with similar payload/range capabilities. The service was brief but eventful, only the shipping sunk would cover the He-177 program costs with ease. Though it is true that He-177 had a lot of potential left unused because of the difficult situation in which Germany was when it became ready for service.

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Post by brustcan » 11 Sep 2004 09:16

Huck wrote:Hi brustcan,

The Luftwaffe ordered 30 He-177A-0's from Heinkel and 5 He-177A-0's from Arado. 25 of the 35 were destroyed from various causes, with the 10 remaining aircraft were used for crew training at Ludwigslust.


Well, not really. The actual numbers are: 27 saw active service, 8 were sent to flight schools (usually schools got batches of 4 bombers). The service period was from 06.42 when first 3 were delivered to I./KG50 to 08.44 when the last one was lost (IV./KG100). 2 were lost due to enemy action and 6 were lost in various accidents, so 8 were lost in total, not 25.


On the Russian front KG4 and KG 50 used the type. KG 50 was employed in the
Stalingrad airlift.


The plane was not operational at this point, and won't be until Autumn of '43.


The only bomber group that continued to use the
He-177 on the russian front was II/KG1 Hindenburg based at Prowehern,
East Prussia. They attacked russian military installations and communications.


All KG1 groups took part in those missions, they were "all effort" missions.


Even the He-177A-5 still had problems. On Feb. 13, 1944
Goering was at Rheine to watch 2. and 3./KG100 takeoff for England. 14
taxied out, with 13 getting off the ground. 8 soon returned with overheated, or burning engines. Only four aircraft found the target: London, of which 3 came back.


In I./KG100 reports these aircrafts appear as A-3 not A-5. Also they were in the process of moving in France for the Steinbock raids, 3./KG100 began to move from Lechfeld to Chateaudun 3 weeks prior this raid, 2./KG100 started to move the week before the raid. The maintenance facilities required to operate He-177 were still to come, prior this move only one He-177 squad operated from Chateaudun. In plus all the He-177 that 2. and 3./KG100 had were new builds, not yet flown in combat, so the manufacturing defects were yet to be discovered. I'm not surprised that they didn't flew well on the first mission and most aborted it.

In general bombers had much stricter safety requirements than fighters, which translated in many aborted missions. For example in average USAAF fighters had 1 inefective sortie in 15-20 sorties flown, USAAF bombers on the other hand had 1 aborted sortie in 5 flown, and some even 1 in 3! When one bomber had problems all its squad mates had to check for the same problems, because they could be affected by the same maitenance deficiencies common to the squad. There are many such instances. I can give you an example from B-29 missions against Japan:

92 plane leave India
79 reach China
75 dispatched for mission
68 leave China
47 reach the target
1 single bomb managed to fall somewhere near the target


The amount of time, energy, and materials wasted on this aircraft, cost the Luftwaffe dearly.


The development of a 4 engine bomber is expensive, He-177 was not an exception. But it was certainly not more expensive than its Allied counterpars. It was even cheap if compared with the B-29, a bomber with similar payload/range capabilities. The service was brief but eventful, only the shipping sunk would cover the He-177 program costs with ease. Though it is true that He-177 had a lot of potential left unused because of the difficult situation in which Germany was when it became ready for service.


Hello Huck, I don't think it's a question of "is it a He-177A-0 A-3 A-5" this aircraft type
had serious problems that were never completely corrected. This aircraft was to be in service in 1941! 30 He-177A-0's from Heinkel, and 5 He-177A-0's from Arado of which 25 were destroyed...scource Heinkel Aircraft by Arco 1972, Warplanes of the Third Reich,
The Rise and Fall of the Luftwaffe, by David Irving. KG 50 used He-177's as transports
during the battle of Stalingrad, the Luftwaffe used anything that could fly for the airlift, including Ju-290, Ju-86, source The Luftwaffe Diaries, and Warplanes of the Third Reich.
Cheers brustcan

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Post by Huck » 12 Sep 2004 03:41

brustcan wrote:Hello Huck, I don't think it's a question of "is it a He-177A-0 A-3 A-5"


Hi brustcan, I don't think that either, A-3 was already a completely developed machine, the modifications towards A-5 were minor. However as I pointed out even the early machines like A-0 and A-1 had a lengthy service with only a few losses in accidents.

this aircraft type had serious problems that were never completely corrected.


I completely disagree with this affirmation. Although it is often mentioned in the old literature, it never comes with a satisfactory prove (all they bring in their support are some single instances when He-177 performed badly). They say that He-177 was marred by mechanical failures, although their never succeed in explaining why the crews loved the aircraft. Where they suicidal? Of course not. If you look at the service stats, you'll see that the expected losses in accidents was lower than on most other types serving with LW, and even those caused by the enemy action were low although most of the time they performed extremely dangerous antishipping missions. I already gave those stats in another thread, they are eye opening.

This aircraft was to be in service in 1941!


This was the plan in the requirement, but revised when the complexity of the project was understood. The real deployment date was in mid '42, but delayed for another year for a number of reasons, the most important being the lack of political support for the whole program.

30 He-177A-0's from Heinkel, and 5 He-177A-0's from Arado of which 25 were destroyed... scource Heinkel Aircraft by Arco 1972, Warplanes of the Third Reich,
The Rise and Fall of the Luftwaffe, by David Irving.



Those are old books, today mostly sources of errors than information. In general books dealing with lots of planes won't give decent stats for any of them. I don't remember finding a single aircraft in "Warplanes of the Third Reich" with correct performance numbers. "The Rise and Fall of the Luftwaffe" is the story told from Milch's perspective, completely distorting the events that involved Messerschmitt and Heinkel, among others (of his many enemies). For instance the production numbers given for Udet times are completely incorrect, is just funny to see Milch still trying to pose as Udet's friend and in the same time as the saviour of the LW. I'd take with great care anything written in those books.

Anyway, here's a list with the whole A-0 service, so that you can check the actual losses (which were far lower than the 25 quoted):

data from Michael Holm's site:
Image

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Post by Stormbird » 13 Sep 2004 06:11

Did someone say pictures well these a from the
http://www.luftarchiv.de/
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

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Post by Huck » 17 Sep 2004 00:56

Now, I don't want somebody to believe that He-177 service was trouble free. The problems that He-177 had in service were many and severe, however they were not caused by mechanical failures. Instead LW own inability to service and use in effective manner this complex aircraft caused most of the difficulties. Here's a quote from 'Heinkel 177, 277 274' by Manfred Griehel and Joachim Dressel, ISBN 1 85310 364 0, containing a German wartime report on He-177 which perfectly summarizes how the LW failed to exploit the qualities of this advanced aircraft.

In May 1944 Major Schubert of the Luftwaffengeneralstab and Reichsmarschall Goring's Adjutancy was finally appointed to establish the principal reasons for the delays experienced in re- equipping Luftwaffe bomber units with the He 177. Nothing needs to be added to his report:

Most of the aircrew of units selected for re- equipment with the He 177 were operationally 'tired-out' and relatively few were from front-line units. The necessary personnel consisted primarily of Young, often inexperienced aircrews, and for reasons of capacity their conversion training at operational training and replacement Gruppen could only be completed in relatively few cases. Most of the young pilots had only nine to 12 months of practical flying experience prior to being transferred to such a complicated aircraft as the He 177.

Apart from that, the new operational crews had been trained on the Ju 88, and most had hardly any training in the art of night-flying. The necessary conversion training meant the compulsory withdrawal of operational He 177s for use as trainers, which in turn led to an overload of work for the technical personnel due to the numerous instances of damage suffered by these aircraft as a result of the training activities.

Matters were made all the more difficult by the fact that some of the ground personnel had not been pre-instructed on the He 177. In addition, the vast majority of the technical personnel arrived at their He 177-equipped bomber Gruppen several months after the units had first received their re- equipment orders. By spring 1944, some units were still short of about 50 per cent of engine fitters. Some of the other personnel first set eyes on the He 177 upon arrival at their assigned unit's airfield, their instruction and training on the Heinkel bomber having to start there and then.

The supply of aircraft servicing tools and appliances also did not keep up with deliveries of He 177s. Thus, for instance, the wing attachment cranes needed to facilitate powerplant changes arrived several months after the delivery of the aircraft themselves, and even then they were too few in number. For IV/KG 1 there was no specialised engine-changing equipment at all, and for this reason the unit had to suspend all training activities in mid-April 1944.

The 'engine circulation' (service units - repair depots - service units) also did not flow as it should have done at first, because of a lack of transportation. Neither the supply of new engines nor the return of DB 606/610s in need of repair functioned properly, least of all the supply of exchange powerplants to individual airfields. It wasn't until April 1944 that these shortcomings were effectively overcome, but they were never fully eradicated.

According to Major Schubert, the time expenditure required for the maintenance and servicing of the He 177 was incomparable with that of any other operational aircraft in service with the Luftwaffe. The jacking-up operation to change the main undercarriage tyres alone (which had to done at least twice as frequently as on other aircraft types) lasted some 2fi hours using the prescribed mechanical spindle blocks. Yet by early summer 1944 far too few of these 12-ton spindle blocks recommended by the manufacturer were available to He 177-equipped units.

The layout of the powerplants too did not exactly help attempts to carry out the necessary servicing work. Because of the inaccessibility of the coupled engines their dismounting took considerably longer than similar work on, for example, the Ju 88 or He 111. Due to the low training level of the technicians, a 25-hour control check on the He 177 usually took two, sometimes even three days.

Criticism was also made of the airfields selected to receive the He 177. Apart from Aalborg in Denmark, all of the others were already completely overcrowded, and lacked the potential for dispersal, camouflage and suitable protection of their aircraft against bomb splinters and shrapnel. For this reason low-level attacks by Allied aircraft caused great losses amongst the He 177s parked out in the open from 1944 onwards, especially as the airfields were now constantly within the range of both fighters and bombers. To make matters worse, this vulnerability to attack had a knock-on effect on He 177 training activities, which sometimes had to be reduced by up to per cent because enemy aircraft were on their way and air raid warnings came into force.

No consideration had been given to the fact that the technically complex He 177 required sufficient hangar space for maintenance and repair purposes, especially during the winter months. The delays caused by this shortcoming alone may well have been responsible for the postponement of He 177 operations by some six months to a year.
Last edited by Huck on 10 Oct 2004 15:28, edited 1 time in total.

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procrazzy
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Post by procrazzy » 21 Sep 2004 18:00

thanks for all the info guys!!

cheers,

procrazzy

Tony Williams
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Post by Tony Williams » 22 Sep 2004 09:11

On the He 177 with the 30mm MK 101 cannon - first of all there were two guns, side-by-side, and secondly it wasn't intended for the anti-shipping role - the guns were nowhere near powerful enough for that.

This is from 'Flying Guns - World War 2: Development of Aircraft Guns, Ammunition and Installations 1933-45' by Emmanuel Gustin and myself:

"A rather remarkable concept was born out of the desire to have an aircraft that could fight Allied patrol aircraft far out over the ocean: The Zerstörer version of the He 177. Early plans called for four semi-fixed MG 151/20 cannon, but when the conversion of a dozen aircraft to He 177A 1/U2 configuration began in June 1942, this had been changed to two 30 mm MK 101 cannon in steerable Lafette L101/1A mount, installed in a strange protrusion under the nose. Initial claims that this led to a loss of speed of 100 km/h proved to be exaggerated, as a speed reduction of only 10 km/h was observed after tests. The order was completed in October, but the project had already been cancelled and the He 177A 1/U2 aircraft were converted back to bomber configuration. There is no confirmation that they were ever operationally used for “train-busting” or other purposes."

Tony Williams: Military gun and ammunition website and Discussion forum

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Re: He-177

Post by Simon Gunson » 24 Jul 2010 02:14

brustcan wrote: ... Now under official RLM sanction the first He-277V-1 flew late 1944. In May of 1944 Heinkel received orders to begin production of the He-277B-5/R2(long range heavy bomber), and only eight were built when it was decided to stop production and concentrate on fighters. Cheers brustcan
The He-277 first flew at Schwechat aerodrome near Vienna in December 1943, not late 1944. The third of four prototype He-177B aircraft received a twin finned tail empennage to become the He-277 B-5 looking very much like the He-274 with slightly wider wingspan in this picture:

Image

ENGINES

A twin stage turbosupercharged version of the DB 603A engine was developed with Bosch TK11 turbosuperchargers. This engine was the DB 603S. The DB 603E engine was developed into the DB 603EB, which in turn became the DB 603G engine ordered for fitting to four pre-production prototypes of the He-177 H under construction at Rostock Marienehe. the He-277 B-5 was intended to use DB 603G high altitude engines.

Image

Production of these engines appears to have been cancelled in 1944, however the same basic high altitude engine appears to have been developed as the DB 603N for 100 octane fuel and as the DB-603L for 87 Octane fuel. there was also a DB 603LA engine with water methanol injection.

A question remains over DB 603G production as it appears at least 38 He-219 UHU were equipped with the DB 603G in January 1945. Also it was intended to switch the Ta-152 Dora production from using Jumo 213E engines to DB 603G engines during 1945. The He-277 B-6 type was intended to use the Jumo 213F engine.

He-274

The He-274 was known as the He-177 H up until Hitler's conference with aircraft manufacturers at Obersalzberg on 23 May 1943. It was at this meeting that Hitler ordered development of the aircraft destined to be designated the He-277 in August 1943. Whilst the He-177 H had paved way for the general layout and solving technical issues, it was too different from the He-177 A-5 under production. The He-277 was an effort to confine the concept to use of major components from the existing production lines.

He-277 PRODUCTION

In addition to the third prototype He-177B (stkz KM+TL) at least six He-177 A-6/R1 high altitude bomber prototypes and one He-177 A-6/R1 prototype (with a tail turret modification) were apparently completed as He-277 B-5. These aircraft were allocated to E-2 Reichlin.

The He-177 A-6/R1 was intended to carry a single 2.5 tonne bomb external to the fuselage with extra fuel housed in the bomb bay. According to French accounts of the He-274 in post war service, with a conventional bomb load inside the bomb bay, the bomb load would have been 6,000kg

CAPABILITIES

Fitted with pressurised cockpits and DB 603G (some claim DB 603N) engines, the He-277 B-5 could reach a service ceiling of 49,200 feet. This gave it an altitude performance well above anything the Allies had.

Image

(photoshopped He-274 image)

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Re: He 177/277

Post by Ome_Joop » 24 Jul 2010 09:41


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