Luftwaffe's Sturmoviks

Discussions on all (non-biographical) aspects of the Luftwaffe air units and general discussions on the Luftwaffe.
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Ome_Joop
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Post by Ome_Joop » 18 Dec 2004 22:22

I don't think the Gnome-Rhone engines (GR) were any rarer compared to the BMW engines of the FW-190 (on the contrary) as those BMW engines were needed for the FW-190 and not many Luftwaffe aircraft used GR engines...as the French factory was captured by the Germans in 1940!
One of the reasons why they used these GR engines in the first place was that the Argus As-410 engines had to little power and their supposed/planned replacements the inline Daimler DB-601 were on shortage and the GR engines were in abbundance!!

http://www.simviation.com/fsdcbainhs129.htm

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Post by Tony Williams » 19 Dec 2004 07:55

There's quite a long analysis of the Hs 129 and its various weapon fits in 'Flying Guns - World War 2: Development of Aircraft Guns, Ammunition and Installations 1933-45' by Emmanuel Gustin and myself. This is the quote concerning its North African performance:

"Hs 129s were also deployed in North Africa in late 1942, initially to some effect, but its engine reliability problem was exacerbated by the sand and heat so the aircraft saw little use."

You need to be very cautious in quoting claimed kills - evidence in NW Europe in 1944, when Operational Research teams crawled all over knocked-out German tanks to discover the cause, suggests that the Allied fighter-bomber units were claiming about ten times as many tanks as they actually knocked out.

As far as the A-10 is concerned - is there any modern weapon which has been battle-tested against a worthy opponent? The last time I can recall that happening was in the 1980s, in the Falklands and the Iran-Iraq war (although in the latter case the equipment wasn't state-of-the-art). Many of the changes to the A-10 are to enable it to carry a full range of stand-off weapons. But in modern combat, there are still times when aircraft have to go in harm's way. This is a quote from 'Flying Guns – the Modern Era: Development of Aircraft Guns, Ammunition and Installations since 1945', authors as before:

"Another advantage of using cannon was demonstrated in the invasion of Afghanistan in 2002. During an intense infantry battle at Takur Ghar in late May, in which US forces were ambushed and in considerable danger, air support was called for. The AC-130 was not permitted to intervene in daylight due to its vulnerability, so USAF fighters were sent to help. For a part of the battle the Afghan combatants were too close to the Americans for rockets or bombs to be used, so the fighters – F-16s and even F-15s – went in strafing with their 20 mm cannon, as did the Navy's F-14s and F/A-18s on other occasions. Even RAF Tornadoes were reported to have carried out gun strafing runs on at least one occasion. It may logically be argued that it is foolish to risk an extremely expensive aircraft, with its expensively trained pilot, to being lost due to very low-tech ground fire, but sometimes the risk needs to be taken to save friendly lives."

Tony Williams: Military gun and ammunition website and Discussion forum

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TISO
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Post by TISO » 30 Dec 2004 03:14

As far as I know the main problem with Hs-129 was high stability of the aircraft ( not so manuvereble aircraft) which needs high momentum of force on control surfaces and consequently high force load on pilot stick, combined with short pilot stick ( higher force load for same momentum of force-Basic physics ). Becouse of that attack angle of the aircraft was somewhat restricted ( it was recomended max.15 degrees). So pilot had to be very strong and small due small cockpit. That coused the main problem with this aircraft - low manuverebility and restricted size of the pilots. Usualy the engines are blamed for problems with Hs-129 but that is not correct. Aircraft was very effective if used correctly ( Kursk) with fighter cover.
About Gnome Rhone engines. They were the best little radial engine French produced before the war. It was a small and relativly powerful engine. Engine was used on most French prewar aircraft (MB-152,MB-210,Amiot143,Bre-693, Po-631, LeO-451, Etc). It was considered a little uderpowered for Hs-129. These engines were not rare in the Luftwaffe. Quite a few aircraft used them ( Me-323, Go-342 etc.). The main problem with them were spare parts and the fact that ground crews were not used ( at the start) to work with them. That and high torque of the engine made it somewhat unpopular from the start. After some initial problems with them (sand, dust etc) they proved wery reliable.
For fighting on Il-2 and living in ShAP i recomend a book from Viktor Emelyanenko-In the cruel air of war ( I hope that translation is correct).
All Il-2s were not made from wood ( outer wings & tail assemly). Series 1941 and late 1944 were all metal. Wood was used for these components, to boost production of the type.

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Reich Ruin
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Post by Reich Ruin » 31 Dec 2004 05:51

Hi ! Im back.... Anyway I have seen the arguements here and am both interested and puzzled. According to one book I have on WWII aircraft called Aviation Factfile: Aircraft Of WWII by Grange Books says that the Hs 129 has poor serviceability, bad engines, poor cockpit visibility in early models A.0-B.1 and was actually slower than the Ju-87 D version. Also it cites the FW 190 A as a good fighter bomber but not specifically a ground attack aircraft.

The question is this..... was any German design produced or even planned at least, capable of being an answer to the Il-2 for which Stalin exclaimed " the Red Army needs the Il-2 as it needs air and bread !" . Also Im curious as to why the Germans didn't have rockets on their aircraft until the R4M ? I know their was mortars but were they as good as rockets like the ones the Il-2 used ? :?

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TISO
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Post by TISO » 31 Dec 2004 08:53

RR. That question should be given to the RLM. I think Hs-129 was not a bad aircraft. I belive that simply Germans had too much problems pleaguing their aircraft production. It was more or less a question of wich plane was more important for the war effort.
Servecibilty of Hs-129 was a matter of logistics. Their numbers were never high. Producing and delivering spare parts for a few groups that used this type on eastern front was not given enough priority.

My opinion is, that Germans didn't use rockets becouse they thought that they were simply not accurate enough. They used cannons instead.
Russians were pionneres of wide spreade rocket use for militay purposes. Compared to the germans (Wg.R. 21) they used miniature rockets.
RS-82 was not even capable to destroy a tank. It was a good strafing weapon and even useful to destroy or disperse bomber formations. Not accurate, but good non the less. RS-182 was a good tank killer, but Il-2 could normaly carry only 4 of them. Principal Il-2 anti tank weapon were a small 2 kg cumulative bombs carried in wing bomb bays.

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Reich Ruin
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Post by Reich Ruin » 02 Jan 2005 06:14

The Hs 129 seemed to be a good design just the cockpit was cramped and engines were not up to par. It seems the Luftwaffe never had a good answer to the Sturmovik. The Ju-87 was never replaced by the Ju-187 because it was said to be as slow as the Ju-87 D-5 and only the FW190 was a fast enough ground attack fighter even though it wasen't created for that purpose. :x

So what was the best ground attacker of the Luftwaffe then ? The Hs 129, the Ju 87 or the FW 190 A8/F8 ? I also remember finding a asymetric design by Blohm Und Voss on Luft46 that looked good for ground attack but was proven unworthy for one reason for another ( I think it was engines ). Their was also the FW 189 C version but the Hs 1298 was chosen instead. Luftwaffe logic boggles the mind sometimes.... ! :roll:

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TISO
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Post by TISO » 06 Jan 2005 22:15

Hs-123

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Ome_Joop
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Post by Ome_Joop » 07 Jan 2005 00:16

Reich Ruin wrote:The Hs 129 seemed to be a good design just the cockpit was cramped and engines were not up to par. It seems the Luftwaffe never had a good answer to the Sturmovik. The Ju-87 was never replaced by the Ju-187 because it was said to be as slow as the Ju-87 D-5 and only the FW190 was a fast enough ground attack fighter even though it wasen't created for that purpose. :x

So what was the best ground attacker of the Luftwaffe then ? The Hs 129, the Ju 87 or the FW 190 A8/F8 ? I also remember finding a asymetric design by Blohm Und Voss on Luft46 that looked good for ground attack but was proven unworthy for one reason for another ( I think it was engines ). Their was also the FW 189 C version but the Hs 1298 was chosen instead. Luftwaffe logic boggles the mind sometimes.... ! :roll:


The only asymetric BV i can think of is the BV-141 wich was a Recon/light bomber....Luft 46 maybe the BV-178 or 179?
The FW-189c was a really great looking a/c but probably had the same problem as the 129 as having a too cramped cockpit... BTW don't forget that the HS-129 won the competition against the FW-189c

Image

Best ground attacker...the FW-190...best Tank destroyer.....the HS-129!

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Victor
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Post by Victor » 08 Jan 2005 10:23

Ome_Joop wrote:The only asymetric BV i can think of is the BV-141 wich was a Recon/light bomber....Luft 46 maybe the BV-178 or 179?
The FW-189c was a really great looking a/c but probably had the same problem as the 129 as having a too cramped cockpit... BTW don't forget that the HS-129 won the competition against the FW-189c


A prototype version of the BV-141 (the V-4) took part in the 1937 RLM assault aircraft competition, along with the Fw-189V-1b and the Hs-129V-1. It was discarded due to its strange design. However it should be noted that unlike the other two designs it had only one engine and thus had less chaces to survive from this point of view.

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Reich Ruin
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Post by Reich Ruin » 23 Jan 2005 06:36

Hmmmm... so the Hs-129 was the best tank destroyer !? The Ju87G seemed to have more success though. Also the reason the Hs 129 didn't use BMW or Junkers engines is because the design already under production was designed around the Gnome-Rhone engines so the Hs 129 would need a total reformate of it's design to fit another engine type. It probably would have been too much work and besides the Ju 87 and the FW 190 were filling the ground attack and tank destroyer role for aircraft by the time the Hs 129B-2 was introduced in 1942-1943.

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Post by buba » 02 Feb 2005 11:20

Is anyone know the top tank killers which used the Hs-129? Is any report how many tanks destroyed by the PAK'L 7,5 in Hs-129? BTW whos is the top ace too which used the HS-129, I ever read the Romanian pilot destroy some Il-2 by it MK-101/108?
BTW is any pix of HS-129 in WEastern front? Thanks

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Victor
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Post by Victor » 02 Feb 2005 13:45

Hptm. Rudolf Heinz Ruffer was credited with the destruction of over 80 tanks in the Hs-129B before his death on 16 July 1944.

Romanian aces that claimed Il-2s while flying Hs-129s were adj. av. Teodor Zabava and adj. sef. av. Stefan Pucas, both however had achieved the majority of their kills on the IAR-80 in 1941-42. Apparently Zabava has claimed 4 VVS aircraft destroyed with the Hs-129, while for Pucas I know for sure of one occasion.

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Post by Paul Lakowski » 06 Feb 2005 21:50

I understand that the problems that limited the effectiveness of the Hs-129 were related to power . Since the engines were so small, weight was limited. But armor is heavy so more fuel is needed and thus the usable volume of the plane becomes smaller and smaller and the range payload goes down. I understand the gun sight had to be mounted outside , infront of the cockpit? While Pak-40 is nice in theory the plane was not stable enough to use effectively and better mounted on the Ju-88s.

Any one got figures on the range payload for the Hs-129B?

Was there ever any attempt to mount bigger engines on the Hs-129 to open the door towards a more effective/faster ground attack plane. In theory a two seater is better for proper fly/bombing tasks.Also a two seater would open the door to use of guided missiles :wink:

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Reich Ruin
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Post by Reich Ruin » 07 Feb 2005 04:07

Yes the lack of a second crewman to man a aft turret would have been a disadvantage to the HS-129. No other engines I can think of were used on the Hs-129 after the Ghome-Rhone ones. Junkers was designing a unamed design ( though referred to as "Warthog" by historians for obvious reasons ) using DB jet engines which looked good but was started too late in the war ( later half of 1944 ) to be of any use especially since a prototype couldn't be made because the jet engine development dragged on.

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Victor
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Post by Victor » 07 Feb 2005 16:24

I don't think that the lack of the machine-gunner was that much a disadvantage. Most of the Hs-129s were lost to light AAA, not fighters.

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