sagallacci wrote: ↑
19 Jul 2009 05:57
Going back to the original thread for a sec.
My mention of the structural diagram of the He177 simply illustrates that there is simply nothing to the notion that He177V38 "must" have been modified for an atomic bomb, or for that matter, any over-size ordinance. The stripped out belly is just that. A fuel tank pallet or even simply a light-weight fairing could have easily been put in in place of the usual divided bomb bay structure, especially if the machine was being used for other systems testing (some sources suggest radar or other electronic stuff) and they simply wanted to save some weight to improve the beast's mileage...
On the contrary former He177 pilot Peter Brill who passed away Feb 2013 revealed in April 2005 from Sabadel in Spain that nine He177 were modified with enormous bomb bays for a mission to bomb New York, Four of these modified He177 which he called AK177 were stored ready for the mission at Sprottau under camouflage netting. Peter was one of six pilots trained to fly a one way bombing mission to attack New York.
The standard He177 has three bomb bays with interior dimensions of 1.5m W x 7.5m L x 0.9m H.
(In the He277 the bomb bay is widened to 1,9m W.)
source: William Green, Bombers and Reconnaissance Aircraft Volume Nine of 1967 -- repeated in Kay & Smith's 2002 German Aircraft of the Second World War.
IN the "enlarged" bomb bay of the V38, the width & height are unbroken for a length of 4.6m. bomb bay doors form two panels either side of which, one folds inwards and the other outwards. with the forward bomb bay devoted to a single large bomb called 76 Zentner, the 2.9m L rear bomb bay is available for fuel storage.
Meanwhile aircraft W.Nr. 550002 KM+TB He 177 V38: First flew on 15 December at Brandenburg piloted by Peter, transfered to E-Stelle Tarnewitz on 27 April 1944, flown there as a standard A-5.
W.Nr. 550001 to 550006 were built at Heinkel (HWO) Oranienburg.
when captured, German prisoners falsely advised V38 was one of three He177 A-7 aircraft for export to Japan.
AK177 or Ju177 hybrid?
However in a conference convened by RLM, between Heinkel, Messerschmitt & Junkers January 1944, it was agreed to develop a hybrid He-177 with wings from the Me264, using paired DB603 engines clutched to a single shaft as the DB 613 producing 3800hp.(Brill claimed engines could be clutched and shut fown in flight)
This hybrid was dubbed the "Ju177 with wings attached from the Me264. it was projected to have the following specifications:
He 177 /”Ju”-177
Powerplant: 2*DB 613
Wing Span: 31.50m (103 ft 8in)
Weight (loaded): 34.700 kg (76.500 lb) / Standard He177: circa 27,000 kg (59,500 lb)
Max Speed*: 425 km/h (264 mph)
Ceiling: 8.000m (26,247 ft)
Range: 4.600 km (2.858 miles)
Nose (lower): 1*FDL 131Z
Dorsal(fwd): 1* FDL 151Z
Ventral: 1* WL 131Z
Tail: 1*HL 131V
source: Heinkel He.177, 277, 274" by Manfred Griehl and Joachim Dressel
Source: Page 96-98 from "Heinkel He.177, 277, 274" by Manfred Griehl and Joachim Dressel (Airlife Publishing Ltd.) In "Heinkel 177-277-274" by Manfred Griehl and Joachim Dressel, the highest
bombload for the He 277 was given as 5,600 kg (in the version with a fuselage width
of 1,750 mm), resulting in a range of 8,600 km. For the maximum range of 11,100 km,
bombload reduced to 3,000 kg.
Adding wings from the Me264 reduced speed by 5% and provided nine extra fuel tanks per wing with 9740kg of fuel previously unavailable to a standard He177 A-5. Normally , the He177 had capacity for 10,400 Litres, discounting auxiliary fuel tanks. ie 7,665kg fuel was standard, so attaching wings from the Me264 more than doubled fuel tankage to 17,405kg (23,615 Litres).
The enlarged bomb bay was intended for a bomb called the 76 Zentner. A 1943 CSDIC prisoner of War report SRA 4394 links the 76 Zentner with a He177 that had an enlarged bomb bay. SRA 4394 also notes the aircraft was waiting for the engine. CSDIC reports come from internment camps with hidden microphones.