Impact of the R4M if it was ready earlier?

Discussions on alternate history, including events up to 20 years before today. Hosted by Terry Duncan.
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Yuri
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Re: Impact of the R4M if it was ready earlier?

Post by Yuri » 06 Sep 2021 12:55

T. A. Gardner wrote:
26 Aug 2021 17:56
glenn239 wrote:
26 Aug 2021 14:50
Sure, but the problem is that even if only 1 in 6 salvos hit, that's still a massive increase in the lethality of the attacking aircraft per sortie. Also, I'm not a pilot or a gunnery expert but I would assume that R4M would probably be best in a diving or climbing attack where the much larger profile (maybe 2,500 square feet?) comes into play.
The problem is from ahead or astern it's more likely to be 1 in 10 than 1 in 6. The link I posted to the "Battle of Palmdale" is a known example of the use of FFAR--very similar to the R4M--where larger salvos were fired at an F6F drone that wasn't maneuvering from closer range and not one rocket hit the target plane.
At 600 meters the rockets will have dropped about 12 meters due to gravity. That means your aim point on a bomber would roughly be the top of the tail of the plane. An inexperienced pilot would likely not aim well enough in early missions to make the single salvo of rockets work, or he'd have to get much closer--and into the defensive fire of the bomber--to make sure to get a hit. This would make the R4M no more effective than the 30mm Mk 108.
As for best approach, it would be a beam high-side pass maneuver

Image

But that requires the pilot to be trained and proficient at deflection shooting or the aircraft is equipped with a fire control computer system like the Hughes E-1 used on the F-94 and F-89 postwar. You need this because you get one salvo with rockets. With guns you can correct your fire and walk it onto the target if your aim is off initially. You can't do that with rockets.

This is an R4M rocket,
R4M.jpg
and this is an RG-7L grenade from an RPG-7 (hand-held anti-tank grenade launcher).
RPG-7 Grenade PG-7Vl-03.jpg
As you can see, the principle of launching and stabilizing the flight of the R4M rocket and the RG-7L grenade are approximately identical.

I served in the infantry for two years as a senior rifleman, my personal weapons are a 7.62 mm Kalashnikov assault rifle (AKM-2M) and a 7.62 mm SGMB (Heavy Machine Gun - an Upgraded Armored Personnel carrier machine gun).
At the same time, as a senior rifleman, I must be able to shoot from all types of weapons of the shooting branch, namely: 7.62 mm RPK (Kalashnikov light machine gun); 7.62 mm SVD (Dragunov Sniper Rifle) and RPG-7 (Hand-Held Anti-Tank Grenade Launcher).
RPG-7.jpg
Shooting in a diving or climbing attack for the R4M is about like shooting an RPG-7 while in a moving armored personnel carrier, at a tank that moves along the front (across the line of sight) at an angle (from 0 to 90 degrees).
Such shooting is much more difficult (very-very much more difficult) than shooting at a target that is moving head-on (towards you or away from you).
Shooting at a target that moves head - on, you will learn how to shoot in one day. You will study shooting from a moving armored personnel carrier at a target that moves along the front line for at least three to four months. And there is no guarantee that you will succeed.
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Re: Impact of the R4M if it was ready earlier?

Post by Peter89 » 06 Sep 2021 13:09

EKB wrote:
06 Sep 2021 10:43
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
06 Sep 2021 09:10
Part of the perception appears to be a USAAF report stating that the Me-109's ailerons become "heavy" at high speeds.

The same theory was floated on this board 15 years ago and probably several times since. The Hungarian air force used the Bf 109 during World War II and one of its pilots said this about the controls and handling qualities:

“I considered myself an experienced pilot, with some 300 hours on the Fiat CR32, Fiat CR42, and the Heja (Hungarian-built version of the Italian Reggiane Re 2000). The controls of the 109 were not as light as those of the Italian machines. An Italian fighter moved like a pencil – you had an immediate reaction. In the 109 you had to use some force – the reaction was there but it was heavy. The German aircraft were hard, heavy, coarse, more difficult to fly but they were much faster. The 109 had a very narrow track and during take-off and landing you had to work hard to keep it straight, as opposed to the Heja whose undercarriage was very wide and therefore easy to keep straight. Suddenly we jumped from 800 to 1,200hp – that was a lot of horsepower in those days.”

http://www.chingchic.com/dan-holeczy.html
I don't want to be disrespectful with the dear departed hadnagy Dániel Holéczy, but he had 3 aerial victories in total and he lost at least 3 aircrafts during his career:

- broke a FW 190 on 11/06/1944 during a ferry flight from Hildesheim to Toul
- got an AA hit on 13/03/1945, bailed out and got back to the unit, and then
- got another AA hit on 13/03/1945, got back to the base with the plane, but the aircraft was a total write off

His aerial victories include an American balloon shot down on 15/12/1944 and a Soviet balloon on 08/03/1945. I'm not saying that's all he could have hit, but it certainly gives us a clue how we should evaluate his opinion. By the way, his experience was probably incredible (undoubtedly in his later life), but his account about his time in Germany is showing basic problems with his flying skills (eg. he was not able to navigate normally, only by looking at railroads he was familiar with; he was unable to gather rapidly after takeoff and fly in close formation, etc.).

I don't know if he ever faced Mustangs in Me 109 G at all.

There was a certain happiness amongst the Hungarian pilots about the "new" Me 109 G. In the mission log of the 101/3. vadászrepülő-század:
"...a szovjet kötelék gépei meglepték a (magyar) rajt, majd fordulóharc keletkezett, ahol a Me-109. G- 10-es majdnem fordulékonyabbnak mutatkozott." A légiharc 8 percig tartott, s 13 óra 43 perckor a harcoló kötelékek szétváltak. Lelövés egyik fél részéről sem történt. Az ezred bevetési könyvben megjegyezték, hogy... újabb saját gépek jobban fordulnak!""
or:
The Soviet formation ambushed the Hungarian squad and a dogfight ensued, in which the Me 109 G-10 has proven to be almost more maneuverable. The air combat lasted for 8 minutes, and at 13:43 the combatants disengaged. There was no shot-downs from any side. It was noted in the wing's mission log: "...our newer planes turn better!"
I mean... with all due respect, but his accounts of the war focus on the importing and drinking of the apricot pálinka from Kecskemét to Germany and the chasing of German ladies and night life in cafés. No problem with that, but that's a different kind of expertise. By his own admission, the only thing he shot in Germany (aside from clay pigeons) was probably the noble part of those poor German girls in Hildesheim's Wiener Café, who offered them a chance in exchange for their food tickets...
"Everything remained theory and hypothesis. On paper, in his plans, in his head, he juggled with Geschwaders and Divisions, while in reality there were really only makeshift squadrons at his disposal."

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danebrog
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Re: Impact of the R4M if it was ready earlier?

Post by danebrog » 06 Sep 2021 17:41

To return to the use of the R4M:
I have done some research, but apart from the field report by Lt. Schnörrer, I cannot find any other documents on the frontline use of the R4M so far
Even in the post-war or memoirs literature I cannot find anything that points to a significantly higher/better to-hit performance of the R4M - only that such successes were mainly achieved by very experienced pilots.
Basically, the absolutely devastating effect of hits is emphasised, Well...IF you hit. But this also applies to the 3-cm standard armament.

If I may take a wild guess:
The EKdo reports „excellent results“ - whereupon the VIP Nazis thought that a "mass deployment" of 262 crammed with R4M could bring about a last-minute turnaround in the air war. (Which already didn't work with the Panzerfaust on the ground)
After the war, there were exaggerated reports about the effectiveness, then possible claims were glossed over, this gradually found its way into the literature and finally: Another "too little, too late" wonder weapon is born.

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Re: Impact of the R4M if it was ready earlier?

Post by Michael Kenny » 06 Sep 2021 19:46

danebrog wrote:
06 Sep 2021 17:41


If I may take a wild guess:
The EKdo reports „excellent results“ - whereupon the VIP Nazis thought that a "mass deployment" of 262 crammed with R4M could bring about a last-minute turnaround in the air war. (Which already didn't work with the Panzerfaust on the ground)
For a "mass deployment" of 262 crammed with R4M could bring about a last-minute turnaround in the....war. substitute 'the V1'............or 'the V2'............or 'the new U-Boats'..........or 'the new Jets'...........or even 'the Hanebu'! There is no end of wunderwaffe straws to be grasped by those who desperately, desperately want to change the outcome of WW2.

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Re: Impact of the R4M if it was ready earlier?

Post by Politician01 » 07 Sep 2021 08:20

Michael Kenny wrote:
06 Sep 2021 19:46
For a "mass deployment" of 262 crammed with R4M could bring about a last-minute turnaround in the....war. substitute 'the V1'............or 'the V2'............or 'the new U-Boats'..........or 'the new Jets'...........or even 'the Hanebu'! There is no end of wunderwaffe straws to be grasped by those who desperately, desperately want to change the outcome of WW2.
There is no end to desperate,desperate Anglos that try to mask their inferiority and sub standard performance in the war by clinging to the illusion that they still could have somehow defeated Germany without the USSR doing the heavy lifting.

10 Million Indian zombie soldiers happily dying for their Colonial overlords, Anglo Supermen marching through fallout without any effect on them, Bomber Armadas not affected in the least by effective weapons, no claim is to ridiculous no statement to ludicrous to keep the illusion and myth of Anglo superiority alive.

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Re: Impact of the R4M if it was ready earlier?

Post by Michael Kenny » 07 Sep 2021 08:30

Politician01 wrote:
07 Sep 2021 08:20
Bomber Armadas not affected in the least by effective weapons...........
They would be effected by effective weapons-but not by the overhyped R4M wunderwaffe fantasy.

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Re: Impact of the R4M if it was ready earlier?

Post by EKB » 07 Sep 2021 09:04

Peter89 wrote:
06 Sep 2021 13:09
EKB wrote:
06 Sep 2021 10:43
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
06 Sep 2021 09:10
Part of the perception appears to be a USAAF report stating that the Me-109's ailerons become "heavy" at high speeds.

The same theory was floated on this board 15 years ago and probably several times since. The Hungarian air force used the Bf 109 during World War II and one of its pilots said this about the controls and handling qualities:

“I considered myself an experienced pilot, with some 300 hours on the Fiat CR32, Fiat CR42, and the Heja (Hungarian-built version of the Italian Reggiane Re 2000). The controls of the 109 were not as light as those of the Italian machines. An Italian fighter moved like a pencil – you had an immediate reaction. In the 109 you had to use some force – the reaction was there but it was heavy. The German aircraft were hard, heavy, coarse, more difficult to fly but they were much faster. The 109 had a very narrow track and during take-off and landing you had to work hard to keep it straight, as opposed to the Heja whose undercarriage was very wide and therefore easy to keep straight. Suddenly we jumped from 800 to 1,200hp – that was a lot of horsepower in those days.”

http://www.chingchic.com/dan-holeczy.html
I don't want to be disrespectful with the dear departed hadnagy Dániel Holéczy, but he had 3 aerial victories in total and he lost at least 3 aircrafts during his career:

- broke a FW 190 on 11/06/1944 during a ferry flight from Hildesheim to Toul
- got an AA hit on 13/03/1945, bailed out and got back to the unit, and then
- got another AA hit on 13/03/1945, got back to the base with the plane, but the aircraft was a total write off

His aerial victories include an American balloon shot down on 15/12/1944 and a Soviet balloon on 08/03/1945. I'm not saying that's all he could have hit, but it certainly gives us a clue how we should evaluate his opinion. By the way, his experience was probably incredible (undoubtedly in his later life), but his account about his time in Germany is showing basic problems with his flying skills (eg. he was not able to navigate normally, only by looking at railroads he was familiar with; he was unable to gather rapidly after takeoff and fly in close formation, etc.).

I don't know if he ever faced Mustangs in Me 109 G at all.

There was a certain happiness amongst the Hungarian pilots about the "new" Me 109 G. In the mission log of the 101/3. vadászrepülő-század:
"...a szovjet kötelék gépei meglepték a (magyar) rajt, majd fordulóharc keletkezett, ahol a Me-109. G- 10-es majdnem fordulékonyabbnak mutatkozott." A légiharc 8 percig tartott, s 13 óra 43 perckor a harcoló kötelékek szétváltak. Lelövés egyik fél részéről sem történt. Az ezred bevetési könyvben megjegyezték, hogy... újabb saját gépek jobban fordulnak!""
or:
The Soviet formation ambushed the Hungarian squad and a dogfight ensued, in which the Me 109 G-10 has proven to be almost more maneuverable. The air combat lasted for 8 minutes, and at 13:43 the combatants disengaged. There was no shot-downs from any side. It was noted in the wing's mission log: "...our newer planes turn better!"
I mean... with all due respect, but his accounts of the war focus on the importing and drinking of the apricot pálinka from Kecskemét to Germany and the chasing of German ladies and night life in cafés. No problem with that, but that's a different kind of expertise. By his own admission, the only thing he shot in Germany (aside from clay pigeons) was probably the noble part of those poor German girls in Hildesheim's Wiener Café, who offered them a chance in exchange for their food tickets...


I don't find any of this remarkable. The vast majority of fighter pilots were not aces and your description of his off duty activity is not surprising for a young flyboy.

There is a distinctly separate set of skills when comparing technical ability to fly airplanes, learning to shoot accurately, and human temperament (such as aggression, risk management, and willingness to overcome a natural reluctance to kill people). And of course there is the factor of opportunity and luck.

If you are not satisfied with the opinion of Dániel Holéczy, it might be of interest that Franz Stigler and Johannes Steinhoff insisted that twin-engined USAAF P-38s consistently made tighter turns than Bf 109s of JG 27 and JG 77. And that was before the 15th Air Force Lightnings were upgraded with boosted ailerons.

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Re: Impact of the R4M if it was ready earlier?

Post by Peter89 » 07 Sep 2021 09:17

Politician01 wrote:
07 Sep 2021 08:20
There is no end to desperate,desperate Anglos that try to mask their inferiority and sub standard performance in the war by clinging to the illusion that they still could have somehow defeated Germany without the USSR doing the heavy lifting.
Well, I am not Anglo, but anyone could ask around in Europe - even amongst Germany's allies - what would they really like to do? Serve the German and / or Soviet overlords, or put their bets on the Anglos? I think we know the answer, and given how unpopular German rule was, it was only a matter of time before the whole system collapsed. Yes, well, the Soviets reigned supreme on their part of the continent, but they fell still, mostly because they did not have allies, only subjects.

You can say that military power is the most important, but history showed it was just one factor. People were revolting against the Red Army with cobble stones and Molotov cocktails as early as 1953-1956, and invited the Anglos to help them. The Anglos didn't come, and in many sense betrayed the revolting subjects once again (and again and again and again), but still, if you'd ask around, what would people want, a totalitarian power ruling over them, or the Anglos, even after everything they had done or haven't done, and after 40 years of anti-Anglo propaganda, the people of Europe would vote for the Anglos.

If you ask me, or anyone who read a book or two about historical European peace treaties: the only sustainable kind of "victory" in Europe is not based on overclaiming and overreacting. A balance has to be restored, and the Nazis had no intention to restore the balance. In Europe, if you can not translate your battlefield victories into mutually accepted (not quite enforced) political terms, you are doomed to fight a coalition of enemies who are stronger than you, if not on the battlefield, then in the political sphere.
"Everything remained theory and hypothesis. On paper, in his plans, in his head, he juggled with Geschwaders and Divisions, while in reality there were really only makeshift squadrons at his disposal."

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Re: Impact of the R4M if it was ready earlier?

Post by Peter89 » 07 Sep 2021 09:19

EKB wrote:
07 Sep 2021 09:04
I don't find any of this remarkable. The vast majority of fighter pilots were not aces and your description of his off duty activity is not surprising for a young flyboy.
That's alright, I just pointed out that he's not really a great source for WW2 technical details.
"Everything remained theory and hypothesis. On paper, in his plans, in his head, he juggled with Geschwaders and Divisions, while in reality there were really only makeshift squadrons at his disposal."

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Re: Impact of the R4M if it was ready earlier?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 07 Sep 2021 10:32

Hi Guys,

Does anyone here have a pilot's licence, or are we all talking theoretically here?

I have a PPL but I wouldn't presume to have any expertise to offer in this. Has anyone else?

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: Impact of the R4M if it was ready earlier?

Post by Yuri » 07 Sep 2021 14:48

Due to the lack of reliable information about the results of the use of German P4/M, I suggest that you get acquainted with the practice and results of the use of Soviet RS-82 aviation missiles.
I-16 4x2 RS-82
RS-82_under_wing.jpg
MiGG-3 3x2 RS-82
RS-82_MiGG-3.jpg
Jet artillery of aviation
About the history of the creation and combat use of new weapons of destruction.

In 1936, the first successful launches of 82-mm shells from the I-15 fighter took place ... Three years later, the RS-82 was first used during the battles on Khalkhin-Gol. From this moment, the history of modern aviation jet weapons began.


The first combat use of rockets took place on August 20, 1939 on the Khalkhin-Gol River, with a link of five I-16s armed with RS-82 rockets.

At 16 o'clock in the afternoon, Soviet pilots I. Mikhailenko, S. Pimenov, V. Fedosov and T. Tkachenko, under the command of Captain N. Zvonarev, flew out to perform a combat mission to cover our troops. Over the front line, they met with Japanese fighters. At the signal of the commander, all five fired a simultaneous rocket salvo from a distance of about a kilometer and shot down two Japanese aircraft. Soviet "fighter-missile carriers" participated in fourteen air battles and shot down thirteen Japanese aircraft in 9 days. The flight of Captain Zvonarev did not lose a single car.

This was of course a resounding success, however, an extremely successful combination of circumstances contributed to it - the Japanese, who did not know about the new Soviet weapons, flew horizontally at a constant speed in a tightly closed formation. In a maneuverable battle, the pilot who used the RS-82 had almost no chance of hitting an enemy fighter, it was for this reason that rockets were used in the Second World War in a massive strike either against bombers or when attacking ground equipment.

The average percentage of hits of the RS-82 in a tank from a distance of 400-500 meters was 1.1%, and in a column of tanks — 3.7%. At the same time, the RS-82 could defeat German light tanks of the Pz II Ausf type.F, Pz 38 (t), or Sd Kfz 250 armored vehicles only with a direct hit. The rupture of the RS-82 in the immediate vicinity of the tank (0.5-1 meters) did not cause any damage to it. The low firing accuracy was also explained by the low speed of the rocket projectile, for the RS-82 and RS 132 it did not exceed 340-350 m/s. At the same time, the German R4/M missile had a flight speed of 525 m/s.

If we compare the German R4/M and the Soviet RS-82:
- the weight of the Explosive substance approximately coincided: 400 g. in German, as the optimal weight for destroying an aircraft, and 360 g. in Soviet);
- The RS-82 lost R4/M in speed by more than 1.5 times, reducing the already small probability of hitting.
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Yuri
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Re: Impact of the R4M if it was ready earlier?

Post by Yuri » 07 Sep 2021 14:59

The use of the RS-82 in the PE-2 dive bomber to protect against attacks by enemy fighters both from the front and from the rear

In the memoirs of PE-2 navigator Anatoly Lilin, a method of using the RS-82 to protect a dive bomber is described:

"Until the beginning of 1943, eight RS-82 missiles were suspended on the Pe-2 aircraft produced by the Irkutsk Aviation Plant. Four of them fired forward, four back.
At the same time, the fuse tubes were installed at different distances so that it was possible to scare away enemy fighters when they came into the attack. This was a good tool, especially if the distance to the plane was accurately determined.
As a rule, if a rocket exploded near an enemy fighter, then he did not rush into the attack a second time. Once I even had a chance to shoot down a Messer like that.
Although, of course, when using the RS-82, the crew also needed to tune in: immediately after the launch, a reddish smoke cloud appears in front of the plane and the first impression is that a shell exploded in front of the plane.
But in 1943-1945, our regiment received cars from the Kazan plant, where guides with missiles were not installed. Although, perhaps, by that time it was no longer so necessary: there were fewer enemy fighters."

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Yuri
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Re: Impact of the R4M if it was ready earlier?

Post by Yuri » 07 Sep 2021 15:35

...
The first missile carriers were the I-153 and I-16 fighters. The I-16 was especially good with an M-63 engine and six RS-82s under the wing.
True, these "suspensions" noticeably reduced the maximum speed, but after the missiles were used up, everything returned to normal. The fighter had a lot of victories over enemy aircraft during the Great Patriotic War, but it is not necessary to talk about the effectiveness of using this weapon on air targets due to low shooting accuracy.
....

Following the fighters of the pre-war generation, the RS-82 was introduced into the arsenal of the LaGG-3, MiG-3 and YaK-1, as well as the Il-2 attack aircraft. However, the LaGG-3 with RS began to be produced only from the 12th series, although tests were carried out in September 1941 on the 4-series machine, and the guns for the RS-82 were mounted on the YaK-1 only in 1942.

Despite the completion of the machines for domestic small arms, the installation of the RS-82 was not supposed to be installed on foreign fighters coming from the UK and the USA.

In addition to the main high-explosive version of the projectile, during the war, the armor-piercing RBS-82, adopted in 1942 and capable of piercing armor up to 50 mm thick according to normal, the fragmentation ROS-82 and the incendiary RZ-82 were used.
...

On January 1, 1942, two MiG-3s and one I-16, consisting of senior political officer G. A. Lobov and senior Lieutenant N. G. Molteninov, led by regiment commander B. N. Romanov, covered the highway route through Lake Ladoga. 15 minutes after entering the I-16 zone, three Me-109s were attacked from the direction of the sun. Covering the regiment commander, Lobov fired two RS-82s from a distance of 500-600 m, which exploded under the wing of one of the "Messer"s. The enemy plane, having lost one surface, and with a smoking engine fell to the ground.

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Re: Impact of the R4M if it was ready earlier?

Post by T. A. Gardner » 07 Sep 2021 18:18

The USAAF also tried rocket launchers as a defensive system on bombers.

Image

Image

That one used a cluster of 3 4.5" rockets and could be adjusted in elevation to a small degree for firing. The intent was to break up or cause an intercepting fighter to break off it's attack. The launcher could be reloaded through a hatch in the floor of the plane. It proved unsuccessful. This was more of a field improvisation than a formal proposal for such a system.

Another version that was formally tried and tested, was a single launcher replacing the 2 x .50 in the tail position of a B-17. This was tried at Muroc airfield in the US late in 1944. This launcher could be aimed but proved unsuccessful due to low accuracy and a very low rate of fire.

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Re: Impact of the R4M if it was ready earlier?

Post by Yuri » 08 Sep 2021 16:55

Sid Guttridge wrote:
07 Sep 2021 10:32
Hi Guys,

Does anyone here have a pilot's licence, or are we all talking theoretically here?

I have a PPL but I wouldn't presume to have any expertise to offer in this. Has anyone else?

Cheers,

Sid.
The R4/M rocket differed from other "air-to-air" missiles only by the mechanism of flight path stabilization. At the same time, this rocket had the same main shortcomings that other air-to-air missiles had: there was no flight control and there was no control of the moment of detonation. In the period before and during the WW2, all types of jet aircraft shells of all states were not controllable. Therefore, all aviation air-to-air missiles were "bad". At the same time, of all the "bad" aviation rockets of this class, the German R4/M projectile had the best results. That is, R4/M was the "best" of the " bad " ones. The main advantage of unguided rockets is the cheapness of their manufacture and use. This is the reason why such missiles are still used. In the post-war period, the principle of stabilizing the flight path of the rocket, which was used in the R4/M, was adopted during the development of Soviet unguided missiles of the S-5 "Skvorets" family. It took the Soviet designers ten years of hard work to get satisfactory characteristics for the S-5 rocket.
Studying the history of the creation, development and use of 57 mm Soviet unguided missiles of the S-5 "Skvorets" family, you will actually know everything (or almost everything) about all the advantages and disadvantages of the R4/M rocket . For an effective fight against bombers, the R4/M rocket and the method of its launch must be turned from such:
R-4M Me-262(v2).jpg
R-4M Me-262(v).jpg
R4M_Me-262.png
into such:
Komponovka-NURS-S-5.jpg
NARS-S-5.jpg
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