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Author Topic: Daimler-Benz Project 'A" to 'F'  (Read 12836 times)

Offline newsdeskdan

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Re: Daimler-Benz Project 'A" to 'F'
« Reply #15 on: March 17, 2019, 04:42:39 am »
Yes, the composite concept had arisen many times prior to Mayo's patents, the key part of which was a range of methods to ensure safe, positive separation. That alone was not really sufficient to enable him to licence global patent rights although he held great expectations.

I'm aware of many articles on it, not to mention various chapters in various books, but is there actually a book out there anywhere dedicated to just the Short-Mayo composite story?

Regarding the 'Daimler-Benz' projects, as much as it is an interesting application of the Short-Mayo composite principle, the more I learn about the state of Germany at the time they were being worked on by both Daimler-Benz and Focke-Wulf, the more I wonder why on earth they bothered.

Especially considering that a large carrier aircraft, meant to get around the lack of runways, is arguably a more vulnerable target than the runways themselves. Just how would they have camouflaged the carriers on the side of a makeshift runway? How long would the takeoff run have been? Lots of issues that make the concept very dubious.

The carrier aircraft's size, the undeveloped Daimler-Benz turbojet that was meant to power the bomber, the mid-air separation process - the concept does have many flaws. Even if Germany had been able to control its own airspace and had DB been on the point of being able to freeze the design of its turbojet ready for production, just building and flight testing the whole contraption would have taken years.

Offline galgot

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Re: Daimler-Benz Project 'A" to 'F'
« Reply #16 on: March 17, 2019, 05:39:13 am »
Many of these late war concepts, that make the joy of "luft'46", are completely undoable.
Some companies kept their enginers at work on any kind of stupid projects that could please the nazi admin, to prevent them from being incorporated and send to Ostfront.
3rd reich was chaos.

Offline Schneiderman

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Re: Daimler-Benz Project 'A" to 'F'
« Reply #17 on: March 17, 2019, 09:57:17 am »
I'm aware of many articles on it, not to mention various chapters in various books, but is there actually a book out there anywhere dedicated to just the Short-Mayo composite story?

No, I don't believe that there is, but I am seriously considering whether I have unearthed sufficient material on the subject to justify writing one.

Offline Schneiderman

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Re: Daimler-Benz Project 'A" to 'F'
« Reply #18 on: March 17, 2019, 10:04:16 am »
The carrier aircraft's size, the undeveloped Daimler-Benz turbojet that was meant to power the bomber, the mid-air separation process - the concept does have many flaws. Even if Germany had been able to control its own airspace and had DB been on the point of being able to freeze the design of its turbojet ready for production, just building and flight testing the whole contraption would have taken years.

The basic principle, as developed by Short Bros and Mayo with the experimental composite, was proven to be pretty flawless but developing it to be a truly viable commercial or military project was quite another story. The benefits were shown, one by one, to be far less than initially claimed and a range of potential operational complexities were soon apparent.  A nice idea but lacking any compelling merit.....as with so many other innovations.

Offline newsdeskdan

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Re: Daimler-Benz Project 'A" to 'F'
« Reply #19 on: March 17, 2019, 03:33:10 pm »
Many of these late war concepts, that make the joy of "luft'46", are completely undoable.
Some companies kept their enginers at work on any kind of stupid projects that could please the nazi admin, to prevent them from being incorporated and send to Ostfront.
3rd reich was chaos.

It seems logical to assume that this was the case but the evidence seldom bears it out (the exception being the Heinkel Julia - where internal company correspondence overtly states that workers in the mock-up shop were being kept on for an otherwise long-since cancelled project in Feb 1945 purely to prevent them from being drafted).
In the case of the 'Daimler-Benz' projects, the prime motivating force behind it was Fritz Nallinger and Erich Ueberlacker of Daimler-Benz. Nallinger was technical director of one of Germany's most important and war-critical companies and Uebelacker had the valuable occupation of turbojet engineer. They were aged 47 and 46 respectively - neither of them likely to be sent to the Ostfront.
At Focke-Wulf, the engineer in charge of working out the nuts and bolts practicalities of the concept was Oberingenieur Herbert Wolff - identified in company records as one of the 17 most important men in the firm, ahead of Hans Multhopp, Otto Pabst and Heinz Conradis. It seems unlikely that he would have been sent to the front either.
In any case, the project didn't really go far enough to eat up much resource - there just wasn't time for it - but the men who worked on it seem to have earnestly believed that it was an idea worth pursuing. Why they should have thought that is really quite inexplicable.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2019, 03:41:01 pm by newsdeskdan »

Offline galgot

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Re: Daimler-Benz Project 'A" to 'F'
« Reply #20 on: March 17, 2019, 03:59:25 pm »
Thanks for these infos.
When I see some of these projects, I some time think "but why?…" :)

I remember reading a US report for 1942 or 1943 analyzing the german aircraft production and types in service. Can’t remember in which mag it was published now…
But anyway, it seemed highly critical about it and not impressed at all.
Pointing the wasted research and production resources due to the number of highly specialized types developed and entering service (like the Hs-129, or the Fw-189) with poor performances. Was like the industry was working to make every possible types demanded by an air force staff more preoccupied by having any "toy" they wanted instead of having the practical tool to win a war.
Comparison with the US industry of the time was very interesting.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2019, 04:01:55 pm by galgot »

Offline newsdeskdan

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Re: Daimler-Benz Project 'A" to 'F'
« Reply #21 on: March 18, 2019, 01:17:45 am »
Thanks for these infos.
When I see some of these projects, I some time think "but why?…" :)

I remember reading a US report for 1942 or 1943 analyzing the german aircraft production and types in service. Can’t remember in which mag it was published now…
But anyway, it seemed highly critical about it and not impressed at all.
Pointing the wasted research and production resources due to the number of highly specialized types developed and entering service (like the Hs-129, or the Fw-189) with poor performances. Was like the industry was working to make every possible types demanded by an air force staff more preoccupied by having any "toy" they wanted instead of having the practical tool to win a war.
Comparison with the US industry of the time was very interesting.

The Allies were critical of the German aircraft manufacturers during the early to mid-war period but reports circa 1945 are actually quite glowing in their praise of German efforts to disperse production. American postwar analysis of ULTRA (June 1945) shows how the Allies became unable to identify specific centres of production to attack and indicates a large-scale buildup of German fighters. The only thing preventing the revival of the Luftwaffe by late 1944 was the fuel shortage created by Allied bombing and the numerous problems arising from it such as cancellation of all training flights to preserve stocks.
Types such as the Hs 129 and Fw 189 were developed at a time when their performance was actually acceptable - it was simply the case that efforts to replace them with anything other than modified versions of mass produced fighters were abandoned as R&D became increasingly focused on those fighters.
I think if you look at German 'projects' as a whole, it does seem as though a great deal of time and effort was expended on concepts that were doomed to failure. However, if you look at the developments year on year it's possible to see big gaps between the major competitions. Far-fetched concepts were usually quickly abandoned after very little work had been done on them and the vast majority of both the RLM's and the manufacturers' time was devoted to full production types. Discussions about the He 219, for example, consumed hundreds of hours over the course of at least a year.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2019, 01:22:02 am by newsdeskdan »

Offline Tonton-42

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Re: Daimler-Benz Project 'A" to 'F'
« Reply #22 on: March 18, 2019, 02:26:09 am »
Very much in agreement with you about the German production of planes which only collapsed in the last months of war, even only a few weeks ! Pierre Clostermann already points this out in 1947 in his excellent book "Le Grand Cirque".

Tonton
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Offline Grey Havoc

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Re: Daimler-Benz Project 'A" to 'F'
« Reply #23 on: March 18, 2019, 02:42:53 am »
In any case, the project didn't really go far enough to eat up much resource - there just wasn't time for it - but the men who worked on it seem to have earnestly believed that it was an idea worth pursuing. Why they should have thought that is really quite inexplicable.

Perhaps among other things they thought it might be a way of maximising the use of certain Autobahn airstrips?
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Offline Jemiba

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Re: Daimler-Benz Project 'A" to 'F'
« Reply #24 on: March 18, 2019, 04:59:02 am »
It seems logical to assume that this was the case but the evidence seldom bears it out (the
exception being the Heinkel Julia - ... /quote]

Really interesting to hear, but maybe rare, because it may have been dangerous for those signing such documents ?
Be that as it may, that's an assumption, we had here several times before (and more than once, the culprit had been
me !), though it generally doesn't really fit into the discussion of a specific type, it may be a theme worth discussing.
I've started a thread here https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,31532.msg347630.html#msg347630 ,
maybe it can lead to a reasonable discussion.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2019, 09:43:43 am by Jemiba »
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Offline newsdeskdan

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Re: Daimler-Benz Project 'A" to 'F'
« Reply #25 on: March 18, 2019, 05:52:26 am »
In any case, the project didn't really go far enough to eat up much resource - there just wasn't time for it - but the men who worked on it seem to have earnestly believed that it was an idea worth pursuing. Why they should have thought that is really quite inexplicable.

Perhaps among other things they thought it might be a way of maximising the use of certain Autobahn airstrips?

The project documents, if I recall correctly, reference 'rough' or 'improvised' airfields so I suppose it's possible. But just getting the thing to the point where it could take off at all (i.e. designed, built and full of fuel) would have been near impossible.

Offline newsdeskdan

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Re: Daimler-Benz Project 'A" to 'F'
« Reply #26 on: March 18, 2019, 05:53:25 am »
Jemiba, I can't seem to access that thread!

Offline Arjen

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Offline Jemiba

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Re: Daimler-Benz Project 'A" to 'F'
« Reply #28 on: March 18, 2019, 09:45:01 am »
Jemiba, I can't seem to access that thread!

Sorry, had and have some problems today, e.g. I cannot move my answer out from the quote in my first post.
But the link should work now.
It takes a long time, before all mistakes are made ...