Alternative German jet program?

tomo pauk

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... that might be more of a headache to the Allies than it was their historical program. (yes, ww2 is still won by Allies even in this scenario)
To me at least, Germany/RL/LW managed to delay the potentially useful military hardware until they were wery low on experienced pilots and very low on fuel already for the piston-engined aircraft let alone for the thirsty jets. So what might be done differently, whtin the limits of time, material and manpower, to have the jet programs to bear the fruit early enough, and useful enough?
 

BAROBA

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The main problems were the reliability of the engines. They had like 100 hours of service life before they needed to be rebuilt. ( Someone else might have better numbers then me) While they were easier to build, they used a lot of materials that were in short supply. The material science at that time were not as advanced as they are now and that is why engines were pretty short-lived. But the engines promised much more speed then the piston-engines of that time could deliver. Not sure, but the Germans hit the same limits that the Allies also faced, the fact that is was extremely hard to build even more powerful engines with pistons in and that engine stayed together long enough to be useful. A 12 piston engine was easy to build and was reliable, a 36 piston engine was a whole lot more difficult to build...
 

Archibald

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He-280 sounds pretty obvious, even if inferior to the Me-262.
Could have been operational as early as Schweinfurt raids, summer 1943 - already murderous OTL. One full year ahead of the Me-262.
Heinkel had one hell of a headstart over everybody else, Me-262 and Wallies included. The notzis being the notzis, they wasted it through utterly inept management - to you, Herman Goering.

Ar-234 seems fine as it stood OTL.

Scrap everything else. Concentrates of these two: He-280, Ar.234.

And don't put unreliable 30 mm guns just for the sake of "moar punch". The Me-109 MG-something 20 mm gun worked very well, and four of them in the nose of a He-280 should be able to turn B-17D/E/F into chards of metal.

Although considering the Wallies smashing air superioty and major issues with German engines, that won't change the war result by any mean.
 

Justo Miranda

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Focke-Wulf Fw 190 TL


In the late 1930s, Max A. Mueller, engineer of the firm Junkers AG, patented a ducted-fan device that greatly improved the performance of the conventional propellers. In 1938, a team of technicians of the company BMW GmbH, under the leadership of Dr.-Ing. Hermann Oestrich, modified a Bramo 325 radial engine fitted with a four-bladed ducted-fan with a diameter of 1 m. The modified engine, that was named Motorjet, was installed in a trainer Focke-Wulf Fw 44 and successfully tested in flight by Hanna Reitsch.

In 1939, Max A. Mueller joined the Heinkel-Rostock team, working at the time on the development of the HeS 8 centrifugal turbojet, which was expected to be used to propel the He 280 fighters. With a planned thrust of 700 kp and a diameter 20 per cent shorter than the HeS 3, the new turbojet required a great research effort and an extensive test program. Numerous technical problems had to be solved before starting its large-scale production and the HeS 8 suffered numerous delays. By March 1941 it only produced 500 kp static thrust, 550 kp by early 1942 and 600 kp in early 1943.

The root cause was the reduction of the diameter, recommended by the aerodynamicists to minimize the drag produced by the engine nacelles when installed under the wings of the He 280. Trials experience revealed that the most effective way to increase thrust in this type of turbojets was to also increase their diameter, to improve the performance of the centrifugal compressor. In 1939, the HeS 3B, with 93 cm of diameter, produced 450 kp. In May 1941, the British Power Jets W.1, with 107 cm in diameter, produced 387 kp and in 1943, the De Havilland Halford H.1, with 127 cm in diameter, produced 1,225 kp static thrust. With this power, it was possible to build a single engine jet fighter, with the centrifugal turbojet installed inside the fuselage. In 1943, the British chose the Halford to propel their new fightersGloster E5/42 and De Havilland E6/41 ‘Vampire’. The Americans used the same turbojet to power the Lockheed XP-83 prototype, in early 1944.

In Germany, Max A. Mueller proposed to build the 'ZTL' version of the HeS 8, with a ducted-fan of 1 m diameter and a planned thrust of 900 kp. Focke-Wulf engineers also proposed to modify a HeS 8 to be used as a nose-mounted power plant in an Fw 190. The modification would consist of replacing the radial inflow turbine with another of 122 cm diameter and the exhaust nozzle by three outlets located underneath and on both sides of the cowling. The outlets were equipped with deflectors to prevent hot gases from damaging the airframe. The new turbojet, called T.1, would have had a thrust of 600 kp by the end of 1942.

The jet version of the Fw 190 A-3 was named ‘TL’ (Turbo Lader), would have had an overall length of 9.4 m, an estimated maximum weight of 4,865 kg and an estimated maximum speed of 850 kph. The ceiling was expected to be of 10,300 m and the range of 1370 km. Its endurance, with 1,400 litres of J2 heavy kerosene, would have been 70 minutes. As for the armament, would have consisted of two machine guns MG 17 and two MG 151/20 cannons in the standard positions.

In the spring of 1943, the OKL decided to cancel all research work with centrifugal turbojets to focus on the development of axial-flow type engines.
 

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tomo pauk

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The "JetWurger" is really an example of what can be possibly done in an expedient fashion.
We can also note that there is no prop to mess with cannon installation, so the MK-103 cannons can be installed in the wing roots for example on the jet-propelled 190. Also the huge fuel consumption is underscored here - for the 2.5x more fuel vs. ordinary 190, endurance was still not as good. Kinda turn-off for 2-engined fighters, eg. Me 262 carried about 2500L of fuel. The 2-engined fighter also needs twice as much of engines, not good when the production is lacking.
Granted, short endurance was almost a non-factor for the Luftwaffe in defense in 1943 and on.

Soviets (Yakovlev mostly) were doing the similar design exercise, their Yak-15 and -17 not being as elegant as the F-W's proposal, but I guess one needs to crawl 1st before it can run. The very nice Jetfire by Dizzyfugu is another take on the topic.

German terminology was: TL = Turbine-Luftstrahltriebwerk (ie. 'plain' jet engine); ZTL = Zweistrom (or 'Zweikreis') Turbine-Luftstrahltriebwerk (ie. jet engine with bypass, or IOW the turbofan); PTL = Propeller Turbine-Luftstrahltriebwerk (ie. turbo-prop).
 

tomo pauk

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I've long favored the Lippisch jet-powered off-springs of the Me 163, the P.15 and P.20. Those use just one engine, wing is well suited both for high-speed aerodynamics and to house the fuel tanks, and those should be gliding well in case of engine failure.
 

riggerrob

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" ... In Germany, Max A. Mueller proposed to build the 'ZTL' version of the HeS 8, with a ducted-fan of 1 m diameter and a planned thrust of 900 kp. Focke-Wulf engineers also proposed to modify a HeS 8 to be used as a nose-mounted power plant in an Fw 190. The modification would consist of replacing the radial inflow turbine with another of 122 cm diameter and the exhaust nozzle by three outlets located underneath and on both sides of the cowling. The outlets were equipped with deflectors to prevent hot gases from damaging the airframe. The new turbojet, called T.1, would have had a thrust of 600 kp by the end of 1942. ... "

Please tell us more about proposed radial inflow turbines.
 

robunos

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They had like 100 hours of service life before they needed to be rebuilt.
As usual, I will have to check sources, but I believe, in the case of the Jumo 004B, the service life was 50 hours use, then return to Junkers for rebuild, then a further 25 hours use, then scrapped . . .

cheers,
Robin.
 

tomo pauk

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As usual, I will have to check sources, but I believe, in the case of the Jumo 004B, the service life was 50 hours use, then return to Junkers for rebuild, then a further 25 hours use, then scrapped . . .

It was even worse:

004B.jpg

(from the post-war Allied report about the Jumo jet developments)

With such consumption of engines, requiring two engines per fighter aircraft will fail to provide a meaningful number needed. (yes, I sound like a broken record by now)

Another suggestion: make the He-162, but earlier and with bigger & 'reliable' wing. Eg. use the wing from Bf 109 production, or from Fw 190, or even from Me 163.
Yet another interesting machine was the BV P.211.02 - aircraft was to use mostly steel and wood, and seems like a no-nonsense project whose main shortcoming was that it was too late (doh).
 

tomo pauk

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Thanks a lot, that's quite interesting! Is the full document available online somewhere?

Yes, at the AEHS. A small yearly fee is required - that particular doc is in the Members-only section - but it is very worth it.
 

Justo Miranda

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In April-May 1945 twelve BMW 003 A turbojets were taken by Soviet troops at Breslau-Lower Silesian, one in Vienna-Hinterbruehl, blueprints and several engines at Basdorf-Zühlsdorf and eleven semi-destroyed turbojets at Heidfield.

Two Heinkel He 162 A-2 jet fighters, powered by BMW 003 A-1 engines, six HeS 8a and nine Jumo 004 B turbojets were captured at Heinkel-Vienna facilities.

Two BMW 003 E engines, along with a complete set of drawings, at Heinkel-Rostock factory.

One Arado Ar 234 C-3 bomber powered by four BMW 003 A-1 engines was seized in Damgarten, and their blueprints were found buried in the ground at the Arado-Brandenburg firm.

Several Jumo 004 B turbojets were captured at Brandis-Leipzig and ten at CKD-Prague works.

At Muldenstein Werke AG, Ascherleben FZA, Junkers-Ebersbach, Koethen MZK-Merseburg and Lindenthal-Leipzig underground facilities the Soviets captured enormous stocks of Jumo 004 B components and the technology for manufacturing and testing turbojets.

Documentation and some parts of the Jumo 012 turbojet were captured at Dessau, Brandis, Aken and Mosigkau facilities.

The destroyed prototype of the BMW 018 turbojet captured by U.S. troops at Stassfurt was handed over Soviet occupation forces.

When some samples of Jumo 004, BMW 003 and HeS 8a engines were bench tested, in August 1945, by the TsIAM scientists it was discovered that the construction of German turbojets required enormous technical and manufacturing resources that were not available in the USSR.

The high temperatures and high rotation speeds reached by the turbine blades required the use of austenitic steel alloys to withstand stresses caused by centrifugal forces.

The precision machining of these heat-resisting parts could only made possibly by sophisticated machine tooling and highly-skilled labor force.

Jumo 004 B-1 turbine blades were made of the 580ºC heat-resisting steel alloy Krupp-Essen Tinidur (C, Si, Mn, Ti, Ni, Cr, Fe).

The air compressor casing was made of Electron Magnesium alloy and the turbine discs were built in forged Molibdenum steel.

Other parts of the engine were made of aluminized anti-corrosion mild steel, to achieve this material the Germans had developed the manufacturing process called Aluminitieren.

It was also necessary to develop a new procedure for welding the solid turbine blades, the WMF atomic hydrogen welding process.

In order to increase the life of the turbine Junkers, tried making air-cooled hollow blades, but the Tinidur sheet proved unsuitable for welding.

A new manufacturing process was developed by William Prym-Stolberg using Degussa Flussmetal (85% Ag, 15% Mn), Silma solder and Lithium fluoride at 1,000 ºC.

In August 1944 production of hollow blades started at Prym-Zweiffall factory and the whole project was classified secret.

The main Junkers plant at Dessau was heavily bombed in late 1943 and the Jumo 004 B-2 production was taken over by Köthen and Muldenstein satellite factories in August 1944.

When the Nickel became extremely scarce in the Reich, after their supply lines of Finnish ore were cut off, Krupp-Essen developed the heat-resisting alloy known as Cromadur (Mn, Cr, V, Si, C, Fe). It was easy to weld and it was used for the manufacture of the Jumo 004 B-4 air-cooled hollow blades.

Jumo 004 was developed from the beginning to run on diesel oil, but the BMW 003 availability suffered delays when converted to diesel and the BMW-Bramo’s Spandau plant was bombed in 1943.

By August 1944 it was finally ready for mass production, under SS control, in underground dispersed sites of SS-Kraftfahrttechnischen Versuchsanstalt-Oranienburg, Eisenach, Zühlsdorf, Nordhausen, Wittringen and Stassfurt.

The BMW 003 air compressor forged blades were of Normen Nº 3510 Magnesium alloy and the compressor discs of Normen Nº 3115 Duralumin.

The turbine blades were made of Sicromal 10 heat-resisting steel (Cr, Al, Si, C, Fe), FBD Chrome-Nickel steel (Cr, Ni, Mo, Ta-Nb, Si, C, Fe) and FCMD steel (Cr, Mn, Mo, Nb, Si, V, C, Fe).

The turbine discs were made of steel alloy (Mn, Cr, Mo, Si, C, Fe) and the cooling insert of the blades of WMF Remanit 1880S Chrome-Nickel steel.

Other parts of the engine had undergone an anti-corrosion treatment, based on Aluminum laquer paint, developed by Zarges-Weilheim.

When the Soviets realized the difficulties they would have to overcome in obtaining reverse-engineered copies of the German turbojets they decided to continue production in the numerous underground facilities that had survived the Allied bombings.

But they were forced to change their plans because inter-allied peace treaties prohibited the manufacture of weapons in Germany.

On October 22, 1946 a crash program was initiated to produce these engines in the USSR, a task in which the Soviets were much assisted by German, Austrian and Czech technicians to adapt the German technology to Soviet manufacturing standards.

A training program of Soviet technicians was also conducted at GAZ-19 Kuibyshev establishment.

Tools, equipment and engine parts from Junkers-Ascherleben FZA, Junkers-Ebersbach, Junkers-Muldenstein, Junkers-Köthen, Junkers-Lindenthal and Junkers-Schoenebeck underground factories were transferred to GAZ-437 Kiev, GAZ-4 and GAZ-27 Moscow, GAZ-26 Ufa and GAZ-86 Taganrog.

In late 1946, 59 Jumo 004 B-1 turbojets were assembled into GAZ-19 Kuibyshev, using components from CKD-Prague.

Another 447 Jumo 004 B-2 engines were assembled into GAZ-26 Ufa using components captured at Muldenstein Werke AG.

Both the Jumo 004 B-1, with solid turbine blades and the Jumo 004 B-2 with Tinidur air-cooled blades assembled in USSR received the RD-10 codename.

The RD-10 turbojets suffering from low reliability, the time between overhauls was officially claimed to be 25 hours, but in reality it was 17 hours at best.

In 1947 the manufacture of 883 Jumo 004 B-4 turbojets at the GAZ-10 Kazan began under the name RD-10 A.

Having raw materials previously unavailable for the Germans, the Soviet version had between 30-40 hours extended service life and slightly increased thrust.

In 1948, the Jumo 004C with afterburner was put in production, as RD-10F, at the GAZ-10.

The RD-10 (first version) had 900 kg thrust, the RD-10 (second version) 910 kg, the RD-10 A 1,000 kg and the RD-10 F 1,100 kg.

Production of BMW 003 A-1 copies which were designated RD-20, started in 1947 at GAZ-466 Leningrad and GAZ-19 Kuznetsov plants.

The Soviet version from Kazan factory Nº 16, with 50 hours extended service life, was named RD-20F and the Soviet version of the BMW 003 S, an afterburning variant of the RD-20, was named RD-21.

The RD-20 had 850 kg thrust, the RD-20 F had 1,000 kg and the RD-21 had 1,050 kg.
 

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Can you imagine if more work was done on the Heinkel He178 to make it into a short-range interceptor?
 

Justo Miranda

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In 1935 the German Dr. Ing. Hans-Joachim Pabst von Ohain patented a new propulsion system for aircraft which comprised a two-stage air compressor, with axial fan, followed by a centrifugal compressor and an inward-flow radial turbine.

To prove the concept one private venture prototype, with 0.9 m overall length and 0.95 m of diameter, was built in 1935 by max Hahn facilities.

The construction of the more sophisticated HeS1 (TL) jet engine, with radial-outflow compressor and radial-inflow turbine, started in thesummer of 1936 at the Heinkel-Rostock facilities. The new engine was ground tested in March 1937, giving 136 kg static thrust only.

To further develop the HeS1 (TL) it was necessary to reduce engine RPM and obtain more thrust. To achieve this, four axial stages were added to the inlet to ease the load of the centrifugal compressor.

A year later the HeS 3 (TL) engine, with 1.48 m length and 0.93 m of diameter, was bench tested reaching 450 kg thrust.

The New Engine is considered suitable for aircraft propulsion and the Heinkel He 178 experimental airplane was flown, on August 27, 1939, powered by one HeS 3b (TL) turbojet.

The He 178 was demonstrated of the RLM officials on November 1, 1939, but the Luftwaffe was not interested in the development of combat jet aircraft.
 

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Jet engine instead of a piston engine entalis several benefits in general, and for ww2 Germany in particular. Even the heaviest jet engines were as-installed much lighter than the most powerful piston engines. Eg Jumo 004 was at around 750 kg, with anciliaries perhaps 800-850? The BMW 801 itself was at 1100 kg, the whole engines section going to 1600-1650 on the Fw 190. Weight difference cancels a lot of weight gain due to increase of fuel carried, while once a deal of fuel is spent the whole aircraft will be lighter in combat and for landing (to the benefit of low-time pilots). The HeS engines were even lighter, under 400 kg for the HeS-8.
Not having a propeller means there is no torque reaction- again a boon for low-time pilots, that were having trouble with that in, especially, the Bf 109s. No need for prop also means a considerable saving in material and man-hours. Weapon set-up is not messed up by a turning prop.
Ease of use without the complicated mechanical devices with one-lever engine control.
Jet engines can be run at low-octane fuel (under 70 oct works), kerosene, diesel; no need for methanol production needed for MW-50; no need for GM-1 mixture to be produced either. Diesel and kerosene are less flammable than gasoline.
 

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One thing that would have helped the Germans was for Hitler to keep his
opinions and his direct orders to his self .
 

Archibald

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One thing that would have helped the Germans was for Hitler to keep his
opinions and his direct orders to his self .

Or throwing himself into molten lava, or a shark pool. Or a pack of rabid dogs.
 
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Lascaris

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So assume it does actually enter service sometime in late 1943 early 1944. What's the reaction on the allied side? Rush Meteor or Vampire, both of them already flying into service? Rush last generation piston engined fighters, Spiteful, Fury, P-51H, Hornet all had performance close to He-280, in service? Both at once?
 

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Americans might try to introduce the P-51F, the 1st of the 'lightweight Mustangs', that were also less draggy than the P-51B or D. On same generation of Merlins, the XP-51F was supposed to be around 20 mph faster than these Mustangs, ie. 460 mph plus. It should probably go even faster with 150 grade fuel and/or water injection. It will also climb much faster than the P-51B or D due to less weight (doh). We might see cancellation of Bell's contract for P-63s and having them making P-51F.
The (X)P-47J is also contender, touted to do 500 mph. I'm not sure how fast it will be on the B series R-2800; P&W will need to start delivering the C series R-2800 about a year earlier than it was historically so in order for the 500 mph turn of speed is replicated by series-produced machines; ditto for GE delivering the high-capacity turbo as used on P-51J/M/N. All in all, the 'P-47J minus' might still get us to 460+- mph on 'legacy' powerplant?
For the UK - jets will get number one priority. Supermarine and RR will step-up the mass production of the Spitfire XIV program, hopefully with fuselage fuel tank so it can 'visit' air bases in Germany. Hawker's best bet is probably the Tempest I with it's streamlined radiators, while also getting the extra fuel tank behind the pilot to cater for necessity of longer ranges. Fury in such a layout (Sabre + leading-edge radiators) is certainly a step-up, with it's smaller wing, so it was again less draggy than Tempest I. Sea Fury introduction depends on Centaurus availability in good numbers, ie. Autumn of 1944?
Hornet is also depending on latest engines, the Merlin 100 and 130 series will not be available before 1945? Probably is better that D-H concentrates on Vampire.

All in all, WAllies will still be able to deploy 2-3 fighters for each fighter Luftwaffe deploys, and will need to be active in hunting down jets in the air with numerical superiority, while 'visiting' the airbases both with bombers and fighters, day and night. A step-up in trying to destroy the fuel infrasturcture is also a must, especially since the early jet aircraft required much more fuel than the piston-engined ones.
 

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Hi Lascaris,

So assume it does actually enter service sometime in late 1943 early 1944. What's the reaction on the allied side? Rush Meteor or Vampire, both of them already flying into service? Rush last generation piston engined fighters, Spiteful, Fury, P-51H, Hornet all had performance close to He-280, in service? Both at once?

The question is, when do you expect the He 280 to enter service, and with which kind of performance?

Selected Heinkel datasheets were published post-war, and the He 280 V5 with 3 x MG 151/20 armament was credited with (based on "normal thrust"):

780 km/h @ 0 km
820 km/h @ 6 km
760 km/h @ 10 km

I don't think propeller aircraft are going to be competitive, and it's significantly better than the Meteor III with 1600 lbf static thrust, and also better than the Meteor III with 2000 lbs static thrust. It's somewhat worse than the Vampire I with 2700 lbf static thrust though. On the other hand, the He 280 might be counted as a late 1943 aircraft, while the Vampire I is probably more of a late 1945 aircraft ...

The Aviatik book with the Heinkel datasheets also notes that the planned He 280 B-1 was supposed to have a number of changes, such as: Single tail, 6 x MG 151/20 armament, wider fuselage for greater tankage, improved airfoil, 80 cm more fuselage length, under-fuselage bomb rack. I guess that shows that the perceived shortcomings of He 280 A-1, and probably explains why the Me 262 was built instead.

Regards,

Henning (HoHun)
 

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My major "what if" for German jets would be the pursuit of the HeS030/109-006 to production. Similar power to the Jumo 004, but smaller, lighter, and more fuel efficient. Would perk up performance of historic jet programs if it could get into production in time.
 

HoHun

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Hi again,

Selected Heinkel datasheets were published post-war, and the He 280 V5 with 3 x MG 151/20 armament was credited with (based on "normal thrust"):

780 km/h @ 0 km
820 km/h @ 6 km
760 km/h @ 10 km

Here scans from "Heinkel - Chronik und Typenblätter der Firma Heinkel-Flugzeugbau", reprinted by Aviatic Verlag.

Regards,

Henning (HoHun)
 

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