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Heinkel gas turbines and applications - what if

Thos9

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If in 1942 the RLM had not made Heinkel develop the 011, and instead had supported continued development of the HeS 30 (109-006) and some turbofan and turboprop derivatives:

- which of those engines might be ready for service by say the end of 1943, with what kind of performance characteristics (especially compared with the Jumo 004B)?

and

- what airframe applications would be most promising?

The attached table from Nowarra (1975) "Heinkel und seine Flugzeug" gives some data for Heinkel engines, built and projected (apology for poor repro, but the last 3 entries are not gas turbines but ML motorjets and not worth bothering with).
 

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SleeperService2

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In the Captured Group Build I'm doing an in-service He.280 with the HeS 30 engine using 'German Jet Engine and Gas Turbine Development, 1930-45' by Antony L. Kay as a basis. I overlaid the HeS 8 in red and it all seems to fit well so it could have been done. With the 8 developing 1323lb of thrust from 838lb of engine and the 30 at 2006lb thrust from 868lb of engine the performance would have been about that of the Meteor. With the engine running in October 1942 despite the low priority it was given and the airframe already built end of 1943 would be very achievable.
HeS 8 and 30 comparison.png
It wouldn't be a stretch to have it in service in time for the Schweinfurt-Regensburg Raid of 17th August 1943, the resulting losses could have had a devastating effect on bombing policy for a rather long time. May we all be Thankful that didn't happen.
As to performance the HeS 30 would be a developed First Generation design offering improved throttle response, higher power, lower fuel consumption and a design intended to allow rapid replacement of engine parts without dropping the engine. As the engine life would be limited this could have been a game-changer on it's own.

As to other airframes well I'm not sure TBH. The biggest impact would be two-fold IMHO. First the He.280 would have been a handful for the RAF/USAAF to deal with, I think they'd be deployed in the West where infrastructure was better at least to start with. Second the development of the second generation would have a solid body of experience to build on and so been available sooner.
The Me262 was, for several reasons, massively overweight. With the Me.210 fiasco and no immediate need for the Me.262 Messerschmitt would have been on very unsafe ground. It is quite likely that he'd be replaced and his replacement put under intense pressure (possibly through the SS) to re-engineer the Me.262 for lightness and simplicity. Thus by mid-to-late 1944 a lighter Me.262 with developed Stage 2 engines and much higher performance would be ready to combat Allied fighters which, in turn, would have pilots who had been unable to build the experience to handle them.
Meanwhile on the Eastern Front the Luftwaffe would get extra Fw.190s and the Red Air Force would also find things harder.
Would it change the outcome? NO. The strategic disadvantages Germany failed to address made defeat inevitable, but it would have certainly made WW2 last longer even with the US atom bomb.
 

Thos9

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I look forward to you illustrating the He 280/006. The airframe could take advantage of the extra power with some tweaks. First, expand the fuel capacity (from 235 Imp gal by maybe 100) by moving the cockpit forward and place the armament underneath it, either side of the nosewheel well a la the He 162. Second, fit a tail braking chute a la the Ar 234 (German aircraft had poor wheelbrakes) and airbrakes (jets had poor throttle response).

The 006 would help the Me 262 considerably with its weight problem. The empty weight of the 262A-1 would come down from 8,378lb to about 7,000lb - less than the P-51D (7,125lb), let alone the P-38, P-47, P-80, Tempest or Meteor. Fit airbrakes (omitted in 1943 presumably to save weight), a tail braking chute and an ejector seat and you still come out several hundred pounds (and a ton of pilot survival) ahead. Versus the Jumo 004 speed, climb rate, acceleration/deceleration, maneouvrability, range and takeoff/landing behaviour all benefit. They could own the sky by day.

And we're not done with the 262 yet. Split the He S 36 double turboprop into a pair of singles (He S 18?) and removing the turbojets place the turboprops above the wings for good propeller ground clearance and more flap area. These single engines would be good for at least 2,400 equivalent shp each. Given development keeping pace with the 006 they should reach about 3,000 eshp. A two- or three-seat 262 with these would make a lively night fighter, obsolescing the Mosquito.

And if we keep the double He S 036 together, and swap a pair for the troublesome double DB piston engines on the Heinkel He 177, we get a dramatic takeoff, speed and climb performance. (Or fit four "S 18" singletons instead.)

That leaves us the He S 30 A turbofan - made for the Arado Ar 234 when it comes along in '44, or the "S 18". Add duct burning to double the thrust and you could push a Messerschmitt P.1101 to rocketlike performance on cheap jet fuel.
 

SleeperService2

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I'll have to find the reference but I've seen 800kg reduction for the fuselage structure alone on the Me262. Your saving should be quite possible. I'll have a dig. The He.280 design is very space efficient and moving the cockpit forward and putting the guns underneath wouldn't gain much fuselage room for fuel and would be a lot of work. Instead I'm pushing the engine CoG forward on the wing which would allow either a rearwards fuel tank extension, or allow the outer wings to have fuel tanks internally and maybe drop tanks too, although that would possibly need RATO under the fuselage.
The way I see it the RAF having to deal with Battle of Britain Pt.2 over SE England would be a crimp in plans to batter German airfields. Using flaps and aerodynamic braking by keeping the nose up on landing should kill off speed on what would be a light aircraft.
Leaving the Me262 as a day air superiority fighter for the moment consider the position Hienkel would be in. With the He.280 in service the He.219 would get a boost which would see penetration too far into Germany very costly for the RAF. That means fewer AA Guns needed which means more bodies available for the Eastern Front.
A definite game changer but ultimately Germany would still be defeated. Where the Allies split the defeated country would be a good discussion as would the Western Allies sticking to the Unconditional Surrender option.
 

riggerrob

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... The He.280 ... or allow the outer wings to have fuel tanks internally....
I disagree. Wing tanks are fine for long-range aircraft, but a disadvantage in fighters. They reduce roll rate and can badly mess with spin characteristics. The extra weigh - out near wing tips - creates greater inertia making it more difficult to stop a spin. In that respect, centre fuselage tanks are better because the variable fuel weight is close to the centre-of-gravity, minimizing pitch changes as you burn off fuel. To be successful, an He.280 interceptor would need to burn all the fuel in wing tanks while climbing.

I also disagree with the concept of hanging drop tanks under interceptors. Since interceptors are essentially point defence weapons, they do not need much range and should have internal tanks sufficient for the for the primary mission ... plus up to an hour's reserve. The only advantage to drop tanks on interceptors is that they increase loiter time at altitude.

Adding speed brakes would definitely ease thrust control at low airspeeds. Have you noticed that US Navy airplanes often extend their speed brakes before landing and still carry more than idle engine power. Retracting speed brakes allows them to easily fly missed approaches without needing to slam the throttle. Slamming a throttle is the quickest way to stall and early jet engine.
Speed brakes are better than drag chutes because they can be cycled multiple times per flight whereas drag chutes are far more labour intensive needing additional ground crew to retrieve them from the runway, repack them, re-install them, etc. At the fast end of the envelope, speed brakes also help interceptors allowing a rapid intercept course, then slowing to increase time-on-target, then allowing rapid dives away from the target (heavy bomber).
 

Foo Fighter

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Drop tanks cen be dropped but wing tanks are there for the duration. Outer wing tanks seems like a bit of a burden they would not need. Pilots that is.
 

Thos9

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Drop tanks cen be dropped but wing tanks are there for the duration. Outer wing tanks seems like a bit of a burden they would not need. Pilots that is.
I'd be wary of extending the He 280 fuselage tankage aft. Published side elevations indicate that tankage is already centred aft of the centre of lift. Any extension/s should colocate those centres as well as adding capacity. A nose remodelling job wouldn't be hard and would make best use of volume plus improving forward view.

Fuselage tankage should all be self-sealing and presumably was. Wing tanks not: they could be integral like in the He 162 and weigh almost nothing empty. Their fuel could be used for startup, tax, takeoff and initial climb, or left empty if combat looked imminent.

Unlike the Me 262, the He 280's landing gear left a clear space directly under the centre of lift for a pylon to lift a substantial mass - up to say a 132 Imp. gal. (600 litre) drop tank or a 2200 lb bomb.

Btw the point of a braking chute is for a landing problem - a short or damaged runway or bad touchdown, flap and/or landing gear issue, one engine out so no go- around, someone shooting at you, etc. Not for a normal landing. Air brakes are much more versatile as others above point out.
 

Foo Fighter

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"Wing tanks not: they could be integral like in the He 162 and weigh almost nothing empty. Their fuel could be used for startup, tax, takeoff and initial climb, or left empty if combat looked imminent".

Thanks mate, I did not consider that for some reason which escapes me, a "Doh" moment perhaps.
 

SleeperService2

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... The He.280 ... or allow the outer wings to have fuel tanks internally....
I disagree. Wing tanks are fine for long-range aircraft, but a disadvantage in fighters...To be successful, an He.280 interceptor would need to burn all the fuel in wing tanks while climbing.

Which is what I was thinking too. Getting to altitude by prop or jet gobbles fuel so the wing tanks would get the aircraft up, or at least part of the way, then be empty before combat.

I also disagree with the concept of hanging drop tanks under interceptors. Since interceptors are essentially point defence weapons, they do not need much range and should have internal tanks sufficient for the for the primary mission ... plus up to an hour's reserve. The only advantage to drop tanks on interceptors is that they increase loiter time at altitude.

For a pure interceptor you are correct, however that wouldn't be the case. Random changes in direction, diversions, spoofers, and the time taken to climb to intercept would mean an He.280 or even a Me262 would be unlikely to arrive in the midst of the formation. Loiter time while the raid was relocated and then fuel for the intercept approach leaving the main tank for combat and withdrawal would hugely increase effectiveness.

Adding speed brakes would definitely ease thrust control at low airspeeds. Have you noticed that US Navy airplanes often extend their speed brakes before landing and still carry more than idle engine power. Retracting speed brakes allows them to easily fly missed approaches without needing to slam the throttle. Slamming a throttle is the quickest way to stall and early jet engine.
Speed brakes are better than drag chutes because they can be cycled multiple times per flight whereas drag chutes are far more labour intensive needing additional ground crew to retrieve them from the runway, repack them, re-install them, etc. At the fast end of the envelope, speed brakes also help interceptors allowing a rapid intercept course, then slowing to increase time-on-target, then allowing rapid dives away from the target (heavy bomber).

On this I agree completely, I think speed brakes would be thought up pretty quickly. Looks like another area to investigate. Something that would slow down without excessive directional change requiring correction.

Drop tanks can be dropped but wing tanks are there for the duration. Outer wing tanks seems like a bit of a burden they would not need. Pilots that is.
I'd be wary of extending the He 280 fuselage tankage aft. Published side elevations indicate that tankage is already centred aft of the centre of lift. Any extension/s should colocate those centres as well as adding capacity. A nose remodelling job wouldn't be hard and would make best use of volume plus improving forward view.

Referring to my overlay above and your observations I think you're right. So let's assume initial operations with the HeS 30 have gone well and with the Henschel engineers busy with the follow-up design pilot feedback has identified the issues we've got. Wing tanks could be designed by any company with spare capacity, but more fuel is needed, speed brakes; Junkers had experience but wing brakes may not be possible without more changes...under fuselage perhaps, or make wing ones small as on the Meteor and in the strongest part of the wing.

Fuselage tankage should all be self-sealing and presumably was. Wing tanks not: they could be integral like in the He 162 and weigh almost nothing empty. Their fuel could be used for startup, taxi, takeoff and initial climb, or left empty if combat looked imminent.

Unlike the Me 262, the He 280's landing gear left a clear space directly under the centre of lift for a pylon to lift a substantial mass - up to say a 132 Imp. gal. (600 litre) drop tank or a 2200 lb bomb.

Btw the point of a braking chute is for a landing problem - a short or damaged runway or bad touchdown, flap and/or landing gear issue, one engine out so no go- around, someone shooting at you, etc. Not for a normal landing. Air brakes are much more versatile as others above point out.
"Wing tanks not: they could be integral like in the He 162 and weigh almost nothing empty. Their fuel could be used for startup, tax, takeoff and initial climb, or left empty if combat looked imminent".

Thanks mate, I did not consider that for some reason which escapes me, a "Doh" moment perhaps.

Well People it seems as though we have a solution. Wing tanks integral in the outer wings, move the landing light inboard of the engine. For the 'nose job' -the Mg151/20 is 1766mm long and pushes the pilot back as he sits behind them. Take those out and the cockpit can move a long way forward so he'll see better. Guns down each side as the Meteor, ammunition behind the pilot and the front of the fuselage tank could move forward and offer at least 50% more capacity. That leaves room under the fuselage for a pylon or airbrakes. Finally the pilot has much better visibility. Any thoughts??
 

SleeperService2

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It's just got even better there was to be a B-1 version lengthened by 2'7" to add more fuel. One thread HERE and ANOTHER.

We are Owning this aircraft design malarkey. You are all awesome and I hope @Thos9 doesn't feel we've corrupted his original purpose too much. Apologies if you do Sir.
 

Thos9

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What if the He S 006 was fitted to the Me 262A in place of the Jumo 004? Here is a comparison with the hypothetical 1945 lineup, including the projected 262/004C:


ModelMe 262A-1Me 262/004CMe 262/006*P-80AGloster Meteor III
Engine/sJumo 004B
(S f c 1.4/hr)
Jumo 004CHe S 006
(S f c 1.3/hr)
GE J33-GE-11RR Derwent I
Thrust lb, total3 9604 400?4 0003 8504 000
Basic/empty weight lb8 3788 1007 298*7 9208 800
Equipped weight lb9 7429 0008 662??
Loaded weight with self-sealing fuel (Imp gal)14 101 (396)14 180 (396?)13 021 (396)11 700 (354)12 500 (325)
Power loading weight/thrust loaded3.563.223.253.03.12
Wing loading lb/sq ft loaded60.060.655.649.233.4
Roll moment of inertia, ft lb~4 000~4 000~2 500~500~2 500
Yaw moment of inertia, ft lb~4 500~4 500~3 000~1 000~3 500
Max speed @s l, m p h514530~530510~465
Max speed at 26 250 ft, m p h532590~550~518~470
*Weights are reduced by the difference in engine weights between 004B and 006 but increased by 500 lb allowance for nice-to-haves such as generator and hydraulic pump on each engine plus powered ailerons, cabin pressurisation, ejector seat, air brakes and braking parachute. The moments of inertia are my crude guesses,

With less weight and drag the 262/006 would be considerably livelier than its antecedent, especially in roll and yaw, and faster and longer-ranged too. Suggested nice-to-haves focus on manoeuvrability, safety and pilot longevity.

 

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