Low-powered WWII-era combat aircraft?

cluttonfred

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2008
Messages
1,319
Reaction score
1
Website
cluttonfred.info
In discussing the proposed Tachikawa Ki-72...an improved Ki-36? I commented that "I can't think of any WWII aircraft of under 500 hp that was still successful in an armed combat role by the time the U.S. entered the war. An exception in the very specialized niche of naval spotter and ASW aircraft might be the Vought Kingfisher." There is also Soviet prototype that is on the tip of my tongue--a twin-engine, fixed-gear cheaper Sturmovik of very simple lines and construction...somebody will know what I mean.

So, can anyone suggest any WWII-era prototypes or projects that meet those criteria or prove me wrong by pointing out operational aircraft that I forgot? By "armed combat role" I don't mean liason or observation, no Grasshoppers or Storchs or night intruders in trainers like the PO-2, I mean aircraft of under 500 hp but designed for attacking air or ground targets with guns, cannons, bombs, rockets or other ordnance.
 

Retrofit

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Feb 21, 2007
Messages
536
Reaction score
2
I think the Caudron C-714 with its 450hp Renault engine responds to this critera, but its operational history has been quite short, but *rather* successful: Around 40 delivered to the French (in fact Polish) fighter unit GC I/145; 12 confirmed air victories between June 8th and 12th 1940....sorry before the time the U.S. entered the war.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C.714
 

Avimimus

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
1,881
Reaction score
0
FW-189 if you allow for the fact that it had two engines.
 

Apophenia

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Jul 25, 2007
Messages
2,090
Reaction score
13
Another catapult spotter: the Fairey Seafox Mk I (395hp Napier Rapier)
 

borovik

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
May 5, 2007
Messages
777
Reaction score
1
Mole said:
There is also Soviet prototype that is on the tip of my tongue--a twin-engine, fixed-gear cheaper Sturmovik of very simple lines and construction...somebody will know what I mean.
Perhaps it is a light attack plane D. Tomashevich Pegasus.
It was assumed that the plane will be cheaper and easier to manufacture and management. Engine M-11-dependable and unpretentious, well-developed and widely extended in the Soviet aviation.
Armament UB (12.7 mm) + NA-37 (37mm) or two aerogun VYa-23 (23mm).
In the night- bomber version : UB (12.7 mm) + 2 FAB-250 or FAB-500, for this purpose was proposed by biplane option (additional removable wing parasol)
 

Attachments

AeroFranz

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
May 4, 2008
Messages
2,140
Reaction score
3
The fourth picture looks A LOT like the armored pod of the FW.189C
 

borovik

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
May 5, 2007
Messages
777
Reaction score
1
Another more exotic mass attack plane project proposed A. Moskalev "LT" (M-11),
designated "SAM-23" / first with this name / june 1942.
"LT" -letayuschaya tanketka=flying tankette
Armament: 2 x 20 SHVAK 2 x 7,62 SHKAS, 4 x RS-82 or RS-132
In April 1942 Moskalev adapted to the role of a light attack plane flight
SAM-14 with the motor M-11F, or MV-4 output of 140 hp
Armament: 2 x 7.62 SHKAS; 4 x FAB-100

In addition, the same engine M-11 light attack plane was scheduled to Yakovlev's OKB- Design Bureau, based on the Yak-6 and UT-1b; UT-2MV.
More about ten projects were on the program of "Ivanov"
sources:Aviation World magazine #4/99; 1/02
 

Attachments

AeroFranz

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
May 4, 2008
Messages
2,140
Reaction score
3
Very interesting...but what was the purpose of the long, ground dragging 'skid'?
 

cluttonfred

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2008
Messages
1,319
Reaction score
1
Website
cluttonfred.info
Borovik, yes, the Tomashevich Pegasus is exactly what I had in mind, thanks very much.

Now that you mention Moskalev, the Moskalev SAM-13 push-pull twin-boom fighter with two 236hp Renault Bengali engines meets the criteria, too. With it's problematic landing gear and poor take-off performance it never made it out of the prototype stage, one one can imagine that it might have made a good ground attack aircraft with fixed gear and a larger wing. The engines fore and aft would have helped protect the pilot, though of course bailing out would have been interesting.

I'd also be very interested in learning more about the Moskalev SAM-14 or SAM-23, both seem intriguing. I imagine that the skid and wheel on the SAM-23 was some sort of terrain-following device for low-level flight? The SAM-23 seems to have a relationship to the SAM-13, and the SAM-14 is a rare choice of a shoulder-wing design for a monoplane combat aircraft. Please do tell us more if you have any more to share.
 

cluttonfred

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2008
Messages
1,319
Reaction score
1
Website
cluttonfred.info
Avimimus said:
FW-189 if you allow for the fact that it had two engines.
While the FW189 Uhu is one of my favorite German designs, I'd say no in this context as the two engines combined were over 900 hp.
 

AeroFranz

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
May 4, 2008
Messages
2,140
Reaction score
3
4 x 130 hp for both the Airspeed A.S.39 and G.A.L. 38 according to quick search on wikipedia
 

Avimimus

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
1,881
Reaction score
0
Borovik, can you tell us about the skid / pole / tail wheel? ;)

I've checked this thread about fifteen times waiting to find out how it was supposed to work. :D
 

AeroFranz

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
May 4, 2008
Messages
2,140
Reaction score
3
I remember seeing something of the sort on a 'paper' german jet-powered flying bomb. A sketch depicted the bomb flying over water, which at least has the advantage of staying flat! ;)
Maybe Justo knows what I'm talking about.

I think the skid is connected to the control surfaces and mechanically commands the elevator to respond to changes in the elevation of the terrain.
 

GTX

All hail the God of Frustration!!!
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2006
Messages
2,612
Reaction score
4
Website
beyondthesprues.com
AeroFranz said:
I think the skid is connected to the control surfaces and mechanically commands the elevator to respond to changes in the elevation of the terrain.
So an early form of terrain following (nix radar) - interesting if that is indeed the purpose.

Regards,

Greg
 

Jemiba

CLEARANCE: Above Top Secret
Staff member
Top Contributor
Senior Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2006
Messages
7,955
Reaction score
13
Franz probably is refering to the Bv 143 rocket powered gliding torpedo
(see drawing from Kens/Novarra "Die deut.Flgz. 1939-45"), which should at
first use a mechanical altitude probe, too. But tests showed this system to be
very unreliable, although the probe was used over water only, not over land !
Automically keeping a very low altitude, would have been a great advantage for
an attack aircraft, but as B & V discovered, the only solution would have been
a radar altimeter.
 

Attachments

borovik

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
May 5, 2007
Messages
777
Reaction score
1
Avimimus said:
Borovik, can you tell us about the skid / pole / tail wheel? ;)

I've checked this thread about fifteen times waiting to find out how it was supposed to work. :D
I apologize for the delay friends ... My poor English does not fully communicate (with the horror of thinking about large volumes of translation for me, plus this week was a lot of work and football (soccer), but it is a weak alibi. :) Once again, I apologize.
Give a compilation of quotes from the book of O. Rastrenin "Attack plane the Great Patriotic War" and from the above source:
"... The most unusual in this plane is the way to military use. The attack occurred strafe run - the flight from a height of 4-5 m. for speed of 150-180 km / h, it was thought that at such a speed and high" tankette "will be invincible to enemy fire. a device to allow "run", was released a special сошник=shoe/share/trail spade. ??? The end of his track all soil roughness. Emerging shoe in contact with obstacles times estimated were within the limits of physical capacity and the pilot may have been timely parirovanny them.
Flying tankette could jump and flit obstacles, as well as with the current ceiling of 1200m, attack
ground targets for the planes normal way - with a dive. The small size allowed the SAM-23 to start with ordinary roads and, where appropriate, to steer them, secretly making the place ... the sudden attack, but its primary function shoe was also used to destroy light fortifications and wire.

The project has received approval TsAGI.
The main drawback - the need to constantly fend pilot dive time, arising from the movement of shoe obstacles (at a low thrust-to-weight aircraft)
 

Attachments

GTX

All hail the God of Frustration!!!
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2006
Messages
2,612
Reaction score
4
Website
beyondthesprues.com
Ok, so if I understand this correctly, the trailing wheel/spade had a dual function:

1. To help ensure the aircraft didn't fly into the terrain whilst at such low level - the quasi-terrain following function; and
2. To also be used as a means of attack, specifically against "light fortifications and wire".

Thanks.

Regards,

Greg
 

Jemiba

CLEARANCE: Above Top Secret
Staff member
Top Contributor
Senior Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2006
Messages
7,955
Reaction score
13
A use against wires ok, but against "light fortifications" ?
Is a camo net a fortification ? :D
 

borovik

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
May 5, 2007
Messages
777
Reaction score
1
Yes. Agree. ;D
It is simply a quote ...
in principle it is possible to do was read Mole: "I imagine that the skid and wheel on the SAM-23 was some sort of terrain-following device for low-level flight"

Anti partisan experience of Low-powered aircraft in the recent past.
from AviO #5/96
 

Attachments

cluttonfred

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2008
Messages
1,319
Reaction score
1
Website
cluttonfred.info
borovik said:
Anti partisan experience of Low-powered aircraft in the recent past.
from AviO #5/96
LOL, thanks Borovik. The more things change, the more they stay the same. I daresay if anyone were still building a rugged, radial-engined trainer like the Yak, Harvard or even Ki-46 etc. today they would find a market in counterinsurgency ops. With lightweight armor to improve protection and modern electronics to reduce pilot workload even a single-seater with unguided rockets could be very effective, especially if modified to be relatively quiet.
 

borovik

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
May 5, 2007
Messages
777
Reaction score
1
In spring 1942, under conditions of acute shortage of aircraft were searching for
possible use in training aircraft Jakovlev's
combat application ...

Sources: Aviation World 1 / 1998
O. Rastrenin «WWII attack plane»
 

Attachments

borovik

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
May 5, 2007
Messages
777
Reaction score
1
... Approximately the same situation in April 1945 was Nazi
Germany, where there was an attempt at the Bucker Bu 181A
(armed with four Panzerfaust 100) to create three Panzerjagdstaffel.

«Pegas» in action / in the artist impression ( B. Petelin)

Project Boulton Paul P.101

Sources: M. Maslov "Lost victory - unfulfilled drafts Soviet aviation"
A. Brew "Boulton Paul Aircraft since 1915" - Putnam
 

Attachments

smurf

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Sep 6, 2006
Messages
544
Reaction score
0
Boulton Paul P101. A Centaurus is not exactly 'low powered'
 

cluttonfred

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2008
Messages
1,319
Reaction score
1
Website
cluttonfred.info
Thanks, borovik, the Panzerfaust-armed Bu 181 is a new one for me, though not unlike the Piper L4 Grasshopper armed with bazookas strapped to the bracing struts that I have seen. Still that's getting a bit off-topic as the question was about purpose-designed low-powered combat aircraft rather than adaptations of trainiers. There are dozens of the latter. The Pegas is very much what I had in mind, one of the best examples, in fact. The Bristol Centaurus in the Boulton-Paul biplane (I remember that one from BSP3) would put it way over the "low-powered" threshhold.
 

cluttonfred

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2008
Messages
1,319
Reaction score
1
Website
cluttonfred.info
borovik said:
In spring 1942, under conditions of acute shortage of aircraft were searching for
possible use in training aircraft Jakovlev's
combat application ...

Sources: Aviation World 1 / 1998
O. Rastrenin «WWII attack plane»
The Yak UT-1 and UT-2 "combat conversions" are very reminiscent of the armed close air support variants of agricultural aircraft. Flying at low-level they could well have been very handy in combat as tank-hunters or for point attacks on machine gun nests, etc. though it would have been dangerous work. Even today, there is an argument to be made that an armed and armored version of an agricultural aircraft (already optimized for good handling and crash safety when carrying heavy loads low and slow) would be very handy in counter-insurgency, border patrol, etc. But, I digress... ;)
 

robunos

You're Mad, You Are.....
Senior Member
Joined
May 1, 2007
Messages
1,727
Reaction score
0
the armed close air support variants of agricultural aircraft
Getting OT i know, but i've been looking for more info on these since hearing/reading about them somewfere previously. If memory serves they were being championed by a US general under the name 'mudfighters'.
anything you have would gratefully recieved. :)

TIA,

cheers,
Robin.
 

borovik

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
May 5, 2007
Messages
777
Reaction score
1
smurf said:
Boulton Paul P101. A Centaurus is not exactly 'low powered'
Yep, Smurf this is my mistake. Very interesting project without stratted biplane.

One more 'Zaunkonig'. Thanks Justo )
 

Attachments

AeroFranz

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
May 4, 2008
Messages
2,140
Reaction score
3
Thanks for posting the pics of the Zaunkonig. I didn't know somebody actually armed the thing!

robunos said:
Getting OT i know, but i've been looking for more info on these since hearing/reading about them somewfere previously. If memory serves they were being championed by a US general under the name 'mudfighters'.
anything you have would gratefully recieved. :)
I generally associate the term 'mudfighter' with something more survivable and high performance like BAe SABA and Scaled model 151 ARES. But yeah, agricultural aircraft in low-threat COIN operations make a lot of sense. I think the US sent a few armored Ayres Thrushes to spray coke fields in Colombia, and armed variants were proposed. For some more information see here:

http://worldatwar.net/chandelle/v3/v3n3/articles/ayres.html

(PS: feel free to start a thread on this, I'm sure a lot of information will come out!)
 

robunos

You're Mad, You Are.....
Senior Member
Joined
May 1, 2007
Messages
1,727
Reaction score
0
thanks for the link, most interesting.

i've started a new thread, hoping it develops...... ;)

as for the 'mudfighters' thing, i think it was a journalist's piece, and we know how they get their wires crossed......

cheers,
Robin.
 

Avimimus

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
1,881
Reaction score
0
Two more aircraft that fit Mole's requirements:

Fi-156:
- SD-2 racks for smokescreen laying (don't know if they ever carried other bomblet types)
- Possibly a C-5 central rack carrying an SC-50 (is this just a rumour)?
- C converted to carry a 135kg depth charge or 3 SC-50 (for coastal ASW)
- Reports of an "Fi-156F" "police" aircraft with additional machine guns for COIN use (is there any merit to this?)

Polikarpov Po-2: Does anyone know anything about the more unusual weapon fits (eg. RS-82)?
 

borovik

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
May 5, 2007
Messages
777
Reaction score
1
I remember the phrase Mole at the start of the threads that "Po-2" off topic,
but still the working horse deserves a few words ...,
besides there are some little known facts of the practice.

The appointment was bomber aircraft operations at low altitudes, mostly at night in order to don’t give rest the enemy, to deprive him of sleep , pull down, destroy their aircraft at the airfields, fuel depots, ammunition and food, and interfere with activities of transport, staff, operating items and the like. At the same time, exploration was carried out, ongoing liaison between the armed forces, guerrillas, carried out many varied tasks. . The aircraft was equipped with a noise- cancelling and the flame-eliminator were of the following tactics: initially for bombing the pilot to switch off the engine and the noiseless was planning to target. After dropping bombs from aircraft dive away at low altitude to the side, and air defense, usually fired in a void.
Luftwaffe pilots were given special instructions for engagement with the aircraft, which they nicknamed ‘Rusfaner’, or 'Nahmaschinen' - sewing machine, or 'Russian [Venetian] Blind'.
German pilots considered a hunt for a U-2/Po-2VS as important as an air combat (for the whipped U-2/Po-2VS night fighter pilots were awarded the Iron Cross) This biplane brought a lot of trouble for the night fighter .. he had a small speed and flying at very low altitudes, resulting in airborne radars have been very difficult to observed. In order to attack and shoot down a Po-2, for example, pilots 12./NJG5, fly Ju-88 and Do-217N, had almost to the limit to remove speed, to produce flaps down, and sometimes with gear down, thus reducing its speed the aircraft to about 200 km/h. If the Ju-88 still could manage on such a small velocity, the Do-217N almost falling ... even when the night-fighter went into position to attack and opened fire, this does not mean that "kukuruznik" will be shot down. The shells could just break through and through his linen skin without causing a particular injury, it was necessary to get to the engine or the pilot.
According to Wolfgang Falck, the best plane for combat Po-2 could be the FW-58 or FW-189, but the practical implementation case never came. For the same purpose, and suggested that He-111 bomber, which it planned to install the nose/bow of the four guns MG FF (20mm) under fuselage container with four automatic gun MG17 (7,92 mm) and a further two containers coupled with automatic guns WB 81Z (7,92 mm) on a wing pylons.

Avimimus said:
Polikarpov Po-2: Does anyone know anything about the more unusual weapon fits (eg. RS-82)?
Some U-2/Po-2VS equipped with eight missile implement RO-82 or RO-132 – 4 RS for each plane of the lower wing. Development engineer for aircraft armament A.Dvorkin.
When necessary to destroy the long-term strengthening of the defensive Germans, front air craftsmen workshops, strengthening the lower part of the aircraft fuselage, the suspension made it a high-explosive bombs caliber 250 kg.
Unique is the product of an engineer K.Moskatov suspension under the fuselage U-2 bombs of 500 kg and installing the two machine guns on the lower wing.

12 aircrafts U-2/Po-2 were fitted sheet made of iron the special cassettes to reset incendiary vials AZh-2 (tin sphere volume 1 liter). Ampoules contain pyrophoric in air compound «KS».
Each cassette consisted of five tightly fastened between the pipes. In each tube was placed 10 vials/ampoules. Two such cassette fastened under the console of the lower wing.
10 September 42 th similarly equipped U-2/Po-2 were used for manpower and equipment the enemy. Action has been overwhelming. One ampoule of falling in any German tank or vehicle was sufficient for their destruction.
Unfortunately, effective fire mixture «KS» was heavily dependent on weather conditions (primarily on ambient temperature) and the availability of flammable materials in the area of goals. In the same conditions, favorable for the use of a mixture of «KS», the results of U-2/Po-2 attacks against tanks and other purposes is high.

U-2/Po-2 VОМ-1 (vozdushnyi ognemet) aerial flame thrower
Bags capacity to (30 liters.) -52.79 Pint, made of oilcloth tissue that filled a special viscous mixture fire / napalm. Discard them with the anticipated height of 50m., At a height of several meters of the explosion was a mixture, and cover the purpose of ...
Bags were placed in two cartridges: the tail and bottom. Tail, was the second cockpit, consisted of four 260mm diameter cylindrical compartments.
Lower box cassette, mounting under the front cockpit and was also divided into four parts, dropping the charges could be made in two steps.
Thus, using the ammunition in the two cassettes, the aircraft could carry out the maximum three target run in the objective. Additional armament consisted of a course ShKAS machine gun (300 rounds) mounted on the bottom right-wing plane.

U-2/Po-2 VS (№ 387 factory) (protivotankovyi) tank-buster
In June 1942, passed the test range U-2 VS production plant number 387, which, in addition to the standard six external hardpoint, equipped with two cylindrical internally fuselage small cluster bombs. A cassette installed inside the fuselage for the cabin and allows the download navigator of small caliber bombs from 2.5 to 15 kg.
Used as the armed four under wing cassettes ABK-P-100 of the small cluster bombs , containing 33 bombs PTAB-2,5-1,5 (anti-tank bomb).
According to the results of target range testing anti-tank U-2/Po-2VS military pilots concluded the use of such aircraft at the front of their intended purpose (ie, against the tanks), only in a lunar night or when lighting illuminated purpose bombs. Daily use of U-2 against tanks excluded because of strong saturation of the front edge of anti-aircraft fire and enemy fighters.

Sources:
Aviation World Magazine #2/99; #1/2000
Aviation and Cosmonautic
M.Maslov “Combat planes by Polikarpov”
_________________________________________________________________
 

Attachments

Avimimus

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
1,881
Reaction score
0
Amazing post Borovik! ;D

Do you know the make of guns and amount of ammunition carried in K.Moskatov's prototype? Also, do you know how the bombs were suspended in Moskatov's plane? One 500kg bomb or Wing racks or Fuselage racks?)
 

borovik

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
May 5, 2007
Messages
777
Reaction score
1
Avimimus said:
Do you know the make of guns and amount of ammunition carried in K.Moskatov's prototype? Also, do you know how the bombs were suspended in Moskatov's plane? One 500kg bomb or Wing racks or Fuselage racks?)
K. Moskatov been made a slight gain, and change the landing gear and the zone strengthening / hardening of the fuselage where the suspended racks Der-19 with FAB-500.
2 ShKAS machine gun (300 rounds)

Sorry for my bad english ((
 

Madoc

CLEARANCE: Confidential
Joined
Dec 14, 2006
Messages
113
Reaction score
0
Folks,

Well, AMP has now gone and kitted the Moskalev SAM-23!

If I'm inferring things correctly, that trailing arm served primarily as an altitude monitoring device. The pilot would still have to respond to terrain obstacles to pop up and over however. It also sounds like the arm was intended to be trailed along roads? That would at least mostly avoid it getting snared on something so firmly that it would be ripped off or manage to pull the aircraft down.

I can't really see that arm being used to rip away barbed wire barricades. Doing so would be a very tricky thing and it wouldn't take much to defeat such an attempt - just include a length of well anchored steel cable in the mix and the SAM-23's trailing arm would snare onto that like a hooked fish with an ensuing nose dive into the ground.

It seems more likely that the conventional armaments carried by the SAM-23 were what would do for barricade and fortification clearing.

Then again, there's never been any shortage of truly whacky and impractical ideas that bubble up in wartime...

Anyway, at least someone has popped out a kit of this particular one!

Madoc
 

Hawker Nut

CLEARANCE: Restricted
Joined
Nov 14, 2008
Messages
36
Reaction score
0
Apparentely, the AMP kit is based upon the SAM-23 scale plan published a few years ago with an article on this project, in the Russian magazine 'Mir Aviatsii'. Never thought such weird idea would ever be released in kit form, much less as an injected limited run (resin maybe)... Given the fact that so many actually built Soviet aircraft from the same era remain unavailable in kit form, this is indeed a strange choice.
 

Avimimus

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
1,881
Reaction score
0
By the way, I found an online copy of the book on the U-2:
http://wunderwaffe.narod.ru/Magazine/AirWar/135/index.htm

It has a few additional details to add to Borovik's excellent summaries.
 

Avimimus

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
1,881
Reaction score
0
ightly OT - but his seemed the best thread for it:

I'm having trouble finding information on the up-armed FW-189 A4 (eg. placement and ammunition loads for the 20mm cannons). I have too much information on the C though... :eek:
 
Top