Luft’46: Earth 2 – What If Different Designs Had Been ‘Napkinwaffen’?

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Wingknut

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Hi folks,
Maybe this really belongs in 'The Bar' but just indulging in a little alternative history speculation, I wonder what might have happened if what are to us genuine American, Soviet and British 1930s-1940s designs such as (e.g.) the Tremulis ‘Zero’ Fighter, the Lockheed L-133, the Ushakov LPL Flying Submarine, the Sokol VTOL fighter, the pre-WW2 British Interplanetary Society Moonship, or the Miles SST had only come to light as drawings found in Kurt Tank’s desk c. May 1945.

In that alternative world, I suspect those designs might now be being cried-up with much ballyhoo as “new and deadly developments in air warfare …” etc. (Write your own headline: “Hitler’s top secret moonship!”, “Topper-than-top-secret Nazi flying sub with wings and engines … and everything!!!”, “Exclamation mark madness!!!!!”, etc.)

While I’m girning on, I must confess I tried watching a Channel 5 ‘Forbidden History’ programme called ‘Top Secret Nazi UFOs’ recently but gave up when the first person wheeled out as an expert to help peddle the ole flying saucer piffle was the Reverend Lionel Fanthorpe – a lovely man no doubt but no more an aviation historian than … well, me. Anyway, for the curious, those responsible are listed here: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4612154/

Speaking as a rank and total amateur in aviation, I look back on some of the projects I was once interested in with a certain embarrassment – especially some of the sillier ‘Napkinwaffe’ ones. WW2 German designers threw up a great many astonishing ideas but maybe many of them look weird now, as they no doubt did then, simply because they weren’t worth following up. I give you e.g. the Sombold So 344 – the world’s least plausible rocket fighter? And many of the ideas that were worth following up (e.g. tilt-rotors, variable-geometry via swing-wing outer panels) seemingly weren’t original to German WW2 designers anyway. While the history of swing-wing variable-geometry stretches right down to (e.g.) the B1B, the Tornado and others, can anyone seriously imagine that (e.g.) the Triebflugel, the Lerche II or the Bv 40 could have spawned a long chain of descendants?

For a cheerfully science-fiction take on the whole circus (yes including ‘Die Glocke’), I recommend Graeme Shimmin’s novel 'A Kill in the Morning' – which I think may do the memory of Heisenberg a bit of an injustice but is a thoroughly entertaining take on ‘Glockenspiel’ in a kind of alternative-history James Bond sort of way: http://graemeshimmin.com/a-kill-in-the-morning-spy-thriller/

Just my two shillings’ worth – a bit like ten cents but old, British and obsolete.

Not unlike, yours aye with a smile, ‘Wingknut’
 

royabulgaf

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Spot on- Hell, just look at all the stuff that was in the Popular Mechanics type magazines in the 40s. One advantage of winning WWII is you get to shred all the crackpot and unworkable stuff you worked on.
 

Schneiderman

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But, but, but......they were all 'decades ahead of their time'. If it wasn't for 'the authorities'/men in black/men in bowler hats/'experts' withholding the material we would all have our own flying cars by now.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Schneiderman said:
But, but, but......they were all 'decades ahead of their time'. If it wasn't for 'the authorities'/men in black/men in bowler hats/'experts' withholding the material we would all have our own flying cars by now.

Some of them were decades ahead of being practicable, for sure :)
 

Orionblamblam

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Wingknut said:
WW2 German designers threw up a great many astonishing ideas

And for a good reason. If they were busy designing war-winning Wunderwaffen, they *weren't* busy getting sent off to the eastern front to face twenty million pissed-off Russians.

Were I in that situation, you betcha I'd be designing Triebflugels and BV 40's and weaponized Pokemon and whatever else I could dream up.
 

riggerrob

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During the summer of 1944, German soldiers in Normandy tired of being over-run by all the American, British, Canadian, Free French, etc. soldiers. They were also tired of waiting for Hitler's Wunderwaffen. But both those options were better than getting sent to the Eastern Front. The luckiest of those sent to the Easyern Front didn't return home until almost a decade after the war!
 
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Wingknut

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I think we're all on the same page here guys, but I will treasure (e.g.) Scott's 'weaponized Pokemon' - no doubt to be picked up and brought soon to a web-site near you.
While I'm here and letting off steam, let me share this with you - an item from something that still gets described in the U. K. as a newspaper. (If you have tears, prepare to shed them now.)
http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/494233/Adolf-Hitler-Nazi-Germany-Moon-space-missions-rocket-lunar-Antarctica-conspiracy-theory
(A bit like 'Iron Sky' but - incredibly - even less amusing ...)
Yours aye, 'Wingknut'
 

Orionblamblam

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Wingknut said:

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