- Feb 18, 2021
- Reaction score
The Focke Wulf design had more potential to work. Postwar, Kurt Tank designed and produced what was pretty much a slightly better variant of the Ta 183 in Argentina, the FMA IAe 33 Pulqui II. While only four prototypes were produced, these were flown enough to find the aircraft was generally workable except at the upper edges of its performance envelope. At the upper end of performance, the plane exhibited instability, and serious stall issues. While Tank and other engineers on the project worked to rectify these issues they were never eliminated before the project ended. I would note, that these sorts of problems cropped up a lot with every design in the late 1940's so it isn't all just poor engineering, but also a lack of knowledge of high subsonic and transonic flight regimes.That being said, would you say, compared to the Focke-Wulf Ta-183, the Messerschmitt Me P.1101 does not have the same realized potential in the time required for it to be useful before being passed over? I recall such and such a South American country working with Kurt Tank post-war to develop a better-engineered version of the Ta-183 and that it flew rather well. Correct me here if I am wrong of course. Just food for discussion.Based on what we know of the very similar Bell X-5, I'd postulate that the P1101 would have had a protracted development due to the stability and spin issues it would almost certainly exhibit. I think the aircraft would have seen say about a half-dozen or so prototypes built that tried to rectify the issues over roughly 18 to 24 months then get dropped as the state of the art had moved beyond it.Would the production version of the P.1101, which was intended to have been just a bit larger, have been better for housing armament and other systems?Of note here is that while the Messerschmitt P 1101 never flew, the prototype was delivered to Bell Aircraft in the US following the war where it was closely copied--with some improvements like being able to change the wing sweep in flight-- as the Bell X-5. So, we have some idea of how the Messerschmitt design would have performed in flight.
The Bell X-5 was considered somewhat dangerous to fly and had very vicious spin and stall characteristics (sort of like the P-39 maybe?). Both aircraft were really too small to be fitted with a useful armament or fire control systems. The Bell design did have some use in furthering both swept wing performance as well as in development of variable wing position aircraft. The Bell design was however much better than the competing Navy Grumman XF10F Jaguar that was a veritable death trap to fly.
Bell and the USAF floated, for a short time, the idea of production of the X-5 as a lightweight, low cost fighter but dropped the idea because of the plane's vicious tendencies in flight.
A combination of financial and political instability coupled with lack of a sufficiently large, skilled workforce to build the planes in Argentina doomed the project.