The Luftwaffe WITHOUT Messerschmitt

papacavy

CLEARANCE: Confidential
Joined
Apr 13, 2006
Messages
90
Reaction score
0
Let's pretend! Say Willi Messerschmitt dies before he starts designing powered aircraft. Then in the early days of the Luftwaffe, the RLM is forced to choose the Heinkel He.112 as their front-line fighter. How would that effect the opening stages of the was and particularly the Battle of Britain? Next, to replace the He.112, the Luftwaffe selects a combination of the Focke-Wulf Fw-190 and a refined version of the Heinkel He.100/He.113 (without the surface evaporation cooling system).

How do you this both aircraft would fair in combat with the RAF, USAAF and VVS?

Please note that anything you say may be used in a future alternate history novel, by me.

Thanks

Chuck
 

cluttonfred

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2008
Messages
1,321
Reaction score
10
Website
cluttonfred.info
Interesting idea. It's certainly logical that the Heinkel He 112 would have become the standard Luftwaffe fighter in the absence of the Bf 109, but I also think that there would have been pressure to develop and refine at least one other competitor. To my mind, that would logicall have been the Arado Ar 80 since the strut-braced, high-wing Focke-Wulf Fw 159 was something of a dead end. The Wikipedia entry on the Ar 80 does a good job of summarizing its good and bad points--a basically solid design hampered by its designer and manufacturer's inexperience with metal monocoque construction. I could see the Arado substantially redesigned for lower weight, perhaps eliminating the troublesome retractable gear altogether and developed into a second-line fighter for secondary fronts.

For a twin-engine fighter in the absence of the Bf 110 it would have come down to the Focke-Wulf Fw 57 and the Henschel Hs 124. Since the latter was noted for its maneuverability even as a three-seater, I could definitely see the Henschel in the Zerstörer role with a new, slimmer, two-seat fuselage and additional forward-firing guns in the nose.

Of course, later in the war, in the absence of the Me 163 and Me 262, things start to get really interesting.

For your novel to be really interesting, why not kill off both Messerschmitt and R.J. Mitchell, perhaps in a spectacular airshow accident around 1930? Then you get to imagine a Lufwaffe without the 109 and an RAF without the Spitfire. My vote would have been for a dilly-dallying RAF that enters the war with just Hurricanes but then insitutes a crash program to flood the skies with a refined production variant of the cheap, easy-to-build Martin-Baker MB 2.
 

Stargazer2006

CLEARANCE: Above Top Secret
Staff member
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2009
Messages
13,243
Reaction score
51
cluttonfred said:
For your novel to be really interesting, why not kill off both Messerschmitt and R.J. Mitchell, perhaps in a spectacular airshow accident around 1930? Then you get to imagine a Lufwaffe without the 109 and an RAF without the Spitfire. My vote would have been for a dilly-dallying RAF that enters the war with just Hurricanes but then insitutes a crash program to flood the skies with a refined production variant of the cheap, easy-to-build Martin-Baker MB 2.
That's a cool idea and I'm all for it!!! And if papacavy doesn't like it, you can always write a novel too! LOL
 

Jemiba

CLEARANCE: Above Top Secret
Staff member
Top Contributor
Senior Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2006
Messages
7,976
Reaction score
91
cluttonfred said:
... Of course, later in the war, in the absence of the Me 163 and Me 262, things start to get really interesting.
... but perhaps somewhat more, let's say "logical", as the company, that had first flown both types of
engine, may have brought them into service, too.
But Ernst Heinkel seems to have been a less handsome character, a point that is said to have hampered
his influence in official circles.
 

papacavy

CLEARANCE: Confidential
Joined
Apr 13, 2006
Messages
90
Reaction score
0
Thanks to all, for the input.

Let's keep the discussion going.
 

robunos

You're Mad, You Are.....
Senior Member
Joined
May 1, 2007
Messages
1,728
Reaction score
3
...for a dilly-dallying RAF that enters the war with just Hurricanes but then insitutes a crash program to flood the skies with a refined production variant of the cheap, easy-to-build Martin-Baker MB 2.
Or the Boulton-Paul P.94, single seat Defiant fighter project.

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,936.msg7411.html#msg7411

But Ernst Heinkel seems to have been a less handsome character, a point that is said to have hampered
his influence in official circles.

I've read somewhere, can't find the reference at the moment, that Himmler believed that Heinkel 'had Jewish blood in him', and so didn't trust him.
This was good for the RAF, as among other things, this distrust caused the He 219 night fighter programme to be curtailed...

cheers,
Robin.
 

cluttonfred

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2008
Messages
1,321
Reaction score
10
Website
cluttonfred.info
The P.94 is an interesting possibility, though I was looking for designs that could have been ready much earlier, perhaps already going into production during the Battle of France. The MB2, for example, had already flown in August 1938.
 

papacavy

CLEARANCE: Confidential
Joined
Apr 13, 2006
Messages
90
Reaction score
0
Cluttonfred has an interesting idea, killing off Mitchell AND Messerschmitt.

I LIKE these ideas. Keep'em coming! The concept of the story is starting to gell!
 

Grey Havoc

The path not taken.
Senior Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2009
Messages
8,686
Reaction score
82
Another interesting question arises; what type/s would have been ready for use in the Spanish Civil War in this timeline? The combat experience gained there proved invaluable to the Luftwaffe in WWII.
 

pathology_doc

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Jun 7, 2008
Messages
789
Reaction score
0
This is fascinating. Leaving aside the question of eliminating Mitchell earlier (he was dying of cancer even while the Spitfire was being born, so it's not too much of a stretch), as this introduces too many variables.


The main fighter-type players then become Heinkel, Arado and Focke-Wulf.


Heinkel is the clear leader in jets. The He 280 is more than an adequate replacement for the Me262. Lippisch would have found another home, possibly with Arado (who did after all build the world's first jet bomber) or Dornier (who with the Do335 showed they could build fast and unorthodox fighter-type aircraft as well as bombers).


I agree that the most likely piston-fighter progression is the Heinkel 100-series being replaced by the Fw190 as the latter comes on line (in the real world, the 190 should have replaced the 109 entirely from an early stage - I think it was Bill Gunston who said that the Bf109F was the best 109 and should have been the last).


Bear in mind that the changed evolution of the fighter arm also changes things in bomber land. If Heinkel is suddenly manufacturing swarms of 100-series fighters, this might distract from its bomber activities, so the evolution of the He111 could have ended sooner - this might mean that evolution stops at the -P and we never see the -H in the skies over Britain (or not as many variants). This throws more evolutionary pressure onto Dornier and Junkers.


Then there are other hypothetical questions to ask. With Messerschmitt out of the picture, does this alter aviation politics in such a way that the He177 might have been allowed to have the four separate engines it desperately needed, to be one of the war's best bombers instead of possibly the worst 'heavy' in history? (As a counter-example, imagine an Avro that was never allowed to turn the Manchester into the Lancaster.) Indeed, do things shift pre-war in such a way that either or both of the Dornier or Junkers heavies gets a guernsey?


I'm going to have to re-read my copy of "Hitler's Luftwaffe" and refresh myself on the pre-war fighters that might have made it to Spain and then I might be back with more ideas, but that's my initial contribution.
 

papacavy

CLEARANCE: Confidential
Joined
Apr 13, 2006
Messages
90
Reaction score
0
This GREAT stuff! Keep it up!

My favorite fighter was the Fw-190, so I am all in favor of a Luftwaffe fighter arm with mainly Fw-190s.

Some of the other points you guys have brought up, such as the politics of aviation, I never considered.

Wonderful stuff.
 

pathology_doc

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Jun 7, 2008
Messages
789
Reaction score
0
Gospel for this post is "Hitler's Luftwaffe" (Tony Wood, Bill Gunston - Salamander Books, 1977). Given the publication date, I'm happy to accept correction from more recent sources.

Grey Havoc asked what would have been ready for Spain, if not the Bf 109?

According to the first part of the book, which takes the form of a multi-chapter written history, the initial dispatch of the Legion Condor was He51B fighters and Ju52/3m transports (some of which I understand were modified as bombers). Bf109B fighters, Do17 and He111 bombers joined in early summer 1937, with the Ju 87A and Hs 123 dive bombers coming in later in '37.

The second half is the airplane-by-airplane technical section, arranged by manufacturer. Flipping to the Heinkel section, we find the He 112 on page 185 of my edition, 17 (out of 30) of which are described being flown in Spain "by volunteer civilians" and being preferred to the Bf 109C, sufficiently so that the Spanish kept them until after WW2. Although it doesn't say when the -112s arrived in Spain, the B-series production prototype is described as flying in May 1937, so perhaps figure a couple of months to build and test-fly the relevant numbers?

The He112 gave 317mph with a 680hp engine.

The Ar80's specs are given as max speed 217mph, range 497mi, ceiling 32,800ft. This puts it in roughly the same performance bracket as Supermarine's Type 224 fighter. However, it's listed with engines between 525hp and 695hp, and the text doesn't make clear which one was fitted for the performance figures given.

The Fw159 gave between 239 and 252mph depending on the engine power (610hp, 730hp respectively), but it was killed as a service aircraft by maintenance issues.

The Bf109B gave 292 mph (SLOWER than a Hurricane I, please note!), from a 635hp engine.

In terms of straight line speed, the -112 is the tear-away winner with the -109 out of the picture, and the others don't even come close. I suspect the work required to turn the Ar80 into something competitive is closely akin to the work required in turning the Supermarine 224 (which it reminds me of) into the Spitfire - the engineering and design lineage can be traced, but in the end they are completely different airplanes.

That covers the fighters.

Turning to the Zerstorers, the Fw57 is described as being grossly overweight with poor handling, 251mph on 2 x 910hp.

The Hs124 offers 273mph on 2 x 880hp radials, and seems to have died a death as a result of the evaporation of its basic concept, but with baseline performance like that (and the promise of much more powerful engines along the way), it might have made a good tactical bomber.

The Bf110 we know all too well. Remove it, and the Hs124 seems to be the better contender - if only on the basis of significantly superior straight-line speed on lower overall power (implying better aerodynamic refinement and a less overloaded airframe, I guess).

The real dark horse is the Fw187 Falke; A-0 variant first flies in February 1939, too late for Spain but early enough for Poland - the V6 touched 390mph on 2 x 1000hp, but the A-0 is credited with closer to 326mph with military equipment on board; 2x20mm, 4 x MG. The RLM seems to have had a hate-on about this aircraft, because they were sent to Norway and preferred to the Bf110, but when this was found out, promptly recalled. Messerschmitt and politics, I guess.

So there's some technical food for thought. Long story short, it seems the real-world Legion Condor doesn't start to be competitive until the Bf109 arrives, and then it becomes VERY competitive. Eliminating the Bf109 means a delay of, shall we say, six months before the He112 arrives in numbers, but even so, that still leaves two years for the Luftwaffe fighter arm to cut its teeth before the invasion of Poland and so it doesn't change history much from that perspective in isolation.

Whether it's unbuilt projects, promising prototypes that saw successful combat trial and then mysteriously went no further, or what-have-you, personal politics enters so much into Nazi German combat aircraft development, it isn't funny. It's rich ground for a novel, simply because it offers a potential window (if you so decide to write it that way) into a bunch of morally corrupt backstabbers making the worst decisions for the "wrongest" reasons at every turn.

Taking one prominent person out of the equation at any point shifts the dynamics so radically it's impossible IMO to determine exactly what would have happened. Real Life took out Walther Wever, who might have backed the Do19 or Ju89 and/or proper development of the He177. Put him back, and any one of those three bombers suddenly takes a much more prominent place. Arguably his successor Kesselring was right about the air force that was needed to conquer Continental Western Europe in the first part of the war, but after that (it could be argued), the broader vision was lost and Germany paid the price accordingly.

Looking at these contenders, though, the Do19 seems no better than a four-engined development of an A-W Whitley-class bomber (max speed less than 200mph) while the Ju89 seems by far the better bet, but still only in the 250mph class in prototype form, so who knows what the development potential really was? Conversely the developed 4-engined 177 variants both touched around 350mph, and although they either didn't fly during the war or flew too-little too-late, offer a window into what might have been achieved if development had gone that way from the start.

Ultimately if you take Messerschmitt out, I think Heinkel and Focke-Wulf fill the gap - Heinkel in fighters until the Fw 190 is ready and then switches over to the He280 and quite possibly the four-engined 177 (Messerschmitt was a good Nazi, who might have been undermining Heinkel in more than just the fighter field; with him out of the way, the "He-177/4m" might have stood a better chance), while Dornier and Junkers stay pre-eminent in medium bombers and Henschel specialises in low level attack and army support. That's a broad brush, but it should at least give you a general landscape to work with.

Of course if you REALLY want to alter the course of Luftwaffe technical developmental history for what might be considered the better (or for the rest of us, the worse!!!), the people you need to kill early are Udet and Goering.
 

papacavy

CLEARANCE: Confidential
Joined
Apr 13, 2006
Messages
90
Reaction score
0
Yes, I always though about getting rid of Die Dicke Hermann and "Dive Bomber" Udet (maybe have him killed in an airshow in the States in the twenties & Goering dying of an overdose before the Nazi era) and sparing the life of General Wever, to get long-range bombers in the Luftwaffe (if possible).

This is getting very exciting!
 

steelpillow

So many projects, so little time...
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2014
Messages
493
Reaction score
18
Website
www.steelpillow.com
Messerschmitt's influence began even before the Bf 109 had entered production. The British military establishment were horrified by its performance and immediately began a drive for a 109-beater. The Hurricane was already too far down the line, so a new type was ordered - and it became the Spitfire. Without Messerchmitt, our successor to the Hurricane would have had less drive for sheer performance and would have arrived at a more leisurely rate. It is unlikely that a small-volume seaplane manufacturer would have been awarded the contract, instead the established fighter industry would have been given time to prepare, and perhaps Gloster, or Hawker again, would have clinched the deal.

So the less-capable Luftwaffe would in fact have met a less-capable opposition in the skies over Europe, at least in the early stages of the war.
 

pathology_doc

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Jun 7, 2008
Messages
789
Reaction score
0
steelpillow said:
It is unlikely that a small-volume seaplane manufacturer would have been awarded the contract, instead the established fighter industry would have been given time to prepare, and perhaps Gloster, or Hawker again, would have clinched the deal.

So the less-capable Luftwaffe would in fact have met a less-capable opposition in the skies over Europe, at least in the early stages of the war.

The small-volume seaplane manufacturer got the contract because one of its seaplanes happened for a time to have been the fastest seaplane (or, IIRC, airplane of any kind) on Earth, and it was able to put the knowledge and experience into the Spitfire. Without it, where are we? Hawker is busy churning out Hurricanes and working on the Typhoon, with its own attendant problems, and the Typhoon doesn't strike me as the sort of airplane which can reasonably be adapted to the Merlin. Whatever Gloster was working on, I don't recall it being a Spitfire-class air superiority fighter.


North American did design the Mustang to a British specification, IIRC, and did so with breathtaking speed - one wonders what would have happened if they'd designed it around the Merlin from the start. Sure, it was the 60-series Merlin that made it into the world-beating (or at least world-equalling) general purpose fighter that it was (the Spitfire was possibly the better pure interceptor-dogfighter), but surely even the single stage marks of that engine would have been better at altitude than the Allison it started with.
 

steelpillow

So many projects, so little time...
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2014
Messages
493
Reaction score
18
Website
www.steelpillow.com
pathology_doc said:
steelpillow said:
It is unlikely that a small-volume seaplane manufacturer would have been awarded the contract, instead the established fighter industry would have been given time to prepare, and perhaps Gloster, or Hawker again, would have clinched the deal.

So the less-capable Luftwaffe would in fact have met a less-capable opposition in the skies over Europe, at least in the early stages of the war.
The small-volume seaplane manufacturer got the contract because one of its seaplanes happened for a time to have been the fastest seaplane (or, IIRC, airplane of any kind) on Earth, and it was able to put the knowledge and experience into the Spitfire. Without it, where are we? Hawker is busy churning out Hurricanes and working on the Typhoon, with its own attendant problems, and the Typhoon doesn't strike me as the sort of airplane which can reasonably be adapted to the Merlin. Whatever Gloster was working on, I don't recall it being a Spitfire-class air superiority fighter.
The Spit was developed specifically as a 109-catcher and even then it came late in the day and was a bitch to manufacture. Had there been no 109 to catch, the Supermarine Type 300 would have been a much tamer machine and not worth producing alongside the Hurri. The regular suppliers would have been given more time to attend to the issues which you so graphically record for us and when the time came they would have been invited to create a more manufacturable Spitfire-class fighter. That was, after all, the rationale for pushing ahead with the Hurri - Sidney Camm designed them for mass-production. By then, Supermarine would have been busy on other things. Gloster's Henry Folland was not ignoring monoplanes, he was only stuck on biplanes because those were the contracts the Ministry had awarded them. Mind you, Gloster were taken over by Hawker around then, so perhaps the Ministry would have spread its net wider. Perhaps a Fairey monoplane fighter? They were itching to get into the monoplane game. Poor souls, they were obliged to put a piddly little Merlin in their big two-seat Battle and their powerful P.24 engine with six-bladed contra-prop intended for it was refused. Now that would have been an engine for the Typhoon!
 

JFC Fuller

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Apr 22, 2012
Messages
3,135
Reaction score
22
Vickers, Bristol and Gloster, all built prototype single seat fighters with retractable undercarriages to F.5/34. In the meantime both Hawker and Supermarine undertook private venture designs and approached the Air Ministry with them, it was not so much that Supermarine was "given the job", it asked for the job and got it on the basis of its offering, mass production was largely taken out of its hands and sent to CBAF. Also, it may have been hard to manufacture compared to a Hurricane but it wasn't that hard, the Merlin was cheap and easy to build and the airframe was much cheaper to produce than say the Whirlwind.
 

steelpillow

So many projects, so little time...
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2014
Messages
493
Reaction score
18
Website
www.steelpillow.com
JFC Fuller said:
Vickers, Bristol and Gloster, all built prototype single seat fighters with retractable undercarriages to F.5/34. In the meantime both Hawker and Supermarine undertook private venture designs and approached the Air Ministry with them, it was not so much that Supermarine was "given the job", it asked for the job and got it on the basis of its offering, mass production was largely taken out of its hands and sent to CBAF. Also, it may have been hard to manufacture compared to a Hurricane but it wasn't that hard, the Merlin was cheap and easy to build and the airframe was much cheaper to produce than say the Whirlwind.
Yes indeed, I forgot about Vickers. The key thing about the Spit was that Supermarine's offer was the only potential 109-beater on the table. It reminds me of the Fairey Fox I back in the 1920s with its American Curtiss engine. Air Marshal Sir Hugh Trenchard bought a single squadron just to kick a complacent British aero engine industry back into life. Had war been looming back then, it might well have become a mainstay fighter-bomber. By contrast, had the Bf 109 not been looming in 1934/5, the Spit might well have remained a similar historical curiosity. Mass production was not finally taken out of Vickers-Supermarine's hands and put under Ministry control until they had tried and failed to organise it themselves, it had not been the original intent (Supermarine were by then a subsidiary of Vickers). Comparison with a twin-engined job such as the Whirlwind is a little invidious.
 

Jemiba

CLEARANCE: Above Top Secret
Staff member
Top Contributor
Senior Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2006
Messages
7,976
Reaction score
91
steelpillow said:
... Had there been no 109 to catch,...
Then probably a real service version (not just the handful propaganda aircraft) of the He 100
would have been built. It was regarded in several aspects as superior to the Bf 109, but needing
more man hours. The evaporative cooling system probably would have been replaced by a more
conventional system, but I don't think, that this would have reduced performance too much.
In the end, the He 100 could have been more "userfriendly" due to its wider track landing gear
and the better visibility, it had from the start.
 

JFC Fuller

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Apr 22, 2012
Messages
3,135
Reaction score
22
steelpillow said:
Yes indeed, I forgot about Vickers. The key thing about the Spit was that Supermarine's offer was the only potential 109-beater on the table. It reminds me of the Fairey Fox I back in the 1920s with its American Curtiss engine. Air Marshal Sir Hugh Trenchard bought a single squadron just to kick a complacent British aero engine industry back into life. Had war been looming back then, it might well have become a mainstay fighter-bomber. By contrast, had the Bf 109 not been looming in 1934/5, the Spit might well have remained a similar historical curiosity. Mass production was not finally taken out of Vickers-Supermarine's hands and put under Ministry control until they had tried and failed to organise it themselves, it had not been the original intent (Supermarine were by then a subsidiary of Vickers). Comparison with a twin-engined job such as the Whirlwind is a little invidious.
The Spitfire was mass-produced at CBAF because the Whirlwind wasn't. The Air Ministry was well aware that the UK aerospace industry was completely incapable of mass production, hence the Shadow factories, it was hardly unique to Supermarine. It had been intended to produce the Whirlwind in quantity but that programme was seriously delayed so the Spitfire got the nod. Had it have not been for the failure of the Whirlwind (F.37/35) the Spitfire probably would have been a "historical curiosity", albeit one of a few hundred airframes.
 

steelpillow

So many projects, so little time...
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2014
Messages
493
Reaction score
18
Website
www.steelpillow.com
Jemiba said:
steelpillow said:
... Had there been no 109 to catch,...
Then probably a real service version (not just the handful propaganda aircraft) of the He 100
would have been built. It was regarded in several aspects as superior to the Bf 109, but needing
more man hours. The evaporative cooling system probably would have been replaced by a more
conventional system, but I don't think, that this would have reduced performance too much.
In the end, the He 100 could have been more "userfriendly" due to its wider track landing gear
and the better visibility, it had from the start.
True, but the He 100 came along a few years later. Even its predecessor the He 112B was later than the 109 and the Spit. The time pressure on the British Ministry would have been eased.
 

steelpillow

So many projects, so little time...
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2014
Messages
493
Reaction score
18
Website
www.steelpillow.com
JFC Fuller said:
It had been intended to produce the Whirlwind in quantity but that programme was seriously delayed so the Spitfire got the nod. Had it have not been for the failure of the Whirlwind (F.37/35) the Spitfire probably would have been a "historical curiosity", albeit one of a few hundred airframes.
There you are then, the absence of Willy M could have bought the Whirlwind time to come to fruition and we could have afforded to drop the stopgap Spit. I like the idea, though I doubt the eventual triumph of the twin vs. single-engined dogfighter.
 

JFC Fuller

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Apr 22, 2012
Messages
3,135
Reaction score
22
Hardly, without the 109 the Luftwaffe would have probably adopted the He-112, certainly not as good an aircraft as the 109 but still sufficient to push the British Air Ministry to start procuring Spitfires in the hundreds.
 

Ifor

I really should change my personal text
Joined
Mar 6, 2013
Messages
37
Reaction score
0
JFC, my understanding was that HE112 was equal if not slightly better than the contemporary 109 but politics played it's part.?
Ifor
 

steelpillow

So many projects, so little time...
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2014
Messages
493
Reaction score
18
Website
www.steelpillow.com
The He 112 was found to be inferior to the Bf 109 in the comparative trials of 1935. It would have been more comparable in performance to the Hurricane - assuming they had the sense to enclose the cockpit on the production version. The British might well have felt able to leave the Type 300 as a development vehicle for a while longer. Ifor may be thinking of the almost totally redesigned He 112B which came along in 1937. Had the British allowed themselves to dally, that would certainly have made them sit up.

Intriguingly, both sides were keeping an eye on each other's paper designs as they developed. Design work on the Bf 109 began in March 1934, drawing on the pedigree of the highly successful Bf 108 light aircraft. The Germans must have laughed at Supermarine's immediate pedigree - the mediocre Type 224, which ended its days as a gunnery target. By the Summer of 1934 the Type 300 was still in transition, with partially-enclosed cockpit and a steam-cooled Goshawk still in evidence. Mitchell's drawings from this time bear a noticeable resemblance to a Goshawk-engined Bf 109. The Spit as we know it didn't emerge until 1935, and the Germans soon became as scared of it as we were of the 109. That year, the race for air supremacy in WWII kicked off in earnest.
 

Ifor

I really should change my personal text
Joined
Mar 6, 2013
Messages
37
Reaction score
0
Thank you for that, appreciated.
 

Grey Havoc

The path not taken.
Senior Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2009
Messages
8,686
Reaction score
82
The Ar 68H might have perhaps made it to at least limited production. Also, the Kampzerstörer concept could have persisted longer (or even reached hardware in some form) with no Bf 110 around.
 

papacavy

CLEARANCE: Confidential
Joined
Apr 13, 2006
Messages
90
Reaction score
0
Great stuff, gentlemen!

Much appreciated and LOTS of food for thought.
 

riggerrob

I really should change my personal text
Joined
Mar 11, 2012
Messages
294
Reaction score
4
Also remember that the Nazis played fast and loose with propaganda surrounding air speed records.
Sure, Supermarine may have held the old air speed record for seaplanes, but both Heinkel and Messerschmitt built land-planes that were notably faster.
Heinkel's 100 was never seriously considered as a warplane, but they did build a dozen or so ... enough for propaganda photos.
Meanwhile, Willy Messerschmitt built a few Me 209 racers, frightful little beasts to fly, but they were faster than anyone else's for decades. Messerschmitt's records were only beaten by highly modified Bearcats and Mustangs long after the war. While the Nazi propaganda machine bragged that Germany had the fastest fighters, the Allies struggled to catch up to an un-realistic goal.
 

Grey Havoc

The path not taken.
Senior Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2009
Messages
8,686
Reaction score
82
Another possibility that opens up is that the Göppingen Gö 9 program isn't curtailed, due to a more pressing need for new fighter types. Which means that the Dornier Do 335 or similar may show up sooner (giving even the Spitfire and Mustang a hard time, not to mention the poor ground pounders).
 

pathology_doc

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Jun 7, 2008
Messages
789
Reaction score
0
Anecdotally, Kurt Tank was bounced by Mustangs while out for a flight in a Ta152 and showed them a clean pair of heels (source is one of Gunston's many books), so you're probably right on the money there. Depending on whose figures you believe, the Spit XIV is capable of either 439mph or 448mph at height, the 21 nudges closer to 450 in every source (and that with four protruding cannon instead of two), while the P-51D hovers around the 437 mark. To nail the Ta-152H, you need an airplane in the 480mph class - the P-51H or the Spiteful, for example.


OTOH what's good for straight-line speed is not always good in a dogfight, and even the Spitfire 21 is supposed to be better in roll rate than any of the elliptical-wing versions, not to mention the fact that it has the full four-cannon armament aboard and can take best advantage of any fleeting shots available. Closer to the ground, I suspect the Tempest V might give the Ta-152 a run for its money and the Spit 21 seems to be significantly faster there than the XIV in all the speed vs height curves I've ever seen (arguably because of the supercharger scheduling; at height, the difference is less pronounced).
 

riggerrob

I really should change my personal text
Joined
Mar 11, 2012
Messages
294
Reaction score
4
What if both the Heinkel 100 and the British Napier-Heston had beaten Messerschmitt's speed record?
Would Willy have fallen out of favor with the Fuhrer?
 

lastdingo

Blogger http://defense-and-freedom.blogspot.de/
Joined
Oct 18, 2008
Messages
574
Reaction score
2
Website
defense-and-freedom.blogspot.de
(no Bf 109)
He 112 fighter
He 100 never developed for want of motivation
Avia B-135 (much-liked by Udet) might have been produced under a Germanised designation
Fw 190 developed as historically

(no Me 262)
He 280 becomes first jet fighter, likely with BMW engines

(no Bf 110)
Fw 187 destroyer
later developed back into 1-seater

He 111 bomber less produced because of He 112 production (much smaller H series)
more Do 17 to make up for it
later more Do 217 in parallel to approx. historical production of
Ju 88A
He 177 cancelled for want of development capacity (He 112 refinement eats engineer hours)
unclear whether Bomber B would have existed

Do 17 pressed into nightfighter role (with DB605) for want of Bf 110 and because Ju 88 was precious in bomber role
 

pathology_doc

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Jun 7, 2008
Messages
789
Reaction score
0
lastdingo said:
He 177 cancelled for want of development capacity (He 112 refinement eats engineer hours)
unclear whether Bomber B would have existed

Either cancelled or shifted immediately to a four-engined variant (which, depending on how you view aircraft development programmes, may add up to the same thing).


If the 177 with four engines works out (and there's no reason to think it wouldn't have - 99% of that bomber's problems arose out of powerplant issues one way or another), then for sure there is no Bomber B because there is no need. There is also no need for continued development of the Fw200 as a patrol bomber and anti-shipping aircraft. One of the things that surprised me as my knowledge of Nazi combat aircraft increased is just how fragile the Fw200 was, and that it was by no means the equivalent of a Lancaster or even a Sunderland (which did everything from wavetop attacks on submarines with forward guns blazing to dogfighting eight enemy Zerstorers at once, shooting down three and making it home - try doing that with a Condor and see how long the structure lasts).


I suspect the Fw190 would have developed differently, perhaps not as diversely - remember the Bf109 was the most numerous fighter in history, so even with Heinkel's support, Focke-Wulf have a lot more 190s to churn out than they did historically, and other things to think about than type diversification. The light and medium bomber field will belong to Junkers and Dornier, as you've suggested, at least until Arado can bring the 234 on line. Henschel would probably take over ground attack.
 

steelpillow

So many projects, so little time...
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2014
Messages
493
Reaction score
18
Website
www.steelpillow.com
In Britain, if the Napier-Heston had also beaten the He 100 there would have been celebratory propaganda but no material change to anything: Sabre development and the Tempest and Typhoon would have carried on as before.

In Germany, the decision to focus Messerschmitt on fighter production and Heinkel on bomber production could not have easily been reversed by then. Messerschmitt might have been forced to license-build the He 100 until the FW 190 came along.
 

Kevin Renner

CLEARANCE: Confidential
Joined
Nov 6, 2007
Messages
90
Reaction score
0
In terms of production man hours per unit how do the Spitfire, BF109, Mustang, Hurricane much less the HE112 stack up. I supect the 112 would be 125 to 150% more in terms of manhours much less money. The 109s genius lay not only in the quality of the designbut in its simplicity
 

Jemiba

CLEARANCE: Above Top Secret
Staff member
Top Contributor
Senior Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2006
Messages
7,976
Reaction score
91
Such figures are hard to judge, I think, as it is rarely mentioned, if the numbers contain the engine or
not, for e.g. and other components (weapons, avionics). From what I found,
( http://www.google.de/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=10&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CG4QFjAJ&url=http%3A%2F%2Faerosociety.com%2FAssets%2FDocs%2FEvents%2F694%2F20.JimScanlan.pdf&ei=RT39VMuOKY7vOd78gcAM&usg=AFQjCNEpzXCgpP5X_Ppc0gPI0J4FG5Gr5Q&sig2=3r9HeYilytVH3gCEb8gIQQ&bvm=bv.87611401,d.ZWU )
the Spitfire needed about 13,000 manhours, the Me 109 just 7,000, but at least compared to the
Spitfire, the Mustang is said to have had a very short construction time, as from the beginning, it
was developed for easy construction, using the technologies of the already well experienced
car industry. Willy Messerschmitt was known for developing light, but strong structures. If this
can always be translated into fast manufacturing, I'm not sure.
 

Kevin Renner

CLEARANCE: Confidential
Joined
Nov 6, 2007
Messages
90
Reaction score
0
Ease of construction reminds of Grumman's F6 Hellcat. IIRC it was designed with no compound curves except perhaps for in the cowling in order to ease construction.
 

airman

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Oct 14, 2007
Messages
1,085
Reaction score
15
Website
zeef.com
In this scenario BFW could be survived or collapsed but without engineer Messerschmitt.
 
Last edited:
Top