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rcocean
08-16-2006, 08:49 AM
Forgive me if this has already been answered but I can't find this information on the internet.

1) Did Yak and LN fighters have self-sealing fuel tanks? Or did they have a different kind of protection?

2) What effect did the use of wood have on the stength and performance of YAK and LN fighters?

3) Why did the Russians never use wing mounted guns? Were the wings too thin/weak to mount wing guns?

4) Did Russian fighters have the same armour protection as the US/UK fighters? Or were they more like the Japanese.

5) Any reason for the mixed armourment on the YAK fighters? Was deliberate or out of neccissity? It seems to me a 2x 20mm is better than a mix of .50 cals and 20mm since you are dealing with different projectories.

6) Did the Russians use drop tanks or was this a luxary they could not afford?

Any answers would be appreciated.

TgD Thunderbolt56
08-16-2006, 08:54 AM
1. Not sure

2. It made them strong but the delta wood was heavy and thus hindered their performance.

3. They used wing-mounted guns...just not on aircraft of their own manufacture. More of a design philosophy I think.

4. inbetween

5. Deliberate

6. They had several designs that had drop tanks available


TB

3.JG51_BigBear
08-16-2006, 09:41 AM
1. The Yak-1 fuel tanks were originally surrounded by several layers of a corse-weave cloth that was coated with phenol-formaldehyde resin. Starting with the Yak-7 there were self-sealing tanks and some pilot armour.

2. Wood was preffered by the Russians because of the lack of other strategic materials. The use of wood probably added a significant amount of unnecessary weight but it also provided for some pilot protection. The La-7 incorporated a few alloy parts (I think the biggest was the main wing spar).

3. All the armament in the nose allows for easier deflection shooting and puts less weight and strain on the wings which makes for a better turning/rolling fighter.

4. At the beginning of the war I'd say more like the Japanese. For the most part Russian aircraft did not have self-sealing tanks. Armour protection for pilots and crew members was limited. Later on Russian fighters featured armour plate and self-sealing tanks but the aircraft were never as robust as American and British designs.

5. Cannons jammed much easier than machine guns, machine guns carry a lot more ammunition, machine guns and their ammunition can fit in smaller spaces, and machine guns can be used as a way of "sighting" (i.e. firing with the machine guns until strikes are observed and then opening up with the cannon to conserve the cannon ammo).

6. Droptanks were used but most Russian air force work was support of ground troops and point defense so they were not as necessary as they were for the Americans.

JtD
08-16-2006, 10:10 AM
1) Yes, later model had.

2) Wood is about as good as aluminium for aircraft construction when it comes to stiffness/weight. It is, however, less durable and less damage resistant. If you want to make a wooden plane as tough as a metal one, it will end up considerably heavier. The Soviet designs mostly sacrificed structural strenght / damage resistance and allowed for about all metal flight performance.

3) Wing mounted guns are only the second best option, but also a question of philosophy. The Soviets preferred them nose mounted.

4) Armor protection itself was ok in many designs, but the planes structural strenght was worse than US standards.

5) I think two ShVAK cannons don't fit into a Yak's nose.

6) They used them.

JG53Frankyboy
08-16-2006, 10:40 AM
Originally posted by JtD:
...........
5) I think two ShVAK cannons don't fit into a Yak's nose.

.............

Yak-3P had 3
Yak-3 VK-107 (will come with VVS'46) had 2 over the engine
Yak-9UT had 1 37mm and 2 20mm.


i read that soviet squads replaced the armour of the lend leased Hurricanes in the north sometimes with the armoured seats of the I-16................ for better protection.


the Yak-9DD was a very long range planes without using droptanks. it had a lot of fuel in the wings - 845 litres in total. enough to fly 2285km at cruising speed !
armament but was only one 20mm canon

JtD
08-16-2006, 11:23 AM
Didn't the Yak-3P have 3xB-20 cannons, wasn't the VK-107 a different engine and didn't the Yak-9UT also have B-20 cannons?

Sure, everything is possible, in the worst case just make the nose longer. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

p1ngu666
08-16-2006, 01:28 PM
i think some had a special system where fumes from engine where pumped into fuel tanks, made them less flamable http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

rcocean
08-16-2006, 04:44 PM
Originally posted by 3.JG51_BigBear:
1. The Yak-1 fuel tanks were originally surrounded by several layers of a corse-weave cloth that was coated with phenol-formaldehyde resin. Starting with the Yak-7 there were self-sealing tanks and some pilot armour.

2. Wood was preffered by the Russians because of the lack of other strategic materials. The use of wood probably added a significant amount of unnecessary weight but it also provided for some pilot protection. The La-7 incorporated a few alloy parts (I think the biggest was the main wing spar).

3. All the armament in the nose allows for easier deflection shooting and puts less weight and strain on the wings which makes for a better turning/rolling fighter.

4. At the beginning of the war I'd say more like the Japanese. For the most part Russian aircraft did not have self-sealing tanks. Armour protection for pilots and crew members was limited. Later on Russian fighters featured armour plate and self-sealing tanks but the aircraft were never as robust as American and British designs.

5. Cannons jammed much easier than machine guns, machine guns carry a lot more ammunition, machine guns and their ammunition can fit in smaller spaces, and machine guns can be used as a way of "sighting" (i.e. firing with the machine guns until strikes are observed and then opening up with the cannon to conserve the cannon ammo).

Thanks for all the answers http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif

Frankly, a couple things still confuse me. With the exception of the P-38, I believe all other major Japanese, US, UK, Germany, Italian fighters 41-45 had wing mounted guns/cannon. The USSR is the only country that had *NO* fighters with wing mounted cannon/guns. So I'm wondering did they just have a different philosophy or were the wings so weak, mounting cannon/guns wasn't an option?

2) Wood vs. Metal. Everyone built metal planes and didn't use wood unless they had to. Even the Mosquito was built with wood because alumminum was in short supply. Yet, when you ask people why wood is bad, some people say its just as good. Others even state that it is "stronger" than metal. Is metal just easier to work with? How less "durable" is it? Does that mean that wood planes just fall apart or rot over a short period of time?

3) If a mixed armament is a good thing, why did the LN have 2x20mm?

LEXX_Luthor
08-16-2006, 04:59 PM
I-16 had wing guns. In fact, I-16 was one of the first fighters to use wing guns as far as I know. Good question -- what first used wing guns?

I guess wing guns are useful when the engine takes up so much nose room -- I-16 was all engine up front., as were the USA fighters with their giant engines.

You may be reading too much into this. The short flirtation with wing guns really caught on about what -- 1936/7/8 ? -- and ended about 1945. Before and after, everybody used nose guns. Okay, some used a panic install of belly pod guns when their fighters got caught with their pants down in the 1960s with no guns at all, and the nose was already occupied with radar -- you don't want guns blasting next to your radar.

And a few used guns mounted atop the top Biplane wing, SE-5 was a good example of that.

p1ngu666
08-16-2006, 05:05 PM
1)it comes down to small engine power, didnt have the power to remain competative AND carry extra firepower, also the supply of guns was a concern i bet.

u can arm 3 russian fighters for each 190, for example.

theres advantages and disadvantages to wood and metal. battle damage wise the main advantage of wood is that for any given piece, its bigger, so any bullet doing damage, isnt as likely to fataly damage the structure.

wood is also very strong in some ways.

the yaks probably have mixed armaments because a cannon could be fitted through the engine, and a mg gun fitted nicely above/behind.

la is radial, so different arrangement. LA may have been more a "heavy fighter" than yak too, like 109/190, spit/typhoon http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

p1ngu666
08-16-2006, 05:08 PM
i think a satalite nation with yaks removed 2 wing fuel tanks and fitted machine gun or two in each, but that is post war.

be good for 46 tho http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

VW-IceFire
08-16-2006, 05:16 PM
Originally posted by rcocean:
Forgive me if this has already been answered but I can't find this information on the internet.

1) Did Yak and LN fighters have self-sealing fuel tanks? Or did they have a different kind of protection?

2) What effect did the use of wood have on the stength and performance of YAK and LN fighters?

3) Why did the Russians never use wing mounted guns? Were the wings too thin/weak to mount wing guns?

4) Did Russian fighters have the same armour protection as the US/UK fighters? Or were they more like the Japanese.

5) Any reason for the mixed armourment on the YAK fighters? Was deliberate or out of neccissity? It seems to me a 2x 20mm is better than a mix of .50 cals and 20mm since you are dealing with different projectories.

6) Did the Russians use drop tanks or was this a luxary they could not afford?

Any answers would be appreciated.
1) To varrying degrees the Russian aircraft did have self sealing fuel tanks. Although I suspect that the Russian self sealing tanks were never quite as good as the German, British, or American ones, they seemed to be effective enough by middle of the war. I believe the early war fighters did not have nearly as much protection and suffered accordingly. The LaGG-1 and LaGG-3 early on were noted for a terible tendancy to light on fire and burn.

2) The Delta Wood made for overall stronger aircraft. Like the Mosquito the wooden construction proved to be quite sucessful for holding together the aircraft while at the same time allowing the use of metal construction to be used elsewhere (for tanks and machinery for instance). Most engineers seem to agree that Delta Wood construction is a great construction material with its biggest disadvantage being weight. Russian fighters were heavier than they could have been had they been built as most American, British, and German aircraft were. For that reason there were a number of things stripped from Russian designs that you would have found elsewhere. Less armament, less fuel, and for structural reasons...a lower critical dive speed.

3) Again...because most wings were made of wood or partial wood construction there was no room or provision for wing mounted guns. It was simply not practical. So armament had to be fitted in the nose. This was also a part of fighter doctrine for the VVS...in order for a newbie pilot to hit anything the guns were mounted as close to center as possible to make aiming easier. German planes tended to use this formula as well.

4) More like the Americans, British, and Germans than the Japanese. Russians tended to build aircraft that would survive the conditions they were under. The IL-2 for instance is probably the best well armored aircraft of WWII beating out pretty much everything else by a large margin. The Yak and Lavockhin designs were fairly robust because of the heavy wood construction (again its Delta Wood - its specially treated and constructed...it isn't the stuff you make tables out of). Armor protection varries on the fighters...some of them had none...some had pilot armor and engine protection. The Klimov engines were generally considered so heavily built as to be protection on their own too. Thank the French for that...the Klimov is largely a license copy (and then improved) of the Hispano Suiza design. Some Russian planes, particularly early war, were very easy to damage or light on fire...but nothing approaching the Japanese light construction.

5) Mixed armament largely because of weight and partially because of installation. The Yak-9UT is the first Yak in front line fighter combat that I'm aware of carrying a twin 20mm armament. Ironically enough...once they achieved that level...they also added a 37mm cannon (2x20mm and 1x37mm cannon). The Yak-3P, another very late war fighter, had 3 20mm cannons. By that point the B-20 cannon was as light as the Berezin UBS machine gun.

6) Sometimes drop tanks were used but often I find they special built aircraft models to get the extra range. The Yak-9DD was a modification of the Yak-9D (which was already considered a long range variant) which removed the UBS machine gun leaving only the 20mm cannon. 9DD's were used to escort B-17 bomber raids to temporary bases in Russia.

VW-IceFire
08-16-2006, 05:17 PM
Originally posted by JtD:
Didn't the Yak-3P have 3xB-20 cannons, wasn't the VK-107 a different engine and didn't the Yak-9UT also have B-20 cannons?

Sure, everything is possible, in the worst case just make the nose longer. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif
Yes...Yak-3P has 3 B-20 cannons. The VK107 is a different and more powerful engine. The Yak-9UT has two ShVAK 20mm cannons and one NS-37 37mm cannon.

horseback
08-16-2006, 10:50 PM
Can't let this one go by.

Wood was heavily used by the Soviets because aluminum was much harder to come by, and requires a certain amount of technical sophistication to refine into a usable metal. At that time in history, the Soviet Union lacked the resources to economically obtain and refine most metals used for building modern aircraft. Add to that the economic isolation it experienced during the 1930s (the USSR was a bit of a world pariah at the time), and wood was the most plentiful building material they had for aircraft.

'Delta wood' was a processed wood using something like a plywood soaked in epoxy to bond the wood strips into something similar to bakelite. While much stronger than plain untreated hardwoods, it was not as strong, pound for pound (or kg for kg), as aluminum or certainly, the steel usually used for mainspars and load bearing members in modern aircraft in the late 1930s-early 1940s.

So in order to get the same structural strength, an aircraft built of 'delta wood' had to be significantly heavier. Since weight is the limiting factor for aircraft performance, the Soviet designers had to shave every ounce they could off their designs to approach the same performance Western designers' aircraft achieved with similarly powered a/c.

Hence the lighter armament, even to carrying much less rounds per gun. Besides, the sad fact was that it was a rare occasion that an early-war Soviet fighter pilot had the chance in a combat sortie to use up all his ammo. Far too many of them were on the wrong end of the other guy's guns.

cheers

horseback

JtD
08-17-2006, 12:15 AM
Wood has a great stiffness/weight ratio, better than steel, and better than aluminium in some cases. For aircraft production, this is a very important feature. This means you need more force to bend a piece of stiff wood than a piece of Alu of the same weight.

Wood is hardly as stress resistant as Alu. This means you need less force to break a piece of wood than a piece of Alu of the same weight.

Wood does rot, Alu doesn't. Wood soaks up water, Alu doesn't. Wood reacts more critical to vibrations than Alu does. This means: Alu lasts longer.

Wood absorbs less energy than Alu when being crashed. Metal tends to bend before breaking, thus absorbing energy, while wood doesn't. This makes wooden planes a lot less damage resistant.

Wood is natures own fibre composite material and, when treated acordingly, is a very good material. It can not, however, compete with advanced aluminium alloys.

To cut it short:

You can build a wooden plane of the same weight as an all metal plane. The stiffness you need is there. It will be short lived, will break apart easier and won't take as much damage as the all metal construction.

MadRuski
08-17-2006, 12:56 AM
so Russia basicly managed to make great planes, even with cutbacks that other nations didnt have..if only smart ppl like that were in the Russian government lol

JG52Karaya-X
08-17-2006, 02:21 AM
Originally posted by VW-IceFire:
some had pilot armor and engine protection. The Klimov engines were generally considered so heavily built as to be protection on their own too. Thank the French for that...the Klimov is largely a license copy (and then improved) of the Hispano Suiza design.

Are you sure about the Klimov/Hispano Suiza V12? IIRC the Suiza engine is very small and light compared to its power output and other inline engines such as the DB601/605, Allison or Merlin!

Merlin 61: Dry weight of 745 kg
DB605A: Dry weight of 730kg
M-105: Dry weight of 620kg

TheGozr
08-17-2006, 02:55 AM
licensed.. hum.. well, that a strong word... http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

tigertalon
08-17-2006, 03:46 AM
Originally posted by rcocean:
Forgive me if this has already been answered but I can't find this information on the internet.

1) Did Yak and LN fighters have self-sealing fuel tanks? Or did they have a different kind of protection?

They did. La series (not sure about the yaks) pumped cooled and filtered gas fumes into fuel tanks, to prevent explosive mixture of air and gas from forming.


Originally posted by rcocean:
2) What effect did the use of wood have on the stength and performance of YAK and LN fighters?


Most noticeably, they were unable to dive with german counterparts, their terminal dive speed was just a bit above their maximum level speed.


Originally posted by rcocean:
3) Why did the Russians never use wing mounted guns? Were the wings too thin/weak to mount wing guns?


It was Germans and Russians that did not use wing mounted guns. Philosophy behind that was that it is easier to hit with, it does not cause yawing when one is jammed, plus the pilot can unjam cowling guns if necessary (if he had accsess to them, like on Zero, P-40B/B,....) etc etc. Fw190 in the beginning also had all guns close to centerline (cowling and wingroots). Later they added two 20mm in outer wings, it was more like a provisional solution, they never planned this when construction 190.



Originally posted by rcocean:
6) Did the Russians use drop tanks or was this a luxary they could not afford?


They didn't need them. Their airforce was more tactical than american one. They flew low, supported sturmoviks and controlled lower portion of battlefield, close to the airfield. In most cases battlefront was a few 10 kilometres from airbase.

JtD
08-17-2006, 03:54 AM
Afaik, the FW was designed with wing guns only, the ones in the nose were added because the RLM insited on nose armarment.