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luftluuver
04-09-2006, 08:02 AM
Found this interesting discussion on the He 177 at http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=82567

Some other interesting discussions as well:

http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=95567
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=97075

luftluuver
04-09-2006, 08:02 AM
Found this interesting discussion on the He 177 at http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=82567

Some other interesting discussions as well:

http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=95567
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=97075

major_setback
04-09-2006, 07:59 PM
There was an interesting bit on the raid/raids on England...but even so, you can't have a thread like this without pictures. You know most of us can't read! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/59.gif

http://www.simviation.com/pageimages/177a-3r1.jpg

http://www.warbirdsresourcegroup.org/LRG/images/lrg1347.jpg

http://www.kheichhorn.de/assets/images/heinkel_He177_greif.jpg

http://www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de/Bilder/He177/he177a3-1.jpg

http://www.europa1939.com/luftwaffe/bombarderos/he177-3.JPG

http://www.aeronautics.ru/archive/wwii/books/germany_secret_weapons_wwii/he_177_01.jpg

http://www.aeronautics.ru/archive/wwii/books/germany_secret_weapons_wwii/he_177_02.jpg

http://www.airventure.de/historypics/he177_2.jpg

http://image2.sina.com.cn/jc/2005-09-12/U1335P27T1D319171F3DT20050912083652.jpg

http://www.odkrywca.pl/forum_pics/picsforum10/he177.jpg

http://www.mr-jan.dk/stories/others/simages/he177go242_2.jpg

http://www.gic.co.uk/images/he177.jpg

http://drobson.w.interia.pl/boxart/rev_72_he177.jpg

http://www.simviation.com/pageimages/he177.jpg

http://www.luftwaffepics.com/LCBW/He177-6s.jpg

http://www.luftwaffepics.com/LCBW4/He177-A5-17.jpg

http://www.luftwaffepics.com/LCBW/He177-A5-12.jpg

http://www.luftwaffepics.com/LCBW/He177-V1-8.jpg

http://www.luftwaffepics.com/LCBW/He177-1.jpg

http://www.luftwaffepics.com/LCBW/He177-2.jpg

http://www.luftwaffepics.com/LCBW/He177-3s.jpg

http://www.luftwaffepics.com/LCBW/He177-A3-4.jpg

http://www.luftwaffepics.com/LCBW/He177-7s.jpg

http://www.luftwaffepics.com/LCBW/He177-A5-10s.jpg

http://www.luftwaffepics.com/LCBW/He177-A5-11s.jpg

http://www.luftwaffepics.com/LCBW/He177-13s.jpg



...and the He 277:

http://www.luftwaffepics.com/LCBW4/He277-3s.jpg

VW-IceFire
04-09-2006, 08:03 PM
Interesting plane the He-177. Its actually a four engined aircraft...but with only two engine nacels and two engines driving the propellers. I think they could have figured out the complexity of this system had the request for it to be turned into a dive bomber not come down.

Thats what ruined the He-177. It may have managed to give the Luftwaffe something with which they could effectively bomb the Russian industry across the Urals.

VW-IceFire
04-09-2006, 09:13 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Gibbage1:
How about some historicaly accurate photo's of the He-177? Like with its engine on fire!

Kurfust faught long and hard to try and dispell the "myth" that the He-177 had bad engine problems. Lol. What a loon. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Yep most of the stuff I've read seems to indicate that the engines and their complexity caused a number of problems. That was common with many engines produced before and during the war (probably after too) but the He-177 had alot of bad luck and some administrative mismanagement.

_VR_ScorpionWorm
04-09-2006, 09:18 PM
Ahh, the 'Flaming Coffin'.

RocketDog
04-10-2006, 01:31 AM
If you are in the UK, there's an He-177 engine at the RAF Cosford aerospace museum. Missing a lot of bits, I'm afraid, but still very interesting.

Cheers,

RocketDog.

WOLFMondo
04-10-2006, 02:57 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by VW-IceFire:
Interesting plane the He-177. Its actually a four engined aircraft...but with only two engine nacels and two engines driving the propellers. I think they could have figured out the complexity of this system had the request for it to be turned into a dive bomber not come down.

Thats what ruined the He-177. It may have managed to give the Luftwaffe something with which they could effectively bomb the Russian industry across the Urals. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Goerring said Heinkel shouldn't bother him with any more 177 ideas because it was so problematic! The 277 might have been a very good plane if it was ever given a chance.

Waldo.Pepper
04-10-2006, 03:02 AM
A while ago I posted a video of an He-177 landing here in this thread...

http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/23110283/m...211046273#1211046273 (http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/23110283/m/1211046273/r/1211046273#1211046273)

Well sadly rapidshare has deleted it but it is here on putfile... enjoy.

http://media.putfile.com/He-177_landing

tomtheyak
04-10-2006, 03:04 AM
The engines themselves were fine - nice reliable DDB six-oh-sumthings weren't they?

The problem comes when you route the fuel and oil supply systems round red hot exhaust manifolds - AND forget to put a firewall in! Sheesh! Considering the great talent of German aircraft designers and engineers that just seems mind-bogglingly inept!

Sergio_101
04-10-2006, 03:13 AM
http://1000aircraftphotos.com/Contributions/McMahan/3319.jpg

This one off version of the B-29 was designated
as the XB-39.
Note the Allison V3420 engines.
That's a pair of V-1710 coupled in a similar
manner as the engines in the He-177.

No one can give an adequate explanation why
any sucessful planes were developed using
this engine. The performance was excellent
at a top speed of over 400mph and the reliability
was the oppisite of the German engine, excellent
by all accounts in that plane and the B-19A.
The B-19A gave similar performance and reliability
gains.

Sergio

Beaufort-RAF
04-10-2006, 03:26 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Waldo.Pepper:
A while ago I posted a video of an He-177 landing here in this thread...

http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/23110283/m...211046273#1211046273 (http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/23110283/m/1211046273/r/1211046273#1211046273)

Well sadly rapidshare has deleted it but it is here on putfile... enjoy.

http://media.putfile.com/He-177_landing </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Cheers. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

major_setback
04-10-2006, 05:51 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Waldo.Pepper:
A while ago I posted a video of an He-177 landing here in this thread...

http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/23110283/m...211046273#1211046273 (http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/23110283/m/1211046273/r/1211046273#1211046273)

Well sadly rapidshare has deleted it but it is here on putfile... enjoy.

http://media.putfile.com/He-177_landing </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

Thanks. It feels sometimes like we have our own little virtual museum here. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

bazzaah2
04-10-2006, 07:38 AM
Quite a notorious and unpopular plane with its crews. They should have gone straight on to the 277, would have been of much more use to them. Guess they just wanted a bigger version of the Ju88.

Kurfurst__
04-10-2006, 09:46 AM
The He 177 troubles are usually blamed on the engines, however this was not the major reason apart from the early series teething problems. The aircraft of this size, when denied of proper servicing etc, was probably the main culprit. One can't blame a design to broke down, if it's simply not maintained properly.

From 'Heinkel 177, 277 274' by Manfred Griehel and Joachim Dressel, ISBN 1 85310 364 0.

The following is a summary of a German wartime report on He-177 from the book, which perfectly summarizes how the LW failed to exploit the advantages offered by this otherwise advanced aircraft.

"In May 1944 Major Schubert of the Luftwaffengeneralstab and Reichsmarschall Goring's Adjutancy was finally appointed to establish the principal reasons for the delays experienced in re- equipping Luftwaffe bomber units with the He 177. Nothing needs to be added to his report:

Most of the aircrew of units selected for re- equipment with the He 177 were operationally 'tired-out' and relatively few were from front-line units. The necessary personnel consisted primarily of Young, often inexperienced aircrews, and for reasons of capacity their conversion training at operational training and replacement Gruppen could only be completed in relatively few cases. Most of the young pilots had only nine to 12 months of practical flying experience prior to being transferred to such a complicated aircraft as the He 177.

Apart from that, the new operational crews had been trained on the Ju 88, and most had hardly any training in the art of night-flying. The necessary conversion training meant the compulsory withdrawal of operational He 177s for use as trainers, which in turn led to an overload of work for the technical personnel due to the numerous instances of damage suffered by these aircraft as a result of the training activities.

Matters were made all the more difficult by the fact that some of the ground personnel had not been pre-instructed on the He 177. In addition, the vast majority of the technical personnel arrived at their He 177-equipped bomber Gruppen several months after the units had first received their re- equipment orders. By spring 1944, some units were still short of about 50 per cent of engine fitters. Some of the other personnel first set eyes on the He 177 upon arrival at their assigned unit's airfield, their instruction and training on the Heinkel bomber having to start there and then.

The supply of aircraft servicing tools and appliances also did not keep up with deliveries of He 177s. Thus, for instance, the wing attachment cranes needed to facilitate powerplant changes arrived several months after the delivery of the aircraft themselves, and even then they were too few in number. For IV/KG 1 there was no specialised engine-changing equipment at all, and for this reason the unit had to suspend all training activities in mid-April 1944.

The 'engine circulation' (service units - repair depots - service units) also did not flow as it should have done at first, because of a lack of transportation. Neither the supply of new engines nor the return of DB 606/610s in need of repair functioned properly, least of all the supply of exchange powerplants to individual airfields. It wasn't until April 1944 that these shortcomings were effectively overcome, but they were never fully eradicated.

According to Major Schubert, the time expenditure required for the maintenance and servicing of the He 177 was incomparable with that of any other operational aircraft in service with the Luftwaffe. The jacking-up operation to change the main undercarriage tyres alone (which had to done at least twice as frequently as on other aircraft types) lasted some 2fi hours using the prescribed mechanical spindle blocks. Yet by early summer 1944 far too few of these 12-ton spindle blocks recommended by the manufacturer were available to He 177-equipped units.

The layout of the powerplants too did not exactly help attempts to carry out the necessary servicing work. Because of the inaccessibility of the coupled engines their dismounting took considerably longer than similar work on, for example, the Ju 88 or He 111. Due to the low training level of the technicians, a 25-hour control check on the He 177 usually took two, sometimes even three days.

Criticism was also made of the airfields selected to receive the He 177. Apart from Aalborg in Denmark, all of the others were already completely overcrowded, and lacked the potential for dispersal, camouflage and suitable protection of their aircraft against bomb splinters and shrapnel. For this reason low-level attacks by Allied aircraft caused great losses amongst the He 177s parked out in the open from 1944 onwards, especially as the airfields were now constantly within the range of both fighters and bombers. To make matters worse, this vulnerability to attack had a knock-on effect on He 177 training activities, which sometimes had to be reduced by up to per cent because enemy aircraft were on their way and air raid warnings came into force.

No consideration had been given to the fact that the technically complex He 177 required sufficient hangar space for maintenance and repair purposes, especially during the winter months. The delays caused by this shortcoming alone may well have been responsible for the postponement of He 177 operations by some six months to a year. "

Kinda reminds me of the situation with those B-29s in the far east, the service record of those is quite similiar (huge, complex aircraft with touchy engines, aggrevated by primitive field base conditions). Do a google for "Matterhorn+B-29"...

luftluuver
04-10-2006, 12:58 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Kinda reminds me of the situation with those B-29s in the far east, the service record of those is quite similiar (huge, complex aircraft with touchy engines, aggrevated by primitive field base conditions). Do a google for "Matterhorn+B-29". </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Except that the B-29 bases were several thousand miles away from the source of manufacture and spares, unlike the He177, which was only a couple of hundred miles, at the most. Part of the route to the B-29 Chinese bases was over the Himalyas unlike the He177 which had flat ground to travel with spares, etc.

Why could not the Germans jury rig cranes? The B-29 ground crews did in a less favourable area.

Ob.Emann
04-10-2006, 01:20 PM
I don't know what your gimmick is, "i9343iw98219il1", but it would be greatly appreciated if you kindly screwed off.

Anyway, thanks for the video, Waldo Pepper. I've NEVER seen footage of an He-177 in flight before. Does anyone have access to Eric Brown's flight evaluation of the 177? I'd appreciate it if someone posted it. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Xiolablu3
04-10-2006, 02:08 PM
You can hardly say its the fault of inexperienced crews if they had 7-12 months of flying experience when they were tranfered to the He177. Thats quite a lot of experience. How would new pilots have a chance if these guys couldnt fly it properly&gt;?


He177 is a strange one. The general look of the plane is sound in my opinion, very B29 like. Funny how the He177 was so bad yet the B29 was an amazing plane.

They look like they the same solution to the problem. Designers coming up with very similar designs.

Strange how it was such a turkey, it seems as tho it was a failure from everything I have read, maybe it would have been much better if it had four normal engines, rather than the complicated design it used.

VW-IceFire
04-10-2006, 04:09 PM
Sounds like the engines had the same sort of problem that the Sabre II had in 1941 when the Typhoon reached its first squadron. Poor maitenence techniques lead to a series of problems that weren't properly sorted until almost a year later and not fully solved until 1943.

The He-177 didn't get that opportunity to work it out...but nonetheless...it was an overly complex beast (much like the B-29 really - which did have its share of problems as well) and I still blame many of the problems on the boneheaded requirement for dive bombing.

RocketDog
04-10-2006, 04:26 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Kurfurst__:
Kinda reminds me of the situation with those B-29s in the far east, the service record of those is quite similiar (huge, complex aircraft with touchy engines, aggrevated by primitive field base conditions). Do a google for "Matterhorn+B-29"... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Except that the B-29s annihilated their targets in Japan and in the end it was a B-29 that ended the war. In contrast the He-177s accomplished almost nothing.

The Allies became very effective at supporting their weapons systems in the field. The German armed forces never managed to come close. A good example is in the ratio of tanks to spare tank engines manufactured by each side.

Cheers,

RocketDog.

DmdSeeker
04-10-2006, 05:15 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Gibbage1:

"... The insistence of this engine configuration on the part of the Reichluftfartministerium (German Air Ministry) stemmed directly from their determination that the aircraft should be capable of dive-bombing, a manoevre manifestly impossible in craft with four propellers. "
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>


That sounds logical enough.. except I remember some one posting evidence on this board on the interesting fact that uniquely among Allied heavies; the Lancaster's bomb rack was designed to be able to release well away from the horizontal; owing to the dive bombing capability designed in to the Lanc; and well used on the Dam Buster raid on the earthern works dam (can't remember the name!)


So while the LW may have been nuts for insisting the HE177 be dive bomb capable; some tea drinking British civil servant made the same demand of Avro... who were perhaps more up to the task.

MLudner
04-10-2006, 05:29 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by VW-IceFire:
Interesting plane the He-177. Its actually a four engined aircraft...but with only two engine nacels and two engines driving the propellers. I think they could have figured out the complexity of this system had the request for it to be turned into a dive bomber not come down.

Thats what ruined the He-177. It may have managed to give the Luftwaffe something with which they could effectively bomb the Russian industry across the Urals. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Spot on. I am reading a book translated from the original German right now called "War Diaries of the Luftwaffe" by Cajus Becker that discussed all that mess with the 177.

MLudner
04-10-2006, 05:32 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by RocketDog:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Kurfurst__:
Kinda reminds me of the situation with those B-29s in the far east, the service record of those is quite similiar (huge, complex aircraft with touchy engines, aggrevated by primitive field base conditions). Do a google for "Matterhorn+B-29"... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Except that the B-29s annihilated their targets in Japan and in the end it was a B-29 that ended the war. In contrast the He-177s accomplished almost nothing.

The Allies became very effective at supporting their weapons systems in the field. The German armed forces never managed to come close. A good example is in the ratio of tanks to spare tank engines manufactured by each side.

Cheers,

RocketDog. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


The National Socialist leadership was wonderfully myopic. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/clap.gif

Sergio_101
04-10-2006, 05:55 PM
I do really hate to agree with Kurfurst__:
BUT To be honest, the Curtiss Wright R-3350 as installed
in the early B-29s were prone to intake fires.
In addition there were other factors involving
exahust manifold seals, detonation and exhaust
port erosion etc......

Most of it was a learning curve.
The intake fires were not really solved
untill a Diesel style mech injection replaced the original
Bendix style injection carb.

The primary difference is that the B-29 was
developed into an excellent weapon.

No piston engined plane will ever be reliable
by todays standards.
B-29s were developed into at least the standard of the day.

I do disagree with Kurfie on the He-177 ever having it's
problems sorted out.
All I have seen or read says it was a good safe
and stable flying machine with dangerous engines.
Seems to me I read several descriptions of
the oiling system being the culprit.

Sergio

Beaufort-RAF
04-10-2006, 05:55 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Kurfurst__:

Kinda reminds me of the situation with those B-29s in the far east, the service record of those is quite similiar (huge, complex aircraft with touchy engines, aggrevated by primitive field base conditions). Do a google for "Matterhorn+B-29"... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Operation Matterhorn (http://www.thehistorynet.com/ahi/bloperationmatterhorn/index.html)

LStarosta
04-10-2006, 06:13 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Sergio_101:

No piston engined plane will ever be reliable
by todays standards.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Whose standards? The FAAs?

Blottogg
04-10-2006, 10:54 PM
HH_Emann, here you go (from "Wings of the Luftwaffe" by Eric Brown):

Those who witnessed the arrival at the Royal Aircraft Establishment, Farnborough, of a Heinkel He 177A-5 Greif (Griffin) heavy bomber, sporting crude Armée de l'Air roundels, AEAF striping and the legend Prise de Guerre on its fuselage sides, late that summer Sunday afternoon of 10 September 1944, may have been excused a surprised uplift of the eyebrows. Some strange aircraft were, from time to time, to be seen over Hampshire in the RAE circuit during those late war years, but this was as fabulous a creature as the mythical animal from which it had taken its name.

Our first information of the existence of this big Heinkel bomber had come to us from a knowledgeable Luftwaffe PoW, who, captured as early as 13 June 1940, had described the essential features of the aircraft with what was to prove to be considerable accuracy. Subsequently, the operational debut of the new warplane had been awaited with a certain amount of trepidation, but as time passed and it failed to appear in service in the sort of quantities commensurate with the long period that was nown to have elapsed since its development had begun or with the total number known to have been constructed, it had become increasingly obvious that this potentially potent aircraft was in trouble. Nevertheless, it had seemed likely that the technical defects that had delayed its service introduction would eventually be overcome and that, sooner or later, it would appear on operations.

Information gleaned from PoWs that had come into contact with the He 177 had often proved contradictory; while one had stressed the difficulties that it was encountering in its development programme, another had declaimed that it was about to provide the Luftwaffe with a weapon superior to anything available to RAF Bomber Command or the USAAF. Most reports suggested that the Heinkel heavy bomber was very fast and easily handled in flight; Reichsluftfahrtministerium officials had been overheard expressing the view that the He 177 had performned tighter turns than the fighter variant of the Ju 88 when the two had been flown together in mock combat, and another PoW from KG 100 had asserted that the Heinkel could employ relatively small airfields, such as that at Graz, with greater facility than the Do 217 medium bomber.

This had all built up into a pretty impressive picture, and it went without saying, therefore, that we were very anxious to get our hands on an intact specimen of the bomber to sort fact from fiction and to evaluate its several novel and ingenious features. At 2131 hours on 21 January 1944, the first night of Operation Steinbock, the so-called €œLittle Blitz€ which marked the operation debut of the Greif over the British Isles, an example of the He 177A-5 (Werk-Nr 15747) had been brought down by a night fighter at Whitmore Vale, near Hindhead, Surrey, but only the tail unit, which had broken off about three feet forward of the fin, had survived relatively undamaged, the remainder of the aircraft being completely destroyed except for the outer section of the port mainplane.

The wreckage was removed to the RAE for detailed examination and revealed some information, as did the wreckage of three more He 177s shot down between 23 February and 2 March during attacks on London, but we were still anxious to secure an example of the Greif that we could evaluate.

After the allied landings of June 1944, considerable interest had focused on the Toulouse area, some of this interest certainly being generated by the fact that the principal centre in France for the overhaul and repair of the He 177 had been established at Blagnac airfield, near Toulouse. An operation was planned for the capture of an intact specimen of the He 177 as soon as an opportunity presented itself, this being organized by one of the most widely-known and successful SOE (Special Operations Executive) operatives, G R Starr, DSO, MC, who, using the pseudonym of Colonel Hilaire, had been directing the operations of Maquis units in the Gers region for more than a year. The operation ws to be undertaken by several Jedgburg units of Maquis in co-operation with British and US personnel parachuted into the area on 17 August 1944.

On the morning of 2 September, the RAWE received a signal that the operation had been mounted and that an He 177 had been isolated on Blagnac airfield, and a €œpirate€ venture was promptly organized with aircraft drawn from the RAE€s Wireless and Electrical Flight, a team being despatched from the RAE to Blagnac aboard a Hudson (T9433), with tow Beaufighters (R2241 and KW292) as escort. The senior officer was Grp Cpt A F Hards, the CO at Farnborough, who was to fly the Hudson back from Blagnac, and he was accompanied by Eg Cdr Roland J Falk, Chief Test Pilot and Operations Administrator at the RAE, whose task it was to fly the He 177 to Farnborough, and Sqdn Ldr Pearse who was to serve as engineer aboard the Heinkel bomber.

The Beaufighters got separated from the Hudson in inclement weather and lost contact, KW292 (flown by Sqdn Ldr E A Hood) exhausting its fuel and eventually making a wheels-up landing in a field after remaining airborne for seven hours, and the pilot of T9433 (Flt Lt A Martin) baling out over the coast when his Beaufighter, too, ran out of fuel after logging seven-and-a-half hours. After some difficulty in locating Blagnac because of poor visibility, the Hudson had reached its destination in 5 hr 50 min, deposited Falk and Pearse, and had taken-off again for return to Thorney Island. €œRoly€ Falk had received no information about the flying characteristics of the Heinkel bomber and was warned by the French mechanics that the Germans had experienced some dangerous control problems with the aircraft, but he did not find it a particularly difficult aircraft to manage and 2 hr 45 min after taking-off from Blagnac eight days later, he delivered the prize safely to Farnborough.

It was thus that the RAE acquired He 177A-5/R6 Werk-Nr 412951, formerly included on the strength of Kampfgeschwader 40, and a fascinating aeroplane it was from some aspects for it probably embodied as much ingenuity as any German wartime aircraft. It was also the German aircraft industry€s most dismal failure and was to be referred to, more or less seriously, as being deadlier to its crews than to its enemies! The Griffin of mythology would seem to have been a successful mating of the head and wings of an eagle with the body and hind quarters of a lion; Ernst Heinkel€s team apparently enjoyed somewhat less success in attempting to mate a conventional structure with an innovatory power plant arrangement to create its Griffin, and the result was certainly never to emulate in its guardianship if the Third Reich the ferocity with which its namesake guarded the Scythian gold of Greek legend. Not that the Greif was a fundamentally poor design. On the contrary, it was of extremely advanced concept, but its advanced features were subject to teething troubles and the difficulties represented by these and the insufficiently energetic attempts to eradicate them were compounded by specification changes stemming from impractical operational demands, conflicting military and political policies and vacillation on the part of the Reichsluftfahrtministerium in its priorities.

The specification for what was to become the Greif was originally drawn up by the Führungsstab der Luftwaffe in mid-1936. Heinkel receiving instructions to proceed with a mock-up a year later, on 2 June 1937, of what was an extraordinarily advanced design prepared by the ingenious Dipl-Ing Siegfried Günter. The radical features of Günter€s design included coupled engines with surface evaporation cooling and a system of remotely-controlled defensive gun barbettes offering appreciably less drag than manned turrets. The difficulties that the Greif was to encounter from its birth with belated recognition of their causes, the monotonous series of fires in the air, aerodynamic problems and structural failures; all are today well documented and have no place in this narrative. It suffices to say that as I climbed into the He 177A-5 at Farnborough on the afternoon of 20 September 1944 for my first flight test of our latest acquisition, what I knew of the reputation of the big Heinkel gave me little cause for hilarity.

Flying from a €œgoldfish bowl€
I have always had a predilection for flying unconventional aircraft; a partiality for canards, tailless or all-wing designs; a penchant towards prone piloting positions, skid undercarriages and other off-beat features. In my book, the He 177 qualified for the unconventional category if only on the score of its power plant arrangement. I had flown some aircraft in my day with inadequate briefing, but until I first handled the He 177 I had never flown an aircraft without any briefing whatsoever! It was a routine that I was to become familiar with, however, when testing other ex-Luftwaffe aircraft.

Between its arrival from Blagnac and the commencement of flight testing from Farnborough, the Heinkel€s Armée de L€Air roundels had given place to those of the RAF and the serial TS439 had been allocated. The He 177 stood big, as the Americans would say. Its ground stance reminded me vividly of a Stirling that had sagged at the knees; if it had been a choice between the He 177 and the Stirling as aesthetically the least appealing of bombers I think that the German contender would have won by a short head.

After clambering into the cabin through the down-swinging door in the floor, I lowered myself into the first-pilots€s seat, which was quite comfortably upholstered on an armour-plate frame. I took stock of the cockpit which was so big and featured such immense areas of transparent panels that I felt as though I was sitting in an outsize goldfish bowl. The control column was of the centralized type with an arm which could be swung to the opposite hand for operation by the second pilot who occupied a collapsible seat to starboard and was provided with auxiliary rudder pedals. The main flying panel was mounted vertically in front of and to the port hand of the pilot, and placed horizontally along the port wall of the cockpit was the main control panel carrying the fuel *****, ignition switches, engine couplers, throttles, starting levers, priming buttons, oil filter and plug cleaning levers, de-icing control and fire extinguishing levers. Three separate trim control wheels were positioned behind the throttles, engine instruments were arranged on a panel along the starboard cockpit wall beside the co-pilot, and the undercarriage, flap and fuel jettison controls were mounted in the roof.

Starting of the Daimler-Benz DB 610 24-cylinder liquid-cooled engines €" two 12-cylinder DB 605s mounted side-by-side with a single gear-casing connecting the two crankcases and the two crankshaft pinions driving a single airscrew shaft gear €" was by the usual hand/electric inertia starter, and taxying proved easy once one got used to the fact that the steering swing produced by one of these coupled units was considerably less than that produced by the outboard engine of a conventional four-piston engine layout. The view was good forward and while I could see the port wingtip I was unable to see its opposite number, so a little caution was called for in tight situations. The brakes were moderately good with the usual judder associated with German foot brakes, and since the large vertical tail and slab-sided fuselage were susceptible to crosswind effect, I found the aircraft a bit of a handful under such conditions.

The take-off was made with the flaps set to START using 1.3 atas of boost and 2,500 rpm. The boost was not automatically controlled, so I employed the technique of slowly opening the throttles with the flight engineer following with his hand at the base of the levers on the throttle quadrant. At 1.2 atas I released the throttles for him to take over their control and act as a constant speed unit. There was a strange hiatus in engine response on opening up, but once past this dead area of throttle travel the engine response to the throttle proved excellent. The He 188 showed no tendency to swing and the tail could be raised early in the run, showing light and effective elevator response. However, I was to learn that in crosswind take-offs the rudder was very sluggish in correcting swing, presumably due to its spring tab system.

The aircraft had to be eased off the ground at about 93 mph (150 km/h) and then held down while the massive undercarriage €" each unit comprising two immense single-wheel oleo legs attached to the mainspar with the outboard legs retracting upward and outward and the inboard legs swinging upward and inward €" was raised and speed built up to the single-engine failure safety speed of 112 mph (180 km/h). There was no change of trim as the undercarriage came up, and when the flaps were raised at 155 mph (250 km/h) there was again very little trim change but a definite sink could be felt.

Climb was ponderous by any standard and gave me my first impression of the sensitivity of the He 177 to air turbulence. On attaining 9,840 ft (3 000 m) the change of altitude and engine power to settle into maximum continuous cruise necessitated a push force of some 20 lb (9.0 kg) before the new flight condition was trimmed out. A check of stability showed it to be positive about all axes but the controls were all remarkably light for so large an aircraft. Indeed, I had the inescapable feeling that the elevator was dangerously light and as I was all too well aware from intelligence reports that there had been a number of cases of He 177s breaking up in the air, I decided to treat this control very gently.

I then began a cautious exploration of the aircraft€s diving characteristics. The original specification of 1936 that had given birth to the Greif had called for sufficient structural strength to permit medium angle diving attacks, but the Stuka mentality had been so inculcated in the minds of the Oberkommando der Luftwaffe that, after prototype construction had reached an advanced stage, the RLM€s Technical Department had insisted that the capability to perform medium angle diving attacks was insufficient and that it was desirable that this heavy bomber should be capable of performing 60 deg diving attacks! In order to withstand the tremendous stresses imposed during the pull-out from such a dive on an aircraft of the He 177€s size some substantial structural strengthening had been called for and the vicious upward weight spiral that had started when it had been found that the surface evaporation cooling system was impractical took another turn.

I first eased the He 177 from a trimmed level flight speed of 186 mph (300 km/h) into a dive to 248 mph (400 km/h), this calling for a push force of about 25 lb (11.3 kg). The controls heavied up only slightly and response was still good, particularly on the elevator. I pushed the speed up to 323 mph (520 km/h) and there was very little increase in control heaviness, pull out from this trimmed speed at 2 g being possible with two fighters [sic] of one hand. From that moment on, the accelerometer became the object of my constant attention when flying the He 177!

Since the permissible pull-out acceleration was 2.3 g with a flying weight of 26.57 tons (27 tonnes), it was obviously vital to know the exact flying weight of the He 177 at all times. The aircraft had an automatic pull-out device and an acceleration warning apparatus fitted, but it really was somewhat nail-biting to have to treat a giant like this immense Heinkel bomber as though it were made of glass. The He 177 must surely remain a monument to the incredibly blind adherence of the Germans to the dive bombing mode of attack because it had served them so handsomely during the opening phases of the war; dive bombing in a Junkers Ju 87 was one thing but in a monster like the He 177 it was little short of ludicrous.

An impression of fragility
The stalling characteristics of the He 177 in the clean state were mild. There ws a pronounced buffet at 115 mph (185 km/h) before the nose dropped straight at 112 mph (180 km/h). With flaps and undercarriage lowered, however, the aircraft buffeted violently at 87 mph (140 km/h) before the nose dropped at 84 mph (135 km/h). The buffet experienced in this landing configuration was so very violent that I really had some concern about possible structural damage. Somehow, the He 177 always conveyed an impression of fragility despite its size.

On the glide down to circuit altitude at 137 mph (220 km/h), I checked out the trim changes resulting from lowering the undercarriage and flaps but in neither case were there any. The glide angle with engines throttled back at 106 mph (170 km/h) was very flat, this making touch €"down easy because there was very little change of attitude to be made from the powered approach. But this had its disadvantages, as I was soon to discover, because the final turn-in to land had to be made so far out from the airfield and this, combined with poor view in the turn, made it extremely difficult to line up with the runway. The final stages of the approach with power could be made at 99 mph (160 km/h), the throttles having to be eased back just a little at the runway threshold for the He 177 to land itself.

The aircraft tended to roll along the tarmac with rather less deceleration than might have been expected and firm use of the brakes was called for. Never being impressed with the brakes fitted to German aircraft I was even less so with those of the He 177. They seemed inadequate for the job of stopping such a large aeroplane and if applied harshly would judder and set up an uneven swing that could come frighteningly near to getting out of hand. The prospect of a ground loop was anything but cheering when one considered the Heinkel bomber€s history of undercarriage troubles, and the PoW who, a year of two before, had claimed that the He 177 could use relatively small airfields without difficulty must truly have been stretching his imagination.

To assess the value of the Grief to the Third Reich as an operational aircraft is not difficult. It was Germany€s only genuine production four-engined bomber, an immense amount of production capacity was devoted to building well over a thousand aircraft of this type and it need never have been built for by the time it was considered fit for operational service there was no real requirement for it. Of course, hindsight is cheap and it is to be admitted that the original requirement to which it was designed was viable enough and that it could have provided the Luftwaffe with the weapon to mount and maintain a large-scale strategic bombing offensive. The Oberkommando der Luftwaffe took a calculated risk, gambling that the production of shorter-range medium bombers in sufficiently large numbers might deter Britain and France from going to the aid of Poland. When it became obvious that this gamble had not come off the sands of time were running out fast. The technical concept of the He 177 was fascinating, but it had become a muddle of conflicting operational staff requirements which gave birth to the inevitable chain of teething troubles, design compromises and, in the end, mediocrity. Had real energy been displayed in erasing the shortcomings of the He 17 at a sufficiently early stage, the story could well have been very different.

During interrogation of Dr Ernst Heinkel at the end of WWII, I suggested to him that his organization had seemed to enjoy more success with smaller aeroplanes than with large ones. His face displayed some annoyance when he replied that I must be referring to €œthat accursed 177€. He associated Ernst Udet, the former Generalluftzeugmeister, in his mind with the whole disastrous story, and in particular the demand for a 60-deg diving attack capability which he blamed on Udet€s influence. Heinkel himself had not been very closely involved with the original design of the He 177. Dipl-Ing Heinrich Hertel had been Heinkel€s Technical Director and Chief of Development during the initial development of the bomber but had left the Heinkel organisation in March 1939, and his departure at that juncture had not augured well for the future of the aircraft. In fact, in November 1942, Hertel had returned to Heinkel as a Reichsluftfahrtministerium Deputy with full powers to reorganise the development of the He 177. But it proved to be a case of closing the stable door after the horse had bolted, and Ernst Heinkel summed up his feelings when he said to me: €œI even look more kindly on the He 111Z than that 177!€

For my part, after putting in quite a few hours on the RAE€s He 177A-5 on 20, 21 and 22 September 1944, and reaquainting myself with the aircraft in August 1945 when I tested another example of the He 177A-5 at Schleswig, the Greif went down in my book as a loser. I instinctively felt it to be unreliable and it was one of the very few German aircraft of the period that I tested that I did not enjoy flying. The aircraft originally acquired at Blagnac was flown quite frequently at Farnborough until November 1944, and then infrequently until 20 February 1945 when it was delivered to Boscombe Down. I was told that it was later shipped to the USA but have no idea of its ultimate fate.

edit: several typos

darkhorizon11
04-11-2006, 12:39 AM
{Comment removed}

As for the 177, awesome airplane what I would give to fly one in the game... guess theres aways hope for SOWBOB, especially since it actually did bomb Britain!

Edit: Darkhorizon, if you've got a problem with something in the thread, report it to mods. Vigilante action is only going to get you mixed up in any action we're forced to take.

stathem
04-11-2006, 01:50 AM
Blotto, great read, many thanks for taking the time and effort. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif

Kurfurst__
04-11-2006, 04:01 AM
Nice work Blottog. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

Some basic loading data of the He 177A-0, the others are rather similiar, expect for increased def guns, radios, and capability to carry larger sized bombs on ETC 3000 racks as well.

http://img16.imagevenue.com/loc292/th_49547_he177.jpg (http://img16.imagevenue.com/img.php?loc=loc292&image=49547_he177.jpg)

Grue_
04-11-2006, 08:35 AM
Thanks for typing all that in Blotogg http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

Udet gets the blame for messing up the He-219 development as well.

Bremspropeller
04-11-2006, 08:55 AM
I guess RocketDog has never heard of some lonely airfield in the middle of the russian nowhere. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif
Those few roads that accessed the airfields (if there was any road at all) could be easyly equalled to american air-transport power, if not the american air-supply was far better than the german ground-supply.

p1ngu666
04-11-2006, 10:05 AM
well, i know the lanc had a vne or similer of 400mph~, and all the airframes where divetested, after being made, amoung other testing.

the dive bombing comes from the ethos of the luftwaffe in those days. attacking small targets like bridges, bunkers etc, rather than carpet bombing some area. altho they did do that too, infact teh he111 was pretty bad on the acurate bombing front, because the bombs tumble out of it, and u cant predict where they will go.

at gurnicka they tried to bomb a bridge, they leveled the village/town, but the bridge remained intact, untouched. thats one of the key events in bombing civies actully, as the populace decided they had had enough.

the lw had little need of a bomber that would splatter bombs across the landscape like a 3 yearold with paint and a nice clean floor.

hence the dive bombing. entirely logicol, untill u go, ah wait a second, its sodding heavy. and big.

i guess its thought of as a failure because it was unreliable, not really a big step forward operationaly, but reconationaly it was, onboard bbq http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif. flame grilled sausage as u plunge to a new career as pizza or meaty nuggets.

plus the bomber arm of the lw wasnt doing very well anyways by the time it turned up.

morale was probably low, achivement was low, and even surprise bbq's didnt help, made it worse infact.

RocketDog
04-11-2006, 11:53 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Bremspropeller:
I guess RocketDog has never heard of some lonely airfield in the middle of the russian nowhere. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif
Those few roads that accessed the airfields (if there was any road at all) could be easyly equalled to american air-transport power, if not the american air-supply was far better than the german ground-supply. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

You don't understand my point. The Allies were able to fight wars on the opposite side of the world and win. The Germans couldn't. Much of the reason is that the Allies recognised the key necessity of transport, infrastructure and maintainence as well as the production of advanced weapons.

Cheers,

RocketDog.

Bremspropeller
04-11-2006, 12:19 PM
Transport, infrastructure and supply are the crucial points - you can't blame the german maintainers of having done a bad job.

Fact is rather the opposite - they had to come along with bad parts and shot-up a/c, combat worn and sometimes flown to the point where they reached their designed service-life limit.

Grue_
04-11-2006, 01:16 PM
The allies had a huge advantage in transport & supply because the production facilities of the USA & most of the USSR were beyond the range of Axis bombing.

The nazi leaders constantly failed to approve development of the right kind of weapons and wasted time on V weapons and bombers when they should have been developing the Me-262 & He-219 to defend their skies against strategic bombing.

p1ngu666
04-11-2006, 02:04 PM
they devloped the Vbombs because german bombers had issues with surviveability over britain

WOLFMondo
04-11-2006, 02:08 PM
He177's had problems with survivability over Britain, as did the V1!

I_KG100_Prien
04-11-2006, 03:04 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Grue_:
The allies had a huge advantage in transport & supply because the production facilities of the USA & most of the USSR were beyond the range of Axis bombing.

The nazi leaders constantly failed to approve development of the right kind of weapons and wasted time on V weapons and bombers when they should have been developing the Me-262 & He-219 to defend their skies against strategic bombing. </div></BLOCKQUOTE> http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/agreepost.gif

The key right there. It's hard to mass produce when the ability to do so is being damaged/destroyed on a regular basis.

Compound that with a serious flaw in development priorities, failure to employ assets as they were designed etc, and you have a formula for potentially good equipment to never get the opportunity to shine.. Or great equipment can't operate to it's maximum effective capability because it can't be properly maintained/supported.

Grue_
04-11-2006, 03:46 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">they devloped the Vbombs because german bombers had issues with surviveability over britain </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Agreed, but the point I was trying to make was that the fighting men like Galland knew what was going to happen when the big allied air raids started and knew that defensive weapons should receive priority in development and production where Hitler always demanded offensive weapons like bombers and V.

Once the US joined the battle the Germans could never have won, but maybe they could have inflicted unsustainable losses on the allied bombers and dragged the war out until nuclear weapons were developed. Glad they didn't!

Blottogg
04-11-2006, 03:58 PM
Yup, the He 177 had a problem in that its development was hindered by having the industrial base that produced it vulnerable to bombing, while the B-29 didn't. That being said, the initial specification leading to the 177 was released in 1937 (vs 1940 for the B-29), so beaurocratic infighting, indecision and inefficiency played a role in its delay as well.

The German facination with dive bombing stems from experience in Spain, where it was the only effective method of hitting pinpoint tactical targets like p1ngu666 mentioned. Not that the Norton wasn't an accurate site. It was, under constant wind conditions. The problem is that winds are seldom constant from release to impact (this same lesson was re-learned during Desert Storm, as F-16's used CCIP to drop dumb bombs from 25,000 feet, minimizing risk at the cost of accuracy and effectiveness.) Dive bombing minimizes aiming errors, and to some degree wind effects. The mistake in hindsight of course was trying to apply this method of bombing to something the size and weight of a B-17, instead of acknowledging that the 177 was going to be a different beast, sent against different targets. Instead, the resultant cutting edge innovation required to try to make this capability happen further delayed the aircraft, to the point that the one mission it would have been very useful for (bombing and recce past the Urals) was moot by the time it was available.

Much as I too hate to admit it, I think Kurfust is right in his assertion that the DB 606 and 610 weren't inherently bad engines. Siamesing two 605's together certainly reduced drag, though I'm not sure how valuable the decision would be if the increased structure (one heavy engine instead of two lighter mounts distributing the load more evenly across the wingspan), and prop limitations (two engines into one prop means the prop has to use twice as much power... by either increasing blade count and reducing efficiency or increasing diameter and reducing the useful RPM range between idle and Mach effects at the prop tips). It appears that with development and proper training, the engine fires had largely been solved.

Ironing out the bugs took time, as it did with the B-29's R-3350. The difference was that the B-29 infrastructure wasn't being bombed, leadership in the US was more streamlined and focused on what kind of aicraft they wanted, and the industrial base was bigger to begin with, allowing more people to work on the problem, and production to ramp up faster. From "Great American Bombers of WWII" by Chester Marshall:

"Wright Aeronautical Corp. received an order to triple its production of engines on the original order in April. The giant R-3350 engine would become one of the major headaches from day one because of excessive overheating. Many modifications were made to correct the problem -- the engine nacelle was redesigned and the baffling shortened to reduce drag when opened to allow more air to the engines -- but the problem remained.
One of the reasons for this overheating was the material used to build the engine crankcases. Engineers first used magnesium because it was lighter than aluminum and could yield a ratio of 1 lb wight in an engine to 1 hp, a ratio that was considered ideal in helping to reduce overall weight of the huge aircraft. The magnesium proved to be problematic, however, getting much hotter than aluminum under sustained use and causing the engine to crack [I think that the problem wasn't temperature per se, but actually different rates of expansion, leading to cracking and leaks - Blotto]. Another engine problem was the oil pumping system, which did not feed oil to the top cylinders; this was the reason for so many "swallowed" valves [IIRC, mechanics in the field actually developed a fix for both before the factory guys, by increasing cooling airflow to the top cylinders - Blotto]. A swallowed valve meant having to shut down the engine and feather the propeller."

I also thought Brown's observations on control forces interesting. His perception of fragility wasn't due to any weakness in the structure, but rather the ease with which the controls allowed him to reach or exceed the aicraft's load limit. Kind of the opposite situation to the Zero and the 109, which makes me wonder why the 177's controls weren't re-balanced to provide a little more protection from g-overshoot. Perhaps the Germans were going to rely on the automatic pullout feature to do this, or once they abandoned dive-bombing with the 177 they simply reasoned that over-g's were no longer enough of a threat to warrant the further delay.

Xiolablu3
04-11-2006, 04:15 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Grue_:

The nazi leaders constantly failed to approve development of the right kind of weapons and wasted time on V weapons and bombers when they should have been developing the Me-262 & He-219 to defend their skies against strategic bombing. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I agree with this to an extent, but suffice to say if the Germans hadnt been so experimental in nature, they would not have HAD a Me262 or He219 to defend the skies with.

When you are developing advanced weapons like the V1,V2, Me262, Me163 and so on, you cant pick just the successfull ones, there will be many, many more failures than success's.

luftluuver
04-11-2006, 04:41 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Grue_:
The allies had a huge advantage in transport & supply because the production facilities of the USA & most of the USSR were beyond the range of Axis bombing. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Yes production but those supplies had a 2000mi or so ocean to cross. There was ports in GB and this was were the Allied supply had a bottleneck (facilities not large enough to handle the traffic). Instead of bombing London in early 44 with the He177, the Germans should have gone after the ports like Liverpool packed with Allied war material. The Germans also failed to push development of the Type XXI subs which would have slowed the Allied supplies.

Did the Germans try bomb the Soviet transportation hubs like the Allies did to Germany? One can produce all the war material you want but if it can't get to the front it is useless.

luftluuver
04-11-2006, 04:49 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Xiolablu3:
I agree with this to an extent, but suffice to say if the Germans hadnt been so experimental in nature, they would not have HAD a Me262 or He219 to defend the skies with.

When you are developing advanced weapons like the V1,V2, Me262, Me163 and so on, you cant pick just the successfull ones, there will be many, many more failures than success's. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
The Allies had many failures as well or better war machines than what was already in production. As someone said 'quantity beats quality' every time.

The NF Ju88 was preferred by the crews over the He219 and was on a par performance wise with the He219. The Germans should have put a new fuselage on the Ju88 like Bristol did to get the Beaufighter. Less disruption to the production lines and no duplication of a/c.

Sergio_101
04-11-2006, 05:12 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Blottogg:
Yup, the He 177 had a problem in that its development was hindered by having the industrial base that produced it vulnerable to bombing, while the B-29 didn't. That being said, the initial specification leading to the 177 was released in 1937 (vs 1940 for the B-29), so beaurocratic infighting, indecision and inefficiency played a role in its delay as well.

The German facination with dive bombing stems from experience in Spain, where it was the only effective method of hitting pinpoint tactical targets like p1ngu666 mentioned. Not that the Norton wasn't an accurate site. It was, under constant wind conditions. The problem is that winds are seldom constant from release to impact (this same lesson was re-learned during Desert Storm, as F-16's used CCIP to drop dumb bombs from 25,000 feet, minimizing risk at the cost of accuracy and effectiveness.) Dive bombing minimizes aiming errors, and to some degree wind effects. The mistake in hindsight of course was trying to apply this method of bombing to something the size and weight of a B-17, instead of acknowledging that the 177 was going to be a different beast, sent against different targets. Instead, the resultant cutting edge innovation required to try to make this capability happen further delayed the aircraft, to the point that the one mission it would have been very useful for (bombing and recce past the Urals) was moot by the time it was available.

Much as I too hate to admit it, I think Kurfust is right in his assertion that the DB 606 and 610 weren't inherently bad engines. Siamesing two 605's together certainly reduced drag, though I'm not sure how valuable the decision would be if the increased structure (one heavy engine instead of two lighter mounts distributing the load more evenly across the wingspan), and prop limitations (two engines into one prop means the prop has to use twice as much power... by either increasing blade count and reducing efficiency or increasing diameter and reducing the useful RPM range between idle and Mach effects at the prop tips). It appears that with development and proper training, the engine fires had largely been solved.

Ironing out the bugs took time, as it did with the B-29's R-3350. The difference was that the B-29 infrastructure wasn't being bombed, leadership in the US was more streamlined and focused on what kind of aicraft they wanted, and the industrial base was bigger to begin with, allowing more people to work on the problem, and production to ramp up faster. From "Great American Bombers of WWII" by Chester Marshall:

"Wright Aeronautical Corp. received an order to triple its production of engines on the original order in April. The giant R-3350 engine would become one of the major headaches from day one because of excessive overheating. Many modifications were made to correct the problem -- the engine nacelle was redesigned and the baffling shortened to reduce drag when opened to allow more air to the engines -- but the problem remained.
One of the reasons for this overheating was the material used to build the engine crankcases. Engineers first used magnesium because it was lighter than aluminum and could yield a ratio of 1 lb wight in an engine to 1 hp, a ratio that was considered ideal in helping to reduce overall weight of the huge aircraft. The magnesium proved to be problematic, however, getting much hotter than aluminum under sustained use and causing the engine to crack [I think that the problem wasn't temperature per se, but actually different rates of expansion, leading to cracking and leaks - Blotto]. Another engine problem was the oil pumping system, which did not feed oil to the top cylinders; this was the reason for so many "swallowed" valves [IIRC, mechanics in the field actually developed a fix for both before the factory guys, by increasing cooling airflow to the top cylinders - Blotto]. A swallowed valve meant having to shut down the engine and feather the propeller."

I also thought Brown's observations on control forces interesting. His perception of fragility wasn't due to any weakness in the structure, but rather the ease with which the controls allowed him to reach or exceed the aicraft's load limit. Kind of the opposite situation to the Zero and the 109, which makes me wonder why the 177's controls weren't re-balanced to provide a little more protection from g-overshoot. Perhaps the Germans were going to rely on the automatic pullout feature to do this, or once they abandoned dive-bombing with the 177 they simply reasoned that over-g's were no longer enough of a threat to warrant the further delay. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>



Sorry Blottogg, but your "information" is faulty.
No airworthy R-3350 ever flew with a
aluminum or magnesium engine crank case.
All of them were of forged steel.
For a reference see "Allied Aircraft Piston Engines
SAE books Ghram White"
Page 356 paragraph 3.
Also, almost 30 years ago I would not believe
the crank cases were steel till I was given
a magnet and it stuck. I was proven wrong!

The accessory drives were of magneisum.

As to the causes for the over heat and fires.
Loose or damages cylinder baffles, improper cowl flap settings,
Bad or damages thermocouples, loost or burnt through
exhaust manifolds and or their flexible connections to the heads,
and, where you got it correct, re-designed cylinder baffles.

Switching to direct fuel injection and a "dry manifold" solved
the intake fire problems.

Later versions of the R-3350 used revised cylinder fins
and forged cylinder heads to solve the last of the major
heat headaches.

Sergio



http://www.enginehistory.org/G&jJBrossett/SAC/Wright%20R-3350%20view.JPG


Late model turbo compounded CW R-3350 with revised heads and fins.
This engine was capable of between 3250 and 3700 HP!

VW-IceFire
04-11-2006, 05:20 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Grue_:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">they devloped the Vbombs because german bombers had issues with surviveability over britain </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Agreed, but the point I was trying to make was that the fighting men like Galland knew what was going to happen when the big allied air raids started and knew that defensive weapons should receive priority in development and production where Hitler always demanded offensive weapons like bombers and V.

Once the US joined the battle the Germans could never have won, but maybe they could have inflicted unsustainable losses on the allied bombers and dragged the war out until nuclear weapons were developed. Glad they didn't! </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
From whats been written I highly suspect that, if they had the chance, the Nazi leadership had intended to try and sue for peace on the western front if the casualties mounted and the advancing armies were held. Then they could turn full force on the Soviets. Not sure if that would have worked...but given the tensions between the West and the Soviets in the early 1945 period (that continued to mount for the next 15 or so years) that outcome may have been a possibility. Its a strange sort of history...

luftluuver
04-11-2006, 05:34 PM
Dodge Chicago suppled more R3350s than did Wright, 18,413 to 13,791.

Sergio when did the change from aluminum crankcases change to steel occur?

Sergio_101
04-11-2006, 06:30 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by luftluuver:
Dodge Chicago suppled more R3350s than did Wright, 18,413 to 13,791.

Sergio when did the change from aluminum crankcases change to steel occur? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

My information says no airworthy R-3350
had an aluminum crank case. None ever had
a magnesium crank case. The accessory drive
case was magnesium and this is the source
of the fires, and confusion.

I am trying to dig up an exact date for you.

All large Wright radials went to steel crank cases.
The G R-1820- series rhat powered the B-17E through B-17H
were of the steel case design. (GR-1820)
Most R-2600s also were steel.

Since the first flight of a R-3350 was in 1941
I would guess the steel cases were developed well before that.

Sergio

Blottogg
04-11-2006, 06:46 PM
Sergio, thanks for the correction, and the picture. That's what I get reading a pilot's version of events instead of a mechanic's.

Just to squash the idea before it takes hold, the magnesium accessory drive case didn't spontaneously combust like a magnesium strip in a high school science class, but rather expanded at a different rate when heated than the steel crankcase it was mounted to, causing lubricant leaks and fires (which eventually might get hot enough to start burning metal, or more likely heating it to the point of structural failure.)

Heliopause
04-12-2006, 02:10 AM
Some info about the He 177A-5 that was given to the USSAF. They send in a Air Technical Intelligence (ATI) team .

http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b334/PauseHelio/He177-1.jpg
http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b334/PauseHelio/He177-2.jpg
http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b334/PauseHelio/He177-3.jpg
http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b334/PauseHelio/He177-4.jpg

Final a picture taken in 1953 near Marseille. A He 274 stands abandoned after it's "French" life before being scrapped!

http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b334/PauseHelio/He177French.jpg

major_setback
04-12-2006, 03:40 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Heliopause:http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b334/PauseHelio/He177French.jpg </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

What would those "V" shaped pieces attatched to the body of the plane be?
It looks almost like a mistel.

Heliopause
04-12-2006, 10:24 AM
I think for installing test engines, like ramjets.....maybe even a small plane. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

There is also a small dome on top of the cockpit, were they could see and keep an eye on these test-engines...

Heliopause
04-13-2006, 05:27 AM
Some extra info about the He 177 wich I found on this same forum some time ago...

http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b334/PauseHelio/He177I.jpg
http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b334/PauseHelio/He177II.jpg

p1ngu666
04-14-2006, 09:48 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by WOLFMondo:
He177's had problems with survivability over Britain, as did the V1! </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

the V1 was alot cheaper, and more scary than a bomber, alot where lost but u dont lose the crew..

the v1 was more effective at blowing things up than the v2, and more econmical. the v2 was more scary...

leitmotiv
04-14-2006, 10:36 AM
The 177 had a brief career as an uberbomber on the Eastern Front where it bombed marshaling yards in Gruppe strength---its one and only success as a heavy bomber.

faustnik
04-14-2006, 11:18 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Xiolablu3:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Grue_:

The nazi leaders constantly failed to approve development of the right kind of weapons and wasted time on V weapons and bombers when they should have been developing the Me-262 & He-219 to defend their skies against strategic bombing. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I agree with this to an extent, but suffice to say if the Germans hadnt been so experimental in nature, they would not have HAD a Me262 or He219 to defend the skies with.

When you are developing advanced weapons like the V1,V2, Me262, Me163 and so on, you cant pick just the successfull ones, there will be many, many more failures than success's. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

But, where did any of those weapons get the 3rd Reich? The Me262 and 163 were so unreliable and difficult to maintain that there effect was very limited. The V1 and V2 has almost no value other than pointlessly terrorization of civilian populations.

I'm not saying that anything would have helped them (other than a light winter in 1941), just that the hunt for the uber weapon was useless. Only one uber weapon counted, and that was developed by US.

Gibbage1
04-14-2006, 12:09 PM
I would say scrapping the Luftwaffe superweapons like the 262 and V weapons and useing those resources for more FW-190's would of helped Germany a lot more. Not saying it would of turned the tide, but nothing short of a nuke would of helped them after 42-43, but more good reliable fighters like the FW's would of delayed things a little longer and caused a lot more damage to the allies.

Sergio_101
04-14-2006, 06:00 PM
The use of high temprature alloys in the V2
sapped the already limited availability
of chromimim, nickle and cobalt.

While in the US there was plenty of high temprature
alloys, exhaust manifolds were often made of
"Inconel".
Chrome maganese steel was used in connecting
rods and crankshafts.

Germany did not have that luxury. The V2
sucked up resources that would have made
it's jet and piston engines more reliable
and would have performed better.

But it's all just a bunch of speculation.
If Germany and it's leaders got it all correct
the real wonder weapon would have ended it all.

The failure of German leadership saved it from
a nuclear holocaust.

Sergio

p1ngu666
04-14-2006, 07:18 PM
the V1 was almost certainly worth the effort, but its really hard to quantify morale and terror.

the v2 was scary because *BANG*, holy sideways flameburgers, those bulidings are rubble.

Xiolablu3
04-14-2006, 07:54 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by faustnik:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Xiolablu3:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Grue_:

The nazi leaders constantly failed to approve development of the right kind of weapons and wasted time on V weapons and bombers when they should have been developing the Me-262 & He-219 to defend their skies against strategic bombing. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I agree with this to an extent, but suffice to say if the Germans hadnt been so experimental in nature, they would not have HAD a Me262 or He219 to defend the skies with.

When you are developing advanced weapons like the V1,V2, Me262, Me163 and so on, you cant pick just the successfull ones, there will be many, many more failures than success's. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

But, where did any of those weapons get the 3rd Reich? The Me262 and 163 were so unreliable and difficult to maintain that there effect was very limited. The V1 and V2 has almost no value other than pointlessly terrorization of civilian populations.

I'm not saying that anything would have helped them (other than a light winter in 1941), just that the hunt for the uber weapon was useless. Only one uber weapon counted, and that was developed by US. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Oh I totally agree, Faustnik, in the end they had little effect on the wars outcome.

I was however responding to the comment that rather than waste time on other experimental weapons, they should have picked out the Me262 and just developed that.

If the Germans hadnt been interested in far reaching and advanced ideas, then the Me262 would probably not have been conceieved at all.

Had the V2 had a guidance system developed, it would probably have become a very sucessful weapon.

Had the Me262 had more problems, it could have been a failure.

Had the Me163 not blown up all the time, it could have been a great weapon .

OK , not so subtle examples, but I think you get the idea. You cannot tell which weapon will be a success through its development until the final weapon is made, developed and tested. It wasnt until 1944 that it was evident how effective the Me262 was and how it was THE weapon needed. In 1943 it was quite possible that the V2 or the King Tiger was going to be a great war winning weapon.

SHhould the Nazis have stopped development on ALL these weapons and put the effort into conventional aircraft etc or carried on in the hope of finding a war winning weapon? &lt;- This is the only real question as picking only the successful weapons isnt possible.

I think they had no choice after 1943 as unless they found a miracle weapon, attrition was going to lose the war for them.