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Luftwaffe lacking a good long range bomber

Discussion in 'Axis Bomber Planes' started by JJWilson, Dec 17, 2017.

  1. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    Very true. Limited fuel supply contributed to the reduction in training time and the consequent deterioration in quality of German pilots and aircrew. This would be aggravated if they tried to field and maintain a large force of heavy bombers.

    And then there's that troublesome rule that you never get something for nothing. Resources invested in heavy bombers mean less of something else. It is true that before the war or earlier in the war they could have expanded their military production faster than they did; but they would still face the choice of devoting the new capacity to bombers or things like tactical air or motor vehicles that might serve them better.

    As I've said before, overrunning entire countries with mechanized forces supported by airpower is a form of strategic warfare. As others have noted, the Allied industries they could not reach with their air-ground team were mostly beyond the reach of 1940s heavy bombers also.
     
  2. Zach gibson

    Zach gibson New Member

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    Training wouldn't really be a problem, by the end of the war Germany couldn't use their fuel reserves for training, so either gave you a crash course of training or used gliders, so if they used bombers then they could technically use the crash course training. but that was a good point Harold's
     
  3. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    As long as they won wars and got foreign currency, foreign workers, foreign armor, fuel etc things were going good. As this ended they were running into trouble. Armies and planes could not move.
     
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  4. Zach gibson

    Zach gibson New Member

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    They should have used chocolate powered engines
     
  5. harolds

    harolds Member

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    "crash course" Was than an intentional pun? If so, it was good! ;)
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2018
  6. Zach gibson

    Zach gibson New Member

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    Thank you harolds.
     
  7. green slime

    green slime Member

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    Given the breakneck pace of investment in new factories in the 1930s, improved production lines, the shortages of oil, rubber, metals (tungsten, copper, aluminium, steel) and skilled workers, as well as the competing requirements of the different branches of the armed forces; it is actually very difficult to find where the resources could be found at all. Bottlenecks were everywhere in Germany industry.
     
  8. harolds

    harolds Member

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    One thing they didn't seem to be short of is aluminum. They were making planes like crazy up until very close to the end. (Not much use when you have extreme shortages in the way of fuel and pilots!) I realize that they also used magnesium in plane construction, but I wonder how much of their aircraft production was due to recycling aircraft wrecks-both theirs and their enemies. Anyone?
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2018
  9. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Well they started rationing aluminum pretty early on. I think Wages of Destruction gives some details of that.
     
  10. harolds

    harolds Member

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    Still, they were able to make an awful lot of aircraft over the course of the war. 94,622 according to one source. 35,000+ in Nov. of '44.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2018
  11. green slime

    green slime Member

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    Yet they would have preferred to use less of the strategic material: Volksjäger program He-162 was primarily wood. The Horten prototypes were wood/plywood. The Ba-349 Natter was large parts wood. Already in 1939, 45% of all imported and produced aluminium went into aircraft manufacture. in 1944, this was 60%. Wastage was huge. By mid-42, only fighters were to be made from aluminium.

    In 1941, 200,000 tonnes of aluminium was used to produce 29,000 tonnes of airframes.
    In 1942, 185,000 tonnes of aluminium produced 42,000 tonnes of airframes.

    Yet this could not be forced; experience, demand, and urgent need combined with technological and organisational improvements; improvements in aircraft models, improvements in factories, and return on investments made years earlier into machine tools. It took 18-24 months for the manufacture and delivery of specialised machine tools. So improvements made in '43 were the result of plans made in '41.

    Similarily, aluminium production increased 5-fold between 1933 and 1937. Yet then estimated need in 1940 was for 280,000 tonnes...
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2018
  12. green slime

    green slime Member

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    Junkers Report Dessau 24 May 1945 states:

    1. The aeroplane-plane building programme up to 1944 was essentially determined by the limited capacity in aluminium.

    (German Aircraft Industry and Production 1933-1945 by Ferenc A. Vajda, Peter Dancey)
     
  13. Zach gibson

    Zach gibson New Member

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    If the Germans used wood for their fighters and dive bombers. I think they could use more metals for bombers. Think of the Japan zero. It's frame mainly consisted of wood, that way they used more of their metals on tactical bombers like the ki-21 and their d3as. If the Germans used wood for the 109s and stukas they would have, at most a slightly bigger supply of metal for heavy bombers.
     
  14. harolds

    harolds Member

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    The FW TA 154 was a designed as a twin-engine night fighter using mostly wood. It showed great promise until the factory making the glue used to bond the wood parts together was bombed. Substitute glues were tried but were inadequate with experimental aircraft coming apart at high speeds. The project was then dropped. Interestingly, the use of wood wasn't a way to use less duraluminum but to make use of under-employed wood workers. It seems wood workers had a hard time transitioning to metal work. {According to "German Aircraft of the Second World War" by Smith and Kay}
     
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  15. harolds

    harolds Member

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    It seems to me the Germans would recycle aluminum from downed planes but I haven't read anything about it. Anyone know about this?
     
  16. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    The Zero had an all metal frame and an advanced alloy skin, Extra Super Duralumin.
     
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  17. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    My understanding was that the manufacturers were authorized a certain amount of aluminum per plane built. This amount was more than enough to build the plane and they could use it however they wished although they were encouraged to use it in the development of new aircraft.

    As far as wooden planes go note that not all woods are equal in this regard. The Mosquito for instance used a lot (mostly) Sitka Spruce which was grown commercially in Alberta, British Columbia, possibly the Yukon, and the US Pacific Northwest. Were woods with similar properties available to the Germans?
     
  18. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Also, with wood, because of the different physical properties of wood, you are designing a whole new aircraft, and not simply replacing metal parts with wooden ones.

    Further, using wood to replace metal will most likely result in a much heavier aircraft. The. Japanese tried it with the Ki84 Frank and the Aichi Val...Both wooden aircraft were well over 1000 pounds heavier than their metal counterparts, and resulted in a drastic drop in performance. As such, a wooden Me109 or Stuka might not even be worth producing.
     
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  19. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    But an aircraft designed from the beginning to be wood, such as say the Mosquito might not have that issue, correct?
     
  20. Zach gibson

    Zach gibson New Member

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    Eh. The only issue i can see with wooden aircraft in the beginning is the wooden fighters would have to challenge the spitfire and hurricanes and would drastically lose
     

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