The Me262 - Frank Whittle's legacy ?

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
Saw this, worth a look


There has been some discussion of the Me 262 in an earlier thread :

https://www.arrse.co.uk/community/t...gies-if-they-had-matured-more-quickly.291583/

and I don't want to re-work the endless debate on ' Could things have been different if Adolf hadn't been a nutjob? '

My question for those with greater knowledge is

- to what extent if any, did Messerschmitt/BMW utilise Frank Whittle's work ?

I grew up being assured by my old man and others that the Gloster Whittle was the world's first operational jet fighter.

Gloster E.28/39 | BAE Systems | International

The Me 262 was operational in 1942...

ta.
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
More Convergent Evolution I think. I seem to recall, possibly in Winkle Brown's autobiography how some jet engines were long and thin, while others were short and fat because their designs were fundamentally different. Different technologies, similar result. (But each with its own pros and cons.

Don't ask me to quote. It's hot and sticky, I'm hot and bothered, getting old, can't remember, can't be arrsed.
 
Me262 used an axial flow turbojet - ultimately a design with more growth potential than Whittles centrifugal flow designs. That said, centrifugal compressors work very well in small jet engines or turboprops and are still with us in designs like Garrett TPE331.
Gloster Whittle wasnt the first operational jet fighter - it was an experimental aircraft that could have been developed into one. The Germans have the prize on this one.
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
Me262 used an axial flow turbojet - ultimately a design with more growth potential than Whittles centrifugal flow designs. That said, centrifugal compressors work very well in small jet engines or turboprops and are still with us in designs like Garrett TPE331.
Gloster Whittle wasnt the first operational jet fighter - it was an experimental aircraft that could have been developed into one. The Germans have the prize on this one.
Axial flow versus centrifugal flow. That's what I couldn't remember.
 

4(T)

LE
Saw this, worth a look


There has been some discussion of the Me 262 in an earlier thread :

https://www.arrse.co.uk/community/t...gies-if-they-had-matured-more-quickly.291583/

and I don't want to re-work the endless debate on ' Could things have been different if Adolf hadn't been a nutjob? '

My question for those with greater knowledge is

- to what extent if any, did Messerschmitt/BMW utilise Frank Whittle's work ?

I grew up being assured by my old man and others that the Gloster Whittle was the world's first operational jet fighter.

Gloster E.28/39 | BAE Systems | International

The Me 262 was operational in 1942...

ta.



The E28/39 was only a technology demonstrator or test bed, so it can't really be termed "first operational jet fighter". Only two were built, so it wasn't even in any sort of series production.

The Me262 was in series production, and did enter operational service.

AFAIK, the German jet engine programme was simply a typical case of independent but chronologically parallel engineering development - it was a different form of turbojet in concept anyway. Whittle's work made most of its significant progress after about 1936, and by then Britain would have been actively shielding its technologies from German military and industrial espionage.
 
To give a scale to what the 262 would have been capable of, when the new build 262's were built in the 2000's they were fitted with small helicopter engines and even these had to be limited to stop it going towards supersonic.
 
Saw this, worth a look


There has been some discussion of the Me 262 in an earlier thread :

https://www.arrse.co.uk/community/t...gies-if-they-had-matured-more-quickly.291583/

and I don't want to re-work the endless debate on ' Could things have been different if Adolf hadn't been a nutjob? '

My question for those with greater knowledge is

- to what extent if any, did Messerschmitt/BMW utilise Frank Whittle's work ?

I grew up being assured by my old man and others that the Gloster Whittle was the world's first operational jet fighter.

Gloster E.28/39 | BAE Systems | International

The Me 262 was operational in 1942...

ta.

As has been stated, the Gloster E.28/39 was purely experimental and never sufficiently mature for operational service; only 2 were produced.

Its engine was however arguably more refined than German designs that had already flown on the He178 in Aug 39...
Ohain_USAF_He_178_page61.jpg

...and the He280 which first flew in Mar 41 and can probably make the claim as being the first practical jet fighter design, albeit one which was ultimately cancelled in favour of the Me262 without seeing service.
Heinkel_HE_280.jpg.dda338352ce9a5403fb57d5b2a3bd32d.jpg

The Italians also flew the Caproni Campini N1 in 1940 but this is not generally regarded as a true jet design and a technology cul de sac.
Caproni_foto.jpg


Others have already cited the differing axial versus centrifugal technologies involved in the German and British designs respectively. As a general rule, the British engines were considered more reliable than their German counterparts. However, I would agree with others that their designs were parallel and neither influenced the other.

Ultimately, the Me 262 and Gloster Meteor entered operational service almost simultaneously in Jul 44.
Gloster_Meteor_Mk_Is_of_No._616_Squadron_RAF_at_Manston%2C_Kent%2C_4_January_1945._CL2925.jpg

Messerschmitt-Me-262A1a-Schwalbe-JG7-White-4-Achmer-Germany-1944-01.jpg

However, the fact that the Luftwaffe had established an operational test and evaluation unit in Apr 44 ensures that the Me262 is widely recognised as being the first jet fighter.

Regards,
MM
 
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Something that aided the German design teams was the
Luftfahrtforschungsanstalt - a complex for looking into things aeronautical. I dont believe we had quite the same in the UK at the time.
Luftfahrtforschungsanstalt - Wikipedia
We werent behind the Germans for things like axial flow engines, we did have the Vickers Metrovick - quite an advanced design which did fly in a test Meteor.
 
As has been stated, the Gloster E.28/39 was purely experimental and never sufficiently mature for operational service; only 2 were produced.

Its engine was however arguably more refined than German designs that had already flown on the He178 in Aug 39...
Ohain_USAF_He_178_page61.jpg

...and the He280 which first flew in Mar 41 and can probably make the claim as being the first practical jet fighter design, albeit one which was ultimately cancelled in favour of the Me262 without seeing service.
Heinkel_HE_280.jpg.dda338352ce9a5403fb57d5b2a3bd32d.jpg

The Italians also flew the Caproni Campini N1 in 1940 but this is not generally regarded as a true jet design and a technology cul de sac.
Caproni_foto.jpg


Others have already cited the differing axial versus centrifugal technologies involved in the German and British designs respectively. As a general rule, the British engines were considered more reliable than their German counterparts. However, I would agree with others that their designs were parallel and neither influenced the other.

Ultimately, the Me 262 and Gloster Meteor entered operational service almost simultaneously in Jul 44.
Gloster_Meteor_Mk_Is_of_No._616_Squadron_RAF_at_Manston%2C_Kent%2C_4_January_1945._CL2925.jpg

Messerschmitt-Me-262A1a-Schwalbe-JG7-White-4-Achmer-Germany-1944-01.jpg

However, the fact that the Luftwaffe had established an operational test and evaluation unit in Apr 44 ensures that the Me262 is widely recognised as being the first jet fighter.

Regards,
MM


If it weren't for Alan Griffith, Frank Whittle would have been 10 years ahead.
 

Dark_Nit

LE
Book Reviewer
The Whittle designs used a centrifugal compressor as mentioned above. This makes them shorter but fatter and also places a limitation on the number of compressor stages that can be incorporated (More compression ratio is generally better -- more efficient).

Flow in all diagrams is L-R

1562426145635.png


In contrast the German designs used and axial flow compressor as do virtually all modern jet aircraft engines.
1562426238013.png


Whittle even had a "reverse flow" engine which was even shorter but less thermodynamically efficient due to friction losses within the flow reversal systems.
1562426341344.png


Whittle type engines are still occasionally used in applications where length is an issue, particularly helicopters whereas all e.g. all modern jet fighters use axial flow engines as these are more powerful and efficient.

The Me262 is limited to Mach 0.85 (650mph) by the design of the wings which run into severe compressibility beyond this figure. The aircraft will become impossible to control beyond this figure (VNE). The Hawker Typhoon was limited to 400mph for the same reason, which is why the Tempest had much thinner wings.
 

PhotEx

On ROPS
On ROPs
Axial flow turbojets were the future, but the Germans simply didn't have the exotic alloys to make them work as hoped.
Moving smartly onwards, at wars end , the French snaffled up all the BMW engineers and their Gucci new BMW engine and offered them a nice new lab with all the alloys their hearts could desire.
Atelier technique aéronautique de Rickenbach

Aka ATAR, the genesis of a whole family of advanced French turbojets in the 50's that moved them into the premier league off jet fighters.

Snecma Atar - Wikipedia
 
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If any of you ever get to near Lutterworth, South Leicestershire, just off J20 of the M1 then pop off and have a look quickly. Come off the M1 and a couple of hundred yards along is the A426 roundabout, the diversion will take you two minutes, top's.

Frank Whittle built and tested on the airfield which has now become Magna Park which is a little further along. However, on the roundabout they built this:

the-whittle-jet-memorial-lutterworth-leicestershire-england-uk-APT1W2.jpg


In Lutterworth itself the are a few references and memorials to Frank Whittle and the development:

sir-frank-whittle-bust-lutterworth-leicestershire-england-uk-C74YAD.jpg
 
There’s also a very nice new accommodation wing at Sir Frank’s Alma mater - Peterhouse, Cambridge - named after him. In the reception is a replica of his original engine design.
New_PTH_01.png.cf.png

Regards,
MM
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
As has been stated, the Gloster E.28/39 was purely experimental and never sufficiently mature for operational service; only 2 were produced.

Its engine was however arguably more refined than German designs that had already flown on the He178 in Aug 39...
Ohain_USAF_He_178_page61.jpg

...and the He280 which first flew in Mar 41 and can probably make the claim as being the first practical jet fighter design, albeit one which was ultimately cancelled in favour of the Me262 without seeing service.
Heinkel_HE_280.jpg.dda338352ce9a5403fb57d5b2a3bd32d.jpg

The Italians also flew the Caproni Campini N1 in 1940 but this is not generally regarded as a true jet design and a technology cul de sac.
Caproni_foto.jpg


Others have already cited the differing axial versus centrifugal technologies involved in the German and British designs respectively. As a general rule, the British engines were considered more reliable than their German counterparts. However, I would agree with others that their designs were parallel and neither influenced the other.

Ultimately, the Me 262 and Gloster Meteor entered operational service almost simultaneously in Jul 44.
Gloster_Meteor_Mk_Is_of_No._616_Squadron_RAF_at_Manston%2C_Kent%2C_4_January_1945._CL2925.jpg

Messerschmitt-Me-262A1a-Schwalbe-JG7-White-4-Achmer-Germany-1944-01.jpg

However, the fact that the Luftwaffe had established an operational test and evaluation unit in Apr 44 ensures that the Me262 is widely recognised as being the first jet fighter.

Regards,
MM

Thanks for that. I think my question has been answered in terms of whether Frank Whittle's designs were used or improved by the Luftwaffe, as so much WWII technology was based on earlier work.

Sounds like the parallel development picture is about right.
 

PhotEx

On ROPS
On ROPs
The Me 262 was operational in 1942...


Prototype first flew in 1942, but the first operational sorties were not until August 1944.
The Gloster Meteor beat it by a month in July 1944.

And while the Meteor was a successful plane that rapidly got better, much better, and could actually out dogfight contemporary piston engined fighters, the entry into service of the 262 was plagued by faults and problems and it had a humongous wing loading and awful engines

Coulda, woulda, shoulda?
No, the Me 262 was never going to be a war winning weapon.
Its rather forgotten that the Meteor was up to its vastly better Mk4 version at wars end, and the very Gucci DH Vampire was about to enter service in quantity, as was the USAAF's P-80, with 5,000 on order at VE Day
 

Dark_Nit

LE
Book Reviewer
The Me262 was handicapped only by the Jumo & BMW engines which were limited to ~10 hours operational service before a rebuild. This is because the Germans had a severe shortage of high temperature alloys needed to make the turbine blades.

Excerpt from Remembering Test Pilot Eric Melrose “Winkle” Brown
Often, he interviewed the pilots who had flown these aircraft previously. Among them was German pilot Jörg “Czyp” Czypionka, who delivered his Messerschmitt Me 262 to Brown at the end of World War II. “It was my last flight in the 262, and it would be Brown’s first,” Czyp told me. After his flight, Eric had the highest praise for the 262, the world’s first operational jet fighter, calling it, “the most formidable combat aircraft to evolve in World War II.”

In contrast the Meteor was a bit of a truck with some nasty habits, and certainly in early incarnations "snaked" at high speed which made it an unstable gun platform. Various aerodynamic fixes were addes to the Meteor including the "acorn" fairing where the rear wings joinn the fin - an area of excessive drag and flow instability.

Meteor F1
1562492951883.png


FIII version
1562493061211.png


In addition the Meteor had a fairly slow roll rate which was cured by hacking several feet off the wingtips at the expense of increased wing loading.
1562493184208.png

You will also notice the difference in the length of the engine nacelles from the Mk1 (short version). It was found that the short nacelles increased compressibility and buffetting issues. Note that the Meteor was also plagued by compressibility issues generally and the cropped wing versions being slightly faster could become uncontrollable in a dive for this reason.
 

Dark_Nit

LE
Book Reviewer
BTW, the Me262 was almost 100mph faster than a Meteor:
Meteor 1 with Mk2 (improved RR Wellands) = 440mph (a 20mph improvement over the early versions)
Meteor III with RR Dervent 2 engines = 480mph
Me262 = 515 mph at sea level and 540mph at altitude

The ME262 A1a – the “definitive” version of the fighter, could reach a top speed of 559mph and reach over 37,000 feet. By comparison to these figures the first production Meteors could only reach around 450mph albeit they could break the 40,000ft mark

Eventually a Meteor did reach 606mph but this was highly modified with clipped wings, the gun ports faired over, uprated engines and various other aerodynamic tweaks and not representative of a "service" machine.

In a genuine battle with equal pilots I would expect that the 262 would have come out on top more often than not.

The Achilles Heel of the 262 being engine reliability for the reasons previously stated with a typical maximum service life of 60 hours and often only 25 hours for the Jumos versus 180 hours for the Wellands.
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
I guess at that time every flight was a test flight. Currently watching Apollo

Apollo's Moon Shot

After the pre-Apollo 1 fire, it's pointed out that Apollo had no runway left for test flights if they were to meet Kennedy's goal.

Pilots of that era. Nails.
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
The Meteor was a fairly conventional design for its time but with the addition of jet engines.

Much has been made of the Me262’s ‘advanced’ design but as noted elsewhere by another ARRSEr was not the swept-wing design more to do with solving CoG issues?

The Germans’ lack of certain crucial materials and the Jumo’s very short life is well-documented. Adolf Galland said that the stand-out aircraft of WWII would have been the 262 with the British engines.
 

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