The Me262 - Frank Whittle's legacy ?

Dark_Nit

LE
Book Reviewer
The 262's swept wing was indeed the result of CoG issues and not as a result of streamlining.

In a similar way, the Short Sunderland wings were slightly swept back but without bothering to change the engine mounts giving the Sunderland's engines a distinct toe-out attitude visible on the plan below:
1562495602803.png
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
The 262's swept wing was indeed the result of CoG issues and not as a result of streamlining.

In a similar way, the Short Sunderland wings were slightly swept back but without bothering to change the engine mounts giving the Sunderland's engines a distinct toe-out attitude visible on the plan below:
View attachment 402617
As a child I often wondered why Airfix didn't produce a Long Sunderland kit
 

PhotEx

On ROPS
On ROPs
The 262 was not a war winning weapon..... it was a good first stab, (although it’s swept wings were by accident, not design) but the Second generation of allied jet fighters were hitting the runways by VE Day and would have been available in quantity had the war in the ETO lingered on.

Much is made of the 262’s performance in combat.....

But it’s conveniently forgotten it was deployed in penny packets by squadrons stuffed to the gills with ‘Experten’ who still got shot down by inferior piston engines fighters flown by the allied run of the mill pilots.. In the hands of ordinary pilots, the 262 was a pilot killing dud.
It never got to mix it with RAF Meteors, by our instance, and not because the RAF thought it would lose. It’s 30mm slow firing guns were simply rubbish against fighters, not much use beyond 100m.

In the Summer of 1945, it would have been facing, in quantity, allied jets that were as good, and in the Vampire and P-80, better and much more agile performers than it was, flown by highly trained and experienced pilots.

Much is made of a test fly off after the war of a P-80 vs. 262.
Test pilots.....

But in the summer of 1945, it would have been the main stream and very good USAAF squadrons trading in their Mustangs and Thunderbolts for P-80’s vs barely trained Luftwaffe pilots. Ditto the RAF as the Developed Meteor and Vampire was rolled out to front line squadrons.

Worth noting, so ‘good’ was the 262, other than the Czechs who inherited a production line, no one bothered to copy it post war. The Meteor, Vampire and P-80? Long post war production runs and service.

The 262 was the epitome of why the Germans lost, a wunderwaffe beyond their ability to build it or deploy it, fighting good enough in their thousands.
 

PhotEx

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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.


The 262 wasn’t terribly advanced, you can see the design similarity.
The Me309

1562496503161.jpeg
 

Dark_Nit

LE
Book Reviewer
The Meteor was a stodgy design which was produced long after its' sell by date due to Britain's ability to produce anything remotely comparable with a MiG 15. I read a pilot's memoir some years ago where he described flying a Meteor in Korea, the main thrust being that they were limited to Ground Attack because the Meteor would have been blown out of the sky by MiG 15s. Ditto the P-80 was MiG fodder and survived in service only because it was useful as a trainer.

If German engneering & production had not been degraded by allied bombing during the latter stages of the war I have no doubt that it would have proven a match for the Meteor / P-80

The only reason that Avia didn't produce more was that the MiG15 became available from the Soviet Union to the Czech air force.
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
The Meteor was a stodgy design which was produced long after its' sell by date due to Britain's ability to produce anything remotely comparable with a MiG 15. I read a pilot's memoir some years ago where he described flying a Meteor in Korea, the main thrust being that they were limited to Ground Attack because the Meteor would have been blown out of the sky by MiG 15s. Ditto the P-80 was MiG fodder and survived in service only because it was useful as a trainer.

If German engneering & production had not been degraded by allied bombing during the latter stages of the war I have no doubt that it would have proven a match for the Meteor / P-80

The only reason that Avia didn't produce more was that the MiG15 became available from the Soviet Union to the Czech air force.

I have in the attic a draft of a presentation by Mark Lambert, former editor of Jane's All the World's Aircraft, which his widow gave to me as a gift just after he died.

He was talking about the Meteor - flying it, and how. He opened the presentation by recounting that the RAF finally had to admit that the aircraft's days as a fighter were over when on exercise a bunch of Meteor bounced some Canberras and the bomber crews turned to fight rather than run.

Yes, it was done when it was done. But 'stodgy'? It was one of the few effective counters to the V-1 that we had.

An aircraft of its time, and a first attempt. It needs to be viewed in context.
 
The only reason that Avia didn't produce more was that the MiG15 became available from the Soviet Union to the Czech air force.
Ahhh....the TA-183? ;-)
 

PhotEx

On ROPS
On ROPs
The Meteor was a stodgy design which was produced long after its' sell by date due to Britain's ability to produce anything remotely comparable with a MiG 15. I read a pilot's memoir some years ago where he described flying a Meteor in Korea, the main thrust being that they were limited to Ground Attack because the Meteor would have been blown out of the sky by MiG 15s. Ditto the P-80 was MiG fodder and survived in service only because it was useful as a trainer.

If German engneering & production had not been degraded by allied bombing during the latter stages of the war I have no doubt that it would have proven a match for the Meteor / P-80

The only reason that Avia didn't produce more was that the MiG15 became available from the Soviet Union to the Czech air force.


That’s 1950-53 - another generation of fighter development on.
It’s like comparing a Sopwith Camel with a Spitfire. Same degree of technical separation as between a Meteor and a MiG 15
 
The Meteor was a stodgy design which was produced long after its' sell by date due to Britain's ability to produce anything remotely comparable with a MiG 15. I read a pilot's memoir some years ago where he described flying a Meteor in Korea, the main thrust being that they were limited to Ground Attack because the Meteor would have been blown out of the sky by MiG 15s. Ditto the P-80 was MiG fodder and survived in service only because it was useful as a trainer.

If German engneering & production had not been degraded by allied bombing during the latter stages of the war I have no doubt that it would have proven a match for the Meteor / P-80

The only reason that Avia didn't produce more was that the MiG15 became available from the Soviet Union to the Czech air force.
As an aside when I was at Nitra, they still had a pair of MIG 15’s parked up outside a mess/ offices still used by the Slovak military.
I was told their use by the airforce in the dog days of the old communist regime
Was when there was a gliding competition on ( Nitra was a big gliding center , and quite a way from the border), A mig would be at readiness to scramble and if necessary knock down any glider making a break for the west.
True dit. And no the gits wouldn’t let me have a sit in one, They had stood for ages with live bang seats in our mechanics said, and even they thought it unwise to poke about.
Digression over.
 

PhotEx

On ROPS
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If German engneering & production had not been degraded by allied bombing during the latter stages of the war I have no doubt that it would have proven a match for the Meteor / P-80


A 262 could do many things, but get into a dogfight with a P-80 or better still a Vampire, would have ended in tears.

You can’t change the fact it has a very high wing loading. Dived fast, but accelerated slow, and wasnt by any stretch of the meaning an ‘agile’ aircraft.


and German engineering degraded?

Well yes, that’s war for you. While the Germans devoted vast resources to building wunderwaffe in penny packets, the RAF and USAAF were putting thousands of good enough heavy bombers up over the Germans factories bombing them into rubble.
And the Germans? Wasting effort on Eugen Sangers sub orbital rocket America Bomber.
 
The Meteor in its initial iterations was more Conservative than the ME262 - But was more adaptable and upgradeable.

I would argue it was the better overall aircraft - if not quite so sexy when it 1st appearred
 

PhotEx

On ROPS
On ROPs
The Meteor in its initial iterations was more Conservative than the ME262 - But was more adaptable and upgradeable.

I would argue it was the better overall aircraft - if not quite so sexy when it 1st appearred

Indeed.
It was designed at minimal technical risk to be good enough.
It got better. Development slowed a lot at wars end, but if the war had carried on, the pace of development would quickly have made it a very good fighter.
Even as it was, in 1945, It was certainly good enough to best the best piston engined fighter, the Tempest V, the 262’s arch nemesis, in a dogfight.

The 262 gets a lot of kudos because it looked ‘sharp’ But it was nothing revolutionary, just advanced 1940 piston engined engineering, with underslung jet engines.
It looked more modern, but they were both what they were, 1940’s last hurrah.
 

PhotEx

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That the MiG-15 was a copy of the Ta-183 has been refuted.
They bear nothing in common bar looking like - well, a single engined jet.
The Ta-183 never existed other than on paper and a wind tunnel model
The MiG-9 has also been claimed to be a rough copy of the Ta-183, but was a bit of a dog.

Worth noting the Kurt Tank went to Argentina at wars end with the Ta-183 design and tried to develop it and put it into service. It was a dismal failure, despite not having the USAAF and RAF bombing his factory. Like so many ‘advanced’ German ‘war winning’ aircraft ideas at wars end, they were often well outside the designers competence and fatally flawed.

1562502757863.jpeg
 
part of the Meteors lacklustre performance in the early days was due to the original design specification which was unadventurous. This was due to the comparative low power of the engines of the time and their unknown reliability, plus what frontline fighter could do more than 440 mph at sea level at the time the spec was drawn up ? The specification was F9/40. To put this into context, the spec for the Tempest was F10/41.
Could we built faster and better - we did, the Vampire. That would have been the bugger to take to Berlin.
Better turn, better roll rate
An extract from a test
Turning Circles. The Vampire was found to be superior to the Meteor III in turning at all speeds. ... If the Meteor III is positioned on the Vampire's tail and both aircraft tighten up to a minimum turning circle, it takes approximately 1.5 turns to port for the Vampire to be positioned on the Meteor's tail. In starboard turns the Meteor seemed to be able to tighten up much more and it takes the Vampire a little longer to gain a complete turn on the Meteor.

The Vampire is superior to the Spitfire XIV at all heights. The two aircraft were flown in line-astern formation. The Spitfire was positioned on the Vampire's tail. Both aircraft tightened up to the minimum turning circle with maximum power. It became apparent that the Vampire was just able to keep inside the Spitfire's turning circles. After four or five turns the Vampire was able to position itself on the Spitfire's tail so that a deflection shot was possible. The wing loading of the Vampire is 33.1 lbs. per sq. ft. compared with the Spitfire XIV's 35.1 lbs. per sq. ft.
The Meteor in its initial iterations was more Conservative than the ME262 - But was more adaptable and upgradeable.

I would argue it was the better overall aircraft - if not quite so sexy when it 1st appearred

In the long run, yes.
In the short term, the Germans put the ball further up the pitch than we did. That said, if we retain the same configuration and overall shape, both designs were mach limited to 0.82-83, so eventually theres a point nothing further can be done with the basic design.
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
That the MiG-15 was a copy of the Ta-183 has been refuted.
They bear nothing in common bar looking like - well, a single engined jet.
The Ta-183 never existed other than on paper and a wind tunnel model
The MiG-9 has also been claimed to be a rough copy of the Ta-183, but was a bit of a dog.

Worth noting the Kurt Tank went to Argentina at wars end with the Ta-183 design and tried to develop it and put it into service. It was a dismal failure, despite not having the USAAF and RAF bombing his factory. Like so many ‘advanced’ German ‘war winning’ aircraft ideas at wars end, they were often well outside the designers competence and fatally flawed.

View attachment 402636

SAAB Tunnan.
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
The design highlights a limitation with the first jet engines: very little oomph.

Keeping inlets and effluxes short meant not losing thrust unnecessarily. The Ta-183/Messerschmidt designs were one way of doing it, the Vampire/Venom's split tail was another.
 
Iirc a big issue in the Griffith/axial flow Vs Whittle/centrifugal story was getting the combustion chamber right.
 

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