The Me262 - Frank Whittle's legacy ?

PhotEx

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...which knackers all the 1946 fanbois. Vampires and P-80s alles über der platz would've been a proper game-changer.


Indeed.

'If ve had only held out another 6 months, our wunderwaffe would have swept the Allies from the skies!"

While conveniently forgetting the Allies cancelled orders fo thousands of jets in 1945 and the USAAF alone cancelled orders for many thousands of heavy bombers

Eyewatering numbers!

Equipment Orders Canceled by the United States during WWII
 
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.

The Metrovick (Metropolitan Vickers Railway Carriage Works to put things in context) became the Sapphire, one of the best early engines and arguably better than the Avon.

The Me262 is limited to Mach 0.85 (650mph) by the design of the wings which run into severe compressibility beyond this figure.

Any late model Spitfire with a limiting mach number of >0.90, could out-dive a Me-262, or indeed any early jet.
 

PhotEx

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Any late model Spitfire with a limiting mach number of >0.90, could out-dive a Me-262, or indeed any early jet.


RAF dived a P-51D Mustang to Mach .85 to see what it could do - left it and the pilots shreddies a total constructive loss.

Mitchells wing was an amazing piece of work.
 

Dark_Nit

LE
Book Reviewer
Except that the limiting Mach number for a propeller is about 0.8M

And a Spit Mk XIV limiting mach is 0.89

One specially modified Spit allegedly made it to 0.98 Mach but the prop disintegrated and it had various orifices blanked off, lower canopy, special surface finish etc etc.

In practice for a real fighting aircraft the Spit limiting Mach was between 0.83 - 0.85

Sorry to be a spoilsport

For info: The Spitfires that nearly broke the sound barrier
 

PhotEx

On ROPS
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In practice for a real fighting aircraft the Spit limiting Mach was between 0.83 - 0.85

And according to Messerchmitt, the Me 262 became uncontrollable @ that speed.
So perfectly possible for a Spitfire fangs out to go after a 262 in a dive and kill it, and some actually did.
 
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...

Even ignoring the activity of the operational test squadron, Erprobungskommando 262 at from Apr 44 (which often encountered but avoided combat with Allied aircraft), the first confirmed Me 262 kill was against an RAF PR Mosquito on 27 Jul 44.

Ironically, 616 Sqn flew their initial operational ‘DIVER’ sorties from RAF Manston against V1s on the same day although the first kills were not recorded until August.

Got a question on the Meteor, I seem to remember somewhere, that the Meteor could be quite a dangerous aircraft for the pilot, in certain circumstances. Namely an engine loss on takeoff or landing. Any truth in that.

Most first generation jets were lethal in certain configurations and flight regimes due to the slow throttle responses involved. Asymmetry added to those challenges and the Canberra was particularly difficult with one engine out due to the widely separated donks.

Regards,
MM
 

PhotEx

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On ROPs
Even ignoring the activity of the operational test squadron, Erprobungskommando 262 at from Apr 44 (which often encountered but avoided combat with Allied aircraft), the first confirmed Me 262 kill was against an RAF PR Mosquito on 27 Jul 44.

Ironically, 616 Sqn flew their initial operational ‘DIVER’ sorties from RAF Manston against V1s on the same day although the first kills were not recorded until August.
Regards,
MM


The difference is that 616 stood up as a fully operational Squadron in July 1944 full of run of the mill RAF pilots flying the production versions of new jets. After Diver, they moved to Europe with their much improved Meteor III’s and operated very successfully, usually in the ground attack role.

The 262 to the bitter end was was little better than pre production aircraft flown in penny packets by a collection of the very best Luftwaffe pilots in de facto trials units, and despite that, it’s performance was dire. The much over vaunted Kommando Nowotney claiming 22 enemy aircraft in return for losing 26 262’s.

As regards the Mosquito ‘kill’? Alas, another example of Luftwaffe wishful thinking. The plane evaded and made it home to Italy with some damage. BZ to the crew!

Incident de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito PR Mk XVI MM273, 26 Jul 1944

What is certain is one of the 262’s deadliest foes was the RAF Regiment who inflicted numerous shoot downs on them convincing them attacking RAF forward bases was a mugs game - 7 confirmed kills.

Everyone raves about the Germans and their jets, but meh!
It was the RAF who were the clear winners here, successfully transitioning to the jet age in a quiet and professional manner.
In the Summer of 1945, the RAF would have started receiving large numbers of new and much improved jets, allowing many of its front line squadrons to switch to jets, and would have become a very formidable force indeed.

And I would further argue the RAFs success was 100% down to the fact they regarded jets as just a logical progression to faster aircraft, not as wunderwaffe to be issued to ubermen to sweep the enemy from the skies.
Unlike the Germans, they didn’t rush a jet to service, there was a proper RAF trials programme to get a usable plane cleared for service, useable by the average pilot, not an umpteen thousand hour ace - and it paid dividends.
 
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The difference is that 616 stood up as a fully operational Squadron in July 1944 full of run of the mill RAF pilots flying the production versions of new jets...

Which rather ignores a wide range of relevant factors, the most obvious being the overwhelming air superiority that the Allies enjoyed at this stage of the War and the fact that most ‘run of the mill’ RAF pilots had flown hundreds of hours refining their skills in the safe skies of the US, Canada and Rhodesia even before arriving at their first operational sqns.

In contrast, Luftwaffe pilots had to learn in skies increasingly infested with hostile fighters looking for an easy kill, with minimum hours due to very limited fuel reserves, from air bases and areas subjected to regular air attack.

...After Diver, they moved to Europe with their much improved Meteor III’s and operated very successfully, usually in the ground attack role...

Which is further illustration of how we enjoyed the luxury of being able to introduce new types carefully to ensure they were ready and the pilots fully worked up. Indeed, 616 Sqn was even used to train USAAF bomber formations against jets, which in turn allowed escort fighter tactics to be modified against the new threat.

The deployment of RAF Meteors to Europe also reflected our conservative planning and a desire to avoid one being lost and the technology falling into German hands.

It was these factors which allowed us to introduce the type gradually, or, to use your words:

...in a quiet and professional manner...

That was a luxury unavailable to the Luftwaffe although I agree that there was a willingness to be seduced by ‘wonder weapons.’
...The 262 to the bitter end was was little better than pre production aircraft flown in penny packets by a collection of the very best Luftwaffe pilots in de facto trials units, and despite that, it’s performance was dire. The much over vaunted Kommando Nowotney claiming 22 enemy aircraft in return for losing 26 262’s...

See my earlier comments.

I suspect the performance of the Meteor would’ve been similarly ‘dire’ had it been introduced under similar circumstances.

...As regards the Mosquito ‘kill’? Alas, another example of Luftwaffe wishful thinking. The plane evaded and made it home to Italy with some damage. BZ to the crew!..

More a reflection of Luftwaffe kill criteria and the fog of war rather than wishful thinking.

Either way, it rather undermines your earlier suggestion that the Me262 the Me262 did not fly operational sorties ‘...until August 1944.’

Overall, I’d suggest that the Me262 was the better interceptor whereas the more robust Meteor was more suited to the ground attack role.

The Vampire was a jet powered Spitfire: superbly manoeuvrable if short-legged; the P-80 was probably the most refined and promising of the early jets and it’s a little known fact that four YP-80s were deployed to Europe in early 1945, one pair to England and the other 2 to Italy. Of the latter, USAAF records indicate that one flew several operational sorties but without seeing combat.
YP80jet-1945.jpg


Regards,
MM
 
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