Me.262. The best weapons are the winners!

By 1944, the Reich had played out to the point where any decision was bad. How to cover the sky with Vaterland? Continue production of piston fighters (Me-109K). Well mastered by industry, but significantly inferior in characteristics to the aircraft of the Allies. Or learn from scratch the production of reactive Me.262. They had a lot of technical and operational risks with ambiguous advantages.

Me.262. The best weapons are the winners!

The participants in such disputes each time cannot decide which solution is ultimately more beneficial for the German side. Confused and stop the argument. This is because any of the solutions presented is bad.

The Germans opted for Schwalbe

In any other conditions, this design would not have a chance to get into combat squadrons.

Only in the confusion of the last 13 months of the war did it become possible for the military and politicians to endorse the launch of a series of unexplored designs. Tomorrow, urgently - to the troops, without risk analysis and with the involvement of all aircraft manufacturing facilities in Germany.

Technical risks? The consequences of possible errors? The only consequence for Goering is a capsule with cyanide!

As a result, managed to build 1400 aircraft. As it turned out, much more than scarce fuel reserves and suitable aerodromes allowed for. Another eloquent evidence of the conditions under which the Schwalbe was adopted.

Less than half were able to rise into the sky.

Tactics without strategy is vanity before defeat.

(Sun Tzu.)

The Germans were the first?

When discussing Me.262, an impenetrable argument pops up: the Germans were the first. This fact justifies any compromises and shortcomings of Me.262. And that is a lie.

Schwalbe was not the first and was not even the best. Frankly speakingThe Messermitt-262 was the worst among jets of the period. By the beginning of the 1944 year, the Allies had their own reactive models that exceeded Me.262 in all respects. (More on this below.)

Despite the results achieved, they were not considered worthy of large-scale production. Jet fighters did not have a distinct superiority over piston peers. In most situations, they showed only flaws.

Because no one except the Luftwaffe did not bet on such a technique.

But the Luftwaffe had nothing to lose.

The most perfect WWII fighter

Last time we looked at the British Gloucester Meteor. F.1 modification aircraft made combat sorties simultaneously with the Schwalbe, in July 1944. Subsequently, the Meteors were removed from the front line and sent to intercept the V-1: the only task in which their strengths were revealed and the flaws were not so annoyed.

Today the next hero is next in turn - Lockheed P-80 “Shooting Star” (“Shooting Shooting star"). Formally, the most technically advanced fighter of the Second World War.

They are the same age! The illustration gives an idea of ​​how backward German aircraft were.

The only P-80 Shooting Star engine developed traction equivalent to the two Schwalbe engines! The normal take-off mass of the fighter was less per ton, with the same wing area as the “German”.

Shunting Star flight tests began in January 1944, they were regularly interrupted by returning to the wind tunnel. At the same time, the Halford engine was improved. Like all successful first-born jet-era fighters, the P-80 fighter had a British "heart". The Yankees were in no hurry and did not make bold conclusions, while the new machine was guaranteed to surpass the piston peers in terms of the combination of fighting qualities. By the way, the serial P-80A of the end of the 1944 of the year was significantly different in design from the earlier XP-80.

The Shuting Stari made a couple of episodic sorties in Europe in April 1945, but remained too raw to talk about forming full-fledged combat formations from them.

Lockheed specialists were the first to guess which layout meets the requirements for a jet fighter. The placement of the turbojet engine in the rear of the fuselage, with air intakes in the root of the wing.

Alas, even the Shooting Star with its high-torque engine and competent layout was only a step towards the creation of formidable aircraft of the jet era.

The Soviet Union had its own story

The union had to win the war, and leave the bold technical search until better times.

The war is over. The technical and industrial capabilities of the USSR made it possible to conduct a qualitative analysis of all foreign projects as soon as possible. Decide on promising areas and make unambiguous conclusions.

The aforementioned conclusions of aircraft designers will obviously not appeal to the current public. But first things first.

In an effort to justify and elevate the fascist degenerates, many participants in the discussions fell to self-flagellation. Literally - we Russians ourselves could not do anything until we got access to the technologies of the Aryan race.

The real state of things was different.

Build from scratch own jet did not work. And nothing happened after meeting with German technology. Until the parcel arrived with engines from Albion.

Superpower reduced the lag in aviation in one leap!

The last time I was cited as an example Su-11 (1946 year) as a direct legacy of the German Me.262. Forgot to indicate the number of built - 2 units. That was enough to make sure that Schwalbe was the road to nowhere.

It was a shame to look at the Salamander. They did not even try to recreate it in metal.

Junkers Jumo-004 and BMW-003 engines (designated RD-10 and RD-20) are an obvious futile. In 1946-48 Based on the BMW-003, 600 MiG-9 fighters were assembled. By the standards of that era, they did not even begin to build them, compare with the number of issued MiG-15 (13 thousand). The Soviet Air Force soon became convinced that the BMW-003 and the “stepped” redanny layout (the engine under the fuselage, like the German Fokke-Wulf Ta-183) was a dead end.

Despite access to the “miracle technique”, Soviet specialists urgently requested a Rolls-Royce Ning to study

In 1946, through diplomatic intrigues, 40 samples of these engines entered the USSR. Enough to launch mass production of its own analogue under the designation VK-1.

Universal air soldier. One VK - MiG-15 fighter. Two engines - Il-28 bomber.

So, whose foreign developments have caused the greatest interest? What technical solutions were most successfully used in the construction of the first domestic jet aircraft?

In my opinion, the answer is obvious. The right to assess the impact of fascist technologies on Soviet post-war aviation is left to the readers themselves.

The truth about the Uber fighter caused a flurry of criticism and negative emotions

It's time to answer the most “hot” questions of opponents.

Many were outraged by the comparison of Me.262 and the P-47 Thunderbolt in a previous article. The same take-off weight with half the thrust. And one and a half times greater unit load on the wing of the jet Messerschmitt. Which immediately raises doubts about its combat effectiveness.

How can one compare the single-engine piston Thunderbolt and the twin-engine reactive Schwalbe?

Very simple. Both fighters are designed to solve the same problem - air combat.

With constant atmospheric parameters, the gradient of the Earth’s gravitational field and the same level of technical development, all piston fighters had a familiar look and layout.

The take-off weight of the Me-109K and Thunderbolt could be doubled, but the basic set of TTX proportions remained unchanged for all fighters of the final WWII period.

Single engine direct wing piston aircraft. Having a “payload” (fuel, weapon with b / c, avionics) about a quarter of the take-off weight and the specific load on the wing 200 ± 20 kg / m2.

Among successful fighters with a different layout, only Lightning can be recalled.

The German geniuses proposed their own solution - the experimental Pfail with tandem motors. The flight was fun, until the approach began. To touch the strip with a 1.5-meter lower keel (without a keel, he “struck” with a pushing screw) - under combat conditions, every second flight could end in Do.335 disaster. Anyway.

The tasks of a single-engine piston fighter were assigned to the jet "Messer"

He was sorely lacking in thrust, so Me.262 turned out to be twin-engine.

Even with two thrust engines, he still lacked, and the dubious combat value of the Schwalbe was obvious even at the stage of initial calculations.

It is worth noting that fighters with such an absurd layout as those of Schwalbe have not been built for 60 years. I was cited as an example by various IL-28, passenger Boeings and SR-71, the only joke is that none of the above is a fighter.

Of the really similar, we can recall only the specific interceptor Yak-25.

Considering the scanty number of Yak-25s built, as well as their “long” career in the Air Force, it should be recognized: apparently, this model has not received recognition because of its features. It is possible that other fighters with engine nacelles located under the planes were born within the walls of the design bureau, but not one became massive and successful.

The classic scheme for all fighters 1950-60's. became a "flying pipe." With an air intake in the nose of the fuselage, divided into two "sleeves", between which was the cockpit. The engine itself or engines were always located in the rear of the fuselage, not protruding beyond it.

The second option involved the location of air intakes in the root of the wing, freeing up space for a massive radar under the nose fairing. The same conditions and tasks explain the similarity of structures.

And the German “innovations” died along with the Reich.

Answers to reader questions

“Does the wing lift, in addition to the area, also depend on the shape of the wing and the flow velocity, how exactly does the wing lift of the P-47 and Me-262 relate?"

(The question was asked by Andrey Shmelev.)

This question must be answered in the reverse order. The lifting force of the Me.262 wing is less at once for two reasons. 1. Smaller area. 2. Sweep.

An arrow-shaped wing has a lower bearing capacity than an equal-sized straight wing. Therefore, military aircraft with a variable sweep wing (for example, Su-24) at subsonic speeds and during take-off and landing have an almost straight wing, “spreading” the console to the extreme position.

The benefits of swept wings appear only at high speeds. Much larger than those on which the Me262 and its opponents flew - piston fighters.

Small sweep wing Me.262 instead of the direct wing P-47. It does not compensate for the 1,5-fold difference in the value of the specific load. Based on the known facts, the swept wing only worsens maneuverability at speeds significantly lower than 1 Max.

To avoid further questions: Schwalbe did not have an integrated layout and any measures and miracles to avoid disruption of the flow.

“How exactly can you recalculate the thrust-to-weight ratio of a screw machine and a reactive one in a single system of traction power using the example of P-47 and Me-262?

The author will not pretend that he is daily engaged in recalculating the thrust-weight ratio of aircraft. Thrust - in kgf or tons, for a screw machine is created by its propeller group. In fact - the mass of air thrown by the screw. Model aircraft can find formulas in a search engine in minutes.

Given the format of the article, it is enough to see a simple and obvious fact - for an airplane, thrust is needed about a quarter of its take-off weight. For a fighter - there should be more, piston WWII fighters had a thrust-weight ratio at the 0,5 level.

And all the secret becomes apparent. This immediately explains why the 6-ton Schwalbe with 1,8 tons of thrust lacked the length of the runways. And why did the Messer evade any maneuvers causing a loss of speed.

The thrust ratio of Me.262 was less than the thrust ratio of piston aircraft.

The memory of the defeated enemy

Opponents accused the author of abuse of the enemy (accepted! The Reich fully deserved it) and downplaying the memory of the Victory in that war. The author strongly disagrees with the second paragraph.

First, Schwalbe were not used on the Eastern Front, except for occasional encounters with them in the air. There is simply nothing to downplay or exaggerate.

Secondly, it is enthusiastic remarks about Schwalbe that glorify fascism. The Germans were evil geniuses! It turns out, not geniuses. They just had a transcendental sense of their own greatness.

There is not a single area in which fascist Germany would achieve outstanding technical success, who had no analogues with us or our allies. Soviet armored vehicles, British jet engines - the cradle of modern aviation, nuclear weapons, anti-aircraft guided missiles (the American Lark complex) - all this existed in practice.

Neo-Nazis can only remember von Braun and his rockets. But von Braun alone is not enough for the “millennial Reich,” imagining itself to be the main nation on earth.

The Wehrmacht and the Luftwaffe never had clear technical superiority

All the successes of the Germans and our losses are the result of their better organization. An extremely unpopular conclusion, which, instead of soothing excuses (the German crushed with technology!), Forces us to look for reasons in ourselves and eliminate our own shortcomings. So that this does not happen again.

As for the Schwalbe fighter, enough has already been said about its technical appearance and comparison with other jet aircraft of the WWII era.

How and why was Me.262 launched into the series? It is useless to seek rational meaning in the actions of an agonizing adversary.
Oleg Kaptsov
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