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  #1  
Old 10 Jul 15, 14:00
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A better Bf 110 in 1939

The Bf 110 had a huge 414 ft2 wing, a crew of 2, two 20mm cannon and 5 7.92mm MGs and 1,040 hp engines, so she had poor maneuverability and velocity and experienced heavy losses over France, Britain the Med, Germany and even over Switzerland and Iraq (against Gladiators). She was only useful as a night interceptor.

A much better, easier to produce fighter would have resulted if the plane had a 280 ft2 wing, a single seat, two 20 mm cannon on the nose (no MGs), drop tanks and a lighter landing gear. Such a plane would have exceeded 370 mph after shedding the tanks and been much more useful as a Jabo. Bf 110 losses would have been much lower in the BoB and RAF losses greater, making a difference in the BoB and then in Russia with more Bf 110 and pilots surviving for Barbarossa. This Bf 110 has more powerful and much more reliable engines than the Whirwind and a slightly larger wing area (280 vs 250 ft2), so she has higher speed, rate of climb and reliability. Range is similar or longer, since cruising speed is much higher for the same fuel consumption.

Last edited by Draco; 10 Jul 15 at 14:09..
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  #2  
Old 10 Jul 15, 14:04
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Wow!

This is your first interesting thread.
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  #3  
Old 10 Jul 15, 14:24
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^ I agree! Of course, even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

I'm not sure it would have been necessary to completely redesign the 110. The key weakness was the not very powerful engines, something the Germans had some trouble with more generally. Later the Americans found something similar with the Lightnings. They were kinda a pig, until they boosted the engines and then they really shined. If the Germans had not suffered from chronic production problems (and certainly having Goering in charge didn't help!) they might have made the 110 into an effective fighter. Which might have been pretty important during the BoB, given the limited range of the 109's.
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Old 10 Jul 15, 16:51
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The Fw 187 fits Draco's proposal.



It was turned down for service. Looking at it in hindsight, that was probably a smart move by the Luftwaffe. As a twin fighter it lacked the size and capacity to be used for anything beyond being a day fighter / longer ranged escort.
It was too small to accommodate radar (let alone a second crew member) and be a night fighter. In fact, the cockpit was so small that some of the engine instruments were mounted on the engine nacelles themselves.
It lacked the capacity to be a good fighter bomber too.

The Me 110 proved poor as a straight up fighter but proved very successful as a fighter bomber / light bomber, night fighter, and in other roles.

The Whirlwind, likewise was very much a niche aircraft. Even with Merlin engines it would never have been built in large quantities as both the Beaufighter and Mosquito were more flexible designs.
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Old 10 Jul 15, 17:27
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I agree that the Westland Whirlwind was too small to be greatly developed and that the Fw 187 was too small to be ideal for the night fighter role carrying a bulky radar set. However, the Fw 187 might have roughly matched the P-38 if it had been given the same power. As the Fw 187 with a Jumo 210G could make 326 mph while a Bf 109C with the same engine could only do 292 mph, it would probably have been significantly faster than a Bf 109E with a DB 601A in the Battle of Britain.

Here is a list of aircraft in order of their wing areas:

Westland Whirlwind 250 ft (23.2 m)
Focke-Wulf Fw 187 30.40 m (327.22 ft)
Lockheed P-38 327.5 ft (30.43 m)
Mitsubishi Ki-83 33.5 m (361 ft)
de Havilland Hornet 361 ft (33.54 m)
Messerschmitt Me 410 36.20 m (390 ft)
Messerschmitt Bf 110 38.8 m (414 ft)
de Havilland Mosquito 454 ft2 (42.18 m2)
Grumman F7F Tigercat 455 ft (42.3 m)

All from Wikipedia

Last edited by Mostlyharmless; 10 Jul 15 at 17:35..
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  #6  
Old 10 Jul 15, 18:08
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The FW 187 was a piece of crap with 690 hp engines, large 327 ft2 wings, twin seats, two 20mm cannon plus 4 MGs, a completely different animal from the proposed Bf 110.

At the beginning of the war a day fighter was a million times more useful than a night fighter. With an excellent day fghter in Norway, Dunkirk and the BoB, there would not have been any need for a night fighter. The latter was only necessary when OTL the war was already lost after the US entered it.

Last edited by Draco; 10 Jul 15 at 18:23..
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  #7  
Old 10 Jul 15, 18:13
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The Whirlwind would have been great with the reliable Pegasus engine. However, this Bf 110 is even better.
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Old 10 Jul 15, 18:20
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36 of these Bf 100 would have made life very difficult for RAF and the RN in Dunkirk.

A couple of hundred of these planes would have bombed and strafed RAF fighters with impunity in Britain, protected other bombers and boosted the Bf 109 considerably.
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Old 10 Jul 15, 18:57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Draco View Post
TAG
The FW 187 was a piece of crap with 690 hp engines, large 327 ft2 wings, twin seats, two 20mm cannon plus 4 MGs, a completely different animal from the proposed Bf 110.

At the beginning of the war a day fighter was a million times more useful than a night fighter. With an excellent day fghter in Norway, Dunkirk and the BoB, there would not have been any need for a night fighter. The latter was only necessary when OTL the war was already lost after the US entered it.
Not really it fits it rather effectively, Th Bf 110 used the same engines as well, the B models had to use the Jumo 210G engines (which 8 of the 9 Fw 187s used) which resulted in a top speed of ~270 MPH, while the Fw 187 had a top speed of 325 MPH (AFAIK this was for the single seat model), the last prototype V6 had the same 1,000 HP DB 600B engines as the Bf 110Cs got and managed to reach a speed of about 395 MPH, compared to about 335 MPH of the 110C.

So the Fw 187 with it's 48 foot larger wing than what you want (is it really that big of a deal? -it's still much smaller than the 110s), with the 1,000 HP DB 600B engines as a single seater (and not as a twin seat) could likely brake 400 MPH (or at the least get close to) in mid to late 1939. As it's largely already available, it could easily be ready for mass production by mid 1940.

Where as your radically redesigned Bf 110 would not be, unless it's completely replacing the 110 before it even flew.

Part of why the 187 was passed over was that it did not have a tail gunner...
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Old 10 Jul 15, 19:02
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Draco View Post
TAG
The FW 187 was a piece of crap with 690 hp engines, large 327 ft2 wings, twin seats, two 20mm cannon plus 4 MGs, a completely different animal from the proposed Bf 110.

At the beginning of the war a day fighter was a million times more useful than a night fighter. With an excellent day fghter in Norway, Dunkirk and the BoB, there would not have been any need for a night fighter. The latter was only necessary when OTL the war was already lost after the US entered it.
Not according to the pilots who flew them in Norway until the RLM found out about it.

Can you imagine what would've happened to the Beaufighter if anyone'd been thick enough to deploy it like the Bf 110 ?

The Hawker Typhoon did the Whirlwind's job better and cheaper, and big twins like the Bf110 and Beaufighter (or even the Ju 88, come to that) would never have been able to tackle single-seaters in daylight - the concept itself was flawed - but could be adapted to a thousand different roles.

Never intended as a bomber, the Bf 110 acquitted itself very well indeed as a fighter-bomber, it was no slouch as a night-fighter either, could blast a bomber out of the sky as an interceptor, and proved itself fairly useful in reconnaissance.
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  #11  
Old 10 Jul 15, 19:48
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Nebfer,
The difference in wing area between my Bf 100 and the FW 187 is 17% that makes all the difference in the world when it comes to speed. The 50% difference in power is even more important.

The max. speed of the FW 187 with a crew of 2 in wiki is clearly wrong, since it had much less power and a 31% larger wing than the single seat Whirwind which reached only 360 mph.

Like the Bf 110, the Fw 187 was grossly underpowered for its wing size (the same as that of the much more powerful P-38) it was simply a lousy design. The Whirlwind was much better proportioned. It was rendered useless only by the lousy Peregine (with the Pegasus she would have been the ideal fighter for the BoB)
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Old 10 Jul 15, 20:16
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The Fw 187 V6 equipped with DB 601 engines and a very troublesome surface evaporation cooling system hit 394.5 mph. But, the cooling system wasn't going to be something that could have been used operationally. I'd guess that the DB601 version of the Fw 187 would hit about 360 or so.

Draco's version would perform pretty closely to that too. The difference in wing area wouldn't make much difference in top speed but, it would make the plane much poorer as in turns with higher wing loading.

I'd guess the loaded weight at about 11,000 lbs., roughly the same as the Fw 187 and Whirlwind. On the whole, it wouldn't be particularly exceptional, but rather the same as other such planes.
I'd also say in the long run it would be abandoned as of very marginal use.
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Old 10 Jul 15, 23:02
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You don't seem to understand the obvious:
A single seat plane with fewer guns, a smaller wing and much more power than a twin seat FW 187 is much faster, has a higher rate of climb and is very difficult for AAA, a very slow Hurricane or the few Spitfires in the BoB to shoot down before, after or while it bombs and drops fragmentation bombs and strafes RAF bases. 200 of them are infinitely more useful than 200 Bf 110 or FW 187.

36 such planes would shoot down at least another 20 planes over Dunkirk, making life a lot easier for the other LW planes and very difficult for the RN.

The faster BF 110 can easily fly over Switzerland without being shot down furing the invasion of France by Swiss Bf 109 and will wipe out RAF and armored cars in Iraq.
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Old 10 Jul 15, 23:59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the ace View Post
Never intended as a bomber, the Bf 110 acquitted itself very well indeed as a fighter-bomber, it was no slouch as a night-fighter either, could blast a bomber out of the sky as an interceptor, and proved itself fairly useful in reconnaissance.
Errr.... no.

The Bf-110 was intended as a bomber, a light one, that would do CAS, airfield interdiction and escort, it was even supposed to have a bomb bay but Messerchmitt cheated, they didnt fit one and still got the contract.

If the requirement seems concocted by the feverish mind of a drug addict is because it was, this was Gorings pet and the sole reason the turd got made in spite of Wever begging him to kill it.

Any mission it could do, another aircraft could do it better, usually the Ju-88.

A Fw-187 would have done better as a escort fighter and interceptor, the Ju-88 could have assumed the other missions, and no Me-210 to stink the skies in addition.
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Old 11 Jul 15, 00:18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Draco View Post
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You don't seem to understand the obvious:
The faster BF 110 can easily fly over Switzerland without being shot down furing the invasion of France by Swiss Bf 109 and will wipe out RAF and armored cars in Iraq.
It is you who doesn't get the obvious.

Repeated incursions of Swiss air space will get the attention of the Swiss. It could result in their purchasing aircraft from Britain or the US specifically to deal with this problem.
I guarantee all that would get Germany is the wrath of the Swiss who the Germans need for a good many reasons to remain neutral.

As for Iraq. The Luftwaffe sent 12 Me 110E, 12 He 111, a Ju 90, and about 15 Ju 52 transports to Iraq. This force arrived between 9 and 11 May 1940, went into operations on 15 May and by 18 May had lost over 30% of its aircraft to either RAF action or operational losses.
The Italians sent 12 CR 42 on 27 May.

By 28 May the Luftwaffe detachment had just 2 operable He 111 left and their airfields were about to be overrun on the ground by British forces.

Your cute little airplane would have made no difference.

Oberst Werner Junck, the commander of Fliegerfuhrer Irak, noted in a communications with Germany that he had no replacements available, no spares, poor fuel, and aggressive attacks by the British that were decimating his small command.

Nothing changes by changing out one of the aircraft involved.
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