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He-100 instead of Me-109

Discussion in 'What If - European Theater - Western Front & Atlan' started by Gromit801, Oct 1, 2010.

  1. Gromit801

    Gromit801 Member

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    What would have happened, if the Luftwaffe had seen common sense, and adopted the Heinkle He-100 instead of the Messerschmitt Me-109 in the 1930's?

    The He-100 was faster, longer range, and considered slightly more maneuverable.

    He-100

    Performance
    Maximum speed: 416 mph
    Range: 628 mi

    Armament
    Guns: 1 × 20 mm MG FF cannon firing through propeller hub and 2 × 7.92 mm (.312 in) MG 17 machine guns or 20 mm MG 151 cannon in wing roots


    Me-109E

    Performance
    Maximum speed: 343 mph
    Range: 410 mi


    Armament
    Two fuselage 7.9 mm MG 17, 1,000 rounds/gun. Two wing 20 mm MG FF, 60 rounds/gun.

    The He-100 conceivably have stayed over the UK longer during the Battle of Britain, was faster than either the Spit or the Hurri.

    Also with the wide track landing gear, there wouldn't have been so many lost in landing accidents as there was the Me-109.
     
  2. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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  3. efestos

    efestos Member

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    IMHO: The most interesting thread is the possibility NOT to order the production of Me 110 to build more single-engine fighters.

    As was stated: The development of the He 100 was subsequent than the Me 109, to substitute it was not a "real" possibility.

    How about producing more 300 l external tanks and more Me109 even He 100 instead of the Me 110?
     
  4. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    The Germans did produce a drop tank for the Me 109 prior to the BoB. In fact, quite a few were produced. The problem with them was two fold. Few Me 109's (the E-7) in service had the necessary mounting point and fuel lines installed for its use. The tank itself was made of wood and left in the weather it quickly rotted. In use, the combination of wood and the finish applied were badly effected by the gasoline and the tank leaked like a sieve.

    Now, one alternative I could see in this is bringing Henschel into the picture instead of Messerschmitt. Henschel Schönefeld had considerable factory space that largely went to waste during the war. This was due to a combination of poor planning and the RLM having its collective head up its posterior.
    The primary reason, however, remains the DB 601A engine and its supply. Had the Luftwaffe shown more ability in industrial planning they might have substancially increased its production prior to or upon entry into the war.
     
  5. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Have read the thread that Kai linked -Thanks Kai- and it seems that He 100 was the better bird. I think the Soviets/Allies were fortunate that Germany who could be brilliant in the employment of the weapons they did produce, could be so equally foolish in the production of those weapons.
     
  6. efestos

    efestos Member

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    I read the nazis made plus 300 me 110 in 1939 and arrived to the 100 per month in 1940. It means 600 DB 601 and finally 200 more per month. And their spare parts. And as you posted, they had the factory to produce the He 100.

    Galland argued against the Me 110, he wanted more Me 109. A compromise solution might have been producing more Me109 E7, with the right fuel sistem for the dropable tanks.

    The problems with the dropable tank could have been solved ... And then there is still the problem of the lack of heavy bombers, the lack of barges, the lack of scort ships, the lack of carriers...
     
  7. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    In addition to all the other decent arguments against the He-100 being adopted, I think that Ernst Heinkel’s problems with the Nazi regime, and Hitler in particular must be kept in mind here. He was NOT a favored person. It was his anti-Nazi positions which kept him out of the dock at the Nuremberg trials afterall.

    On the other hand Willie Messerschmitt was a Hitler and Nazi favorite in the area of aircraft. Don’t forget that because of Heinkel’s "attitude" he was arrested and kept under lock and key in 1942 until he "sold" his interest in his own company to Hermann Göring.

    The Heinkel designs were fighting in a competition with one hand tied behind their backs. Political influence being the rope and knot.
     
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  8. efestos

    efestos Member

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    It was the same for the Me-110 and the Focke wulf 187, wasn´t it?

    My favorite in all these stuff of political influences is the Deutsche Physik.
     
  9. Carronade

    Carronade Ace Patron  

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    In hindsight we can see that they would have been better off without the Me110, but at the time it represented fairly forward thinking. They recognized the need for a long-ranged escort fighter at a time when most people were assuming that speed or defensive armament would enable "the bomber [to] always get through." They anticipated that fast, powerful fighters could dominate more maneuverable ones - the same logic by which monoplanes replaced biplanes and American fighters outfought the Japanese. And the 110 could serve as a bomber destroyer, with a heavy armament and able to accommodate radar, though no one anticipated that when the aircraft was designed. I would characterize it as one of many seemingly good ideas that didn't work out so well in practice.
     
  10. Spartanroller

    Spartanroller Ace

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    The Brits had the same sort of thing with the Beaufighter - ended up proving to be an excellent aircraft in other roles, but no good as a long range day fighter or bomber escort.
     
  11. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    And the P-38 wasn't a "bad idea" either as an interceptor, and could be very effective as a fighter in the hands of a skilled pilot. As a "nimble" fighter it wasn't in the class. But, that said it didn't need fighters to escort it as the Me-110 did.

    The 110 was just a bad idea, done poorly, and used with little effect.
     
  12. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Member

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    Picking up on the original post....

    The He100 wasn't THAT quick. It's posted max speed was actually 358 mph (William Green), the 400+ MPH figure commonly used actually comes from tests with no war kit....no guns or ammo, no radio etc...by the V-suffixed prototypes, not the D-series production aircraft.

    However - it IS the range where it scores its major adantage, a whopping 628 miles! :eek: 220 or so more than the 109...but it's unclear if again that is a series prodiuction figure or a "light" prototype-tested figure.

    However, the infamous "surface evaporation" cooling system would have made it vulnerable to combat damage...and its structural strength may have been questionable; there were a number of aerodynamic refinements and changes made over the course of the various prototypes, and extra strengthening in the change from "A-series" to "B-series" airframes at the V4 aircraft.

    Have to say - it reads very much like still an unrefined design by the time the first D-ausfrung flew in September 1939; in comparison, the 109 had been in service for two-and-a-bit years including Spain...

    On the matter of Bf109 droptanks...they enjoyed a poor reputation in Spain, where they were first available, due to delamination in the heat :eek: As we know....the wartime German aero industry was NEVER to fully resolve delamination issues! :p Anyway....due to the bad experiences in Spain, many LW "veterans" of that war, who were still in frontline flying in 1940, were simply unhappy with using the 109's tank.
     
  13. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    The He 100 has several big, big advantages over the 109. The 109 is a mature design more or less while the He 100 has more room to grow. The D model did away with the surface evaporation cooling and was specifically redesigned to eliminate a major number of components in its construction.
    Green lists the D model (the operational one) as having a speed of 358 at sea level and 416 mph at 16,400 feet (5000 meters). The range at that alititude is listed as 553 miles or about 150 more than the Me 109E.
    I would think that in production the wing root 7.9mm would have quickly given way to something a bit more powerful in the 15 to 20mm range. This would have given the Henkel 3 cannon versus two on the 109E.
     
  14. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Member

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    But that's the problem..September 1939 ;) The Luftwaffe entered the war with a "matured" design, despite all its recognised issues....one that a great number of its combat-expereinced pilots had many hours on type, that had a production line churning them out as fast as it was able to.

    In effect, the 100D-series were what would normally have been known as A-0 series aircraft; the very limited first production series on a new porduction line, with many issues to be smoothed out both in construction at speed and further refined in service. Which is not what you want starting a war - especially one that in 72 hours morphed into one against the RAF and the Armee De L'Air!
     
  15. Gromit801

    Gromit801 Member

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    The He-100 was in development almost parallel with the Me-109. Had it been given the go ahead, it would have been the "mature" aircraft at the start of the European war.
     
  16. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Member

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    Almost parallel - just three years apart! The first 109 prototype flew at the end of May 1935...and the V-1 He100 first prototype in January 1938...Ernst Heinkel only started development after the RLM had selected the 109 over the He112.
     
  17. efestos

    efestos Member

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    Any sources of that? I've never read anything about me 109 with dropable tanks in Spain so I'm really interested .
     
  18. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Member

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    It's been ages since I saw it, might have been in Hooton - but I also get a couple of classic aviation mags every month...! I wish I COULD remember - for I keep reading that the first few ausfrungen were built without an auxiliary fuel line! Certainly the He51 and Hs123 definitely had them in Spain, the 51 had provision for a 50L tank under the fuselage, while the Henschel's had an igniter so they'd blow once dropped; interesting idea that....in a dedicated ground attack aircraft! ;)

    Ah! Brainwave....possibly Deighton's Fighter. And several 109 ausfrung flew in Spain with the Condor legion - not only B-2s and C-1s....but also the evaluation V-suffixed preproduction examples. Possibly the tanks were intended for use with those...
     
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  19. Bader's Briar

    Bader's Briar Member

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    Dear Gromit801 & Fellow WW II AvFans:

    Bader's Briar here...before going on any further, please read CAREFULLY the text at the Wikipedia page here ...please. let's not make Erla Flugzeugwerke's mistake :rolleyes: of "'Mee-ing' all over the Biffs" :( again, as the proper prefix for any and ALL Messerschmitt aircraft designs that first flew before July 11th, 1938 officially REMAINED "Bf" for the entirety of the Second World War ! (Sorry about that, though...I will always readily admit that I'm a stinker about historically accurate documenting of aircraft designations!)

    The He 100 was certainly a highly-developed fighter airframe design, with much of the German penchant for developing an intricate, mechanically sophisticated airframe design incorporating advanced regular engine coolant (water/glycol) and even for the engine OIL cooling function incorporated throughout the airframe. The "Biff" (Bf 109s of all marks) by contrast, had the well-installed underwing radiators for the engine coolant, and always used an oil cooling system as close to the engine (in its case, right underneath it) as a fighter design's nose contours would allow.

    The He 100 DID smartly go with inwards-retracting wide-track main LG members from the start, something that the Biff did NOT go with in using its narrow-track, outwards-retracting main LG. The outwards-retracting main LG of the Bf 109 COULD have been done better by placing the LG struts' trunnions wider apart to start with, as with the earlier He 112 and on the Spitfire, but Willy Messerschmitt's engineers are likely to have felt that the shock forces of landing would be better handled for their Biff, by placing those trunnions directly to the wing root areas where the wing panels mounted onto the fuselage. but then one gets a narrow-track main LG that can be :eek: "tricky" to use in practice, to say the least.

    One ALSO has to wonder how the He 100's sophisticated surface cooling systems for BOTH the engine coolant and OIL would have worked out in actual combat...just a few bullet or cannonshell hits in the right places (and there were "a WHOLE lot" of "right places" on the He 100's airframe to shoot at) and one would lose serious quantities of engine coolant and/or engine OIL, bringing one down and out of the fight rather quickly.

    It's just that there's got to be a careful balance of innovation versus simplicity in the design of any mechanical system used for a nation's defense...the He 100 fighter, along with Henschel's Tiger I heavy tank, are examples of how the Third Reich went overboard on complex innovations versus the simpler, yet much MORE usefully effective designs of Allied aircraft like the P-51 and B-17, and Allied tanks like the M4 Sherman for the western Allies and Mikhail Koshkin's great Soviet T-34 tank, which were not as "innovative" as their German equivalents, yet won the war with relative simplicity and the much higher quantities of each produced.

    Yours Sincerely,

    Bader's Briar..;)..!!
     

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