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arhob1
12-22-2005, 01:05 PM
I've seen a few films depicting helicopters in use during WW2. Is there any fact behind this? Were helicopters of any sort used by the military during WW2?

TIA

LargeBrew
12-22-2005, 01:28 PM
I seem to remember seeing a item on tv years back showing a wind powered auto gyro contraption used by Uboats to see over the horizon though as I havent seen anything about it since I may be mistaken

any one got info or links

Halger280HVMag
12-22-2005, 01:41 PM
Focke Achgelis....

http://www.centennialofflight.gov/essay/Dictionary/Fa_223/DI52.htm

Und hier....

http://www.flying-bike.demon.co.uk/helistuff/heli.html

And in the USA.....

http://home.earthlink.net/~aircommando1/HelioUSA.htm

But Russia was the first....

http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/blhelicoptor.htm

Twitch1
12-22-2005, 02:15 PM
The Luftwaffe had real helicopters in operational service during the war.

Cuts
12-22-2005, 02:20 PM
Yeah, I saw it in 'The Dirty Dozen' !

Firefly
12-22-2005, 05:53 PM
Didnt Hanna Reisch (Sp) fly a German Helicopter inside a building at some rally? The Germans did have some Helos during ww2 though:

http://www.helis.com/types/gunship.php

As did the Allies, I cant find anything, but have read that some Medical Evacuations were made by them.

DerMann
12-22-2005, 07:27 PM
A German by the name of Anton Flettner designed the Kolibri.

http://www.centennialofflight.gov/essay/Rotary/flettner/HE6.htm

arhob1
12-23-2005, 08:28 AM
Thanks for all info above - interesting stuff.

Cuts wrote:


Yeah, I saw it in 'The Dirty Dozen' !

Me too! I didn't want to admit to that though as not sure how credible that would have been as a source!!!

The reason why I asked the question in the first place is because I was wondering why they weren't used in place of gliders and paras at places like Arnhem etc. The precision of the landing would be far better from a helicopter than from parachutes. From the various URL's given above I presume that they weren't used because:

1 - Noise - compared with gliders.
2 - It would seem that all nations gave the development of conventional aircraft the priority during the war as these are more likely to be "war winning" machines than helicopters.
3 - At the start of the war helicopters could only cope with a load of about two people and a picnic lunch.
4 - Slow/easy prey.

Twitch1
12-23-2005, 10:26 AM
In service helos actually rescued downed Luftwaffe airmen. But for last minute mechanical trouble on the machine to be used, Mussolini was to be rescued by Skorzeny's men. Instead the Fiesler Storch was used.

Topor
12-23-2005, 02:10 PM
The first helicopter to be used operationally by the Allies was the Sikorsky R-4B "Hoverfly", in May 1944.

Twitch1
12-23-2005, 06:26 PM
Here is some info on German helos. I'm not posting it so people can argue whether the German helos were any good or not. It is simply here for those that may appreciates it.

FOCKE ACHGELIS GmbH
FA223
Dr. Heinrich Karl Johann Focke developed several helicopters that flew during WW II. The FA 269 tilt-rotor concept will be seen but there were several viable models of normal rotary wing craft too.

In late 1940, pilot Karl Bode flew the Fa 223 Drache (kite) V1 over to the Rechlin test center where its performance set a new world helicopter speed record of 113 MPH with a climb rate record of 1,732 feet per minute and an altitude record of 23,294 feet. In America 1944 Igor Sikorskyís R-4B had a top speed of only 75 MPH with a ceiling of 8,000 feet.

Five versions were envisioned- an anti submarine helicopter carrying either two 550-lb. bombs or depth charges, a reconnaissance helicopter; for search and rescue; a transport helicopter; and a dual control trainer

The Fa 223 made 115 flights before a crash destroyed it. Other prototypes continued to test lift capabilities in field operations. 1,100 lbs. could be hauled 6,500 feet high in seven minutes. In actual combat conditions in February 1945 it began operational life by picking up a downed Bf 109 pilot near Danzig and overflew Russian forces to safety. The mission, commencing at Templhoff Airdrome, racked up 1,041 miles proving the machines usefulness.

At the warís end a Luftwaffe pilot escaped to France then on to England making the first crossing of the English Channel by helo. Most of the Allies got their hands on surviving Fa 223 examples and the rest is history.

The Fa223 weighed 11,000 lbs. with its twin rotors spanning 39.3 feet in diameter. The fuselage was 40.2 feet long. Takeoff power came from a fan-cooled 1,000 HP BMW Bramo 323 9-cylinder radial aft of the cockpit. Normal output was 620 HP. It could cruise at 76 MPH for 435 miles with auxiliary fuel, had a 109 MPH top speed, a climb rate of 1,100 FPM and a ceiling of 16,000 feet. This type of performance would not be seen till much later in post-war machines.

FA283
Focke was not left behind in performance helos either. The Fa 283 was to mount an unnamed jet engine in the fuselage driving a three-blade rotor. The jet was not to turn those blades directly but instead would provide thrust to make an auto-gyro effect. It had fully retractable landing wheels. No other specifications exist.

FA 284
The much later Sikorsky Skycrane notion was already considered in the Fa 284. The 2-seater was to use two 59.5-foot side-by-side, outrigger rotors above a 45-foot fuselage that made it about half again the size of the Fa 223. 1,600 HP BMW 801 radials mounted on the outriggers so complex gearing or shafts were not needed. Empty it would weigh 8,100 lbs. and loaded 26,460 lbs.

It would cruise at 129 MPH with a top speed around 155 MPH and be able to climb at 1,000 FPM. Range was estimated at 248 miles but lifting weights were not proposed.

It was proposed that two Fa 223s be combined to accomplish the same job with four rotors and the venture was cancelled in 1943.

FA 269
With his pioneering work in helicopters, Dr. Heinrich Karl Johann Focke had already built and flown several designs. The Fa 223 was quite progressive with a twin rotor layout and seating for four in a fully enclosed fuselage. Three survived the war in airworthy condition.

But Focke predated the V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor craft by half a century with his Fa 269! It was called a convertiplane back in 1943 during its design. The 32.9-foot wings each had a DB 605 at mid-span driving large diameter (16 feet proposed) three-blade pusher props. The fuselage of 29.1 feet in length sat on a very snout-high landing gear with a transparent nose floor housing a 2-man crew. The possible uses in WW II are the same as todayís making it a handy aircraft.

In Fockeís layout he didnít envision the whole wing rotating like the Osprey, only the engines and their props downward at 85-degrees. There was a special pivoting gearbox at the front of each engine, from which a drive shaft passed back between the engine cylinder banks to drive its propeller behind the wingís trailing edge. In the completely down position, the propellers were almost parallel to the ground. For this reason a very long tail wheel was needed, which retracted into the fuselage.

Maximum speed was reasoned to be about 373 MPH depending on the horsepower and engine model. Further specs are not known. The project was dropped in 1944 since considerable development was needed for the special gearboxes, drives, pivoting mechanisms and prop pitch controls for landing and taking off. Since the wings didnít tilt they could continue to provide lift even during slow forward travel as transition of the engines occurred. Perhaps though, THIS is the right way to do tilt-rotor!

WESSERFLUG
The Focke-Angelis FA 269 was the first tilt-rotor, the V-22 Osprey owing its concept to this grandfather craft. But another lesser-known company also designed a tilt-rotor ship. A Dr. Rohrbach conceived ideas on VTOL craft in 1933 and joined Wesserflug in 1935 where in 1938 Dipl. Ing. Simon began the P.1003 project.

Little survives of the data other than that two 13.1-foot rotors were driven by single Daimler Benz DB 605Ds of 1,550 HP in the 27.2-foot main fuselage. The rotors turned at the tips pf 36-foot wings, which tilted in mid-span to facilitate changes of thrust. The craft was 4,400 lbs. loaded but range was not estimated. Speed was calculated at 403 MPH. As with the FA 269, the special gearboxes, drives, pivoting mechanisms and prop pitch controls for landing and taking off were not yet developed.

Man of Stoat
12-24-2005, 03:20 AM
Thanks for all info above - interesting stuff.

Cuts wrote:


Yeah, I saw it in 'The Dirty Dozen' !

Me too! I didn't want to admit to that though as not sure how credible that would have been as a source!!!

The reason why I asked the question in the first place is because I was wondering why they weren't used in place of gliders and paras at places like Arnhem etc. The precision of the landing would be far better from a helicopter than from parachutes. From the various URL's given above I presume that they weren't used because:

1 - Noise - compared with gliders.
2 - It would seem that all nations gave the development of conventional aircraft the priority during the war as these are more likely to be "war winning" machines than helicopters.
3 - At the start of the war helicopters could only cope with a load of about two people and a picnic lunch.
4 - Slow/easy prey.

Range, payload, expense, training requirements, and so on.

Cuts
12-24-2005, 05:35 AM
Thanks for all info above - interesting stuff.

Cuts wrote:


Yeah, I saw it in 'The Dirty Dozen' !

Me too! I didn't want to admit to that though as not sure how credible that would have been as a source!!!

The reason why I asked the question in the first place is because I was wondering why they weren't used in place of gliders and paras at places like Arnhem etc. The precision of the landing would be far better from a helicopter than from parachutes. From the various URL's given above I presume that they weren't used because:

1 - Noise - compared with gliders.
2 - It would seem that all nations gave the development of conventional aircraft the priority during the war as these are more likely to be "war winning" machines than helicopters.
3 - At the start of the war helicopters could only cope with a load of about two people and a picnic lunch.
4 - Slow/easy prey.

Range, payload, expense, training requirements, and so on.

Not forgetting the War Ministry report: 'Wider Application of Humint Before Implementing Test & Evaluation.'

Man of Stoat
12-24-2005, 05:59 AM
Cuts -- are you sure that said report applies here?

Firefly
12-24-2005, 07:22 AM
Thanks for the Helo info, I never knew the Germans had just so many diffrent ones.

Walther
01-24-2006, 02:14 PM
Didnt Hanna Reisch (Sp) fly a German Helicopter inside a building at some rally? The Germans did have some Helos during ww2 though:

http://www.helis.com/types/gunship.php

As did the Allies, I cant find anything, but have read that some Medical Evacuations were made by them.

Her name was Hanna Reitsch. She flew a Focke-Wulff helicopter inside the Deutschlandhalle in Berlin, a huge multipurpose hall. My grandfather was there when it happened and he often told me about it.

Jan

Halger280HVMag
01-24-2006, 04:15 PM
Her name was Hanna Reitsch. She flew a Focke-Wulff helicopter inside the Deutschlandhalle in Berlin, a huge multipurpose hall. My grandfather was there when it happened and he often told me about it.

Jan

Not quite...actually it was the Focke-Achgelis Fa 61....

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/6/63/Heli.fw-61.jpg/250px-Heli.fw-61.jpg

Pic. of the one of the flights inside the Hall....

http://www.ctie.monash.edu.au/hargrave/images/reitsch_2_350.jpg


n 1937 she was posted to the Luftwaffe testing center at Rechlin by Ernst Udet. While under direct command of Karl Franke she soon became a major test pilot on the Junkers Ju 87 Stuka and Dornier Do 17 projects, as well as one of the few to fly the new Focke-Achgelis Fa 61, the world's first helicopter. Her flying and her photogenic qualities made her a star of the Nazi party, always looking for publicity, and in 1938 she flew the Fa 61 every night inside the "Deutschlandhalle" at the Berlin Motor Show.

From ....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanna_Reitsch

2 cents. :wink:

festamus
01-24-2006, 04:44 PM
At the warís end a Luftwaffe pilot escaped to France then on to England making the first crossing of the English Channel by helo. Most of the Allies got their hands on surviving Fa 223 examples and the rest is history.

The Mi-12 is an alarmingly similar design (two built - didn't live up to expectations, cancelled), although in the West a similar helicopter doesn't spring to mind. The Piasecki/Boeing Vertol lineage, and the likes of at least uses a tandem rotor configuration, although not side-by-side. As far as I can gather, this began with the Piasecki XHRP-X - first flight March 1945.



FA283
Focke was not left behind in performance helos either. The Fa 283 was to mount an unnamed jet engine in the fuselage driving a three-blade rotor. The jet was not to turn those blades directly but instead would provide thrust to make an auto-gyro effect.

Thus making it a jet gyrocopter, not a helicopter, surely?

Regarding the Fa 269:


The possible uses in WW II are the same as todayís making it a handy aircraft.

He he he. Given the lethality of the V-22, it might have been interesting to see what the Nazi's made of the concept! Even with modern technology, it's an alarmingly efficient way of killing test pilots. Something I'm not a big fan of in my line of work, but given that it's the Nazi's, it's a shame they didn't build the Fa 269, really!



In Fockeís layout he didnít envision the whole wing rotating like the Osprey,

:lol:


Since the wings didnít tilt they could continue to provide lift even during slow forward travel as transition of the engines occurred. Perhaps though, THIS is the right way to do tilt-rotor!

Perhaps I'm missing something here... It may sound good to say the Nazis were getting right what Bell/Boeing are getting wrong to prove your point... but...

http://www.boeing.com/rotorcraft/military/v22/images/v2202.jpg

... it surely couldn't have hurt to look at a V-22 before making such claims. :roll:

pdf27
01-24-2006, 05:10 PM
... it surely couldn't have hurt to look at a V-22 before making such claims. :roll:
Snicker. To be fair there have been vaguely successful tiltrotors that used the whole tilting wing concept...
http://www.airforce.forces.gc.ca/equip/grfx/equip_gallery/historic_gallery/wallpaper/cl-84.jpg
The two are of course really easy to confuse. I mean, they both have wings and two engines. Anybody could make that mistake!

Firefly
01-26-2006, 07:35 AM
I always thought that the Allies were the driving force behind Helicopter (http://www.helis.com/UpTo50s/) development pre-ww2 and beyond.

Halger280HVMag
01-26-2006, 01:56 PM
Paul Cornu
http://www.centennialofflight.gov/essay/Rotary/early_20th_century/HE2G13.jpg
http://www.centennialofflight.gov/essay/Dictionary/Cornu/DI18G1.jpg
Paul Cornu's helicopter was the first to achieve free flight while carrying a passenger (1907).

On November 13, 1907, the French bicycle maker Paul Cornu became the first person to rise vertically in powered free flight. His helicopter used two counter-rotating rotors to cancel torque. Some control was achieved by placing auxiliary paddle-like wings below the rotors, and sticks held by men on the ground stabilized the machine. Although Cornu achieved a historic first, rising about one foot (0.6 meter) and hovering for about 20 seconds, the controls were inadequate, and the craft never developed into a practical helicopter.

Go here for LOTS of info....
http://www.helis.com/faq/

The USA has certainly made large contributions to the world of vertical flight....

Dani
01-26-2006, 02:08 PM
Off-topic: A sketch of Cornu's helicopter:
http://img206.imageshack.us/img206/2314/cornu39jx.gif

Halger280HVMag
01-26-2006, 03:34 PM
Back on topic :)

There was operational use of helos in WWII....

U.S.A. ......YR-4
http://www.helis.com/stories/burma45.jpg


On January 17, 1945, a priority radio stating that a helicopter was urgently needed to rescue a group of American fliers who had been forced down in Burma was sent from Eastern Air Command Headquarters in India to Army Air Forces Headquarters in Washington, D.C. It reached Washington the same day.

On January 26th, only 9 days later, the helicopter had completed the rescue of a wounded enlisted man from the top of an isolated mountain in North Burma. In the interim, the aircraft had been dismantled at Wright Field, Dayton, Ohio; loaded, together with trained helicopter personnel, into a C-54 of the Air Transport Command; carried half way around the world to Myitkyina, Burma; reassembled and flown over jungles and 5,000-foot Peaks to accomplish its mission.

from this site....
http://www.helis.com/stories/burma45.php

Germany....Flettner FL 282 Kolibri
http://www.helis.com/h/fl282-2.jpg

In this pic, the twin rotor-heads with the vertical shafts angled to the sides, and the twin countra-rotating rotors can clearly be seen...
http://www.studenten.net/customasp/axl/image/foto/14-11-2003-9-12-flettner_fl_282_kolibri_(24)_overhead.jpg


In 1940, Hitler 's Kriegsmarine (German Navy) made a request for a naval helicopter for operate from its units. Derivative from the Flettner FL 265, the FL 282 deliveries begun in 1942 and the next year, 20 prototypes were in service.
The model demonstrate to be very effective so plans for 1000 units where approved but being a Navy aircraft had little claim on production facilities and they were finally aborted due allied bombs to the BMW and Flettner factories.
32 preproduction aircraft were delivered, and three were taken home as war booty by Russia and the United States.


Engine: 1 radial engine Bramo Sh 14A of 7 cylinders with 160 hp
Speed: : 150 km/h
Service Ceiling: 3300 m
Range: 170 km

Weight: Empty: 760 kg -- Max: 1000

Width: 25.55 m
Length: 6.56 m
Height: 2.20 m
Rotor Span: 11.96 m
Disc Area: 224 m2 each

Twitch1
01-29-2006, 12:26 PM
http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a15/Twitch98/wnf.jpg
Freidrich Doblhoff began work on a jet (gas drive) helo in 1942 at the Weiner Neustadter Flugzeugwerke in Vienna with official backing. 4 prototypes of the Doblhoff WNF 342, as it was designated, were built between 1942-45.

A conventional piston engine drove a compressor to compress air. This air was mixed with fuel and delivered to the rotor tips where it was burnt in a small combustion chamber. The engine powered a propellor and the gas drive jet tipped rotor was used for take offs and landings. The 4th prototype, WNF V-4, had a 132HP engine driving the compressor from an Argus As 411 engine and weighed in at 1,410 lbs with a rotor diameter or 32.5 feet