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ww2admin
07-11-2006, 03:16 PM
Here's a pic I just added to the gallery:

http://www.ww2incolor.com/gallery/albums/U-S-Air-Force/xp59a_1_300.sized.jpg

Bell XP-59A Airacomet; America's first jet fighter, 1942

For kicks, check out this one...1945:

http://www.ww2incolor.com/gallery/albums/U-S-Air-Force/yb49_1_300.sized.jpg

Northrop YB-49; late 1945

american sniper
07-11-2006, 04:05 PM
the Bell XP-59A Airacomet never went into combat did it or was that the Northrop. i know that on June 5, 1948 the Northrop after being sent to the air force crashed killing its crew. did the Northrop ever make it to combat?

ww2admin
07-11-2006, 04:20 PM
the Bell XP-59A Airacomet never went into combat did it or was that the Northrop. i know that on June 5, 1948 the Northrop after being sent to the air force crashed killing its crew. did the Northrop ever make it to combat?

Nope. The second one crashed and then they scrapped it and there is not even any samples in museums.

american sniper
07-11-2006, 04:22 PM
wow ok thanks

SS Tiger
07-11-2006, 11:01 PM
Great pictures!

George Eller
07-11-2006, 11:25 PM
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Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star

A couple P-80'S made it to Italy before the close of the war but didn't see combat. The P-80 had a top speed of 558 mph (slightly faster than the Me262's 540 mph). The P-80's service ceiling was 45,000 feet (the Me262 had service ceiling of 37,565 feet). The P-80 was armed with six .50 caliber (12.7mm) machine guns in nose (Me262 had four 30mm Mk 108 cannon in nose). On November 10, 1950, Lieutenant Russell Brown, flying a Shooting Star, made history when he destroyed a Russian MiG-15 fighter in the world's first decisive all-jet combat.

Some information follows that I picked up on a quick google search.

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Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star
http://www.aviation-history.com/lockheed/p80.html

Few airplanes in the history of aeronautics have been as successful as the Lockheed Shooting Star. It was the first operational jet fighter in the United States when it went into service in 1945. It emerged as victor in the world's first all-jet combat, and it won the distinction of remaining in production for a full 15 years after the experimental model was first flown.

The Army Air Force planned to build the Shooting Star in large numbers. However, only two of the machines arrived in Italy before the end of the war in Europe, and these were never used in operations. Despite the cessation of hostilities, production was continued on a reduced scale.

When war started in Korea, F-80's were sent to the battle area to help the South Koreans. On November 10, 1950, Lieutenant Russell Brown, flying a Shooting Star, made history when he destroyed a Russian MiG-15 fighter in the world's first decisive all-jet combat.

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P-80 Shooting Star
http://www.warbirdsresourcegroup.org/URG/p80shootingstar.html

The P-80 was the first American built jet aircraft that was produced in large quantities and was the first USAF aircraft to exceed 500 mph in level flight. Designed during WWII but arriving too late to see combat, the P-80 eventually saw combat in the Korean conflict. Redesignated F-80 in 1948, the F-80C saw extensive use in the low-level strike fighter role utilizing rockets, bombs and napalm. On Nov. 8, 1950 the F-80 reasserted its interceptor roots and a Shooting Star flown by Lt. Russell J. Brown of the 16th FIS successfully engaged in the worlds first jet on jet combat, downing a Russian-built Mig-15.

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Jet and Rocket Aircraft WWII
http://www.ww2guide.com/jetrock.shtml

P-80 Shooting Star
Developed in only 143 days, the prototype Lockheed XP-80 Shooting Star, Lulu Belle, makes its first flight on January 8, 1944 at Muroc Dry Lake (later Edwards AFB), Calif., with Milo Burcham at the controls. It is the first American fighter to exceed 500 mph in level flight. If the war had continued the Shooting Star most likely would has seen combat.

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LOCKHEED F-80 "Shooting Star"
http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/usa/airdef/f-80.htm

The Shooting Star was the first USAF aircraft to exceed 500 mph in level flight, the first American jet airplane to be manufactured in large quantities, and the first USAF jet to be used in combat. Designed in 1943, the XP-80 made its maiden flight on January 8, 1944. Several early P-80s were sent to Europe for demonstration, but World War II ended before the aircraft could be employed in combat. The aircraft was redesignated in 1948 when "P" for "Pursuit" was changed to "F" for "Fighter." Of 1,731 F-80s built, 798 were F-80Cs.

Although designated a high-altitude interceptor, the F-80C was used extensively as a fighter-bomber in the Korean Conflict, primarily for low-level rocket, bomb and napalm attacks against ground targets. With the beginning of hostilities in June 1950, Warner Robins Air Logistics Center (WR-ALC) modernized F-80s assigned to federalized Air National Guard units in a crash program called "Project Hold-Off." On November 8, 1950, an F-80C flown by Lt. Russell J. Brown, flying with the 16th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, shot down a Russian-built MIG-15 in the world's first all-jet fighter air battle.

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Lockheed F-80 "Shooting Star"
http://www.wpafb.af.mil/museum/research/fighter/f80.htm
Specs and photo gallery

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George Eller
07-11-2006, 11:25 PM
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Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star (cont.)


F-80 "Shooting Star"
http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/aircraft/f-80a.htm

The Shooting Star was the first USAF aircraft to exceed 500 mph in level flight, the first American jet airplane to be manufactured in large quantities, and the first USAF jet to be used in combat. Designed in 1943, the XP-80 made its maiden flight on January 8, 1944. Several early P-80s were sent to Europe for demonstration, but World War II ended before the aircraft could be employed in combat. The aircraft was redesignated in 1948 when "P" for "Pursuit" was changed to "F" for "Fighter." Of 1,731 F-80s built, 798 were F-80Cs.

Although designated a high-altitude interceptor, the F-80C was used extensively as a fighter-bomber in the Korean Conflict, primarily for low-level rocket, bomb and napalm attacks against ground targets. With the beginning of hostilities in June 1950, Warner Robins Air Logistics Center (WR-ALC) modernized F-80s assigned to federalized Air National Guard units in a crash program called "Project Hold-Off." On November 8, 1960, an F-80C flown by Lt. Russell J. Brown, flying with the 16th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, shot down a Russian-built MIG-15 in the world's first all-jet fighter air battle.

"Frantic" best describes the pace of some aircraft development programs during World War II. Surely falling into this category was the Lockheed F-80 Shooting Star program. By the summer of 1943, the poor performance of the Bell Airacomet spelled the need for the development of a new U.S. jet fighter. Lockheed had been making design studies of such an aircraft and in June 1943 was awarded a prototype development contract with the stipulation that the aircraft be ready for flight in 180 days. Completion of the aircraft actually required only 150 days, but first flight was delayed by engine problems until January 1944. The intitial contract was for one plane, at a cost of $515,000. Production of the F-80A, using a different engine (the J-33) began in 1945.

Conventional in basic configuration, the F-80 featured an unswept wing of 13-percent thickness mounted in the low position and, unlike the twin-engine Meteor and the Me 262, had a single engine located in the fuselage behind the pilot. Air was delivered to the engine by side inlets located on the fuselage just ahead of the wing root, and the jet exhaust nozzle was at the extreme end of the fuselage. Adjacent to the fuselage side may be seen the bleed slots that removed the fuselage boundary layer from the engine intake air and thus prevented flow separation inside the inlet. No such slots were provided on the prototype, and intermittent separation did occur in the inlets. "Duct rumble" was the term used to describe this phenomenon because of the alarming noise heard by the pilot. Evident in the photograph is the deployed speed brake located on the bottom of the fuselage. Like the P-38 , the F-80 had a small dive-recovery flap near the leading edge of the lower surface of the wing. Again like later versions of the P-38, the F-80 had power-operated ailerons. The other controls were manually operated. Split trailing-edge flaps provided lift augmentation at low speeds.

The cockpit of production models of the Shooting Star was pressurized and air-conditioned. In the prototype, no air-conditioning was provided so that the temperature resulting from a combination of the high temperatures of the California desert and sustained high Mach number flight at low altitude caused the interior surfaces of the cockpit and controls to become uncomfortably hot. For example, with an ambient temperature of 90° some parts of the aircraft would reach a temperature of 150 in prolonged flight at a Mach number of 0.73. Another advance in cockpit equipment was the ejection seat incorporated in the F-80C model of the Shooting Star. (The first successful manned test of an ejection seat took place in July 1946.)

Although the F-80 was conventional in appearance, the aircraft was the result of a careful synthesis of weight, size, and thrust parameters, as well as close attention to aerodynamic refinement. As a consequence, it had performance far superior to that of the P-59A although the thrust-to-weight ratio of the earlier aircraft was actually about 12 percent greater than that of the F-80A. For example, the maximum sea-level speed of 558 miles per hour was 145 miles per hour greater than that of the maximum speed of the P-59A, which occurred at 30 000 feet. As seen in table V, the climbing performance of the F-80A was also far superior to that of the earlier aircraft; the much smaller wing and resultant drag area of the F-80A no doubt played a significant role in ensuring the higher performance of the Shooting Star. In comparison with the drag area of the famous World War II Mustang, the drag area of 3.2 square feet of the F-80A was about 15 percent lower than that of the earlier propeller-driven aircraft.

The F-80 came too late for operational service in World War II, but the F-80C did see action in the Korean conflict of the early 1950's. Designed as an air-superiority fighter, the F-80 could not compete in that role with the Soviet-built MiG-15 supplied to the opposing forces by the Soviet Union. It was, however, extensively employed in the ground-attack mode. Armament consisted of six .50-caliber machine guns in the nose and externally mounted bombs and rockets.

The F-80 was withdrawn from first-title United States Air Force (USAF) service in 1954; production of the aircraft consisted of about 1700 units. But, this is not quite the end Of the F-80 story. A two-seat trainer version of the aircraft appeared in 19-18. Known in the USAF as the T-33 and in the Navy as the T2V, over 5000 of these trainers were built; a number of them are still in service and can be seen frequently at air bases in different parts of the country. Certainly a long and useful life for an airplane developed in the closing years of World War II.

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George Eller
07-11-2006, 11:26 PM
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Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star (cont.)


EARLY JET AIRCRAFT MECHANIC
By Richard W. Kamm
http://www.enginehistory.org/stories_&_essays_3.htm
Extensive Article

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P-80 and P-47 photo
http://1000aircraftphotos.com/Contributions/Brink/2267.htm

Remarks by Jim Brink: "Taken January 1950 near Garmisch, Germany. Two P-80's of the 36th Fighter Group, Furstenfeldbruck, and two P47's of the 86th Fighter Group Munich Rheim, Germany. Taken as a publicity picture for the upcoming World Wide Gunnery Meet to be held at Nellis, AFB, Nevada.

P-80 #42 Pilot Jim Brink, Captain of the 36th FG Gunnery Team
P-80 #50 Ben Fithian.
P-47 #985 Schueler, Captain of the 86th FG Gunnery Team
P-47 #457 Gaddis

A few months after this photo was taken, Lt. Phil Fryberger was flying my #42 when he was run into in a mid air collision by Maj. Willis flying another P-80. Phil bailed out of #42 and was uninjured on landing and Willis went back to flying the base Gooney Bird (C-47)."
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P-80-01
http://1000aircraftphotos.com/APS/3190.htm

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http://img49.imageshack.us/img49/3998/xp80013du.jpg

From: The War: An Overview, Barrie Pitt
BPC Publishing Ltd. 1966
First Edition 1966
Second Edition 1972
Published by
Marshall Cavendish Promotions Ltd. 1975

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Gen. Sandworm
07-12-2006, 02:25 AM
George Eller you are a textbook of info thanks for the posts! :D

ww2admin
07-12-2006, 08:16 AM
Yea, I read about the P-80...pretty neat. I have yet to find any color pics taken from the WWII years. Stand by...

SS Tiger
07-12-2006, 10:22 AM
It would be interesting to see a dog fight between some of the early American jets and the Me262.

ww2admin
07-12-2006, 10:37 AM
It would be interesting to see a dog fight between some of the early American jets and the Me262.

When researching those color photos, I read that the US actually sent P-80 fighters up in a mock dogfight against Mustangs and P-38 Lightnings, but the results were so disasterous for the fighters, they never saw combat at the time. They needed more time finetuning.

Not to mention that the jets were barely around the mid to late 400mph speeds....not much difference than the fastest piston prop fighters at the end of the war (Corsair, etc were almost pushing high 400s).

George Eller
07-12-2006, 07:43 PM
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George Eller you are a textbook of info thanks for the posts! :D

You are most welcome General :)


When researching those color photos, I read that the US actually sent P-80 fighters up in a mock dogfight against Mustangs and P-38 Lightnings, but the results were so disasterous for the fighters, they never saw combat at the time. They needed more time finetuning.

ww2admin, I would be interested to read that. Do you have any sources? I guess as with any new system, there will be teething problems.


It would be interesting to see a dog fight between some of the early American jets and the Me262.

You might find the following interesting.

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P-80 Shooting Star (cont. from previous page)

Lockheed in Mid-Century
http://www.centennialofflight.gov/essay/Aerospace/Lockheed_in_Mid-Century/Aero15.htm
Partial Quote:
The Lockheed P-80 "Shooting Star" (based on the XP-80) was America's first production jet fighter and first flew in 1944. Plans had been to produce some 5,000 of the planes, but it was not ready for combat until December 1945, after the war had ended.

(although two of the machines arrived in Italy before the end of the war in Europe, these were never used in operations)

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F-80/T-33 History
http://www.ccminc.com/vintage/history.html

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Lockheed XP-80 Shooting Star
http://www.nasm.si.edu/research/aero/aircraft/lockheed_xp80.htm

Partial Quote:
The XP-80 flew much better that the more primitive Bell XP-59. "Lulu-Belle" was not only the fastest aircraft in America at that time, but it could also climb very fast to high altitude. The XP-80 roll rate was very rapid too. By July 1944, just as Allied pilots began to encounter the first Me 262s over Europe, "Lulu-Belle" starred in a series of exercises conducted to develop tactics that American heavy bomber crews could use against attacks by jet fighters. The trials showed that enemy jet fighter pilots would much prefer rear aspect attacks. In attacking from the front, jet and bomber merged very rapidly and the enemy jet pilot had almost not time to shoot accurately. Based on these findings, AAF planners moved the formations of American fighters protecting the bombers to higher altitudes. This gave the fighter crews space to dive and gain speed on the German jets when they attacked from the bombers from behind. These tactics proved effective in fending off Me 262 attacks during the last months of the war and undoubtedly saved the lives of many American bomber crewmen.

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Lockheed P-80A vs Messerschmitt Me 262A
http://ourworlds.topcities.com/blackhawk/fanfiction/ex-p80vsme262.html

The P-80 and the Me 262 never met in combat, but many students of aerial combat have debated what the outcome of such a battle might have been.

The Me 262 was an amazing aircraft, well ahead of its time in many ways, but it was also an aircraft that was rushed into production before all its bugs had been worked out. In the Earth-X timeline, I suppose that some, but not all, of those problems have been fixed, making it a more reliable aircraft than it was in reality. But it still has handling problems and a slow throttle response.

The P-80 had some development problems, also. Most notorious was the primary fuel pump that was powered by the main engine. This could cause engine failure if the auxilary pump was not engaged for take-off, as happened to several pilots, including America's top ace, MAJ Richard Bong. But the P-80 was a more advanced design that took advantage of the work done on earlier jet aircraft. It had power-boosted ailerons and a speed brake, both of which contributed to superior maneuverability. It was faster than the Me 262, though not by a lot, and it had greater range, much greater with its wingtip tanks that actually decreased its aerodynamic drag and improved its control response.

Although the two aircraft never met in combat, they were flown in a comparison test at Wright Field after the war. According to reports from that test, the Me 262 had a speed advantage in a dive, but the P-80 was superior in all other respects. In the Earth-X timeline, I've improved the Me 262 to make it a more even contest, but in the hands of the Blackhawks, the best pilots in the world, smart money will still go on the P-80.

See the table below for a direct comparison of the specifications and performance of the actual aircraft.

http://img145.imageshack.us/img145/1904/p80vsme2625mv.jpg

Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star
http://www.aviation-history.com/lockheed/p80.html
Performance:
Max. Speed: 558 mph (898 km/h) @ Sea Level
Max. Speed: 492 mph (792 km/h) @ 40,000 ft (12,192 km)
Climb Rate: 4,580 ft/min (1,396 m/min)
Climb: 5.5 minutes to 20,000 ft (6,096 km)
Service Ceiling: 45,000 ft (1,3716 m)

Me 262A-1a Schwallbe (Swallow)
http://www.ww2guide.com/jetrock.shtml#262
Performance:
Max. Speed: 540 mph 469 knot (870 km/h) at 19,685 ft (6000 m)
Max. Speed: 514 mph 446 kt (827 km/h) at Sea Level
Climb Rate: 3,937 ft/min (1200 m/min)
Climb: 6 minutes and 48 seconds to 19,685 ft (6000 m)
Ceiling: 37,730 ft (11500m)

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P-80 vs. Me-262 - Which was the superior jet-fighter of WWII
http://p214.ezboard.com/ffighterplanesfighters.showMessage?topicID=9123.to pic
An interesting thread and read.

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F-80 vs ME262
http://www.ww2aircraft.net/forum/post-war/f-80-vs-me262-1688.html
Another thread on the topic.

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http://img143.imageshack.us/img143/2431/p80vsme262011zl.jpg

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ww2admin
07-12-2006, 10:24 PM
Hi George,
Thanks for that info, it was great. As for my claim that the P-80 was used in a mock dogfight with convential fighters, I was wrong. It was the Bell XP-59, not the P-80. Here's the info:

"The performance of these airplanes, which were representative of the projected production models, was disappointing. Overweight and underpowered, they achieved a top speed, for example, of only 409 mph which was no better than the best prop-driven fighters of the day. And, indeed, in operational suitability tests during which it was flown in mock combat against P-38s, P-47s, and P-51s, it was outclassed in virtually every category by the conventional fighters. Judged not suitable for combat, the 50 production model P-59A and -B aircraft that came off the Bell assembly line were used to train America's first cadre of jet pilots. Although the performance of the Airacomet proved to be disappointing, it nevertheless served as a useful test bed to explore the potential advantages of a radical new technology and it represented a start--the first of a long series of aircraft that would make Muroc (and later Edwards Air Force Base) synonymous with the turbojet revolution in America."
Source: http://www.edwards.af.mil/history/docs_html/aircraft/bell_testing.html

SS Tiger
07-12-2006, 11:29 PM
Thanks guys, I'm glad to see I wasn't the only one who wondered which would have won in a dogfight. I wonder what the Germans would have done if the war had gone on or if the American's got the P-80 up sooner? Maybe pushed for some of thier more conceptual aircraft to be built? Like Some of the Horton stuff maybe.

Nickdfresh
07-13-2006, 06:28 AM
http://tanks45.tripod.com/Jets45/Histories/Northrop-XP-79B/Xp79_3.jpg

Jack Northrop's XP-79B Jet Fighter
Jack Northrop's XP-79B jet fighter looked unusual, but its method of attack was even more bizarre.

By Jon Guttman

In the late stages of World War II, American bomber formations over Germany were occasionally attacked by a small, rocket-powered interceptor, the Messerschmitt Me-163 Komet. Fast as the Me-163s were, however, they were usually more spectacular than effective. Nevertheless, American aircrews must have marveled at the technology behind such an advanced-looking weapon--unaware that since 1942, something similar had been secretly under development in their own country.

The fighter that eventually became the Northrop XP-79B had an astonishing parallel development to the Me-163. It began in 1942 as a rocket-powered flying wing, but, in contrast to the Me-163, the American design was later adapted for jet power. Another difference between the XP-79B and its distant German cousin lay in their methods of attack. The Me-163 was meant to defend a faltering Third Reich with wing-mounted 30mm cannons or unguided rockets. The XP-79B's main means of downing its adversaries is best expressed in its nickname--Flying Ram.

John K. ("Jack") Northrop designed numerous advanced aircraft of conventional configuration, but he was fascinated by the flying-wing concept. He believed that such a pure airfoil surface would have the most efficient lifting capabilities. Also, the absence of a fuselage and tail unit would mean less drag to affect overall performance--as well as lower production costs. Shortly after designing Lockheed's famed Vega series of monoplanes, Northrop formed a small company of his own, the Avion Corporation in Burbank, Calif. His first Flying Wing made a successful maiden flight from Burbank Airport in 1929. It was originally powered by a single tractor-mounted engine, and tail surfaces mounted on twin booms aft of the wing increased controllability. Northrop's creation was modified to pusher-engine configuration before undergoing further flight testing at Muroc Dry Lake, Calif. Avion was renamed the Northrop Aircraft Corporation that same year and became part of United Aircraft and Transport Corporation, an early superconglomerate that also included Boeing.

The Rest Here (http://www.historynet.com/ahi/bl-xp-79b/)

http://tanks45.tripod.com/Jets45/Histories/Northrop-XP-79B/xp-79b_08.jpg

http://www.airbornegrafix.com/HistoricAircraft/FlyingWings/xp79_title.jpg

Nickdfresh
07-13-2006, 06:34 AM
"...The MX-334 took to the air in October 1943 for some unpowered testing while the Aerojet Corporation completed its XCAL-200 rocket engine, which was to be powered by monoethyaniline fuel, oxidized by red fuming nitric acid. The MX-334 made its first flight with the new engine on June 23, 1944, and fulfilled Northrop's promise to the USAAF. Although capable of only 3.5 minutes of powered flight, it was the first American rocket-powered aircraft to fly.

Despite the effort put into the secret project, the USAAF ultimately concluded that the rocket-powered MX-334 was a dead end. Much research data had been culled from it, however, and Northrop had a spinoff of Project 12 in the offing that the USAAF regarded as being militarily far more feasible--the XP-79.

Essentially, the XP-79 was an interceptor that would bring down its opponents by ramming them in flight. During the early months of the German invasion of Russia in 1941 and 1942, Russian fighter pilots had frequently resorted to various taran, or midair ramming techniques. There was no real need for American fighter pilots to resort to such tactics, however, and the USAAF officer who came up with the idea for the ram fighter may be grateful that his identity is lost to history. In any case, in January 1943, Northrop was awarded a contract to build three XP-79 Flying Ram prototypes, each of which was to be powered by an Aerojet rocket engine with 2,000 pounds of thrust.

A plague of developmental problems with the proposed Aerojet engine, and the unlikelihood of its being able to keep the plane airborne for more than 30 minutes, led the USAAF to cancel its order for the rockets and for two of the XP-79s that were to be powered by them. The Army did, however, consent to completion of the third prototype, which used two Westinghouse 19B axial-flow jet engines with 1,345 pounds of thrust each. The jet-engine revision, designated the XP-79B, weighed 5,840 pounds empty and 8,669 pounds with a full operational load.

Like its rocket-powered precursor, the jet-powered XP-79B was essentially a wing, with the pilot lying on his stomach between the two jet engines. His head protruded into an acrylic-plastic windshield fitted with an armor glass section. An overhead hatch gave him entry to and, if necessary, a hasty exit from the cabin.

As radical as the XP-79's all-wing configuration looked, its structure was equally unusual. The airframe was made of heavy-gauge magnesium. The leading-edge skin was three-fourths of an inch thick; reinforcing steel armor plate of one-fourth-inch thickness was heliarc-welded at a 45-degree angle just inside the wing's leading edge. The wingspan was 38 feet, with a wing area of 278 square feet. Overall, the XP-79 was 14 feet long and 7 feet high.

Upon receiving reports of approaching enemy bombers, the XP-79B was intended to take off with the aid of JATO (jet-assisted takeoff) packs at an estimated rate of 25,000 feet in 4.7 minutes. Reaching an altitude of 40,000 feet, the Flying Ram would then dive into the formation of enemy aircraft at an estimated speed of up to 547 mph and clip their wing or tail surfaces with its own reinforced wings. Even among the USAAF brass, someone must have recognized the absurdity of that idea, because the XP-79B order also stipulated that the fighter should accommodate four .50-caliber Browning machine guns outboard of the jet engines. Neither the guns nor the cockpit pressurization system (allowing the pilot to function at 40,000 feet) were destined to be installed in the plane.

Painted white overall, and given the serial number 43-32437, the prototype XP-79B was covered with canvas and trucked to the Muroc Dry Lake testing facility. Its first taxiing tests were conducted in June 1945--during which its tires burst on several occasions.

Finally, on September 12, 1945, Harry Crosby prepared to take the XP-79B up for its maiden flight--and almost ran into disaster before he got off the ground. As the plane accelerated down the runway, an Army firetruck pulled out directly in its path. Crosby chopped the throttle but then applied power again as the truck got out of his way.

Taking off without further incident, Crosby climbed to 10,000 feet. During the next 15 minutes, he flew back and forth over the field, testing the exotic plane's ability to turn. Things suddenly went wrong during one such turn, and degenerated into a nose-down spin. After a brave but futile effort, Crosby finally judged it impossible to regain control of the plane. Jettisoning the escape hatch, he tried to leap clear--only to be struck by the wildly gyrating wing. Crosby fell to his death, his parachute unopened. The XP-79B slammed into the desert floor and exploded in a white-hot flare of magnesium that consumed the entire plane.

Northrop's engineers determined that the control problem that had cost Harry Crosby his life could be corrected, but the USAAF decided to abandon the XP-79B project. World War II was over, the Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star was entering production, and other, more conventional jet designs were showing greater promise than the flying-ram concept.

The techniques involved in the production of the XP-79B would later help in the development and mass production of the ultimate realization of Jack Northrop's flying-wing dream--his giant B-35 and B-49 bombers. Judged on its own merits as a fighter, however, the Flying Ram was a preposterous idea from the outset--a waste of time, money and effort, as well as the life of one of America's finest test pilots."


This article was written by Jon Guttman and originally published in the January 1996 issue of "Aviation History."

George Eller
07-13-2006, 08:13 PM
Hi George,

Thanks for that info, it was great. As for my claim that the P-80 was used in a mock dogfight with convential fighters, I was wrong. It was the Bell XP-59, not the P-80. Here's the info:

"The performance of these airplanes, which were representative of the projected production models, was disappointing. Overweight and underpowered, they achieved a top speed, for example, of only 409 mph which was no better than the best prop-driven fighters of the day. And, indeed, in operational suitability tests during which it was flown in mock combat against P-38s, P-47s, and P-51s, it was outclassed in virtually every category by the conventional fighters. Judged not suitable for combat, the 50 production model P-59A and -B aircraft that came off the Bell assembly line were used to train America's first cadre of jet pilots. Although the performance of the Airacomet proved to be disappointing, it nevertheless served as a useful test bed to explore the potential advantages of a radical new technology and it represented a start--the first of a long series of aircraft that would make Muroc (and later Edwards Air Force Base) synonymous with the turbojet revolution in America."
Source: http://www.edwards.af.mil/history/docs_html/aircraft/bell_testing.html

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Thanks for the info ww2admin :)

I had a hunch it was the Bell XP-59 and not the P-80 when you mentioned the speed of the aircraft. It didn't sound like the P-80.

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Here is another early American jet from the WWII era - the U.S. Navy's first operational jet:

http://img378.imageshack.us/img378/6539/phantom17yg.jpg

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George Eller
07-13-2006, 08:18 PM
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Hi Nick,

Thanks for the interesting post on the Northrop XP-79B Jet Fighter.

http://img124.imageshack.us/img124/6369/xp7931vu.jpg

http://img231.imageshack.us/img231/9408/xp79b087li.jpg

http://img96.imageshack.us/img96/9461/xp79title7ed.jpg

It was still a cool looking plane even though the concept was flawed. Straight out of "Buck Rogers".

:)

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Nickdfresh
07-16-2006, 09:38 PM
Ahhhh, but there was American pre-War jet design that would have been far superior to anything that flew in WWII. I'm trying to track down info. on it. I think it never flew because the jet engine wasn't yet there, and the RD impetus wasn't yet a priority. But is was far more sophisticated than the XP-59...

Nickdfresh
07-18-2006, 03:00 PM
I'm currently in the process of getting "Secret Allied Aircraft of WWII," for more info. We'll see how it goes...

Nickdfresh
07-19-2006, 11:05 AM
Ha! Found it...It was the Lockheed L-133 Project.

From: http://tanks45.tripod.com/Jets45/Histories/Lockheed-L133/L133.htm
http://tanks45.tripod.com/Jets45/Histories/Lockheed-L133/L133_1.jpg
http://www.fantastic-plastic.com/LockheedL-133PortSide.jpg
http://renax.club.fr/sharkit/L-133/originalboxart.jpg

Engine: 2x Lockheed L1000 J37 axial-flow turbojets

Wing Span: n/a

Length: n/a

Height: n/a

Weight: n/a

Maximum Speed: n/a

Ceiling: n/a

Range: n/a

Crew: 1

Armament: 4x 0.50'' machine guns

History:

The Lockheed company was the first in the USA to start work on a jet powered aircraft, the L-133 design started in 1939 as a number of "Paper Project" by engineers Clarence R "Kelly" Johnson and Hall J Hibbard. By 1940 preliminary work on a company financed jet fighter had been started, which progressed to several different versions on the drawing board. In the mean time Lockheed were working on a axial-flow turbojet of there own design L-1000, which was intended to power the culmination of the fighter project the Model L-133-02-01, this was a single seat, cannard design powered by two L-1000 engines.

The design was noticed by the USAAF, but at the time they showed no great interested in the idea of a jet powered fighter and missed the opportunity of giving the USA a lead in this new technology. With out the support (and money) of the USAAF work on the L-133 fighter and it's engine the L-1000 came to a halt.

How ever when the USAAF suddenly began to show interest in the idea of a jet powered combat aircraft in 1942, spurred on by intelligence reports of the advances in jet propulsion by the Germans and British, the USAAF would turn the Lockheed for it's fist jet powered fighter the Lockheed P-80 "Shooting Star"

FW-190 Pilot
07-23-2006, 12:52 PM
did the US get the Nazi scientists to improve on their jets design?

Nickdfresh
07-23-2006, 02:15 PM
Well, if the US, and the UK for that matter, had put forth the R&D, they may have come up with some superior designs to the fragmented German efforts into jet research. Jet powered aircraft were simply not a priority in the U.S. where it was difficult to fund conventional projects like the P-38 in the late 30's...

And quite frankly, the German designs were only superior to Allied Piston engined fighters, not their jets which lagged behind, but not by far...

ww2admin
07-26-2006, 08:53 PM
Was searching National Archives and came upon this film title:

XP-59A--XFM-1 MULTI-SEATER FIGHTER, 1938

Is it possible it flew in 1938??????

Summary: Reel 1: 480'. Detailed views of XP-59A; scenes showing flight test and aerial views of plane in flight. 1) CS XP-59A being pulled out of hangar and standing on ramp. 2) CS air scoops, XP-59A, SV, nose section, exhaust. 3) PS and DS plane on rap. 4) CS mid-section, 3/4 right view, tail section, SV engine cowling being removed, engines, FV exhaust, cockpit. Pilot closes canopy. 5) INT cockpit showing instrument panel. 6) CS flames coming from exhaust. 7) PS plane moving down runway, taking off. 8) LS plane in air, maneuvering against clouds, diving, coming in for landing. 9) CS pilot and civilian personnel. 10) MS pilot entering cockpit, plane takes off, flies, ascends rapidly. 11) Good AV's of plane in flight and performing maneuvers. 12) Ground views of plane, CS RV, SV, flames shooting out ot exhaust. Reel 2: 414'. Ground views and aerial views of five-place fighter with two pusher type engines. Views of R.H. Woods, designer and Lt. W.W. Morgan. 1) CS & MCS XFM-1 showing cockpits in each nacelle. 2) MS pilot entering plane. 3) MS & CS of R.H. Woods, designer, and Lt. W.M. Morgan, pilot of plane. 4) PS plane taxiing in field, taking off, in flight. 5) AUS plane in flight, sideview. 6) CS three quarter side view. 7) CDS plane (good shot). 8) GS plane coming in for landing, passing camera.

Dani
07-26-2006, 11:00 PM
Bell P-59 "Airacomet"
First prototype XP-59A flew on October 1, 1942. Top speed: 663 km/h at 9100 m.

http://www.nasm.si.edu/research/aero/aircraft/bellxp.htm

http://www.edwards.af.mil/history/docs_html/aircraft/bell_testing.html


Bell YFM-1 "Airacuda"
First prototype XFM-1 flew on September 1, 1937. Top speed: 490 km/h.
http://us.geocities.com/da-peacemaker/bell.htm

So it must be XFM-1 prototype in 1938.

ww2admin
07-26-2006, 11:44 PM
But that film reel summary says it's a jet and in 1938 it flew. What gives?

Dani
07-27-2006, 02:34 AM
Bell YFM-1 "Airacuda"
First prototype XFM-1 flew on September 1, 1937.

So, in 1938 it must be XFM-1 prototype.

Edited: On the other hand, from personal geocities site cited:
Bell P-59 "Airacomet"
Fighter, 1941
Development:
P-59 was the first serious attempt to create a jet fighter in the United States. First prototype XP-59A flew on October 1, 1942. The experimental series YP-59A was built in 1944. A total of 66 P-59 were built.

royal744
05-18-2007, 05:20 PM
the Bell XP-59A Airacomet never went into combat did it or was that the Northrop. i know that on June 5, 1948 the Northrop after being sent to the air force crashed killing its crew. did the Northrop ever make it to combat?

No. Neither one saw combat. The Airacomet was basically a "proof of concept" plane intended to shake down jet technology that had been transferred from the British to the Americans. The flying wing was ahead of its time - way ahead of its time - and quite dangerous and unstable. The British had the Gloster Meteor which was sent to mainland Europe before the end of the war and flew missions but which was never sent across the German frontier because the English didn't want their technology to fall into German hands. They were used to effect against V-1 pulse jets over England, however.

royal744
06-24-2007, 05:27 PM
Don't forget the English Gloster Meteor which was considerably ahead in production to American jet fighters.

32boom
12-26-2007, 03:16 PM
My Dad worked on the engine for the XP-59a when the brass found out he worked for GE prior to 1942. Shipped him between Lynn, Ma and Muroc AFB a number of times.
32boom

jrw1268
12-28-2007, 03:39 AM
Ahhhh, but there was American pre-War jet design that would have been far superior to anything that flew in WWII. I'm trying to track down info. on it. I think it never flew because the jet engine wasn't yet there, and the RD impetus wasn't yet a priority. But is was far more sophisticated than the XP-59...

What makes you think this would have been far superior to anything that flew in WWII?

Nickdfresh
12-28-2007, 08:42 AM
What makes you think this would have been far superior to anything that flew in WWII?

Because the History Channel said so. And they're ALWAYS right. :lol:

Maybe it wouldn't have, but theoretically it was an excellent, viable design that never received the funding it should have. So we'll never know, will we?

Chevan
12-29-2007, 12:50 AM
Because the History Channel said so. And they're ALWAYS right. :lol:

Maybe it wouldn't have, but theoretically it was an excellent, viable design that never received the funding it should have. So we'll never know, will we?

Well if the History Channels said so - sure this is true:)
There a lot of "theoretically superiority designs" in other countries exists, but if History Channels keep silence about that - there were never exists in practice.

Nickdfresh
12-29-2007, 05:52 AM
Well if the History Channels said so - sure this is true:)
There a lot of "theoretically superiority designs" in other countries exists, but if History Channels keep silence about that - there were never exists in practice.


Actually they had interesting designs from all countries and covered everyone...

They even had something on the Soviet jet-plane/submarine...

2nd of foot
01-20-2008, 08:20 AM
-

Hi Nick,

Thanks for the interesting post on the Northrop XP-79B Jet Fighter.

http://img124.imageshack.us/img124/6369/xp7931vu.jpg

http://img231.imageshack.us/img231/9408/xp79b087li.jpg

http://img96.imageshack.us/img96/9461/xp79title7ed.jpg

It was still a cool looking plane even though the concept was flawed. Straight out of "Buck Rogers".

:)

-
All round observation would be very difficult if not impossible and spending 2-3 hours on your chest would be very tiring. Designed by a nerd with little fighter experience.

edited to add; And ejecting would be fun

If you accept that the V1 was a jet than surly the first jet conflict must be that of a Meteor and a V1

2nd of foot
01-20-2008, 08:38 AM
Ahhhh, but there was American pre-War jet design that would have been far superior to anything that flew in WWII. I'm trying to track down info. on it. I think it never flew because the jet engine wasn't yet there, and the RD impetus wasn't yet a priority. But is was far more sophisticated than the XP-59...

I think the RAF term for the XP-59 was death trap which is probably why the US army dumped it very quickly. With the exchange of the Meteor and XP-59 the British got a lemon and the US got an excellent fighter with most if not all of it's fault ironed out. This must have been a great design benefit to the US.

Nickdfresh
01-20-2008, 09:08 AM
True, but the XP-59 was little more than a testing platform and a stepping stone to a real aircraft...

snebold
01-29-2008, 05:56 AM
In his autobiografi Chuck Yeager states that the P-80A and the Me 262 had remarkably similar performance (he flew both). I think he was talked in terms of speed, range, climb, ceiling only, since I´ve (also) heard that the P-80 rolled better. Certainly the Me 262 was to avoid turning fights with US fighters in WWII. If the piston engined fighter wa´n´t in sight within the first 180 degrees og the first turn, the Me 262 pilot would have to straighten out or loose the speed (any thereby all) advantage and get in serious trouble.
The same thing applied to jet versus piston fighters in the Korean War.

(The British took the trouble of testing their Lightning (the jet aircraft) against a Spitfire in 1968, when it seemed there might be trouble withIndonesia (and its P-51 ecquipped air force). The conclusion was the same; the faster aircraft had nothing to fear as long as it kept the speed high).

Concerning prone piloting the Germans built an aircraft to test the concept (Berlin B9), and found it feasible, but the pilot needed physical training in addition to getting accostumed to the controls.
(Luftwaffe Test Pilot, Hans-Werner Lerche)

(Chuck Yeager´s book is quite entertaining!)

cato
11-15-2009, 10:24 AM
Can I revive this thread as I saw the History Channel programme with both the British English script and the American English script? I am a bit irritated at the attempt to re-write history.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nickdfresh View Post
Ahhhh, but there was American pre-War jet design that would have been far superior to anything that flew in WWII. I'm trying to track down info. on it. I think it never flew because the jet engine wasn't yet there, and the RD impetus wasn't yet a priority. But is was far more sophisticated than the XP-59...

What makes you think this would have been far superior to anything that flew in WWII?

Lockheed carried out a design study in 1939, really a back of a cigarette packet project for a design that came to be called the P133--here is all that is left of it
http://1.2.3.13/bmi/i8.photobucket.com/albums/a15/Twitch98/LockheedL-133Main.jpg

For 1939 it was really the sort of thing that schoolboys (all of us, I suspect) would have doodled into excercise books with a bit of inspiration from the Buck Rogers comic strips of the day. Lockheed presented the study to the USAAF in 1940/1941 but was rebuffed. The design clearly would have had serious problems had in actually have gone into production. The canard wings look cool and are common today, but in 1940 they were untested. It is questionable if they would have worked without the type of hydraulic-assisted flight controls that were only being introduced in the later war years. Certainly there was no electronic Fly by wire, even analog FBY that gives a pilot positive feedback. The specification for the 'theoretical' Lockheed L1000 jet engine called for a speed of 600mph. Had such a speed been achieved--which is quite unlikely, they would probably have run into the same trouble as Meteor and F80 pilots had with both turning circles and airflow disturbances. Aerodynamic knowledge had yet to evolve further. The lack of FBY also killed the US, Soviet and British 'flying Wing' aircraft that couldn't be controlled effectively unitil digital FBY and on-board computers appeared in the late '60s. The wings of the P133 though, were of the then new NACA Laminar-flow design later incorporated into the P80 and the Mustang P51.
When Lockheed again started beating the drum about a jet aircraft in 1942 the USAAF revealed to them the existence of the YP59 Aircobra which, as we know was a total dog. The YP 59 was originally fitted with a US General Electric built version of Whittle W1 engine that had been the original prototype design fitted to the British Gloster E28/39- even when fitted with more advanced Rolls-Royce built Whittle Mk 2(W2/B23) the aircraft was still a dog. As Hap Arnold had been totally converted to the idea of jets by Whittle and Gloster on his first recce trip to Britain in 1941 and had seen the Gloster E28 flying--the USAAF canned the Aircobra and commissioned the P80 Shooting Star which was again fitted with a Rolls Royce built engine initially, although designed around the de Havilland H1 B engine. (In general production it was fitted with the Allison A35, a GE version of the same Rolls-Royce Nene engine that powered the MiG 15)
Two bits of information that popular histories (like the History channel) omit . As the US started gearing up for war in the second half of 1940, many of their top military and naval leaders, as well as War Industry, were appalled at how far behind they were in design and development compared to European nations in many fields. The RAF,for example, handed back or relegated to secondary duties many of the US aircraft they acquired in the early war years, including B17s, P38,s, P40s. The Tizard commission had handed over a veritable treasure trove of developments in radar, asdic (sonar), avionics, electronic warfare, jet-engines, codebreaking, nuclear research etc. which probably saved US science and industry five to ten years of R&D.

The second point is that Jet propulsion was not a secret in 1940. The British and German patents had been in the public domain since 1930 and history has forgotten that the Italians (surprise, surprise) actually made the first jet-powered flight outside of Germany--fully a year before the British. The Japanese, Russians, Hungarians (yes!) and French also had pre-war projects on the back-burner.
http://1.2.3.9/bmi/upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/3/34/Caproni_foto.jpg/300px-Caproni_foto.jpg.
Caproni Capini 1940
Every aviation power had a jet-engine programme either just before or during WW2---what the secret was, and only the Whittle/Rolls-Royce combination had addressed it before 1944, was the metallurgical problems of high-pressure and high temperature to ensure any decent level of reliability: a problem that Whittle and his teams had been working on since 1930. ( The Me 262's Jumo 004 required a complete re-build after 10 hourss of operation)
That is why the first American and Russian jets flew with Rolls-Royce engines and why the Gloster Meteor was forbidden to fly over German occupied territory during WW2 despite being fully operational. The Air Ministry was not so much afraid that the Germans may learn anything from the engine design, but they may have learnt the metallurgical secrets.
Even with full co-operation with Britain and access to the German work after WW2, an indigenous American engine design didn,t appear until the 1960s-- so Lockheed would also have ended up with a dog.

Nickdfresh
11-15-2009, 10:57 AM
Yes, you may...

tankgeezer
11-15-2009, 11:20 PM
Right out of Capt. Mid-Night...

snebold
11-17-2009, 05:34 AM
The Air Ministry was not so much afraid that the Germans may learn anything from the engine design, but they may have learnt the metallurgical secrets.

I have heard that the Germans lacked the alloys -did have the metallugical knowledge (The pre series 004´s had a much longer life expectancy), but not the components.

The Caproni "jet" was a dog if there ever was any, and as it used a piston engine to deliver the jet thrust, wasn´t what is normally called a jet, and would have flown far better had the engine driven a propeller instead.

pdf27
11-17-2009, 07:18 AM
The problem with the German jets wasn't just the alloys, although that in itself caused a whole load of subsequent problems (for instance, they were using actively cooled turbine blades 20 years before anyone else - due to the metallurgy - and that gave them airflow nightmares). There was also something seriously wrong with the second generation of German jet engines, but I've never managed to find out what. They were allegedly very advanced, but every single country that tried to work on them postwar dropped them completely and used Whittle derivatives, even when to do so was politically very difficult (c.f. Soviet Union!).

cato
11-17-2009, 08:30 PM
I have heard that the Germans lacked the alloys -did have the metallugical knowledge (The pre series 004´s had a much longer life expectancy), but not the components.

The Caproni "jet" was a dog if there ever was any, and as it used a piston engine to deliver the jet thrust, wasn´t what is normally called a jet, and would have flown far better had the engine driven a propeller instead.

Quite right. The German's were up on metallugy, but had virtually no tungsten, titanium etc. throughout the Hitler years, so could not even experiment. Speer mentions in "Inside the Third Reich", how they had fallen behind in this area.

You are right about the Caproni too, point though, is that popular histories suggest that 'jets' were a big shock wonder -weapon in 1944-- aviators and engineers of the time were vey aware of them.

cato
11-17-2009, 08:49 PM
The problem with the German jets wasn't just the alloys, although that in itself caused a whole load of subsequent problems (for instance, they were using actively cooled turbine blades 20 years before anyone else - due to the metallurgy - and that gave them airflow nightmares). There was also something seriously wrong with the second generation of German jet engines, but I've never managed to find out what..

I didn't know that, although I did know that GE experimented with injecting water into the compressors in their post-war experimental engines with little success.


They were allegedly very advanced, but every single country that tried to work on them postwar dropped them completely and used Whittle derivatives, even when to do so was politically very difficult (c.f. Soviet Union!).

The Soviet Union used the Whittle pattern because, on his own initiative, the head of the British Board of Trade in the 1947 Labour Government (post Churchill), one Harold Wilson-- sent 100 copies, plus blueprints of the Rolls-Royce Nene ( the same that powered the later F80s and the Sabre F86 ). The Russians produced it as the Klimov RD45. MI5, and many others, believed that Wilson (later Prime Minister) was a Soviet agent. He also killed a dozen advanced British aviation projects including the TSR2 and the 'Super-Harrier'.

pdf27
11-18-2009, 02:07 AM
I didn't know that, although I did know that GE experimented with injecting water into the compressors in their post-war experimental engines with little success.
That still happens - the Harrier jump jet does exactly this, and there are a number of Combined Cycle Gas Turbine power stations that do the same, although for different reasons.


The Soviet Union used the Whittle pattern because, on his own initiative, the head of the British Board of Trade in the 1947 Labour Government (post Churchill), one Harold Wilson-- sent 100 copies, plus blueprints of the Rolls-Royce Nene ( the same that powered the later F80s and the Sabre F86 ). The Russians produced it as the Klimov RD45. MI5, and many others, believed that Wilson (later Prime Minister) was a Soviet agent. He also killed a dozen advanced British aviation projects including the TSR2 and the 'Super-Harrier'.
Except the Soviets had the German "super" jet designs, along with their designers, since 1945 - and never managed to make them work properly.

Chevan
11-18-2009, 03:47 AM
The problem with the German jets wasn't just the alloys, although that in itself caused a whole load of subsequent problems (for instance, they were using actively cooled turbine blades 20 years before anyone else - due to the metallurgy - and that gave them airflow nightmares). There was also something seriously wrong with the second generation of German jet engines, but I've never managed to find out what. They were allegedly very advanced, but every single country that tried to work on them postwar dropped them completely and used Whittle derivatives, even when to do so was politically very difficult (c.f. Soviet Union!).
But USSR never abandoned the idea of Axial jet and consistently developed prototypes ( i.e.e the Jumo004) untill we got the first really working and effective RD-7 in 1952.
and p.s. to get the Nine 2 was't really "political difficult":)

Except the Soviets had the German "super" jet designs, along with their designers, since 1945 - and never managed to make them work properly
It worked enough well for practical use yet in beginning of 1950..

snebold
11-18-2009, 09:09 AM
...point though, is that popular histories suggest that 'jets' were a big shock wonder -weapon in 1944-- aviators and engineers of the time were vey aware of them.

I guess it might have been a shock too all not informed, and the number of informed people was kept deliberately low.

cato
11-18-2009, 11:03 AM
I guess it might have been a shock too all not informed, and the number of informed people was kept deliberately low.

On the contrary--it was one of the worst kept secrets of the war.
This is a quote from 'Flight Magazine of January 1944.

The Whittle-Carter Combination
THE most jealously guarded secret in modern aviation
history, and at the same time the bestknown,
was suddenly revealed on January 6th
when a joint statement was issued by the War Department,
Washington, on behalf of the Royal Air Force and
the U.S. Army Air Forces, mentioning for the first time
the existence of the jet-propelled Gloster monoplane.

You can read the full article here [URL="http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1944/1944%20-%200061.html"]

The whole of 1943 and 1944 issues are peppered with hints as the journalists were obviously 'in the know' and covered their tracks by referring to US developments and as the article suggests--you could hardly test a jet plane near an English city without two million people knowing all about it. There is a very knowing article in the September 1941 issue.
Now the existence of Allied jet fighters was made public in January 1944--- the ME 262's first reported combat contact was in July that year against an RAF Mosquito-- although there were sporadic actions against against Allied aircraft from August 1944 onwards, the ME262 did not get into action in serious numbers until December 1944, most production having been destroyed on the ground. From August 1944 there are detailed articles in aviation magazines on the specs of the ME262 and other German jets. I would guess that as Allied Intelligence well knew of the deployment of the ME262 they spread as much information as they could so there was no "Shock horror", especially among aircrews.

pdf27
11-18-2009, 01:07 PM
and p.s. to get the Nine 2 was't really "political difficult":)
I dunno, would you care to walk up to Stalin and ask him to let you approach the Imperialists for help? As it turned out he was OK with it, but IIRC the people who asked were pretty scared of his possible reaction.


It worked enough well for practical use yet in beginning of 1950..
My understanding is that postwar Soviet jet engines are derived from a mixture of prewar Soviet work and the Rolls-Royce engines imported. I'd love to get more details (any recommendations for good books on the subject?), but my understanding is that the captured German jet engine designs never really led anywhere, eventually being abandoned as developmental dead ends.

cato
11-18-2009, 04:49 PM
I dunno, would you care to walk up to Stalin and ask him to let you approach the Imperialists for help? As it turned out he was OK with it, but IIRC the people who asked were pretty scared of his possible reaction.
Stalin is reputed to have said to have said "What fool would give up his secrets?" It seems Atlee, Cripps and Wilson were such fools.


My understanding is that postwar Soviet jet engines are derived from a mixture of prewar Soviet work and the Rolls-Royce engines imported. I'd love to get more details (any recommendations for good books on the subject?), but my understanding is that the captured German jet engine designs never really led anywhere, eventually being abandoned as developmental dead ends.

Try
Gunston, Bill. World Encyclopedia of Aero Engines. Cambridge, England. Patrick Stephens Limited, 1989. ISBN 1-85260-163-9

The following link is to a rather dated relic of the cold war-- a report on Soviet 'aquisition' of Western technology. Interesting, it refers to my earlier post on metallurgy technology, that the Soviets had 'Nimonic' Nickel Alloy technology in their RD-45 Nene copy.
The report also suggests that the Soviets basically bought, borrowed or filched whatever they could from Western technology--but I think we all knew that.

More here
[URL="http://www.reformed-theology.org/html/books/best_enemy/chapter_06.htm#first%20soviet%20jet%20engine"]

The comparatively simple RD-45 proved troublesome due to Soviet inexperience with engineering and materials, but was further improved to produce the VK-1 which differed from the Nene in having larger combustion chamber

The Soviets partially tackled the metallurgical issue by touring the Rolls-Royce plant in specially-designed shoes intended to pick up metal shavings for later analysis. The VK-1F added the afterburner.

cato
11-18-2009, 06:25 PM
I guess it might have been a shock too all not informed, and the number of informed people was kept deliberately low.

Further to my earlier post re the 'secrecy' of jet-propulsion.
Here's a very clumsy piece of Ministry of Aircraft Production disinformation from the August 1941 'Flight' magazine. I am sure that it was no co-incidence that the Gloster prototype had started test flights three months before the article and one can guess that the article's writer G.Geoffery Smith had witnessed one of the flights (so much for secrecy, an 8mm home-movie colour film taken illicitly of the very first flight by one of the ground crew has recently surfaced).
Unable to boast of the development, he wrote a series of artcles that allude to experiments in every country except the UK and US, especially about the 'dead-end' developments.
The Flightgolbal website is a treasure-trove of contemporary information.

http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1941/1941%20-%201949.html?search=jet%20propulsion

Chevan
11-19-2009, 01:19 AM
The comparatively simple RD-45 proved troublesome due to Soviet inexperience with engineering and materials, but was further improved to produce the VK-1 which differed from the Nene in having larger combustion chamber

The Soviets partially tackled the metallurgical issue by touring the Rolls-Royce plant in specially-designed shoes intended to pick up metal shavings for later analysis. The VK-1F added the afterburner.

This is true mr cato.
The RD-45 was unsuitable for relatively primitive soviet tehnological equipment in 1947-49.So the Klimov VK-1 was a way to adopt it to soviet inductrial possibilities.
What is interesting. The RD-45 wasn't a first soviet copy of foreign jets.
In 1946 the firs soviet jet RD-10 was made (full copy of Jumo 004) and RD-20/21( BMW004). It were installed on first soviet jet Mig-9 and Jak-15.
The life expectancy of soviet made Jumo004 reach ..the 150 hours, that was more then original germans due to lack of nickel in Germany.So already in 1946-47 the Germans made axial engines work enough well.
However the well know lack of first geamsn axials jet were low thrust that make the first jets slow-accelerated.. It was a serious problem.Thought it worked just fine in hight altitude and big speed, however it wasn't major characteristic for first-age subsonic jets.
So the soviet have to buy and adopt the British Turbo-jet Nine2 to Mig-15:)it was a compromiss desicion for its time.

pdf27
11-19-2009, 01:32 AM
The life expectancy of soviet made Jumo004 reach ..the 150 hours, that was more then original germans due to lack of nickel in Germany.So already in 1946-47 the Germans made axial engines work enough well.
However the well know lack of first geamsn axials jet were low thrust that make the first jets slow-accelerated.. It was a serious problem.Thought it worked just fine in hight altitude and big speed, however it wasn't major characteristic for first-age subsonic jets.

The problems with the German axial compressors were nothing to do with life expectancy, if that makes sense. If that was their only problem, the Soviets could just have copied the metal used in the Nene turbine blades and that would have fixed it. Rather, there are major control and stability problems with axial compressors. I know the first generation German jet engines suffered from these, and my suspicion is that the second generation engines suffered even more badly.
The real genius of Whittle was that while he understood that Axial compressors were the future, he also understood that they would take an enormous amount of work to get to a useful state - and that a centrifugal compressor would allow them to avoid this. He wasn't the first to come up with the idea, or even the first in the UK (A.A. Griffith was working on Axial turbojets some time before Whittle). He built the first practical engine, however, and for that reason is remembered as the father of the jet engine.

Chevan
11-19-2009, 01:43 AM
I dunno, would you care to walk up to Stalin and ask him to let you approach the Imperialists for help? As it turned out he was OK with it, but IIRC the people who asked were pretty scared of his possible reaction.

:)
Stalin never ignored any possibility of help if it has deal to top State sequrity or defence.The Jet engine was a such critical field.
Plus Stalin wasn't needed to ask Imperialist for help . Sometimes the hight educated and motivated poples absolutly voluntary provided the top secrets datas to soviet intelligent service. See the Manhattan project..


My understanding is that postwar Soviet jet engines are derived from a mixture of prewar Soviet work and the Rolls-Royce engines imported. I'd love to get more details (any recommendations for good books on the subject?), but my understanding is that the captured German jet engine designs never really led anywhere, eventually being abandoned as developmental dead ends.
The postwar soviet jet engines designs were actualy mixture of british and German experience. The Soviet pre-war own design were obsolet hopeless. coz during the war all works with jets were cut down. So the best that we had in 1945 were cuptured Jumo004 and group of GErman engineers.They work in USSR untill 1947, then returned back to DDR.
They has done not a much ..just as i said the RD-10/20/21 that were not enought proper for it time.
Howerer the germans RD-20 were in base of all further soviet Axial enjines. Strictly, the German axial jet were superiour for its time,the turbo-jets like Whittle pattern was low-speed compromiss and it was in service only for short time, until the axial has conquered the air finally. Future belongs to germans born axial jet engines .

Chevan
11-19-2009, 01:52 AM
The problems with the German axial compressors were nothing to do with life expectancy, if that makes sense. If that was their only problem, the Soviets could just have copied the metal used in the Nene turbine blades and that would have fixed it. Rather, there are major control and stability problems with axial compressors. I know the first generation German jet engines suffered from these, and my suspicion is that the second generation engines suffered even more badly.
The real genius of Whittle was that while he understood that Axial compressors were the future, he also understood that they would take an enormous amount of work to get to a useful state - and that a centrifugal compressor would allow them to avoid this. He wasn't the first to come up with the idea, or even the first in the UK (A.A. Griffith was working on Axial turbojets some time before Whittle). He built the first practical engine, however, and for that reason is remembered as the father of the jet engine.
Of course the blades wasn't just a problem, coz when the RD-20 was ready for use in 1946 it was still too weak to pull the fighter.There were needs at least couple of RD-20 ( like it was in Mig-9) to reach minimal speed.But two engines scheme for fighter wasn't also superior . So finaly the first axial were repleaced by Turbojet.But works went on.
The potential, that lies in Jumo004 was much bigger than in Nine2. It was proved by time.

pdf27
11-19-2009, 04:07 AM
Agreed, the potential of axial flow compressors was much greater (indeed, the Nene was rapidly replaced by axial flow turbojets such as the Avon in the UK as well). What I remain to be convinced of (and would love references to dead tree books I can dig through, if you know of any in English translation) is that the Soviet axial compressors derive from the German work. As I understand it, the prewar Soviet Jet work was based on axial compressors, and there was a significant amount of work on steam turbines which is also directly applicable.

Chevan
11-19-2009, 05:00 AM
As I understand it, the prewar Soviet Jet work was based on axial compressors, and there was a significant amount of work on steam turbines which is also directly applicable.
Yes Arkhip Lyulka (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arkhip_Mikhailovich_Lyulka) in USSR worked on the Jet turbin.
He actualy created in Leningrad the first at world working prototype of double jet Axial turbofan in 1939-1941, however it wasn't fully ready ( roughtly 70%) even for primary flying testings.
In june 1941 all works were stopped until the war war over.

pdf27
11-19-2009, 06:01 AM
So the question is, how much of the postwar Soviet Axial jet engines were descended from this work, and how much from the German work? I suspect the majority was actually from this prewar Soviet work.

cato
11-19-2009, 07:17 AM
This is true mr cato.

So the soviet have to buy and adopt the British Turbo-jet Nine2 to Mig-15:)it was a compromiss desicion for its time.

Small point Comrade Chevan. The Rolls Royce engine was the NENE.Not the Nine2.
Rolls-Royce, like the rest of the British Aero industry liked to give models 'Pet names' rather than jumbles of letters.
Piston Engines were named after birds of prey, so, Eagle,Falcon, Hawk, Condor, Griffon, Goshawk, Kestrel, Buzzard--the Merlin was not named after the Wizard, but after a small British hawk. Luckily, jets came along just as they were running out of names, they were down to Buzzard and Vulture.
Jet Engines were named after minor British Rivers, so Nene, Avon, Derwent, Tay, Spey. In the '60s they started a mythological theme Olympus, Pegasus. Please don't press me on why there was an RB211.

Chevan
11-19-2009, 07:30 AM
So the question is, how much of the postwar Soviet Axial jet engines were descended from this work, and how much from the German work? I suspect the majority was actually from this prewar Soviet work.
:)
haw can you be sure that Lyulka, Klimov and Dobrinin ( the another soviet jet designers) didn't adopted the ideas from GErmans?The Jumo004 was much better the first Lyulka's post-war TR-1, so hardly he didn't used the german experience for his further devices.
I don't think that soviet designers simply copied the GErmans - this is a deadline.But the majors working ideas of axial turbofan, tested by GErmans , were certainly applied in firs soviet Axial engeens.
Just like the Sergey Korolev, the major soviet rocket designers, has built his first rocket R-1 as ...full german copy of V-2 , equiped by the soviet-made primitive electronic:)

pdf27
11-19-2009, 07:30 AM
In the '60s they started a mythological theme Olympus, Pegasus.
Olympus and Pegasus were originally Bristol Siddeley engines, and later taken over by Rolls. They tended to Greek Mythology - e.g. Perseus and Orpheus. Armstrong Siddeley tended to Gemstones, with e.g. the Beryl and Sapphire.

Chevan
11-19-2009, 07:41 AM
Small point Comrade Chevan. The Rolls Royce engine was the NENE.Not the Nine2.
Rolls-Royce, like the rest of the British Aero industry liked to give models 'Pet names' rather than jumbles of letters.
Piston Engines were named after birds of prey, so, Eagle,Falcon, Hawk, Condor, Griffon, Goshawk, Kestrel, Buzzard--the Merlin was not named after the Wizard, but after a small British hawk. Luckily, jets came along just as they were running out of names, they were down to Buzzard and Vulture.
Jet Engines were named after minor British Rivers, so Nene, Avon, Derwent, Tay, Spey. In the '60s they started a mythological theme Olympus, Pegasus. Please don't press me on why there was an RB211.
Thank you sir for such a infore about anthology of Britich aero names.
I heard the Brits and Amers have a tend to call its combat vehicles by the names of animals.But i didn't really know the NENE was called after the ..british river;)
But would you like to be so kind please to tell now why was Rolls-Royce RB211?:)
Have the rivers finished in Britain?:)

cato
11-19-2009, 08:30 AM
Thank you sir for such a infore about anthology of Britich aero names.
I heard the Brits and Amers have a tend to call its combat vehicles by the names of animals.But i didn't really know the NENE was called after the ..british river;)
But would you like to be so kind please to tell now why was Rolls-Royce RB211?:)
Have the rivers finished in Britain?:)

That was supposed to be a joke. The RB 211 is actually the Trent engine--named after another River. RB 211 was the working title as a project for the Lockheed Tristar and DC10. For various reasons Rolls-Royce went bust in the middle of the RB 211 development with the cost of the engine being blamed as the prime cause and the name became famous. As the Trent the engine powers almost all types of widebody and heavy lift aircraft--even the Tupolev Tu 204.

There is a complex story behind the naming of aircraft in British military service. I shall keep that for another post.

cato
11-19-2009, 08:50 AM
Olympus and Pegasus were originally Bristol Siddeley engines, and later taken over by Rolls. They tended to Greek Mythology - e.g. Perseus and Orpheus. Armstrong Siddeley tended to Gemstones, with e.g. the Beryl and Sapphire.

Well observed. Armstrong Siddeley used gemstones for turbo-jets and earlier really cool names for piston aircraft named after cats---Civet, Lynx, Tiger, Cheetah. All Bristol's engines had mythological names piston and jet.

pdf27
11-19-2009, 09:29 AM
Personally I tend towards the Napier convention (Sabre, Culverin, etc.), although there are wierd ones like Nomad (which to be fair was pretty descriptive given the fuel efficiency) and Pobjoy. Then you get the wierd ones like the Rolls-Royce Crecy (5000 BHP two stroke diesel aero engine!)...

Deaf Smith
11-19-2009, 07:36 PM
Piston Engines were named after birds of prey, so, Eagle,Falcon, Hawk, Condor, Griffon, Goshawk, Kestrel, Buzzard.

Buzzard?

Now I didn't know the Griffon engine was named after a bird, not the Merlin, but please tell me, what was the Buzzard and who made it?

Thanks,

Deaf

cato
11-20-2009, 12:28 AM
Buzzard?

Now I didn't know the Griffon engine was named after a bird, not the Merlin, but please tell me, what was the Buzzard and who made it?

Thanks,

Deaf

http://www.wildaboutbritain.co.uk/gallery/files/6/8/5/falconry_merlin2.jpg
An English Merlin

http://quthingwildlife.com/Tourist%20Activities/Ha%20Tlhaku/Pictures/bird.jpg
A Cape Griffon

http://www.spitfiresite.com/history/articles/2007/08/images/rolls-3.jpg
A Rolls-Royce Buzzard - a 36litre 800HP V12 engine manufactured at the Rolls-Royce Derby factory in the 1920s
It was used to power a variety of Seaplanes but a had a short life, only 100 were made. It was the basis for the specialist 'R' engine used for air and land speed record vehicles.

Uyraell
01-22-2010, 07:11 AM
But that film reel summary says it's a jet and in 1938 it flew. What gives?

ww2Admin, most sources document the fact that the Jet xp59 project was deliberately given the designator of an earlier existing project which itself was quietly shelved. This would be the 1938 multiseater aircraft the filmology mentions.
This was by no means an unusual subterfuge in the USA, as much the same thing happened in relation to the XP47, and a couple others I cannot offhand recall immediately.
Even the flying bat XP49, and the XP 53 "Ascender" were given designators of earlier projects, so it was plainly a normal occurrence.

Hope that info is of some help. :)

Kindest Regards ww2Admin, Uyraell.

Deaf Smith
01-23-2010, 11:05 PM
Rolls-Royce Buzzard - a 36litre 800HP V12 engine manufactured at the Rolls-Royce Derby factory in the 1920s
It was used to power a variety of Seaplanes but a had a short life, only 100 were made. It was the basis for the specialist 'R' engine used for air and land speed record vehicles.


Had a short life? Well what do they expect after naming it Buzzard?

Deaf

nstoolman1
01-29-2010, 10:49 PM
Nope. The second one crashed and then they scrapped it and there is not even any samples in museums.


They had 6 in various stages of completion lined up on a runway. They were ordered to chop them up. It was a truly sad day. The consenses among many is that sabotage caused the crash. There is a smaller prop driven model at the Chino Air Museum that was restored (and flys) by some of the same people that originally built them.

JimmyLad
10-06-2010, 03:41 AM
That was supposed to be a joke. The RB 211 is actually the Trent engine--named after another River. RB 211 was the working title as a project for the Lockheed Tristar and DC10. For various reasons Rolls-Royce went bust in the middle of the RB 211 development with the cost of the engine being blamed as the prime cause and the name became famous.

A slight correction here. The RB211 is not at all a working title for the Trent as mentioned here.
Yes the Trent was a further development of the RB211 three spool engine. But the RB211 was itself post bankrupting Rolls-Royce, has been their most successful engine and has made Rolls-Royce into one of the aero engine leaders today.

I have no idea why RR skipped naming the RB211 after an English river as was their custom. But Ido know that RB stands for Rolls-Royce Barnoldswick (This being the small town in northern England that the engine was designed)

I hope this helps

royal744
11-17-2010, 06:05 PM
the Bell XP-59A Airacomet never went into combat did it or was that the Northrop. i know that on June 5, 1948 the Northrop after being sent to the air force crashed killing its crew. did the Northrop ever make it to combat?

The Airacomet, to my knowledge, was a test bed and not combat ready for anything. It was a 'proof of concept' machine nd apparently not very fast nor agile, but you have to start somewhere. The fling wing never saw combat either.

royal744
11-17-2010, 09:05 PM
Let's not forget the Gloster Meteor which flew a bit earlier than the Airacomet and the P-80 and which also went overseas during WW2 but wich did not engage in fighter-fighter combat either.

muscogeemike
11-26-2010, 06:05 PM
Technically wouldn’t the worlds first “jet vs. jet” have been Meteors vs. V1’s?

royal744
12-29-2010, 05:32 PM
the Bell XP-59A Airacomet never went into combat did it or was that the Northrop. i know that on June 5, 1948 the Northrop after being sent to the air force crashed killing its crew. did the Northrop ever make it to combat?

No to both.