Friday, March 8, 2013


This is coolbert:

From a comment to the blog by Steiner:

"Steiner said...
What about the Dornier Do335? A combo push/pull, it has been described as the most effective iteration of the twin-engine 'heavy' fighter concept in the Luftwaffe's WW2 deployment."

Indeed, two items of interest here:

1. The heavy fighter warplane of the Second World War [WW2] era.

A warplane the heavy fighter most often characterized [perhaps in all cases?] by having two engines, able to escort long-range bombers all the way to the target, the heavy fighter carrying ordnance beyond that of the normal "light-weight" fighter of the same war.

"A heavy fighter is a fighter aircraft designed to carry heavier weapons or operate at longer ranges. To achieve acceptable performance, most heavy fighters were twin-engined, and many had multi-place crews."

Heavy fighters types and Marks of WW2 to include but not limited to:

* Mosquito [British].
* Bf 110 [German].
* Beaufighter [British].
* P-38 [American]

The concept of the heavy fighter worthy but as implemented during the war the results less than satisfactory:

"heavy fighters largely failed in their intended roles during World War II, as they could not outmaneuver the more conventional, single-engined fighters. Many twin-engined heavy fighters eventually found their niche as night fighters, with considerable successes."

2. And add to that list  the Dornier 335. A heavy fighter with the engines mounted in the push-pull configuration, one at the front and one at the rear.

This plane as displayed in the United States having the swastika symbol. That same plane as a museum piece in Germany would be sans swastika.

"The Dornier Do 335 Pfeil ('Arrow') was a World War II heavy fighter built by the Dornier company . . . The Pfeil's performance was much better than other twin-engine designs due to its unique "push-pull" layout and the much lower drag of the in-line alignment of the two engines"

The Do 335 having that tricycle landing gear and possessing some considerable firepower:

* 1 × 30 mm (1.18 in) MK 103 cannon.
* 2 × 20 mm MG 151/20 cowl-mount, synchronized autocannons

The Do 335 several some interesting features disadvantages and potential difficulties with the design taken into consideration remedies incorporated from the start:

* "The choice of a full 'four-surface' set of cruciform tail surfaces in the Do 335's rear fuselage design, included a ventral vertical fin–rudder assembly to project downwards from the extreme rear of the fuselage, in order to protect the rear propeller from an accidental ground strike on takeoff."

* "explosive charges built into the aircraft to blow off the tail fin and rear propeller in the event of an emergency."

Recall that the Swedish Saab-21 also having the same explosive capability! Blow that rear tail assembly away in case of pilot bail-out!

Also, as with the experimental "pusher" designs of the same war, the formidable combat capability of the Do 335 and the advantages of the push-pull design made MOOT by the advent of the jet engine!


1 comment:

Steiner said...

Contra Wikipedia, the heavy fighter concept has prevailed in post-war fighter design, except of course with twin jet engines. Since the early sixties, America’s front-line air superiority fighters (F4, F15 and now F22) have all been twin-engine ships with multirole/multiweapon capability and the size and power to carry the commensurate radar, hardpoints and avionics.

I suspect some of the reluctance in the popular mind to admit the superiority of the heavy fighter concept comes from two sources. First, the successful and persistent propaganda campaign of disparagement against the Bf110 during the Battle of Britain, despite the successes of the type as the prototypical strike aircraft during that campaign and as a radar-equipped night fighter in the following years. Secondly, the criticism by a certain senator of “gold-plated” combat aircraft during the development and procurement of the F-14/F-15 in the seventies.