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 Post subject: Re-engining question.
PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 12:39 am 
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It's late 1944. The Ruritanians want to upgrade their air force; the royal wizard thinks jet fighters are the wave of the future. (Just because they are a comic-opera kingdom doesn't mean they're stupid.) Officially, Ruritania is neutral in WW II, but they are in a position to do… favours… for both sides and both sides are willing to give them … considerations.
Continuing the scenario-- what's a little more implausibility on top of what we already have?-- in the judgment of the Ruritanian air ministry, their cuckoo clock industry has produced a trained workforce and a degree of technological sophistication that, plausibly, allows domestic production of both airframes and engines.

Britain and Germany are both willing to give blueprints to the Ruritanians.(*) Question: could an Me 262 be equipped with Rolls-Royce Derwent(**) engines? And would the combination of British engines and a German airframe have been better than either of its pure-bred parents?

--
(*) The Ruritanian air attaché in Washington is under the misapprehension that the Lockheed "Skunk Works" is an animal rescue society, and so the only American specifications considered are for the P-59. I take it this is enough to limit the choice to British and German designs… though if anyone has anything good to say about the poor, maligned, P-59 I'd be happy to hear it.
(**) Apparently -- trusting Wikipedia on this (a typically Ruritanian approach to research) the Meteor F.1 had Welland engines, which were slightly less powerful than the German engines on the Me 262 A. But the F.1 accounted for only the first few dozen Meteors, and I think the Meteor F.3, with Derwent engines slightly more powerful (2,000 pounds thrust versus 1,900) than the German engines.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 5:46 am 
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Allen Hazen wrote:
Continuing the scenario-- what's a little more implausibility on top of what we already have?-- in the judgment of the Ruritanian air ministry, their cuckoo clock industry has produced a trained workforce and a degree of technological sophistication that, plausibly, allows domestic production of both airframes and engines.


So you are already building both airframes and aero engines?

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Britain and Germany are both willing to give blueprints to the Ruritanians.(*) Question: could an Me 262 be equipped with Rolls-Royce Derwent(**) engines? And would the combination of British engines and a German airframe have been better than either of its pure-bred parents?


Why not? The replicas have GE engines though if you aren't short of certain alloys you could build a much improved version of the Jumo 004. Something the Germans originally planned and the Russians did after the war.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 6:58 am 
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Didn't the 262 have aerodynamic issues with its wings, in addition to semi-disposable engines due to their lack of 'hot' alloys ?

Latter moot if engine design from UK...

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 8:48 am 
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There's a big problem with this. The Derwent is a centrifugal flow engine, short and fat. The Jumo 004 (and the Ge engines that powered the replicas) were axial flow engines, long and thin. That means there is a major incompatibility between the proposed engines and the proposed airframe. The nacelle would need a complete redesign and that would echo throughout the aircraft. Much easier just to get a production license for the Meteor.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 9:21 am 
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Nik_SpeakerToCats wrote:
Didn't the 262 have aerodynamic issues with its wings, ...


If so did they know?

I recommend buying "allied". In '44 you know they'll win and soon. So their weapons and equipment will remain in production. Turning to the Germans for technical support is probably impossible in the near future.

Plus, the British economy isn't in a good state. Should be easy to get a good deal, a great deal, a fantastic deal. ;)

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 9:27 am 
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Following on from that logic, why not simply get a license for the P-80? Or, come to that, the MiG-15? Both way outperform any possible development of the Me-262 (the Russians put new engines into a 262 that delivered almost twice as much power. To their surprise, the performance showed no significant increase. It seems that the 262 was about as good as it was going to get).

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 9:35 am 
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It's a question that has no answer.

The Germans aren't going to be selling the Me-262 at any price. Every one produced is needed for the defense of the Homeland. Especially since Ruritania would also need the whole ground logistics chain to keep them operational.

The chance of getting Meteors is much better. While jets were rare, the Allies have fighters out the wazoo and the end of the war is in sight. I can see them getting some, especially in exchange for some considerations post-war and for temporary application or suspension of 'neutrality' during the final days.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 9:37 am 
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Good idea but an evaluation of all candidates might have to wait until the war is over. Or would the USA have allowed a neutral to take an in depth look at their latest fighter? Particularly one who's in negotiations with the Germans for the 262? Informationen on the P-80 could make its way to the enemy this way.

BTW what is the other RAF operating right now?

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 10:28 am 
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If you can do the design work to re-engine an aircraft, you're 80% of the way there to designing your own: certainly after the war there were any number of countries who cobbled together their own jet fighter design, and if you want to make it yourself there are major benefits to doing the design work in order to make sure it matches your industrial capabilities. Similarly with the engines - gas turbines really aren't all that complicated if you're already making steam turbines, and buying a supply of Nimonic or similar from the UK should certainly be possible.

I think you've really got two choices - design your own with a bit of technical help (the UK would be the place to go here), or buy complete aircraft in which case you're pretty much SOL until the war is over at which point you can pick and choose, getting whatever you want very cheaply.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 12:59 pm 
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Dear all--
Thanks for your replies! Occasionally you learn something about the real world by asking fantasy questions (if nothing else, the EXPLANATION of why the fantasy is only a fantasy can be interesting!), and the extreme conventionality of the Meteor's aircraft design combined with the … problematic … maintenance/reliability qualities of the Jumo suggested this combination.

M. Becker, first reply: Assuming that the cuckoo clock industry provided a suitable industrial base for airframe and engine production is comic opera stuff: put in to make a story about license building "plausible," since (as K Dahm put it, fifth reply, "the Germans aren't going to be selling the Me-262 at any price") photostats of blueprints were the most that either side would be willing to give the Ruritanians.

Waiting until after the war (M. Becker, sixth reply) would certainly have been rational (the Ruritanian royal bookkeeper should have told the king "Military stuff is going to be really, really cheap in about two years!"), so the insistence on choosing and starting the project in 1944 is more comic opera stuff to motivate the technical question.

Why not the P-80 or MiG-15 (Francis, fifth reply)? The MiG-15 was a slightly later design (post war). To get the technical question in focus I had to rule out the P-80: hence the story about the air attaché thinking the Skunk Works was an animal rescue society (more comic opera stuff).

On the technical issues… "If you can do the design work to re-engine an aircraft, you're 80% of the way to designing your own" (Pdf27): well, maybe, maybe not. It depends in part on what engines you have to choose from. I take it the GE engines used on recent Me-262 replicas (mentioned by M. Becker in first reply) made the re-design work a LOT easier than 80%! But, of course, they are a MUCH later design. But using the Meteor's engines… gets us to Francis's point (third reply): they wouldn't fit! Even looking at a photo is enough to see that the early Whittle/Rolls-Royce centrifugal flow engines are a very different shape from the axial flow turbojets we are familiar with, and the Jumo, whatever else you say about it, was closer to the SHAPE of a modern jet engine. (Axial flow engines, I gather, were harder to get right when the first turbojet engines were built-- which is why Whittle went for centrifugal flow-- but once perfected seem to been the (near?) universal choice for later designs.) "The nacelle would need a complete redesign," and at that point the Ruritanians would not rebuilding an Me-262.

As for Nik's (second reply) "Didn't the 262 have aerodynamic issues with its wings, in addition to semi-disposable engines due to their lack of 'hot' alloys ?" The "semi-disposable engines" go the German 262 were, of course, part of the initial inspiration for the question, but raises another issue I should have thought of. If the problem with the Jumo was even largely a matter of metallurgy, giving the Ruritanians photostats of the blueprints of the Derwent wouldn't have sufficed. Even if Ruritanian alchemists could cook up the right alloy GIVEN THE RAW MATERIALS, The British might not have been willing, before the end of the way, to allow some of the harder-to-obtain constituents (tungsten?) to be exported to anyone as unreliable as the Ruritanians! So thanks for reminding me of that aspect of the problem!
…As for aerodynamic issues with the wings… I think the aerodynamics of the Me-262 have been criticized in some earlier string, but I don't remember if the wings were the main problem. Since, with engines of about the same power, the Me-262 had significantly better performance than the Meteor, I assume its aerodynamic design was good enough for 1944 and speeds under 550mph. But (very faint memories of earlier discussion are coming back) maybe its basic aerodynamic design wouldn't have allowed for much further development: Francis's (fifth reply) "(the Russians put new engines into a 262 that delivered almost twice as much power. To their surprise, the performance showed no significant increase. It seems that the 262 was about as good as it was going to get)" strongly suggests that this was so.

So. Thanks everyone for indulging my idle curiosity. I learned a few things from the discussion. (But, sniff, nobody seems to have had anything good to say about the P-59: Bell seems to have had a remarkably consistent knack for innovative, original, outside the box, but ultimately also-ran designs!)


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 1:24 pm 
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Did you confuse Ruritania with Barataria? Ruritania is an adventure novel country, not a comic opera country, isn't it? :geek:


Allen Hazen wrote:
Waiting until after the war (M. Becker, sixth reply) would certainly have been rational (the Ruritanian royal bookkeeper should have told the king "Military stuff is going to be really, really cheap in about two years!"), so the insistence on choosing and starting the project in 1944 is more comic opera stuff to motivate the technical question.


More like much less than one year. I missed you said it's 'late' 1944. I bet your military attache in Germany(and everybody else) is expecting the end of the 3rd Reich as soon as the Allies start the next round of offensives.


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(But, sniff, nobody seems to have had anything good to say about the P-59: Bell seems to have had a remarkably consistent knack for innovative, original, outside the box, but ultimately also-ran designs!)


It was outperformed by the latest piston engine fighters.


PS:

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M. Becker, first reply: Assuming that the cuckoo clock industry provided a suitable industrial base for airframe and engine production is comic opera stuff: put in to make a story about license building "plausible," since (as K Dahm put it, fifth reply, "the Germans aren't going to be selling the Me-262 at any price")


Sweden! Neutral and very busy designing/building tanks and warplanes because they could no longer buy them elesewhere.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 4:14 pm 
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Allen Hazen wrote:
Waiting until after the war (M. Becker, sixth reply) would certainly have been rational (the Ruritanian royal bookkeeper should have told the king "Military stuff is going to be really, really cheap in about two years!")


Clearly the Royal Wizard should advise bomber acquisiton to wait, so you can pick up a fleet of brand-new B-32s for the cost of the avgas to get them home. :twisted:

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 4:45 pm 
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The Bushranger wrote:

Clearly the Royal Wizard should advise bomber acquisiton to wait, so you can pick up a fleet of brand-new B-32s for the cost of the avgas to get them home. :twisted:


This is Europe. The fuel bill for these things could bankrupt a small country. :lol:

But this:

Typical prices for surplus aircraft were:

BT-13 $450
P-38 $1,250
AT-6 $1,500
A-26 $2,000
P-51 $3,500

OMG, OMG, OMG! Let's go shopping! :ugeek:

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 3:19 am 
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Allen Hazen wrote:
On the technical issues… "If you can do the design work to re-engine an aircraft, you're 80% of the way to designing your own" (Pdf27): well, maybe, maybe not. It depends in part on what engines you have to choose from. I take it the GE engines used on recent Me-262 replicas (mentioned by M. Becker in first reply) made the re-design work a LOT easier than 80%!

Essentially they just fit inside the existing nacelle, and are lighter than the original engine - so you can just fit some lead weights to make them a form/fit/function replacement. That option isn't available in 1944 - neither engine would fit in the nacelle of the other without major aerodynamic work.

Allen Hazen wrote:
Even looking at a photo is enough to see that the early Whittle/Rolls-Royce centrifugal flow engines are a very different shape from the axial flow turbojets we are familiar with, and the Jumo, whatever else you say about it, was closer to the SHAPE of a modern jet engine. (Axial flow engines, I gather, were harder to get right when the first turbojet engines were built-- which is why Whittle went for centrifugal flow-- but once perfected seem to been the (near?) universal choice for later designs.) "The nacelle would need a complete redesign," and at that point the Ruritanians would not rebuilding an Me-262.

It isn't just the nacelle - the swept wings on the Me-262 were nothing to do with high speed flight and everything to do with the fact that the hot section of the engines was heavier than expected so they swept the outer section of the wings in order to bring the centre of lift aft and match it to the centre of gravity. Even if you cooked up a suitable nacelle for the UK engines, the chances are you'd have to do something similar with the wings too, at which point you're looking at what is essentially a whole new aircraft. Going backwards may be possible - the Meteor did fly at one point powered by Sapphire engines - but that's combining the worst features of both options.
Image

Allen Hazen wrote:
If the problem with the Jumo was even largely a matter of metallurgy, giving the Ruritanians photostats of the blueprints of the Derwent wouldn't have sufficed. Even if Ruritanian alchemists could cook up the right alloy GIVEN THE RAW MATERIALS, The British might not have been willing, before the end of the way, to allow some of the harder-to-obtain constituents (tungsten?) to be exported to anyone as unreliable as the Ruritanians! So thanks for reminding me of that aspect of the problem!

It really wasn't just the raw materials - there was a lot of nickel alloy metallurgy that the British had been doing which they wouldn't share the details of in wartime. From memory around a year of the delay getting jet engines into service was down to the metallurgy, rather than Rover messing about.

Allen Hazen wrote:
…As for aerodynamic issues with the wings… I think the aerodynamics of the Me-262 have been criticized in some earlier string, but I don't remember if the wings were the main problem. Since, with engines of about the same power, the Me-262 had significantly better performance than the Meteor, I assume its aerodynamic design was good enough for 1944 and speeds under 550mph. But (very faint memories of earlier discussion are coming back) maybe its basic aerodynamic design wouldn't have allowed for much further development: Francis's (fifth reply) "(the Russians put new engines into a 262 that delivered almost twice as much power. To their surprise, the performance showed no significant increase. It seems that the 262 was about as good as it was going to get)" strongly suggests that this was so.

Interestingly the Meteor did get fixed after the war and went on to set a series of speed records with Roland Beaumont even taking one to the compressibility limit of 632mph, but that required a lot of aerodynamic work - a redesigned cockpit canopy and longer nacelles from memory, which took the UK until after the war.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 2:59 pm 
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If you want a licence to build your own fighter right away, the Germans would very likely be happy to give you one for the Me-109G. The problem would be getting one for the DB-605 engine. Given enough incentive, they might even give you one for the Fw-190 and its engine.

Then again, by early '46 at the latest, you can get all the surplus P-51, B-25, and P-61 that you could use, then start looking at licences to build your own jet aircraft or engines. If the Americans like you enough, you could probably get a licence for the Sabre at the end of the decade as Canadair did.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2017 9:28 pm 
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If Wikipedia is to be believed, Adolf Galland at least fantasized about combining the Meteor's engines with the 262's airframe:
"During his time with the Argentine Air Force (FAA) he flew the British Gloster Meteor. Galland commented, mindful it was a contemporary to the Me 262, that it was a fine aircraft. He claimed that if he could have fitted the Meteor engines to the Me 262 airframe he would have had the best fighter in the world."
(From the W~a article on Galland; source may be Baker's biography of Galland.)


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 5:23 am 
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Then again, Galland is not exactly the most reliable source available - he's a major originator of the popular myth that the Me-262 could have been in squadron service a full year earlier except that Hitler ordered it to be redesigned as a bomber.

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