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Thread: WW2 Jet Age

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    WW2 Jet Age

    This is just a what if. All the German jet felllows meet in a bar in 1936 and decide that jets are the way to go. Hitler and Goering love it. Several ships wash up on German shores with thousands of tons of nickel, cobalt, chromium and molybdenum inside which is reserved for Jet production. How ever it happens, it happens, and the Germans develop a serviceable engine.

    Say Germany fields a full squadron of He-280s and they do very well over Poland. The Me262 is nearly ready to go. The Luftwaffe decide pistons are out and jets are in.

    How do you guys reckon fullscale war would affect jet development? If the war managed to carry on to 45 as historical what aircraft would be lining runways around the world?

    I think the US would get to at least the Sabre.
    British have to get to the Vampire.
    Russians would probably have the Mig 15 (I speculate they would start there jet program from crashed and captured german types?)
    Germany would probably just stay with the 262 and maybe 229.
    Do you reckon we would be seeing supersonic fighters after 6 of war time development?

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    Official Thread Jacker Senior Contributor gunnut's Avatar
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    1. Germany would be impossible to bomb without exceedingly high casualties if those jets were used as bomber destroyers.
    2. Germany may not control the space over the frontline because jets back then made great bomber destroyers but may not have been good dog fighters against mature piston engine fighters.
    3. There would be a crash program to get allied jets in service. P-59 and Meteors might be mass produced and pressed into service.
    4. We will not see Mig-15 or F-86 as they appreared in the late 1940s. They were based on swept wing technology developed by the Germans. If war had dragged on, then we wouldn't have that German research for these fighters.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gun Boat View Post
    Russians would probably have the Mig 15 (I speculate they would start there jet program from crashed and captured german types?)
    The MiG-15 design, besides leveraging captured Me-262's and massive amounts of Germany's aviation industry, was successful only because of the Rolls-Royce Nene turbojet.
    Last edited by TopHatter; 12 Sep 12, at 15:51.
    lemontree likes this.
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    How long would it take the allies to:
    A) Be convinced that jets are now the way to go.
    B) Put into service a large jet powered bomber.

    Thats where I'm going with this scenerio. How quickly do the allies come into the jet age and how far do they commit? Do they remain with the piston powered
    bomb trucks and surround them with jet powered escorts. Maybe even pushing through aerial refuelling?

    Or develop a large jet bomber?

    And does it create a bloodier air war? Does it consume more rescourses than historical (which might would break the luftwaffe sooner due to fuel and pilots)?

    I think that come VE day the Allies would be facing off against the Soviets with a vastly superior airforce at hand, I really can't see the Soviets being able to
    adapt to the Jet age as quickly as the allies.

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    In Memoriam/Battleship Enthusiast Defense Professional USSWisconsin's Avatar
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    The P59 was pretty lousy, no faster than the P51, it was only used for training. The P-80 would probably have been the front line US jet.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bell_P-59_Airacomet


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockhee..._Shooting_Star


    Here's a cool what if aircraft
    Ryan XF2R Dark Shark - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    A Soviet Contemporary
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sukhoi_Su-9_(1946)
    Last edited by USSWisconsin; 11 Sep 12, at 04:56.
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    Official Thread Jacker Senior Contributor gunnut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gun Boat View Post
    How long would it take the allies to:
    A) Be convinced that jets are now the way to go.
    Jets were not the way to go for the allies back in 1943. They didn't have enough thrust for climbing. The engines didn't last too long before overhaul. Most importantly, they drank too much fuel.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gun Boat View Post
    B) Put into service a large jet powered bomber.

    Thats where I'm going with this scenerio. How quickly do the allies come into the jet age and how far do they commit? Do they remain with the piston powered
    bomb trucks and surround them with jet powered escorts. Maybe even pushing through aerial refuelling?

    Or develop a large jet bomber?
    Not gonna happen until the 1950s when jet engines became more reliable and less thirsty.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gun Boat View Post
    And does it create a bloodier air war? Does it consume more rescourses than historical (which might would break the luftwaffe sooner due to fuel and pilots)?
    Jet engines drank more fuel, but they drank cheap crap, not the highly refined aviation gasoline. In a way, this would help Germany so the Panzers don't compete with Luftwaffe for gasoline (cheap gas is still gas).

    Quote Originally Posted by Gun Boat View Post
    I think that come VE day the Allies would be facing off against the Soviets with a vastly superior airforce at hand, I really can't see the Soviets being able to
    adapt to the Jet age as quickly as the allies.
    Western allies had vastly superior air power over the Soviets on VE day already. It wasn't until the Brits "lost" the Rolls Royce design to the Soviets, the Soviets smuggled out a sample of the alloy used to make the turbine blades, and combining with German swept wing technology, did the Soviets leap frog over the west in fighter tech.

    The biggest difference that I can see is strategic bombing against Germany industrial heartland would be far more costly to the allies had German jets been used as bomber destroyers starting in 1943. This extra cost would make the allies hesitant to bomb Germany. More German resources would be available to the war effort, be it people, materiel, or production capacity. That in turn would mean more vehicles and soldiers on the frontline to fight the allies.

    Germany would still lose. Could be 1947. Maybe even as late as 1948. But eventually Germany would be overwhelmed by the US industry. Quantity really has a quality all its own.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnut View Post
    Germany would still lose. Could be 1947. Maybe even as late as 1948. But eventually Germany would be overwhelmed by the US industry. Quantity really has a quality all its own.
    Indeed. In fighters alone, the U.S. produced nearly 100,000 machines, the Soviet Union another 63,000 and the U.K. nearly 50,000.

    Germany's output was 55,000+
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    Not gonna happen until the 1950s when jet engines became more reliable and less thirsty.
    Do you think that the luftwaffe fielding jets early would push them to move quicker? i'm thinking 1941 luftwaffe almost exlusively jet in this little day dreaming what if.

    Jet engines drank more fuel, but they drank cheap crap, not the highly refined aviation gasoline. In a way, this would help Germany so the Panzers don't compete with Luftwaffe for gasoline (cheap gas is still gas).
    Didn't think of that. Would that allow the German sythetic fuel plants to produce more fuel due to not having to refine the product as heavily?

    Western allies had vastly superior air power over the Soviets on VE day already. It wasn't until the Brits "lost" the Rolls Royce design to the Soviets, the Soviets smuggled out a sample of the alloy used to make the turbine blades, and combining with German swept wing technology, did the Soviets leap frog over the west in fighter tech.
    Would the Soviets have feared more an allied jet airforce that completely out classed their own? Historically the Soviets may have dreamed that they were at least in the game in regards to their airfleet.

    The biggest difference that I can see is strategic bombing against Germany industrial heartland would be far more costly to the allies had German jets been used as bomber destroyers starting in 1943. This extra cost would make the allies hesitant to bomb Germany. More German resources would be available to the war effort, be it people, materiel, or production capacity. That in turn would mean more vehicles and soldiers on the frontline to fight the allies.

    Germany would still lose. Could be 1947. Maybe even as late as 1948. But eventually Germany would be overwhelmed by the US industry. Quantity really has a quality all its own.
    Thats what i'm trying to work out. Whether or not the airwar would be completely different or if it would just be as historical except with jets instead of piston engined aircraft.

    I'd say the big show would be the Battle of Britian. Using the historic production figures for Germany and converting those to Jets lets say that by January 1940 the Luftwaffe has around 1500 Jets adding another 4500 in 1940. (I just converted yearly production figures from wiki of fighters and twin engined bombers)

    Thats a fairly decent jet force that is going to knock about the Brits and let them and the US that the jet age is here.

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    In Memoriam/Battleship Enthusiast Defense Professional USSWisconsin's Avatar
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    Range is still a showstopper at this point - these thirsty jets are ideal for defense - still lousy for long range attack - similarly, the Soviets aren't going to be too threatened by aircraft that can't reach their cities or even the rear of their deep defenses.

    They would allow Germany to maul the Allied air campaign, and they would also help in the V1 attacks against Britain (if the UK had jets in the same fashion).

    I don't believe anyone would need to capture the German aviation industry to figure out swept wings - a few captured aircraft and even pictures of the German aircraft would be enough to pick up on this idea.
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    Basically unless the Germans are able to render their airfields (and the approaches to same) relatively invulnerable, the same historical event will happen again: Roving squadrons of the hottest Allied piston-engined fighters will bounce Luftwaffe jets at their most vulnerable point.
    Far better it is to dare mighty things, than to take rank with those poor, timid spirits who know neither victory nor defeat ~ Theodore Roosevelt

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    Historically the Soviets may have dreamed that they were at least in the game in regards to their airfleet.
    They had the Yak-3 which was in the game (late war Polish fighter squadrons preferred it over the P51 or the latest Spitfires) - it was just as good as the P-51 in combat (though it had range more equivalent to a Spitfire). The Soviet front line piston fighters and attack aircraft were formidable even at the end of WWII - though they were not generally long range aircraft like the P51 or P38.
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    Quote Originally Posted by USSWisconsin View Post
    They had the Yak-3 which was in the game (late war Polish fighter squadrons preferred it over the P51 or the latest Spitfires) - it was just as good as the P-51 in combat (though it had range more equivalent to a Spitfire). The Soviet front line piston fighters and attack aircraft were formidable even at the end of WWII - though they were not generally long range aircraft like the P51 or P38.
    They were formidable because they were powered by high grade avgas supplied by the US.
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    Official Thread Jacker Senior Contributor gunnut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gun Boat View Post
    Do you think that the luftwaffe fielding jets early would push them to move quicker? i'm thinking 1941 luftwaffe almost exlusively jet in this little day dreaming what if.
    Probably. We could be looking at late 1940s for reliable jet engines there didn't need to be overhauled after 30 min of use. But they would still be thirsty and therefore limited in range.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gun Boat View Post
    Didn't think of that. Would that allow the German sythetic fuel plants to produce more fuel due to not having to refine the product as heavily?
    In my uneducated opinion and guess, yes. Germany wouldn't have to refine so much avgas and the cheap kerosine could power their state-of-the-art jet fighters. More gas would be avaiable to the Panzer divisions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gun Boat View Post
    Would the Soviets have feared more an allied jet airforce that completely out classed their own? Historically the Soviets may have dreamed that they were at least in the game in regards to their airfleet.
    Jets were better as bomber destroyers back then, with their incredible speed at high altitude. Their acceleration and climb rate weren't that much better than piston engine fighters, sometimes worse. Their range was terrible. Allied jets wouldn't make it deep into Soviet air space.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gun Boat View Post
    Thats what i'm trying to work out. Whether or not the airwar would be completely different or if it would just be as historical except with jets instead of piston engined aircraft.

    I'd say the big show would be the Battle of Britian. Using the historic production figures for Germany and converting those to Jets lets say that by January 1940 the Luftwaffe has around 1500 Jets adding another 4500 in 1940. (I just converted yearly production figures from wiki of fighters and twin engined bombers)

    Thats a fairly decent jet force that is going to knock about the Brits and let them and the US that the jet age is here.
    German jets would have the same problem as the Bf-109 in the Battle of Brittain. They lacked endurance to escort German bombers. They would be over southern England for about 15 min and then needed to turn around.

    Early jets were better as bomber destroyers, not dogfighters.

    They would wreak havok on the allied air offensive over Germany. First by making bomber lost rate too high to endure. Then when the escort fighters show up, making their lives much more difficult. German jets could just skip the fighters and make high speed passes at the bombers. German piston engine fighters could fly cover for the jets taking off and landing. Any allied fighter going after German jets during landing would have to expose itself to legacy fighters like the Bf-109.

    Of course these are just my uninformed musings...
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnut View Post
    Not gonna happen until the 1950s when jet engines became more reliable and less thirsty.
    Just to back that up, the commercial aviation industry, which values range & efficiency for their aircraft above all else, were STILL using piston-engined airliners well into the '60's; not until the advent of the DeHavilland Comet/Boeing 707 were jet airliners practical enough to compete with piston engines in terms of range & efficiency.

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    With the Luftwaffe fully committed to a jet powered airforce the allies will adapt.

    Range doesn't seem to be an issue when you look at the 262 and Arado 234. Both around a 1000 miles. Although I think these ranges don't really reflect
    what would happen in combat when the engines are pushed to their upper limits. I'd say a jet engine hanging around full power will use a great deal more fuel
    than its piston brother. If you start adding drop tanks into the equation things look a lot better.

    As far as the eastern front is concerned I would think the Luftwaffe would quickly adapt the slash and burn tactic (Hellcats did this to the Zeroes in the Pacific?)
    ie make slashing attacks on the enemy formations and quickly climbing away. A single 30mm shell could mission kill a fighter and a few more would turn it into air borne
    debri. But then you have to consider the types of airfields available. although I don't see this being a major hurdle to overcome.

    As far as the allied bombing campaign is concerned I think the 8th would end up being pushed into night time area bombing runs with the Brits. I think that after a
    few years, innovations would enable them to start hitting selected targets with a certain degree of accuracy.

    How far forward can the B29, B36 and the B47 be brought forward in their development timelines? And what programs would the allies have to sacrifice to achieve this?

    I'm certain that there would be a lot of captured material available to the allies, especially after BOB, that would enable the allies to quickly catch the Luftwaffe jet tech.

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