10 of the most incredible aviation projects of the Second World War

10 of the most incredible aviation projects of the Second World War

Traditionally, in times of war, the enemy countries and their allies make maximum efforts to build up weapons and develop new, more efficient, military equipment. World War II was no exception. In those years, quite strange aircraft projects appeared that were implemented with varying degrees of success.

1. Blohm & Voss BV 141Aufklärungsflugzeug Blohm + Voß BV 141
At the beginning of World War II, the German Ministry of Aviation announced a tender for the development of a new tactical reconnaissance aircraft that would be used to support army operations. Two companies responded. Focke-Wulf developed a rather ordinary twin-engine Fw 189. The designers of Blohm & Voss approached the issue more creatively, creating an asymmetrical Bv 141.

To the left of the axis of symmetry of the aircraft was the fuselage with the engine and bomb hatches, and to the right was the crew cabin. Thanks to this unusual cabin layout,The Bv 141 provided an unprecedented field of vision for the pilot and observers, since during the flight, the huge engine and rotating blades did not close the view.

After testing, the Luftwaffe ordered 500 such aircraft. However, soon one of the main Focke-Wulf factories was seriously damaged during the bombing, so the government ordered to use 80 percent of Blohm & Voss's capacity to build well-proven Focke-Wulf fighters. Work on the Bv 141 was finally stopped after it was built 38 copies of the scout. During the war, they were all destroyed.

2. Horten Ho 22921
Another unusual Nazi project Horten Ho 229 aircraft was developed at the end of the war, after German scientists created the technology of jet engines. By 1943, the Luftwaffe commanders realized that they had made a huge mistake without starting to build heavy bombers, like the American B-17 or British Lancaster. To compensate for this shortcoming, the Luftwaffe boss Hermann Goering ordered the construction of a bomber that could carry a bomb load of 1000 kg and have a range of 1000 kilometers at a speed of at least 1000 kilometers per hour.

The Reymar and Walter Horten brothers began designing a flying wing turbojet. The Nazis managed to build by 1945 only one prototype, which was captured by Allied troops at the end of the war. Interestingly, in 2008, engineers at Northrop Grumman created a replica of Ho 229, based on a preserved prototype that is located at the Smithsonian Institution. When checking on the radar frequencies that were used during World War II, it was discovered that Ho 229 was essentially the first stealth aircraft.

3. Vought V-173 / XF5U-122
Beginning in the 1930s, Vought's engineer, Waugh Charles H. Zimmerman, began experimenting with disc-shaped airplanes. As a result, in 1942, the first prototype of the "flying pancake" V-173 rose into the air. While his company continued to produce the famous F4U Corsair for military needs, Zimmerman did not stop working on a fighter in the shape of a disk, which eventually became known as the XF5U.

The flight characteristics of the new fighter surpassed all other aircraft of the time. Thanks to the use of two Pratt & Whitney engines, the XF5U was supposed to reach a speed of about 885 kilometers per hour.But while tests were being carried out, the Second World War was over, and Vought experienced financial difficulties as the navy decided to switch to jet planes. As a result, the XF5U project was abandoned, and the only prototype built by the V-173 was transferred to the museum.

4. Boulton Paul Defiant23
Of all the aircraft on this list, the Boulton Paul Defiant was the one that was used the most. Unfortunately, this led to the death of many young pilots. The aircraft was developed on the basis of the false assumptions of the 1930s about how the war in the air will develop in the future. British commanders believed that the bombers that would attack Britain would mostly fly unaccompanied. It was for such cases that a heavy fighter was created, the main feature of which was that he could only fire backwards (all weapons - 4x7, 69-mm machine gun - was installed in the rotating turret behind the cockpit).

In theory, this freed the pilot from shooting, which allowed him to concentrate on the flight, and also made it possible to better aim the shooter. The first sorties went well, because unsuspecting German fighter pilots mistakenly took the plane for a similar-looking Hawker Hurricane and attacked it from the top or rear, which was the ideal firing position for the Defiant shooter.But the Luftwaffe pilots quickly realized their mistakes and began to attack such aircraft from the bottom or front. Due to the lack of course weapons and poor maneuverability due to the heavy turret, Defiant pilots suffered huge losses during air battles.

5. Bell YFM-1 Airacuda24
In the period between the First and Second World Wars, many countries were concerned about the possibility of strategic bombing. Therefore, most major powers began to build heavy fighters designed to intercept bomber. The British Defiant was unsuccessful, and the German Bf-110 was rather a multi-purpose aircraft.

Soon after, the American YFM-1 Airacuda appeared - the first Bell Aircraft military aircraft. It was implemented many original and progressive ideas. In particular, it was envisaged to place two front-firing 37-mm M-4 cannons in front of the engine nacelles, as well as the rear arrangement of screws. Due to a number of flaws and the fact that Airacuda were too slow, the operation of the aircraft was discontinued.

6. Antonov A-4025
Military gliders played an important role in the Great Patriotic War because of its noiselessness. Of all the gliders during the war, the A-40 developed by the USSR — the “flying tank” —was the most unusual. Most countries were looking for all sorts of ways to quickly and effectively deliver tanks to the front.Transferring them with the help of gliders initially seemed like a great idea, but engineers soon discovered that tanks were one of the least aerodynamic vehicles.

After countless attempts to develop a reliable system for delivering tanks by air, most countries simply surrendered. But not the Soviet Union. Based on the ideas of American engineer John Walter Christie, who originally developed the concept of a flying tank in the 1930s, in 1942 a huge biplane was created in the USSR, instead of the fuselage of which was a T-60 tank. Despite the fact that the test flight was successful (the tank returned to the base after landing), the project was closed, as the USSR simply did not have enough planes powerful enough to tow the glider with the tank.

7. Junkers Ju-28726
In 1943, Junkers engineer Hans Vokke initiated the creation of one of the most innovative German aircraft of World War II: the Ju-287. Engineers in the 30s realized that a plane with a straight wing would have an upper speed limit, but at that time nobody cared, because the propeller-driven aircraft could not reach this speed.However, with the advent of jet technology, everything changed and the feverish development began.

Wocke proposed a jet aircraft with a backward-swept wing, which he believed would be able to outrun any aircraft of the time. This new type of wing had many advantages: increased maneuverability at high speeds and high angles of attack, better stalling characteristics and a more compact arrangement of weapons and engines. During the test flights, the Ju-287 proved to be excellent, surpassing all expected performance.

Unfortunately for Wocke, interest in the fast jet bomber weakened and its creation was postponed until March 1945. As a result, the Germans just did not have time. Interest in the backward swept wing resumed only 40 years later.

8. Cornelius XFG-127
George Cornelius is an engineer known for developing many eccentric designs of gliders and airplanes. When World War II began, Cornelius was hired to develop the XFG-1, one of the most specialized aircraft of all time in the aircraft industry. In essence, the XFG-1 was a flying fuel tank that was to be towed behind a strategic bomber,gradually pumping fuel from the XFG-1 tanks and disengaging when the tanker tanks were empty.

9. Link-SPB28
The idea of ​​a flying aircraft carrier first appeared during the First World War. At that time, military engineers dreamed of creating a large uterine airship, which would produce links of small fighters to protect against enemy aircraft. British and American trials ended in disaster, after which all but the USSR rejected the idea.

In 1931, the aviation engineer Vakhmistrov proposed the use of large Tupolev bombers to transport fighters. During the 1930s, Vakhmistrov experimented with various configurations, focusing on five fighters attached to the TB-3 bomber (two I-5, two I-16 and one I-Z).

By the beginning of World War II, Vakhmistrov reoriented the concept - now he proposed using fighters as dive bombers. Only two I-16s began to hang on the TB-3, each of which carried 2 FAB-250 bombs. In this case, the range of fighters has been increased. Despite successful flights, the project was closed when all I-16 and TB-3 were discontinued in favor of more modern designs.

10. Fieseler Fi-103RNeu Tramm, US-Soldaten mit V4
Most people are familiar with the concept of Japanese kamikazes who sent an airplane with explosives to the target. The German attempt to build a similar weapon is less well known, turning the V-1 (V-1) cruise missiles into manned ones. The V-1 missiles had enormous potential, but they lacked accuracy. Using the existing V-1 fuselages, German engineers were able to install a small cabin in front of a jet engine, as well as basic controls for the pilot.

Unlike the V-1 missiles that were launched from the ground, the manned Fi-103R rocket had to be launched from the air, from a He-111 bomber. After the missile was launched, the pilot had to accurately point it at the target, then jump with a parachute.

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  • 10 of the most incredible aviation projects of the Second World War

    10 of the most incredible aviation projects of the Second World War

    10 of the most incredible aviation projects of the Second World War

    10 of the most incredible aviation projects of the Second World War

    10 of the most incredible aviation projects of the Second World War

    10 of the most incredible aviation projects of the Second World War

    10 of the most incredible aviation projects of the Second World War

    10 of the most incredible aviation projects of the Second World War

    10 of the most incredible aviation projects of the Second World War

    10 of the most incredible aviation projects of the Second World War

    10 of the most incredible aviation projects of the Second World War

    10 of the most incredible aviation projects of the Second World War

    10 of the most incredible aviation projects of the Second World War

    10 of the most incredible aviation projects of the Second World War

    10 of the most incredible aviation projects of the Second World War

    10 of the most incredible aviation projects of the Second World War

    10 of the most incredible aviation projects of the Second World War

    10 of the most incredible aviation projects of the Second World War

    10 of the most incredible aviation projects of the Second World War

    10 of the most incredible aviation projects of the Second World War

    10 of the most incredible aviation projects of the Second World War

    10 of the most incredible aviation projects of the Second World War

    10 of the most incredible aviation projects of the Second World War

    10 of the most incredible aviation projects of the Second World War

    10 of the most incredible aviation projects of the Second World War

    10 of the most incredible aviation projects of the Second World War

    10 of the most incredible aviation projects of the Second World War

    10 of the most incredible aviation projects of the Second World War

    10 of the most incredible aviation projects of the Second World War

    10 of the most incredible aviation projects of the Second World War

    10 of the most incredible aviation projects of the Second World War

    10 of the most incredible aviation projects of the Second World War

    10 of the most incredible aviation projects of the Second World War

    10 of the most incredible aviation projects of the Second World War

    10 of the most incredible aviation projects of the Second World War

    10 of the most incredible aviation projects of the Second World War

    10 of the most incredible aviation projects of the Second World War

    10 of the most incredible aviation projects of the Second World War

    10 of the most incredible aviation projects of the Second World War

    10 of the most incredible aviation projects of the Second World War