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  #1  
Old 7th August 2009, 15:25
Tapper Tapper is offline
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Jet V Jet 1n 1944 / 45

I appreciate that "what if " questions can be pointless and serve little purpose so please accepy my apologies straight away.

But can someone tell me that "if " (sorry) the V1 threat to London had never existed, would RAF Meteors in July 1944 have been hurried across into Europe to take on the Luftwaffe 262 and Arado 234's?

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Old 7th August 2009, 16:20
Graham Boak Graham Boak is offline
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Re: Jet V Jet 1n 1944 / 45

No. The Meteor Mk.Is used against the V-1s in 1944 were pretty low-performing. Some of the later Mk.IIIs were sent over to the Continent but only used for ground-strafing and familiarisation. Even the Mk.IIIs showed little advance in performance over the Spitfire Mk.XIV or Tempest Mk.V, and were considerably shorter-ranged. It took the Mk.IV before the Meteor came into its own as the RAF's best fighter.

The main role of the Me 262s was against the mass bomber formations, which generally made them generally a USAAF problem, and short range was the last thing needed. They were no problem in July 1944 - I don't think they saw any combat until September, and then in small initial numbers.

Had Hitler's intentions been taken seriously, and had the Germans solved the engine reliability problems a year earlier (exceedingly unlikely!), then matters might have been different, but in truth the German jets were little more than a potential worry until 1945, and in terms of overall effect not much more even then. Lots of publicity, lots of charisma, decidedly worrying potential, but only limited actual results.
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Old 9th August 2009, 07:42
bearoutwest bearoutwest is offline
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Re: Jet V Jet 1n 1944 / 45

Given that in 1944/45, none of the RAF or USAAF jet fighters in development (Meteor, Vampire, P-80) would have had the range to serve effectively as an escort fighter in the face of a potential Me 262 threat, was there a conventional piston-engine fighter that would have been more effective than the P-51/P-47's of the time?

Would a deH Hornet or a Hawker Tempest II/Fury with drop tanks (or contemporary US fighter) been a sufficient improvement to have been considered?

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Old 9th August 2009, 19:03
Graham Boak Graham Boak is offline
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Re: Jet V Jet 1n 1944 / 45

P-51H would have been a good candidate for that.

However, a better solution would have been to move the escort fighters into France so that they didn't have such long distances to fly.

Another option would have been to hasten the development of in-Flight Refuelling, which was being studied for Tiger Force operations, so that the Meteor, F-80 and Vampire could have done the job. Remember that jet fuel consumption was not crippling at altitude.

Yet a third would have been to use the Airborne Early Warning radar, as developed for anti-kamikaze use, to better position the escorts before the German jets got close.
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