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  #21  
Old 16th February 2020, 14:52
rof120 rof120 is offline
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Aero-engines 1940

Ed West:

Your sensitivity about certain things is partly understandable and partly not.

- Well, this is how YOU feel.

I'll give you an example of a totally different kind because this can help to understand certain reactions: in almost all English books on the 1940 French Campaign the story ends on June 3, 1940 because the British troops had been saved and brought back to their grateful moms. The fact that 40,000 crack French troops hold the pocket perimeter to the end against all German attacks to make this escape possible, and very unwillingly were taken prisoners eventually, is often "forgotten" (not by all British authors, though). After the successful evacuation there is nothing more to report about exactly 3 more weeks of fighting. All French people who are aware of this typically English behaviour laugh angrily: "The rosbifs (with roastbeef-looking faces) will never change. Everything for them, nothing for others". Most French people think that the UK let down the French at Dunkerque, which is not correct, but was this evacuation necessary in the first place? In any case to almost all British "historians" the French Campaign, or the Western Campaign if you prefer and love German phrases, ended on June 3, 1940 instead of June 24. No wonder that people get a bit touchy after about 20 centuries of this.

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Originally Posted by Graham Boak View Post
I'm afraid that there is a world of difference between having highly promising engines under development, or even in early production, but quite something else to get these into production and then into aircraft and then into service in significant numbers. Compare these promises (for that is what they are) with the historical development of similar engines elsewhere. For example at the same time the British had the Sabre and Vulture already flying in fighter and bomber airframes with production lines established: the Griffon and Centaurus were not so far behind. The Germans had the DB603 running... I agree that there is no reason to doubt the capabilities of the French industry, but equally there is no reason to doubt that they would have been likely to run into very similar problems as faced by other nations. And the service timescales are always longer than the ambitions.
- Very authoritative, interesting and true. The fact remains that both main French makers of aero-engines had designed absolutely superlative engines by June 1940 and mass-production of these - at least with Hispano-Suiza inline engines - had actually started: Hispano-Suiza 12 Y 51 (1 000 ch) and 12 Z (1 200 ch). Dewoitine fighters would have been equipped with the 12 Y 51 from aircraft number 601 on, hence D.523s instead of D.520s. The production of D.52X fighters would have reached 300 per month already in September, 350 in November. On June 22 or so 402 D.520s had been delivered to the Fr. AF so that D.523s with the new engine would have rolled off from the end of July on (top speed 570 km/h like the Me 109 E). After about one more month the 12 Y Z engine would have followed at the end of August (top speed over 610 km/h, faster than anything the Germans could muster). So these engines were perfectly developed and could be used in combat. Only the Allied defeat prevented this from happening. The reproduced data was published in the already-mentioned superlative book "l'aviation de chasse française 1918-1940", by Raymond Daniel and Jean Cuny (collection Docavia - Éditions Larivière).

Same thing in other countries like Switzerland and Russia, which developed the HP engines quite quickly and effectively, reaching high power values and producing tens of thousands of them (USSR), possibly even more. These engines were no dreams, they were reality and the Germans paid a high price thanks to these French-Soviet engines.

It's not about the French only but about all other countries in which aero-engines were designed or further developed and mass-produced. There are excellent experts in other countries than England and the USA: speaking English is NOT mandatory to be clever and able to design aircraft and engines of world class. Besides, Szydlowski, a remarkable scientist working in France who designed many superlative devices or engines, was not French but Polish (at least at the beginning) and highly valued by the French. IIRC he created the incredibly successful family of turbo-engines for French helicopters: Alouette II and III and all the other types which followed. They were emulated in all other countries producing helicopters: now they all are equipped with turbines too. Same thing for the very successful light jet engines made by Turboméca in France, which were and are equipping light jet aircraft all over the world and of course in France too: Alpha Jet for example and many more.

The French-made jet engines equipping French fighters after WW II are not bad either. At the start they were designed with the help of some German experts, which was just fair beause the Germans occupying France for 4 years had forbidden any advanced design work in this country, hence the technical gap. Ouragan and Mytère IV fighters were possibly just OK but then - with strongly improved French jet engines - the whole world simply watched Mirage IIIs (Israeli AF) and all the following types in awe, including today's Rafale, which is giving a very good account of itself all the time, not least thanks to an excellent jet engine (and to French avionics). In Sweden it's a bit different (only 6-7 million inhabitants when the row of remarkable SAAB jet fighters started with Draken and also SK 105 IIRC), now about 9-10 million inhabitants after strong immigration (still not a great power) but this country, too, has designed a whole series of world-class combat aircraft: Draken, Lansen, Viggen, now Gripen in various versions up to E I think (exported to several countries in the world). China, too, has made a good start in the last few decades. So good stuff can be designed AND MASS-PRODUCED in non-English-speaking countries too. So please stop sneering at the whole world (over 7 billion people) except those whose language is English or "English" (they total about 0.4 billion people). US and British engines are good or excellent (not always… see the P-51 story), others are excellent too. Oh, I almost forgot the Czechs: I have great admiration for the Czeh achievements in military hardware and in many other scientific and technical fields.

Many countries in the world have proved that they are able to design good aircraft (often not in the top categories like jet transport AC and fighters) but aero-engines are obviously another matter. With few exceptions only countries having a fairly strong industry, population (at least about 50-70 million) and scientific level are able to design good aero-engines, in particular very powerful ones. It seems to be a matter of financial ability and of a scientific and technical population pool large enough to make this possible. Even Sweden, which possesses great ability in the design of top-class jet fighters and has a top-modern industry, has to use jet engines from abroad, which were/are modified in Sweden for specific Swedish needs (Volvo Flygmotor AG - Volvo Aero-Engines Corp.). Probably the main reason for this is the cost.

Last edited by rof120; 17th February 2020 at 18:01.
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  #22  
Old 19th February 2020, 10:16
Stig Jarlevik Stig Jarlevik is offline
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Re: Aero-engines 1940

Quote:
Originally Posted by rof120 View Post
In Sweden it's a bit different (only 6-7 million inhabitants when the row of remarkable SAAB jet fighters started with Draken and also SK 105 IIRC), now about 9-10 million inhabitants after strong immigration (still not a great power) but this country, too, has designed a whole series of world-class combat aircraft: Draken, Lansen, Viggen, now Gripen in various versions up to E I think (exported to several countries in the world).

Even Sweden, which possesses great ability in the design of top-class jet fighters and has a top-modern industry, has to use jet engines from abroad, which were/are modified in Sweden for specific Swedish needs (Volvo Flygmotor AG - Volvo Aero-Engines Corp.). Probably the main reason for this is the cost.
SAAB was very quick on the draw and managed to aquire drawings and technical details via Austria already in 1945-46. The first jet fighter built in Sweden was SAAB 21R/RA which was a rather crude conversion of the J 21A.
What made headlines was the next model on line, the J/A 29 'Flygande Tunnan' (Flying Barrel) which was roughly equivalant of the Sabre, MiG-15 and the Mystère. Both the A/J 32 Lansen and J 35 Draken came later.

What is less known is that the company STAL was very much ahead with the advanced Dovern jet engine which was intended for both the Lansen and Draken. However cost increases, technical problems etc made delays inevitable and a very agressive Rolls Royce campaign resulted in the Avon being chosen instead. There are some "insiders" who claim a substantial palm greasing took place as well....

Basically all jet engines have been built since then under licence by Flygmotor (later Volvo-Flygmotor) and where afterburners have been needed they were designed locally in Sweden. Even the Americans are said to have learned a bit "how to do it"!

Cheers
Stig
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  #23  
Old 19th February 2020, 13:48
rof120 rof120 is offline
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Re: Spitfire in France, May-June 1940

Thanks Stig - interesting!

I had forgotten the "Tunnan" ("Barrel"), the fat-looking flying barrel which was Flygvapnet's (Swedish Air Force's) fighter for many years and I was not aware of the very first Swedish jet.
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  #24  
Old 19th February 2020, 16:38
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Nick Beale Nick Beale is offline
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Re: Spitfire in France, May-June 1940

Return to the topic and cease making bigoted remarks such as "typically English behaviour" (which say more about their author than their intended target) if you want this thread to continue.

Anyone who wants to start a thread about post-war jet development, please do so in the appropriate section of the forum.
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  #25  
Old 19th February 2020, 19:26
edwest2 edwest2 is offline
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Re: Spitfire in France, May-June 1940

rof120 -

Write that book, or series of books, and let the rest of the world know. OK?

I am not English, though I speak it. And yes, there were significant developments by the French and by other Europeans working in their own countries or, for example, France. My research shows that going to France was sometimes more sensible because some facilities already existed there. So why spend money trying to duplicate them in your home country? The Swiss contribution to engine development is little known. I could go on.

So, if you want to post here, fine - within the rules of course. Otherwise, share your knowledge, I urge you.

Ed
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