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Helicopters in WW2

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  • Helicopters in WW2

    The following link provides an interesting and full report with information and many photos about the use by the major military powers of helicopters during Second World War, undoubtedly, a rare theme and little explored in topics. The article can be viewed by visiting the link below:


    http://aviacaoemfloripa.blogspot.com...a-mundial.html


    Greetings!

  • #2
    The Autogyro created by Juan de la Cierva in the 1930s was not a helicopter as it could not take off or land vertically. It still required a runway but with a very short takeoff and landing run. But it had some neat abilities like performing smooth autorotation landing even if all engine power was lost.

    "Artillery adds dignity to what would otherwise be a ugly brawl."
    --Frederick II, King of Prussia

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    • #3
      A number of these are not helicopters but autogyros and at least one of these is well pre WW2. Whilst autoyros are capable of STOL they cannot hover as their rotors are not powered. The Japanese used autogyros for Anti Submarine work flying off a Japanese Army aircraft carrier and one of the photos shows one. Also shown is the German kite autogyro towed by U boats to provide the ability to spot shipping over a wider area. This was not a success as it proved to be a very effective radar reflector for Allied warships to locate U boats. As a result usage was mainly confined to U boats operating in the Indian ocean where there was less Allied radar. Evedn then some U boat commanders were reluctant to use them. The commanders of Japanese subs with which they cooperated has less qualms and swaps were done with the Japanese taking the auto gyro and the U Boat the small folding floatplanes carried in a deck mounted canister on some Japanese subs. Interestingly this probably meant the Japanese pilot transfering to the U boat service.
      Britain also used autogyros. One carrying out radar calibration flights over the sea was attacked by two FW 190s. The RAF pilot claimed that through skillful ultra low level flying he was able to cause one of the German fighters to make too low and sharp a turn and hit a wave with a wingtip and cartwheel into the sea
      Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
      Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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      • #4
        Originally posted by MonsterZero View Post
        The Autogyro created by Juan de la Cierva in the 1930s was not a helicopter as it could not take off or land vertically. .
        Actually some later models could but they could not hover which is the real distinction from a helicopter. VTO was achieved by a linkage from the engine to the rotor that span it fast enough to allow the autogyro to jump into the air. VL was simple and achieved by flying into the wind and matching speed to wind speed and this allowed the plane to sink vertically under auto rotation.

        The first attempts at military helicopters were made by the KuK in WW1 when prototype multi rotor designs were built in an attempt to provide an alternative to the observation balloon. At least one was photographed flying tethered and unmanned and a manned flight has been claimed but this has been met with some scepticism
        Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
        Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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        • #5
          To expand on the VTO later models of the Avro 670 could have the rotor spun up to greater than take off speed whilst set at zero incidence and then suddenly change the pitch, This caused the aircraft to jump vertically 20 feet, normal horizontal flight would then proceed. The whole process being not unlike some of those helicopter toys where a string round a bobbin is pulled to launch it.
          Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
          Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by wolfpack41 View Post
            The following link provides an interesting and full report with information and many photos about the use by the major military powers of helicopters during Second World War, undoubtedly, a rare theme and little explored in topics. The article can be viewed by visiting the link below:


            http://aviacaoemfloripa.blogspot.com...a-mundial.html


            Greetings!
            I remember Autogiro's in the thirties but never saw anything even remotely like it during WW2 and that includes helicopters. lcm1
            'By Horse by Tram'.


            I was in when they needed 'em,not feeded 'em.
            " Youuu 'Orrible Lot!"

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            • #7
              The Americans had some early Helicopters that were used for Medivac in Burma.

              Pruitt
              Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

              Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

              by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

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              • #8
                Originally posted by lcm1 View Post
                I remember Autogiro's in the thirties but never saw anything even remotely like it during WW2 and that includes helicopters. lcm1
                The RAF had an autogyro squadron No 529 (Rota) formed in 1943 from army cooperation flights first created in about 1935,which did army cooperation duties . A small number of RAF autogyros (between 3 and 5) supported the BEF in France between Oct 1939 and May 1940. In late 1944 529 sqn began to transition onto American Sikorsky Hoverfly helicopters. Their last autogyro flight being made in 1946. RAF autogyro flights from No.74 (Signals) Wing, Duxford, were also used for things like radar calibration for which aircraft that could fly very slowly and precisely were best suited. It was on one such sortie that Sqn Leader Clarke was attacked by two FW 190s. Although his Avro autogyro was only armed with a flare pistol he was able to out manoeuvre them and one apparently flew into the sea (it did disappear from the radar) Clarke claiming that a wingtip hit a wave and it cartwheeled. The RAF museum has a restored autogyro that originally served with no 529

                Germany used some of its early helicopters in the Baltic for naval recce duties including mine hunting and ASW duties. Operation of choppers from warships was pioneered. The use of a helicopter was originally planned for the Mussolini rescue but in the event a Storch was used.

                The Japanese used their license built Avro autogyros in China for army cooperation duties and as I posted earlier on an Army Aircraft Carrier for ASW

                The first use of an autogyro during hostilities was by the Spanish Army during the suppression of a revolt in the Asturias. However no use was made in the SCW as the Republicans had all the machines but all the qualified autogyro pilots were serving with the Nationalists
                Last edited by MarkV; 13 Mar 16, 05:25.
                Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
                Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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                • #9
                  I think it took the advent of reasonbly compact jet power to turn helicopters into really useful and versatile tools of the battlefield.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by MarkV View Post
                    The RAF had an autogyro squadron No 529 (Rota) formed in 1943 from army cooperation flights first created in about 1935,which did army cooperation duties . A small number of RAF autogyros (between 3 and 5) supported the BEF in France between Oct 1939 and May 1940. In late 1944 529 sqn began to transition onto American Sikorsky Hoverfly helicopters. Their last autogyro flight being made in 1946. RAF autogyro flights from No.74 (Signals) Wing, Duxford, were also used for things like radar calibration for which aircraft that could fly very slowly and precisely were best suited. It was on one such sortie that Sqn Leader Clarke was attacked by two FW 190s. Although his Avro autogyro was only armed with a flare pistol he was able to out manoeuvre them and one apparently flew into the sea (it did disappear from the radar) Clarke claiming that a wingtip hit a wave and it cartwheeled. The RAF museum has a restored autogyro that originally served with no 529

                    Germany used some of its early helicopters in the Baltic for naval recce duties including mine hunting and ASW duties. Operation of choppers from warships was pioneered. The use of a helicopter was originally planned for the Mussolini rescue but in the event a Storch was used.

                    The Japanese used their license built Avro autogyros in China for army cooperation duties and as I posted earlier on an Army Aircraft Carrier for ASW

                    The first use of an autogyro during hostilities was by the Spanish Army during the suppression of a revolt in the Asturias. However no use was made in the SCW as the Republicans had all the machines but all the qualified autogyro pilots were serving with the Nationalists
                    I take your word for it MV, but I still never ever saw or heard of one during those years. lcm1
                    'By Horse by Tram'.


                    I was in when they needed 'em,not feeded 'em.
                    " Youuu 'Orrible Lot!"

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Wooden Wonder View Post
                      I think it took the advent of reasonbly compact jet power to turn helicopters into really useful and versatile tools of the battlefield.
                      The Bell 47 widely used in Korea and the Sikorsky S 55 used extensively by the US Navy and Marine Corps were both powered by piston engines
                      Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
                      Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Pair of British autogyros that failed

                        Britain started the development of airborne forces later than Germany and the USSR but quickly identified the common problem that bedevils all such corps, how to provide them with enough heavy weaponry to hold positions against land based forces. The creation of flying vehicles based on the use of a rotating wing (like an autogyro or un powered helicopter) was one possible solution and a team headed by Raoul Hafner (an Austrian engineer working in Britain) was tasked with developing three such vehicles. Three types were proposed; a simple one man device capable of delivering a machine gunner complete with gun and ammunition to the landing site, a flying jeep and an airborne Valentine infantry tank. By 1943 the first two of these, the Rotachute and the Rotabuggy had been built and tested.

                        There are significant discrepancies between official descriptions of the flying abilities of these machines and various eyewitness accounts. Officially both were easy, even pleasant, to fly and could make very precise landings. However there is an account of one tester of the Rotachute having landed after being cast loose from a towing plane being initially unable to walk without assistance and adamantly refusing ever to fly the thing again. Landing it seems was a terrifying experience.

                        The Rotabuggy consisted of a standard Wileys Jeep with detachable free rotating blades and a tube steel and canvas tail. There was a towing hook for attachment to a Whitley bomber. The first flight appeared to go well, up to the point of landing. The Whitley had successfully towed the Rotorbuggy into the air and done a circuit of the airfield before preparing to land, still towing the jeep and its windswept occupants. Here the near fatal flaw in the concept emerged, a Whitley bomber lands at close to one hundred miles an hour and jeeps were not designed to travel at such speeds, especially not when encumbered with rotor blades and canvas tail structures. To make matters worse the rotor continued to provide lift so that every little bump propelled the hurtling vehicle back into the air. On the ground the driver struggled to control the careering vehicle and the pilot tried to keep it down so the wheels could find some grip whilst at the same time avoiding a fatal stall when in the air. In the end they succeeded in bringing the contraption to a halt. An eyewitness account says no one emerged from the stationary vehicle for some time and then one figure got out, was violently sick and collapsed at the side of the runway. The pilot was totally exhausted from having to stop the control column whipping about from side to side.

                        Despite the glowing official reports the project was mercifully abandoned before the next planned stage, the rotor borne tank, was attempted. There must have been many sighs of relief, especially amongst those who might have had to air test the beast.

                        The Australian forces also tried to develop a rotor equipped jeep for dropping into jungle clearings too small for aircraft to make a landing. Known as the Fleep it seems this was very similar to the Rotabuggy but with plywood instead of canvas sides to the tail assembly. Little else is known about this project as, probably significantly, the Australian government has drawn a veil of secrecy over the results of the experiments. No Australian jeep ever graced the skies of New Guinea.
                        Attached Files
                        Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
                        Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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                        • #13
                          http://static.warthunder.com/upload/...ters/gyro4.jpg
                          http://aviadejavu.ru/Images6/FT/FT1934/08/788-1.jpg
                          Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
                          Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

                          Comment

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