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Long Range Escourt Fighters in 1940?

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  • #16
    Looking over the campaign in the Med thru 1942 and in the Pacific in 42 & 43 it seems longer ranged fighters would be a major improvement. Possibly Allied air control would be accelerated from 1943 to 1942.

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    • #17
      here is a intresting what if..if the british were successful in designing a long range escort, and the bombing caimpaign over the next twelve months was becoming more and more successful, would something like that force the germans to throw all their technological know how into the jet fighter development? could we have seen squadrens of jet fighters patrolling the skies of the reich much sooner than was the reality..

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      • #18
        A expert on jet development would be able to answer that one. It might also mean the development of British jet engines would be accelerated to reach the next generation of long range aircraft. Something the size of the Mosquito with jet propulsion in 1943 or 44?

        My unexpert first guess would be the Luftwaffe would focus initally on the shorter term solutions; improving the air defense organization and communications, fewer fighter squadrons to the Eastern Front as home defense became important...

        I'll have to look up British/US production figures for 1940-1943 to see just what sort of real bomber mass could have been available.

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        • #19
          Precisely, long range fighters comparable to the P47, ect..would need to be developed several years sooner.
          Are you stating that P-47 was a long range fighter or that aircraft with comparable fighting value would have being build ?

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Metryll View Post
            Are you stating that P-47 was a long range fighter or that aircraft with comparable fighting value would have being build ?
            The latter mostly. Tho a look at a chart of operational ranges with & without drop tanks show the P47 to be well above average. Anyway I tossed it out a as a off the cuff bench mark. If you want to provide some better examples by all means...

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            • #21
              No simply a question. I was not sure of what you said. 1942/43 P-47 range known to me never went farther than Belgium, leaving B-17 and B-24 alone over Germany.

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              • #22
                One book on my shelf show the range as 230 miles, which does not reach to Masstricht. With auxillary tanks 375 miles is shown, which reaches Kassel, Franfurt am Main, and Hamburg. The P38 is credited with 620 miles which barely tags Berlin. Distances are taken from airfields north east of London on that map.

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                • #23
                  Long range fighters in 1940

                  There were long range fighters in 1939-40,the ME110,Blenheim 1F/IVF,Potez 633 etc. Drop tanks were not a new idea either they were used in the Spanish
                  War and in the Sino-Japanese war.
                  To have an effective long range fighter in the early part of WW2 you would have to change the mindset of the pre-war planners who had all read Douhet
                  and believed that the bomber would always get through, and hence based
                  all their requirements around that theory,either specifying fighters that were defensively orientated or bombers that were thought to be heavily enough armed to brush aside defending fighters.
                  The ME110 had the speed and range but couldn't match the manoeverability
                  of defending single seaters.The Zero proves that a highly successful long
                  range single seat fighter could be built with late thirties technology,the Japanese had already figured out that unescorted bombers got chopped up
                  by defending fighters over China.
                  I don't think that either german or british designers would have accepted
                  the lightweight construction or lack of pilot protection that was inherant in
                  the Zeros design and which contributed so greatly to its performance and
                  range.Those same factors made it very vunerable to battle damage which
                  became much more apparent as allied pilots gained experiance.
                  Given the prewar planning,the available technology and the fact that the
                  war very rapidly developed in ways that no-one expected it is'nt that
                  surprising that the P38,P47,P51 didn't mature earlier.
                  The one thing that might have pushed british developments would have been
                  a WW1 style stalemate on the Western Front?

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Old Bill View Post
                    ....To have an effective long range fighter in the early part of WW2 you would have to change the mindset of the pre-war planners who had all read Douhet
                    and believed that the bomber would always get through, and hence based
                    all their requirements around that theory,either specifying fighters that were defensively orientated or bombers that were thought to be heavily enough armed to brush aside defending fighters.
                    range...


                    ...The one thing that might have pushed british developments would have been
                    a WW1 style stalemate on the Western Front?
                    My original premise here is the British drew different conclusions from their early 1939 & 1940 raids on the German naval bases. The bomber did not get through unscathed, so what if the Brits went for long range fighter development vs night bombing. Hoping we will see more comments on the details of Brit fighter development.

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