keskiviikko 7. joulukuuta 2016

Avro Manchester

The Avro 679 Manchester was a British twin-engine heavy bomber developed during the Second World War by the Avro aircraft company in the United Kingdom. Serving in the Royal Air Force and Royal Canadian Air Force, the Manchester was an operational failure because of its underdeveloped, underpowered and unreliable engines. The aircraft was the forerunner of the successful four-engined Avro Lancaster, which would become one of the most capable British strategic bombers of the war.

The Manchester was originally designed to the Air Ministry Specification P.13/36; it was the same specification that Handley Page also followed in their design of the Halifax bomber. Issued in May 1936, Specification P.13/36 called for a twin-engine monoplane "medium bomber" for "worldwide use", which was to be capable of carrying out shallow (30°) dive bombing attacks and carry heavy bombloads 3,630 kg or two 460 mm torpedoes. Provision for catapult assisted takeoff to permit the maximum load was also part of the specification, although the need for this provision was explicitly removed in July 1938. Cruising speed was to be a minimum of 275 mph at 15,000 feet. The Air Ministry had expectations for an aircraft of similar weight to the B.1/35 specification, but being both smaller and faster.

Avro had already started work on a design before the invitation to tender. They were in competition with Boulton Paul, Bristol, Fairey, Handley Page and Shorts. Vickers had the Warwick with Napier Sabre engines but did not tender it. In early 1937, the Avro design and the rival Handley Page HP.56 were accepted and prototypes of both ordered; but in mid-1937, the Air Ministry exercised their rights to order "off the drawing board". This skipping of the usual process was necessary due to the initiation of a wider expansion of the RAF in expectation of war. From 1939, it was expected that the P.13/36 would replace existing medium bombers, such as the Armstrong Whitworth Whitley, Handley Page Hampden and Vickers Wellington.

The design used the Rolls-Royce Vulture 24-cylinder X-block engine, which was two Rolls-Royce Peregrine Vee cylinder blocks mounted one on top of the other, the bottom one inverted to give the "X" shape. When developed in 1935, the Vulture engine had promise - it was rated at 1,760 hp (1,310 kW) but it proved woefully unreliable and had to be derated to 1,480 - 1,500 hp . Avro's prototype Manchester L7246, was assembled by their experimental department at Manchester's Ringway Airport and first flew from there on 25 July 1939, with the second aircraft following on 26 May 1940.

The Vulture engine was chosen by Avro and not stipulated by the Air Ministry as is sometimes claimed; other engine layouts considered included the use of two Bristol Hercules or Bristol Centaurus radial engines. The Handley Page HP.56, always intended as the backup to the Avro, was redesigned to take four engines on the orders of the Air Ministry in 1937, when the Vulture was already showing problems.

While the Manchester was designed with a twin tail, the first production aircraft, designated the Mk I, had a central fin added and twenty aircraft like this were built. They were succeeded by the Mk IA which reverted to the twin-fin system but used enlarged, taller fin and rudders mounted on a new tailplane, with span increased from 6.7 - 10 m. This configuration was carried over to the Lancaster, except for the first prototype, which also used a central fin and was a converted, unfinished Manchester. Avro constructed 177 Manchesters while Metropolitan-Vickers completed 32 aircraft. Plans for Armstrong Whitworth and Fairey Aviation at Stockport/Ringway to build the Manchester were abandoned. Fairey's order for 150 Manchesters was replaced by multiple orders for the Handley Page Halifax.

The forward section of a Manchester Mark I at Waddington, Lincolnshire, showing the nose with the bomb-aimer's window, the forward gun-turret and the cockpit, September 1941
The Avro Manchester was designed with great consideration for ease of manufacture and repair. The fuselage of the aircraft comprised longitudinal stringers or longerons throughout, over which an external skin of aluminium alloy was flush-riveted for a smooth external surface. The wings were of a two-spar construction, the internal ribs being made of aluminium alloys; fuel was contained with several self-sealing fuel tanks within the wings. The tail shared a similar construction to the wing, featuring a twin fin-and-rudder configuration that provided good vision for the dorsal gunner.

The cockpit housed the pilot and fighting controller's position underneath the canopy, and these two crew members were provided with all-round vision. The navigator was seated aft of the fighting controller and the position included an astrodome for use of a sextant. The bomb aimer's station was housed inside the aircraft's nose, beneath the forward turret and bomb aiming was conducted using optical sights housed in this compartment. For crew comfort on lengthy missions, a rest area was situated just to the rear of the main cabin.

The aircraft's undercarriage was entirely retractable via hydraulic systems, or in an emergency, a backup air system. The doors to the bomb bay were also operated by these systems, an additional safety measure was installed to ensure that the bombs could not be dropped if the doors were shut. The bombs were housed on bomb racks inside the internal bomb bay, and other armaments such as torpedoes could also be fitted. All fuel tankage was located in the wings in order to keep the fuselage free to accommodate more armaments in the bomb bay which covered nearly two-thirds of the underside of the fuselage.

Vulnerable parts of the aircraft were armoured; the pilot had additional armour and bulletproof glass and an armoured bulkhead was to the rear of the navigator's position. The Manchester featured three hydraulically-operated turrets, located in the nose, rear and mid-upper fuselage; the addition of a ventral turret directly behind the bomb bay had been considered and tested on the second prototype, but did not feature on production aircraft. Access to all crew stations was provided by a walkway and crew positions had nearby escape hatches.

The Manchester was powered by a pair of Vulture engines; in service these proved to be extremely unreliable. Aviation author Jon Lake stated of the Vulture: "The engine made the Manchester mainly notable for its unreliability, poor performance, and general inadequacy to the task at hand" and attributed the aircraft's poor service record to the engine troubles.

I was one of the six original pilots to have flown with the first Manchester squadron. That was a disaster. The aircraft itself, the airframe, had many shortcomings in equipment in the beginning, but as we found out Avro were excellent in doing modifications and re-equipping the aeroplane. The engines never were and never did become reliable. They did not give enough power for the aeroplane, so we ended up with two extremely unreliable 1,750 hp engines having to haul a 50,000-pound aircraft. We should really have had 2,500 hp engines. You felt that if you'd lost one, that was it, you weren't coming home. It didn't matter if you feathered the propeller or not. There was only one way you went and that was down. I have seen an aircraft doing a run up on the ground and have two pistons come right out through the side of the engine. The original bearings were made without any silver as an economy measure, so they weren't hard enough. The bearings would collapse the connecting rod and the piston would fling out through the side of the engine and bang! Your engine just destroyed itself.

On 5 August 1940, the first production Avro Manchester, L7276, was delivered to RAF Boscombe Down in advance of service acceptance trials. In November 1940, the Manchester officially entered service with the newly reformed No. 207 Squadron of RAF Bomber Command. The type passed all acceptance tests by 21 December 1940, and 207 Squadron had at least 80 Manchesters on strength by the end of 1940. The Manchester's first operational mission was conducted on 24 - 25 February 1941 in a raid on the French port of Brest. On 13 March 1941, L7319 became the first Manchester to be shot down by enemy fire.

On 13 April 1941, all Manchesters were temporarily grounded due to a higher than expected number of engine bearing failures; on 16 June 1941, a second grounding of the type was ordered due to continuing engine troubles. The unservicability of the Vulture engine forced squadrons to make use of obsolete bombers such as the Handley Page Hampden in its place. Upon the restart of operations in August 1941, additional issues with the aircraft were encountered; the problems included excessive tail flutter, hydraulic failures, and faulty propeller feathering controls. Production of the Manchester was halted in November 1941, by which point a total of 209 aircraft had entered service with the RAF. A total of eight bomber squadrons were equipped with the type, it also served in two further squadrons and also saw use by RAF Coastal Command.

While modifications were made by Avro to address some of the technical issues experienced, unit strength suffered and Bomber Command was frequently unable to raise significant numbers of aircraft to participate in large scale bombing missions; on 7 November 1941, all of the RAFs serviceable bombers had been dispatched to bomb Berlin, out of a force of over 400 bombers, only 15 were Manchesters. On 3 March 1942, out of a force of nearly 200 bombers sent against a Renault factory near Paris, 25 were Manchesters while during the first 1,000 bomber raid on Cologne on 30 May 1942, 35 Manchesters were amongst the 1,047 bombers sent to attack the city. Flying Officer Leslie Manser was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions while piloting Manchester L7301 of 50 Squadron during the Cologne bombing mission.

The Mk III Manchester (serial number BT308) which first flew on 9 January 1941, was essentially the first Lancaster, featuring a longer wing fitted with four Rolls-Royce Merlins in new power-egg nacelles - originally developed by Rolls-Royce for the Merlin-powered Beaufighter II - although initially retaining the three fins and twin outboard rudders (the central fin had no movable control surface) of the Manchester I. BT308 received the "Lancaster" name immediately after its first flight. The second prototype Lancaster DG595 featured the twin, enlarged fins and rudders of the Manchester IA. Manchester production continued until November of that year but some aircraft that were still in production were instead completed as Lancasters.

The 193 operational Manchesters flew 1,269 sorties with Bomber Command, dropping 1,657 tonnes of bombs and lost 78 aircraft in action, flying its last operation against Bremen on 25 June 1942. A further 45 were non-operational losses of which 30 involved engine failure. The Manchester was withdrawn from operations in mid-1942 in favour of more capable aircraft. Its final role in RAF service was as instructional trainers for converting crews to the RAF's new Lancaster bombers; the Manchester and Lancaster shared nearly identical crew positions and fuselages. The type persisted in use for training purposes into 1943 before being completely retired.

Royal Canadian Air Force
Royal Air Force

Specifications Manchester Mk I
Crew: 7
Length: 21.34 m
Wingspan: 27.46 m
Height: 5.94 m
Wing area: 105.1 m²
Empty weight: 14,152 kg
Max. takeoff weight: 22,680 kg
Powerplant: 2 × Rolls-Royce Vulture I 24-cylinder X-type, 1,760 hp (1,310 kW) each
Maximum speed: 426 km/h at  5,200 m
Range: 1,930 km with maximum bomb load of 4,695 kg
Service ceiling: 5,850
Armament: 8 × 7.7 mm Browning machine guns, nose (2), dorsal (2) tail (4) turrets
Bombs: 4,695 kg bomb load

tiistai 6. joulukuuta 2016

Bf 109

Bf 109 on ilmailuhistorian eniten valmistettu hävittäjälentokone. Koneella saavutettiin sekä konetyyppi- että lentäjäkohtainen maailmanennätys ilmavoittojen määrässä. Sillä on myös konetyyppi- ja lentäjäkohtainen Suomen ennätys ilmavoitoissa. Suomen ilmavoimien konetunnus Bf 109:lle oli MT ja lempinimi Mersu.

The Messerschmitt Bf 109, was a German World War II fighter aircraft that was the backbone of the Luftwaffe's fighter force. It was commonly called the Me 109 most often by Allied aircrew and even amongst the German aces themselves even though this was not the official German designation. 
The Bf 109 was the most produced fighter aircraft in history, with a total of 33,984 airframes produced from 1936 up to April 1945.

Mannerheim Cross Knight, Major Luukkanen to fighter cabin, alarm output boarding. Immola Airport 1944.06.15

MT-fighter ready to go. - Malmi Airport 1944.01.07

Messerschmitt machine maintenance, before the combat missions

maanantai 5. joulukuuta 2016

Sukhoi Su-9

The Sukhoi Su-9, or Samolyet K (Russian: Aircraft K), (USAF/DOD designation: Type 8), was an early jet fighter built in the Soviet Union shortly after World War II. The design began in 1944 and was intended to use Soviet-designed turbojet engines. The design was heavily influenced by captured German jet fighters and it was subsequently redesigned to use a Soviet copy of a German turbojet. The Su-9 was slower than competing Soviet aircraft and it was cancelled as a result. A modified version with different engines and a revised wing became the Su-11 (Samolyet KL), but this did not enter production either. The Su-13 (Samolyet KT) was a proposal to re-engine the aircraft with Soviet copies of the Rolls-Royce Derwent turbojet as well as to modify it for night fighting, but neither proposal was accepted.

In 1944, the Sukhoi design bureau (OKB) began designing a twin-engined fighter powered by two Lyulka TR-1 turbojets, known internally as the Samolyet or Izdeliye (item or product) K. The ultimate design was very probably influenced by a captured Messerschmitt Me 262, but the Su-9 was not a copy of the German aircraft. The Su-9 had an oval cross-section, all-metal stressed skin monocoque fuselage that housed a single cockpit. The pilot was protected by armor plates to his front, an armored seat back and a bulletproof windscreen for the bubble canopy. He was provided with an ejection seat, copied from that used in the Heinkel He 162. The aircraft carried a total of 1,350 kilograms of fuel in two bladder tanks, one each ahead and behind the pilot. The low-mounted, straight wing had a single-spar and a slight dihedral of 4°20'. The outer flaps were split and could act as air brakes. The Su-9 was the first Soviet aircraft to use hydraulic powered controls.

A Soviet copy of the Junkers Jumo 004B turbojet, known as the RD-10, was hung under each wing in a streamlined nacelle. The aircraft had a tricycle undercarriage that retracted into the fuselage. The Su-9 was designed with a very high wing loading which increased the aircraft's speed and reduced its dimensions. This consequently increased the take-off and landing speeds so it was equipped with a provision for two JATO bottles 11.27 kN  thrust for 8 seconds mounted on the sides of the fuselage. These reduced the take-off distance by nearly 50 percent and a braking parachute was fitted to reduce the landing distance.

The nose housed the armament of one 37-millimeter Nudelman N-37 autocannon and two 23-millimeter Nudelman-Suranov NS-23 autocannon. The N-37 could be replaced by a 45-millimeter Nudelman N-45. The aircraft carried 100 rounds for each NS-23 and 40 rounds for the N-37. Two 250-kilogram FAB-250 high explosive bombs could be carried underneath the forward fuselage, but the N-37 had to be dismounted to do so.

As the TR-1 engines originally intended for the Su-9 were not yet ready for flight testing in late 1945, Pavel Sukhoi suggested substituting a pair of Jumo 004 engines and this was approved on 15 December. The full-scale mockup was found to be acceptable on 16 February 1946 and the Council of People's Commissars issued an order on 26 February that the manufacturer's flight testing was to begin on 1 November. This goal was not met because the OKB was heavily committed to other projects like the trainer version of the Tupolev Tu-2 bomber, inexperience with JATO units, and late delivery of RD-10 engines. The first prototype was completed in mid-October and made its first flight on 13 November. The test pilots found the aircraft easy to fly, but the control forces were very high at speed and it lacked enough directional stability. Enlarging the vertical stabilizer cured this last problem and hydraulic boosters were fitted for the control system.
The aircraft was revealed to the general public on 3 August 1947 at a flypast at Moscow's Tushino Airfield and the aircraft began its state acceptance trials three days later. Flight testing was completed by 25 May 1948 after 136 flights had been completed. It demonstrated a top speed of 885 kilometers per hour at an altitude of 8,000 meters and an endurance of one hour and 44 minutes. It had very docile handling qualities with one engine inoperative. The aircraft was recommended for production, but it was significantly slower than the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-9 and Yakovlev Yak-15. The government declined to do so and the program was terminated.

A two-seat trainer version, the Su-9UT, was planned during 1946, but it too was cancelled. The cockpit for the student would have been positioned ahead of the instructor's cockpit and each would have had a separate canopy. The armament would have been reduced to a pair of 20 millimeters Berezin B-20 autocannon, each with a hundred rounds of ammunition. The armor would have been removed to save weight.

General characteristics
Crew: 1
Length: 10.546 m 
Wingspan: 11.2 m 
Height: 3.4 m 
Wing area: 20.2 m2 
Empty weight: 4,060 kg 
Gross weight: 5,890 kg 
Fuel capacity: 1350 kg
Powerplant: 2 × RD-10 turbojets, 9 kn thrust each
Maximum speed: 885 km/h 
Range: 1,200 km 
Service ceiling: 12,800 m 
Armament: 1 × 37 mm Nudelman N-37 cannon with 40 rounds 
(a 45 mm Nudelman N-45 could be fitted instead)
2 × 23 mm Nudelman-Suranov NS-23 cannon with 200 rpg
Up to 500 kg of bombs