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Aircraft question

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Re: Aircraft question
Post by Silverwall   » Mon Aug 22, 2016 5:41 am

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Sorry, any attempt to describe WW1 strategic bombing as anything more than an irritant is drastically overstating it's effectivness. A few hundred casualties over 3 years is nothing compared to the devestation and losses of even a minor offensive at the front. In terms of resources invested I doubt any WW1 strategic bombing paid off in military terms even allowing for the diversion of defensive forces. Remember that although primative by modern standards these machines still represent a massive investment of industrial capacity. Admitedly some good PR victories were achieved but in a Safehold setting these pale in contrast to the massive defeats suffered by church forces in the field.

Overall the morale effect of bombing on rear areas and civilians is grossly overrated by airforce supporters. The WW2 bombing endured by all parties shows just how hard it is to bomb someone into surrender. Despite massive efforts on the part of the allies German industrial output of war goods increased up until 1944!
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Re: Aircraft question
Post by Dilandu   » Mon Aug 22, 2016 6:07 am

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Sorry, any attempt to describe WW1 strategic bombing as anything more than an irritant is drastically overstating it's effectivness.


We are talking about direct or indirect influence? Direct influence, of course, was neligible. But the indirect - the demoralization of general popukation, the need to spend awful lot of resources on anti-aircraft defense, the problems with air alarms and their impact on the industry - do much more damage than direct.

In terms of resources invested I doubt any WW1 strategic bombing paid off in military terms even allowing for the diversion of defensive forces.


The german's actually did. To protect the Britain, more than half of thousand of AA guns were used by 1918 (about 8/10 of all brtain anti-aircraft artullery), plus several hundreds of fighters and numerous searchlights. And this was in time when the Britain hit the bottlenecks in aircraft engines production, and have a lot of problems with modern fighters.

Remember that although primative by modern standards these machines still represent a massive investment of industrial capacity. Admitedly some good PR victories were achieved but in a Safehold setting these pale in contrast to the massive defeats suffered by church forces in the field.


I disagree. The defeats on the battlefields are the common situation. They aren't outside the capabilities of Safeholdian to rationalize.

But the idea of aerial bombing - the idea that ANYONE is now vunerable, that even far away from battlefield men could not be safe - are the absolutely new to the psychology.

Let's recall how single V/1500 ended the Third Anglo-Aphgan war in 1919. Only a few 112 lb bombs, dropped on Kabul, were sufficient to cause mass panic and force the king to surrender. Don't underestimate the influence of aircrafts on primitive sociey - they are terribly effective to wreak mass panic.

Overall the morale effect of bombing on rear areas and civilians is grossly overrated by airforce supporters. The WW2 bombing endured by all parties shows just how hard it is to bomb someone into surrender. Despite massive efforts on the part of the allies German industrial output of war goods increased up until 1944!


Basically, this is a misread facts.

Yes, the german industrial output rose til 1944. But this was generally due to the fact that Germans started actual total mobilization only around 1942. And. while the total output continued to rise (about 3 times slower than it was supposed to), the actual military production have enormous number of problems. For example, by the 1944, the German production of bombers and transport aircraft was nearly twice lower than in 1943 - because all efforts and resources were put in fighters production.

Germans put enormous number of resources to provide aerial defense for their industry. Their attempts to build bomb-proof military factories clearly demonstrated that the Germans didn't consider bombing effect as "neligible"
------------------------------

Oh well, if shortening the front is what the Germans crave,
Let's shorten it to very end - the length of Fuhrer's grave.

(Red Army lyrics from 1945)
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Re: Aircraft question
Post by John Prigent   » Mon Aug 22, 2016 8:41 am

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One might also note that Germany's WW1 strategic bombing using Zeppelins backfired terribly upon them in WW2. The deliberate bombing of civilians 'only' killed a few hundred but was still in memory when London, Coventry etc were bombed in WW2 and made irresistible the desire to reply in kind. In 1944/45 there were no calls to avoid destroying Hamburg, Dresden etc - just a general feeling that German asked for it and DESERVED it. It was only post-war special snowflakes who thought (and still do) that it was wrong to target the enemy.

Cheers
John
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Re: Aircraft question
Post by AirTech   » Mon Aug 22, 2016 8:54 am

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Silverwall wrote:
Developing a steam engine both small enough and powerful enough to suit the purpose might be the most challenging part of the project.

Don

-


actually for an Aero steam engine keeping it fueled consistantly and avoiding issues with fluid slosh in the boilers will be the big ones. Steam engines do not like pitch and roll which are inevitable in aircraft, especially small ones. 100% recycling of feed water will also be a huge issue. Gearing up the to the propeller will also be a major issue propellers like high RPM, steam engines are usually an order of magniture lower RPM.

Size and power are secondary in my mind to these issues.

Also appart from reconnisance what significant military purpose do these aircraft serve? Early aircraft are inferior is all ways to tube artillery: logistical pigs to keep going, requiring large ground crews, terrible ordinance lifting capacity and low rate of fire with terrible accuracy.

EDIT** I suggest reading http://www.flyingkettle.com/besler6.htm on the 1933 bessler steam engine, it is clear that it is relying on technologies such as spark ignition of an atomized heavy fuel oil into the burner with an electric fan to function so this will be a major issue to overcome in a proscriptions environment.


The Bessler engine was a flash boiler design (so no free water). The lack of a condenser was a bigger problem so water tankage was the limiting factor for range. Ignition could be via a blow torch (like a Stanley Steamer) as a boiler is a continuous combustion system unlike an Otto cycle engine or a Diesel (which uses compression ignition).
The basic boiler system was perfected by the Stanley and White companies (have a look at Jay Leno's Garage on You Tube for demonstration). A light steam truck or a steam launch would be useful for getting the bugs out of the design. The limitation on steam engines is generally power to weight (about twice the weight of the equivalent petrol engine) and start up time (typically 5 to 10 minutes for a the Bessler engine). The benefits are that it burns about half the amount of fuel for the same power.
If we assume photography then aerial photography becomes very useful for sighting in your guns prior to an attack. A camera from a tethered balloon can be almost as useful. As to balloons being sitting ducks - they are harder to shoot down than most people realize (and guns around them work both ways..)
The Germans on the ground during WW2 were more scared of Piper Cubs than Superforts. A bomber can only drop one load of bombs. A spotter plane can keep fire on a target for hours.
Last edited by AirTech on Mon Aug 22, 2016 9:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Aircraft question
Post by Dilandu   » Mon Aug 22, 2016 9:10 am

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John Prigent wrote:One might also note that Germany's WW1 strategic bombing using Zeppelins backfired terribly upon them in WW2. The deliberate bombing of civilians 'only' killed a few hundred but was still in memory when London, Coventry etc were bombed in WW2 and made irresistible the desire to reply in kind. In 1944/45 there were no calls to avoid destroying Hamburg, Dresden etc - just a general feeling that German asked for it and DESERVED it. It was only post-war special snowflakes who thought (and still do) that it was wrong to target the enemy.

Cheers
John


The zeppelin raids NEVER were aimed against civilians. It would actually made zeppelin's work much easier, if they were allowed to just drop bombs on suburbs, but they were ordered ONLY strike military and industrial objects.

Of course, due to the navigation problems and aiming problems quite a lot of attacks were eventually against civilian population, but it never was the goal. Zeppelins crews always tried to hit industrial objects; they often failed, but they tried neverless.
------------------------------

Oh well, if shortening the front is what the Germans crave,
Let's shorten it to very end - the length of Fuhrer's grave.

(Red Army lyrics from 1945)
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Re: Aircraft question
Post by ewlandmine99   » Mon Aug 22, 2016 10:42 am

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Not quite right. There has been at least one heavier than air craft that made a successful flight. Google steam aircraft for an account of the Bessler brothers aircraft in 1933. Interesting.

Don

-

Don, I still would argue that, while it might fly, it would be very impractical. How much fuel could it carry? How long to get steam up? How long could it maintain steam with available fuel? How long til it runs out of water? If you want a useful range and a useful payload in an airplane, steam is not the answer.
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Re: Aircraft question
Post by John Prigent   » Mon Aug 22, 2016 1:43 pm

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We differ in interpretation, Dilandu. Yes, the Zeps were intended to hit military targets, but no, they were never ordered to avoid bombing civilians. If there had been such an order the majority of Zep commanders would have been court-martialled for disobeying it, but none were.
Cheers
John

Dilandu wrote:
John Prigent wrote:One might also note that Germany's WW1 strategic bombing using Zeppelins backfired terribly upon them in WW2. The deliberate bombing of civilians 'only' killed a few hundred but was still in memory when London, Coventry etc were bombed in WW2 and made irresistible the desire to reply in kind. In 1944/45 there were no calls to avoid destroying Hamburg, Dresden etc - just a general feeling that German asked for it and DESERVED it. It was only post-war special snowflakes who thought (and still do) that it was wrong to target the enemy.

Cheers
John


The zeppelin raids NEVER were aimed against civilians. It would actually made zeppelin's work much easier, if they were allowed to just drop bombs on suburbs, but they were ordered ONLY strike military and industrial objects.

Of course, due to the navigation problems and aiming problems quite a lot of attacks were eventually against civilian population, but it never was the goal. Zeppelins crews always tried to hit industrial objects; they often failed, but they tried neverless.
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Re: Aircraft question
Post by Silverwall   » Mon Aug 22, 2016 2:42 pm

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BTW for those wondering why I am so dismissive of level bombing as a viable tactic against point targets I give you exhibit A:

The Bieldfeld viaducts: "The viaducts connected Berlin to the Ruhr over the river Werre, had a width of 27 feet at track level, each carried two tracks, the viaducts was constructed with 26 arches each with a span of 46 feet and a height of around 73 feet, the overall length of them was around a 1100 feet each."

by 1945 the RAF had expended over 3000 tons of bombs trying to hit this target and had achieved no more than scratch damage easily repaired. At this point they dedicated 617 squadron (the elite dambusters squadron ) using the 22000 lb grand slam bomb to the job. after several attempts called off by bad weather (AKA clouds) they finally killed it using the earthquake bombs.

http://www.dambusters.org.uk/after-the- ... bielefeld/
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Re: Aircraft question
Post by Dilandu   » Mon Aug 22, 2016 3:23 pm

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John Prigent wrote:We differ in interpretation, Dilandu. Yes, the Zeps were intended to hit military targets, but no, they were never ordered to avoid bombing civilians. If there had been such an order the majority of Zep commanders would have been court-martialled for disobeying it, but none were.


They were forbidden to TARGET civilians, but they weren't held prosecuted for the collateral damage against targets, that they presumed as military (even if the identification was wrong).

I.e. they couldn't just "oh, we have pretty little town here... let's drop our load on it!" They always tried to hit some object: railway station, factory, dock - i.e. legitimate military targets. They often missed (but, must point out, that they often NOT missed - the accuracy of zeppelins raids under good conditions could be really imprsseive), but they always at least tried to attack something important, not just damage the general population.
------------------------------

Oh well, if shortening the front is what the Germans crave,
Let's shorten it to very end - the length of Fuhrer's grave.

(Red Army lyrics from 1945)
Top
Re: Aircraft question
Post by Silverwall   » Mon Aug 22, 2016 4:53 pm

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Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2011 11:53 pm

By the way Zeppelin type airships are a non starter without aluminum frame construction.

Using the data here http://www.airships.net/helium-hydrogen-airships for the LZ127 Los Angeles with a deadweight of 77,000 lbs and a useful lift of 101400lbs we can do some calculations

Assuming that 1/2 the mass is aluminumn the mass penalty for replacing that with steel is 77600 lbs cutting our lift force for fuel crew and ordinance to a mere 23000 lbs.

the exact numbers are less important than the clear weight penalty of not being able to use aluminum (or carbon fibre these days).

Note that this is for a large higher efficiency later designed airship. Smaller, earlier ones will be even more heavily effected by the lack of aluminium.

Also shown on that site is how just changing the lift gas of the Hindeburg from hydrogen to helium reduces the working payload to a negative number after fuel, crew etc.
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