View Full Version : A7M Reppu and Me-309 What If

05-24-2006, 12:47 PM
The Mitsubishi A6M Zero and the Bf-109 were undoubtedly the most (in)famous Axis fighter aircraft of WW2, yet there is a general consensus that both were getting obsolete by late 1943 and basically their careers passed their zenith in mid 1944 at best. In short, they should have been replaced by more improved designs during the war (from the Axis point of view, of course).

The intended replacements for these types were the A7M Reppu and the Me-209-II and Me-309.

So, my question is directed to those members well-versed in WW2 military technology: in a hypothetical scenario where the LW concentrates on replacing the Bf-109 with a new design instead of trying to upgrade the existing one, and the IJNAF does the same with the Reppu, based on your knowledge of their engine technology,

a) what is the period when the Me-209/309 could possibly have been completed with a workable, reliable engine AND begin replacing the Bf-109?

b) what is the same period for the A7M?

(in this "what if" scenario, both the LW and the IJNAF at a certain point stop demands for upgrading these existing types and ask the producing firms to concentrate on designing the replacement type)

I wonder if the LW could have replaced the Bf-109s entirely with a better design before the great defeats of winter 1942/43, the Battle of Kursk or at least D-Day, and if the Japanese could have done the same with the A7M Reppu before the disastrous defeats of 1944 in the battles of the Philippines and the Marianas.

I'm not suggesting that any aircraft type could have changed the outcome of WW2, but maybe it could have ended later and different circumstances.

05-24-2006, 11:13 PM
logistics & production capabilitys on both sides of the war sealed the end result

in the WTO , Americas production ability was simply too much

in the PTO , Japan was stretched too thin & too far to properly supply , + they lost too many good pilots

Germany needed to make Britian surrender - Japan needed to win in the south pacific . neither happened

05-24-2006, 11:16 PM
random CGI Bf-309


05-24-2006, 11:18 PM
Sound good for the "what if" addon...

05-25-2006, 01:23 AM
Originally posted by Rammjaeger:

I wonder if the LW could have replaced the Bf-109s entirely with a better design before the great defeats of winter 1942/43, the Battle of Kursk or at least D-Day,

It was called the FW190!

05-25-2006, 01:50 AM
I don't think they would have made it to Kursk, nevermind how many ifs you make. 309 had a priority until 43, where they noticed that it has no performance advantage over 209. 209 on the other hand, had 50% common parts with 109. In 43, the 209 got the priority, but after Galland tested 262, he suggested stopping that one too and moving resources to 190D and 262. G├┬Âring agreed, but Adolf later vetoed the order. I doubt that cancelling the 209 helped 190D in anyway nor 262, for that matter and that typical back and forth defenitely helped no one, quite on the contrary. The first problem is getting the series running, rather than the working power. 109 production run at full power to the end, it's resources never helped 190D nor 262 and the idea was simply to make 209 replace 109 on production. The projection was starting at beginning of 44 (where already 85% of serial drawings where out and 6th prototype in the air) and run down the 109 and run up 209, so that in the mid 45 209 series would push out the numbers of 109. This never happened - as it was almost ready they dumbed 209 at the end of 43, for one reason or another. I think this was of no use but a big waste, years of work out of the window.

What it would have brought - already early trials showed better turning performance than 109G, somewhat higher speeds 10-15 km/h than 309. Finally adequate armament (2xMG151, 2xMG131 and MK108). A JaBo version with 1000 kg bombload and three weapons. More range and so on. Yes, it would have addressed some 109 shortcomings. Perhaps it would have made a small difference but it would not have won the war...

The fighters had no priority almost to the bitter end. They were building bombers in the end when they realised that there is no petrol to operate them anymore, since in the lack of fighters enemy had gone and bombed their oir refineries...When the direction changed it was way too late. If fighters had got the priority much earlier in 42 and 209 over 309 I still don't think 209 had made it to Kursk, almost rather a 262.

If the priorities had been changed they might have been able to bring 209 for D-Day in numbers maybe with its bigger range it would have had a better change on D-Day but the fighter deployment was only one of the smallest screw ups of Normandy.

05-25-2006, 02:07 AM

The A7M1 prototype flew for the first time on May 6, 1944, test pilot Eisaku Shibamaya being at the controls. Test pilots reported that the A7M1 handled extremely well, and that the use of the combat flaps made the A7M1 just as maneuverable as the Zero. However, they also reported that the aircraft was significantly underpowered for its weight. The Homare 22 delivered only 1300 hp at 19,685 against a calculated rating of 1700 hp, and at this altitude maximum speed was only about 350 mph. In retrospect, Horikoshi was right. Because of its disappointing high-altitude performance, on July 30, 1944 the Navy ordered that further work on the A7M1 be suspended after the second prototype had been built.

Soon after this, the Japanese Navy authorized Horikoshi to begin work on the A7M2 version. This was to be powered by the Mitsubishi MK9A radial, which was the engine that Horikoshi had wanted all along. The MK9A had a larger diameter than the Homare 22, which required a complete redesign of the forward fuselage. The first A7M2 prototype flew on October 13, 1944, and initial tests indicated that high altitude performance was much better, with maximum speed being 390 mph at 21,655 feet. Service ceiling was 35,760 feet and an altitude of 19,685 feet could be reached in 6 minutes 7 seconds. The armament consisted of four wing-mounted 20-mm cannon.

The Navy was quite pleased with the performance of Horikoshi's new fighter, and plans were initiated for immediate production of the A7M2 as the Navy Carrier Fighter Reppu Model 22 at Mitsubishi's plant at Nagoya and at the Nankai Works in Osaka. Production aircraft were to have been armed with either four 20-mm Type 99 Model 2 cannon or two 20-mm Type 99 Model 2 cannon and two 13.2-mm Type 3 machine guns.

http://www.csd.uwo.ca/~pettypi/elevon/baugher_other/a7mbau.html (http://www.csd.uwo.ca/%7Epettypi/elevon/baugher_other/a7mbau.html)

05-25-2006, 03:30 AM
I beleive that the Me 309 was tested and the RLM came to the conlusion that it offered no significant performance gains over the contemporary 109, handling and speed were similar. The Me 209H-V1 was flown off against the Ta 152H and the two aircarft were found to have very similar performance and flight characteristics, I can't remember the reason they went with the Tank fighter, but the Ta came too late anyway. All in all they're significance is minimal, I doubdt if they would have prolonged the war even by one day had they been produced.

05-25-2006, 04:18 AM
309 brought no advantage over 209 - it was however, faster and better armed than 109 - had a worse turn performance though (which 209 on the contrary had better). So compared to 109 - 309 would have been an improvement in some categories. Speed, firepower, range. Most probably the tricycle landing gear once properly working would have helped to overcome the traditional landing and take-off accidents of 109.

05-25-2006, 05:38 AM
Thanks Ugly Kid, most sources mention the inferior turn performance in comprison to the 109G. Also the FW 190D was a superior design to the 309, hence the 309s rejection, a rare moment of clarity for the RLM.

05-25-2006, 06:09 AM
the biggest proplems the japanese were faced with the development of new planes was, as already mentioned, the reliability of the engines !
had all a lot of troubles with their engines too , and in general with the very low quality fuel !

the A7M's Mitsubishi MK9 was far from beeing ready.
and btw at this late stage of the war, a new carrierbased fighter wasnt needed anymore !
the US forces could be "reached" from landbases http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif and the most carriers were sunk/out of action.

the Navy should have heard earlier to Mitsubishi. they wanted to equip the A6M with one of thier own engines, the Kinsei. a very reliable engine as its use in the Ki-100 (as Ha-112) proved.
this would have been the A6M8c Model 64.
it was no SuperZero , but it regained the performance of early Model 52 - with better protection and better armament (2x20mm, 2x13mm all in wings). that would have made them a better foe to the F6F.still in heavy use 1945 over japan.
but it was to late, only two were build (named Model 54)and none of the over 6000 ordered Model 64 were ever finnished.

05-25-2006, 06:25 AM
General Galland btw wanted to stop the 109 production, put all Messerschmitt efforts in the Me262.
and as piston engined dayfighters beside the jet only have Fw190/Ta152 fighters.

fortunatly that was far from reality !!

and yes, the Fw190D with its Jumo213 and Ta152C with its DB603 was the best replacement for the Bf109... not the 209 or the 309.

05-25-2006, 08:47 AM
The Ta152C that wasn't ready even at the end of the was better option than 209 which could have started serial production beginning of 44 and run 109 production figures at time where Ta152C still had not matured to serial? I fail to see the immediate advantage of a plane that wasn't there. Yet DB was only alternative powerplant for a 109 successor or should they have called Daimler and tell them to get cracking with Jumo too (jet or 213).

109 was manufactured in quite an serious amount per month. You really think they could have stopped overnight and told the workers - of you go let's build some FW or 262? Sorry, wasn't going to work. They absolutely needed the production figures in fighters that 109 made (and even more and starting much earlier - there Galland was right). It would have been serious cutback in total amount to even dream of redirecting. 262 could have compensated with the performance the shortage in numbers but no other piston engined figther would have had sufficient edge. 262 production was running up all right but only small part ended up as fighters, way too many were simply wasted. However, due to the large difference in the construction needed raw materials and technology there would have been lots of high capacity that would have simply gone waster. Think of Daimler throwing out all tooling for DBs and start manufacturing jets. When 109 rolled out from Regensburg the components had made quite a mileage.

They would have needed completely new set of tooling for Messerschmitt factories to start for a FW190D production - so get them to keep on building 109 in reducing numbers but at the same time keep on starting with 190D. I think that Galland wasn't that immune to dreaming either.

209 was actually only option where they could have kept the numbers but still brought out something new without hampering the old one with serious setbacks thanks to the level of shared components.

05-25-2006, 10:56 AM
Originally posted by Ugly_Kid:
The fighters had no priority almost to the bitter end. They were building bombers in the end when they realised that there is no petrol to operate them anymore, since in the lack of fighters enemy had gone and bombed their oir refineries...When the direction changed it was way too late. If fighters had got the priority much earlier in 42 and 209 over 309 I still don't think 209 had made it to Kursk, almost rather a 262.

I think this is not realy correct. While from mid-war onwards the numbers of produced fighters were rising the number of build bombers sunk.

Here some figures:








So allready in 1943 the rising of bomber production was much lower than the increase of fighters.

To the main topic, in my eyes with a Me262 as a project, every effort in building a successor with a piston engine was a waste of time and menpower. With the M262 in the air (and the allied counterparts) every piston engined fighter like the P51, Spit XIV, 109K or Ta 152 were - obsolete, nothing more then the peak of a technique right before disapearing in history.

05-25-2006, 02:06 PM
Logistics spelled the doom of the Axis, with the exception of the 262, none of the aircraft in large enough numbers would have made any difference.

05-25-2006, 02:40 PM
The Fw190C could probably have been in production in early 1943 if it was not for the Me410 needing the DB603 engines.

700-730kph depending on fuel grade used (B4 or C3)

2 MG131 > cowl
2 MG151/20 > wing roots
2 MG151/20 > outer wings
1 MG151/20 or MK108 or MK103 > engine

Yes Abbuzze, be sure, bomber production was in rapid decline. Most Ju88s being NFs. Many of the He111s being used as transports late war. On May 31 1944, the LW had 840 servicable 2e bombers but 6 months later only 294 multi engine bombers.

05-25-2006, 02:57 PM
Fw 190C...

What a capable aircraft - sacrificed for sum poor feckin sucker http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/51.gif

05-25-2006, 06:09 PM
as usual, ppl always forget the truly great He 280 (first flight apr-may 41)

05-27-2006, 02:05 AM
Originally posted by WOLFMondo:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Rammjaeger:

I wonder if the LW could have replaced the Bf-109s entirely with a better design before the great defeats of winter 1942/43, the Battle of Kursk or at least D-Day,

It was called the FW190! </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Well, OK, but AFAIK the Fw-190 was used mainly as a heavily-armed bomber interceptor and as a fighter-bomber whereas the Bf-109 was designed to defend short-range tactical bombers like the Ju-87, and to be a short-range tactical air superiority fighter in general. The characteristics and purposes of the two designs were so different, I doubt you can "replace" the Bf-109 with the Fw-190 and use it for the same purpose.

On another note, I wasn't suggesting that there was a possibility of any Fw-190 variant or other Focke-Wulf plane even partially replacing the Bf-109 on any production line. After all, Messerschmitt was a different company, it wouldn't start manufacturing a product of one of its competitors.

05-27-2006, 02:13 AM
Messershmitt would have produced 190's if ordered too.

I feel the 190 could have done all the 109 did if the 109 was dropped for more development of engines and airframes for the 190.

05-27-2006, 03:47 AM
Fw-190 was a tactical fighter all the way since the beginning. It just happened to be better suited for bomber intercepting due to heavier armament and more durable construction (radial engine mainly). What should have happened for LW was Messerschmitt switching gradually to producing Fw-190 right after Bf-109G2, Daimler-Benz dropping developement of DB-605 and fully concentrating on perfecting DB-603 for hight alt Fw-190.

05-27-2006, 05:50 AM
But the fact, the operational records of the two types did not show any need to suddenly make Mtt/DB and it's subcontractors to switch to producing FW190s/BMWs, with massive loss of production because of it. What would keep on fighting on the fronts, given that in 1942 the 190s had still many problems to be ironed out, and was backstep in altitude performance ? Not to mention it was more time and resource consuming to produce.

Simply such change would not be justified by anything.

05-27-2006, 06:14 AM
Originally posted by Badsight.:
random CGI Bf-309


Looks pretty much like a pony?