Sunday, 24 April 2016

Trouble-making raven - Focke-Wulf Ta183 'Huckebein'. Compiled by Alex Halley

 Dr. Hans Multhopp
In the first months of 1942, a team of engineers from Focke-Wulf Flugzeugbau AG, under the leadership of Dr. Hans Multhopp analyzed data on the possibility of starting a new project of turbo jet fighters. As a result of this preliminary work, this culminated in 1945 as a fighter project known as Huckebein. The name 'Huckebein' is a reference to a trouble-making raven (Hans Huckebein der Unglücksrabe) from an illustrated story in 1867 by Wilhelm Busch...

...but let's start at the beginning

Ta183 wind tunnel model
Development of the Ta 183 started as Project VI (also known as Project V in some references) or Design II at Focke-Wulf AG, when Hans Multhopp assembled a team to design a new fighter, based on his understanding that previous Focke-Wulf design studies for jet fighters  had no chance of reaching fruition because none had the potential for transonic speeds (project called Volksflugzeug Entwurf I - with straight wings and Entwurf II - with slanted wings). The aircraft was intended to use the advanced Heinkel HeS 011 turbojet, although the first prototypes were to be Jumo 004B. Early studies also included an optional 1,000 kgf (10 kN) thrust rocket engine for takeoff and combat boost, much as the special "003R" version of the BMW 003 jet engine was meant to use, with fuel and oxidiser for up to 200 seconds of burn time stored in drop tanks under the wings.
Heinkel HeS 011
with two variants:
Jumo 004-B
powered by the Junkers
Ta 183 with the He S 011 jet engine
The wings were swept back at 40° and were mounted in the mid-fuselage position. The wings appear to be mounted very far forward compared with most designs, a side-effect of attempting to keep the centre of pressure (CoP) of the wing as a whole as close to the middle of the fuselage as possible. Reflecting the dilemma of a shortage of strategic materials, the first option of using aluminum in the construction of the main spar consisting of two tapered I-beams attached together on the top and bottom with shear webs of thin steel sheeting, led to a reappraisal. Multhopp chose to use wood instead of metal throughout the wing structure, with wood structure ribs attached to the front and back of the I-beams to give the wing its overall shape, and then covered with plywood. The box-like structure contained six fuel cells, giving the aircraft a total fuel load of 1,565 l (413 US gal).[6]
The original design used a T-tail, with a notably long vertical stabilizer and a seemingly undersized horizontal stabilizer. The vertical tail was swept back at 60°, and the horizontal tail was swept back and slightly dihedralled. The horizontal surface's small "elevator" surfaces were used only for trimming, the main pitching force being provided by the ailerons, which were well behind the center of gravity — their trailing edges' tips virtually even, horizontally, with the intended HeS 011 jet engine's exhaust orifice — and thus could provide both pitch and roll control, functioning as elevon control surfaces, as Messerschmittt's Me 163 tailplane-less Komet rocket fighter already did. Many problems beset the project, including the chance of a Dutch roll. Work therefore concentrated on the much less problematical Focke-Wulf Project VII. However, when the RLM eventually rejected that design, 'Huckebein' was again brought to the fore.
Ta 183 with the Jumo 004 jet engine

The Ta 183 had a short fuselage with the air intake passing under the cockpit and proceeding to the rear where the single engine was located. The pilot sat in a pressurized cockpit with a bubble canopy which provided excellent vision. The primary armament of the aircraft consisted of four 30 mm (1.18 in) MK 108 cannons arranged around the air intake.
It was also possible to carry a bomb load of 500 kg (1,100 lb), consisting of one SD or SC 500 bomb, one BT 200 bomb, five SD or SC bombs or a Rb 20/30 reconnaissance camera. The weapons load would be carried in the equipment space in the bottom of the fuselage and thus partially protrude about halfway from the fuselage, possibly allowing for other armament packages such as the Ruhrstahl X-4 wire-guided missile.
MK108 30mm

Multhopp's team also seriously explored a second version of the basic design, known as Design III, a modified Design II (it is unknown what Design I referred to). The first of these had only minor modifications, with slightly differently shaped wingtips and repositioning of the undercarriage. The second version had a reduced sweep back to 32°, allowing the wing and cockpit to be moved rearward. The tail was also
Ruhrstahl X-4 wire-guided missile
redesigned, using a short horizontal boom to mount the control surfaces just above the line of the rear fuselage. This version looks considerably more "conventional" to the modern eye, although somewhat stubby due to the short overall length of the HeS 011.
The second of these two schemes was entered in the official competition ordered by the Oberkommando der Luftwaffe at the end of 1944. On 28 February 1945, the Luftwaffe High Command examined the various Emergency Fighter proposals and selected the Junkers EF 128 to be developed and produced; the Focke-Wulf team gained second place. However, in the last few weeks of the war, it was decided that the Huckebein was really the best design and, at a meeting in Bad Eilsen, Tank was told to arrange mockups and to plan for full production. It had a planned speed of about 1,000 km/h (620 mph) at 7,000 m (22,970 ft) and it was estimated that 300 aircraft per month would be delivered when production got into its stride, each aircraft being produced in 2,500 man hours.
SC 500 bomb

A total of 16 prototypes were to be built, allowing the tail unit to be interchanged between the Design II and III variations. Of the Versuchs (experimental test series) aircraft, the Ta183 V1-V3 were to be powered by the Jumo 004B turbojet with somewhat lengthened rear fuselages to accommodate them, pending delivery of the HeS 011 jet engine. The Ta183 V4-V14 were intended to be A-0 series pre-production aircraft and V15-V16 were to be static test aircraft. The first flight of the aircraft was projected for May 1945, but none was completed by 8 April 1945, when British troops captured the Focke-Wulf facilities.
23 February 1945 was signed contract for the construction serial Ta183A-0, which were to be mounted in Bad Eilsen. The first plane was supposed to be ready no later than September 1945. To May 1946 production rate of the aircraft had to reach the number of 300 machines per month. The end of the war thwarted these plans and never finished any Ta183.

Post-war history continued ...

Kurt Tank during conversation with Adolf Galland
 in Argentin (post war time)
The end of the war prevented the completion of work on Ta183 by a team of Hans Multhopp. Kurt Tank escapes from responsibility for their work for the Nazis to Argentina and there very quickly began working for the Argentine government. Argentinian Huckebein, received a new name IAe 33 'Pulqui II'. Finally were built just 5 in Fabrica Militar de Aviones. The project 'Pulqui II' received many amendments which Kurt Tank brought to the original idea of Hans Multhopp. However, in the end, rather they plunged project of Argentine 'Huckebein' together with the economic crisis, which devoured Argentina at that timeMany people interested in the history of military aviation, believes the construction of MiG15 'Fagot' was also based on documentation 'Huckebein' that fell into the hands of the Soviets. Some sources say that it completed a prototype of the plane was exported to the Soviet Union, there is completed and flown. Similar sources see in the Swedish construction SAAB J-29 Tunnan.

Once again, it turned out that a very wide range of work carried out by engineers under the aegis of the Luftwaffe, though (thankfully) was one of the reasons for the defeat of the Third Reich, for future generations could prove to be a collection of inspiration for those who develop aviation after World War II.
IAe 33 Pulqui II c.1950

MIG15 'Fagot', Polish Air Force
SAAB J-29 'Tunnan'
Mainly text is a copy of Wiki information with added some more details from other sources.

"German Aircraft of the Second World War" J.R. Smith and Antony Kay