World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Schnellbomber

Article Id: WHEBN0001791957
Reproduction Date:

Title: Schnellbomber  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Bomber B, Junkers Ju 88, Luftwaffe, Focke-Wulf Fw 57, Messerschmitt Me 410
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Schnellbomber

A formation of Dornier Do 17Zs, circa 1940, when the type had become heavier and less speedy than the initial Do 17 design
Ironically, the British de Havilland Mosquito could be considered the most effective Schnellbomber of the Second World War

A Schnellbomber (German; literally "fast bomber") is a high-speed bomber. The concept developed in the 1930s when it was believed that a very fast bomber could simply outrun its enemies. Omitting defensive armament allowed for significant reduction in drag (there would be no turrets, gondolas or gun barrels protruding from the fuselage) as well as weight (no guns, ammunition or manning crew members would be required on board), resulting in improved performance.

The first aircraft adopted for the Schnellbomber role was the single-engined Heinkel He 70, but it soon was replaced by the twin-engined Dornier Do 17 in that role. In the 1937 air races in Switzerland the Do 17 won a number of speed records, apparently demonstrating the value of the concept. However, experience of the Spanish Civil War demonstrated that the Do 17's speed when loaded with military equipment was insufficient to escape interception, and armament had to be added to give it some defensive fighting capability.

While bomber development had temporarily outpaced fighter development in the 1930s, as the last generation of biplane fighters (like the Gloster Gladiator and Polikarpov I-15) that had been placed in service during that decade — by the end of the 1930s, low-wing monoplane fighters like the Hawker Hurricane and the Supermarine Spitfire had entered service, that had the performance to catch up with the Schnellbomber, and dramatically outgunning it by eight to one (only one gun would normally be able to fire back). The Do 17 suffered at the hands of the RAF, and production ended in 1940.

The Germans nevertheless persisted in their attempts to create newer Schnellbombers, as opposed to large bombers with heavy defensive armaments which were favored by the RAF and USAAF. Other aircraft recognized as Schnellbombers by the Luftwaffe were: the Junkers Ju 88, the first to be custom-designed for the role, three years before the start of the war, the Messerschmitt Me 410 Hornisse in 1943, and the jet-engined Arado Ar 234 Blitz (dubbed "the fastest bomber" – "Schnellstbomber"). Several other Luftwaffe aircraft were originally designed as fast bombers, but entered service in other roles; these include the Heinkel He 219 as a night fighter, and the Dornier Do 335 — meant to have a small, ventral weapons bay to accommodate droppable ordnance from the start — as a new Zerstörer heavy fighter. The Bomber B high-speed medium bomber design competition for the Luftwaffe started in July 1939 was meant to create an updated design to take over the original Schnellbomber role by later in World War II, and function with a heavier bombload than the earlier Schnellbomber designs were capable of carrying, but due to the intractable development problems plaguing them, the continued unavailability of the needed pair of high power output engines of 1,500 kW (2,000 hp) and above each - primarily the complex, 24-cylinder multibank Junkers Jumo 222 - needed for such designs, no production aircraft were ever ordered under the Bomber B program.

Ironically the most successful Schnellbomber of the war was the bomber version of the British de Havilland Mosquito. It retained a speed advantage over its enemies for much of the war, and was only able to be effectively countered by specialist versions of various night fighter designs, with the pioneering Me 262A jet fighter being a true potential as a threat to it in 1944. The Mosquito ended the war with the lowest loss rate among any aircraft in RAF Bomber Command. The Germans considered the Mosquito a superior implementation of their own Schnellbomber concept, and being a potential inspiration for the Focke-Wulf firm's own all-wood twin-engined, high-speed fighter design, the Focke-Wulf Ta 154 being given the name Moskito.

See also

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.