choppers in wwII

Discussion in 'Weapons, Technology & Equipment' started by raf, Nov 1, 2007.

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  1. raf

    raf Senior Member

    ive just been trying to find out if, were, when, why

    helicopters were rarely used in WWII

    they were produced not on a mass scale but there were plenty of numbers

    the russians had a few, germany, uk, and usa all before the out break of war.


    so why wasnt the helicopter used more in the early days such as

    1. dunkirk...how effective would they have been at getting men and eqiupment back home or to waiting ships.

    2. atlantic..as u boat look outs

    3. north africa..although the raf had a few fighters in africa the helicopter could have been used to supply men, equipment and locate enemy and attack

    4..d,day..helping get troops in land quikley

    5. sealion..used as an option against the possible invasion.

    6 the bob...im sure it could have been used as a defence here


    what do you think

    thanks
     
  2. Bodston

    Bodston Little Willy

    My first thoughts would be that the early helicopters would have been too slow, unreliable and without much of a lifting payload. Basically, too flimsy and vunerable for use in a combat situation.
    That said a few were used in the reconnaisance and air rescue roles during WW2. Helicopter history
    Edit: Famously the rescue of Mussolini was to have been the first major use of an helicopter during the war but it had crashed the day before on a rescue mission. This I believe is a fanciful tale, Otto Skorzeny makes no mention of this plan in his list of options avaliable to him in his autobiography.

    Also of interest are the giroplanes, autoplanes and autogiros, an evolutionary dead end that had a engine for forward propulsion and an unpowered rotary wing for lift. Giroplanes
    one of my favorite stories being the RAF Cierva C. 30A's that would routinely fly along the south coast of England in order to calibrate the early warning Radar equipment.
     
  3. 4th wilts

    4th wilts Discharged

    did the u boat service not use some form of autogyro tethered to the u boat for recon purposes.yours lee.
     
  4. Bodston

    Bodston Little Willy

    did the u boat service not use some form of autogyro tethered to the u boat for recon purposes.yours lee.
    Yep, the Focke Achgelis FA-330 quite a few still survive in museums. More helicopter history here. Helicopters
     
  5. Peter Clare

    Peter Clare Very Senior Member

    Yep, the Focke Achgelis FA-330 quite a few still survive in museums. More helicopter history here. Helicopters


    Focke-Achgelis
     
  6. 4th wilts

    4th wilts Discharged

    wonderful,thanks guys.yours lee.
     
  7. Doc

    Doc Senior Member

    The bottom line is that technologically, the helicopter did not really come of age until the end of WW2. Yes, there were a few out there, but their performance was limited, and they could lift very little (in fact, some could not take off in hot weather, initially). The US did use one in Burma for Air Evacuation, but otherwise there was no doctrine for their use, and no-one in the military hierarchy in any nation really supported their general use. By the end of WW2 and into the Korean War, they had technologically developed enough to actually be useful. The autogiro was probably more capable of being useful in the early days of the war, and I think some were used to support U-boats, but pre-war tests by the USA had proclaimed the autogiro as not having any operational advantages over fixedwing (again, it just wasn't good enough, though the concept was good). Doc
     
  8. Bodston

    Bodston Little Willy

    The US did use one in Burma for Air Evacuation, but otherwise there was no doctrine for their use, and no-one in the military hierarchy in any nation really supported their general use. Doc
    According to 'rotaryaction.com' Britain was the first nation to use helicopters during wartime, when an RAF-4 rescued a pilot and three injured passengers from a plane crash in mountains of northern Burma, April 1944.
    [​IMG]
     
  9. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Chris C likes this.
  10. Jim Clay

    Jim Clay Member

    Early choppers? Pre-WW2 I seem to recall one being used (depicted as a police reconnissance vehicle) in the 1935 Hitchcock film of The 39 Steps. Or was that one of the dead-end technologies? Any one recall the scene?

    Jim

    Oops - just browsed Imdb and answered my own question! It was a Cierva C.30A Autogiro,

    Double oops! - I should have said, it was possibly a Cierva C.30A Autogiro...Imdb weren't sure.
     
  11. kfz

    kfz Very Senior Member

    As said the helicopter was long way off being able to do any of these things. The main drawbacks which have never really been offset even in modern machines (with advanced materials and turbo shaft engines)just lessened are Poor payload and Complication. Which means in the real world

    Poor payload/weopen load/fuel load
    Poor battlefield survivablilty/ poor armour due to light construction
    General inefficent machines/slow/use a lot of fuel
    Complicated and require a lot of maintainance/trained staff/parts/support
    They are expensive
    Poor range

    But they do things no fixed airraft can do.

    The correct depolyment was medivac, proably the only role it could do.

    Light aircraft often overlooked performed many of the rolls now done by rotary wing aircraft. I was once lucky enough to see a Storch fly in strong wind and it was an amazing sight.

    Kev
     
  12. Doc

    Doc Senior Member

    Sorry, Bodston, but that was a US mission under the auspices of the 1st Air Commando Group. Not British. There were no British helicopters in Burma.

    In the You-tube movie, one of the helos shown in post-ww2-- Either an R5 or R6, probably in the Korean War. Doc
     
  13. 4th wilts

    4th wilts Discharged

    i reckon little nellie was great,i would like a go in that.yours lee.
     
  14. Bodston

    Bodston Little Willy

    Sorry, Bodston, but that was a US mission under the auspices of the 1st Air Commando Group. Not British. There were no British helicopters in Burma.

    In the You-tube movie, one of the helos shown in post-ww2-- Either an R5 or R6, probably in the Korean War. Doc

    Here is one story of a Burmese medivac. A self inflicted wound though, not a downed plane.
     
  15. 51highland

    51highland Very Senior Member

    I have had a question asked of me. A historian in Holland has found a note written by a war time (Dutch) civil servant, in Sint Michiels-gestel, that Montgomery and Eisenhower landed by Helicopter 29th November 1944, and that they were to look at a new flame thrower being tested there.
    1. I didn't think that Helicopters would have been reliable enough to permit monty and Eike to travel like that.even if they were in service then.

    2. anyone have any info as to the truth of this.
     
  16. Warlord

    Warlord Veteran wannabe

  17. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

  18. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

  19. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    I think that we have spoken about this previouslyon the Forum, but the Helicopter that springs to mind as being used in WW2 was the Humming Bird by the German inventor Flettner.

    Flettner Fl 282

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flettner_Fl_282

    This machine was tested by the German Navy and found to be extremely good in bad weather. It was powered by two Motors each driving a twin rotor, the Rotors being contra rotated in Synchronisation and provided the stability without the use of a tail rotor, which is necessary for a single engined helicopter driving one roor blade which causes torque.

    I seem to remember the model was used on the eastern front late in the war to rescue a downed airman.

    I was lucky enough to speak to an old test Pilot, Richard Perlia, who worked for Flettner and test flew these early model Helicopters.

    I purchased a book from him and he even signed and wrote a short piece for me on the front inside cover.

    Regards
    Tom

    Regards
    Tom
     
    CL1 likes this.
  20. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

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