Jump to content

  • Log in with Facebook Log in with Twitter Log in with Windows Live Log In with Steam Log In with Google      Sign In   
  • Create Account

Photo
- - - - -

Autogyro and Helicopter use in WWII


  • Please log in to reply
15 replies to this topic

#1 Johnny G

Johnny G

    Regular Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 59 posts
  • Joined 9 Years, 2 Months and 6 Days
  • 2 topics

Posted 01 April 2005 - 07:27 PM

I thought I'd start a new thread which branches off from the usual area of fixed wing aircraft and moves into the area of rotary wing aircraft and their uses. After all, its still WWII Aviation.

I know autogyros were in existance in WWII. I was wondering if anyone knows if they were ever used operationally and in what role?

I think there were a few early helicopters in existance at the end of the war. If anyone has more info regarding WWII helos I'd love to know. Were they ever used in a practical role?

I look forward to getting some info!:D

Facebook Comments

#2 Ricky

Ricky

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 2,407 posts
  • Joined 11 Years, 1 Month and 27 Days
  • 114 topics

Posted 01 April 2005 - 08:24 PM

In actual service...

Britain used the few autogyros she had kicking about for radar calibration exercises, IIRC.
We also produced the Wier W5 in 1938, but shelved it.
Posted Image

Germany developed serveral good helicopter designs, like the The FA223 'Drache' transport helicopter. This was not used operationally, I think.
Posted Image

The FA-330 autogyro was deployed on u-boats as a spotter plane, equipping around 200 u-boats.
Posted Image

The Flettner FL 282 Kolibri apparently saw limited combat in the Med, but I don't know what that involved.
Posted Image

The Americans produced the Sikorsky R-4 (British name - Dragonfly), which IIRC saw use as a ship-to-ship & VIP transport and was used for Casualty Evacuation in the Pacific.
Posted Image

All these helicopters aside from the British autogyros were used very late on in the war...

#3 Ricky

Ricky

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 2,407 posts
  • Joined 11 Years, 1 Month and 27 Days
  • 114 topics

Posted 01 April 2005 - 08:37 PM

Oh, and this interesting chunk of text from http://www.geocities.../jsfspecops.htm
However, the writings on there are not altogether factual, and I wonder if anybody (looking especially hard at our Russian members!:D) can verify any of this...

"What's even more fascinating is the Japanese Army put V/STOL aircraft on the Akitsu Maru!, their up-engined Kellett autogiros, the KA-1s for artillery spotting but in this case for anti-submarine warfare. Their KA-1s had a 85 kg depth charge in place of a co-pilot and this resulted in the Japanese Army in WWII as the first to successfully use helicopters in combat when they sank a U.S. Navy submarine—not the U.S. marines who try to boast their lift of troops in Korea was the first combat helicopter use. The Germans had troop carrying helicopters in WWII and are reported to have done the first troop air assaults. The U.S. Army in Burma did the first helicopter combat rescue in 1945. The Russians also used autogyros in WWII in combat."

Edit: if you scroll down to the vey bottom of the long & rather silly rant in the link posted above, you get a pretty good little article about the Japanese KA-1.

#4 Johnny G

Johnny G

    Regular Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 59 posts
  • Joined 9 Years, 2 Months and 6 Days
  • 2 topics

Posted 01 April 2005 - 09:10 PM

quote:Originally posted by Ricky


"What's even more fascinating is the Japanese Army put V/STOL aircraft on the Akitsu Maru!, their up-engined Kellett autogiros, the KA-1s for artillery spotting but in this case for anti-submarine warfare. Their KA-1s had a 85 kg depth charge in place of a co-pilot and this resulted in the Japanese Army in WWII as the first to successfully use helicopters in combat when they sank a U.S. Navy submarine—not the U.S. marines who try to boast their lift of troops in Korea was the first combat helicopter use....


Don't confuse autogyros with helicopters.
I wouldn't call that Japanese autogyro that sank the submarine a helicopter. Autogyros and helicopters are different types of aircraft. Helicopters use an engine to drive the rotor blade to create lift. In autogyros the rotor blades are unpowered. The autogyro needs to be moving forward to turn the blades which then produce lift. You can't hover an autogyro.


#5 Lightning

Lightning

    Forum Guru

  • Forum Guru
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,723 posts
  • Joined 10 Years, 3 Months and 2 Days
  • 44 topics

Posted 01 April 2005 - 09:34 PM

Hi Ricky,

What a great posting! I never had any idea that U-boats used autogyros (FA-330). When you think about it, why not? With no terrain obstacles over the open sea, they could see forever!

The submarine would have to tow it aloft (Johnny G's comments are correct), so the only problem would be that the sub would have to sail into the wind or sail with the wind at a speed-differential great enough to give a sufficient head-wind to provide flying speed for the little autogyro. Not a big problem under normal wind conditions.

We learn something new every day. Thanks.

Regards,
Lightning

#6 Johnny G

Johnny G

    Regular Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 59 posts
  • Joined 9 Years, 2 Months and 6 Days
  • 2 topics

Posted 01 April 2005 - 10:16 PM

quote:Originally posted by Lightning

Hi Ricky,

What a great posting! I never had any idea that U-boats used autogyros (FA-330). When you think about it, why not? With no terrain obstacles over the open sea, they could see forever!

The submarine would have to tow it aloft (Johnny G's comments are correct), so the only problem would be that the sub would have to sail into the wind or sail with the wind at a speed-differential great enough to give a sufficient head-wind to provide flying speed for the little autogyro. Not a big problem under normal wind conditions.

We learn something new every day. Thanks.

Regards,
Lightning


Your right Lightning. The FA-330 was towed behind the u-boat, kind of like a rotor kite. The pilot had a view of about 25 miles with binoculars. Here is a picture to prove it:

Posted Image

They stopped using them because it took too long to get the pilot back on-board if the u-boat was attacked. This lead to some poor autogyro pilots drowning as their u-boat crash-dived. It also gave the u-boats position away.

#7 Ricky

Ricky

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 2,407 posts
  • Joined 11 Years, 1 Month and 27 Days
  • 114 topics

Posted 01 April 2005 - 11:39 PM

quote:Originally posted by Johnny G
[brDon't confuse autogyros with helicopters.

Sorry, I should have made it clearer that the chunk of text there was from a website, not from me. I do know the difference. Honest!;)

Just between you, me, and the world wide web, the guy on that website has a rather simplistic (& skewed) view of the world...:D
But his data on the KA-1 seems ok.
Anybody know anything about Soviet autogyros?

#8 armadillo

armadillo

    Regular Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 35 posts
  • Joined 9 Years and 22 Days
  • 1 topics

Posted 02 April 2005 - 06:47 AM

Posted Image
Kamov A-7, autogyro-spotter. Started at 1935. Used in Finnish war 39-40 and few A-7-3a in 41 near El'nya town. Becouse it is too easy prey for fighters battle duty for this craft was finished.

engine M-22 radial 480hp
wing span 10.4 m
rotor diameter 15.5 m (3-blade, 155/175rpm)
height 3.88 m
mass:
empty 1553 kg
take-off 2390 kg
max speed 218 km/h
min speed 46 km/h
ceiling 4760 m
fly time (how to say propertly?) 2.5 hour

Armament: up to 2-3 * 7.62 mm, 6 RS-82 rocket, 4 FAB-100 bomb .
crew: 2.

Looks like only this autogyro fly sorties during the war.



#9 Corsarius

Corsarius

    Regular Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 656 posts
  • Joined 10 Years, 8 Months and 8 Days
  • 19 topics

Posted 02 April 2005 - 12:30 PM

To save me typing it all out again, here is a link to a thread I started some time ago

http://www.tgplanes....est,rotary,wing

I am impressed that everyone at some point in time in the war used VTOL/autogyro aircraft for exactly the purposes they are used for today (sub hunting, spotting, transport, flying crane, troop carrying, etc) but am less than impressed that no-one could see the versatility of such things. Imagine if the wehrmacht could have been supplied by the FA-223 in the field, rather than having to rely on the Ju 52/3m to para-drop supplies, or land on a defended runway? Of course, you'd need some sort of fighter escort which could work out to be tricky and not worth the bother.

#10 Tony Williams

Tony Williams

    Regular Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 381 posts
  • Joined 9 Years, 4 Months and 18 Days
  • 5 topics

Posted 03 April 2005 - 01:08 PM

There's a chapter in 'Flying Guns – the Modern Era: Development of Aircraft Guns, Ammunition and Installations since 1945' by Emmanuel Gustin and myself which deals with helicopter armament, and includes a summary of helicopter and autogyro development, including their use in WW2. This is an extract:

"It would have been reasonable to expect the Second World War to have stimulated the development of the helicopter in much the same way that the Great War did for the aeroplane, but this did not really happen. There was much pre-war experimentation in various countries which sometimes produced technically successful designs, but it was mainly by small firms or individual inventors and most of it stopped on the outbreak of war. There were three exceptions, however; in the USSR, the USA and Germany.

Work in the USSR was carried out by the TsAGI team under Bratukhin, but the need to evacuate Moscow delayed developments, and even then progress was slow and did not lead to production. The American firm of Sikorsky (established by the Ilya Muromets designer, who had emigrated) managed to follow through a continuous development programme which commenced with the VS-300 of 1940, produced its first practical machine, the R-4, and continues to the present day. The R-4, a small utility machine, was ordered by the US military in 1942 and was in mass production by early 1944. It provided valuable experience but was mainly used operationally for search and rescue missions. It was apparently used for armament trials in 1942 but its instability made it a poor gunnery platform.

At that time Germany was well in advance. Flettner actually achieved the helicopter's first quantity production order, from the Kriegsmarine in 1940, for the Fl 265, which had two intermeshing rotors. This was succeeded by the two-seat Fl 282 Kolibri (humming bird), which was used operationally in the Second World War, both for general liaison purposes and from various ships, including cruisers and merchant vessels, for scouting and anti-submarine reconnaissance in the North, Baltic, Aegean and Mediterranean Seas. Although 1,000 were ordered, only about 24 were completed by the end of the war. It was partnered by the big two-rotor Focke-Achgelis Fa 223 Drache (kite) transport helicopter, of which perhaps only a dozen or so were completed. It could carry four passengers or lift 900 kg, and was the first helicopter to carry a gun armament. A 7.9 mm MG 15 could be fitted into the transparent nose for self-defence purposes, as it was intended to be used for potentially hazardous tasks such as rescuing downed pilots or inserting special forces."

Tony Williams
Military gun and ammunition website: http://www.quarry.nildram.co.uk


#11 billdeb

billdeb

    Regular Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 1 posts
  • Joined 7 Years, 6 Months and 22 Days
  • 0 topics

Posted 25 September 2006 - 05:59 PM

The Larrinaga steamship Empire Mersey formerly the Ramon de Larrinaga was fitted with a helicopter deck on the stern. Experiments were made flying autogyros on and off the ship however I understand that they were a failure. In addition the helicopter deck made the ship difficult to steer. In the last know photograph of the ship in 1942 just before she was sunk the helicopter platform has been loaded with crates which look as if they may have contained vehicles or more probably plane fuselages.

#12 Groggy

Groggy

    Regular Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 679 posts
  • Joined 8 Years, 8 Months and 1 Day
  • 82 topics

Posted 09 August 2008 - 07:27 PM

quote:Originally posted by Ricky

In actual service...

Britain used the few autogyros she had kicking about for radar calibration exercises, IIRC.
We also produced the Wier W5 in 1938, but shelved it.
Posted Image

Germany developed serveral good helicopter designs, like the The FA223 'Drache' transport helicopter. This was not used operationally, I think.
Posted Image

The FA-330 autogyro was deployed on u-boats as a spotter plane, equipping around 200 u-boats.
Posted Image

The Flettner FL 282 Kolibri apparently saw limited combat in the Med, but I don't know what that involved.
Posted Image

The Americans produced the Sikorsky R-4 (British name - Dragonfly), which IIRC saw use as a ship-to-ship & VIP transport and was used for Casualty Evacuation in the Pacific.
Posted Image

All these helicopters aside from the British autogyros were used very late on in the war...


Hi Folks,

There were four Helicopters types on order for the RAF in 1939,
one type was being built by Shorts has anyone details please?

#13 Trexx

Trexx

    Forum Guru

  • Forum Guru
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1,188 posts
  • Joined 8 Years, 11 Months and 21 Days
  • 62 topics

Posted 15 August 2008 - 03:53 AM

The thing with helicopters is that they required extensive and extended development to create reliable aircraft. It's a hard fact that the technology tackled many "unknowns" and cleared many hurdles that unfolded in succession as each problem after another was solved.



#14 Pete57

Pete57

    Regular Member

  • Regulars
  • PipPipPip
  • 133 posts
  • Joined 10 Years, 2 Months and 19 Days
  • 5 topics

Posted 17 August 2008 - 04:35 AM

Some links on the operational career of the Sikorsky R-4s and R-6s, in the CBI and Philippines, in WWII

http://aeroweb.brook...korsky/r-4b.htm

http://www.shephard....ea-b096da5c4433

http://www.dustoff.o...flight-plan.htm

http://www.talkingpr...tary012106.html

Regards.


Political Correctness is a doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media,
which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end -
Quote byTexas A&M Student


#15 JoeB

JoeB

    Regular Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 166 posts
  • Joined 9 Years, 11 Months and 18 Days
  • 0 topics

Posted 21 August 2008 - 01:02 AM

quote:[i]
"What's even more fascinating is the Japanese Army put V/STOL aircraft on the Akitsu Maru!, their up-engined Kellett autogiros, the KA-1s for artillery spotting but in this case for anti-submarine warfare. Their KA-1s had a 85 kg depth charge in place of a co-pilot and this resulted in the Japanese Army in WWII as the first to successfully use helicopters in combat when they sank a U.S. Navy submarine—not the U.S. marines who try to boast their lift of troops in Korea was the first combat helicopter use. The Germans had troop carrying helicopters in WWII and are reported to have done the first troop air assaults. The U.S. Army in Burma did the first helicopter combat rescue in 1945. The Russians also used autogyros in WWII in combat."

There's no evidence (not even a specific claim AFAIK) of a Kayaba autogyro sinking a US sub. Actual sinkings are nowadays pretty well accounted for as to which specific Japanese units took part in each(one book is "Submarine Attacks" by Jiro Kimata, no mention of it). The Japanese credited several 100 other sinkings to their forces besides the 50-some Allied subs they actually directly sank, but again I've never heard a specific claim for the autogyro's, just that they did a lot of patrolling in the Korea strait.

The Soviets used Kamov A-7 autogyro's as observation planes. But as was mentioned, an autogyro isn't a helicopter.

However German and US (Army) helicopters were both used on operational missions supporting combat in WWII. OTOH the Marine use of helicopters for sizeable (company size) lifts in Korea was a first also, though not the first use of helicopters in any war-related role at all.

Joe

#16 Groggy

Groggy

    Regular Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 679 posts
  • Joined 8 Years, 8 Months and 1 Day
  • 82 topics

Posted 24 August 2008 - 06:17 PM

quote:Originally posted by Trexx

The thing with helicopters is that they required extensive and extended development to create reliable aircraft. It's a hard fact that the technology tackled many "unknowns" and cleared many hurdles that unfolded in succession as each problem after another was solved.




HiFolks, Trexx,

I agree it took a lot of development to produce a working helicopter. The Weir W.6 .was able at the start of WW2 to take off vertically with two people was fully controllable had a maximum speed of 90mph and was on order for the RAF as a trainer light duties aircraft. It did lift three people on one occasion.

The bigger Weir W.7 with two crew and given the more powerful engine specified a RR Kestrel could possible have had 1000lb plus payload?

The payload is a estimate derived from the W6 but indicates potential possible anti sub warfare use, maybe from 1942?

All details of UK helicopter developments were passed to USA

Did more Sikorsky R-4 serve with the RN and RAF than saw service with the US Forces?





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

AVIATION TOP 100 - www.avitop.com Avitop.com