A FIGHTER WITHOUT A KEEL…

THE FIGHTER WITHOUT A KEEL...Seaplane Hansa-Brandenburg W-12. The date of establishment of the naval aviation of Germany is considered to be 26 Oct 1910. On that day Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz signed a Directive on early tests of aviation equipment and aircraft, intended for use in the German Navy. And in the winter of 1911 in Putzig was established the first base of naval aviation, whose commander was appointed captain-Lieutenant max Goering.

 
By the beginning of world war military aircraft of all the warring countries was in the stage of formation. In particular, Germany had the one airship to the North sea coast and six seaplanes on the island of Helgoland. In the Baltic sea operated based in the city of Cologne two of the airship and four seaplanes. Two seaplane was in Beam and eight in warnemünde. In addition, naval aviation had two dozen float planes, converted from wheeled vehicles, which were in Convene, Geestemunde, Kiloni and Willy-elmshaven.
 
During the war, Germany was intensively developing their naval aviation. In 1918, its lineup included more than 2,500 aircraft and 59 type airships Graf Zeppelin, two airship type “Parseval” nine — type “Schutte-Lanz”. During the combat actions of the naval aviation of Germany destroyed 270 aircraft, two airship sank a destroyer, three submarines and four boats of the enemy.
 
After the signing of the surrender of Germany in its naval aviation was still sixteen airships, 1478 seaplanes and flying boats. Under the terms of the Treaty of Versailles it all to be destroyed or transferred to the victorious countries.
 
Before the beginning of the war there was a merger of firms Brandenburg and Hanza with the aircraft factories in the cities of Brandenburg and Brest. The newly formed limited liability company Hansa-Brandenburg throughout the four years of the war engaged in the production of military seaplanes for the Navy of Germany and Austria-Hungary.
 
The chief designer of this company was Ernst Heinkel. the world-renowned. First released seaplane, taken into service by the German naval aviation, became a float fighter Hansa-Brandenburg KDW, representing mounted on floats the wheel Brandenburg D. I. fighter Redesigned the plane had the worst characteristics, than the prototype, because the floats “ate” part of speed and as a result, the machine could not equal to dogfight with the more maneuverable enemy fighters. For the same reason, diminished the already unsatisfactory for seaplane flight duration. All this has led to the need to create a new special device with improved performance, which became Hansa-Brandenburg W-12.
 
The plane was float solid wood biplane with fabric covering of wing and tail. Great attention was paid to his arms: W-12 was the first German double a seaplane armed one, and since 1918 — two synchronized machine guns firing forward (fired by the pilot). In addition, the pilot-observer in the second cabin on the pivot unit is mounted another gun. The pilot-observer was able to shoot in any direction on the plane, there was practically no “dead zones” for shooting from a feeding unit. This was achieved due to the fact that the rudder for the first time and the world were moved under the fuselage. The innovation did not affect the controllability of the aircraft in all modes of flight and during taxiing on the water. In addition to the rear hemisphere of the pilot-the observer could fire forward, since the space between the upper and lower wing was not closed by cables-stretching — a mandatory attribute of most biplanes of the time.
 
On the first prototype Hansa-Brandenburg W-12 installed line 6-cylinder water cooling engine Mercedes D-III 160 HP, the Construction of the prototype was completed in January 1917, the factory in Warnemunde. In the first flight proved that the center of gravity of the aircraft shifted back, and the pilot with great difficulty managed to avoid falling of the machine immediately after separation from the water. To remedy the defect wing box had to be moved to 350 mm back. Later, in one of the test flights the plane with the landing struck an underwater rock and sank. However, the loss of it could not stop the ongoing mass production, since the plane on the tests showed excellent results. The first series consisted of six cars, all of them came to the flying part at Zeebrugge.
 
After a few months W-12 took part in the battles in the Baltic and the North sea. After the first positive feedback from front-line pilots, the issue of the seaplane continued. The next three W-series 12, issued with the beginning of 1917 to March 1918, with a total number of 49 aircraft, distinguished by rounded wingtips and extended fuselage. The machine was equipped with a 6-cylinder Benz Bz-Ill 150 HP with a frontal radiator. Weapons of the series remained unchanged. In W-12 subsequent series established experimental V-shaped 8-cylinder engines of the Benz company power of 195 HP Another difference was the decrease in the height of the upper wing against the fuselage, and the ailerons on the lower wing. From February to July 1918 released an additional batch of thirty aircraft, equipped with the Benz Bz motors-Ill and enhanced armament —two synchronized machine guns. They were followed by two series of forty, and twenty cars with engines of Mercedes D-III and one synchronized machine gun. There were 146 built seaplane W-12.
 
HANSA-BRANDENBURG W-12 / W-29
 
HANSA-BRANDENBURG W-12 / W-29
 
HANSA-BRANDENBURG W-12 / W-29
 
In battles these machine showed itself from the best side. They have successfully engaged in aerial duels with float-seaplanes and flying boats of the enemy, and land-based aircraft. Repel and more maneuverable single wheel fighter helped the aft machine gun mount, and a strong stationary machine gun armament allowed them the opportunity to conduct and offensive battle.
 
Hansa-Brandenburg W-12 has successfully acted as a scout. These functions they performed not only in the open sea where encounters with enemy aircraft are very rare, but also off the coast of Britain and France. While W-12 manned stations (!), and to increase flight range with them taking one or two bow machinegun. Obtained in such departures information helped the German submarine to intercept the convoys of the allies, as well as control the movement of military vessels.
 
Further development of the seaplane to the W-12 was W-19, differing from the prototype increased dimensions. This allowed us to take on Board more fuel, thereby increasing the range in half.
 
Based on the W-19, in turn, was designed by Brandenburg W-27, characterized by enhanced box of the wing and the engine Benz Bz-Ill power of 195 HP In contrast to the W-12 and W-19, W-27 not commercially built, was released just a prototype.
 
However, based on the W-27, the firm has designed and built a seaplane W-32 engine Mercedes D-III 160 HP
 
But the most successful modification was the seaplane Hansa-Brandenburg W-29, created to radically improve flight characteristics. To reduce drag, the designers have moved on to the monoplane scheme, designed wing of increased area, which helped to keep a load on it the same as W-12. New low wing had a wooden power set and a fabric covering. The design of the fuselage, floats and tail virtually unchanged. On most machines installed in the engine Benz Bz-Ill, and on the last series — Bz-Illa power 185 HP After a successful flight test, the aircraft began to build commercially.
 
Seaplane W-29 is considered the best in Germany during the First world war. Not only did he successfully led the fight with the scouts, bombers, and airships of the enemy, but also fight on equal terms with high-speed fighters. In all there were 78 machines of this type.
 
Immediately after testing has begun development of the next modification with the increased sizes, designated W-33. During 1918, released 26 copies of seaplanes, equipped with a more powerful 245-horsepower engine, the Maybach Mb IV.
 
The history of the seaplane Hansa-Brandenburg W-12 and its modifications did not end with the end of the war. For many years the W-12 was, for example, in service of naval aviation of Sweden. After their withdrawal from the combat squadrons they had for several years been used in civil aviation. Delayed planes of E. Heinkel in naval aviation Finland, which has long been exploited all that remained on its territory after the war. Single copies of the W-29 and W-33 flew up to the late 20-ies. Several seaplane W-12 and W-29 as trophies donated and Russia; according to some, they served in the air force’s black sea fleet until the mid 20-ies.
 
Flight performance of the seaplane Hansa-Brandenburg W-12 and its modifications
 
Flight performance of the seaplane Hansa-Brandenburg W-12 and its modifications
 
But it does not limit the longevity of E. Heinkel seaplanes. Japan in the framework of war reparations received from Germany the right to license the production of W-33. A copy of the aircraft brought to Japan in 1922. After flight tests conducted in Yokosuka, took the decision on immediate mass production in the factories of firms “Aichi” and “Nakajima”. In the official papers of new aircraft held as “seaplane-scout Type Hansa”. The customer was the Imperial Navy. Responsible for the production appointed by the company “Nakajima”. The new aircraft was intended to replace the obsolete reconnaissance “Yokoso” RO-GO (version of the British seaplane Short-148). Is Mb IV German plane set produced by the company “Mitsubishi” engine Type “HI” (license motor company “Hispano-Suiza”) with a capacity of 210 HP
 
At the beginning of the 1926 seaplane W-33 was included in the armament of the latest Japanese battleship “Nagato”. Japanese W-33 had a good flight and operational characteristics, but, however, in the process of its operation revealed significant shortcomings, which the Germans at the time did not pay attention. The main was the lack of seaworthiness or rather poor lateral stability on the water, not allowing to use the plane in the open sea even at low tide. In 1928, the Japanese W-33 began to be replaced with scouts E1Y and E2N. Salvaged vehicle successfully continued to fly in civilian seaplanes, carrying three to five passengers. All of the company “Aichi” and “Nakajima” released respectively 150 and 160 copies of W-33. The last of them was commissioned for scrap in the mid 30-ies.
 
However, the Japanese biography “of Brandenburg” has not ended. In 1924, the Imperial Navy announced a competition for a small seaplane — close reconnaissance, intended for deployment on warships. The competition was attended by two firms — the “Aichi” and “Nakajima”. The company “Aichi” in the period 1925 to 1926 he built four experimental aircraft, which received the designation “seaplane-scout Type 15-Ko” (short for MI-GO). Outwardly, they differed little from the W-33. Only floats appeared well marked deadrise for improved seaworthiness and stability on takeoff and landing. Unlike the serial Type “Hansa” on the MI-GO have established a more powerful 300-horsepower engine. Also, changed the design of the power set of the wing. The tests showed several shortcomings, which have led to the rejection of serial production of this aircraft.
 
Another seaplane designed in Japan on the basis of the W-33 firm “Yokoso”, became a double spy Tatsu-GO. As MI-GO, he looked too much like “Type Hansa”. To develop Tatsu-GO was launched in the beginning of 1925. It was assumed that together with the aircraft firms “Aichi” and “Nakajima” he’ll do the comparative tests. To exclude all “illnesses” inherent in “Brandenburg”, it was decided to make all-metal aircraft, using the experience of the German company Dornier. Thus, Tatsu-GO was the first Japanese all-metal seaplane. It was a machine with a high degree of stability on the water and in the air. However, all the advantages it has destroyed the sluggish response to the deviation of the rudders. The result was built only one prototype.
 
Design of a seaplane
 
Hansa-Brandenburg W-12 — marine float double scout-fighter, single-engine, single-float biplane solid wood construction.
 
Wing — two-spar all-wood, with a relatively thick profile. The side walls are wooden, box-type laminated structures. Rib plywood. Linen lining. To make the wing more rigidity inside of him was taut steel cables-braces.
 
The ailerons on experimental aircraft and machines of the first series were located only on the upper wing. The last production seaplane had ailerons on the lower wing. Control of the Aileron cable. The upper and lower ailerons were connected by a steel synchromesh thrust. Both wings are straight in plan, with rounded endings (on an experimental machine ending of the fillets did not have). The upper wing was attached to the fuselage by two V-shaped braces without braces. Between the wings were connected by steel pipe struts, closed with plywood fairings. This design provided the biplane box necessary rigidity.
 
The fuselage with plywood sheathing had the technological connectors and was a single structure with the power set of scantlings of spars and planks-frames. In the forward fuselage on a steel Motorama installed engine. Right behind him was an open cockpit.
 
Hansa-Brandenburg W-12, 1917.
 
Hansa-Brandenburg W-12, 1917.
 
The pilot on the instrument panel housed the control devices of the power plant and parameters of the flight mode. Management system rudders and ailerons are cable. Before the cockpit was mounted transparent visor. The gas tank was located under the cabin floor. Cabin of the pilot-observer was located directly behind the pilot and had the safety of the wind visor. Some instances of manned aircraft radios. The left and right sides of the fuselage held the cable harness system of the Elevator control and direction.
 
The tail had an unusual scheme. The keel was completely absent, and the rudder was developed down under the fuselage. The stabilizer had no struts. It gave the arrow of large sectors of fire, he could not be afraid to shoot off the tail of his plane. Power set of rudders and height consisted of steel tubes. The covering of surfaces and fabric.
 
Landing device — two solid wood odnorodnyh float box type. Outside floats are covered with waterproof varnish. To their decks had a special power pads, which could step crew members. To the wing and the fuselage the floats were attached to the N-shaped steel pipes in the fairing shaped profile. To move a floatplane on the ground provided for the installation erratic wheeled chassis.
 
Powerplant — line engine water-cooled Mercedes D-III 160 HP On some series stood 6-cylinder engines of the Benz Bz-Ill 150 HP or 8-cylinder (195 HP). Closed dural engine hood on the screws, which provides good access during maintenance. All W-12 was completed with a two-bladed wooden propellers with a constant pitch. Fuel was located in one fuel tank in the center of gravity of the aircraft under the cockpit. The oil tank was located under the engine in the nose compartment of the fuselage. Front oil cooler for the prototype and the first series machines were attached to the upper wing, the axis of symmetry of the aircraft, and the later W-12 —front of the engine. The exhaust gases are collected in a common manifold and were derived for the upper wing.
 
The armament of the aircraft consisted of one or two synchronous 7.92 mm machine guns fixed in the fuselage between the engine and the cockpit. I reloaded the guns by the pilot manually. In the cockpit observer on the pin was another 7.92 mm machine gun. The ammunition of each machine gun — 500 cartridges. On airplanes equipped with radio, synchronous machine guns were not.
 
N. Food reserve was, A. CHECHIN, Kharkov

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