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The G1 a good airplane ?

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Who ever once got involved in a discussion about the best aircaft of for example the second world war, startes to regret this very soon. Not much different is the discusion if the Fokker G1 a good or a bad aircraft was.

To qualify something you have to compare it with something else, the lack of comparison is the problem with the Fokker G1.  If we look for example in comparing the Spitfire and the Messerschmit 109, although there have been hundreds of dogfights between them you think it would be easy to pick the winner. Not so, because of different versions, tactics, pilots etc the question remains till this day which one was the best. Some people use statistics to get their point across, for example one of the highest killrates of WW2 was held by the F4 Corsair. But is this fair if you arrive at the war theatre when your opponent doesn't have anymore good pilots and more bombers than fighter aircraft? 

To come to a fair gudgement of the G1 we have to take into account the specific purpose for which it was designed and build. 

The purpose for the G1 was to combine different tasks within one militairy aircaft. These days we call this :  a multi role combat aircraft, just think of the  Tornado and JSF. 

The Fokker was going to make a combination of a long distance fighter, reconnaissance and a light bomber. Don't think that this "modern" idea came from Fokker itself. Outside of the Netherlands different countries thought exactly the same. Below a few of them.

MESSERSCHMITT BF110C-1

Germany

POTEZ 63.11A.3

France

MARTIN MARYLAND 167F

United States

ILYUSHIN DB3M

Rusia

KAWASAKI KI-45 KAI-Ko Toryu

Japan

In the Netherlands we call this class a Jachtkruiser ( hunting cruiser ), in Germany a Zerstorer (Destroyer) en and in English an attack aircraft.

They soon found out ( no exceptions ) that the combination of an attack aircraft in combination with a fighter pure sang was deadly for the first one.Even today a Tornado or JSF wouldn't survive very long if it were opposed with a dedicated designed fighter.  The taskes they could perform well were shooting down enemy bombers and recon jobs. If we talk about bombers, we talk about the type in service just before WW2,  even with a large imagination no one could forsee  a bomber fleet of more than a 1000 planes and a defensive armament for example seen on the B17 at the end of the war. 

Once they realized the shortcommings of the attack type aircraft they started to use them for other taskes such as ground attack,  once airsuperiority was established. Ofcourse airsuperiority against the Germans never happened and with the lack of everything to fight with they used the G1 as good or bad as possible.

So if the concept/usage was wrong was it still a good design ?

Below follows a list of attack aircraft from around 1940. And again be carefull to make comparisons for example don't use information from a Bf110 build in 1944! You can draw your own conlusions but I believe that Fokker didn't do a bad job.

AIRCRAFT

FOKKER G1 WASP

FOKKER G1 MERCURY 2 PERS

FOKKER G1 MERCURY 3 PERS

MESSER- SCHMITT BF110C-1

POTEZ 63.11A.3

MARTIN MARYLAND 167F

ILYUSHIN DB3M

KAWASAKI KI-45 

FIRST FLIGHT

1936

1938

1938

1936

1936

 

1939

1939

LENGTH

10,38

10,87

10,87

16,90

10,93

14,22

14.76

10,60

SPANWIDTH

16,50

17,16

17,16

12,60

16,00

18,69

 21.44

15,02

HEIGHT

3,35

3,80

3,80

3,47

3,08

4,57

 5.50

3,66

MAX WEIGHT

4800

4500

5000

5698

4530

6929

 8000

 

EMPTY WEIGHT

3150

3330

3345

 

3135

 4795

 5270

3965

ENGINE POWER 

750

830

830

1100

700

1050

 950

1050

MAX SPEED

443

475

475

455

425

 428

 445

547

ALTITUDE MAX SPEED

3350

4100

4100

4000

 

  

  

7000

PRACTICALE CEILING

9000

9900

9750

 

8500

 

 9000

10730

MAX CLIMB SPEED

12,2

13,9

13,3

 

8,3

  

 

 

CRUISE SPEED

384

383

383

319

 

 349

 290

 

CRUISING ALTITUDE

3400

4265

4265

3000

 

 8991

 

 

MAX SPEED SEA LEVEL

384

399

399

 

 

 

 

 

RANGE

1450

1500

1500

1720

1500

 1690

 1500

2260

WING SURFACE

35,70

38,30

38,30

38,90

32,70

 50.03

 66.70

 

CREW

2

2

3

 

3

 3

 3

 

ARMAMENT

5x7,9mm

9x7,9mm

9x7,9mm

2x 20mm, 5x 7,5mm

4X 7,5MM

4X 7,7mm 2x 7,5mm 

 3x 7,6

1X 20MM, 2X 12,7MM, 1X 7,9MM

BOM LOAD

500

200

 

200

 800

2500

500

NUMBERS BUILD 

26

36

36

 

866

 

 

 

If from the initial concept you don't include the fighter/hunter part then I you have a viable concept, just look at the Mosquito. Don't forget here that the design was started in march 1940, it came into service in Nov 1941 and it was almost twice as heavy as his 1938 counterpart.

 

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created : 27 aug 2005

Fokker G1 Mercury

modified : 12 nov 2006