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Gotha WD.14/WD.20

Страна: Германия

Год: 1917

Gotha - WD.12/WD.13/WD.15 - 1917 - Германия<– –>Gotha - G.IX / G.X - 1918 - Германия


В.Обухович, А.Никифоров Самолеты Первой Мировой войны


Дальний торпедоносец W.D. 14 был создан по техническому заданию на основе гидросамолета W.D. 7. Фюзеляж был несколько изменен, внутри него подвешивалась торпеда. На самолете стояли двигатели Бенц Bz.IV с тянущими винтами. В состав экипажа дополнительно был введен хвостовой стрелок.
  Первая серия в 16 машин была выпущена в варианте разведчика, остальные - как торпедоносцы. Однако в этом качестве самолеты использовались мало: из-за слишком большой массы они были маломаневренны и тихоходны, корабли противника успешно отбивали их атаки. Поэтому вскоре и W.D. 14 начали применяться как дальние разведчики. Вместо торпеды в отсек подвешивался сбрасываемый топливный бак. Было произведено 69 машин. По конструкции все самолеты представляли собой деревянные бипланы с двухреданным поплавковым шасси и двухкилевым оперением.


O.Thetford, P.Gray German Aircraft of the First World War (Putnam)


Gotha W.D. 14

  Although the Gotha firm was principally famous for its twin-engined bombers, it also produced some eighteen types of twin-float seaplane. The majority were no more than one-off prototypes, and apart from a small production batch of thirteen W.D. 11s, the only seaplane to be produced in any quantity was the twin-engined W.D. 14. This aircraft had been designed as a torpedo attack machine, and some sixty-nine examples were built.
  The W.D. 14 was developed from the earlier, and smaller, W.D. 7 and W.D. 11 prototypes and conformed to an orthodox layout. The fuselage was basically a rectangular braced box-girder of spruce longerons and spacers with fabric-wrapped plywood-veneer covering. A rounded decking was incorporated on top of the fuselage forward and also underneath (as far aft as the trailing edge) to partially fair in the torpedo slung under the belly in a special dropping gear. The pilot was located back under the wings, side-by-side with the torpedo-man, who went forward to the nose cockpit to superintend the actual release of the missile. A further gunner's cockpit was located behind the pilot. The long two-step floats were carried on a complex strut chassis, designed without any spreader struts or wires between the floats to allow the torpedo to fall clear. Each float chassis therefore had to be an independent structure.
  The angular tailplane was attached to the top longerons and was fitted with a one-piece, unbalanced elevator. Twin fins and twin horn-balanced rudders gave the empennage a distinctive profile; these surfaces were mounted as "end plates" on the extremities of the tailplane, extending both above and below, and were braced with light steel-tube struts. One aircraft also had a centre fin.
  The centre-section of the three-bay wing structure embraced the mounting of the two 200 h.p. Benz Bz IV engines which were located directly on the lower wing as normal tractor units. The engines were additionally braced to the wing spars with streamlined steel-tube struts. Large frontal radiators were slung well above the cylinder-heads, and the engines themselves were well cowled in except for the upper part of the cylinders. A generous cutout was made in the upper centre-section in an endeavour to improve the pilot's upward field of vision.
  An unusual feature of the outer wing panels, which were arranged to fold from the centre-section, was the taper of some 5° on the leading edge only. The wings themselves were based on the conventional twin main spar structure, the spars also being angled back at some 5° and the spruce-flanged plywood ribs, of a high lift section, were closely spaced to ensure as little aerofoil section loss as possible. The horn-balanced ailerons were hinged to an auxiliary spar parallel to the main spars.
  No great success was achieved with torpedo attacks. The W.D. 14s were largely under-powered when loaded, and only pilots of exceptional skill were able to make suitable attack runs and torpedo drops from a height of some 20-30 ft. A long course of training had to be undergone by both pilot and torpedo-man, and eventual results in no way justified the efforts involved. After the first two torpedo attacks from North Sea bases and in the Gulf of Riga, the Allied counter-measures became so effective as to negative much chance of success. As a result, in the last year of the war, torpedo-carrying machines were abandoned, as losses far outweighed results.
  In order not to waste useful airframes, torpedo aircraft were modified to undertake long-range reconnaissance duties over the North Sea in an endeavour to find an efficient substitute for the airship, which, during 1917, had become too vulnerable. Jettisonable fuel tanks fitted in the torpedo slings enabled flights of upwards of ten hours to be achieved. The seaplanes were unable to remain airborne on one engine even after the auxiliary fuel tank had been discarded. On having to alight on any surface other than a near flat-calm, they soon broke up. They were also tried in the role of mine-layers without success, but before being given up altogether were employed for a short time as coastal convoy escorts.

TECHNICAL DATA
  Purpose: Twin-engined torpedo aircraft.
  Manufacturer: Gothaer Waggonfabrik A.G. (Gotha.).
  Power Plant: Two 200 h.p. Benz Bz IV 6 cylinder in-line water-cooled engines.
  Dimensions: Span, 25.5 m. (83 ft. 8 in.). Length, 14.45 in. (47 ft. 5 in.). Height, 50 m. (16 ft. 4 7/8 in.). Area, 132 sq.m. (1,425.6 sq.ft.).
  Weights: Empty, 3,150 kg. (6,930 lb.). Loaded 4,642 kg. (10,212.4 lb.).
  Performance: Maximum speed, 130 km.hr. (84.35 m.p.h.). Initial climb, 1,000 m. (3,280 ft.) in 13.1 min.; 1,500 m. (4,920 ft.) in 23 min. Duration, 8 hr.
  Armament: One torpedo. Two manually operated Parabellum guns in nose and rear cockpits.

  N.B. Data applies to aircraft Marine number 1946.

  
  Gotha WD 20
  Only three WD 20s were built (Nos. 1515-1517), and they were, in effect, purely long-range reconnaissance versions of the WD 14, with extra fuel tank carried under the fuselage in place of a torpedo. Engines, two 200 h.p. Benz Bz IV. Span, 25.5 m. (73 ft. 8 1/8 in.). Length, 14.45 m. (47 ft. 5 in.). Height, 5.0 m. (16 ft. 4 7/8 in.). Area, 131.7 sq.m. (1,422 sq.ft.). Weights: Empty, 3,030 kg. (6,666 lb.). Loaded, 4,540 kg. (9,988 lb.). Speed, 126 km.hr. Climb, 1,000 m. (3,280 ft.) in 15 min. Duration, up to 10 hr. Armament, one manually operated Parabellum machine-gun in nose and one aft of wings.


J. Herris Gotha Aircraft of WWI (A Centennial Perspective on Great War Airplanes 6)


Gotha WD14

  Designed by Rosner and Klaube, the Gotha WD14 was essentially an enlarged WD11 powered by more powerful 200 hp Benz Bz.IV engines mounted as tractors. The SVK praised the side-by-side seating of the pilot and observer, which facilitated coordination between them during target acquisition and torpedo launch. A third crewman had a flexible Parabellum LMG 14 machine gun and an aft turret.
  During trials of the prototype, Marine Number 801, ailerons were added to the lower wings and the rudder area was increased to improve control with one engine out.
  The first production series, Marine Numbers 1415-1430, had ailerons on all wings and balanced rudders. By the time these aircraft were delivered torpedo attacks had been shown to incur heavy losses with limited results, so the aircraft were modified for long-range reconnaissance with droppable fuel tanks in the torpedo bay. The next production series, Marine Numbers 1617-1631, had a gun turret in the nose and provision for bombs for use as a maritime reconnaissance bomber. The final production series, Marine Numbers 1946-1970, were designed for long-range maritime reconnaissance with droppable fuel tanks replacing the torpedo. This series had an additional central rudder for increased controllability, but were still viewed as unsuitable for poor aileron and rudder response. Only nine of this series were accepted before the Armistice.
  A total of 69 WD14s were ordered (801, 1415-1430, 1617-1631, 1651-1662, 1946-1970), of which 52 were delivered (1629-1631 were cancelled and the Armistice stopped deliveries of the last 14). Designed as a torpedo bomber, the WD14 was re-cast as a long-range reconnaissance bomber after it was determined that torpedo attacks were ineffective and too dangerous. Moreover, the WD14 was underpowered and its control response was not satisfactory.

Gotha WD14 Specifications
Engines: 2 x 220 hp Benz Bz.IV
Wing: Span Upper 25.00 m
Area 133 m2
General: Length 14.40 m
Height 5.00 m
Empty Weight 3090 kg
Loaded Weight 5000 kg
Maximum Speed: 126 km/h
Climb: 1000m 17.1 min
2000m 45 min
Service Ceiling: 3000 m
Duration: 1300 km


Gotha WD20

  The Gotha WD16-19 designs were not built; the next Gotha seaplane design to appear was the WD20. Designed by Rosner and Klaube, three Gotha WD20s Marine Numbers 1515-1517, were ordered in April 1917. Powered by two 260 hp Mercedes D.IVa engines, the WD20s were designed to carry the larger 50cm torpedo. However, experience soon revealed the limitations of torpedo attacks and the WD20s were reconfigured for long-range maritime reconnaissance in the North Sea. Despite removing three fuel tanks, the wireless operator and equipment, and two machine guns, and incorporating the maximum sweepback allowable, the WD20 was considered unacceptable for operational service due to poor flying characteristics. This was similar to the problems plaguing the G.IV and G.V bombers, indicating a fundamental problem with Gotha designs of the period.

Gotha WD20 Specifications
Engines: 2 x 260 hp Mercedes D.IVa
Wing: Span Upper 25.50 m
Area 131.7 m2
General: Length 14.40 m
Height 5.00 m
Empty Weight 3030 kg
Loaded Weight 4540 kg
Maximum Speed: 126 km/h
Climb: 1000m 15 min
Service Ceiling: 2000 m
Duration: 700 km


Gotha Seaplane Production Summary
Type Ordered Marine Numbers Remarks
WD14 69 801, 1415-1430, 1617-1631, 1651-1662, 1946-1970 52 were produced; 1629-1631 were cancelled and 14 of the last batch were not delivered due to the end of the war
WD20 3 1515-1517 Not accepted for operational service

J.Herris - Gotha Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Something of an all-rounder, the Gotha WD 14 is seen here in prototype form, wearing its naval serial 801. First flown in January 1917, this twin 220hp Benz Bz IV three seater was designed to fulfil the roles of torpedo bomber, minelayer, or long range reconnaissance. Top level speed was 72mph at sea level, while the range was an impressive 806 miles. Following satisfactory testing and acceptance of the prototype, a further 68 production WD 14s were delivered with the navy serials 1415-1430, 1617-1631, 1651-62 and 1946-1970.
J.Herris - Gotha Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
The prototype WD14, Marine Number 801, upon delivery to the SVK on 16 January 1917. As a result of trials, ailerons were added to the lower wings and the rudder area was increased to improve control with one engine out.
J.Herris - Gotha Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
The prototype WD14, Marine Number 801, on a beaching dolly upon delivery to the SVK on 16 January 1917. This aircraft has a rear gunner but no nose turret; the pilot and observer sat side-by-side.
J.Herris - Gotha Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
The prototype WD14, Marine Number 801, upon delivery to the SVK on 16 January 1917. As a result of trials, ailerons were added to the lower wings and the rudder area was increased to improve control with one engine out.
J.Herris - Gotha Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Delivered on 11 July 1917, WD14, Marine Number 1415 of the second series (Marine Numbers 1415-1430) had enlarged rudders and ailerons on all wings. Originally ordered as a torpedo bomber, it was modified for long-range maritime reconnaissance now that torpedo attacks had been basically abandoned. At Norderney, #1415 was used to test wireless equipment, navigation instruments, and droppable fuel tanks, here installed in the torpedo bay. Euler D.II 274/17, a single-seat trainer, provides an interesting size comparison.
J.Herris - Gotha Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Delivered on 11 July 1917, WD14, Marine Number 1415 of the second series (Marine Numbers 1415-1430) had enlarged rudders and ailerons on all wings. Originally ordered as a torpedo bomber, it was modified for long-range maritime reconnaissance now that torpedo attacks had been basically abandoned. At Norderney, #1415 was used to test wireless equipment, navigation instruments, and droppable fuel tanks, here installed in the torpedo bay. Euler D.II singleseat trainers flank it on both sides.
J.Herris - Gotha Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
WD14 Marine Number 1617 of the third series was delivered in November 1917. To investigate its suitability as a reconnaissance bomber, it had a gun turret in a nose widened to hold five 10-kg bombs on each side. In place of a torpedo, ten 60-kg bombs could be carried in the torpedo bay. According to Navy records, twelve WD14s, Marine Numbers 1617-1628, were equipped for long-range reconnaissance flights of 8 1/2 hours duration and twelve WD14s, Marine Numbers 1651-1662, were equipped for torpedo attack missions of 4 hours duration.
O.Thetford, P.Gray - German Aircraft of the First World War /Putnam/
Gotha W.D. 14.
J.Herris - Gotha Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
This appears to be WD14 Marine Number 1946. This view clearly shows the additional central rudder added to the last series to improve control response. The new insignia was standardized 30 March 1918. WD14 #1946 was transferred from Warnemunde to Wiek or Bug on 2 October 1918.
J.Herris - Gotha Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
WD14 Marine Number 1946 of the last series as photographed after modification on 14 June 1918. Equipped for long-range reconnaissance with a droppable fuel tank replacing the torpedo, the additional central rudder is just visible.
J.Herris - Gotha Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
WD14 Marine Number 1946 of the last series was photographed after modification on 14 June 1918. Twenty-five WD14s, Marine Numbers 1946-1970, were ordered in October 1917 equipped for long-range reconnaissance with a droppable fuel tank replacing the torpedo. For improved controllability this series had an additional central rudder. Reported "totally unsuited for the front" due to poor aileron and rudder response, the modified Marine Number 1946 is shown with balanced ailerons of increased area. Only nine WD14s of this series were accepted before the Armistice. The German naval camouflage scheme standardized in April 1917 specified three-color hexagonal camouflage on all upper surfaces, with side surfaces blue-gray and undersurfaces light gray. Despite that, photos show that production models of the Gotha WD14 wore the naval lozenge fabric overall surfaces except the floats, giving them a much darker appearance than the standard camouflage.
J.Herris - Gotha Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
WD14 Marine Number 1429 was transferred from Flensburg to List on 17 December 1917, but was noted as being dismantled at List on 9 March 1918.
J.Herris - Gotha Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Gotha WD 20 Marine Number 1515 in the factory before delivery in May 1918. Power was two 260 hp Mercedes D.IVa engines. Gotha WD 20 Marine Number 1517 had an additional, central rudder similar to that fitted to late-production WD 14s. The WD20 was not accepted for operational service due to poor flying characteristics due to being tail heavy, problems similar to those plaguing the contemporary Gotha G.IV and G.V bombers.
J.Herris - Gotha Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
WD14 cockpit with some instruments and controls labeled.
J.Herris - Gotha Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
WD14 Marine #1418 was wrecked while being flown by 1 Torpedo-Staffel pilot Flgobmt. Esser on 14 Jan. 1918.
O.Thetford, P.Gray - German Aircraft of the First World War /Putnam/
Gotha WD 14
J.Herris - Gotha Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Gotha WD.14
J.Herris - Gotha Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Gotha WD.14
J.Herris - Gotha Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Gotha WD.14
J.Herris - Gotha Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Gotha WD14
J.Herris - Gotha Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Gotha WD14
J.Herris - Gotha Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Gotha WD14