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Performance of Lendlease aircraft in Soviet Service

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#1 Buzzsaw

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 00:51



First of all, welcome 777 Studios to WWII simulations, we look forward to seeing your ideas and innovations!


On a related issue:


As you may know, the Hurricane II was a common aircraft in use by the VVS on the Stalingrad Front.  At one point it actually was the most common fighter in service.


And while I am a big fan of British designs, and generally prefer to fly them,  the Hurricanes did not see their best results in Soviet service.


The reasons for this were several, it was nearing the end of its competitive life as a fighter, but perhaps more importantly, to perform at full power, the engine required 100 octane fuel.


And 100 octane was not available at that time in the Soviet Union, their standard fuel was rated much lower.  So the Hurricane II's in Soviet service had to use lower boost levels, and thus had less power and less performance than Hurricane II's in British service.


So if you plan to model the Hurricane, you might keep this point in mind.


So using the various tests and performance data from the usual sources, such as the WWII Air Performance site...




...will not provide an accurate representation of how they peformed in Soviet service.


There were Hurricanes in service with RAF Squadrons in Murmansk during November of 1941 which were able to operate at full boost levels, but that was because the British supply services brought octane booster with them to add to the Soviet fuel.  I do not believe the same applied to aircraft in the southern front.


The same would apply to the Spitfire V's which were supplied to the Kuban Front in 1943.


However, if you look into the details of the use of P-39's and P-40's by the VVS, you will find they were able to use normal boost levels on Soviet fuel.  The Allison engine was much more tolerant of lower octane fuel.  This was one of the reasons the Soviet pilots much preferred the American lendlease aircraft.


As the war progressed, the Soviets began to receive shipments of 100 octane fuel from the US via Siberia, and they also began to manufacture their own higher octane fuel.


Cheers and Goodluck

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#2 NZTyphoon

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 08:44

Good points on Hurricane performance - there's also the armament used on Russian Hurricanes: although the IIBs initially used 12 x .303s, the VVS pilots preferred heavier weapons and many Hurricanes had one 20mm ShVAK cannon and one UBS 12.7 mm hmg in each wing, plus some had up to four RO rocket rails under the wings: see here for some colour schemes and other comments.

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He knows nothing: and he thinks he knows everything...(G. Bernard Shaw)

He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts - for support rather than illumination (Andrew Lang)

In fact there is (sic!) a significant number of these early (NACA) reports which are just an interesting read and nothing more. (Crump)

#3 MineFewer

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 06:21

The RoF team need to figure out how to implement retractable landing gear, gun sights, flaps, hydraulic systems, pneumatic systems, electric lighting, prop pitch controls, and oxygen systems, just to name a few.   Let's wait to see some evidence of competence in the basics before worrying about A/C performance.

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Not much fun in Stalingrad.

AKA baronWastelan bw.jpg

#4 NZTyphoon

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 19:35

The RoF team need to figure out how to implement retractable landing gear, gun sights, flaps, hydraulic systems, pneumatic systems, electric lighting, prop pitch controls, and oxygen systems, just to name a few.   Let's wait to see some evidence of competence in the basics before worrying about A/C performance.

??? This is a section of the forum entitled History-Weapons and Tactics subtitled Discussion about historical and technical military subjects -  there's no reason why forum members should not discuss aircraft performance here, or anything else related to weapons and tactics.

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He knows nothing: and he thinks he knows everything...(G. Bernard Shaw)

He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts - for support rather than illumination (Andrew Lang)

In fact there is (sic!) a significant number of these early (NACA) reports which are just an interesting read and nothing more. (Crump)

#5 5./JG54_Cule

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 16:32

the hurricanes were used in low level attcks and scrambles along the IL2 and I15, while the MIGs, Yaks and polikarp.16s remained for aerial combat aircraft

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#6 Sgt_Joch

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 14:52

sorry to revive this old thread, but the VVS received 59% of its aviation fuel from Lend-Lease in WW2.




so there should have been plenty of U.S. 100/130 grade fuel in 42-43 to power U.S./UK aircraft in Soviet service.


Does anyone have more info on this?

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#7 56RAF_Talisman

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 13:35

You may be interested in the FUELCAT link below (see reference to Russian front 1942).  It shows how the performance of lower grade fuel can be improved and states the example of Hurricane engines that needed 100 Octane fuel performance in Russia in 1942.  This is obviously PR information for the company, but it points to the availability of a historic stop gap solution, if or when supplies of 100 Octane were ever in short supply.  I would suspect that things were always changing, but if 100 Octane fuel was ever in short supply, perhaps for short periods only, they had the FUELCAT technology. 





Henry Broquet's Catalyst - born in Desperate Times
Henry Broquet's fuel catalyst is not just another short-lived magic gadget that claims to work unexplained wonders with car engines. It was developed, tried and proved in the hardest arena possible - the Russian front in 1942.

Rolls-Royce motors meet Lada Fuel!
When Britain sent Hurricane fighters to Russia in 1941, their Merlin XX engines needed the special 100 octane petrol developed for the RAF. Although a supply was shipped there to startwith, the Russians themselves were unable to produce any more. Their fuel was not only lower grade but very variable in quality. Henry Broquet, a British technician, collaborated with them and came up with the tin alloy catalyst, a workable answer that enabled the Merlins to run on lower grade petrol satisfactorily. Why was the grade of fuel so critical? After all, car engines can be detuned to run on cooking petrol by retarding their ignition or fitting thicker head gaskets. You simply could not do that with a thoroughbred Rolls-Royce aero-engine.

The power output of a piston engine depends upon firstly the revolutions per minute (rpm) and secondly the pressure developed in the cylinders.  Friction and mechanical stress limit the rpm, but fuel is one of the main factors limiting the attainable power. This is mainly due to the problem of detonation. If the fuel/air mixture is compressed too much, it may not burn evenly but explode suddenly. This gives a very high peak pressure and a sharp blow on the piston instead of a steady push. The energy from the fuel does no useful work but is wasted as heat. Severe or prolonged detonation can blow holes in pistons, burn out exhaust valves and even knock off cylinder heads. Car drivers can hear the characteristic pinking sound caused by the shock waves hitting the cylinder walls.

Octane Rating
Petrol's resistance to detonation is given by its Octane Rating. This is the percentage of iso-octane (full chemical name 2,2,4 trimethyl pentane)contained in a mixture of iso-octane with normal heptane that reproduces the same knock characteristics as the petrol when tested under standard conditions. One of the ways to increase octane rating is to dope the fuel with tetra-ethyl lead. What this does is to steady the rate of combustion and inhibit the sudden temperature rise ahead of the flame front that triggers the explosive ignition. A drawback is that lead deposits tend to build upon the spark plugs so ethylene dibromide is often added, to combine with the lead and take some of it out in the exhaust.

Pre-ignition and Plug Fouling
Another problem with mediocre fuel is that it may have poorly combustible components that have not been refined out, and they leave unburned deposits on the cylinder head and valves. These impair cooling and may get so hot that they act like diesel glow-plugs, igniting the mixture before the spark plugs fire, too early before top dead centre. The effect of this pre-ignition is similar to detonation and equally damaging to the engine. Characteristically a hot engine will "run-on" after the ignition is cut, as though it was a diesel. (Inefficient pre-war side-valve engines used to need decarbonising every ten thousand miles or so because they built up these unburned deposits.)

Lead is Dead, Long Live Tin!
Big European and American oil companies saw no need to take up this development. They had invested a lot in tetra-ethyl lead and had no incentive to try something completely different. But lead is to be banned from petrol by the year 2000. Millions of motorists and boat owners with engines designed for 4-Star are going to have problems. True, they can buy expensive "super unleaded" instead, which is supposed to equal 4-Star.  However, this has all sorts of other detonation suppressing additives instead of the lead. Some of these additives themselves are not very nice. Furthermore, they still leave the problem that some designs also rely on the lead to protect valve seats from erosion and stop valves from sticking.
Henry Broquet's well-proven tin catalyst is a better answer than tetra-ethyl lead anyway, improving the fuel before it goes into the engine so that combustion is more efficient. This reduces deposits on the cylinder head and valves, and also the amount of waste heat going into the exhaust. As a result exhaust valves and their seats are cooler and do not need a protective coating of lead. Finally, more efficient combustion means less exhaust emissions.
If anyone needs proof that it works, they need look no farther than those hard-pressed Merlins in Russia!

The above history, product information and FAQ's have been adapted from FUELCAT promotional literature.

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#8 56RAF_Talisman

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 13:49

See also:



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#9 56RAF_Talisman

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 14:00





Broquet Fuel Catalyst
The Story of Broquet

Welcome to the hub of Broquet Fuel Catalyst, a unique and exciting product that significantly improves the combustion of hydrocarbon fuel in your car, truck or boat, leading to improvements in fuel economy, power, emissions and maintenance.
There have always been products on the market which claim economy or emission improvements, some even look similar to Broquet. However, you will see from the following information that the Broquet fuel catalyst is authentic, developed directly from the originator of the first fuel catalyst, Henry A. Broquet, and that having been tested over many years in the laboratory and proven on the road, it really works!

The true story of Broquet began in 1941 when Henry Broquet, then aged 26 and an RAF engineer specialising in Hurricane fighter aircraft engines, was posted to Russia with 151 Wing. At that time the fuel available in Russia proved incompatible with the Hurricane's engine and therefore modifications to the fuel were necessary. Consequently Henry Broquet was seconded to a team of chemists and engineers who were given the crucial task of perfecting a means by which the aircraft engine could perform to its maximum efficiency using only local fuel. As some of the team already had experience in tin catalysis they concentrated their efforts in this area, eventually developing a simple but very effective fuel catalyst.
After the war, Henry emigrated to South Africa and successfully developed the fuel catalyst for such diverse applications as ocean-going cargo vessels, fishing fleets and stationary engines used in underground mining operations. Following a hostile take-over of his South African company, Henry lost the manufacturing and marketing rights to his fuel catalyst although he did keep the formula and process secret, regaining the rights in 1986, he returned to the UK and formed another company which eventually led to the formation of Broquet International Ltd. Although Henry died in 1989, the Broquet family is still connected with the Company, as Henry's son, Henry Arthur Broquet is a consultant to Broquet International Ltd.

Broquet is a true catalyst in pellet form that is made up of a number of different metals, one of which is tin. When the pellet is in contact with petrol, diesel or oil the effect is such that the combustion efficiency of the fuel is improved. The active life of each pellet is 250,000 miles (400,000 kms), and its use not only promotes more efficient combustion but also removes, and then inhibits, the build-up of carbon deposits, waxes and gums that normally form in the combustion chamber. The main benefits are more power or improved fuel economy, less maintenance, and a significant reduction in exhaust emissions.

Another major advantage of using the catalyst in countries where unleaded petrol is replacing, or already has replaced, leaded petrol is that Broquet will generally allow the safe and efficient use of unleaded petrol in all petrol-engined vehicles. The use of metals as catalysts to promote chemical reactions is not new. A number of different tin-alloy driven electro-catalysis reactions, in fuel hydrocarbon mixtures, which benefit combustion performance as well as fuel stability, are documented as far back as the 1930's and '40's.

The manufacture of Broquet is not a straightforward process as it involves the blending together of a number of different metals at precise times and temperatures. For this reason the manufacturing process is subject to a strict quality assurance programme with batch testing being conducted by an independent laboratory. This is of course vitally important if each product is to perform reliably and consistently to its full potential over its active life.

Full product testing on vehicles has been carried out by Broquet International Ltd., not only in-house but also by independent laboratories, independent motoring associations, and magazines. In addition there are many hundreds of testimonials sent in by satisfied users of the product.

The product works when the surface area of the Broquet pellet comes into contact with the hydrocarbon-based fuel. This can be achieved by either inserting the pellets directly into the fuel tank of the vehicle/vessel (this is the most cost effective method with smaller engines) or by inserting the pellets into the fuel line using the appropriate container. Either method will be effective for all engines and the final choice of method is usually based upon cost or customer preference.

The applications for the Broquet fuel catalyst are many and varied as they include every engine that is fuelled by petrol, diesel or oil.

Whilst there is presently much experimentation with alternative fuels it is expected that petrol, diesel and oil fuelled engines will be with us for some considerable time to come. However, by using the Broquet fuel catalyst these engines can all be made to burn fuel more efficiently leading to better fuel economy or more power, reduced emissions, and a cleaner engine. Therefore whether you have a car, truck or ocean-going vessel, the Broquet is guaranteed to be able to help cut your fuel costs and emissions - or your purchase price will be refunded! Broquet International Limited already export to over 20 countries and because of increasing world-wide interest, are looking to increase coverage.

Therefore should you want to purchase a Broquet unit, or require more product information, visit us at Broquet Online Store.

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