Now I present to you one of the German airplanes which I consider a missed oportunity, the Siebel Si 204
double engined transport aircraft. Originally designed in response to an RLM development order for a small civil transport aircraft in 1938, it was at the end produced for the Luftwaffe due to the war. It was planned as a small all-metal passenger aircraft with two crew and eight passenger for German airline Deutsche Luft Hansa
(DLH) carrying roughly half the number of passenger than the Ju 52/3m but at some 50 km/h faster cruise speed and almost the double distance... And while the three engined heavy Junkers climbed at 3,9 m/s, the lighter and more agile Siebel could reach 6 m/s... It is easy to imagine a bigger version, carrying some 18 pax and powered by the above referred (AU) bigger BMW radial 134 "Bramo" engines delivering some 1.400 hp. The potential was there...
It is easy to imagine a bigger version, the length being somewhat equal to the Ju 52/3m, but with a slightly wider cabin, carrying some 24 pax in eight rows of 2+1 (for longer distances) or even 30 pax in ten rows of 2+1 (in shorter distances) and powered by the above referred (AU) bigger BMW radial 134 "Bramo" engines delivering some 1.400 hp. The potential was there and it could look like this...
Note: In "my AU" this bigger version would have been designed, developped and produced in a "joint-venture" between Dornier and Siebel, given the vast experience in bigger airplanes Dornier had at the time (and production facilities). Deutsche Luft Hansa would finally have its more economicl medium range plane and soon direct links between the major cities would have been established, linking Berlin to Helsinki, to Stockholm, to Oslo, to Kopenhagen, to London and to major other capitals and it coulçd do so lowering the ticket fares.
In the meantime, another airplane arrived on the scene which revoilutionized the airline scene, the Focke-Wulf 200 "Condor"
. This airplane resulted from a proposal by Kurt Tank of Focke-Wulf to Dr. Rudolf Stuessel of Deutsche Lufthansa to develop a landplane to carry passengers across the Atlantic Ocean to the US. At that time this was unusual, as airlines used seaplanes on long over-water routes. To fly long distances economically, the Fw 200 was designed to cruise at an altitude of over 3,000 m (9,800 ft) - as high as possible without a pressurized cabin. The Deutsche Lufthansa issued a specification in June 1936. The first prototype, the Fw 200 V1, made its first flight after just over one year of development, on 27 July 1937, with Tank at the controls. It was an all-metal, four-engined monoplane powered by four American 875 hp Pratt & Whitney Hornet radial engines, and intended to carry 26 passengers in two cabins. It had a operational time of flight of 14 hours at a cruising speed of 335 km/h but the civil variant, if carrying 18 passengers plus baggage and some cargo, had an average range of 3.560 km.
Until the arrival of the Douglas DC-4 in 1942, the Fw 200 "Condor" was the most modern airplane in the world. It was replaced in 1943 by the Fockie-Wulf Fw 300 "Albatross" (AU), basically a modernized version of the "Condor" but powered by much stronger BMW radials delivering each 1.480 hp which, given the pressurized cabin, allowed the new plane to fly at maximum altitudes of roughly 7.920 meter (+- 24.000 ft.). It carried up to 40 passengers (single class). If the "Condor" broke real barriers, the "Albatross" with its capability to fly "over the weather" set effectively new standards in intercontinental flights. Like its rival, the DC-4, the intercontinental variants of the Fw 300 "Albatross" could be fitted out with seats transforming in sleeping berths, though this meant it could only carry 20 passenger. These, however, flew long-distance with the best comfort possible, with three meals served aboard by three "stewards".
Two years later, in 1945, the latest four engined propeller civil airplane from the part of Focke-Wulf was presented, the Fw 330 "Adler", basically a stretched Fw 300, carrying a total of 60 passenger on European routes and 6 + 44 passenger in a two class arrangement for long haul routes. The engines were again from BMW, double row 18 cylinder supercharged aircooled engines delivering 1.800 hp for five minutes during the initial start phase and 1.500 hp up to an altitude of 18.000 ft. Max ceiling continued to be 24.000 ft, for reasons of comfort of the passenger, due to the altitude differential. Up to 18.000 ft. the engine's double stage compressors maintained boost values pressurizing the cabin to sea level.
Both models endured an enormous success worldwide and were sold in two variants: passenger and cargo transport. Together mainly with the competing US airplanes, the international aviation made enormous progress during the 40s, paving the way for yet another step up during the 50s...