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Messerschmitt Me-323 Gigant

From Canadian Aces Me-323 Page

The Messerschmitt Me-323 was ununusal and revolutionary in serveral ways. First, it was developed from a glider, the Me-321 transport glider, second, it was among the largest of aircraft to fly in WWII, third, it loaded through 11 foot high doors in the front of the fuselage, four, it was powered wholly by French engines, and five, it could use Jet Assisted Take Off (JATO). The aircraft was designed with massive, semi-cantilever, high-mounted wings in order to lift the heavy weights desired. As the aircraft technology was not yet sufficiently advanced for this type of wing, they had to be braced from the fusilage out to the middle of the wing. To reduce weight and to save on aluminum much of the wing was made of plywood and fabric. The fusilage was of composite metal-wood-fabric with heavy bracing in the floor to hold the weight. In order to get the powered version of the glider airborne it was equipped with six Gnome-Rhone engines. The French engines were chosen as their design was complete and they could be built in occupied France without interfering with German engine production. The landing gear were a set of 10 semi-recessed wheels designed to flex like caterpillar treads for landing on rough terrain and to distribute the weight over a large area. In all, it bore a remarkable resemblance to the heavy-airlift aircraft of today, indeed, it was the forerunner of this type of transport aircraft. The cargo hold was 36 feet long, 10 feet wide and 11 feet high. The typical loads it carried were: two 4-ton trucks, or 8,700 loaves of bread, or an 88 mm Flak gun, it's equipment, ammunition and crew, or 52 drums of fuel (45 gal/252 L), or 130 men, or 60 stretchers. It was, for it's time, a remarkable aircraft.

The Temple Air Gigant

Due to the limit of four engines in X-Plane it was not possible to represent the standard Gigant model. However, the very first prototype, as shown in the photo below, was equipped with only four engines. It was at first intended that the Me-323 would be towed aloft by a Troika-Schlepp arrangement, three tow planes in a spread formation, after which the tow lines would be cast off and the aircraft would proceed under it's own power. It was decided that subsequent models would be equipped with six engines so that they would be able to make conventional takeoffs.

With only four engines of 1140 horsepower, the Temple Air Gigant is barely flyable, so I bumped up the engine horsepower to just over 1500 hp each.

Flying the Temple Air Gigant

Takeoff at normal loads can be accomplished with one notch of flaps and a reasonable amount of runway. If you want to simulate a max gross takeoff, select half flaps and use the JATO button. Landing is relatively simple with full flaps.

Download the Messerschmitt Me-323 Gigant version 1.0 (X-Plane version 5.62)

BONUS!! Download the Messerschmitt Me-321 Gigant Glider version 1.0 (X-Plane version 5.62)

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