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(Login surseenpeti) Missing-Lynx members from IP address 126.96.36.199
In Spielberger's Panther book it is stated the reason why Panther did not have a planetary final drive gearing was the lack of capacity to cut the internal teeth needed in planateray drives. This is true if using sraight gearing. However, was there any technical reason why a Farman-type (bevel gears) planetary drive would not have been feasible?
Whilst it may be useful to (very) few of us from an purely engineering standpoint, surely this is the same as saying: Why didn't it have a 128mm gun? or; Why didn't it have a U-boat engine? A useless hypothesis surely. The fact is, it didn't.
He wasn't putting forth any speculation (hypothesizing) or wondering out loud about a dramatic or ridiculous departure from history, he was asking if anyone had information as to why one particular engineering solution was chosen out of a limited set of reasonable and plausible others.
In my reply (which true, was rather heavy on the irony) I merely illustrated out that it may be a case of a cast armour supplier being asked why they don't make rolled plate (as in last week's furore) - to that particular factory it may have just been the way they did things. Or not.
The point is, we'll never know (as documents generally don't exist about things that didn't happen), so any speculation is, well yes, engineering hypothesising. Not that's there's anything wrong with that. But whether anyone on this particular forum is qualified to answer is debatable.
Jukka Juutinen (Login surseenpeti) Missing-Lynx members 188.8.131.52
May 28 2012, 11:20 AM
...suggesting a Farman-type gearing for a final drive equals "Why didn't it have a U-boat engine?" to you, you are entitled to believe so, but don't belittle those who might feel that these two are poles apart. The reason I asked is that I do not see a credible engineering reason why not use such a gearing. Therefore it would be interesting to know if someone who has thorougly examined German design documentation has come across information on this issue that had a most significant impact on the Panther's battleworthiness.
If my slightly tongue-in-cheek answer offended then I apologise. Seriously, I just think that this forum is possibly not the best space for such a detailed engineering discussion, and would point you towards primary researchers such as (for inst) Jentz and Doyle themselves for any pointers.
Myself, I think that the Panther was very much a tank of its time - conceived in a panic situation brought on by the appearance of the T-34, it is somewhat amazing that it worked at all. That is ended up as probably the best battle tank of the war is testimony that most things on it were pretty good as they stood, given its hurried gestation.