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VK 4502 (P), Panzerkampfwagen "Tiger" P2

Porsche Typ 180 Series


Design for the Typ 180 with the turret mounted toward the front.

Drawing from Germany's Tiger Tanks: VK 45.02 to Tiger II


Design for the Typ 180 with the turret mounted at the rear.

Drawing from Germany's Tiger Tanks: VK 45.02 to Tiger II


After the failure of the VK 4501 (P), Dr. Porsche began work on an updated version of its design for future production. Given the fluid nature of war, however, it became clear that an uparmored version of the VK4501 would not meet future requirements. True to Porsche's infatuation with obtaining ever higher automotive performance, he proposed no fewer than four different engines, two different drives (electric and hydraulic), and two different hull configurations (one with the turret forward, the other with the turret at the rear). The VK 4502 (P) was therefore numerous vehicles in one. Initially entitled Typ 180, the initial vehicle grew into a series of five different vehicles:


Engine cross-section of the Typ 180 with the turret mounted at the rear.

Drawing from Germany's Tiger Tanks: VK 45.02 to Tiger II


The turret of the VK 4502 (P) was developed after Dr. Porsche informed Wa Preuf 6 that the 8.8cm Flak 41 could not be installed in the turret of the VK 4501 (P) on June 21, 1941. By May 7, 1942, the design seems to have been finalized because Krupp reported difficulties shaping the rounded turret front of the turret. The rounded front of this turret was developed to reduce frontal target area, and would not have presented the shot-trap common to the initial production Henschel Tiger II's because the designs of the hull tops differend (at least on the design with the turret forward).


Top view of the Typ 180 with the turret mounted toward the front.

Drawing from Germany's Tiger Tanks: VK 45.02 to Tiger II


Production of the VK4502 (P) was authorized in April of 1942. Initially an order for 200 hulls and turrets was placed with the first four to be delivered in October. In May of 1942, the delivery schedule was set to proceed as follows:

December 1942: 6 June 1943: 15
January 1943: 15 July 1943: 18
February 1943: 15 August 1943: 20
March 1943: 15 September 1943: 25
April 1943: 15 October 1943: 30
May 1943: 15 November 1943 (onward): 30


Front view of Typ 180 with the turret mounted at the rear.

Drawing from Germany's Tiger Tanks: VK 45.02 to Tiger II


Unfortunately for Dr. Porsche his fascination with advanced engine design let to the ultimate failure of the VK 4502 (P). The 10-cylinder engines failed during trials, and there was no confidence that the design would bear fruit (given previous Porsche failures using the same drivetrain layout). In November of 1942, all of the contracts relating to the VK 4502 (P) were rescinded. Work did, however continue into the middle of 1944. By that time the vehicle had hydraulic drive, new suspension, a 900 metric horsepower air-cooled disel, and heavier armament with delivery schedule "far in the future." Ultimately the turrets were converted for use on the Henschel Tiger II.

VK 4502 (P)
Model: Typ 180A Typ 180B Typ 181A Typ 181B Typ 181C
Armament: one 8.8cm L/71 + one (or two) MG42 one 8.8cm L/71 + one (or two) MG42 one 8.8cm L/71 + one (or two) MG42 one 8.8cm L/71 + one (or two) MG42 one 8.8cm L/71 + one (or two) MG42
Weight: 57 tons 57 tons 57 tons 57 tons 57 tons
Length:
gun foreward
gun rear


10.71 meters
9.05 meters


10.71 meters
9.05 meters


10.71 meters
9.05 meters


10.71 meters
9.05 meters


10.71 meters
9.05 meters

Width: 3.32 meters 3.32 meters 3.32 meters 3.32 meters 3.32 meters
Height: 2.95 meters 2.95 meters 2.95 meters 2.95 meters 2.95 meters
Engine: Two Porsche Typ 101/3 Two Porsche Typ 101/4 Two Porsche Typ 101/4 Two Porsche Deutz Typ 180/1 Two Porsche Deutz Typ 180/2
Gearbox: Electric drive Electric drive Hydraulic Voith II Hydraulic Voith II Hydraulic Voith II


Top view of Typ 180 with the turret mounted at the rear.

Drawing from Germany's Tiger Tanks: VK 45.02 to Tiger II


Sources:


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