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NeuralDream

 
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Post subject: Messerschmitt BF109  Reply with quote   (Liked by:0)  Like this post


As reliable as possible. I will try to add as many variants as possible later. Feel free to comment here on any of these aircraft or post your own data, pilot accounts etc.
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Last edited by NeuralDream on Sun Jan 01, 2012 6:52 pm; edited 1 time in total
PostThu Jun 02, 2011 9:36 pm
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NeuralDream

 
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Added BF109K4
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PostMon Dec 19, 2011 5:08 pm
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zaarin7

 
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According to "German Aircraft of World War II" pg. 472 the E-3 had four MG 17's and and engine mounted MG FF/M but I have read other places the engine mounted gun was often not used. The E-4 went to two MG 17's and two MG FF in the wings.
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PostTue Dec 20, 2011 1:06 pm
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NeuralDream

 
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Correct. Many thanks. I've updated it. It may take a while for your browser to show the correct card.
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PostTue Dec 20, 2011 1:17 pm
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zaarin7

 
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NP YW ND.
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Set I:   64 of 64, 127 units
Set II:  60 of 60, 99 units
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Set V: 39 of 39, 65 units
Set VI: 40 of 40, 68 units
PostTue Dec 20, 2011 11:25 pm
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NeuralDream

 
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Added 109F2 and F4.
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PostSun Jan 01, 2012 6:52 pm
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'Warspite'

 

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zaarin7 wrote:
According to "German Aircraft of World War II" pg. 472 the E-3 had four MG 17's and and engine mounted MG FF/M but I have read other places the engine mounted gun was often not used. The E-4 went to two MG 17's and two MG FF in the wings.



It would appear that only a few 'five-gun' Bf 109 aircraft were used in the Battle of Britain and often the engine cannon was soon removed. One version of the reason for the removal was that it was difficult to maintain and re-arm but another reason was that they might have wanted to increase range by removing weight and the fifth gun was regarded as excess baggage.
During the Battle of Britain the Bf 109 was range sensitive as the 109 barely had time for a few minutes over London and that was without a combat reserve. As a result more than a few 109s found themselves making forced landings on French beaches on the way back.
Despite claims that the two cannon, two light mgs was 'standard' for the Battle of Britain quite a few four machine-gun aircraft were shot down over the UK and were noted as such in RAF records.
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PostMon Feb 20, 2012 2:35 pm
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NeuralDream

 
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German documentary on the 109.


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PostSat Feb 25, 2012 7:28 pm
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'Warspite'

 

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I'm going to depart from my normal style and write this as a series of quotes. So much is already known about the Messerschmitt Bf 109. This article will deal with performance, handling and pilot 'feel' for the aeroplane.

Aviation author William Green said of the 'E' version:
Quote:
"By standards appertaining at the time, the BF 109E was a very good fighter. It handled well and possessed excellent low-speed control response and 'feel' although above 300 mph the controls became extremely heavy and the ailerons in particular became almost immovable at around 400 mph, making rolling virtually impossible. It lacked the manoeuvrability of the Spitfire, nor did it possess the British fighter's turning circle, but its angle of climb was extremely good being developed at low airspeeds. The Spitfire enjoyed a slight margin in speed, but both the climb rate and ceiling of the Bf109E were superior, and the German fighter was definitely the better above 20,000 feet. In a vertical dive the Spitfire could not stay with the Bf109E; but light though the rudder was at low and medium speeds, the absence of a cockpit-operated rudder trim was a serious fault because the rudder became very heavy in a dive, and then reversed trim, resulting in considerable pilot fatigue."


More than one 'E' version was captured and test-flown by RAF pilots. They liked the throttle response of the fuel-injected engine but they complained about the cockpit. RAF pilots said it was cramped, they disliked the wide glazing bars around the windscreen which the felt could conceal attackers on those quarters and they disliked the amount of stick force used to move the joystick, especially at speed.

Eric Brown said:
Quote:
"The 109E always looked sleekly sinister to me, and it felt sinister once I was seated in that small, narrow cockpit which made movement of the head difficult - hardly ideal for a combat fighter. The auxiliary services were mostly electrical, apart from the undercarriage and radiator which were hydraulically operated, and the the flaps which were directly connected to a manually operated handwheel and, consequently, tediously slow in lowering."


About flying the 109E Eric Brown said:
Quote:
"The 109E climbed steeply at an initial climb rate of 3,100 feet per minute. Stability proved excellent in the longitudinal and lateral planes but was almost neutral directionally. Control harmony was poor for a fighter, the rudder being light, the ailerons moderately light and the elevators extremely heavy. There was no rudder trimmer which meant it was necessary to apply moderate right rudder during the climb and considerable left rudder during a dive."


William Green again:
Quote:
"With the slotted flaps lowered to 20 deg, the take-off run was remarkably short and, the mainwheels being positioned well forward of the centre of gravity, fierce braking was permitted immediately on touch-down, resulting in a short landing run and fast taxi-ing. However the tendency to swing on take-off and landing that had first manifested itself during tests with the early prototypes continued to plague the Bf109E and contributed substantially to the Luftwaffe's high accident rate, some 1,500 Bf109 fighters being lost between the beginning of the war and the autumn of 1941 in accidents caused by unintentional swings. Only after the tailwheel had been fitted with a locking device which operated when the throttle was fully opened did the tendency to swing lessen."

"For high altitude bombing the diving speed (E-model as fighter-bomber) was 403 mph and for bombing at low altitude the recommended diving speed was 373 mph. The maximum permissible diving speed was 446 mph."


Eric Brown's assessment of the 109E:
Quote:
"The 109E was a formidable fighter of proven ability but one with certain handling shortcomings that could be exploited in combat if known about by the opposition. Above all it was a survivor; in its developed forms the 109 fought right through World War II and it was built in larger numbers than any other aircraft except the Russian Ilyushin IL-2. The 109 was also the  exclusive mount of the highest-scoring fighter pilot in the world, Major erich Hartmann who had 352 victories."


The Bf109F had a higher performance but only three guns. The F-1 had the slow firing MGFF but the F-2 substituted a single 15mm MG151 which had a higher muzzle velocity, longer range and greater rate-of-fire.

William Green:
Quote:
"However there were conflicting opinions among the leading German fighter pilots concerning the armament of the Bf109F. Adolf Galland considered the reduced number of guns to be a retrogressive step, while Werner Molders favoured this light armament. Later the BF109F-4/R1 was to appear with a 20mm MG 151 cannon mounted in a gondola under each wing; but while this improved the fighter's effectiveness as a bomber destroyer, it adversely affected the machine's powers of manoeuvre and reduced its potency in fighter-versus fighter combat."


Eric Brown's assessment:
Quote:
"The 109F represented a significant advance over its predecessors with its increased performance at height and its better manoeuvrabilty and firepower. When it first appeared it was almost certainly the best fighter in the world."


William Green said:
Quote:
"With the phasing out of the F-series, the basic Bf109 design might be considered to have passed the peak of its development, for with the introduction of the G-series the constant operational demands for increased firepower and additional equipment brought with them a serious deterioration of the fighter's flying characteristics. The Bf109G could not be flown in a landing circuit with flaps and undercarriage down other than at full throttle and experienced German operational pilots have described its landing characteristics as 'malicious'. Nevertheless some 70 per cent of all Bf 109 fighters produced during the war years were of the G-series."


This last quote goes some way to explaining the hostility of post-war Czech pilots. The Czechs - who had previously flown the superb Spitfire IX in the RAF - were given ex-Luftwaffe 109s or the Czech-built Avia version of the 109 which continued in production for several years after the war. They nicknamed it 'the Mule' (Mezec). It was not a popular choice for former Spitfire pilots. This last type also saw combat during the first Arab-Israeli wars with Israel operating them alongside Spitfire XIVs, Mustangs and Mosquito Mk VIs. An unusual line-up to say the least.
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PostTue Mar 13, 2012 11:59 am
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NeuralDream

 
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After flying the Spitfire, I imagine it would be difficult to like anything else. After a spitfire in BoB, Neville Duke hated the P-40 that he got in N. Africa.

Interestingly, I've heard the same thing about the BF109s. Several experten were so used to it ("it felt like one with the pilot" and was never significantly inferior at anything) that they didn't want to switch to FW190s. I have the impression that Erich Hartmann achieved all his 352 kills in the BF109G.

I think that German pilots liked it so much because an experienced pilot would tell precisely when it would stall, and thus could push it to its limits. In theory, it was not the monster the FW190 was at BnZ, but it could generate BnZ opportunities almost ad hoc thanks to its superb climb rate. The FW190 would have to plan for them much earlier.
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PostTue Mar 13, 2012 1:17 pm
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'Warspite'

 

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Bf 109 from YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NlUTFi3cN00

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qBsRBSPAz4U


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