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All the stupid bf109 questions here


modelfreak
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Ok, here's one. Airfix do a 1/72 109E-3 in their starter set but the regular kit is an E-4. Apart from the decals and paint, what are the differences? Canopy?

Thanks,

John.

From new (fresh from factory) the squared off canopy would be the most obvious difference but once in the field a lot of E3's had that canopy fitted so it is not a guarantee that an Emil with the squared off canopy is an E4. A lot of damaged E1's and E3's went back through repair units and were fitted with upgrades in the process.

Duncan B

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Standard on the E-4 were also pilot's head armour, armour to protect the fuel tank and the MG FF M cannon. A detail for the anal modeller would be a stencil on the ammunition drum access panels (inside and out) "Achtung! MG-FF 'M' ". The stencil was there because this weapon could not fire the ammunition of the earlier cannon.

As stated above most E-3s had been brought up to E-4 or even E-7 standard by 1941.

Steve

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The Airfix kit does not include the early style canopy. The starter kit E-3 represents an E-3 that had been refitted with the later canopy. It is shown in both a photo and side view on page 21 of 'Jagdwaffe Vol 2 Section 1' by Classic Publications, where it is described as carrying a 70/71 scheme rather than the usual 02/71 scheme, but I don't know how they can say that from a b&w photo.

My copy of the starter kit features the newer tool fix to the wing root fault, but has badly off centre decals, so Aeromaster to the rescue. I'm also dubious about the shape of the prop, so I'll replace it.

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The 70/71 scheme is two colours with very little contrast between them in B+W photgraphs.They are so similar that it is often difficult to discern two different colours.This is not the case for colours in the 02/71 scheme.

The difference between the two, in a B+W photograph, should be obvious.

Trying to tell an 02/71 from a 74/75 on a B+W photo is a different story :)

Edited by Stonar
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Actually, Stonar, I agree with you - the Jagdwaffe book calls it a 'high demarcation 70/71 camouflage scheme', but I think it's a misprint for 02/71.

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The Airfix kit does not include the early style canopy. The starter kit E-3 represents an E-3 that had been refitted with the later canopy. It is shown in both a photo and side view on page 21 of 'Jagdwaffe Vol 2 Section 1' by Classic Publications, where it is described as carrying a 70/71 scheme rather than the usual 02/71 scheme, but I don't know how they can say that from a b&w photo.

My copy of the starter kit features the newer tool fix to the wing root fault, but has badly off centre decals, so Aeromaster to the rescue. I'm also dubious about the shape of the prop, so I'll replace it.

There are colour photos of this plane, I can only find the thumbnail.

<Pic removed, as apparently, the site it comes from is unsafe according to Sophos - sorry!>

Werner Pichon-Kalau von Hofe, III./JG 51

Airfix specify 02/71 though

a55106-front.jpg

Edited by Mike
Removing picture hosted on an unsafe site
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Hi Troy,

I have an original copy of that photo somewhere in my files here and the colours used for the profile were based on those as seen in my copy of the photo and another in Eric Mombeeks' collection.

I think the colours were 70/71 but mind you, after 14 years I could be mistaken.

Cheers

Dave

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There is very little difference between 70 and 71 when the paints are fresh, but rather more so after some weathering. So depending upon the circumstances of the photo, it may not be that obviously different from the later schemes.

Are you suggesting that weathered 70/71 could be mistaken for 71/02 in a decent B+W photograph?

70/71 always shows very little contrast. As it happens and for reasons not relevant here, I've recently been comparing the 70/71 scheme on some factory fresh Bf 110s in a photograph taken at BFW Augsburg with that on crashed Bf 110s in the same scheme taken during the BoB. Whereas the demarcations are just about visible on the freshly painted aircraft I can't see them at all on some of the crashed aircraft, many of which I know to have seen several months of service. There are of course many reasons why this might be the case, but the point is that in none of the photographs is there anything approaching an obvious contrast between the colours.

The demarcations are usually equally difficult to see even on much larger aircraft.

I suppose the question is whether 02 could be mistaken for 70? I'd be surprised if it could be in a decent image, but nothing is impossible

No wonder Airfix's old 1/24 Stuka used to have a one colour call out for its upper surfaces :)

Cheers

Steve

Edited by Stonar
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Very good John! My reference to 'newer tool' refers to the fact the the first of the new tool 109s had an error on the wing root which was later corrected.

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It was known for some very experienced pilots to have the slats locked closed so they wouldn't activate during combat manoevres.

Really? I've never heard of that. Do we know which 'experienced pilots' might have done this? I'm curious now!

We are talking Bf 109 not Westland Whirlwind :)

Cheers

Steve

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I think the reason for locking the slats closed was to avoid asymmetric activation during tight turns, leading to a spoiling of target tracking and the guns solution. The slats did not just activate at slow speed, but rather high angle of attack. This occurs at slow speed of course, but also during tight turns at higher speeds. The movement of the stagnation point changes the pressure balance over the slat surface, and the slat is 'sucked' open. Locking them shut would have led to some loss of sustained turn performance, but presumably this was thought to be an acceptable trade by some pilots.

regards,

Jason

Edited by JasonC
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Erwin Leykauf; " for us, the more experienced pilots, real manoeuvering only started when the slats were out " ( in van Ishoven 'Messerschmitt Bf 109 at war ")

Edited by FalkeEins
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I think the reason for locking the slats closed was to avoid asymmetric activation during tight turns,

This could happen, it was noted by Eric Brown. However, I've never read an account or seen any evidence that the slats were wired closed by an 'experienced pilot'. It's why I am curious to see such an account or evidence.

As in Falkeeins and vppelt68's posts above I have seen accounts extolling the virtues of the effect of the slats on the aircraft's performance in combat manouevres. Leykauf reckoned he developed a technique using the slats and careful use of power whereby he could out turn a Spitfire in his 'Emil'. Experienced pilots, flying smoothly, had no problem with asymmetic deployment (Rall).

Franz Stigler found them useful after one too many!

".. pilots did like them, since it allowed them better positions in dogfights along with using the flaps. These slats would also deploy slightly when the a/c was reaching stall at higher altitudes showing the pilot how close they were to stalling.....this was also useful when you were drunk "

There are other accounts too.

Cheers

Steve

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