Google translation not the most accurate, but impressive work ....
Hegis Me 109
Google translation not the most accurate, but impressive work ....
Hegis Me 109
That didn't work, try this instead:
Last edited by haiqu; August 28th, 2014 at 08:56 AM.
"The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss." - Douglas Adams, on Flying
Thanks for that link!
I saw a Bf 109 in person for the first time at the RAF museum in London this summer. If you are used to looking at US WW2 aircraft, the first impression is WOW that thing is TINY!!
The engineering and construction of the 109 is amazing, and worth studying at length. The serviceability in the field and the way that the fuselage is constructed is a masterpiece of engineering design.
Somebody really needs to build a full-size, light replica. A 400HP V8 in a light replica would make a really cool sport plane.
The Me-109 ( or Bf-109 for the nit-pickers ) and the Bell P-39 were both built to the concept of the largest engine in the smallest air frame.
From a history tech view, you can divide WW2 planes into 2 camps, developed before and after the Battle Of Britain.
The 1930's designs ( like the P-39 ) were not designed with armor around the pilot, or oil tank, did not have self sealing fuel tanks, and tended to have fewer, and smaller guns.
The later designs had armor, self sealing fuel tanks, and more and heavier guns..
The Original P-47 ( never flew ) was also a tiny plane wrapped around a V-12 engine. Seversky/Republic abandoned that when they realized the need for armor, firepower, and horsepower. The P-47b, was developed in a line of evolution from the 3 seat SEV-3, which ultimately gave them the volume in the fuselage for the turbocharger, intercooler, and huge ducts to give the R-2800 engine 2 stage supercharging and superior high altitude performance. Plus 8, .50 cal. machine guns, and later bombs, rockets, and extra fuel. ( the fuselage full of ducts meant the Thunderbolt was never used as a photo recon plane like the Spitfire or Mustang. )
The Spitfire ( an early design ) went from 8, .303 caliber machine guns to 2, 20mm cannons plus 4, .303 machine guns and later 2, 20mm & 2, .50 caliber machine guns... then 4, 20mm cannons..... Luckily Rolls Royce was able to get more power out of the Merlin, and the Spitfire had a lot of stretch.
The Me-109 as it evolved got covered in bulges and fairings for bigger guns and engine bits. The later models were called "flying boils" by their pilots because of the drag producing bulges to allow larger machine guns. Lucky for Messerschmitt, The D-B engine series was developed into higher and higher power versions that helped compensate. The design didn't have the stretch the Spitfire did, but for political reasons, and some really bad decisions in the High command, was kept in production throughout the war.
So.... any Me-109 replica is going to have to be semi-scale to allow you to fit a human.
And..... because of the landing gear geometry, was a tricky devil to takeoff and land. The original prototype was Very narrow gear, and Messerschmitt was ordered to widen it, which he did by changing the angle... but it wasn't THAT much wider, and was made weaker by the change. Willy M. did NOT want to change to a wing mounted wide track gear, and was connected enough to get his way. ( the Me-109 was also designed to travel by truck and train with the wings removed and sitting on it's fuselage mounted gear )
Post war studies show that aprox. 50% of all Me-109's built crashed on takeoff or landing. Half. That HAD to have an effect on the war overall.
Still.. heck of a historical airplane, and would be an interesting project.
The Bf 109 aka ME-109 landing gear myth research thread. - Page 3:
The Bf-109 was primarily kept in production because of it's ease of production. It could be produced in about 5000 man-hours, which is 2/3rds that of the FW-190 and three times less than for the Spitfire. The only other fighter that comes close in terms of ease of construction was the P-51, probably using American production line techniques.The Bf 109 take-off swing was a very well known and notorious phenomenon. Already the external looks of the aircraft’s landing gear indicate that it is very easy to suspect it to be the culprit for the whole event. However, this is not the case. The swing is mainly caused by the the propeller slipstream which does not move backwards in a straight line along the fuselage but in a spiral path which is caused by the angle of the propeller blades to the aircraft’s center line. When this spiral airflow hits the tail, it tends to turn the rudder (seen from the back where the starboard and port sides of the aircraft are defined) to the right and the nose to the left. The swing can be compensated with an appropriate use of opposite rudder. If the tail is lifted too soon during the take-off, the propeller’s gyroscopic forces contribute to the left swing.
The narrow landing gear track creates the conditions for the swing: the brakes turn (prevent the swing) less effectively than with a wider track gear. The Bf 109 gear track is undeniably narrow ( Bf 109 E 1,97 m, 109 G 2,06 m, 109 K 2,1 m), but, for example, the Spitfire’s track is only 1,68 m. However, this is only a half of the case.
The other and decisevily important factor is the aircraft’s relatively rearward center of gravity. If the swing is allowed to develop, the rearward c.g. increases the swing and not even the highly regarded Messerschmitt brakes could no longer rectify the situation. If the pilot at this stage closes the throttle, it increases the swing still and the inevitable will happen: the landing gear collapses. In reality the process is also very quick. In addition it must be said that although the take-off swing is well-known and notorious, almost as many accidents took place during landings when the aircraft was allowed to swing.
The Bf 109 landing gear has been blamed for the swing without a cause. The real reason has been between the stick and the seat. The whole swing problem was a mere instructional mistake. The pilots should have been made to adopt one golden rule: the Messerschmitt Bf 109 must be steered to go absolutely straight during the ground run in take-off and landing and any tendency to swing must be corrected immediately with a well-timed use of the brakes and/or the rudder.
In short the aircraft had a bit of tendency to swing unless caught early, and the cause was the lack of directional stabilitiy of the aircraft. This was continously improved through the war by introducing :
- larger mainwheel tires
- larger tailwheel tires for better traction on ground
- change of main wheel mounting angle to near-vertical (-> kidney bulges originate to the change of angle, not tire size!, that why they're so shaped!)
- enlarged tail
- tall tailwheel
In any case, the late war 109 was still a formidable opponent, especially in its primary role as an air superiority fighter. For fighter vs fighter combat, its basic armament of two 13mm (50cal) and one 30mm cannon (with each round containing high explosive equivalent to one Mk2 pineapple grenade) was more than sufficient.
In the last model, the K-4, the DB605 engine pushed the fighter to 720km/hr (447mph), making it roughly on par with late mark Spitfires and Mustangs, though the control forces were unbearable at those speeds. Not bad for an airplane which was at that point being produced in caves and basements...
Thank you. I'd rather get it right than win an argument.
I do notice some disagreement with the stats on ground losses. My information iirc was from a magazine article...... so salt is suggested.
I keep finding articles in current aviation magazines that ring a bell in my head. I have found several articles that are obvious theft from ones published in the 1970's -90's in "Wings/Airpower" with multiple paragraphs verbatim.
Yes a lot of fighters were written off in training. The P-40 killed a lot of pilots in landing area spin accidents in the US but was well liked in combat theaters...... except for complaints about climb rate and ceiling.
Many WW2 German aces have commented on the Me-109's swing. All thought it was something you just deal with using proper technique. Slow advance of throttle., etc. All also comment about training standards slipping as the war went on.
Half....33%...... still high numbers. That is losing a major part of your air force with little result.
Ground handling was a bear in the modern sense. I have a book that has a pirep on flying the BF109, and it makes for an interesting read. Especially when dealing with takeoff course deviations due to gusts. It specifically says, only arrest the deviation. DO NOT attempt to return to the original course or a ground loop will result. Also mentioned not landing in a cross wind. Kind of a bummer on a narrow runway. Just remember that German airfields were square, and you could always land and take-off into the wind. You also did not have to worry about returning to your original course, because you had a whole field. Another thing to remember is the original design spec. requires that it fit in a German freight car (smaller than a US car) The wings are designed to be easily removed and the fuselage sits on the gear. The engine, landing gear, and wings all share the same attach point. Very sound engineering design. The BF 109 was also a designed as a short range interceptor, not a bomber escort.
Very often these things must be put into context to make sense.