The Messerschmitt Bf 109, often called Me 109, was a German World War II fighter aircraft designed by Willy Messerschmitt and Robert Lusser during the early to mid 1930s. It was one of the first true modern fighters of the era, including such features as an all-metal monocoque construction, a closed canopy, a retractable landing gear, and was powered by liquid-cooled, inverted-V12 aero engines. The Bf 109 first saw operational service during the Spanish Civil War and was still in service at the dawn of the jet age at the end of World War II, during which time it was the backbone of the Luftwaffe's fighter force. From the end of 1941 the Bf 109 was supplemented by the Focke-Wulf Fw 190. The Royal Hungarian Air Force operated three D-1s, 50 E-3/-4s, 66 F-4s and ~490 G-2/-4/-6/-8/-10/-14s.
Last edited by gekho; 03-16-2013 at 09:55 AM.
Like the Germans, Hungary had stiff regulations imposed on her armed forces with the signing of the Treaty of Trianon. In August 1938, the armed forces were re-formed, and with Austria (historically her partner for centuries) being incorporated into Germany, Hungary found herself in the German sphere. One of the highest priorities for the forces was to re-equip the MKHL as soon as possible. Of the various aircraft being considered, the He 112B eventually won out over the competition, and on 7 September, an order was placed for 36 aircraft. The Heinkel production line was just starting, and with Japan and Spain in the queue, it would be some time before the aircraft could be delivered. Repeated pleas to be moved to the top of the queue failed. Germany had to refuse the first order at the beginning of 1939 because of its claimed neutrality in the Hungarian/Romanian dispute over Transylvania. In addition, the RLM refused to license the 20 mm MG FF cannon to the Hungarians, likely as a form of political pressure. This later insult did not cause a problem, because they planned to replace it with the locally-designed 20 mm Danuvia cannon anyway.
V9 was sent to Hungary as a demonstrator after a tour of Romania, and arrived on 5 February 1939. It was test flown by a number of pilots over the next week, and on 14 February, they replaced the propeller with a new three-bladed Junkers design (licensed from Hamilton). While being tested against a CR.32 that day, V9 crashed. On 10 March, a new He 112 B-1/U2 arrived to replace the V9 and was flown by a number of pilots at different fighter units. It was during this time that the Hungarian pilots started to complain about the underpowered engine, as they found that they could only reach a top speed of 430 km/h (270 mph) with the Jumo 210Ea. With the Japanese and Spanish orders filled, things were looking up for Hungary. However, at that point, Romania placed its order, and was placed at the front of the queue. It appeared that the Hungarian production machines might never arrive, so the MKHL started pressing for a license to build the aircraft locally. In May, the Hungarian Manfred-Weiss company in Budapest received the license for the aircraft, and on 1 June, an order was placed for 12 aircraft. Heinkel agreed to deliver a Jumo 210Ga-powered aircraft to serve as a pattern aircraft.
As it turns out, the He 112 B-2 was never delivered; two more of the B-1/U2s with the Jumo 210Ea were sent instead. On arrival in Hungary, the 7.92 mm (.312 in) MG 17 machine guns were removed and replaced with the local 8 mm (.315 in) 39.M machine guns, and bomb racks were added. The resulting fit was similar to those originally ordered by Austria. Throughout this time, the complaints about the engines were being addressed by continued attempts to license one of the newer 30 L (1,831 in³)-class engines, the Junkers Jumo 211A or the DB 600Aa. Late in March, the He 100 V8 took the world absolute speed record, but in stories about the record attempt, the aircraft was referred to as the He 112U. Upon hearing of the record, the Hungarians decided to switch production to this "new version" of the 112, which was based on the newer engines. Then in August, the Commander-in-Chief of the MKHL recommended that the 112 be purchased as the standard fighter for Hungary (although likely referring to the earlier versions, not the "112U").
At this point, the engine issue came to a head. It was clear that no production line aircraft would ever reach Hungary, and now that the war was underway, the RLM was refusing to allow their export anyway. Shipments of the Jumo 211 or DB 601 were not even able to fulfill German needs, so export of the engine for locally built airframes was likewise out of the question. By September, the ongoing negotiations with the RLM for the license to build the engines locally stalled, and as a result, the MKHL ordered Manfred-Weiss to stop tooling up for the production line aircraft. The license was eventually canceled in December. The MKHL turned to the Italians and purchased the Fiat CR.32 and Reggiane Re.2000. The later would be the backbone of the MKHL for much of the war.
Nevertheless, the three He 112 B-1/U2 aircraft continued to serve on. In the summer of 1940, tensions with Romania over Transylvania started to heat up again and the entire MKHL was placed on alert on 27 June. On 21 August, the He 112s were moved forward to the Debrecen airfield to protect a vital railway link. The next week, a peaceful resolution was found, and the settlement was signed in Vienna on 30 August. The He 112s returned home the following week. By 1941, the aircraft were ostensibly assigned to defend the Manfred-Weiss plant, but were actually used for training. When Allied bomber raids started in the spring of 1944, the aircraft were no longer airworthy, and it appears all were destroyed in a massive raid on the Budapest-Ferihegy airport on 9 August 1944.
After the licensed production of the He 112B fell through in 1939, the plan was to switch the production line to build a Manfred-Weiss-designed aircraft called the W.M.23 Ezüst Nyíl ("Silver Arrow"). The aircraft was basically a He 112B adapted to local construction; the wings were wooden versions of the He 112's planform, the fuselage was made of plywood over a steel frame, and the engine was a licensed version of the 746 kW (1,000 hp)-class Gnome-Rhone Mistral-Major radial. It would seem that this "simplified" aircraft would be inferior to the He 112, but in fact the higher-powered engine made all the difference and the W.M.23 proved to be considerably faster than the He 112. Nevertheless, work proceeded slowly and only one prototype was built. The project was eventually canceled outright when the prototype crashed in early 1942. It is still a mystery why so little work had been done in those two years on what appeared to be an excellent design.
The Do 215 was a version of the Do 17Z with DB 601 engines. The first aircraft built were intended for export to Sweden, but never delivered. The Do 215 was used by the Luftwaffe in night bomber, reconnaissance and nightfighter versions. Two were delivered to the USSR in 1940, and in 1942 four were handed over to Hungary.
The aircraft in the top picture is actually Do-17E I believe. The second is Do-215.
The Heinkel He 46 was a short-range reconnaissance and army co-operation aircraft that was designed as a biplane but entered service as a parasol wing monoplane. It was one of a number of Heinkel aircraft designed in the early 1930s, before Hitler came to power, before becoming important in the newly public Luftwaffe. The first prototype, the He 46a, was an unequal-span single-bay biplane with a small lower wing. It was otherwise a conventional biplane, with a metal framework and fabric covering, and a slightly swept back upper wing, powered by a 450hp Siemens-built Bristol Jupiter radial engine. The He 46a made its maiden flight late in 1931, and was followed early in 1932 by the He 46b. The aircraft handled well, but the small lower wing restricted the downward view, a major handicap in a reconnaissance aircraft, and so it was decided to change the aircraft into a parasol monoplane. The lower wing was removed, and the upper wing was increased in length by 8ft 2 ½ in, and attached to the fuselage with strut-braces. The He 46a was also given a more powerful engine, the 660hp Siemens SAM 22B (later Bramo 322B) nine-cylinder radial.
A third prototype followed in 1932, the He 46c, with the more powerful Seimens engine, the monoplane configuration, normal operational equipment and a single 7.9mm MG 15 machine gun mounted in the rear cockpit. Production began with the He 46C-1. This was similar to the 46c, but with the ability to carry either a camera or 440lb of small bombs under the rear cockpit. This was followed by six pre-production He 46D-0s, with a number of minor changes, and by the He 46E-1, which introduced a NACA engine cowling that increased maximum speed by 16mph but that made maintenance rather more difficult and was often removed. A small number of He 46Fs were built, powered by the 560hp Armstrong Siddeley Panther, and were used by training units. The Hungarian aircraft took part in the invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, equipping the 1st Short-Range Reconnaissance Squadron, and with the 3/2 Short-Range Reconnaissance Squadron in 1942. The Hungarian aircraft were also used as bombers, before being replaced with the Focke-Wulfe 189 during 1943.
The PZL P.11 was a Polish fighter aircraft, designed in the early 1930s by PZL in Warsaw. It was briefly considered to be the most advanced fighter aircraft design in the world. The PZL P.11 served as Poland's primary fighter defence in the Polish campaign of 1939, but by that point was outdated due to rapid advances in aircraft design. The Hungarian Air Force operated one ex-Polish Air Force PZL P.11a evacuated on 23 September 1939.
The Heinkel He 170 was an export version of the military version of the high speed He 70, originally designed as a prestige airline for Lufthansa. The He 170 was very similar to the military versions of the He 70, but with a much more powerful engine. The BMW engine of the He 70 was replaced with a 910hp Gnome-Rhône 14K Mistral-Major fourteen-cylinder radial air cooled engine, produced under licence as the Manfred Weiss WM-K-14. The engine was enclosed in a circular cowling, giving the He 170 a very different appearance to the 'hunch-nosed' He 70. The new engines raised the top speed of the aircraft from 224 to 270mph. The prototype He 170 made its maiden flight in 1937. It was followed by eighteen production aircraft, which were delivered to Hungary in 1937-38, and entered service with I Independent Long-Range Reconnaissance Group in Carpatho-Ruthenia in March 1939.
In the summer of 1941 the Hungarians took part in the German attack on the Soviet Union. The He 170 saw a short period of front line service, starting on 27 June 1941. It quickly became clear that it was not fit for military service even this early in the war on the Eastern Front. It was badly under-armed, with only two machine guns, and the wooden wings were seen as a fire risk. As with the He 70 the elliptical wings and low cockpit room limited its usefulness as a reconnaissance aircraft, and it was withdrawn from the front line in July
By 1932, the German airline, Lufthansa, had sufficiently recovered from the economic woes of the 1920’s to put in service a three-engine civil transport plane, the Junkers Ju 52/3m. Based on a short-lived single engine model, the Ju 52 first flew in April 1931 and quickly became the workhorse of both the airline and the reviving Luftwaffe, with a standard passenger-carrying load of 17. With three BMW engines of 725 horsepower each, the Ju 52 had a maximum speed of 171 mph and a range of 800 miles. For air defense and tactical ground support the bomber carried two 7.92 machineguns and could be fitted with a variety of bomb racks as the need arose; the plane's trademark corrugated skin produced a very solid airframe.
By the beginning of the 1930s, Germany was starting to show its discontent with the Treaty of Versailles which did not permit either powered flight or military development. Thousands of pilots had been trained in the Hitler Youth Glider Clubs, those that would become the top scoring pilots of all times, such as the highest scoring fighter pilot in history, Erich ‘Bubi’ Hartman. A powered airplane was needed for them to keep progressing. Here is where the story of the 'Jungmann' began. To avoid an obvious violation of the Treaty, Germany invested in over-seas companies, such as SAAB, a Swedish subsidiary of the Heinkel company, then managed by Carl Clemens Bücker. Once it was obvious this plan wasn´t working out, Germany started acting more openly and moved the manufacture of aircraft back to Germany. Bücker moved back to his native country and brought Anders Andersson, a Swedish engineer at SAAB, with him.
Rather than working again for Heinkel, and foreseeing what was about to take place in Germany, Bücker decided to start his own company, ‘Bücker Flugzeugbau GmbH’ . Within six months of the requirements for a new powered trainer being issued, Anders Andersson had the prototype Bü 131A ‘Jungmann’, registered D-3150 and powered by a 80HP Hirth HM-60R, ready for its test flight. A light aerobatic biplane, with two seats in tandem, its construction incorporated the most innovative techniques. It was April the 27th 1934, and Joachim Von Köpen was at the stick.
A really advanced, light and completely new design, docile and easy to fly for the new pilot, the 'Jungmann' was also sturdy to tolerate his mistreatment, relatively simple to mass produce, thanks to details such as interchangeable upper and lower wing with constant chord; yet aerobatic and agile thanks to its four ailerons, with a 12G limit and responding to any request from the pilot smoothly and effortlessly, being able to go through all the aerobatic maneuvers of the time. By the end of the year, the demands of the DLV were so great that Bücker moved his factory to Rangsdorf, on the outskirts of Berlin. Out of its "secret" existence by 1936, the Luftwaffe adopted the airplane officially as its basic primary trainer. The Bü 131B was born with a more powerful engine, the 105 to 110HP Hirth HM-504, a decisive factor that increased its already excellent performances. That was also to be the export version. Appreciating its capabilities, orders were placed by different international governments whose orders were initially filled. Soon the orders began to eclipse the capabilities of the factory, so licenses were granted, first to Switzerland, then Czechoslovakia, Japan, Hungary and Spain.
Hungary received ten Ju-87B-2s in 1941, though these machines were only used for training. The Hungarians received at least 12 D-series machines in 1942 and 1943, using them against the Soviets beginning in August 1943. They were badly cut up in combat, leading to the withdrawal of these squadrons in October. The Hungarian Stuka force was re-formed and thrown back into the fight against the Red Army in June 1944, but within two months the Hungarians had begun to transition to the schlacht FW-190.