Allied tests of captured Bf-109's

Discussion in 'Polls' started by Soren, Mar 22, 2008.

  1. Soren

    Soren Banned

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    Well since another thread was closed whilst this issue was being discussed I thought it be an idea to have a thread for this issue specifically.

    Now, and this goes to all sides, no snide remarks as the mods don't like it nomatter if it's just or unjust. We can discuss this matter without having to resort to name calling.

    Onwards;

    _______________________________________

    Glider,

    Eventhough Bill claims you have put things into context you really havent;

    As explained the jolt/snatch and disturbance to the flight path was eliminated with the introduction of the F series, and thus the comment about the 109 being "Embarrased by its slots opening near the stall" can't have been refering to this. (Would've been a very odd way of refering to such regardless!) The comment only serves as the clear sign that the a/c wasn't flown to its limits, something which isn't unnormal as it was a foreign a/c with some unfamiliar advanced features not seen on any British a/c at the time.

    Dave Southwood, 109 pilot:
    "One interesting feature is the leading edge slats. When these deploy at low speeds or in a turn, a 'clunk' can be heard and felt, but there is no disturbance to the aircraft about any axis. I understand that the Bf109E rolled violently as the slats deployed, and I am curious to know the difference to the Gustav that caused this."
    "


    As further evidence the German, Soviet Finnish tests with the 109 all confirm the fact that the British didn't push their captured 109's to their limits. And then there's all the modern day pilots who fly the Bf-109 today confirming this as-well, all saying without a doubt that the Bf-109 Spitfire are VERY close when it comes to turn performance, AND that the P-51 is hoplessly behind by comparison.

    And finally there's the aerodynamics, which fully prove that the British did NOT fly their captured 109's to the limit, even the most basic aerodynamics support this. (And when I'm talking basic I'm talking Wing-loading power-loading alone)

    So you haven't put anything into context Glider, eventhough Bill oddly claims you have. Surely you must see this as-well now.
     
  2. claidemore

    claidemore Member

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    Hi Soren,
    Thanks for starting this discussion again, I was thinking about doing the same thing myself.

    Like you, I also hope that everyone can leave out the little insults and shots. Even if we never agree on something, we can still respect the other persons right to have a different opinion, no matter how boneheaded we think it is! :D

    One bone of contention seems to be the "embarrassed by the opening of its slats" quote. This sentance is written in typically confusing British parlance of the 1940s, something that is often hard to understand except by Brits from that generation. It's a poor turn of a phrase IMO.

    Soren your interpretaion of the statement is assuming the word means "to humiliate" which isn't used in proper english to refer to an inanimate object like a plane. You can humiliate or embarrass a person, but not an object.

    The word embarrassed has several different meanings. The definition that I believe applies in this case, according to Websters dicitonary, would be 3: to make intricate, complicated.

    A better choice of words would have been; "The 109 is complicated by the opening of its slats."

    This agrees with the other quotes from the tests posted by others, where the pilots talk about flying the plane past deployment of the slats.


    I believe Hunter asked which pilots flew the plane in the AFDU trials.
    Flt. Lt. Lew Lewendon was the primary pilot, and the one who had the least trouble with the plane. (this was the 109G2 captured in North Africa and known as Black 6)
    It was also flown by Flg Offc. Doug Gough, FO Jack Staples and FO Lewis-Watts and Flt Lt. Dick Forbes.

    Black 6 was flown in a tactical trial against a Spitfire VC while still in the Middle East, and against a Tempest, Mustang III, Spitfire XIV, Corsair, Hellcat, and a Seafire III with AFDU in England.

    The results in the 1944 AFDU trials, showing the FW190 turning better than Black 6 are suspicious I agree. However, I don't think we can attribute those results to the test pilots. I think it is much more likely the fault of the plane itself, which had the ignition harness replaced after the test, had a few different propellers and had some parts that were cannibilized from a 109F and a second 109G2. The original engine had low hours though.

    If we are to say that the 1944 tests are not indicative of the actual performance of the airplane, I think the condition of the plane would carry more weight than the test pilots.

    Going back to the 109E tests done at RAE, they came up with a turn radius of 885 feet at 12,000 ft alt. The Baubeschreibung document gives us 557 ft at Sea Level and 1050 feet at 6000meters alt. If you plot those three radius figures on a graph, you get a nice neat line, indicating that all three numbers are relavant and reasonably accurate for the altitudes they represent.
     
  3. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    Hi Soren.
    The test pilot reports explain what happens when the slats are deployed and most importantly what happens when you continue to fly the aircraft past the deployment. Indeed one even reports what happens when the stall occurs when the turn has continued past the deployment.
    This alone proves that the British Pilots didn't stop when the slats deployed.

    Re the planes being embarrased by the deployement of the slats this seems to have been accepted in the 109E as common.
    The same comment about the later versions we simply don't know why it happened. All we do know is that the pilot experienced this when flying the aircraft, sufficient for him to report the sensation in his report. He had no reason to make it up, or exagerate anything so the only conclusion is that it happened.
    There are two obvious potential explanations:-
    a) There was a problem with the aircraft at the time,
    b) Something in the way that the pilot approached the turn could have made one wing stall before the other, not uncommon in a tight turn. The deployment of one slat before the other would almost inevitably had some reaction.
    There may well be another reason, we simply don't know.

    As mentioned by a number of people the height of the test is an important factor, what doesn't get the same publicity is the speed at which the aircraft are travelling.
    At low speed I don't think that anyone would deny that the 109 had a good rate of turn but it does seem to be more suseptable to problems at high speed, even against the P51. The tests don't generally tell you what speed the aircraft were going and this may be a factor in the results.
     
  4. Kurfürst

    Kurfürst Banned

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    109E and early F had the slats operated by wing arms, the late F and all G series had it deployed by bearings, probably hence the much smoother operation noted by Southwood on the G-2. Changes in the K also had the slats made out of steel.

    Condition of the aircraft is an interesting thing, as all the 109 tested by the Brits were in damaged state; the 109E WNr 1304 was captured by the French after it belly landed behind the lines, and had some engine troubles with the oil; the F-2 they had a similiar story, but was probably in the worst shape of all; I believe they got a belly landed F-4, but I have no details of it; the G-2/trop Black Six was found in the desert in North Africa, with battle damage, splinters on the propeller and malfuncitioning radiator flaps.

    Only the G-6/U2 that landed in error in Britainwas in normal condition, however that one had gunpods, being a Wilde Sau nightfighter (and probably some service history and repairs/rebuilds behind it, given it supposed to be GM-1 carrier, yet had no GM-1 system and was issued to a Wilde Sau unit.. probably rebuilt as a normal Gustav after sustaining battle damage).

    @claidemore,

    Do you have more information on Black Six? I have two tests of it on my site, and I`d always love to give some background information about these captured planes..
     
  5. claidemore

    claidemore Member

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    Kurfurst:

    I have a pdf I found online that lists the history of Black 6, it gives dates, pilots who flew it etc. I'll send it to you if I can figure a way to do it via pm, or try to find the link again.

    Claidemore
     
  6. Hunter368

    Hunter368 Active Member

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    Perhaps the 109 is much like the P-38. Both good planes in the hands of a average pilot. But truely lethal in the hands of a expert who knew the limits of the plane and how to push those limits.

    Just a thought
     
  7. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    To all posters in this thread.

    Due to how all these other threads on this topic have gone, the first person to take this thread in the wrong direction will recieve a 3 day ban and the thread will be closed.

    I am tired of it and so are the other mods!
     
  8. Hunter368

    Hunter368 Active Member

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    Good idea Chris, we are tired of it also.
     
  9. claidemore

    claidemore Member

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    Totally agree.
    Seems only fair and just to take action against the individuals who cross the line.
    It would be nice if the thread could remain open for those who can remain civil and wish to continue the discussion and hopefully learn something.
     
  10. Soren

    Soren Banned

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    Glider,

    The RAE test pilots mentioned no such thing when flying the Emil, so something must have stopped them going any further in the later captured 109G. That the report itself says that the a/c was embarrased by the opening of its slots can only mean that the pilot didn't go past slat deployment, it's that simple, and there's no reason for complicating it. Also to support that this was the case two VERY experienced LW pilots explain that it was normal for new pilots in the type to be vary of the slats.

    Also don't confuse stalling a plane a low G's compared to stalling one at high G's. Stalling the 109 at low G's isn't what was scary to the new pilots in the type, it was the loud heavy jolt given in a high G maneuver which scared them.

    The fact that the British first tested the Emil is probably what caused them to be more cautious about the slats on the later types, as the Emil both suffered from a violent slat deployment as-well as the highly dangerous but frequent jamming of one of the slats, causing violent spins, something which would've undoubtedly scared any pilot and seriously did scare Rall.

    And to support this we have all the veteran modern 109 pilots as-well as aerodynamics.

    That having been said, both a/c were excellent fighters and the most closely matched of all fighters in terms of turn rate, roll rate, climb rate speed.
     
  11. kool kitty89

    kool kitty89 Well-Known Member

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    Kurfürst,
    Didn't you also mention that some of the British figures were calculated, not from tests?
     
  12. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    Does anybody seriously think Gunther Rall was 'afraid' of the Me 109?

    Does anybody have a reference that would leave them to believe this?

    If not, is anyone offended by the thought that a top German ace and one of the greatest wariors Germany had to offer is described 'as seriously afraid' of the leading edge slats on a 109?

    Jez curious why a statement like that would be accepted on this forum without some serious proof.

    Regards,

    Bill
     
  13. claidemore

    claidemore Member

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    Soren: Did you read my explanation of the word 'embarrassed' in my above post? I really think that statement is being taken completely out of context and AFAIK it was only mentioned in the trial vs the Tempest.
    The report is saying, "the turn of the 109 is complicated by the opening of its slats" , ie you have to be aware that your firing solution will be momentarily disturbed when they snap open, but that you can continue to turn tighter until you feel the 'juddering' indication of a stall. It is clearly stated in other parts of the test that the pilots flew the plane in turns past the opening of the slats. The word ''embarrassed is seldom used in that context in modern english, but in 1944, for educated british types, it was. I used to write for a newspaper, words were my stock in trade, trust me on this one. PLEASE! :D

    From the 1944 AFDU report on the 109G2:

    This statement though it does show the pilots flying the plane past opening of the slats, also shows a bit of nit-picking. They point out the possibility of losing aim during a turn as a deficit, but in fact it would be a minor problem easily and quickly corrected.

    From the RAE test of 109E in 1940:

    As we can see, they flew the plane in a very tight turn, and experienced a stall while doing it, (the slats had to be open if the plane stalled) and gave the 109 credit for a quite gentle stall.

    We have to remember here that we are talking about test pilots with hundreds or thousands of hours in many types of planes, not low time trainee pilots which would have been the case with most Luftwaffe pilots flying their first circuits in 109s. Don't forget, automatic slats are often called 'Handley Page slats', and Handley Page is British. Slats were not unknown technology.

    While I agree that the 109 should have shown better turn characteristics in the AFDU trials, I don't believe it was because of the pilots not flying the plane properly.

    BTW Black 6 had it's cannon removed while in the Middle East, and I've seen no indication that it was replaced, so the plane may have been even lighter than normal in the trials in 1944. It had one wing from another plane, had the oil cooler radiator wired open at one point, had the canopy fly off twice, as well as numerous other mechanical problems. The trial against the Tempest V had to be cut short, because carbon monozide was affecting the pilot (Lewendon). The problem was not mentioned in the subsequent trials.
     
  14. Soren

    Soren Banned

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    Claidemore,

    I'm more than familiar with the British language as I was raised with it, and embarrased means embarrased.

    That isn't from a test with a 109G2, it's from the RAE's tests with the Emil.

    And I repeat; The problem with the slats causing a jolt/snatch disturbance in the flight path as-well as jamming in high G turns was a problem only the Emil suffered, the problem was completely eliminated with the introduction of the F series.

    As for the Emil tested by the RAE well like I said, it suffered from not only being run with the wrong fuel but also from an already underperforming engine.
     
  15. kool kitty89

    kool kitty89 Well-Known Member

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    Soren,
    According to Kurfürst's last post the slat problems were still present on the initial Bf 109F as well and it was solved on later F models:
     
  16. Kurfürst

    Kurfürst Banned

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    This one is still from the 1940 RAE trials with the 109E, not with the G-2.

    Messerschmitt Me. 109 Handling and Manoeuvrability Tests BY M. B. MORGAN, M.A. and D. E. MORRIS, B.SC., September 1940. Section 4.6. Flying Controls,

    Which you will be soon able to read on my site in full anyway.

    Again the experience with and pecularities of the 109E in 1940 are getting mixed up with the 1944 trials with the 109G-2/trop.

    Its simple, really. In the September 1940 test, they had plenty of experience with the 109E, and found that, if its flown to the limits, they can turn with Spitfires, which were more harder to be flown to the limits because of its nastier stall and control characteristics.

    In the 1944 tests with the G-2 by AFDU, the pilot appears to be rather inexperienced with the type, he did not push the Gustav to its limits, reported that in turns he was emberassed by the opening of the slats, and probably eased back too early, leading to odd turn results.
     
  17. Kurfürst

    Kurfürst Banned

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    I am not sure if they still present with the early F model - the mechanism was similiar, but the slat design was already different, as was the wing, ailerons were now of the Friese type etc.

    Unfortunately, there are no 109F trials to shed light on the issue.
     
  18. lesofprimus

    lesofprimus Active Member

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    I dont think Mr. Rall was afraid of anything, let alone an aircraft he knew better than his own penis... Any pilot with Ralls experience would use any advantage his aircraft had over an opponent to maximum effectiveness...

    No hesitation...

    Efficiently....

    With deadly consequences....

    Ive met Gunther Rall in the past and it only solidified my feelings above... I bet that BS about him being afraid of the slats was started up by some Soviet Propagandaist....

    As far as all this trials stuff goes, let me ask a couple questions....

    Who here believes that an English Test Pilot Officer can fly a Bf 109EFG as effectively and expertly as Gunther Rall, or Theo Osterkamp, or Heinz Baer, or Erich Hartmann, or Von Bonin or Reschke or Kupinski or Graf????

    Is it possible to believe that the 109s in question, if they were operating perfectly under perfect conditions, with the best Test Pilot the Brits could provide, such as Flt. Lt. Lew Lewendon, would be flown better if a German Ace with 150+ kills to his credit, such as Walter Kupinski, were doing the maneuvers instead of someone who never really pushed the limits of the aircraft before???

    All these flight tests are subjective at best and really dont shed that much light on determining which performed "better"... I think its retarded to use a poorly performing, unserviced enemy aircraft to compare ur countries aircraft to in combat maneuvers...

    No matter how good Flt. Lt. Lew Lewendon was, or how much stick time he had accumulated, there is no way he flew any enemy aircraft to its limits....

    None...

    Thats comes from my Grandfathers own lips...
     
  19. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    Here is the 109 that was used to familiarize US fighter pilots - at Steeple Morden, Jan 1944.

    Below that are the 109/190 two seaters that my father got to fly at Gablingen in July-Sept 1945
     

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  20. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Slam dunk Dan!!!!
     
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