Bf 109 Versuchs clarification

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by nuuumannn, Feb 1, 2015.

  1. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2011
    Messages:
    3,743
    Likes Received:
    439
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Engineer
    Location:
    Nelson
    Hi Guys,

    Whilst doing some reading about the early Bf 109s, I've come across some discrepancies surrounding the very early prototypes and their designations etc, particularly the V3 and V4 models, their armament and registrations. My understanding and there are a number of sources that support this, including here: The Bf 109 in Spain that the Bf 109V3 was the first fitted with a centrally mounted gun, either an MG 17 or MG FF and was registered D-IOQY. There is an oft repeated image of this aircraft in flight showing its sawn off spinner on the page I provided the link to.

    The Putnam book German Aircraft of the Second World War by J.R. Smith and Anthony Kay states that the Bf 109V3 was in fact D-IHNY and was "generally similar to the V2" and that the V4 was D-IOQY and fitted with the MG FF. I have also seen this claim made by William Green, although in his book The Augsburg Eagle a Documentary History Messerschmitt Bf 109 he captions the afforementioned image as the V3. I have also seen reference online - not alays to be trusted - that the V4 was the first fitted with the centre mounted gun.

    Any clarification of these two aircraft would be appreciated, thanks.
     
  2. Milosh

    Milosh Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2009
    Messages:
    1,919
    Likes Received:
    96
    Trophy Points:
    48
    V1 WNr 758 D-IABI
    V2 WNr 759 D-IILU
    V3 WNr 760 D-IOQY
    V4 WNr 878 D-IALY

    V3 was suppose to have an engine mounted cannon but there was problems with the MG C/30L

    Radinger/Schick Bf109 A-E
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2009
    Messages:
    7,525
    Likes Received:
    947
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Agree with Milosh. In many ways the V3 represented the first Bf 109 representative of a production machine.
    Cheers
    Steve
     
  4. Denniss

    Denniss Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2006
    Messages:
    835
    Likes Received:
    46
    Trophy Points:
    28
    V3 was the first amed 109, the cannon never really worked in this installation so they replaced it with a MG but testing in Spain proved its unreliability there too and led to its removal.
     
  5. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2011
    Messages:
    3,743
    Likes Received:
    439
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Engineer
    Location:
    Nelson
    Thank you guys, pretty much confirmed what I thought. Different sources have different answers and even on line there are references to the V4 being armed with the centre cannon.
     
  6. Denniss

    Denniss Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2006
    Messages:
    835
    Likes Received:
    46
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Remember the gun they were initially testing was the MG C/30 and this was a derivative of the Flak 30. This gun was longer and heavier than the later guns + has a much higher recoil.
    Teh configuration of the early protoy and A-0 was rather fluid as they experimented with and reconfigured a lot on them.
     
  7. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2011
    Messages:
    3,743
    Likes Received:
    439
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Engineer
    Location:
    Nelson
    Thanks for the extra information Denniss. I'm writing a brief article, around 3,000 words on the Bf 109 since its 80 years since its first flight this year. Having a look through my books and articles, I've found much conflicting information and it is quite surprising the variations of information on the Bf 109 out there and considering how much is actually inaccurate. There are still sources that claim that Emils had the centrally mounted cannon, but this is not true. I read in an overview of the Bf 109 in a normally informative aviation magazine that the V-4 was fitted with the centrally mounted gun and that the Clara-2 was also fitted as such and served in Spain, but that's not true as the C-2 was a project only and was not built - this was published a couple of years ago by an author who should know better.

    From what I know about the Bf 109V3, it went to Tablada airfield in Spain in December 1936, but was ground looped whilst taxying on its first test flight, exytensively damaging it. Hannes Trautloft was to fly it, but later flew the V4 instead.

    A couple of images of my own that I'm using in the article.

    Bf 109E-4 Wk Nr 4101 on display at the RAF Museum, note the Fiat CR-42 in the background.

    [​IMG]

    Bf 109G-2, the famous 'Black 6', both at Duxford during its brief airshow flying career and on display at the RAF Museum.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  8. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2009
    Messages:
    7,525
    Likes Received:
    947
    Trophy Points:
    113
    I understand that Trautloft drove down from Vittoria, arriving on 11th December, to fly the V4 (W.Nr. 878, D-IALY). It was the V4 that was wrecked, by Lt. Erwin Kley on the 10th, and Trautloft had to wait to fly V3 on the 14th.

    Trautloft spent eight weeks assessing the V3.

    Some confusion arises because the V3 was initially coded 6-2 but later 6-1. To add to the confusion V-6 was also re-coded 6-2 (originally 6-3). It seems they shuffled down after Kley's accident in the V4, the original 6-1.

    You can always identify V-3 in Spain as it was the last prototype fitted with the pitot on the starboard side just forward of the cockpit.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  9. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2011
    Messages:
    3,743
    Likes Received:
    439
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Engineer
    Location:
    Nelson
    Aah, Thanks Steve, thus opening up another can of worms. I have seen this version in books too, but the same as what listed the V4 as being fitted with the centre mounted gun, so paid it little mind. So it was the V4 that was damaged and not the V3. Even the Bf 109 in Spain website attempts to describe the markings issue. A number of different sites have variations of this. What is your source of info on the Versuchs aircraft's movements, might I ask? For clarification, I'm looking for good sources on Bf 109 Versuchs info.
     
  10. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2009
    Messages:
    7,525
    Likes Received:
    947
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Lynn Ritger.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  11. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2011
    Messages:
    3,743
    Likes Received:
    439
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Engineer
    Location:
    Nelson
    Lynn Ritger? A particular book or research paper? Public access or research only?
     
  12. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2009
    Messages:
    7,525
    Likes Received:
    947
    Trophy Points:
    113
    He gives a run down of the V types in his 'Bf 109 Part 1: Prototype to 'E' Variants' (SAM publications). It was published in 2005 making it one of the most recent appreciations of the rather convoluted topic! I think from the text he has referred to Prien (and others) 'Die Jagdfliegerverbande der Deutschen Luftwaffe 1934 bis 1945' amongst others.

    I've just had a look at Loreau's 'Condor - The Luftwaffe in Spain 1936-1939' and he has Kley crashing the V3 on 10th December. He then has Trautloft flying the V4 with Rehahn flying a presumably fixed V3, all in December.
    I'm not sure this version adds up and I also believe Ritger based his version on positive identification of the V3 in photographs.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  13. Milosh

    Milosh Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2009
    Messages:
    1,919
    Likes Received:
    96
    Trophy Points:
    48
  14. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    Messages:
    7,892
    Likes Received:
    637
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Long Island, New York
    A bit off topic, but I read years ago while building a car park or some such structure in Germany, the construction workers found the remains of Bf 109 V13. Does anyone remember this?
     
  15. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2011
    Messages:
    3,743
    Likes Received:
    439
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Engineer
    Location:
    Nelson
    Thanks Steve, very useful. I'm still surprised at the amount of misinformation out there and the sheer number of versions of the same story. Taking a look around the net, there doesn't seem to be many images of the Versuchs machines out there. My understanding was that the V3 was badly damaged in the ground loop, although it was the V4 according to Ritger and that the V4 eventually returned to Germany, presumably this was the V3 also? So does that mean the V4 was not flown after its ground incident?

    Take a read of my first post for your answer, Milosh. I saw that site before I came and asked the question, taking it to have an informed answer, but I wanted to check up if anyone here had recent published works on the subject matter that would support these views.
     
  16. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2009
    Messages:
    7,525
    Likes Received:
    947
    Trophy Points:
    113
    We are really just looking at different interpretations of the same, limited facts. I'm not sure we will ever be able to say for sure what and which was what! At the moment I favour Ritger's narrative, but I reserve the right to change my mind :)

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  17. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2011
    Messages:
    3,743
    Likes Received:
    439
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Engineer
    Location:
    Nelson
    Good approach... A bit like mine :)

    Just remembered I have a copy of Condor and had a look. V3 as you stated and destroyed in accident 11/2/37, Lt Paul Rehahn. According to Howson in Putnam's Aircraft of the Spanish Civil War Trautloft was ordered to go fly the V3 at Tablada on 9 December but it had already been damaged and the V4 was ready on 14 December, but owing to teething troubles, exactly one month later Trautloft flew the V4 to Madrid sector. The book states the V3, '4 and '5 were returned to Augsburg in February 1937.

    The website Bf 109 in Spain supports the view that the V4 was destroyed shortly after arrival and there are two pictures of what could be the V3 judging by its distinctive windscreen wearing a skull and cross bones, although it has a different spinner, possibly because the use of the centre gun was so troubled it was decided not to use it? A guesstimation on my part, why else would the spinner cap be added? Those guys seem to have put a considerable amount of research into these aircraft at any rate. The plot thickens...
     
  18. bobbysocks

    bobbysocks Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2010
    Messages:
    3,811
    Likes Received:
    181
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    nuuumannn, when you get your article done i would like to read it...and maybe post it on a gaming forum i belong to.
     
  19. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2011
    Messages:
    3,743
    Likes Received:
    439
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Engineer
    Location:
    Nelson
    Bobbysocks, sent you a PM.
     
Loading...
Similar Threads
  1. apelandet15
    Replies:
    7
    Views:
    1,565
  2. Riddler91
    Replies:
    4
    Views:
    1,350
  3. Lucky13
    Replies:
    20
    Views:
    2,897
  4. MichaelHenley
    Replies:
    19
    Views:
    14,636
  5. Camarogenius
    Replies:
    50
    Views:
    5,209

Share This Page