Me-109 elevators

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by syscom3, Apr 7, 2006.

  1. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2005
    Messages:
    12,631
    Likes Received:
    309
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    I received this in an e-mail.

    If anyone has contrary information or comments, let us know.

    Me 109 had among WW 2 fighters the lightest elevators
    at high speed, from the beginning to the end of war.
    They were so effective that the pilot could easily
    overstress the airframe (pull more than 8G turns). In
    fact in 1944 the elevator travel was reduced exactly
    because of that. More so, at high speed dive pull out,
    pilots were advised to use elevator trim with care,
    stop at every notch of the wheel, and not to force it,
    because this bent the tail surfaces. Remember, the
    elevator trim of German planes was very different than
    of Allied planes, and much more effective. Elevator
    trim moved the whole elevator not just a small tab on
    it. Having a small tab for trim is ok if you're not
    passing 400-500km/h, but once you're moving in
    transonic regime they are terribly inefficient, today
    ALL transonic planes use movable elevators for trim.

    For instance in a dive, a regular WW 2 fighter needed
    to be literally pushed in the dive, because of its
    natural tendency to nose up and pull out of the dive -
    the pilot had to keep the stick pushed forward to the
    max in a high speed dive. German fighter pilots never
    did that, they just had to adjust the trim for dive
    and leave the stick in neutral position. This is good
    because it eases the pilot effort, but it also means
    that stick is less effective on pull out – hence the
    Allied myth with the heavy controls, they did not know
    how fly this kind of plane. It was enough to return
    the trim in “tail heavy” configuration and pilot
    regains control of the plane. Even more so, if the
    speed is too high, he can still use elevator trim to
    adjust the effort in the stick, so much that he could
    initiate a 7G pull-out with NO pull on the stick.
    There is a high speed dive test that shows exactly
    this. I can post it if needed.

    About the ailerons. Yes, Me 109E had heavy ailerons at
    high speed, because before the war it was thought that
    fighting will be low speeds (you could still find
    biplanes as fighters at that time), these kind of
    ailerons that were very good at low speeds and very
    bad at high speeds, this was the norm for all pre-war
    fighters. But ailerons were modified for Me 109F (and
    later models), they were considerably reduced in size.
    This meant that they were heavier at lower speeds than
    those of Me 109E, but much lighter at high speeds.
    This happened for American planes too. Nowadays pilots
    often comment how unpleasant are Mustang’s ailerons
    compared with those of P-40, but they are basically
    talking about low speed (air show speeds) – if they
    would do high speed dives with Fw-190 on their tail,
    taking accurate shots, there is not doubt that they
    would chose Mustang for its light(er) controls at high
    speeds. Fw-190 did have better aileron control than
    all planes, small chord stiff wing (Fw-190 wing had 2
    spars for a very small chord), with control rods
    instead of cables (rods have no elasticity) translated
    in excellent aileron control at low and medium speeds.
    But at high speeds Fw-190 roll rate is nothing special
    compared with other late war fighters, including Me
    109 (F and later).

    As for Fw 190 being a better dogfighter than Me 109,
    that’s certainly not the case. Only certain Fw 190
    had performance comparable with that of Me 109 models
    produced in the same time frame. Fw 190 was a heavier
    airplane and better suited for more roles than Me 109,
    but dogfighting was not one of them. It was also
    better suited to Western Front, whereas Me 109 to
    Eastern Front, and they were used this way. That Fw
    190 was a more expensive plane to manufacture is not
    the reason why it was produced in smaller numbers than
    Me 109. Me 109 was required on Eastern Front, and
    since Eastern Front was the place that saw most of the
    activity of Luftwaffe fighters until mid 1944, it
    also meant that it was produced in larger numbers. The
    Me 109 was produced in many other factories than those
    of Focke Wulf. In fact both fighters were produced in
    much larger numbers than what Luftwaffe was able to
    use in 1944, because of its shortage of pilots and
    fuel.
     
  2. Twitch

    Twitch Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2006
    Messages:
    809
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Occupation:
    historical combat aviation writer
    Location:
    City of the Angels California
    Where ever this came from it certainly illustrates in part how silly these comparisons of fighters that never met are in that nothing in combat is equal or a parity. A plane going faster bouncing you will NOT be able to out turn you who are going a much slower speed, not even a Zero.
     
  3. KraziKanuK

    KraziKanuK Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2005
    Messages:
    792
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I think this person has confused the 109's elevator with the Spitfire's elevators.

    Trim was used because it took 2 hands on the stick to pull out of a high speed dive. The trim wheel of the 109 did not have any 'notches'.

    The 190 still out rolled the 109 at high speed. At 400mph the 190 did ~75degrees while the 109s was 1/2 of that.

    Good discussion on the 109 roll rate, http://forums.ubi.com/groupee/forums/a/tpc/f/63110913/m/8781087163/p/1

    The 190 had a low aspect wing in comparison to the 109.

    Granted, the trimable stab of both the 109 and 190, is a bonus over trim tabs. The 190s being better since the pilot only had to push a button. Btw, the trim wheel of the 109 had to make 4 complete revs for full up to full down trim.

    The ailerons of the 109 were always 'heavy'. Flettner tabs were tried to aleviate the force required but over contolling resulted.

    As an aside, the pilot of the P-51 was told not to use trim to pull out of a high speed dive.
     
  4. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Messages:
    23,203
    Likes Received:
    786
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Maintenance Manager/ Flight Instructor
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    Who wrote that?
     
  5. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2005
    Messages:
    12,631
    Likes Received:
    309
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    I received it in an e-mail. I have no clue who wrote it, and I take no responsibility for its accuracy.
     
  6. Jabberwocky

    Jabberwocky Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2005
    Messages:
    1,090
    Likes Received:
    16
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Teacher
    Location:
    Japan
    It was posted by Huck on the Axis History forums. I can't vouch for its accuracy either, but, from the information I have seen, it feels wrong.

    The FW-190 was noted for its agility in the rolling plane. Every German and Allies report I have confirms that.

    A German comparison of a 190A2 and a 109F4 carried out on 10 Dec, 1941 noted:

    "e.) Control Forces, Turns
    The Fw 190 A-2’s control forces were rated as low. Even at 700 km/h, the aircraft can be flown with acceptable control forces, unlike the Bf 109 F-4. Maneuverability is good, and noticeably superior to that of the Bf 109 F-4, especially in reversals and at higher speeds. The Fw 190 A-2’s rolling ability represents a significant advance, which will have positive effects in aerial combat. It has yet to be determined whether the Fw 190 turns tighter than the Bf 109."


    Further to that, discussions and data provided at the IL2 Forums, Aces High Forums, Luftwaffe Experten Message Board and the AAW forums seem to confirm that the 109G had a peak roll rate of about 70-90 degrees/second @ 260-280 IAS, while the 190A had a peak roll rate of around 160-180 degrees/second at 250-260 mph IAS, but was still rolling at 90 degrees a second past 350mph.

    Generally speaking, the 190A appears to have had a 50-80 degree/second roll rate advantage over the 109F/G/K. Pilot reports suggest that the 190D may of been slightly more agile in the rolling plane as well.

    A point to note is that the alieron balance could be upset relatively easily in the 190. If not kept in proper alignment and balance, the alierons on the 190 wouldn't deploy symetrically, slowing the roll rate markedly. The 1943 USN tests of a captured 190A5 were done with poorly adjusted alierons, and roll rate dropped back to about 80-90 degrees a second. Even though it it rolled no faster than the Corsair or Hellcat because the alierons were out of wack, the test notes that "The FW-190 rolls with extreeme ease, showing no excessive stick forces or tendencies to drop its nose"

    The only fighters that seem to have better roll performance than the 190A were the P-51, P-38 with boosted alierons and the Tempest V, and then only above about 375 mph indicated. Even these fighters all have peak roll rates in the 90-100 degrees/second range at best values, so couldn't be considered as manouverable or agile as the FW-190 in the rolling plane at slower dogfight speeds.

    For my money, the FW wasn't as good a classic dogfighter as the 109, simply because it wasn't designed to be a dogfighter in the classic sense. Instead of turning in circles and doing loops, the 190 was far more at home with power, speed, firepower, roll agility and team tactics. The 190 actually revolutionised air combat tactics in a huge way. No longer was it that the fighter with the best turn or the best rate of climb won that necessarily won the engagement. The 190 used its speed and agility to dictate the terms of the fight, and if things got nasty it could use its excellent dive and roll rate at high speed to break contact and go home for the day.
     
  7. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2005
    Messages:
    12,631
    Likes Received:
    309
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    I almost would agree with you, except the Flying Tigers in 1941 used those tactics to neutralize the Zero's advantages.
     
  8. Jabberwocky

    Jabberwocky Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2005
    Messages:
    1,090
    Likes Received:
    16
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Teacher
    Location:
    Japan
    In terms of pilot tactics i'll agree with you. However, in terms of aircraft design i'll chose to disagree.

    The P-40 was built as a dogfighter/turnfighter in the Spitfire, Me-109, D.520, Yak-1, A6M, Ki-43 vein. Emphais was still placed on lightness and horizontal manouverability, although the P-40 was very comfortable at high speeds and had good control forces. It was the outstanding manouverability of the Japanese fighters forced those tactics Tigers

    The FW-190 was built and designed as something different. It wasn't meant to be a turnfighter. Its combination of firepower, speed and high speed manuverability then went on to influence development of a new and sucessful generation of fighters: P-47, P-51, Tempest, Ki-44, J2M ect. All of these fighters sacrificed some part of turn performance for speed.

    Actually, the firepower/speed combination was a design appifiny that occured across the globe in a fairly small peroid of time right before the star of the war. If the Typhoon or the F4U had been cruising around the skies of northern Europe in early 1941, I might be saying exactly the same thing about them. Actually, if the USN had gotten the F4Us pumping out in mid 1940 instead of 1942, I think the rest of the world would of been flying them by the middle of 1941.
     
  9. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2004
    Messages:
    41,768
    Likes Received:
    684
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    A&P - Aircraft Technician
    Location:
    USA/Germany
    Wow I think they sort of have that all backwards up there.
     
  10. KraziKanuK

    KraziKanuK Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2005
    Messages:
    792
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Sys,
    to use the words from the Ubi Board, Huck/Huckebein_Fw is part of the Uber Twins, Barbarossa Isegrim/Kurfurst being the other twin. They got this nick because for them the Allied war equipment was always second rate and could not compete with the always superior German stuff. Kurfurst has a particular hate on for the British, particularily for the Spitfire, and is a fanatical lover of the 109. They are in complete denial that the German equipment was anything less than perfection personified.

    For the views of the Uber Twins read these 2 threads at AHF,

    http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=95567 (P-51 vs. German jets)
    http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=97075 (USAF pilot comments on Me 109 and FW 190)

    A search of the Ubi IL-2 forums will turn up simular threads.
     
  11. alejandro_

    alejandro_ Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    Messages:
    246
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    18
    The first article is quite confusing, it starts talking about elevators and finishes explaining the advantages of Fw-190 ailerons. Anyway, a few comments:

    Yes, apparently the Fletner tabs were locked in many Bf-109K because most pilots were not profficient at using them. There is an interesting discussion in the link below:

    http://www.allaboutwarfare.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=912&st=0

    There are some claims, based on pilot accounts, stating that the Bf-109G/K could outdive a P-51D, any comments on this?

    Regards.
     
  12. Twitch

    Twitch Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2006
    Messages:
    809
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Occupation:
    historical combat aviation writer
    Location:
    City of the Angels California
    The whole thing about combat is the fact that there is no parity. You do not begin an aerial combat as though it were a sporting event with coin flips and tea party manners. It really doesn't matter which elevator did what in the oblique engineering sense. What matters is how each pilot uses his hardware to its best advantage in a dynamic sense.

    Statements such as "the Zero would win a dogfight at under 300MPH." That's adsurd since who the hell is making rules to enforce a speed limit on both planes!!?? If a maneuverable plane was your opponent you wouldn't reduce speed and start turning. You would fight the energy fighter fight.

    Roll rates are utterly meaningless when taken as gospel proof that one plane could out roll another. It can't ALWAYS or at every speed. If 2 planes have equal turn radii at 220 MPH it doesn't mean they do at all velocities or altitudes. Published data from tests performed in a clinical environment is nothing more that a basis for discussion.

    There is way too much flight simulator "facts" that armchair pilots believe. Simulations provide only the most rudimentery form of input to the senses of aerial combat. Since there are absolutely zero pitch, yaw, roll or G forces it is only entertainment.

    Speed and altitude dictate advantages in combat. Again please note that a P-47 WILL out turn a Zero in many circumstances. If a Zeke bounces you coming down on your 5 o'clock at 320 MPH as you lope along at 225MPH when you see him you are going to break right since he can't follow your turn due to the disparity of velocity. A Zero is maneuverable but it can't always out turn its opponents.

    If any of you have read Samurai by Saburo Sakai you will know that IJN Zero pilots were not constantly looping, doing Immelmans and playing stunt pilot in combat. They made small control adjustments to bring the nose of their plane ahead of the enemy's. And they used energy tactics most of the time making one deliberate carefull pass from an altitude advantage to hit enemies. When any plane is 300 meters ahead of you on relatively equal speed terms it is quite easy to dial in lead. Staying attached to a thrashing enemy 50 meters ahead is another story left for WW I tactics.

    This is not to mean that many kills didn't take place at 50 meters. It means there was not flying circus of aerobatics unfolding in the sky. Oft times pilots swooped down from height advantage and opened up from a short distance and slew the enemy fighter at 50 meters, kept diving and zoomed up to gain advantage once more. They rarely were corkscrewing through the sky in some macabre stunt show death dance.

    Speed and climb rates are another thing that only seem to be decisive factors. Climb is NOT constant from runway to service ceiling. It varies. One plane will have an advantage during part of the climb performance envelope over another which may catch up and surpass it at greater height.

    Without a sizeable lead pilots didn't end combat by climbing away at their choosing to leave enemies in the proverbial dust.

    How far ahead and much of a disparity of top speed does a fighter need to just run away from an enemy in the 2-dimensional plane of reference? Just because you're 300 meters ahead in a plane with a 50 MPH advantage on the top end doesn't mean you can pure on the coal and walk away. Does the pursuer have an acceleration advantage even if your ship is ultimately faster? Is the altitude your combat is taking place at your optimum speed altitude or his? Is there enough altitude to dive away? Can your plane out run the enemy in a dive if there is? Simply because today you have a 50 MPH and 1 mile advantage over the enemy at 25,000 feet you can out dive him doesn't mean tomorrow you can from 15,000 feet at relatively the same speed.

    If the wacko writing anonymous emails actually knew anything about WW 2aerial combat he'd know better than to ponder whether the 109 or 190 could turn tighter- at what speed?- at what weight?- at what altitude? etc. This obsession with "dogfighting" is sad. There were no dogfights as most people imagine them in WW 2. It's the most misinterpreted faction of the air war there was. Simply because flight sim developers always model the Spitfire as the most dominantly maneuverable plane in the game doesn't mean it was so in any or all circumstances.

    This application of performance data as a valid aircraft versus aircraft comparison is the most flawed and juvenille pastime I've seen. This is the kind of thing me and my friends did when we were 10 years old. To throw in the phrase ".... which plane would win....with equal pilots?" is just bullshit because even equally skilled pilots have a vast reportoire of moves they can make in combat which prove no ascendency over the enemy in every application of those moves.

    Air combat is such a fluid and dynamic thing, a beautiful merge of human and machine that it is just sick to attempt to reduce it to a competition of dry statistics from a book.

    Clinical engineering-style test reports are not pilot combat narratives of what REALLY happened.
    [​IMG]
     
  13. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2005
    Messages:
    12,631
    Likes Received:
    309
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    Each airplane has unique flying characteristics. Its perfectly valid to compare aircraft performance to see which one looked better.

    Twitch, If you had a mock combat of a P47D-25 vs a P39 at 27,000 feet, and only had "paper figures" to refer to, I think you could easily guess which one was best.
     
  14. R988

    R988 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2005
    Messages:
    608
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Occupation:
    Office Gimp
    Location:
    Londonium
    well your anonymous emails are certainly more interesting than the ones I get asking if I wish to earn millions from dodgy nigerian deals, buy some fake swiss watches or some dodgy pharmaceuticals :laugh:
     
  15. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2005
    Messages:
    12,631
    Likes Received:
    309
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    I posted the e-mails because they were germane to this forum. I never claimed them to be true.
     
  16. gaussianum

    gaussianum Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    Messages:
    70
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    That's true, but we've come a long way with the advent of digital technologies. Weren't the first flight simulators just box-like cockpits with a stick and a couple of pedals? And they were used in flight training, weren't they? Were they considered just entertainment by pilot cadets? Did they swing those around as well as modern simulators do, to make the pilot experience G forces in a realistic way? I have a tough time believing it. How were pilots taught deflection shooting?

    But yes, home flight simulators are defective in the G-force department, no doubt about it.

    I think the main issue here is wether the Bf109 had heavy elevators or not. However, when it comes down to aircraft vs aircraft comparisons, I think that they cannot be considered inherently juvenile, generally speaking, since I think that every military aeronautical research team in the world has to make some kind of performance data evaluation, to decide what the best solution for a given problem. Naturally, the enemy's weapons must be evaluated, for the engineers to be able to build more efficient ones.

    Who builds planes after all? Is it the pilots? Or is it the engineers, the people with the knowledge and the creativity to build the machines in the first place?

    The engineers cannot rely on empirical/subjective data. They have to study and conduct performance evaluations. It's the only way to go.

    And sometimes people are more interested in the technological aspects of combat, than the combat itself. The reasons are obvious. The machine itself cannot kill anyone. The pilot can.

    No, it's not sick to study the flight performance of these machines. It's actually the healthiest thing on Earth. And even in a moral sense, it's a lot healthier than dwelling on events that resulted in killing of thousands of human lives.

    Noone can take away the pilots's place in history. They have it and they will always have it. Performance comparison should not be taken as something offensive. It's a totally different department.

    Best Regards
     
  17. gaussianum

    gaussianum Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    Messages:
    70
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    I think the credibility of Huck and Kurfurst is a non-issue. The substantiation of their claims is the real issue.

    I'll see if I will ask Huck for his sources. The elevator issue is very interesting.
     
  18. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Messages:
    23,203
    Likes Received:
    786
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Maintenance Manager/ Flight Instructor
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    Some good points made here - first of all in asking who the guy was who wrote the article Sys wrote, wanted me to see if this guy had an intimate knowledge of aircraft - let alone combat aircraft and as Twitch pointed out there was a lot of other denominators left out of that article. (Poor Sys - we really shot the messenger here! :lol: ) While this guy was saying how light the -109s elevators were, not once did he mention their relationship in a turn, and folks, airplane 101 - the elevators are used in a turn to maintain altitude and to tighten the radius of the turn - he also didn't mention the relationship to the other controls and how they were harmonized (or not). I've seen "White 14" (-109E) fly out of Mojave airport and spoke to the pilot (I think his name was Brown) and he told me the aircraft was a delight to fly, just a little confined and not the greatest field of vision, mind you you're getting this critique from a guy gingerly flying a priceless aircraft...

    Hearing first hand how an aircraft flies is better taken from the pilot - not some historian or internet models....

    In many cases talentented engineers with an open mind and an understanding what the end user wants, at least that's the way it should work...
     
  19. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2005
    Messages:
    7,636
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    niagara falls
    Qoute by Gausuniom
    "Weren't the first flight simulators just box-like cockpits with a stick and a couple of pedals? And they were used in flight training, weren't they? Were they considered just entertainment by pilot cadets? Did they swing those around as well as modern simulators do, to make the pilot experience G forces in a realistic way? I have a tough time believing it. "
    The simulators they used were called the Link Trainer and it was a very serious undertaking for the pilots in preparing for instrument training necessary for navigation at night or long distance over water or poor weather I tried it and it isn't easy at all its hard to keep the needle and ball centered and level yet very effective trainer
    http://www.starksravings.com/linktrainer/linktrainer.htm
    describes and shows the workings with a good breif description
     
  20. gaussianum

    gaussianum Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    Messages:
    70
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Very good link there Pbfoot. It seems that even the japanese used this flight simulator to train their pilots. And they were dead serious about their flight training.

    FlyboyJ, I doubt that the Messerschmitt's pilot, knowing how priceless this machine is, would take it to its limits, but his comment is certainly very interesting. He didn't say anything that you might recall, about its high-speed behaviour, did he?

    Best Regards
     
Loading...
Similar Threads
  1. rogerwilko
    Replies:
    4
    Views:
    485
  2. captlou
    Replies:
    13
    Views:
    1,337
  3. sunny91
    Replies:
    5
    Views:
    1,967
  4. sunny91
    Replies:
    1
    Views:
    1,582
  5. Camarogenius
    Replies:
    50
    Views:
    5,210

Share This Page