Red undercarriage legs on BF109G-10s?

Discussion in 'Aircraft Markings and Camouflage' started by von hahn, Sep 2, 2009.

  1. von hahn

    von hahn Member

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    Hi all,

    While researching a colour scheme for my latest project ( a BF109G-10 of 2./JG300, red 2 "Rita"), I noticed that quite a few 109G-10s had RED undercarriage legs. Does anybody know why the Luftwaffe did this?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    Some sources say that it was done to indicate machines with the DB/AS engine.As memory serves the Bf109G-10/AS wasn't in usagso it is possible that the maintenance team used the red because of the lack of RLM02 for instance. Or the Bf was G-14/AS but not G-10
     
  3. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

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    Wouldn't it have been easier to stencil DB/AS on each cowling cover? It would have addressed any paint shortages too.
     
  4. Ivan1GFP

    Ivan1GFP Member

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    This was done so that ground crew could identify at a distance aircraft that required higher octane (C3) fuel as opposed to standard (B4) fuel. It IS related to the engine installed, but many engines required C3 fuel.

    - Ivan.
     
  5. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    Taking Ivan1GFP's info into consideration as well.These red landing gear legs were better seen than any stencils what means the machines with the AS engines could be easier found for refueling.
     
  6. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

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    That's fair enough
    but even painting a disc, diamond or other on the cowling must have been simpler, less demanding on resources and just as effective.
    A modern example, the NATO socket on landrovers is, if I recall, approx 3 inches (8 cms) in diameter - not exactly massive. But from a significant distance you can tell if it's a 12V landrover (socket cap painted yellow) or a 24V landrover (socket cap painted blue).

    Personally, I think they painted the legs red so they could hide them in trees and pretend they were sparrows. :)
     
  7. von hahn

    von hahn Member

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    Thanks for the feedback! Just to throw another idea out there...was the red undercarrige no possibly an indication that the aircraft was equipped with the MW50 boost?
     
  8. beaupower32

    beaupower32 Well-Known Member

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    This shows a lineup of G-6/AS aircraft of II./JG27 at Fels am Wagram in August 1944. According to the Prien/Rodeike 109F-G-K book, the nearest aircraft is W.Nr. 412807 "gelbe 2", shot down near St. Pölten on 23 August 1944 with the pilot Uffz. Zimmerman being killed. "Weiße 5" behind it may be W.Nr. 412918, shot down near Holzminden on 16 August with the wounded pilot Uffz. Salinger escaping by parachute. And of course, we note the red legs and wheels, indicating this is (or was...) likely a G-6/AS aircraft.
     
  9. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

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    Legs are barely discernible
    wheel discs have a better visual impact though. How would that fare in long grass or fresh snow?

    Ho hum - it obviously worked! :)
     
  10. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    At any airfields grass has never been very longl.As far as the fresh snow is concerned any aircraft on wheels is not able to take off when the layer of snow is too high.That's way the snow on airfields was removed or packed on airstrips and taxiways , for example in Russia. And the MW50 instalation....for the reason almost all German a/c would have to have these legs red.
     
  11. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

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    Ideally, no
    but the RAF had to do it on occasion supporting the BEF so it's not inconceivable that the Luftwaffe had to do it once or twice themselves. Generally though, as regards long grass or snow, I was referring to when the planes have taxied off the main strip into areas that perhaps weren't so well cared for; this is after all where the ground crews are going to start seeking them out.
    History has shown that 'red legs' is the method chosen by the Luftwaffe, I am simply suggesting that a recognition mark, smaller and higher up the aircraft would have served all purposes better.
     
  12. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    Have you ever been to the military airfield ? I have been working at the airfield for sixteen years.A military airfield is not like a flying club one where the grass can be like a jungle. Ordnung must sein! :lol:

    Concerning the method as you named thiat. Unfortunately it wasn't the rule these legs were red for all planes that were equipped with AS engine or MW50 installation.Therefore I'm much inclined to think it was an idea of men in black only.
     
  13. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

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    I've been to several
    but the RAF supporting the BEF didn't always have the luxury of a military airfield, the Luftwaffe being hounded out of their aerodromes by the 8th AF certainly didn't. They'd also be inclined to leave their new, rough airstrips as much to nature as possible for fear of attracting Allied attention from the air.

    This is, of course, all academic; the Luftwaffe painted the legs of their aircraft red - that is how they got around the issue of right fuel to right aircraft.
     
  14. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    I agree with you about the RAF that didn't have the luxury of a military airfied.But in that time all field airfields looked like fields of trefoil and most of them were these actually. Clover doesn't grow so long.
    Concernng the stencils on the engine cowling, the kind of a fuel was painted on the fuselage below the fuel inlet.
     
  15. beaupower32

    beaupower32 Well-Known Member

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    Does this count as long grass, lol.
     
  16. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    I think it's pretty ingenous way of doing it. I've never even heard of it.
     
  17. wheelsup_cavu

    wheelsup_cavu Well-Known Member

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    First I heard of it too.
    It's great to have a color picture showing it too. :thumbright:


    Wheels
     
  18. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    Bf 110s of ZG1 on the Russian steppe.As you can see even there the grass wasn't so long.
     
  19. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    Exactly
    Steve
     
  20. beaupower32

    beaupower32 Well-Known Member

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    lol, yeah, I thought I would give it a shot. It was the only picture I could find with somewhat of long grass. THanks for the info though.
     
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