Strange Experimental Erla Haube-canopy on a Bf 109 (K?)

Discussion in 'Aircraft Requests' started by wape, May 3, 2013.

  1. wape

    wape New Member

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    I found two very interesting pictures of a Messerschmitt Bf 109 K-prototype taken inside the Austrian Wiener Neustadt factory in a book named in Finnish "Luftwaffen koekoneet - Saksan ilmavoimien salaiset suunnitelmat ja prototyypit" (ISBN 952-5186-69-5) which has been translated from the English edition "Luftwaffe X-Planes - German Experimental and Prototype Planes of World War II" by Manfred Griehl. On pages 28 and 29 there are two pictures of a Bf 109 K-prototype taken from the front of the aircraft and from the side of the cockpit respectively. Unfortunately at the moment I can't upload any images, so please try to bear with me. What caught my attention is that the Erla Haube has a distinctive bulge instead of the normal straight line at the top. I've tried to recreate the image using a Wikipedia image of a Bf 109 K-6 and MS Paint. The red line represents the bulge I'm talking about:

    Bf 109 K experimental Erla Haube - 3.jpg

    The aircraft also doesn't have the Galland Panzer-headrest but a metallic-looking, relatively thin seat.

    Has anybody seen something like what I'm describing? These two images are the only ones I have ever seen of such a configuration. On page 29 there's also a picture of a Bf 109 wing that has an MK 108 installed, so the aircraft might be a Bf 109 K-6, although I'm not sure if the picture is of the same prototype.

    I'll try to upload the pictures later if I get my camera working again, but if you do have any information of such a configuration, please share.

    Regards,
    Joonas
     
  2. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    The description sounds rather similar to the hood used on the Avia-built '109s. A pic would certainly help.
     
  3. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    Yep... Avia S-199 powered by Jumo 211F

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  4. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    It was a hood fitted to the prototype and did not appear on production aircraft.

    From one of the JaPo books.

    [​IMG]

    The picture of the wing is a mock up for the K-6. None were actually built.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  5. wape

    wape New Member

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    Thank you stona! That Bf 109 has exactly the type of canopy I was trying to describe. It has the two structural bars common to Erla canopies, so it's not an S-199. I wonder what they were trying to achieve with the larger canopy.

    Regards,
    Joonas
     
  6. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    I suspect they were trying to improve visibility, the purpose of the original Erla haube. The Germans would have seen the bulged canopies on various allied aircraft, the Malcolm hood and similar. I would guess that the hood fitted to the prototype did not give a significant advantage over the standard Erla haube and was abandoned.

    Just about every pilot who ever flew a Bf 109, both axis and allied, commented on just how poor the view out of the cockpit of a Bf 109 was / is.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  7. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    It could have also been to improve headroom, and possibly 'dropped' due to production requirements/restrictions for the 'blown' or moulded section.
    The basic shape, as a completely 'blown', one piece canopy, without the horizontal frames, would have been a vast improvement, and, I would think, this was realised. However, the capability to do this, with the technology of the time, particularly given the demands and problems facing German industry at this stage of the war,was not as easy or straightforward as it seems today.
     
  8. N4521U

    N4521U Well-Known Member

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    It appears by the third photo, the new canopy caused the plane to crash!!! :)
     
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