Archive digitization



Aviation and Diplomacy

Frank Piasecki

NATO 1949-2009 Projekt ekspozycji w Muzeum Lotnictwa Polskiego w Krakowie



Polish Aviation Museum

31-864 Kraków,
al. Jana Pawła II 39
phone: (12) 640 99 60,
(12) 642 40 70
e-mail: info@muzeumlotnictwa.pl

a cultural institution of the Malopolska Region

Małopolska – Kraków Region


Patronage

Kraków Airport







Aeroplane: Messerschmitt Bf 109G-6

Messerschmitt Bf 109G-6
Germany
fighter
1944



  • Technical data


Span 9.92 m
Length 9.02 m
Take-off weight 3200 kg
Maximum speed 630 km/h
Ceiling 12100 m
Range 650 km
Armament 1x 20 mm MG 151 canon, 2x synchronised 13.1 mm MG 131 machine guns
Powerplant :
12-cylinder "V" liquid cooled Daimler-Benz DB605, 1475hp (1100kW)
Virtual tour :

 

The Messerschmitt Bf 109 was a single seat, all metal, low wing fighter with retractable undercarriage. In service from 1937 until 1945, it is one of the most famous aircraft in the aviation history.

At the beginning of 1934, the Reich Luftministerium issued a competition for a single seat, fighter aircraft. Bayerische Flugzeug Werke proposed an all-metal low wing machine, equipped with slotted flaps and automatic slots. The aircraft was fast and maneuvrable. The building of prototypes started at the end of 1934. After successful tests in 1935 and 1936, the aeroplane entered mass production. In February 1937, the assembly lines in Augsburg made the first examples of the Bf 109B version. In the same year, the Messerschmitt went through the baptism of fire in the Spanish Civil War.

Following the Bf 109B version, its successor, the Bf 109C version with increased firepower to 4 machine guns and direct fuel injection Jumo 210G engine entered production in the spring of 1938. Then there appeared the Bf 109D version. From September 1939, the Bf 109 was the Luftwaffe's basic fighter aircraft used on all fronts of Europe and Africa.

Work on the increasing of the aircraft's performance was continued. Such a chance was created by the appearance of a more powerful DB 601 engine with direct fuel injection. The new powerplant created the necessity to redesign and enlarge the cooling system (the oil and glycol installations). The changes led to a more streamlined silhouette of the aircraft. The armament was increased as well. Thus appeared the Bf 109E version, produced since the beginning of 1939.

After the outbreak of the Second World War, further modernisation of the aircraft continued. It became clear that further improvements had to be achieved by means of significant improvement of the aerodynamic shape of the airframe. This meant significant changes in the structure of the fuselage, stabilisers and wings. All these concluded with the appearance of a new Bf 109F fighter.

In the mid 1940s, the Daimler-Benz carried out work on a new engine, designated the DB 605. Its design was based on the company's earlier models. The new engine allowed for consecutive modification of the Bf 109. In October 1941 at the Messerschmitt AG works in Augsburg, the pre production series of the new airframe (still powered with the DB 601) started. The tests of the new, Bf 109G (for Gustav) aircraft, powered with the DB 605 started in 1942. The test flights showed that the new aircraft had problems with the oil installation and was difficult to fly. After its minimising, mass production started. The aircraft of the G version was produced in many derivatives. Each could be modified by the building in of equipment sets allowing to adapt the airframe to different mission types.

The most numerous was the Bf 109G-6 sub-variant. Production started in 1943 and ended in autumn of the next year. This version differed generally from the previous ones by a stronger construction and increased firepower, enabling to fight American bombers more efficiently. Apart from the German Luftwaffe, the Messerschmitts Bf 109G flew in the colours of the air forces of Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Finland, Italy, Romania, Spain, Slovakia and Switzerland.

The Messerschmitt Bf 109G-6 "Red Three" on display at the Polish Aviation Museum bears the 163306 factory number. It left the Messerschmitt Werke in Regensburg on 11th May 1944 and was assigned to the Jagdgruppe West training unit. On 28th May 1944 Feldwebel Ernst Plein took off early that morning for a training flight. At 8.30, just after one of the training takeoffs, the aircraft crashed into water of the nearby Trzebuń lake. The pilot was killed.

With the efforts of the "Polish Eagles" Foundation, the wreckage of the aircraft was recovered in 2000 and restored. It was temporarily displayed at the Polish Aviation Museum. In October 2014 it was again brought to the PAM as a long-term loan.

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Dofinansowano ze środków Ministra Kultury i Dziedzictwa Narodowego
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