Friday, 20 September 2013

Flugzeug Classic, Aérojournal - latest issues

The October 2013 issue of  Flugzeug Classic features the usual selection of interesting Luftwaffe subjects. This month's 'Type history' covers the Flettner FI 282 'Kolibri' and the 'reader's album' devotes four pages to the work of Luftwaffe ground crews. Elsewhere Peter Ocker recounts how during 1944 German industry used increasing amounts of wood in fighter construction while Peter Cronauer interviews and recounts the recollections of Fluglehrer and 5./KG 51 Me 262 jet pilot Egon Hummel. As a flight instructor Egon Hummel almost certainly never reckoned on having to fly combat sorties. Then, in February 1945, he found himself strafing and bombing US troop and re-supply columns at the controls of the revolutionary Me 262.

"..Strapped into the cockpit for the first time with the canopy closed and locked was a thrilling sensation. The aircraft flew beautifully although our combat-radius (endurance) was limited. The Jumos were real 'gas-guzzlers' ('Spritfresser'), there was never more than 45-minutes flying time possible and as a pilot you always had to factor in a reserve for safety so that in practise you couldn't even stay airborne for the full 45 minutes. The speed of the jet was of course phenomenal but it was very possible to approach the sound barrier in a dive which meant having to juggle with the throttles and that was something that you couldn't really do - on two occasions I had an engine flame-out.."

In Aérojournal no. 36 editor Chris Ehrengardt continues his history of the Jagdwaffe in the West, devoting no fewer than 28 pages in Part III of his series which covers the year 1943. Copiously illustrated with a neat selection of photographic images - some from the very expensive and thus rarely seen ECPA-D archive - the 1943 battles over the Reich are recounted mostly in the words of the pilots (French text). The profile artwork is from J-M Guillou - and is outstanding! Well worth the 7 euros cost of the magazine. And if you can manage the French text the feature on Belgian Typhoon pilots in the RAF is worth the admission price alone. In the UK Aérojournal is available from the Aviation Bookshop

Below; also reproduced on page 15 of the current issue of AJ and here courtesy of M. Jean-Yves Lorant, this Bf 110 G Zerstörer of  III./ZG 26 was photographed during the summer of 1943 at Plantlünne. This aircraft is toting twin wing-mounted Doppelrohr BR 21 (BR for Bordrakete) mortar rocket launchers - more colloquially known as "stove-pipes" - for the launch of spin-stabilised mortar rockets intended to break up bomber formations.