Tuesday 21 June 2011

More aces of 5.Staffel JG 51

Two admittedly rather indifferent views of the Bf 109 F flown by 5./JG 51 Ritterkreuz holder Ofw Willi Wilhelm Mink during the summer of 1942 in Russia. Mink was awarded the RK on 19 March 1942 and was KIA on 12 March 1945 over Hadersleben. Mink achieved at least 64 Luftsiege

Above, seen with Mink on the left of the picture is Fw Hans-Hermann Frank, KIA on 31 July 1942 after a single victory, alongside him, Mink with RK obscured, and right of Mink, Ofw later Lt. Albert Walter, at least 37 victories, KIA on 13 July 1943.

Below; Me 109 F "red 6" of 5./JG 51 in Orel 1942

Above,  Me 109 Emil flown by Hermann Segatz seen about to climb down from the cockpit following a sortie. Seegatz returned around 40 Luftsiege and was KIA on 8 March 1944.

Below, Otto Tange seen in front of his Me 109 F "rote 3" in December 1941 in Brijansk/Russia. Otto Tange was awarded the RK on 19 March 1942 but was KIA with approximately 68 Luftsiege on 30 July 1943 when his Fw 190 took a direct hit from anti-aircraft fire south-west of Bolchow, the aircraft going down in flames on a Russian village.

A small selection of some of the very interesting images from Michael Meyer's current Ebay sales here.

Link to 5./JG 51 in the Battle of Britain

Blohm and Voss Ha 139 catapult launch (Nordmeer, Nordwind, Schwabenland)

During the late thirties Lufthansa explored the feasibility of launching a regular transatlantic postal and passenger air service utilising the Ha 139 seaplane. The Ha 139 V-1 was the first Deutsche Lufthansa Zweischwimmerflugzeug -twin float aeroplane conceived for the transatlantic mail route. The Ha 139 V-1 was conceived by a Blohm and Voss subsidiary, the Hamburger Flugzeubau (HFB) under the design leadership of Dr. Richard Vogt. The frontal view below enables an appreciation of the aircraft's very distinctive profile with its parallel chord inverted gull wing.

 The Ha 139 V-1 , later to be coded D-AMIE and named Nordmeer, was photographed by Life magazine on the catapult of the Schwabenland during testing, probably in the port of Hamburg. The aircraft has yet to have its registration applied. Despite its large size this aircraft could carry 'only' 450 kg of postal freight.

Below; catapult launch taking place on the Schwabenland. This catapult-equipped vessel sailed with the Ha 139 Nordmeer seaplane into the North Atlantic before launching the aircraft for the last stages of the journey to New York. HFB test pilot Helmut Wasa Rodig recalled one such takeoff;

" 24 September 1937, time 06:10 GMT, the place Horta, the Azores - the Schwabenland is steaming full ahead, catapult into the wind. It is still dark, clouds are low and the seas heavy. Ha 139 Nordwind is on the catapult. The crew, Walter Diele from Lufthansa and myself as Kapitän and chief pilot at the controls, run over final checks with the radio operator and flight engineer. On the weakly uv-illuminated instrument panel a bright red light indicates that the catapult's compressed air cyclinder has reached full pressure. After a final check of the instruments and with engines running at full power, the "Klar" signal is given to the catapult operator. The red light goes out. With body and head braced into the seat and arms on the armrests, control column at neutral, we count down the three seconds , "21-22-23" before we feel the punch of the thrust, which, even though expected, still surprises. With a force of more than 4g we are launched into the darkness. As soon as the Nordwind is free of the catapult we lose height slightly, the crests of the waves momentarily visible in the light from the ship. Slowly, slowly the heavily laden Ha 139 climbs for altitude. Soon the first tufts of cloud stream past and over the navigation lights."

The second Ha 139, the V-2, was named Nordwind and carried the civil registration D-AJEY. The aircraft differed slightly from its predecessor, most notably in the area of the tail fin and rudder assembly which were wider and larger, a modification that was adopted after initial testing of the aircraft. The Nordwind made its first transatlantic crossing on 24 August 1937 and would prove relatively eventful as pilot Helmut Wasa Rodig recalled;

" Kapitän Diele and myself alternated an hour each at the controls and we had our hands full. Even at 500 metres altitude we were in the clouds on instruments, the automatic pilot disengaged because of the turbulence and strong squally gusts of wind. Flying over the weather was out of the question since our diesel engines did not perform well at altitude. Our radio link with the "Schwabenland" was excellent and plotting our position via their tramissions indicated our heading was correct. We estimated the winds at gale force eight which were impacting considerably on our ground speed, increasing our flying time and were another reason for maintaining as low an altitude as possible over the waves, taking advantage of whatever 'ground-effect' we could, helping to off-set the headwind. After six hours flying time our flight engineer reported falling oil pressure in engine 3 - here we were, north of the south American shipping routes and well south of the North Atlantic routes - in a completely dead sector- having to stop engine 3. Even the range of our radio equipement was limited here. For some three to four hours neither the "Schwabenland" off the Azores nor the "Friesenland" off Long Island would be in radio contact. Although they had been planned, rescue or weather ships were not yet at sea. We climbed slowly to 1,700 metres on three engines, a height at which we would have more time to take any necessary decisions or sight any ships. The rather tense mood on board finally lifted a little when the "Friesenland" responded to our radio calls. In discussion with them we decided to re-start engine 3 and kept it under close observation. We finally landed at 20:45 GMT after 14 hours and 35 minutes flying time..."

Translated from contemporary accounts for inclusion in the two volumes devoted to Luftwaffe Seaplanes published by Lela Presse.

A resin 1/144th kit is available from Peter Hawkins

Ju 188 conversion/aftermarket set for Revell Ju 88 1/32 AIMS John McIllmurray

Having contributed to the research for the decal options on this superb new set, it is time to blog John McIllmurray's long-awaited Junkers Ju 188 conversion set for the Revell Ju 88 kit. Not that that I expect to ever build one. The price is £135.50 and it contains a new cockpit, engines, extended wings and new vertical fin/rudder, plus a multitude of new parts. Click on the images for a closer view or head over to John's site for more, link at the bottom of the page....

Junkers Ju 188 artwork profiles

And some of John's new Ju 88 decal sheets - this particular example 'Early Ju 88s in the Med' is a work of research in its own right and references the superb German-language photo albums of Paul Stipdonk and Michael Meyer reviewed on this blog.   As it happens I have just finished working on the captions for Vol 5 of this series which hopefully will appear later this year..

 Click on the images to read John's text  -  note the German word for 'ace' is Experte


Sunday 19 June 2011

"One summer, two Messerschmitts" 'black 6' - Russ Snadden

I can't imagine that readers of this blog are not aware of this superb DVD, but just in case you aren't - from the flyingmachinestv.co.uk website

" ....One summer there were two Messerschmitt 109 G’s in residence at Duxford airfield, Cambridgeshire, England. " Black 6"  a Bf 109 G-2, one of the worlds most authentic aircraft restorations, and 109 G “Black 2” flown by the Old Flying Machine Company. This DVD takes a look at both aircraft on the ground and in the air. The DVD features interviews with some of the team behind “Black 6” as well as an interview with a pilot who has flown both Spitfires and a 109. Highlights of the DVD include a stunning 109 vs Spitfire dogfight sequence, very nice air-to air footage of “Black 6” and an in-cockpit camera. Featuring minimal commentary and maximum sound FX this is not a history of the Bf 109, but an up close and personal look at how these legendary aircraft are rebuilt and operated. If you’ve never been lucky enough to see a 109 fly, this is the next best thing. Available in both PAL and NTSC, you will automatically be sent the correct format for your region. Picture Format 4:3 Running Time: Total 78 minutes / Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0....."

A single click to view here - purchase the DVD from the Flying machines TV web site



 Above;  top-quality walkaround footage of the G-2 'black 6' on display at Hendon and, below, walkaround still compilation from restoration/maintenance/museum footage

More Luftwaffe walkarounds on this blog

and to complete today's update a lovely shot of a JG 52 G-2 (?). 

Thursday 16 June 2011

new ME 323 book from Lela Presse & a Luftwaffe album " Air war over Poland "

German WW 2 Luftwaffe album "Air campaign over Poland - the first large-scale deployment of the Luftwaffe". Photographic essays of the various air and ground arms of the Luftwaffe, Flak, Aufklärer, Jäger etc .First published in 1941,189 pictures.

Starting bid $120 here

Just published from Lela Presse and authored by Jean-Louis Roba is this 'Aircraft in Profile' hard-back title devoted to the Messerschmitt Me 323 transport - the full history of a giant of the skies. Recommended at 168 pages, approx 350 photos - including a number previously unpublished- technical drawings and 22 Dekker profiles. French text.

Tuesday 14 June 2011

Luftwaffe calender 1943 - pdf download

 Above; Bf 110's coded '3U' with underwing 900 ltr drop tanks from  9./ZG 26 (probably 'E's) based on Sicily photographed on a convoy escort sortie in the autumn of 1941 over the Mediterranean. The Staffelwappen can be seen on the nose of the aircraft – a stylised " Hahn" or cock on the double chevron of the Zerstörerverbände. A selection of images from a 1943 Luftwaffe calender via Ed Russell at britmodeller.com

Download a photo presentation of the calender here

Ebay Emils (Galland, Mölders, Wick, I./JG 26) - latest page edit December 2020

Last updated December 2020

A collection of approx 50 Bf 109 Emils from expired Ebay auctions and other sources. Most of the following have appeared somewhere or other before - including this blog - but are here presented together following occasional minor 'editing' and 're-touching' in one mega-post which will be of interest to modellers and others who might not have had the inclination to wade through the various forum/FB pages. To be followed by Friedrich, Gustav etc . Visit the links posted throughout for more on the individual machines or go to the bottom of the page for label links with much more like this.

Below; Me 109 E with SC 250 kg bomb belonging to 5./JG 51 seen on the Kanal front during the late summer of 1940

More JG 26 Battle of Britain Emils on this blog here

Mölders III./JG 53 during the French campaign

Above JG 52 Emil and, below, Bonzo dog emblem on the cowl of this 1./JG 2 Emil followed by 'White 5' seen belly-landed during the French campaign. Note the 'old' style fuselage Balkenkreuz. Likely to have been the mount of 1. Staffel ace Werner Machold - note the over-painted area- no doubt covering the previous pilots' victory markings- that can be seen on the tail fin.

More on JG 2 during the Westfeldzug on this blog here

WNr. 5819 regular aircraft of Adolf Galland during late 1940 until around March 1941. Sixty victory markings on the rudder. More on this aircraft on this blog here 

Above and below; two views of  'Yellow 2' flown by JG 2 Battle of Britain ace and noted 'over-claimer' Helmut Wick. Wick went from the rank of Leutnant to the post of Kommodore in the space of just one summer based on little more than his ability to 'shoot down' RAF fighters. He was the embodiment of the Jagdflieger obssession with  the Abschussliste - the system of points and then decorations awarded for a certain number of  'victories'- a flawed 'system' which pandered ultimately to no more than personal ambition and the need for status and recognition. Just forward of the Staffel number is Wick's 'humming bird' emblem. More on his aircraft, WNr. 5344 at this link

Above; two views of an LG 2 Schlacht 109 - note the 'bear-wielding-axe' emblem of 5.(Schlacht)/LG 2 on the cowling plus the Schlacht triangle. The 'bear' is actually depicted on the emblem chopping up an umbrella a throw-back to LG 2's Jabo Battle of Britain campaign...
More Eastern Front Jabo Emils here