Saturday, 29 January 2022

Fw 190 V1 D-OPZE -"Eagles of the Luftwaffe" from Mortons

 


Focke Wulf Fw 190 V1 D-OPZE featured an oversized ducted spinner in an unsuccessful attempt to combine lower drag with sufficient cooling. D-OPZE WNr. 0001 first flew from the Focke Wulf Bremen works field (Neuenlander Feld) on 1 June 1939 with Flugkapitän Hans Sander, Focke-Wulf’s chief test pilot, at the controls. In order to keep drag in high-speed flight as low as possible, the BMW 139 featured a 'closely cowled' housing reducing any significant curves, which would lead to local spikes in air velocity. The spinner fairing was designed in such a way that it merged into the hub casing without a step and with a slight curvature forming an annular duct with the propeller hub fairing, through which cooling air was fed to the engine. The cooling air outlet was regulated on the underside of the fuselage by butterfly flaps. The flaps were adjusted on the ground. The front part of the cowling was rigidly connected to the engine. The cylinders were accessible through large flaps.These hinged down cowl parts were held by safety wires and could serve as a platform. The centre parts of the cowling with the inlet manifolds were easily detachable



The V2 coded 'RM+CB' was photographed at Tarnewitz in early 1940 undergoing weapons testing - an MG 17 and an MG 131 in each wing root - with a similar close cowl ducted spinner arrangement.

While it had been calculated that this arrangement would improve the aircraft’s top speed by 25 mph the gap between the spinner and the engine housing resulted in enough drag to cancel out any aerodynamic benefits. The ducted spinner arrangement was of course also prone to overheating, even with the spinner hub cover removed. During the winter of 1939-40 the V1 was fitted with a new 'conventional' NACA-profile radial engine cowl featuring a ten-bladed cooling fan. During this period BMW was testing a larger version of the BMW 139 some 159 kg heavier, the BMW 801. Because of its increased size the BMW 801-powered Fw 190 would require changes to the airframe and production of the V3 and the V4 was stopped. Changes to the V5 including modifying the CG by moving the cockpit further aft which at the same time eased the engine overheating problem from the pilot perspective and allowed upper cowl MGs (Rumpfbewaffnung) to be fitted between the engine and the windscreen. Armoured plate protection for the pilot could also be incorporated into the design. The first test flights of this heavier machine powered by the BMW 801 C took place during August 1940 and proved disappointing in comparison to the performance of the V1. The solution was the design of a new bigger wing ('V5g' = groß) which reduced wing-loading and at the same time the larger wing roots would enable heavier armament to be fitted. Whilst testing continued, construction of forty pre-production aircraft (the A-0) began. Work on the so-called Null-Serie machines was in fact so far advanced that WNr. 0008 -0014 received the original 'small' wing. Many of  these machines were rebuilt to serve as test-beds for later variants.  In March 1941, six aircraft were assigned to the Erprobungsstaffel 190, the unit responsible for operationally testing the Fw 190, at Rechlin-Roggenthin. This unit was essentially made up from elements of II./Jagdgeschwader 26 and was commanded by Oblt. Otto Behrens.


Just published and new from Mortons Books, No. 1 in the 'Eagles of the Luftwaffe' series - FOCKE-WULF FW 190 by Dan Sharp. More here 

Thursday, 27 January 2022

more SG 4 Fw 190s in Italy

 




repost from FB of ECPA-D images via Denys Boudard. Pilot identified as Walter Otto Luben of SG 4 (killed in Russia 05/08/1944.) seen at Guidonia Montecelio airfield, near Rome, October 1943.(caption via Nicolas Férard)








Also on this blog;

PK Berichter photos of SG 2 Stukas here 

"Fonds allemand" and the ECPA-D here 

Wednesday, 26 January 2022

Another bail-out for Sepp! - Wurmheller in Normandy

 





1944 saw huge losses among the Luftwaffe's aces especially in the fighting with the Allied air forces covering the Normandy landings. Wurmheller had been appointed Kommandeur III./ JG 2 following the loss of his friend Huppertz (70 victories - KIA on June 8, 1944). Six days later, a war correspondent reported on Wurmheller's difficult fighting…

 

"It's around 5:00 in the morning. The fighter pilots are getting ready for a new mission against the beachhead off the Orne estuary, when the door of the Geschwader command post opens. A slender fighter pilot limping and leaning on a cane enters the room. Hptm. Wurmheller has returned from a sortie and straight away reports his 97th air victory, a victory returned in almost dramatic circumstances. [...]

What the 27-year old from the town of Schliersee in Upper Bavaria  - Staffelkapitän and holder of the Oak Leaves - has just been through and overcome, well, that's what you would expect from 'Sepp' Wurmheller! This son of a miner, an apprentice since he was seventeen years old before he devoted himself body and soul to gliding, now ranks first among fighter pilots in terms of the number of victories over the Anglo-Americans, opponents far superior to the Russians in terms of flying quality, among others. Thus the term "Kanaljäger" (Channel Fighter) combines his skills in piloting, courage and bravery. [...]

Engaged at the head of his squadron at 5:00 am against the beachhead in the Orne estuary, Wurmheller had been able to place two direct hits on landing craft. His fellow squadron member, Lt R., had destroyed an enemy tank. They had returned to the base before taking off again as quickly as possible to attack landing ships.

On the third mission of the day, as Wurmheller was on his return flight, he came across an Anglo-American flight formation composed of Thunderbolts and Mustangs. An unequal balance of power left little chance for our men, but true to his motto "Rangehen und sauber draufhalten", Wurmheller flew towards the enemies and shot down a Mustang.

However, his Focke-Wulf was also hit: shrapnel from explosive shells tearing through the canopy and injuring the pilot in the chin. There was no other way out but to evacuate the aircraft - at barely100m altitude! It was almost a miracle that the silk had time to unfold. The impact with the ground was very hard because of this and the pilot suffered a badly sprained foot.

French civilians who witnessed the combat ran to help him and gave him the best possible care, which clearly indicates a complete change in the attitude of a large fringe of the French population towards the Anglo-Americans: these presumed liberators, with their merciless bombardments and the brutal terror they inflict have destroyed a multitude of homes and meted out new painful sacrifices. They want to make France a new battlefield.

With their region transformed into rubble and ruins by Allied bombers, the locals had welcomed the first Anglo-American prisoners with threatening fists and hostile cries. They approached our compatriot with the words "Comrade - Sick" and treated him as if he were one of their own, using in particular a pair of tweezers to remove the shards.

Wurmheller was driven to a Flak position where he was immediately provided with a car that took him back to his airfield.

His slight wounds will not keep him down for long and he will soon be able to abandon his crutch and resume fighting......"

 





Wurmheller was KIA on June 22, 1944. His scoreboard showed some 102 claims. He left a widow and a baby daughter Helga.

 

" Day fighter Aces of the Luftwaffe 1943-45 " and "Luftwaffe Victory Markings" - Casemate Publishing

 



" As an Osprey book addict, I was quite impressed with this volume. The focus is less on detailed encyclopedic knowledge and more on interesting anecdotes and rare insights into the world of the late luftwaffe. There are excerpts from memoirs long out of print and never printed in English, which are, to my knowledge, impossible to find anywhere else. I enjoyed the small handful of beautifully illustrated aircraft profiles and the attendant descriptions of the stories behind the aircraft.

As someone who collects books of this type, I'd say this is one of the best. A volume I return to again and again. Do get the printed version instead of the kindle version though. With the best will in the world, the formatting of this book does *not* lend itself to a kindle's screen, and you will just get frustrated with it..."

Review by Wolfgang Mercer
 

Go to Britmodeller's review pages for a comprehensive look at both "Day fighter Aces of the Luftwaffe" volumes. Coverage on those units not covered by Osprey - JG 4, JG 11, JG 77 and JG 300...  



New from Casemate for January 2022  - " Luftwaffe Victory Markings 1939-45 "

• Detailed overview of how Luftwaffe pilots recorded their victories on their aircraft.
• Packed with nearly 200 photos and detailed artworks over 192 large-format glossy pages
• Great resource for modelers. 

This new book by noted Luftwaffe writer Philippe Saintes (author of the two volume history of JG 54 published by Lela Presse) provides an overview of the victory markings painted on the fins and rudders of a selection of notable German day fighter and night fighter aces between 1939 and 1945 and demonstrates how these were applied and how each individual aircraft tailfin or rudder tells a unique story. Features some of the most emblematic fighter pilots of the Luftwaffe and their aircraft, such as Wilhelm Balthasar, Joachim Müncheberg, Kurt "Kuddel” Ubben, Felix-Maria Brandis, "Fiffi" Stahlschmidt and Nachtjagd aces Martin Drewes, Egmont zur Lippe-Weissenfeld and Ludwig Meister.






Tuesday, 25 January 2022

..yet another new Osprey series ? Dogfight


 " If I’m honest, I’m a bit confused how this series fits in with Aircraft of Aces, Combat Aircraft, Air Campaign, Aviation Elite, Duel/Versus and Air Vanguard. Regardless, I don’t mind re-reading as a refresher so likely I’ll get some of these.." Richard Patrick on FB

Wondering what Osprey's sales pitch is on this, how are they selling it? Aimed at younger readers perhaps ? 

Rather like Kagero who launched 'series' after series and then forgot about them, this appears to be more of the same, but each time with new and expensive (although it goes without saying, well-done) artwork...  how does the new Dogfight Fw 190 Dora book by Robert Forsyth fit in with the same author's Duel 'Dora vs Tempest' title. 

It is perhaps not generally appreciated by all Luftwaffe fighter enthusiasts but the 1,500 D-9s built only claimed around 70 victories all told, so the type did not really do a lot of dog-fighting and/or was shot down in huge numbers! IIRC on the 14 January 1945 Berlin raid a third of all Doras then in service were brought down. By that stage, with the Soviets fast approaching Berlin and the Western Allies just weeks away from crossing the Rhine, ground-attack would fast become the primary role of this stop-gap high altitude fighter!

" I’m open to trying them but 'Aircraft of the Aces' was way ahead of its time and hasn’t really been surpassed, sadly even by subsequent Osprey series..." Patrick Power on FB



..and a review for the very-well done Forsyth/Beale-penned "Arado 234 Bomber and Recce Units" book in the Osprey combat aircraft series. Recommended!



" The German Me 262 receives most of the plaudits when it comes to jet warplane development, but Robert Forsyth and Nick Beale tell the story of a different jet aircraft: the Arado Ar234 bomber. It is an interesting tale with an undercurrent of ‘what might have been’ running through it. Forsyth and Beale begin with the concept and development; testing started in 1943, though the first flew in March 1944. They then follow a detailed narrative of finding pilots and testing this unusual machine, which is perhaps surprisingly interesting given this is often skipped over to get to the operational material. The Ar 234 flew its first reconnaissance mission over Normandy in July 1944, but weather, technical issues, and Allied attacks on German airfields disrupted continued missions. Taking photographs was one thing, dropping bombs quite another as far as technical considerations went. But Ar 234s dropped bombs on Liege on Christmas Eve 1944, sparking a flurry of missions, some of which took place at night. They did well, working in conjunction with Me 262s, and proved a problem for the Allies. Nevertheless, the Germans lacked the resources to maintain more than just a few Ar 234s and Allied control of the skies hindered them further with Tempests, Spitfires, and Mustangs shooting down planes the Germans could ill afford to lose. As the war drew to close, the Ar 234s performed multiple and sometimes effective missions, and to the credit of their pilots they fought on until the end against hopeless odds.The story of the Ar 234 is told with authority and the depth of the authors’ research clearly shows. The accounts of the Allied pilots tasked with bringing these warplanes down are particularly well handled. As you should expect with Osprey, the text is laced with useful black and white photographs and the usual high quality colour illustrations. Aviation enthusiasts and modelers will appreciate this book, but it is a good read for anyone interested in the latter days of the Third Reich..." 

 review by Robert Neil Smith

Sunday, 23 January 2022

Focke-Achgelis Fa 269 - Kurzstarter mit Kipprotoren Flieger Revue X serie

 

Spectacular Arkadiusz Wróbel box art on the Amusing Hobby 48th scale Weserflug P.1003/Fa 269 48th scale kit and now on the front cover of the latest issue of Flieger Revue X. Part 4 of the X-series, this issue (No 93)  covers the Focke-Achgelis Fa 269. The Fa 269 - the so-called 'Nazi tilt - rotor' - was a single-seat fighter converti-plane project resulting from a design study order issued by the RLM to Focke-Achgelis in 1941 which called for a point defence fighter combining the VTOL capabilities of the helicopter with the speed and economy of a conventional fixed-wing aircraft..







" ...In 1934, Dr Adolf Rohrbach sold his own aircraft factory, founded in 1922, which was then merged with Weser Flugzeugbau in Bremen. Here Rohrbach became technical director. He had successfully designed flying boats in the years before and now continued this work with the small flying amphibian Weser We 271. However, the idea of a vertical take-off aircraft had not left him. The vane-bladed 'wheel' aircraft now seemed too complicated to him. In 1938, together with Dipl.-Ing. Adolf Simon, he designed an aircraft whose two large propellers could be swivelled upwards. This meant that they worked like lifting screws. At a safe flight altitude, the propellers then swung into the normal flight position and the aircraft could continue at high speed. The propellers of Weser project P.1003 were to be driven by a single in-line motor in the fuselage via transmission shafts. A radiator for the motor was to be located directly under the nose of the fuselage. Since the propeller airflow after pivoting would hit the wing destroying part of the lift, Adolf Simon came up with the solution of pivoting the outer parts of the wing at the same time. Although the fuselage and wing design was very neatly executed, a top speed of 650 km/h was over-optimistically expected for a very large single-engine aircraft. In May 1938, Weser Flugzeugbau filed a patent for an "aircraft with jointly pivoting wing and tailplane" (No. 711216). At that time, Weser had also thought about other applications of a pivoting wing. However, a patent application for the revolutionary aircraft design with pivoting wing and propeller can neither be found under Weser Flugzeugbau, nor for Adolf Rohrbach or Adolf Simon..."



Amusing Hobby 48th scale Weserflug P.1003 kit review

Thursday, 20 January 2022

Junkers F-13 replicas and real examples - RIMOWA first flight - Rückkehr einer Legende – das weltweit erste Passagierflugzeug



Bundesarchiv Bild 102-00007, Berlin, Start eines Junkers-Flugzeuges

F13 taking off from Tempelhof on March 7, 1923 with the Weimar Reichs President Friedrich Ebert on board - Flugzeugreise des Reichspräsidenten zur Leipziger Messe am 7. März 1923 - Start des Flugzeuges mit dem Reichspräsidenten auf dem Tempelhofer Feld. F 13 fy D-190 of Lloyd Ostflug then Junkers Luftverkehrs AG. 

..and nearly one hundred years later..



Back in 2019 the Czech city of Zlín restored and re-opened its memorial to the town's most famous entrepreneur - Tomáš Bata. His footwear business - one of Czechoslovakia's leading exporters - brought prosperity and renown to Zlin. Why is this of interest for aviation enthusiasts? Tomáš Bata was a promoter of Czech aviation and owned and flew a Junkers F13. He made business flights in F13 D-1608 until he and his pilot were killed in a crash on July 12, 1932. A full-size replica of his machine was constructed for the restored museum - it is notable for having been created entirely with a 3D printer! Visitors can marvel at the replica in the new building. 

A number of other replicas of the F13 have been built over recent years. A replica F 13a stood on the apron of the Hugo Junkers hangar at Mönchengladbach Airport for a while and since 2017, a replica of the F 13 has been on display at the Luftfahrttechnisches Museum Rechlin. There is another reproduction in the Junkers Museum Dessau and, since 2019 an F-13 simulator that has been in operation. The Rimowa company built two flying replicas in Switzerland. HB-RIM flew for the first time in 2016 from Dübendorf Airport and HB-RIA followed three years later. 

" ..The project to bring back the Junkers F13 reached an eagerly awaited pinnacle on 15 September, 2016: the official first flight of the replica took place in Dübendorf, Switzerland, almost 100 years after the launch of the ‘mother of all commercial aircraft’. With the take-off, what was constructed under the project name ‘RIMOWA F13’ became a veritable Junkers F13, thereby extending the legacy of the visionary professor Hugo Junkers..."
(Variants of the F13 were built using Mercedes, BMW, Junkers, and Armstrong Siddeley Puma liquid-cooled inline engines, and Gnome-Rhône Jupiter and Pratt and Whitney Hornet air-cooled radial engines. The variants were mostly distinguished by a two letter code, the first letter signifying the airframe and the second the engine eg, Junkers L5-engined variants all had the second letter -e, so type -fe was the long fuselage -f airframe with a L5 engine).
" ..Sie haben die Fliegerei revolutioniert: die weltbekannte „Tante JU“ und die vergessene F13, die „Urmutter“ aller Verkehrsflugzeuge. Im Jahr 1919 begründete die weltweit erste Gesamtmetallmaschine mit dem markanten Riffelblech die moderne Passagierluftfahrt. Bis in die 60er Jahre verband die F13 Menschen und Kontinente. Anfang 2013 erwecken die Mitarbeiter bei Kaelin Aero Technologies, im deutschen Schwarzwald, die Ikone der Luftfahrt zu neuem Leben. Flugzeugstrukturbauer Dominik Kälin rekonstruiert aus dem Material, mit dem Hugo Junkers seine Flugzeuge und Paul Morszeck seine berühmten Rillen-Koffer baute, die F13. Dominik Kälin, Flugzeugstrukturbauer, Kaelin Aero Technologies: „Es ist eigentlich ein physikalisches Grundprinzip, was der Herr Junkers damals genutzt hat und auch der Vater von Dieter Morszeck. Die waren clever. Cleverer als die anderen...“

"..They revolutionised aviation: the world-famous "Auntie Ju" and the forgotten F13, the original "mother" of all commercial aircraft. In 1919, the world's first all-metal aircraft constructed with its distinctive corrugated aluminium alloy (duralumin) sheet established modern passenger aviation. Up until the 1960s, the F13 connected people and continents. In early 2013, the employees at Kaelin Aero Technologies, in the German Black Forest, brought the icon of aviation back to life. Aerostructures engineer Dominik Kälin  built  his F13 from the same metal sheet material that Hugo Junkers used to build his aircraft and Paul Morszeck (Rimova kuggage) his famous grooved suitcases. Dominik Kälin, Kaelin Aero Technologies: "It's actually a basic physical principle that Mr Junkers used back then and also Dieter Morszeck's father. They were clever. Cleverer than the others..."








"...Rückkehr einer Legende – das weltweit erste Passagierflugzeug – die JUNKERS F13 hebt wieder ab. Seit fast 3 Jahren produziert ah-tv eine Dokumentation über den Nachbau der „Mutter“ aller Verkehrsflugzeuge. Kurz vor der Weltpremiere des Erstflugs am 15. September 2016, haben wir den wohl einzigen noch lebenden F13 Zeitzeugen getroffen. Hans-Walter Bender erzählt uns exklusiv von seinem unvergesslichen Erlebnis, als er 1929 als 6jähriger Junge mit seiner Mutter Charlotte einen an einem Rundflug mit der JUNKERS F13 teilnahm. Seine persönlichen Erinnerungen werden wieder lebendig durch historische Filmaufnahmen, (Quelle: Archiv Bernd Junkers) Fotos und das original Flugticket von damals..."

An interview with Hans-Walter Bender - perhaps the last person still alive to have flown in the Junkers F 13 which he did as a six-year old in September 1929..









 Junkers F13 Replica



There are still five original F13s in the world, one in the Deutsches Museum in Munich, one in the Musée de l'Air in Paris, and examples in the museums in Stockholm and Budapest. The fifth W.Nr. 2050, built in 1930, stood for a long time in the Western Canada Aviation Museum in Winnipeg and came to Germany in September 2005. Restored in Hungary, it has been in the Deutsches Technik Museum in Berlin since 2020.

Below; the Junkers F 13 at the National Museum of Science and Technology in Stockholm via Jan Forsgren






Also on this blog;


Wednesday, 12 January 2022

new-tool 1:72nd IBG Models Fw 190 Dora is here ! in-box review

 



"...I hope that the final kit will be as good as 1/72 Eduard FW-190 A and F kits ! .."

The first new-tool IBG Models Fw 190 Dora-9 has arrived. The D-15 is released as well. I assume the D-11/13 is due later. A quick look at what's in the box. 


First look in the box. The sheet of photo-etch is bagged with the decal sheet and not visible here. First thing to catch my eye  - a “cigar” drop tank is in the box, relatively common on Doras but not previously kitted before, below left. Two more drop tanks provided as well.
 

 Surface detail (panel/rivets) is superbly done. 




Ailerons, horizontal stabs and rudder are separate parts


Jumo 213 engine sprue. the D-15 box features a neat DB 603. There is no provision for displaying the engine, although the 'essential' fittings can be seen through the open undercarriage bay. In theory the upper cowl could be left 'unglued'... 




Engine firewall is moulded integrally with the rear wall of the undercarriage bays (below right), engine bearer arms and upper cowl MGs and magazines, Frame A.




Above, DB 603 in the D-15 box. Supersonic 26 on BM - "One of those kits that make you feel like the gap between the detail level of 1/48 and 1/72 kits is evaporating. Seriously, that looks almost as nice as the 1/48 Eduard D-9 I'm currently building!.." 



Etch sheet includes rudder pedals, belts/harness, a stencil for scribing additional surface details, torpedo fins (D-15 box) and parts for fabricating the wing MG magazines. 


This kit is notable for the meticulous research/degree of detail that IBG have put into it. Early five piece upper cowl cover in the D-9 (early) box. D-11/D-13 and D-14/D-15 refined upper cowl in the D-15 box.







IBG Models 1/72 Fw 190 D-9 - a test shot build. Painting scheme will appear in a future box..

My finished build can be seen here






" The Fw 190D model family from IBG Models in 1/72 scale will include various versions of the aircraft, from the D-9 to the D-15, taking into account the differences resulting from the dispersion of production and the intense involvement of subcontractors. For better orientation in the subject, we have prepared a pdf document in which the differences between the individual machines are presented..."

http://www.ibgmodels.com/resources/Fw190Dvar.pdf

Tuesday, 4 January 2022

Ofw. Arnold Döring's Bf 109 G-6 'red 6', 2./JG 300

 

some 'new' text from a 17-page letter written by Arnold Döring.

..." Ich habe einen alten Dampfer erhalten, das ich erst nach einigen Flugstunden richtig hintrimmen kann.."


"..I was assigned an old 'puffer', a really tired old ship, which I was only able to trim properly after several hours at the controls. "Red 6" had already had a long life and seen a lot!.. Etliche Bruch- und drei Bauchlandungen stehen in der Lebenslaufakte verzeichnet.. Several crash landings and three belly landings were recorded on the maintenance log. Most recently 'red 6' had been flown by the former Staffelkapitän of 2.Staffel until he crashed at night in bad weather at the controls of another aircraft - he smashed into a rock face in the Harz. And he was a former Lufthansa pilot with more than 2 million flight kms under his belt. The TO told me to go easy with 'red 6' but even so the machine would not have a much longer life. By a full moon I was finally able to complete the night takeoffs that I had not been able to make and then, by late September, I was finally 'einsatzbereit' - ready to fly my first wilde Sau sortie. I was itching to give Tommy a run for his money..."



Döring was one of the most prominent wilde Sau pilots and achieved seven kills with I./JG 300. Pictures of 'red 6' from the Lorant/Goyat history of JG 300 have been widely posted.