On offer here. Thanks to Snautzer
Available now from UK publisher Mortons is this significant new work on the Me 262 by Dan Sharp. This is not the previously announced "Secret Projects of the Luftwaffe Vol. 3: Messerschmitt Me 262" which was planned to focus squarely on the 'secret projects' and sub-variants of the type. Nor is it a book about combat ops or even a book where every page looks familiar because the reader has already seen the images a dozen times elsewhere. In fact, this is really a book for people who've read the Me 262 story elsewhere - probably different, conflicting versions of that story - and wondered which was the definitive version. As Dan points out, up to this point there probably hasn't been a 'definitive' version. So the small-ish and small format soft-back of the 'Secret Projects..' series has become a new and much larger work as the author explained;
" ..the further I went into the primary source material the more apparent it became that the truth about what happened to the Me 262 throughout its development diverged somewhat from all existing written accounts. As a result, I expanded the book to encompass all aspects of the aircraft's development - the projects, the sub-variants, the prototypes and the full production variants - as well as the discussions that went on about them. The book went from 30,000 words to 160,000 words, from 248x185mm to 297x210mm, from 150 images to 300, and from 150 pages to 328. The original title and cover art no longer reflected the book's contents and as such I persuaded the publisher to change both. This has indeed created some confusion, for which I am sorry, but I believe that the book as it stands now is a great deal better than it would have been in its original form...".There is very little about combat operations in Dan's new book. The content is focused on exactly what it says in the title - 'Messerschmitt Me 262 Development and Politics'. As usual with his books, the text is grounded in cited primary source documents throughout. As the author explains, older references about units operating the Me 262 etc. are still as valid as ever they were but all previous references concerning the type's developmental history are somewhat out-of-date.
Born on March 27, 1920 in Schwerin/Meckl, Walter Lühs was a 23-year old III./JG 26 Fw 190 pilot. According to his service record (reproduced below from his Ehrenbuch entry at Freiburg) he started training during the summer of 1939 and arrived at his first combat unit, III./JG 26 on the Channel coast, three years later in September 1942. Note (above) the EK II on his tunic - probably awarded following his first (and only) victory - he downed a four-engine bomber early in his career as a fighter pilot..."..durch seine fliegerisches Können und seine Einsatzfreudigkeit gelang es ihm schon bei den ersten Einsätzen ein viermotoriges Kampfflugzeug abzuschießen.." He flew 21 combat sorties in total.
Flying from an airfield in Belgium, he failed to return along with his Rottenführer from a combat sortie against four-engine bombers over the North Sea ("norddeutsche Küstengebiet") on June 25, 1943.
well known -even iconic- image of a JG 27 Gustav nosed-over in a so-called Fliegerdenkmal 'flyers monument' modeled by Serbian Dr. of medicine "Medico".....
"...this is the Eduard Me 109 G 6, the car is Tamiya's Citroen CV11 and the figures, timeless but still not surpassed in 1/48 ... ICM!Assembly: passed without major problems, the only major refinement to the Me 109 was the tropical filter, which is mostly self-built since what Eduard packs in the weekend edition box is unusable. With the help of a friend, I found the necessary decals (Thank you Peco!) And for the accurate reconstruction of the painting scheme, Anders Hjortsberg's blog 'The profile Paintshop' was crucial.
Oblt. Georg Schirmböck joined the Luftwaffe at the end of 1936. In 1939 he was posted to II./ JG 77 (5./JG 77 and 4./JG 77). In May 1941 he flew as Stafü of 5./JG 77 before moving to the Stab. Seen here in France, the Emil appears to have the 4. Staffel 'Sensenmann' - death riding the scythe - emblem under the cockpit. Schirmböck survived the war, credited with 3 vics ..
'fliegende Holzschuh' emblem on the yellow cowl of this 7./JG 54 Emil
...just sold for 109 euros, a well-known image of Hptm.Anton Hackl at the controls of his Fw 190 A-6 of III./JG 11. Note the 'Drache' (dragon) Wappenschild under the cockpit. His mechanics are hiding his Kommandeur 'chevron triangle'. March 1944, Oldenburg.
page 225 'Jagdflugzeug 190' , Rodeike
From 1942 production of the Me 109 Gustav took place at three main plants - Erla-Maschinenwerke in Leipzig, Wiener Neustädter Flugzeugwerke and Messerschmitt GmbH in Regensburg – and ran to a total of 16 series in 82 different designs. A rationalisation 'programme' had become absolutely necessary as well over 1,000 changes had been incorporated into the drawings. (quoted in Schmoll, 'Me 109 - Produktion und Einsatz') As a result major difficulties had arisen during repairs and the replacement of parts. In addition to the new DB engines with their larger superchargers and power boosting (the 'stop-gap' AS and the 605 D) a range of actions were introduced to improve 'commonality'. At the same time changes to the fuselage structure were introduced primarily to reduce drag and increase speed; eg the engine cowl covers were thickened by some 70 mm which enabled the elimination of the typical MG cowl ‘bulges’, the canopy was streamlined aerodynamically and pilot visibility improved (simplified canopy framing and mountings). Increased stability in the takeoff and landing runs was possible through bigger wheels, a lengthened tail wheel and a larger fin and rudder, the so-called ‘aufgestocktes Seitenleitwerk’. And so on.
Conceived as part of this 'programme', the G-10 was a 'new' light, fast fighter, powered by the DB 605 D adapted for B4 fuel with MW 50 power boosting. (Subsequent versions used C-3 fuel with MW 50). The Methanol/Water Sondernotleistung (special emergency power) injection was an aid to more effective combustion or 'wet' power. Author Schmoll states that the G-10 was the "..fastest variant of the Bf 109-series to see service, capable of 700 km/h at 7,500 m.." Intended to enter series production alongside the K-4 - bringing the Gustav-series up to K-series standard - deliveries of the G-10 actually started later than the K-4.
Distinguishing features include the refined 'elliptical' cowl shape over the MG 131s as seen on the G-6/AS. Independent of the engine variant fitted, Erla G-10 production (WNr in the 150-152 000 and 490-491 000 range) is (easily) identifiable by the asymetric cowl shape (designated 'Type 110' by Mermet) with the 'elliptical' or curved MG breech bulge only featuring on the starboard side. The 'Type 100' cowling with the Ballungen (elipse, plural) on both sides featured on WNF and Mtt Regensburg production and those airframes recycled from G-6s (eg, WNr. 130 000, 610 000 and 613 000). The DB 605 D featured a larger oil tank and a relocated oil filler hatch as one of the key ID features - due to the greater volume of oil (60 iso 45 litres) an oil cooler of larger surface area (wider and shallower) was present. Even though the small "chin" bulges were not a feature of the 'Type 110' cowl or required by the DB 605 D engine, these are present on the 'Type 100' cowl - probably in an attempt to increase 'commonality' with other variants then in series production. (see diagram below, from Mermet, 'Bf 109 G-1 to K-4, a guide to engines and fittings')
Below; late-war Erla Bf 109 G-10 in overall dark green as seen in service with I./JG 300. (Anders Hjortsberg artwork) A good view of the rectangular cowl section (just in front of the windscreen) being removed with what may be an Erla WNr. (?50719) visible.....
On the starboard side of the 'Type 110 cowl' the hatch for the cold weather starter is repositioned much higher up on the cowl (appears lower near the exhaust stack on the G-14). Other features of the G-10 include the tall tail with trim tabs and enlarged fairings on the wing to accomodate the bigger main wheels - and of course the 'Vollsichthaube', the 'clear vision' canopy minus the heavy framing. Note the absence of an antenna mast - replaced by the under-wing whip aerial - another 'streamlining' measure on late-war Bf 109 production.
There are really no hard and fast rules with late-war 109s of course - early Regensburg G-10 production featured the original G-6 wing with the smaller main wheels and upper wing 'tear-drop' bulges and according to some (eg Wolowski) early Erla G-10s - possibly as many as fifty examples - received the AS engine with the bigger deep radiators and lower cowling bumps. These were from the first production batch, WNr. 490 000. These may have been designated G-10/AS (see JfV Teil 13/IV pages 27 and 28). Erla referred to them as 'Bastard Flugzeuge'.
The concept of a G-10/AS usually provokes a comment or two. The 'true' 109-experts will deny that the Bf 109 G-10/AS even existed. Several units nonetheless reported Bf 109 G-10/AS machines in their loss returns - in particular JG 300 - and, as far as is known, mostly in the Erla 490 000 WerkNr. range..
17 Dec 44 - Lt. Köhler, Otto - 10./JG 300 Bf 109 G-10/ASM, WNr. 490291 'White 1', combat with P-51, 100%.
24 Dec 44 - Lt. Kampf, Werner - 10./JG 300 Bf 109 G-10/ASM WNr. 490299 ''white 11', combat bei Erfurt, 100%
(Some would say DB 605 AS powered Bf 109 G-10s were simply designated as Bf 109 G-10)
According to Mermet's first book around 4,500 G-10s were built, of which 3,500 were either re-cycled Gustav airframes, or Gustav airframes that received the 605 D engine while in production! Figures that proved to be wildly inaccurate...
Schmoll quotes the following figures for G-10 production;
Erla - 1,534 G-10 (November 44- Feb 45, including 916 G-10/R6 with the Patin PKS 12 Kurssteuerung 'automatic pilot')
Mtt Regensburg - 116 G-10 (October 44 -Jan 45)
WNF - approx 360 G-10/U4 (Mk 108 30mm cannon +MGs, only built by WNF during January -Feb 45)
A further 518 G-10s were constructed during March 1945 by Erla and WNF before production ended.
Below; Me 109 G-10/U4 of II./JG 52, WNr probably in the 611 000 range (WNF production) at Neubiberg after surrender. An enlargement from the negative via James V.Crow collection. Click for a full-screen view.
AZ 'Erla' Bf 109 G-10 by Jan Pavlik