Bf109 (ME-109) Cannon

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Dan Reinbold
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Bf109 (ME-109) Cannon

Post by Dan Reinbold » 28 Nov 2003 04:03

Just a quick question regarding the various cannon armament that fired through the propeller hub of the Bf109 (Me109).

How were the spent cannon shells ejected out of the aircraft? I am assuming there was a port under the engine where they would "fall" out of the aircraft, but I have never seen a reference to this or any pictures of this.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Dan

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Rommel8
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Post by Rommel8 » 28 Nov 2003 06:11

I too dont understand this, but I think you are right about their being a shell ejector underneath the propeller hub

how ever im not sure either

gabriel pagliarani
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Post by gabriel pagliarani » 28 Nov 2003 09:39

Under the engine (DB 601, 605, 603) there was always the air/oil intercooler: too easy to be damaged. I think that empty fired cartridges were reallocated in the same container of the new ones, using a "Moebius" rewinding endless design. Axis air forces were not as much rich to loose that useful brass and a brass or aluminum cartridge can be recharged safely at least 3 times.

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LegalAssassin
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Post by LegalAssassin » 28 Nov 2003 14:18

I belive this too, as I have never seen in a photo any brass ejecting anywhere from an ME109 while muzzleflashes are all lit. Wonder if this is efficient though, as that amount of brass is very heavy. But with limited brass, I wouldn't be surprised you'd rather have a heavy aircraft three flights instead of every third flight with ammo... :P

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Dan Reinbold
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Post by Dan Reinbold » 28 Nov 2003 16:26

Thanks for the information guys...I appreciate it. I would be interested in seeing the ammunition feed system though...now my curiosity is peaked!

:D

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Erik E
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Post by Erik E » 28 Nov 2003 16:38

A little description supporting Gabriel P`s theories :)

http://www.luft46.com/armament/mk108.html

EE

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stevezz1
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Post by stevezz1 » 28 Nov 2003 21:18

Talking about 109.s..............

I have just watched a tv. program following the life of a Spitfire.
From it's role in WW.2. up to the present day, where it thrills crowds at air shows.......Very impresive....... :D

I was wondering if there are any flying examples of ME 109.s. or FW190.s.

Regards,

Steve.

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Dora
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Post by Dora » 29 Nov 2003 16:10

All,
The Daimler-Benz engines were an inverted 'V' design which permitted easy installation and ejection of spent brass cartridges after firing. As these engines mounted cannon on the Bf-109 series aircraft were always of 10mm and 30mm caliber, the spent cartridge weighed almost a half pound each, the G-6 model of the Bf-109 had a MG151/20mm cannon mounted that carried 150 rounds. The quantity of spent brass as well as the weight of the retained spent cartridges would not only be added weight but would require a holding bag that would have to be fitted in a very small space that got very hot. So, the spent cartridges were ejected down and out of the aircraft.
Dora
800mm

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Dan Mouritzsen
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Post by Dan Mouritzsen » 29 Nov 2003 17:17

Hi

The fuselage mounted 7,92 mm. MG 17’s in the Bf 109’s were based on the hand-held MG15 machine gun and was synchronized to fire through the propeller arc at a rate of 1,100 rounds per minute. The MG’s were staggered slightly fore and aft to allow the ammunition boxes (which each held 1,000 rounds) to be accommodated. Belts and spent cartridges were collected in the compartment below the boxes. All weapons except the MG/FF used disintegrating belts. The MG/FF used ammunition drums.

Wing mounted guns ejected the spent belts and cartridges. Fuselage mounted guns collected the spent belts and cartridges in boxes inside the fuselage. Note that the breach of the 2/3 cm. guns rested between the feet of the pilot and if they had ejected the spent belt and cartridges they would anyhow have been ejected behind intercooler intake.

From 1942 and until the end of the war almost all ammunition for the Luftwaffe airborne guns except the 7,92 mm. weapons. Were made of steel with a shiny greenish or light field grey lacquer layer.

Source: Aircraft & Legend - Messerschmitt Bf 109 by Heinz J. Nowarra and The fighting Me 109 by Uwe Feist.

Regards

Dan Mouritzsen

gabriel pagliarani
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Post by gabriel pagliarani » 30 Nov 2003 06:01

I have seen the feeding circuit of Breda SAFAT 12,7mm on both Macchi 202 & 205. Those planes were equipped with the same DB engines family of Bf109, a similar water intercooler (only one between wings, as Dan rightly reported) and a less similar oil intercooler fitted exactly under the engine(splitted in 2 round pieces on Mc205) and just facing the wider water intercooler. There was no chance to eject spent cartridges and chains under the engine without damaging both cooling systems: the internal storage of spent cartridges was necessary. At the contrary, I think that only P-39 Airacobra was able to eject spent cartridges from its own 37mm gun coaxial mounted with the propeller's shaft: all other WW2 fighters having fire arms so close to the main engine had the same problem of Bf 109. A question more: weren't belts & chains the same feeding device?

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Dan Mouritzsen
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Post by Dan Mouritzsen » 30 Nov 2003 17:04

Hi Gabriel

Normally you feed a full automatic gun by 4 systems.

One is were a spring is pushing the new cartridge into position in a magazine so it can be feed into the chamber of the gun.

One is were a clip of ammunition is feed through the gun. The empty clip is going out one side while the used cartridges are going out the other.

One is were a continuous belt (of 50/75/100/150/250/300 rounds) or a disintegrating belt feed the gun. The gun is feed with the belt from one side while the whole belt or the disintegrating links are going out the other and the used cartridges going out a third side.

One is were the gun is feed by a normally endless chain. The cartridges are removed from the chain during the firing process and normally replaced in the chain and returned to the magazine like in the 20 mm. Vulcan gun used in the F-16 or ejected like in the revolver cannons used by the F-100.

This was quite tricky to describe so I hope you understand :)

Regards

Dan Mouritzsen

THE AWFUL EGG
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Post by THE AWFUL EGG » 01 Dec 2003 01:23

I ALWAYS WONDERED WHY THE ME-110 NEVER HAD ENGINE CANNONS EVEN THOUGH THE ENGINES WERE SIMILAR...DB601/605.

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Dan Reinbold
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Post by Dan Reinbold » 01 Dec 2003 02:10

thanks again everyone...the information provided has been extremely helpful.

Dan

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