Bf 109s lost on landing and takeoffs

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Hans_Rudel
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Bf 109s lost on landing and takeoffs

Post by Hans_Rudel » 20 Mar 2004 21:40

How many Bf-109s of every model were lost due to malfunctions with the landing gear? Does anyone know a site that might have the information? I already looked at the Luftwaffe Resources Group but they don't really have the information.

varjag
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Post by varjag » 24 Mar 2004 11:45

I doubt that any such statistics are existant. Have never heard much about landing-gear malfunctions on the 109. But it was a said to have been a difficult a/c to both take off and land for novice pilots (due to the narrow landing-gear configuration & prop torque) which according to several writers on the 109 - resulted in excessive numbers of accidents. Most of which however were repairable and not 'total losses'.

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Post by tonyh » 24 Mar 2004 17:31

Actually, most pilots say that the 109 was rather easy to take off in. Provided you compensate the engine torque with left rudder. Pilots simply pushed the stick forward to lift the tail and the plane did the rest.

Landing was another story. Its not that the 109 had narrow track landing gear that was the problem. The Spitfire had a very narrow track too. The main problem with the 109's gear was the angle it splayed out at, because the gear was part of the fusilage and not the wings. Thus if the pilot wasn't careful, the plane could turn upon landing and catch the pilot off guard and as the pilot tried to compnsate for the sudden turn, it could easilly cause the plane to flip or break the gear.

The accidents usually happened with later models of the 109, which had more powerful engines compared to the earlier models. Coupled with cut-down pilot training, an accident when landing could happen.

Tony

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Tracer
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Post by Tracer » 31 Mar 2004 07:41

tonyh wrote:...Thus if the pilot wasn't careful, the plane could turn upon landing and catch the pilot off guard and as the pilot tried to compnsate for the sudden turn, it could easilly cause the plane to flip or break the gear...

Tony
Never heard of them flipping b/c of this phenomena.. I suppose it's possible..

break the gear? most definitly.. I've seen photos of 109's after such accidents in a few magazines..

This is called a "ground loop" btw.. the tail slews around... the plane leans over and the wing tip usually gets damaged in the process as well.

-cheers
-Tracer

brustcan
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Me-109 landing gear

Post by brustcan » 02 Apr 2004 04:30

With the landing gear slightly splayed outwards, aggravated not only the
tendency to ground loop, but excessive tire wear, and tire bursts. In 1939
the landing gear problem was already noticed, with 255 Me-109s
damaged. A tailwheel lock fixed part of the problem, but the swing to the
left on takeoff, became greater as the engines fitted, were increased in
horsepower. By 1944 Luftwaffe fighter pilots were being sent into combat
with only 160 hours flight time whereas their British and American
counterparts had 360 and 400 hours. A total of 11,000 Me-109s were
lost in takeoff and landing accidents. The later heavy cumbersome canopy
was almost impossible for the pilot to open, with the result that many
pilots were badly injured or died. The last plane that Luftwaffe pilots
trained on, was the Arado 96 with wide inward folding landing gear(like the
FW-190), then when they switched to 109's it must have been a nasty shock. Willy Messerschmitt never built a plane that had a sliding canopy.
If the pilots could have taken off and landed with canopies in open
position, escape from the aircraft would have be easier, and saved many
lives.

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Hans_Rudel
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Re: Me-109 landing gear

Post by Hans_Rudel » 03 Apr 2004 22:01

Thanks for that. A while ago, I heard the stat that over 30% of Me109s were lost because of landing gear malfunctions, I didn't believe it. I guess it is true though.

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Conacher1941
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Post by Conacher1941 » 05 Apr 2004 04:26

A total of 11,000 Me-109s were lost in takeoff and landing accidents.
If such a high propotion of aircraft were being damaged during non-combat situations, why was something to remedy the problem not underataken? At 11,000 that is roughly a third of all 109's produced during the war...Yikes 8O

...Conacher

tonyh
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Post by tonyh » 05 Apr 2004 14:44

I don't think lost is the correct word. Surely 11.000 aircraft couldn't have been "lost" in such a way. Lost suggests complete write offs. Perhaps "suffered" is a better term.

Many of the aircraft that had landing damage surely were repaired relatively simply.

I can understand 11.000 109's suffering light damage from landing accidents and thus having to be repaired, but being "lost" from such accidents seems off the wall to me.

Tony

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Post by Hop » 05 Apr 2004 23:33

I've never seen any concrete info on the 30% lost from landing accidents, but I've allways understood it to mean 30% of all aircraft lost weredue o landing and takeoff accidents.

Over 30,000 109s were built, but far less would have been lost, with many being canabilised for spares, retired because of airframe stress, sent back to the factory for rebuilding into newer models etc.

So if say 15,000 were lost, 30% of those would have been due o landing accidents, ie around 5,000 (these are just examples. I have no idea how many 109s were actually lost)

The 109 did have a reputation for ground looping though.

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Hans_Rudel
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Post by Hans_Rudel » 05 Apr 2004 23:52

Either way, it’s a hell of a lot of desperately needed aircraft being lost due to such a problem.

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to remedy the problem of the Me-109's landing gear..

Post by brustcan » 06 Apr 2004 04:14

Conacher1941 wrote:
A total of 11,000 Me-109s were lost in takeoff and landing accidents.
If such a high propotion of aircraft were being damaged during non-combat situations, why was something to remedy the problem not underataken? At 11,000 that is roughly a third of all 109's produced during the war...Yikes 8O

...Conacher
The Messerschmitt company spent much energy
and money in attempting to produce an improved version of the Me-109.
The first attempt was the Me-209 with which the world speed record
with set. Although it had a wide inwarding folding landing gear, it was
a failure and only 4 were produced. Next came the Me-309 with tricycle!!
landing gear. The 4 prototypes not only had bad nosewheel wobble, but
also swung to the left on takeoff! Despite all modifications, the Standard
Me-109G could easily out turn the 309, and the project was abandoned in
late 1943. Last try was using 60% of Me-109 parts, new wing and tail
with DB 603G engine. The nose and oil cooler looked like the FW-190D.
and flight characteristics were very good. The aircraft used the old
Me-209 number and despite that Messerschmitt was ready to produce
this aircraft, the Air Ministry cancelled all plans choosing the FW Ta 152H.
So Messerschmitt kept building the Me-109 with its bad landing gear.
hope this answers the question,
BRUSTCAN

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Post by Jon G. » 08 May 2004 09:21

I found this picture on the net. It doesn't look as if the plane took too much damage here... it's implied by the title 'Fliegerdenkmal' (Pilot's monument) that these occurrences were quite normal...

Andreas
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Post by Andreas » 11 May 2004 23:55

Looks like my typical landing in IL2-FB. 8O

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bryson109
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Post by bryson109 » 12 May 2004 00:01

This link is a good read, all about the myths and realities of the bf 109.
Very interesting.

http://www.virtualpilots.fi/hist/109myths/

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Skadi
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Post by Skadi » 13 May 2004 01:20

Shrek wrote:I found this picture on the net. It doesn't look as if the plane took too much damage here... it's implied by the title 'Fliegerdenkmal' (Pilot's monument) that these occurrences were quite normal...

:lol: I have done that to a Bf109 when I have played IL2 Sturmovik. It is only a game...but damn I was embarrassed! :P ). If that game (Flight simulator) is anything to go by in terms of recreating realism....they are hard to take off and land when your not used to it!

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