BF109 F rounded wheel wells

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BF109 F rounded wheel wells

Post by tonyh » 21 Oct 2008 09:04

Hi guys,

I had always been under the impression that the BF109 F had rounded wheel wells throughout the entire series. But I was wrong. Oh well! (pardon the pun)

It seems the BF109 F-0 and F-1 series had squared off wheel wells for the entire run, like the earlier Emil and later Gustav series. This was included on the F in anticipation of outer wheel well doors, but they didn't arrive until the BF109K series.

A large number of the F-2's also had the squared off wheel wells too it seems. I think the F-4 had the rounded wheel wells, until very late in the production run. But any F-4's with squared wheel wells could have had an early G wing attached. I have only seen one F-4 from Africa in late 41/early 42 with squared wheel wells.

I have seen photos of Heinz Bretnütz's BF109 F-2 (W.Nr 6674) when he was Kommandeur of II/JG53 during April or May 1941 and that aircraft had the rounded wheel wells. This aircraft came from batch 6651-6822 from the WNF (Wiener-Neustadter-Flugzeugwerke) production run. WNr. 6743, also built by WNF, flown by Robert Olejnik, Staffelkapitän of 1./JG3, also had circular wheel wells. So, I assume that perhaps WNF made a change over on that batch or maybe the one before.

I've been informed that WNr. 5458 (Hptm Hans von Hahn, Gruppe Kommodore of I./JG3) from the WNr. batch 5401-5558, built by Ar War (Arado Warnemünde) between February and May 1941, had the squared off wheel wells. So I am unsure when they made the switch. Also, other F-2s with circular wheel wells include WNr. 8919 (Messerschmitt Regensburg, 8901-9001, March to April 1941) and WNr. 9641 (Arado Warnemünde, 9535-9734, June to August 1941).

So far, Heinz Bretnütz's BF109 F-2 (W.Nr 6674) is the earliest plane I've seen definite proof of having them from an early 1941 batch (probably January/Feburary).

My question is, does anyone have any more help regarding when the various BF109F-2 batches made the change over from the early squared off wheel well to the more common rounded wheel well?


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