Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: 109 F1/2 to F4 field or factory upgrades? Historical question

  1. #1
    Supporting Member hnbdgr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    1,321
    Post Thanks / Like
    Total Downloaded
    160.45 MB

    109 F1/2 to F4 field or factory upgrades? Historical question

    Hey all,

    So I recently wanted to check how many purebred 109 F-4's were manufactured and german wiki gives this

    https://i.imgur.com/bj1S3L5.jpg

    https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Messerschmitt_Bf_109

    As you can see only 121x F-4's (not including the High alt and trop variants) were manufactured.

    So I was wondering whether the F-1's and F-2's remained in service throughout the war and were passed on to 2nd rate forces or whether some or most got upgraded? If so would it be a field or a factory upgrade and what were the main differences? apart from the obvious, i.e. engine.

    If someone knows, let me know!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    TF Leadership RAF74_Buzzsaw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    11,778
    Post Thanks / Like
    Total Downloaded
    320.64 MB

    Re: 109 F1/2 to F4 field or factory upgrades? Historical question

    All the still airworthy aircraft which were originally F-1/F-2's were upgraded to F-4's as far as I know.

    Additionally, a lot of those originally ordered and listed as Block F-2's ended up coming off the manufacturer's floor as F-4's as the DB-601E's became available.

    Many of the aircraft which were in the field as F-2's were sent back to the non-field, intermediate repair facilities and upgraded there instead of being sent all the way back to the manufacturer's factories. These upgrades involved checking the airframes for fatigue, replacing old components with latest types, etc.

    Germans typically used this process for most of their used airframes as they upgraded and improved their aircraft types to latest version. There was a continuous stream aircraft shipped back to the intermediate repair facilities... damaged or over their allowable hours.... and then returned back to the front as they were repaired and upgraded.

    British did this as well, but the Germans had a shortage of aluminum, so they really focused on recycling their aircraft. (Allied wrecks were also salvaged for their metal)

    In regards to the numbers of F-4's:

    Don't forget the F-4R-1's were the gondola equipped variants... but a lot of pilots hated the gondolas, and removed them... basically reverting back to the standard F-4.

    And the F-4 tp are the tropical versions... which were standard F-4's with the tropical equipment.

    The reason for the numbers of F-4Z... both sides focused on climb and high altitude performance... because there "... was no substitute for altitude." Unlike virtual flyers and their dogfighting focus, real pilots and their leaders on both sides focused on basic altitude tactics... get an altitude advantage... attack... disengage and regain altitude.

    Quote Originally Posted by hnbdgr View Post
    Hey all,

    So I recently wanted to check how many purebred 109 F-4's were manufactured and german wiki gives this

    https://i.imgur.com/bj1S3L5.jpg

    https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Messerschmitt_Bf_109

    As you can see only 121x F-4's (not including the High alt and trop variants) were manufactured.

    So I was wondering whether the F-1's and F-2's remained in service throughout the war and were passed on to 2nd rate forces or whether some or most got upgraded? If so would it be a field or a factory upgrade and what were the main differences? apart from the obvious, i.e. engine.

    If someone knows, let me know!

  3. Likes hnbdgr, ATAG_Snapper liked this post
  4. #3
    Supporting Member hnbdgr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    1,321
    Post Thanks / Like
    Total Downloaded
    160.45 MB

    Re: 109 F1/2 to F4 field or factory upgrades? Historical question

    Amazing, Thanks Buzzsaw!

  5. #4
    Team Fusion Cybermat47's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    1,053
    Post Thanks / Like
    Total Downloaded
    3.61 GB

    Re: 109 F1/2 to F4 field or factory upgrades? Historical question

    I only recently found out that such upgrades were possible - there was one Bf 109 E-1 that was eventually upgraded to an E-7!

    I'm not sure, but I think the British may have done something similar, like upgrading a Spitfire Mk V to a Mk IX, but I'm probably wrong about that.
    Author of the Their Finest Hour, Their Greatest Challenge, Desert Hawks, Eagles over Tobruk, On Ne Passe Pas!, and Rising from the Ashes campaigns for Cliffs of Dover Blitz and Desert Wings - Tobruk.

  6. #5
    TF Leadership RAF74_Buzzsaw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    11,778
    Post Thanks / Like
    Total Downloaded
    320.64 MB

    Re: 109 F1/2 to F4 field or factory upgrades? Historical question

    Quote Originally Posted by Cybermat47 View Post
    I only recently found out that such upgrades were possible - there was one Bf 109 E-1 that was eventually upgraded to an E-7!

    I'm not sure, but I think the British may have done something similar, like upgrading a Spitfire Mk V to a Mk IX, but I'm probably wrong about that.
    No you are right.

    There were a lot of older aircraft which were recycled... for example the first Spitfire Mk Va's were originally Spitfire Mk I's, and the first Spitfire Mk IXa's were Spitfire Mk V's.

    Also, a lot of aircraft which were manufactured as earlier variants, went straight to upgrade off the factory floor... so some late version Mk V's, which were the most manufactured type, came off the Mk V assembly lines and were immediately sent out to be converted to Mk IX's.

    If you look at the book "Spitfire, The History", and go through the serials, you can see many different aircraft and their evolution through types.

    But the British were a little more relaxed about recycling than the Germans because they had better supplies of aluminum and other components.

    The real criminal failure on the part of the British was in not using their spare used Mk I's/II's in the Desert... they had a lot of these available, but the powers that be thought the Desert flyers could get along with Hurricanes and P-40's.
    Last edited by RAF74_Buzzsaw; Nov-14-2023 at 16:41.

  7. Likes Cybermat47 liked this post
  8. #6
    Supporting Member IIJG27Rich's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    2,490
    Post Thanks / Like
    Total Downloaded
    370.25 MB

    Re: 109 F1/2 to F4 field or factory upgrades? Historical question

    I actually like the last 601s better than the 605s I know the more power and the better high alt performance but I still think the 601 is a better engine

  9. #7
    TF Leadership RAF74_Buzzsaw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    11,778
    Post Thanks / Like
    Total Downloaded
    320.64 MB

    Re: 109 F1/2 to F4 field or factory upgrades? Historical question

    Quote Originally Posted by IIJG27Rich View Post
    I actually like the last 601s better than the 605s I know the more power and the better high alt performance but I still think the 601 is a better engine
    Improving Altitude performance was the focus of both sides in their engine development.

    While players may be happy to fly around at 10,000 ft/3000 meters, the real flyers knew how important it was to have an altitude advantage... it gave complete initiative to initiate or refuse combat... as well as the advantage of the first attack/bounce.

    The G model 109's with the DB-605 engine were heavier and did not maneuver as well as the F-4, but they could climb faster and higher, especially when specialist high altitude models were created with a larger diameter impeller in the Supercharger.

    These types were critical in terms of the ability to fight on relatively even terms with the P-47's and P-51's as well as of course the B-17's/B-24's... which typically operated at between 25,000-30,000 ft/7500 - 10000 meters. The P-47's/B-17's/B-24's had single speed superchargers with a turbo-supercharger on top, and the P-51B/C/D's had two stage/two speed superchargers like the Spitfire IX's.

    The FW-190A's, although they were superb low and medium alt fighters, had limited effectiveness at higher altitudes due to their supercharger design... one of the reasons they had to be escorted by Bf-109's in 1944. It was only with the arrival of the FW-190D with its two stage 3 speed supercharger, that the FW-190 could compete with the Allied fighters.

    Even when both German fighter aircraft types had GM-1 nitrous injection added as an option, this was not as efficient as an engine with a supercharger designed to deliver high altitude power. The GM-1 was limited in how long it could be used due to the tank capacity, and the installation also added a lot of weight, making the aircraft less maneuverable.
    Last edited by RAF74_Buzzsaw; Jan-20-2024 at 14:31.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •