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WIDTH INCHES 18 20 22 24 26 28
LENGTH INCHES 28 29 30 31 32 33
WIDTH INCHES 18 20 22 24 26  
LENGTH INCHES 25.5 26.5 27.5 28.5 30  
WIDTH INCHES 15 17 18 20    
LENGTH INCHES 20 22 24 26


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bf109 fighter airplane 1/32 scale

The aircraft needed to have a top speed of 400 km/h (250 mph) at 6,000 m (19,690 ft) which it could maintain for 20 minutes, while staying in the air for a total of 90 minutes. The critical altitude of 6,000 meters was to be reached in no more than 17 minutes, and the fighter was to have an operational ceiling of 10,000 meters.  Power was to be provided by the latest Junkers Jumo 210 engine of about 522 kW (700 hp). It was to be armed with either a single high-performance 20 mm MG C 30 cannon firing through the engine shaft or, alternatively, either two engine cowl-mounted 7.92 mm (.312 in) MG 17 machine guns, or one lightweight, engine-mounted 20 mm MG FF cannon with two 7.92 mm MG 17s. One other specification was that the aircraft needed to keep wing loading below 100 kg/m2. The performance was to be evaluated based on the plane's level speed, rate of climb, and maneuverability, in that order.  In fact, the R-III specifications were not really devised by the T-Amt; in early-1933, both Heinkel and Arado had sent in privately funded layout s for a monoplane fighter aircraft, and the T-Amt simply gathered the best features from both and sent them back out again, adding Focke-Wulf to the invitation to tender.  It has been suggested that Bayerische Flugzeugwerke (BFW) was actually not invited to participate in the competition due to personal animosity between Willy Messerschmitt and RLM director Erhard Milch; however, recent research by Willy Radinger and Walter Shick indicates that this may not have been the case, as all three competing companies—Arado, Heinkel and the BFW—received the development contract for the L.A. 1432/33 requirements at the same time in February 1934. A fourth company, Focke-Wulf, received a copy of the development contract only in September 1939.The power plant was to be the Junkers Jumo 210, but the proviso was made that it would be interchangeable with the more powerful, but less developed Daimler-Benz DB 600 power plant. Each was asked to deliver three prototypes to be delivered for head-to-head testing in late 1934.  After Luftwaffe acceptance trials were completed at Rechlin, the prototypes were relocated to Travemünde  for the head-to-head portion of the contest. The aircraft which participated in the trials were the Arado Ar 80 V3, the Focke-Wulf Fw 159 V3, the Heinkel He 112 V4 and the Bf 109 V2. The He 112 arrived first, in early February 1936, and the rest of the prototypes had all arrived by the beginning of March.  Because most of the fighter pilots of the Luftwaffe were used to biplanes with open cockpits, low wing loading, light g-forces and easy handling, they were very critical of the Bf 109 at first. However, it soon became one of the front runners in the contest, as the Arado and Focke-Wulf entries, which were intended as "back-up" programmes to safeguard against failure of the two favorites, proved to be completely outclassed. The Arado Ar 80, with its gull wing (replaced with a straight, tapered wing on the V3) and fixed, spatted undercarriage was overweight and underpowered and the structure  was abandoned after three prototypes had been built. The parasol winged Fw 159 was always considered by the Erprobungsstelle (E-Stelle) staff at Travemünde to be a compromise between the biplane and the aerodynamically more efficient low-wing monoplane. Although it had some advanced features, it used a novel undercarriage structure  which was never truly reliable.  Initially, the Bf 109 was regarded with suspicion by the E-Stelle test pilots because of its steep ground angle, resulting in poor forward view on the ground; the sideways-hinged cockpit canopy, which could not be opened in flight; and the automatic wing leading edge slots which, it was thought, would inadvertently open during aerobatics, possibly leading to crashes. They were also concerned about the high wing loading. The Heinkel He 112, based on a scaled-down Blitz was the favorite of the Luftwaffe leaders. Compared with the Bf 109, it was also cheaper. Positive aspects of the He 112 included the wide track and robustness of the undercarriage, considerably better visibility from the cockpit, and a lower wing loading that led to easier landings. However, the He 112 was also structurally complicated, being some 18% heavier than the Bf 109, and it soon became clear that the thick wing, which spanned 12.6 m (41 ft 4 in) with an area of 23.2 m2 (249.7 ft2) on the first prototype (V1), was a disadvantage for a light plane, decreasing the aircraft's rate of roll and maneuverability. Because of its smaller, lighter airframe, the Bf 109 was 30 km/h (20 mph) faster than the He 112 in level flight, and superior in climbing and diving. As a result, the He 112 V4 which was used for the trials had modern wings, spanning 11.5 m (37 ft 8.75 in) with an area of 21.6 m2 (232.5 ft2). In addition, the V4 had a single-piece, clear-view, sliding cockpit canopy and a more powerful Jumo 210Da engine with a modified exhaust system. However, the improvements had not been fully tested and the He 112 V4 could not be demonstrated in accordance with the rules laid down by the Acceptance Commission, giving a distinct advantage to the Bf 109. The Commission ruled in favour of the Bf 109 because of the Messerschmitt test pilot's demonstration of the 109's capabilities during a series of spins, dives, flick rolls and tight turns, throughout which the pilot was in complete control of the aircraft. In March, the RLM received news that the British Spitfire had been ordered into assembly; with this information, a quick result to the contest was needed in order to get the winning pattern  into manufacturing. On 12 March, they released a document that outlined the results of the contest, Bf 109 Priority Procurement, as a result of which the RLM instructed Heinkel to radically re-structure  the He 112, while ordering the Bf 109 into assembly. The Messerschmitt 109 made its public debut during the 1936 Berlin Olympics, when the V1 prototype was flown.   As with the earlier Bf 108, the current pattern  was based on Messerschmitt's "lightweight construction", which was essentially aimed at reducing the total number of parts in the aircraft as much as possible. Examples of this could be found in the use of two large, complicated brackets which were fitted to the main engine firewall; these brackets incorporated the lower engine mounts and landing gear pivot points. A large forging attached to the firewall carried the main-spar pick up points, and carried most of the wing loads. Contemporary structure  practice was usually to have these main load-bearing structures mounted on different parts of the airframe, with the loads being distributed through the main structure via a series of strong-points. By centralizing the loads on the main bulkhead, the main structure of the Bf 109 was able to be made relatively light and uncomplicated.  An advantage of this model  was that because the outboard-retracting main landing gear, retracting through roughly an 85º angle, was attached to the fuselage, it was possible to completely remove the wings of the aircraft for servicing without the need for additional equipment to support the fuselage. It also meant that the wing structure was able to be simplified through not having to carry the weight of the aircraft and not having to bear the loads imposed during takeoff or landing. However, this had one major drawback—this landing gear arrangement had a narrow wheel track making the aircraft unstable while on the ground. To increase stability the legs had to be splayed out, creating another problem in that the loads imposed during takeoff and landings were transferred at an angle up through the legs. The small rudder of the Bf 109 was relatively ineffective at controlling the strong swing created by the powerful slipstream of the propeller, and this sideways drift created disproportionate loads on the wheel opposite to the swing. If the forces imposed were large enough, the pivot points often broke and the landing gear leg would be forced sideways into its bay. Because of the large ground angle caused by the long legs, visibility for the pilot, especially straight ahead, was very poor, a problem exacerbated by the sideways-opening canopy. This meant that the pilots often had to "snake" the aircraft during taxiing maneuvers, which again imposed stresses on the splayed undercarriage legs. Ground accidents were, however, more of a problem with rookie pilots, especially during the later stages of the war. Even experienced pilots, especially those who were tired, were caught out. Most Finnish pilots reported that the swing was easy to control, but some of the less-experienced pilots lost fighter planes on start-up. At least 10% of all Bf 109s were lost in takeoff and landing accidents, 1,500 of which occurred between 1939 and 1941.  The provision of a fixed "tall" tail-wheel on some of the late G-10s and 14s and the K-series helped alleviate the problem to a large extent.  Automatic leading edge slats on a Bf 109E. By using high-lift devices, the handling qualities of the Bf 109 were considerably enhanced.  Right from the inception of the structure  priority was given to total and easy access to the power plant, fuselage weapons and other systems while the aircraft was operational from forward airfields. To this end, the entire engine cowling was made up of large, easily removable panels which were secured by large toggle-latches. A large panel under the wing center-section could be removed to gain access to the L-shaped main fuel tank, which was sited partly under the cockpit floor and partly behind the rear cockpit bulkhead. Other, smaller panels gave easy access to the cooling systems and electrical equipment. The engine was held in two large, forged, magnesium alloy Y-shaped legs which were cantilevered from the main firewall/bulkhead. Each of the legs was secured by two quick-release screw fittings on the main firewall. All of the main pipe connections were colour-coded and grouped in one place, where possible, and the electrical equipment plugged into junction boxes mounted on the firewall. The entire power plant could be removed or replaced as a unit in a matter of minutes. An aspect of this construction technique was the use of a single, I-section main spar in the wing, mounted close to the leading edge, thus forming a stiff D-shaped torsion box. Most aircraft of the era used two spars, near the front and rear edges of the wings, but the D-box was much stiffer torsion wise and eliminated the need for the rear spar. The wing profile was somewhere between NACA 2314 and 2315, with a thickness to chord ratio of 14.5%. Another major difference was the higher wing loading than the competing design s. While the R-IV contract called for a wing loading of less than 100 kg/m2, Messerschmitt felt this was unreasonable; with the engines available to them, the fighter plane would end up slower than the bombers it was tasked with catching. Since the aircraft was being design ed primarily for high-speed flight, a smaller wing area would be optimal for achieving high level speeds, but the downside of such a trade-off was that low-speed flight would suffer, as the smaller wing would require more airflow to generate enough lift to stay flying. To compensate for this, the Bf 109 included advanced high-lift devices on the wings, together with  automatically opening leading edge slats, and fairly large camber-changing flaps on the trailing edge. The slats increased the overall lift of the wing considerably when deployed, greatly improving the horizontal maneuverability of the aircraft, as several Luftwaffe veterans such as Erwin Leykauf hardheadedly attest. Messerschmitt also included ailerons (and later radiator flaps) that "drooped" when the flaps were lowered thereby increasing the effective flap area. When deployed, these devices effectively increased the wings' coefficient of lift. Fighter aircrafts with liquid cooled engines were vulnerable to hits to their coolant system. For this reason, on later Bf 109 models two coolant radiators were equipped with a cut-off system: if one radiator leaked, it was possible to fly on the second or close both radiators down and fly at least five minutes more. When in 1943 Oberfeldwebel Edmund Rossman got lost and landed on the Soviet side, he agreed to show how to service the plane. Machine-gun technician Viktor M. Sinaisky recalled:   "The Messer was a very well layout ed plane. First, it had an engine of an inverted type, so it could not be knocked out from below. It also had two water radiators with a cut-off system: if one radiator leaked you could fly on the second or close both down and fly at least five minutes more. The pilot was protected by armor-plate from the back, and the fuel tank was also behind armor. Our planes had fuel tanks in the centre of their wings: that's why our pilot got burnt. What else did I like about the Messer? It was highly automatic and thus easy to fly. It also employed an electrical pitch regulator, which our planes didn't have. Our propeller system, with variable pitch was hydraulic, making it impossible to change pitch without engine running. If, God forbid, you turned off the engine at high pitch, it was impossible to turn the propeller and was very hard to start the engine again. Finally, the German ammo counter was also a great thing." Reflecting Messerschmitt's belief in low-weight, low-drag, simple monoplanes, the armament was placed in the fuselage: two synchronized machine guns, just as in a typical biplane plane like the Albatros D.Va, were mounted in the cowling, firing over the top of the engine and through the propeller arc. As an alternative, a single high-performance cannon (or "shell-gun", as sometimes referred in the 1930s) firing through the cylinder banks through a blast tube, with the engine buffering the recoil, was considered from the start.This was also the choice of armament layout on some contemporary French monoplane fighter planes, such as the Dewoitine D.520. Conforming to Prof. Messerschmitt's ethos, this kept his gun-free wings very thin and lightweight.  When it was discovered in 1937 that the RAF was planning eight-gun batteries for its recent monoplane aircrafts, the Hawker Hurricane and Supermarine Spitfire, it became clear the Bf 109 would need to carry more weaponry; a latest wing was layouted to carry machine guns, and later, 20 mm MG FF cannon configurations.


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