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Bf109G-6A/S Red legs


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I am currently cobbling up a G-6A/S out of in incomplete G-10 that I won in a recent auction. I have seen colour photos of two different G-6A/S aircraft that have red wheel hubs and u/c legs obviously to remind the ground crew that they take C3 (97 octane) fuel. My question is did all G-6A/S aircraft have red wheels etc or was this a unit thing? My chosen subject is the white 7 night fighter of which there is only one photo which is inconclusive. Any help on the subject would be greatly appreciated.

TRF

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I assume you're talking about the FuG 217-equipped Bf 109 G-6/AS, marked 7 + -, of 5/NJG 11 found at Lübeck at the end of the war, correct? Assuming this is the case, some observations:

 

- Not all aircraft using C3 (96 octane) fuel had red gear legs as standard; some did, but this was far from universal, and there are several images of aircraft that just have legs in the regular colors.

- If you look at the octane triangle which is just visible above the leading edge of the wing in the photograph, you will notice that the yellow part of the triangle is rendered rather darkly, which indicates the photograph was made using orthochromatic film: ortho film has a low sensitivity to yellow, and is almost insensitive to the red part of the spectrum. The latter means that if the gear legs were red, they would appear almost black in the photograph. This is clearly not the case, suggesting another color. 

- Not all DB 605 AS engines required C3 fuel. The original DB 605 AS, because of the higher compression ratio and the increased boost pressure, required C3 fuel, as did the ASM, which is basically the same engine but with provision for MW 50 injection. However, in response to the chaotic fuel supply situation at the end of the war, Daimler-Benz introduced the ASB, ASC and ASMO models in 1945. While the ASC only used C3 (96 octane) fuel with MW 50 boost, the ASB could either use B4 fuel (87 octane) + MW50 boost, or C3 (96 octane) fuel without MW 50. Finally, the ASMO version introduced near the very end of the war had a selector allowing the engine to be set to use either B4 or C3 fuel, depending on what was available, both with boost. Because 7 + - was found at the end of the war and had clearly undergone some upgrades, it is possible it was equipped with one of the later engines allowing the use of B4 fuel.

- Looking at the rear wall of the cockpit of 7 + -, it seems the aircraft originally had a classic three-piece canopy, and was later retrofitted with the Erla Haube, with the antenna moved to the spine. This suggests the aircraft started life as a regular G-6 and was later converted to G-6/AS standard.

- Although the machine definitely is a G-6/AS, it does have the larger Fö 987 oil cooler, which was introduced during G-14/AS production. So, this larger cooler is a retrofit (also documented on some other G-6/AS airframes that survived long enough).

- As a nightfighter, it has the extended shroud over the exhausts, but does not have the whistling device.

- Interestingly, it seems to have whitewall tires on the mainwheels. These are normally associated with Trop aircraft.

- Not sure, but the aircraft may have had the wing fillet and wing root painted black, as e.g. also seen on the NJG 11 G-10s captured at Fassberg.

 

Edited by pvanroy
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Thanks for your replies guys. I have seen the models on here by IanM & Wackyracer and I thought what an interesting subject. When this G-10 came up at an auction I thought I could do something different with that. Unfortunately some vital parts were missing from the kit (upper wing halves, belly plate and gundeck - who does that?) but I have a large collection of 109 bits so with the help of a new G-6 kit she is just about ready to paint. Because I had seen the photos of G-6A/S planes with red legs I thought I'd ask the question without first doing much research. Turns out Britmodeller has a number of posts on the subject as well and as far as the proliferation of DB605 engines types and fuel used are concerned it's enough to give you a brain fxxk. Thank you too Pvanroy for your observations, a few things I hadn't noticed. One thing I was wondering about the tyres is that maybe it was just slush rather than white walls as the light colour is in the tread. Like a lot of model colour decisions, the heart says red legs but the reality is that they are probably 02.

TRF

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On 1/22/2022 at 3:30 AM, fastterry said:

... Like a lot of model colour decisions, the heart says red legs but the reality is that they are probably 02.

 

Actually, I think 02 is less likely for a number of reasons.

 

First, Sammelmitteilung Nr 2 of 15 August 1944 mandated that 02 was to be replaced by 66, to simplify production. In fact, this was just an official change to bring regulations in line with reality, as 66 had already been increasingly used on parts that were supposed to be 02. There is evidence for the use of 66 on e.g. the gears of the Bf 109 E and T. Then, in November 44, regulations were further simplified to omit any paint cover on interior parts not visible from the outside, and on wheel wells, etc., which were just to be left unpainted. In addition, is was not unusual to have gear wells and even legs just sprayed in the underside color, especially near the end of the war (but again, there are also indications of this going at least back to the 109 E).

 

Second, if you look at the image, you will see that the tail wheel leg is of a dark color very similar to the rear wall of the cockpit. We know that the cockpit should normally be 66, so it stands to reason the tail wheel leg is also in this color (as per Sammelmitteilung 2). If you look further, at the aircraft parked behind 7 + -, you can also see a similar dark color on the gear legs of that machine - likely, again, 66. However, looking at the gear legs of 7 + -, we can see that they are very lightly colored; in fact, they look very similar to the rest of the airframe, which is in 76 (the same probably also goes for the gear wells, as far as those are visible).

 

So, my personal opinion is that 7 + - probably had the gear wells and main gear legs painted in 76, like the rest of the aircraft. This would make further sense if the machine originally was a regular G-6 with standard 74/75/76 camouflage, and was repainted into solid 76 all over as part of its conversion into a G-6/AS (or during conversion to a FuG 217-equipped nightfighter).

 

Just my two cents!

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A very valuable two cents worth pvanroy, I concur. Funnily enough I had already painted the Barracuda tall tail wheel leg in 66. Good job also in describing the things for ZM to do to their G-14 to make a G-10.

TRF

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On 1/21/2022 at 6:55 PM, pvanroy said:

I assume you're talking about the FuG 217-equipped Bf 109 G-6/AS, marked 7 + -, of 5/NJG 11 found at Lübeck at the end of the war, correct? Assuming this is the case, some observations:

 

- Not all aircraft using C3 (96 octane) fuel had red gear legs as standard; some did, but this was far from universal, and there are several images of aircraft that just have legs in the regular colors.

- If you look at the octane triangle which is just visible above the leading edge of the wing in the photograph, you will notice that the yellow part of the triangle is rendered rather darkly, which indicates the photograph was made using orthochromatic film: ortho film has a low sensitivity to yellow, and is almost insensitive to the red part of the spectrum. The latter means that if the gear legs were red, they would appear almost black in the photograph. This is clearly not the case, suggesting another color. 

- Not all DB 605 AS engines required C3 fuel. The original DB 605 AS, because of the higher compression ratio and the increased boost pressure, required C3 fuel, as did the ASM, which is basically the same engine but with provision for MW 50 injection. However, in response to the chaotic fuel supply situation at the end of the war, Daimler-Benz introduced the ASB, ASC and ASMO models in 1945. While the ASC only used C3 (96 octane) fuel with MW 50 boost, the ASB could either use B4 fuel (87 octane) + MW50 boost, or C3 (96 octane) fuel without MW 50. Finally, the ASMO version introduced near the very end of the war had a selector allowing the engine to be set to use either B4 or C3 fuel, depending on what was available, both with boost. Because 7 + - was found at the end of the war and had clearly undergone some upgrades, it is possible it was equipped with one of the later engines allowing the use of B4 fuel.

- Looking at the rear wall of the cockpit of 7 + -, it seems the aircraft originally had a classic three-piece canopy, and was later retrofitted with the Erla Haube, with the antenna moved to the spine. This suggests the aircraft started life as a regular G-6 and was later converted to G-6/AS standard.

- Although the machine definitely is a G-6/AS, it does have the larger Fö 987 oil cooler, which was introduced during G-14/AS production. So, this larger cooler is a retrofit (also documented on some other G-6/AS airframes that survived long enough).

- As a nightfighter, it has the extended shroud over the exhausts, but does not have the whistling device.

- Interestingly, it seems to have whitewall tires on the mainwheels. These are normally associated with Trop aircraft.

- Not sure, but the aircraft may have had the wing fillet and wing root painted black, as e.g. also seen on the NJG 11 G-10s captured at Fassberg.

 

Impressive. Thanks 

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