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View Full Version : Why didn't the 109's carry drop tanks?



XyZspineZyX
10-06-2003, 05:21 PM
We all know protecting bombers over SE England was a problem for the short ranged 109's - so why didn't they carry drop tanks? They even burdened the 109's with a useless bomb which shortened their range even more.

The Americans fitted drop tanks to the P51 for escort duties ( I think they were made out of paper ) so why couldn't the Germans?

Tedious unoriginal philosophical statement the pith of which is lost in repetition.

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XyZspineZyX
10-06-2003, 05:21 PM
We all know protecting bombers over SE England was a problem for the short ranged 109's - so why didn't they carry drop tanks? They even burdened the 109's with a useless bomb which shortened their range even more.

The Americans fitted drop tanks to the P51 for escort duties ( I think they were made out of paper ) so why couldn't the Germans?

Tedious unoriginal philosophical statement the pith of which is lost in repetition.

http://allanhall.ic24.net/SmallPunkGrey.jpg

XyZspineZyX
10-06-2003, 05:28 PM
No one had thought of them yet.

XyZspineZyX
10-06-2003, 06:21 PM
Farkitt wrote:
- No one had thought of them yet.
-
-
-
-

Sorry, not true, they were used by the Germans during the Spanish civil war. Besides, were talking about the people who invented the first operational jet ( with an axial flow compressor too ) the first cruise missile, the first ballistic missile, technical innovation was second nature, all they needed were some extra tanks to hold petrol!
It was an incredible oversight!

Tedious unoriginal philosophical statement the pith of which is lost in repetition.

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XyZspineZyX
10-06-2003, 06:24 PM
They did but scraped the idea because they made them out of ply wood and the fuel leaked out!!

I may be wrong on this and be talking rubbish, but it's definately true of some aicraft?!?

But I seem to remember seeing something on the Discovery channel about the 109 and wooden drop-tanks.......

XyZspineZyX
10-06-2003, 06:34 PM
If I recall correctly, the early 109 drop tanks were so ineffienct that the extra range provided by them was offset by the extra power needs to overcome the drag. A much lower speed was required to get any real benefit (which meant not being able to keep up with the bombers).

XyZspineZyX
10-06-2003, 06:53 PM
I think the main reason was:

1. The Luftwaffe did not plan the 109 as an escort fighter, the Bf 110 had the range to be an escort fighter. That this concept proofed to be flawed is not an error of the Luftwaffe alone, but they were the first to put the concept into practice and thus exposing the flaw. Hindsight is always 20/20, but don't forget that the heavy escort fighters of WW1 did fairly well.

2. The Battle of Britain was sort of dropped in the lap of the Jagdwaffe, as in no time to build a force for strategic fighting (which there were indeed plans for, but those would take a couple of years to come to fruition) They had hardly time to make up their losses of the Battle of France (which unlike some may think was a hard fought and costly victory).

3. The tactical situation would negate much of the drop tank's use, as in having to drop them quite early in the operation (although it would have had some initial benefit).

Personally I think a drop tank 109E in 1940 would have hardly mattered in terms of final outcome of the Battle of Britain. OTOH, the planned build for 1941 and no invasion of Russia, would probably have had a very different effect on Britain and probably the war.



Ruy "SPADES" Horta
http://www.xs4all.nl/~rhorta
-----------------------------
Il-2 - VEF JG 77
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'95-02 - WB Jagdgeschwader 53
'99-00 - DoA Jagdstaffel 18
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The rest is history...

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XyZspineZyX
10-06-2003, 09:08 PM
Farkitt wrote:
- No one had thought of them yet.
-

Psst! your ignorance is showing!

I'd never join a club that would have ME as a member!!.

XyZspineZyX
10-06-2003, 09:24 PM
Herman Georing would not allow it.

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Lead Whiner for the P-47D-40, M and N and Hvars

XyZspineZyX
10-06-2003, 11:43 PM
although too late for the battle of brittan, wasnt it the 109E-7 that first recieved the drop tank.

XyZspineZyX
10-07-2003, 01:35 AM
When the majority of the 109Es that took part in the BoB were manufactured the RLM had not issued instructions to Messerschmitt to provide the plumbing and hard point for a drop tank. This modification couldn't be done in the field. Why was this instruction not given at an early stage? Because somebody (Ernst Udet or Milch) would have needed to anticipate before the battle was fought that German bombers would require close escort over England and that large scale air combats would take place pinning down their fighters and delaying their return to France. In the euphoria of Germany's early victories it's not at all hard to see why this wasn't considered. They thought Britain would be a walk- over.