PDA

View Full Version : Date for Auto prop pitch, Bf 109, from combat pilot



Chuck_Older
10-07-2005, 03:11 PM
According to Ulrich Steinhilper, in the book Little Friends (ISBN0-394-58434-1) the aircraft that he was shot down in, in october of 1940, over Kent, which was his "old" aircraft, Yellow 2 (CanonUK did a marvelous skin of this aircraft if memory serves). His "new" plane, Yellow 4, was having an overhaul, so he took the older aircraft that day.

In his words:

"Unfortunately, on this day, I didn't have my new Yellow 4, which had an automatic pitch-control propeller...because the airplane was having an overhaul [the pause is in his quote, I am not editting his words~Chuck]. But we had more planes than pilots, so I used my good old Yellow 2, which was a bit slower, but had already earned me five victory stripes on the tail"

Pre-series Bf109F-0 aircraft were available by this time, I beleive. Bf109F-1s were available in November, 1940

However, Steinhilper's auto-pitch Yellow 4 was already having an overhaul. This gives me great confidence that Steinhilper's auto-pitch Messerschmitt was in fact an Emil, and was in use during the Autumn of 1940 long enough for airframe or powerplant overhaul, most likely powerplant as they'd just scrap a bad airframe.


Just some info as I recall a debate over auto-pitch use on Emils and I knew I had an actual Luftwaffe pilot's account of it

~EDIT
It was Canon UK. Here's the skin
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v441/Chuck_Older/steinhilper.jpg
One of my all time favorite skins. Looks like you could touch the plane

Chuck_Older
10-07-2005, 03:11 PM
According to Ulrich Steinhilper, in the book Little Friends (ISBN0-394-58434-1) the aircraft that he was shot down in, in october of 1940, over Kent, which was his "old" aircraft, Yellow 2 (CanonUK did a marvelous skin of this aircraft if memory serves). His "new" plane, Yellow 4, was having an overhaul, so he took the older aircraft that day.

In his words:

"Unfortunately, on this day, I didn't have my new Yellow 4, which had an automatic pitch-control propeller...because the airplane was having an overhaul [the pause is in his quote, I am not editting his words~Chuck]. But we had more planes than pilots, so I used my good old Yellow 2, which was a bit slower, but had already earned me five victory stripes on the tail"

Pre-series Bf109F-0 aircraft were available by this time, I beleive. Bf109F-1s were available in November, 1940

However, Steinhilper's auto-pitch Yellow 4 was already having an overhaul. This gives me great confidence that Steinhilper's auto-pitch Messerschmitt was in fact an Emil, and was in use during the Autumn of 1940 long enough for airframe or powerplant overhaul, most likely powerplant as they'd just scrap a bad airframe.


Just some info as I recall a debate over auto-pitch use on Emils and I knew I had an actual Luftwaffe pilot's account of it

~EDIT
It was Canon UK. Here's the skin
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v441/Chuck_Older/steinhilper.jpg
One of my all time favorite skins. Looks like you could touch the plane

F19_Ob
10-08-2005, 04:40 AM
Wierd , no answers?
Thanks for posting.

I try to build a record of prop-pitch and gather info on how it was used in combat and so on.
I have asked questions to several researchers about the subject. Hoping they may find something, and remember to drop me a line if they do.
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

Ruy Horta
10-08-2005, 06:14 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Chuck_Older:
Pre-series Bf109F-0 aircraft were available by this time, I beleive. Bf109F-1s were available in November, 1940

However, Steinhilper's auto-pitch Yellow 4 was already having an overhaul. This gives me great confidence that Steinhilper's auto-pitch Messerschmitt was in fact an Emil, and was in use during the Autumn of 1940 long enough for airframe or powerplant overhaul, most likely powerplant as they'd just scrap a bad airframe.

Just some info as I recall a debate over auto-pitch use on Emils and I knew I had an actual Luftwaffe pilot's account of it </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

According to Die Jagdfliegerverb√¬§nde der Deutschen Luftwaffe 1934 bis 1945 Teil 4 / II by Prien, Stemmer, Rodeike & Bock the loss is recorded as follows:

27-10-40
3./JG 52
Oblt. Ulrich Steinhilper
KG
Luftkampf, Absturz nahe Canterbury, FSA, 100%
Bf 109 E-4 WNr.2798
ge. 2+

Chuck_Older
10-08-2005, 06:31 AM
OK, that confirms Steinhilper's recollection of the loss of Yellow 2. But what of Yellow 4, the auto-pitch equipped plane that he says was being serviced?

To me, the pivotal point is that he calls Yellow 2 "a bit slower". I do not know if he used manual pitch in combat; it may be inferred that since the manual pitch aircraft was "a bit slower", that he did not use manual pitch in combat. Then again, it's only an inference

But whether he used it or not, it's interesting to have this evidence of an auto-pitch Emil. I am personally certain it was an Emil although admittedly his description neglects to mention the model, and the text refers to "Me 109s" instead of which model 109...my proof he was an Emil pilot comes from a photo in theat book on page 175, in which pilots of 2nd Staffel JG52 pose with a Bf 109E, and the fact that F models weren't generally in use until November 1940. I feel that he would have mentioned if he had a new F model for Yellow 4, and moreover, Yellow 4 was used enough to require "overhaul", and it was an auto-pitch aircraft. A brand new pre-series Bf 109F-0 needing overhaul the very same month it entered service on the Channel coast? That may be, but it seems unlikely

Does that book you mention have any info on JG 52's 1st Gruppe, Yellow 4 in October of 1940, Ruy? Interestingly, my book lists Steinhilper as flying for the 1st Gruppe

Although none of this I have posted proves manual pitch was used in combat, it's interesting that auto-pitch Emils were in use roughly at the same time the new Bf 109F-1 was becoming available. Some folks feel that Emils never had auto-pitch. I feel that this info is indicative that in fact auto-pitch Emils were in use, and potentially even were used in combat at the end of the Battle of Britain

Ruy Horta
10-08-2005, 07:16 AM
According to that same source JG 52 doesn't appear to have received any Bf 109 Fs until April 1941, when the Stab and II. Gruppe got their first F-2s.

As for him flying for I. Gruppe that is confirmed by his place with 3. Staffel, perhaps the Luftwaffe nomenclature is confusing (Roman vs Arab numbers for resp. Gruppe and Staffel).

October saw the introduction of E-7s, at least with II.Gruppe and confirmed by a I. Gruppe loss (26-10-40 WNr.5929).

Perhaps Yellow 4 was an E-7 or an upgraded E-4?

Unfortunately I am not specialized enough to answer these questions.

Chuck_Older
10-08-2005, 07:25 AM
Ah. Well in any case Yellow 4 wasn't a Bf 109F-0 then, and couldn't be a Bf 109F-1 because it wasn't available yet, so this should mean the Bf 109 Yellow 4 Steinhilper flew was an E model. I can't find anything about the manual pitch being used in combat though

Jetbuff
10-08-2005, 09:46 AM
Chuck, I wouldn't jump to the conclusion that one was tied to the other. i.e. Yellow 2 being a bit slower may have nothing to do with being manual pitch. It may have been the simple (and quite prevalent though often subjective) variation between two different airframes.

Chuck_Older
10-08-2005, 09:54 AM
Like I say, that is only an inference

I am not trying to say one was superior to the other, and here is proof

What I am saying is that auto-pitch Emils existed. I am not trying to claim manual pitch gives an advantage, and in fact, Steinhilper's quote says just the opposite

IL2-chuter
10-08-2005, 05:00 PM
The first constant speed prop on a 109 was the VDM 9-11081A installed on DB601A equipped E-1 prouction aircraft near the end of 1938. To not have a constant speed prop (RL pilot experience speaking here) would be an incredible disadvantage in combat. The Germans rightly made this develpment a priority and it was ready for use before the war. (The game is very forgiving regarding over-reving and overboosting - I don't even think you can fatally overboost a motor.)

The difference in aircraft mentioned above may not be whether or not the two aircraft were constant speed, but whether there were two variations, such as low activity/high activity. (This pertains strictly to electrics since hydraulics are always adjusting.) High activity electric props hold the RPM much closer than low activity props.

Just a thought. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif


ps. The P-47 had to go to a high activity prop when they went to paddle blades because the RPM varied WAY too much with the original governor and new blade combo.

IL2-chuter
10-08-2005, 05:24 PM
As an aside. The electric props being discussed here could be made either manual only or automatic simply by the removal or installation of a governor. The prop itself doesn't care where the electrical current is coming from, obviously.

Also, the 109 prop control (auto) worked on throttle position with the RPM rising or falling in steps (Allied CSPs were "manually" controlled by a seperate prop (RPM selection) lever. The BMW single lever controller threw in magneto timing and mixture control.) When you hit full throttle from cruise the governor would first advance the prop to max RPM then the throttle (the actual butterfly controlled by the throttle control gearbox assembly on the lower middle section of accessory drive) would open to bring up MP.

IL2-chuter
10-09-2005, 05:05 AM
Another thought. The E-1 and E-3 had the DB601A. The E-4 could have either the DB601A or DB601N (Bf109E-4/N). "N" for NITROUS-BABY!. Another possibilty for different speeds in the two above mentioned aircraft.


http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

Chuck_Older
10-09-2005, 06:10 AM
Don't know. Yellow 2's Werke number is known; it should be possible to see what engine powered the block of planes that included that number.

I'm interested to find Yellow 4's Werke number but so far I can't locate the resources

Ruy Horta
10-09-2005, 02:11 PM
There is something more to add, using the same source as previously, which is a loss record for the same day (its been a while since I read Steinhilper, so I would have to check how this adds up).

Ironically it was staring me right in the face.

27-10-40
3./JG 52
Fw. Lothar Schieverh√¬∂fer
KG
Luftkampf, Absturz Penhurst, 100%
Bf 109 E-4 WNr.3525
ge. 4+

The 3. Staffel having two Yellow 4s would not make sense (it would not be 100% impossible, however unlikely).

Of course this is but a single reference.

Ruy Horta
10-09-2005, 02:14 PM
Would be interesting to know where Canon UK found the source for that skin, or anyone else for that matter.

Chuck_Older
10-09-2005, 03:49 PM
Interesting, Ruy...it's not impossible that when Steinhilper says "overhaul" that was simply a poor translation for "routine maintenance" and his "new" Yellow 4 was flown later that same day and lost. The Werke number seems to suggest that this lost Yellow 4 was a new plane. If there were two yellow 4s, I'd expect there to be an "old" and "new" plane, and by the Werke number, this Yellow 4 doesn't seem "old"

IL2-chuter
10-09-2005, 04:42 PM
Me109 engines can be swapped out in an hour (or less). I wouldn't put too much emphasis on serial numbers determining the configuration of field aircraft if there were contemperary types with other engines. This would apply to any design detail of any plane that doesn't overly impinge on primary structure. Corsair propellers and Spitfire rudders as examples, serial numbers here simply denoting how they left the factory. I hereby grant you, however, the freedom to do whatever you want. (Gosh, I'm a swell guy.) http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

bolillo_loco
10-10-2005, 12:20 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by IL2-chuter:
The first constant speed prop on a 109 was the VDM 9-11081A installed on DB601A equipped E-1 prouction aircraft near the end of 1938. To not have a constant speed prop (RL pilot experience speaking here) would be an incredible disadvantage in combat. The Germans rightly made this develpment a priority and it was ready for use before the war. (The game is very forgiving regarding over-reving and overboosting - I don't even think you can fatally overboost a motor.)

The difference in aircraft mentioned above may not be whether or not the two aircraft were constant speed, but whether there were two variations, such as low activity/high activity. (This pertains strictly to electrics since hydraulics are always adjusting.) High activity electric props hold the RPM much closer than low activity props.

Just a thought. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif


ps. The P-47 had to go to a high activity prop when they went to paddle blades because the RPM varied WAY too much with the original governor and new blade combo. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Finally somebody that understands the topic! I have been complaining about this for two solid years now. Imagine somebody thinking that "manual prop pitch" would be better than an automatic system. I cannot imagine any human being capable of not over-rev/under-rev a prop (and damaging the engine) during conditions of full power while climbing, diving, and making very rapid speed and power changes.

Chuck_Older
10-10-2005, 05:28 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by IL2-chuter:
Me109 engines can be swapped out in an hour (or less). I wouldn't put too much emphasis on serial numbers determining the configuration of field aircraft if there were contemperary types with other engines. This would apply to any design detail of any plane that doesn't overly impinge on primary structure. Corsair propellers and Spitfire rudders as examples, serial numbers here simply denoting how they left the factory. I hereby grant you, however, the freedom to do whatever you want. (Gosh, I'm a swell guy.) http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Um, pardon me for saying it, but this is rather becoming like you saying "Look kid, you don't know much" to me. Which is really starting to piss me off. I don't know why you'd have this condescending attitude, but again, if you don't mind me saying, the E models with auto-pitch may not have been in service long enough to require an engine swap. Emils were in service a long time, but Steinhilper calls this a new plane. I cannot conceive of the new auto-pitch equipped plane neededing a new engine in the field at this time, especially if they were better. Most fighter units on the channel coast were living under canvas; maintenance facilities were not what you'd see at a hangar or real airbase, and while I know full well that it's easier to replace a wing on a 109 or an engine on a DB 601 or 605 or what have you in a Bf 109, and while admittedly I did drop out of engineering school and didn't get my A&P license, I have to logically consider what was likely and what was unlikely to have occurred in this instance, barring an actual report of the day's activity

This thread was NOT started by me to discuss whether or not we should have any 109 in this sim that can get an advantage from manual prop pitch. The question of auto-pitch equppied Emils was the point

~edit
stupid typos

Kurfurst__
10-10-2005, 05:45 AM
The "/N" designation in some Emils (E-4/N, E-7/N) noted the use of the DB 601N engine running on 100 octane fuel, not the Nitrous injection.


OTOH, NO2 boosted(called GM-1 bz the germans, or "Goering-mixture") planes had indeed have the DB 601N engine, but the designation was 109E-7/Z (Z stands for Zusatzgereat afaik, or Aux./additional Device). They appeared in early 1941 iirc.

As for the Emils Auto-prop pitch, the earliest reference I can find is the December 1939 E-1 and E-3 manual, which notes already that there are some planes 'mit Verstellautomatik', ie. auto prop pitch.