1. #1
    I sometimes find it hard to discern between different models of this fighter by looks only. Are there any basic guidelines? The Gustavs are probably the hardest part, but a comprehensive guide would be good.
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  2. #2
    I sometimes find it hard to discern between different models of this fighter by looks only. Are there any basic guidelines? The Gustavs are probably the hardest part, but a comprehensive guide would be good.
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  3. #3
    leitmotiv's Avatar Senior Member
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    "Bf 109-ology" is the most well-traversed road in aviation history---there are literally thousands of guides to the beast.
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  4. #4
    wow where to start...

    Emils:
    most notable the squared off wing tips.
    "hollow point" spinner (pointed on later versions)
    cannons IN the wings.
    supports under the elevators.
    wedge shaped supercharger air intake

    Fredericks and early Gustaves:
    those are (for me at least) the hardest to tell appart.
    they both have the newer large rounded spinner.
    rounded wingtips.
    and no supports under the elevators.
    they both have the same type of canopy as well.
    both had new circular opening for the supercharger intake.

    Now the mid to late Gustaves:
    they have the characteristic twin blisters over the engine cowling where the mgs are.
    the antenna is a bit shorter and behind that is a "ringed" antenna (not sure what it is exactly).
    And if im not mistaken the tail wheel isnt retractable.
    There was a antenna appendage sticking out the bottom of the plane as well just behind the cockpit area.
    and i might be wrong but i think the supercharger intake is slightly different shaped, compared to the F's and Early G's.

    the G-14 has all the above qualities except it has a slightly larger looking tail section.
    and im not sure but i think either the G-10 or 14 had large rectangluar shaped wing blisters near the wing roots.

    I believe the g-6/as and either the g-10 or 14 had, instead of the twin cowling blisters, had an overall wider "budge" that covered the eniter top section over the MGs. the K4 also had them.

    Im sure Kurt will be better at describing them than I have.

    hope it helps.
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  5. #5
    Gustavs are easy.

    Between G-1 and G-6 the odd numbered versions are produced in lower numbers, and are high altitude fighters with GM-1 boost. The even numbered are normal fighters without boost and pressurized `pit. All have the same engine, DB 605A.

    In a nutshell.

    G-1 : pressurized cocpit, GM-1, FuG 7 H.F. radio
    G-2 : as G-1 but no press. cocpit, usually no GM-1 either
    G-3 : as G-1, but with FuG 16 V.H.F radio with longer range
    G-4 : as G-3 but no press. cocpit, usually no GM-1 either
    G-5 : pressurized cocpit, FuG 16 V.H.F radio, MG 131s in the cowling, non retractable tailwheel.
    G-6 : as G-5 but w/o press. cocpit

    There are many subtypes with /R and /U sets which are various conversions with different weapon, GM-1 boost, camera equipment etc.

    Warning! Bomb, droptanks, gondolas are NOT /R conversion sets, they could be fitted to virtually any G model, therefore the designation remains the SAME as before.

    The ones in 1944 are basically evolutions of the G-6, in chronological order.

    G-5/AS, G-6/AS : as G-5 and G-6, but fitted with high alt. DB 605AS engine, sometimes with MW 50 boost, too.

    G-8 : fighter-recce, basically redesignation of one of the existing G-6/R-sumthing FR variant.

    G-14 : basically all the features of late model G-6s standardized for the production line. MW-50, new canopy being standard fit. G-14/AS variant with high altitude engine, otherwise as G-14.

    G-12 : Two seat trainer based on the G-6.

    G-10 : Last variant to appear in the G-series, despite the numerical designation. Basically, a b.astard 109G/K, a Gustav airframe using many internal components from the 109K, ie. engine (DB605D), the new generator etc.

    Note no odd numered, pressurized versions existing after G-5.

    Check the Bf 109 en/wikipedia article, its pretty good.


    As for visual identification.

    * Emils are easy, squared wingtips etc.
    *Gustavs can be told from Friedrichs easily by either
    - there canopy, which was more heavily framed and welded
    - shape of their wheel well bays - the Gustav`s outer walls are squarish (well doors were planned), the Friedrich is circular
    - deeper oil cooler of the G series
    *G-1/2 vs G-3/4 by the radio mast position
    *G-5/6 is the easiest, they have the cowling bulges for the MGs
    *G-6 from G-14 is quite difficult, basically MW-50 stencils, and legs were painted red when MW50 was present. Not easy, because its basically just a late G-6..
    a* /AS versions have much smoother, but bulged cowling contours than the low alt versions, deeper oil cooler
    * G-10 from /AS version by their two small chin bulges, however some G-10s didn`t have these.. (type 110 cowling)
    * K-4 : wheel well covers, tailwheel doors, if these aren ot present then the position of the DF loop (more behind), and the service hatch on the left fuselage side (more forward and higher)
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  6. #6
    What about the tails? I have seen G-14's with the old short one and some late-war high-tailed 109's seem to have two bumps at the back. Those with the rectangular bumps also seem to be more rounder.

    Could somebody clear for me the different tails of the 109? Also, why do the late-war 109's have engine cowlings without the bumps? I have read that the G-6/AS has that kind because of the high-altitude engine, but is that the explanation on all of the models?
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  7. #7
    PBNA-Boosher's Avatar Senior Member
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    For years what I did was memorize the default paint schemes of each Bf-109, it still works today. Although sometimes people use different skins and they load enough, most often the only glimpse I get is the default skin up close. From far away you can determine a 109 from the square winged LOD's. The humps on the nose or lack thereof can also be a big clue. It takes practice.

    For now, start memorizing those default skins in both 4.08m and 4.09b1m.
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  8. #8
    I'm not asking this for the game, I can remember the defaults. I'm interested in the real thing. Also, I seem to have been wrong about the short-tailed G-14's. Otherwise the question stands.
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  9. #9
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by CastleBravo:
    What about the tails? I have seen G-14's with the old short one and some late-war high-tailed 109's seem to have two bumps at the back. Those with the rectangular bumps also seem to be more rounder. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Answer : Whatever was at hand at the factory.. the later the model, the more likely the tall tail was fitted. It was around since late 1943. It was there to provide greater directional stability required by increased airspeeds.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Also, why do the late-war 109's have engine cowlings without the bumps? I have read that the G-6/AS has that kind because of the high-altitude engine, but is that the explanation on all of the models? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

    The stremlined engine cowlings without the bumps were made in 1943 for the early 109K project, to improve the not-so-perfect aerodynamics of the cowling bumps of the G-6. It was a narrow, stremlined cowling originally slightly bulging out on both sides. When the AS and D series engines were introduced, whcih had a much bigger supercharger, mounted on the left side of the engine were introduced, the cowling left side was enlarged to accomodate it, hence it become assymetrical. The streamlined cowling is a trademark of all high alt engined Bf 109s - G-5/AS, G-6/AS, G-14/AS, G-10, K-4. A less visible but shared feature of them is the enlarged oil cooler and water radiator (the latter is practically invisible externally), and the very wide bladed VDM 12 159 propeller.
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  10. #10
    JSG72's Avatar Senior Member
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    Whilst Totally agreeing with Kurfust.

    As to the basic identification features.

    There are of course many exeptions to the rule.

    This is where trying to identify exact model types goes beyond the realms of. Just quoting Factory figures. In production and equipment/Performance values.

    One only has to consult such publications as:

    "Messerschmitt BF109 Recognition manual" by Marco fernandez-Sommerau

    "Messerschmitt BF 109 F,G,and K series" by Jochen Prien and Peter Rodeike

    Eagle Files "Augsburgs Last Eagles Colors Markings and varients" by Brett Green.

    "Messerschmitt BF 109K" by Ales Janda and Tomas Poruba.

    "Messerschmitt BF 109G-10/U4 Production and Operational service" by Ales Janda and Tomas Poruba.

    "Messerschmitt Me 109 Volume 1 from 1936 to 1942" by Anis Elbied and Andre Jouineau.

    "Messerschmitt Me 109 Volume II From 1942 to 1945" by Dominique Breffort and Andre Jouineau.

    Amongst many "Osprey/ Squadron signal/Jagdwaffe publications and a few older tomes. Notably "Augsburgs Eagles " by William Green and "Fighting 109" by Ewi Weist

    To realise that. This is not an Exact Science.

    Believe me/ When I say that the German War machine was particlarily efficient at recycling. Older/Damaged airframes (2 I.D. Tags below cockpits of G-10s)? and producing a myriad of Hybrids.
    With varying combinations of engine/armament/equipment installed.

    (I could give you lists of Photo references if you so require. As I have all the above publications and more within my collection)

    As soon as they left the factory and arrived at one of the many forwarding Post/Manufacturing bases. Airframes were modified to suit whatever demands that any Geschwader. Were Advised/Had advised. Were the reqirements for any given Theatre.

    This accounts for the many different Sub/Types turning up.

    Or indeed Oneoffs that were not actual Sub/Types. But were in fact made. On the whim of an individual "Celebrity Pilot" .

    P.M. If you require any info as to how I come to these conclusions?
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