View Full Version : US Marine Corps Major Al Williams Test Flight of the Bf-109D

03-11-2008, 12:33 PM
Came across this article...

US Marine Corps Major Al Williams, Schneider Trophy competitor with his own Kirkham-Williams aircraft, Pulitzer winner from '23 and a head of the Gulf Oil Company's aviation department, had a chance to fly the latest aircraft in the German Luftwaffe's arsenal, Messerchmitt 109 D in summer 1938. Major Williams' view on the capability of the fighter gives an interesting view on the usual commentary about flying and the capabilities of the Bf 109 fighter.

Test Flight With Bf-109D (http://www.virtualpilots.fi/hist/WW2History-109Dtestflight1938.html)

Also this article...

This article and its sub sections are put together to dispell some of the persistent myths about the Messerschmitt 109 fighter. As the most ever built fighter which was the mainstay of German Luftwaffe and various other air forces, including Finnish, Spanish, Hungarian, Romanian air forces, the plane is also victim of intentional disinformation, many most persistent urban myths and just ignorance. Not having first hand information or poor understanding of the subject leads easily to absurd claims.

Messerschmitt 109 - myths, facts and the view from the cockpit (http://www.virtualpilots.fi/feature/articles/109myths/)

A bit of info I found interesting on rearming and maintance of the Bf-109.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Maintenance
Me 109 D:
"It is necessary to include a comment on that already offered concerning the accessibility of the engine for maintenance service. I will give it to you point blank and let you estimate its value. The engine of the Messerschmitt can be removed, replaced with another - ready to go - inside of 12 minutes.
You can imagine the uproar of doubt and incredulity in official circles when I returned to the States and spread that word around. The reason for the uproar was quite obvious, in that in very many instances, between 24 and 36 hours were required to remove one engine and replace it with another in many of our standard types of fighting planes.
But, when other Americans returned home from an inspection of the German Air Force and told the same story, great impetus was given to the development of a quick motor replacement in service ships.
The Germans had developed the technique and trained the ground crews to effect this change of engines in the specified length of time on the open airdrome - given, of course, decent weather conditions.
It was explained to me that, from a tactical standpoint, this ultra-rapid change of motors was of utmost importance. For instance, a pilot returning from an active front to his own airdrome could radio ahead and notify the field force that ne needed a new engine. By the time he landed, they could be ready for him.
Ordinary service to an aircraft, such as filling the gasoline tank, checking and replenishing the oil supply, and reloading ammunition belts, requires between ten and fifteen minutes. The new development, therefore, enables the Germans to change an engine while the rest of the service is going on. It's startling performance - namely, yanking one engine and replacing it with another, and turning it over to the pilot inside of 12 minutes."
- US Marine Corps major Al Williams. Source: Bf 109D test flight, 1938. </span>

03-11-2008, 01:51 PM
most german ww 2 military aircraft were designed with rapid combat turnaround in mind. Much more so then our american aircraft..

even their jet fighters! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif

03-11-2008, 01:52 PM
Some nice info Woofiedog!

03-11-2008, 01:53 PM
Interesting article, but five guns on the 109D? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blink.gif I can only find references that say it had four mg's.

Good hunting,

03-11-2008, 02:05 PM
Originally posted by Sillius_Sodus:
Interesting article, but five guns on the 109D? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blink.gif I can only find references that say it had four mg's.

Good hunting,

Instead of a center propeller cannon in this one it was a machine gun.. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

03-11-2008, 05:17 PM
MG trigger force of 3 milligrams (3/1000th of a gram)??? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blink.gif

(1 ounce is 28 grams)

Brownian motion of the air molecules in contact with the trigger would fire the guns for you!

03-11-2008, 05:33 PM

Me 109 G-6/R6:
"The single time I got to shoot with the three cannon Messerschmitt, I did not like her, even though I shot down three IL-2. I fired one brief burst and at the second burst she began to veer as one of the wing cannons did not fire. Then I had to get as close to the target as ever possible and then take deflection in the wrong direction...
- Was the other wing cannon jammed all the time in that mission ?
Yes, it did not work, not a single shot did it fire. I had to kick down one pedal just as I fired to make the plane go straight for an instant during firing. I managed to shoot a brief burst when next to the target, pretty close.
- The wing cannon recoil was tremendous, wasn't it ?
Yes, just huge."
- Antti Tani, Finnish fighter ace. 21,5 victories. Source: Interview by Finnish Virtual Pilots Association.