View Full Version : Landing in a Bf109e

10-14-2003, 01:00 PM
For a change, I wanted to try a German plane and encountered a basic problem: while landing my Bf109e (under normal conditions) it kangarooes and upon the third 'touchdown' (or smashdown) at the latest the wheels break off. Soviet planes seemed more forgiving... Is there any manual for that mashine?

10-14-2003, 01:00 PM
For a change, I wanted to try a German plane and encountered a basic problem: while landing my Bf109e (under normal conditions) it kangarooes and upon the third 'touchdown' (or smashdown) at the latest the wheels break off. Soviet planes seemed more forgiving... Is there any manual for that mashine?

10-14-2003, 01:39 PM
There might be a manual somewhere, dunno. But really there's just one thing to do: Practice your landings. Make sure you find the right glidepath, get the last crucial metres right, go in sloooow.

As you can see for yourself the Bf-109 had very narrow landing gears. That's what made it so hard to land for inexperienced pilots in real life.

Bit of weird trivia: The Germans actually raised a unit to fly from their never-finished carrier Zeppelin. It was equipped with special versions of the Bf-109. Imagine landing that thing, with it's weak gears, on a moving carrier deck. Brrr ...



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10-14-2003, 01:45 PM
Leave out your last measure of flaps until you flare. On the flare, cut power, dump in the full landing flaps and bring the nose up; then just before touching down -- or stalling -- retract all flaps. You want to get the flare right -- not too high -- and the speed as well -- not too fast. If you hit it right, it'll settle nicely, and then you can apply brakes as much as you like.

10-14-2003, 01:53 PM
Sounds like you're touching down too heavily on the first attempt, just flare a bit more, and if you do bounce high, give it a little power to stabilize and continue to flare until you're down.

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10-14-2003, 01:55 PM
It's all in the approach, need a long run at it as well the speed of no more than 150 KTS, for the last mile or so of approach I'm at this speed with full landing flaps and gear down, I chop the throttle to "0" as I'm about 100 ft from the end of the runway and usually touch down about a third into it. A three pointer is tough but sounds like you are diving down to the runway and bouncing off the tarmac, you should be controlling your drop down and letting gravity land you instead of forcing yourself down too fast.


10-14-2003, 02:03 PM
I used to crash even IL-2's on landing till I got the hang of it, but now last time I crashed in a 109 was months ago, and I fly them often. Mind you: I had stopped playing for a month or so and when I started again it took me a couple of days to get used to it again.

So practice definitely helps.

All I would suggest is not rushing your approach, having a shallow glide and not letting your speed go below 160 Kph before you are ready to touch down. If you keep bouncing is because your descent was too steep and too quick, most likely.

Good luck!

10-14-2003, 03:02 PM
HansKnappstick wrote:
- For a change, I wanted to try a German plane and
- encountered a basic problem: while landing my Bf109e
- (under normal conditions) it kangarooes and upon the
- third 'touchdown' (or smashdown) at the latest the
- wheels break off. Soviet planes seemed more
- forgiving... Is there any manual for that mashine?

That`s called balloning, and has little to do with the landing gear itself, rather than the weight of aircraft and design of wing. On some aircraft, the lift ceases quickly after touchdown, but some others don`t looses their lift so quickly, so they get lifted up easily again, stall, and fall back to the terrain. Of course, light aircraft which produce a lot of lift (usually these have good climb rates, and/or low wingloading) kangaroos more readily than heavy aircraft with little lift compared to their weight.

It`s not really a fault, but a phenomemon of the design, and you have to keep it in mind while landing. Probably your approach speed is just to high. For 109s in particular, use 140-150 kph IAS landing speed, and control your sinkrate so that it isn`t too high (=>bouncing back from the ground), and make only very small/soft corrections with the stick. It`s a delicate thing to do, but can be learned after a few successfull landings. Otherwise, if you go too fast, your probably end up with a high sink rate, so you will bounce back from the ground more, and, since you are going fast, you will produce more lift as well, increasing your chance bounce up even more.

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Message Edited on 10/14/0304:04PM by Vo101_Isegrim

10-14-2003, 03:04 PM
Funny, I had much bigger problems landing a FW-190 in this game than 109s.. /i/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif when one would think its the other way around..

Best way is to take it easy.. find the runway, approach it from some 10 KM away.. start loosing altitude from 500 meters.. Once airstrip is some 200 m away engage landing flaps and gear.. never engage gear when speed is above 350-400 kmh.. Never engage flaps with speed over 450 kmh or they will jam.

Touch the runway, when your speed is about 160.. that should do it /i/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif


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10-14-2003, 03:26 PM
Quite a few 1098 pilots were killed on take offs and landings in reality. The plane was notorious for its weak lnding gear.

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10-14-2003, 03:40 PM
Ok, to summarize,

I am sure my problems are related to an excessive vertical velocity of the craft at touchdown. Unfortunately I don't have the variometer in the cockpit to make any assesments andI wasn't able to make a single successful landing so far to get an idea of a right glide slope...

In order to reduce the vertical velocity, I should reduce my horizontal speed (it was about 160km/h or slightly more, I was affraid to reduce it because of stall) and deploy full landing flaps (I was using the 'start' position).

Bouncing off the ground can be reduced by reducing the lift - so should I retract the flaps the moment my plane 'hits' the ground? The point of having too much lift is something I didn't think of yet.

Anyway, thank you very much for the answers!

10-14-2003, 03:42 PM
shut the engine down on approach, flare out - works every time http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif


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10-14-2003, 04:01 PM
MO ... yes, retract the flaps just before (or as) you touchdown to dump any excess lift.

On approach, you want to fly to the runway, so on final I keep speed around 200 ... there's no reason to stall and ruin the day, and it'll be easy to dump the speed when necessary. Just keep the pitch setting high (90% or so -- keep 10 available for extra power in case you need to abort) open radiator, cut power,dump full flaps in the flare and make like a 3-point and then just as you think'll you're gonna hit the ground (should be below 150kph)retract the flaps.

I land mostly on improvised airfields, so it gets a bit rough, but with a little practice you don't prang too many.

10-14-2003, 04:26 PM
109's where infamous for their difficult landings. most accidents with the 109 happened with the landing. You will have to be very carefull when landing the 109. the best is to lower your speed to about 160 km/h and very VERY gently, lower the plane on the runway. It is something you need to have in your fingertips. once you have it, you can land anywhere.

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10-14-2003, 04:34 PM
1) Open radiator completely

2) Landing Flaps

3) Switch to MANUAL prop pitch

This is what is in the official 109 Manual on how to land...i use it ALL THE TIME and i very rarely crash.

I keep the throddle at around 30-35%, but give myself a lot of room for the approach. I also come down with the nose pretty high so i am almost doing a 3-point landing. This works so well, that sometimes i can't even feel myself hit the runway..no bouncing, etc.


10-14-2003, 07:17 PM
how do u switch to manual prop pitch?
i crashed one yesterday /i/smilies/16x16_smiley-sad.gif engine shot out, oil over screen, im low, checkin airspeed, and bang hit the deck /i/smilies/16x16_smiley-sad.gif
couldnt see for oil /i/smilies/16x16_smiley-sad.gif

10-14-2003, 10:34 PM
"Shift 0" will switch your pitch to manual...

Can't help you with the oil though...


10-15-2003, 06:43 PM
So many people say to start retracting your flaps right away as soon as you touch down. That's not very realistic and not they way they flew fighters in RL. Plus, I never retract flaps at all in FB until I am near taxiing speed, the way I fly in real life and the ways it's supposed to be done.
I can land in FB and not retract my flaps right away in every single plane in the sim, and land perfectly every time.
For one thing, in real life, ( and this is modelled fairly well in FB ), with full landing flaps, your flaps generate
more drag than lift, while with combat flaps, you generate more lift than drag. In intermediate settings, flaps give you about equal drag to lift. This is why a flight instructor will usually teach a student not to retract flaps right away, but to let the plane slow down first. Because if you're still going down the runway fast, if you start to retract your flaps from the full, or nearly full down position, you are robbing yourself of some drag that helps slow the plane down!! Since they ( if full down ) are generating more drag than lift, they are slowing you down a heckuva lot more than trying to lift you back up into the air. Why not let those full down flaps help to slow you some first before you retract them?? Also, if retract them very soon, as they leave the full down position and go through the lower deflection settings, the flaps will be generating more lift than drag again and if you are going fast enough, your plane may loft into the air again, or "baloon"!! You will never see an airline pilot
start to ratract flaps and airbrakes until he slows down to
less than about 60 knots or so. And in a typical Cessna or
Piper, I never retract until I'm less than 35 knots or so.
Believe me, you can, and should land in FB without immediately retracting your flaps. Most of the people who say otherwise are noobies or simply have learned and compounded bad landing technique. What scares me is that someone may try learn to fly real planes and they have learned these bad and dangerous habits from playing these
games and may transfer them to RL flying. But hopefully they will have a good instructor that will cure it before it's too late. Also remember that this early flap retraction technique is not very realisitic, and if you're like me, you want to keep the sim, and how you play it as realistic as possible. Do you really want to play unrealistically?? There are many real life pilots in these boards who can teach you something. Learn from us.

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10-15-2003, 06:59 PM
"- So many people say to start retracting your flaps right away as soon as you touch down ..."

I agree with your point in general ... however, this is a simulation, and I find that retracting the flaps immediately before touchdown allows for a nice settling effect. When not landing on a prepared runway, the uneveness of the ground combined with the stiff-leggedness and imbalance of the 109's landing gear, leads to excessive bouncing (which easily can collapse the gear). I don't have any empirical evidence about the the flaps providing more drag than lift (I suspect that your right), but I only do what seems to work best. If this is not historically accurate, then you can count on my vote for making it so.


10-15-2003, 07:11 PM
I think it's just practice and technique, since I have played far more in the 109s than any other planes since IL2 came out. And I have no problems landing them so softly
they seem to kiss the ground. And they never bounce or lift back up into the air for me. And as I have stated, always
keep the flaps down fully. If you can perfect landing them like I do, your landing roll will be shorter, since the drag of full flaps is modelled well in this sim. I thinks it's so easy it's second nature to me. If I could, I'd post some tracks of my 109 landing technique. Are you guys landing at the right speed?? Land them too slow and you'll get the effect you're talking about. I forget what happens if you land too fast exactly, have not don that since FB came out.

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10-15-2003, 08:02 PM
Its all in the flare mate, make a co ordinated flare with reduction in engine power at the right height of the deck and it should be sweet. I use full flaps right up till im on terra firma and usually avould bouncing or floating.

10-15-2003, 08:17 PM
Maybe it's just habit ... I'll revisit this and see how I come out.

Are you all getting good 3-point landings?

10-16-2003, 07:40 AM
I managed to land safely... with just a small bounce... outside the runway. I just decided to practice outside the runway to avoid the additional stress related to trying not to miss it.

Anyway, I have some problems with my joystick now, so let's see how it develops.