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PhantomKira
08-17-2010, 03:57 PM
An interesting article that gives a first person perspective on flying the Me 109. I thought it was quite well written. From Flight Journal.

Flying the 109 (http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3897/is_199912/ai_n8870616/)

Xiolablu3
08-17-2010, 04:06 PM
Yeah, its a nice article.

Unfortunatley Mark Hanna was to die when the engine failed.

As it says in the article, the landing characteristics on the Bf109 are unpredictable even when you have full control. An unexpected emergency landing with no power must be a nightmare.


Once down on three points, it tends to stay down, but be careful; the forward view has gone to hell, and you cannot allow any swing to develop. Initial detection is more difficult-- the aircraft being completely unpredictable-and can diverge in any direction. Sometimes the most immaculate three-pointer will turn into a potential disaster halfway through the landing roll. Other times, a ropy landing will roll straight as an arrow.

It got Mark, as it did with so many other pilots.

There is even a piece of film where he talks about the 109 and says each time he finishes flying it he turns and says 'You didnt get me this time you little b*stard!'. Sad to watch as the 'little bastard' did get him.

Incredible guy and pilot, such a shame.

Here is a video of Mark thrashing the Bf109

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MxXPPPuL9fg

p-11.cAce
08-17-2010, 04:50 PM
Glad to see that article is still being "discovered" - Mark is a pilot well worth remembering.

Bremspropeller
08-18-2010, 06:12 AM
Sad to watch as the 'little bastard' did get him.

He was killed in a Buchon, not in a 109 - we shouldn't forget that http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

I've taken the liberty to use a wiki-quote on the following:

These Hispano V12-powered versions of the German design, since the Hispano engines used a clockwise rotation propeller, with the Bf 109F-introduced asymmetric vertical fin still present that was airfoiled to produce a slight left movement of the tail, that counteracted the left-side torque reaction from the counterclockwise rotation Daimler-Benz DB 601 & 605 inverted V12 engines that they were designed for, created a hard-to-counteract right swing on takeoff instead, from the combination of the airfoiled fin and the Hispano engine's clockwise-turning propeller essentially "working" in the same direction.

I think the Merlin rotates counter-clockwise, thus the efect won't be there for "Buchons" - but it still shows pretty well of how to feck-up a perfectly good design.

Engadin
08-18-2010, 08:15 AM
Originally posted by Bremspropeller:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Sad to watch as the 'little bastard' did get him.

He was killed in a Buchon, not in a 109 - we shouldn't forget that http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

I've taken the liberty to use a wiki-quote on the following:

These Hispano V12-powered versions of the German design, since the Hispano engines used a clockwise rotation propeller, with the Bf 109F-introduced asymmetric vertical fin still present that was airfoiled to produce a slight left movement of the tail, that counteracted the left-side torque reaction from the counterclockwise rotation Daimler-Benz DB 601 & 605 inverted V12 engines that they were designed for, created a hard-to-counteract right swing on takeoff instead, from the combination of the airfoiled fin and the Hispano engine's clockwise-turning propeller essentially "working" in the same direction.

I think the Merlin rotates counter-clockwise, thus the efect won't be there for "Buchons" - but it still shows pretty well of how to feck-up a perfectly good design. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

+1

An unpredictable plane can´t be operative for 5 years unless you hire kamikaze pilots for all and everyone of the produced units of the 109, once the word is spread. There are plenty of aces that loved the 109, none of them with suicidal tendencies detected. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Remember, the history is written by the winners, and that doesn't necesarilly imply they tell the whole truth always. Mainly because they haven´t been in the 109's cockpit not even in one aerial combat, were the real flight lessons are learnt for fighter pilots. And remember, the 109 is just that, a fighter plane.

Bremspropeller
08-18-2010, 08:36 AM
Exactly:

Lots of newbs got killed, but then again, lots more didn't http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

One shouldn't forget, that most of eastern-front flying was based on hardly-prepared acres and prairie.
Not exactly the most suitable surface for high-performance fighter-operations.

Same was true from mid' 44 in Germany.

Sillius_Sodus
08-18-2010, 11:08 AM
Originally posted by Bremspropeller:
Exactly:

Lots of newbs got killed, but then again, lots more didn't http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

One shouldn't forget, that most of eastern-front flying was based on hardly-prepared acres and prairie.
Not exactly the most suitable surface for high-performance fighter-operations.

Same was true from mid' 44 in Germany.


Taildraggers tend to track better on unpaved surfaces, which might explain the low-ish accident rate.

tomtheyak
08-18-2010, 11:52 AM
Originally posted by Bremspropeller:

I think the Merlin rotates counter-clockwise, thus the efect won't be there for "Buchons" - but it still shows pretty well of how to feck-up a perfectly good design.

Merlins and DBs rotate the same way Brems. Buchons weight compared to G-2 is very similar, and has 75-100Hp less than G-2. The airframes are identical apparently. Only difference is higher thrust line of Merlin - how that affects handling is a mystery to me.

On the ground most of the differences are moot - HP means nothing as on landing you aren't using any. Gyroscopic forces will be at a minimum. It boils down to the configuration of the undercarriage, which unless I'm mistaken is identical on both machines.

Watch 'One Summer - Two Messerschmitts'. Some well regarded pilots fly two DB powered 109s and the conclusions are similar. Low speed directional control = bad. Combined with the toe-out on the u/c legs and the blanking of the fin and rudder by the fus in the tail down attitude means it's gonna be a handful, whatever motors strapped to the front.

Truth is ANY 1000+ HP fighter type is gonna have vices. That's true of Mustangs, Spitfires, Messerscmitts; the quest for performance and power will always lead to compromises in ease of handling - the designer has to choose how and where.

VW-IceFire
08-18-2010, 03:56 PM
Let's face it that even with the Allies being the victors and writing the history of events... many Allied warplanes have a maligned history. The Corsair being an example of an aircraft named the "Ensign Eliminator" due to it's handling quirks and poor over the nose visibility.

Even the Spitfire, regarded as having beautiful handling, has a less than stellar reputation in Griffon engine form.

PhantomKira
08-18-2010, 04:10 PM
I seem to recall that while the 109 lost 5 percent of total production in landing accidents, the Corsair lost 55 percent in non-combat related accidents. I'm sure there were more that 5 percent of 109s lost in all non-combat accidents, but there's a big difference between 5 percent and 55 perecent.

Reminds me of a review of the 109 by one of the RAF guys that flys Spitfires for their Memorial Flight. This interview had him sit in a 109 for the first time ever and give his impressions. He had no idea that the canopy was jettisonable, and one of the first things he did was comment (complain, morelike) about how it would be next to impossible to get out of the aircraft in a hurry once the hood was shut. He seemed to share the "typical" British oppinion of "yuck!" when given a chance to review a 109. Interesting that those who actually got a chance to fly the things seem to have a different oppinion altogether. One of grudging respect, and "I'd rather have a Spitfire", perhaps, but certainly not the outright dismissal it seems to get from other quarters.

Xiolablu3
08-18-2010, 04:26 PM
Oh what a surprise, Brems is here to discount everything I post.. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

What we really should do is take everything good written about the aircraft (most of the article) and agree with it, but anything negative, dismiss is cos 'its not a real 109, it has a merlin engine... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-tongue.gif


But seriously,I am pretty sure it was the Merlin that failed in the Mark HAnna accident, which meant the emergency landing anyway. So we cant totally blame the Bf109. Although obviously the airframe and landing characteristics didnt help.

Does anyone know the full story of the accident? I know that the authorities quickly blamed 'pilot error' which Ray Hanna (his father) and others present, bitterly contested.

Mark knew what to do in an emergency, they flew it as a 'real' 109 with an original late war DB605 for a year or so, but he had so many forced landings with the motor failing that they changed it back to the Merlin. (the engine was very late war and the metal was awful, resulting in a very unreliable engine)

I wonder why this last emergency was any different to those which he managed succesfully?

tomtheyak
08-18-2010, 04:43 PM
Originally posted by Xiolablu3:
Does anyone know the full story of the accident? I know that the authorities quickly blamed 'pilot error' which Ray Hanna (his father) and others present, bitterly contested.


The version I heard was he was flying in very dry still air in Spain, no wind, made a run and break, but as he turned in on finals ran smack into the latent remains of his own prop-wash and slipstream - being just above stall speed as so low he had no chance to affect recovery.

How true this version is I cannot comment, but it's the one I hear the most.

WTE_Galway
08-18-2010, 05:37 PM
A sad loss.

The official Spanish accident report is here:


http://www.fomento.es/NR/rdonl...8/1999_059_A_ENG.pdf (http://www.fomento.es/NR/rdonlyres/3BD150EE-9B94-4C27-8820-06B5CD8928AD/2428/1999_059_A_ENG.pdf)

Regarding the accident itself, several hypotheses have been considered to explain how
an experienced aerobatic pilot, like the one in command, could have entered into a stall
condition in the final turn.
a) Possible momentary distraction when looking back to locate the runway threshold
that had been overshot.
b) An erroneous estimate of the height of the bank or slope located at the runway
end and, when attempting to correct it, the increase of power and rudder, causing
a bigger banking due to the effect of the propeller slipstream and torque.
c) The aforementioned relative of the pilot suggests as a probable cause the possible
persistence of the vortexes generated in the quick pass and the «pull» previously
exerted. In this case, when crossing the vortex, an increase in angle of attack would
be induced with the resulting stall condition. This hypothesis cannot be discarded
completely. However, it is impossible to know the effect and condition of these vortexes
more than two-and-a-half minutes after the pass, as deduced from the times
stated in communications with the tower, and, additionally the pilot’s experience
makes it plausible to presume he would be aware that the airfield is short.
It is therefore concluded that it is not possible to accurately determine the exact cause
of the accident. The most probable cause was a conjunction of some of the hypotheses
mentioned, combined with the aforementioned stability deficiencies and all of this
in a demanding pilot environment such as can be the case of an air exhibition, especially
in the final moments.


Many people disagreed with the findings. There was quite a controversy at the time when "Aeroplane Monthly" (now "Aeroplane") published parts of the report with editorial comments without consulting with the family or OFMC first.

A number of letters including one by well known NZ warbird display pilot Keith Skilling (who I believe was present at the accident) in a later edition of Aeroplane Monthly brought up many issues not raised in the report.

berg417448
08-18-2010, 05:43 PM
Originally posted by PhantomKira:
I seem to recall that while the 109 lost 5 percent of total production in landing accidents, the Corsair lost 55 percent in non-combat related accidents. I'm sure there were more that 5 percent of 109s lost in all non-combat accidents, but there's a big difference between 5 percent and 55 perecent.



Landing accidents are just one very small part of non-combat losses. Non-combat losses were high for all operators of WWII aircraft.

stalkervision
08-18-2010, 05:51 PM
a lot of "ertzed" after war 109's weren't GOOD 109's

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

PhantomKira
08-18-2010, 05:59 PM
Figured that was the case, berg, but didn't have any numbers to back it up.

It does not surprise me in the least that the authorities found the fault to be pilot error. "You are Pilot In Command, it's your airplane, and whatever happens in it or to it is your responsibility." It seems to be one of the easiest ways to account for any problems or incidents/accidents resulting from those problems. Blame it on the pilot.

I remember one account of a KC-130 that had all four engines fail off the coast and it went down in the water. No one survived, and the aircraft was not recovered. Needless to say, the authorities went directly to pilot error. "Oh they ran out of gas." Wait a second. This is a KC-130 tanker aircraft. Their business is fuel management and fuel transfer, and they're good at it. You're going to tell me they ran out of gas? What's even worse is that one of the crewmemebers told his wife years before that if anything ever happened, they would undoubtedly blame it on the crew, without so much as a brief glance of an investigation.

One gets the impression that sometimes the investigators take the easy way out.

Yet another example of "I believe what I believe and I will look only so far as to gather the information that supports what I believe, facts be damned."

berg417448
08-18-2010, 06:40 PM
Here is an example of the number and types of losses that combat units suffered:

http://www.luftwaffe.no/SIG/Losses/190tap.html

I don't have the link handy but I've seen a similar list posted for a US P-51 unit in Europe and IIRC the non-combat losses were equally high.

WTE_Galway
08-18-2010, 07:26 PM
When I researched RAF prewar Gladiator squadrons for a skinpack there was a surprising number of losses even though hostilities had not started.

3 Sqdn RAF:

K7896
23/11/37 Flew into trees on hill in low cloud on weather test, Warlingham, Surrey.
No information on condition of pilot.
Aircraft written off 03/01/38 (99.05 hrs).

K6151
17/01/39 Flew into house on high ground in bad visibility, Crowborough, Sussex,
Damaged beyond repair and pilot killed.
Aircraft written off 14/03/39 (22.15 hrs)

K6150
24/01/38 Abandoned in spin and crashed in front garden, Lyndhurst Road, Hove, Sussex; Sgt. E. H. Lomas safe.
Aircraft written off 26/02/38 (130.20 hrs).

K7955
20/02/39 Hit ground in cloud, Firle Beacon, south-east of Lewes, Sussex, and destroyed by fire.
Pilot killed.
Written off, hours unknown.

K7962
18/04/39 Collided with K8023 in formation at night and crashed near Caterham, Surrey.
Pilot Killed.
Written Off 269.45 hrs

K8023
18/04/39 Collided with K7962 in formation at night and crashed near Caterham, Surrey.
Pilot Killed.
Written Off 266.50 hr



Here is 72 Sqdn:

K6130
11/05/39 Transferred to HMS Argus to form 112 Sq.
18/07/40 Hit a hill obscured by a cloud at Qaret el Naga. Aircraft destroyed. F/O Gray-Worcester killed.

K6133
23/07/37 Flew into ground out of cloud on ferry flight, Sealand – Church Fenton, Barmby, Yorkshire , and destroyed by fire, pilot killed.
Written off (63.10 hours)

K6139
11/03/37 Engine cut and a/c force landed and overturned at Odiham.
Returned to Squadron after repair.
29/06/38 Collided with K6138 and crashed 2miles South of Selby, Yorkshire.
Pilot killed, Aircraft destroyed .
Written off (105.27 hrs)

K6144 31/03/37 From Manufacturer
01/12/38 Abandoned in spin, Monk Freyston, Yorks.
Written off (122.45 hours)

K7934
07/02/38 Hit high tension cables on hill in mist and crashed 4 miles north of Brough.
Aircraft destroyed by fire and pilot killed.
Written off (107.20 hours)

K6131
26/03/38 Ran out of fuel on approach to forced landing while lost and overturned and wrecked.

Also:
K7959 73rd Sqdn:
21/03/38 Overshot flare path and sank into ground on attempted overshoot at Digby.
Aircraft destroyed by fire
P/O John Francis Pearce killed.
07/05/38 Written Off (70 hrs).

K8028 87 Sqdn
22/04/38 Undershot approach at night and hit tree at Debden. Destroyed by fire.
08/06/38 Written Off (63.40hrs).

Bremspropeller
08-18-2010, 07:47 PM
Oh what a surprise, Brems is here to discount everything I post..

I didn't "discount" anything you posted -I just mentioned that he crashed and died in a Buchon and thus you can't blame the 109 for the loss.


Although obviously the airframe and landing characteristics didnt help.

He exceeded critical AOA and bought it - that's not exactly a characteristic limited to the 109.
In fact, the Buchon (depending on the wing-version) might even have prolonged controllable flight due to it's slats.



I wonder why this last emergency was any different to those which he managed succesfully?

Situations are always different, just like the way people try to solve problems.
Just because he did something wrong (= pilot error) doesn't mean he was a bad pilot.

It's funny when people say "No, couldn't have been pilot error - he was the best pilot I knew" - that just shows a real lack of understanding concerning human performance an human factors.
If "good pilots" didn't make any mistakes, we'd have a lot less pilot-related crashes.

Being a "good-pilot" doesn't make you free of failure.
Sometimes, wrong pace, wrong time, one of those failures might just be a show-stopper.
One should accept that, especially, when talking about high-performance aircraft, where the margins for error are that much smaller.

The "authorities" do have quite a bit of experience investigating crashes, and in case of a crash, chances are good that if they say "pilot error" was the cause, it *no, really* propably was pilot-error http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

PhantomKira
08-18-2010, 09:14 PM
You can make mistakes. You will make mistakes. You just can't afford to make the one that's going to kill you. And there are an interminable number of those. Especially while operating in an environment where humans were never supposed to be in the first place.

BillSwagger
08-18-2010, 09:27 PM
Flying the 109 (http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3897/is_199912/ai_n8870616/)

thanks for the post.

I find articles like these somewhat limiting only because modern day WW2 fighters flying in exhibitions or air-shows aren't flown at the same power settings as they might in actual combat. I think we can still get a good glimpse of how the plane handled. Most of what he mentions does happen to correlate with much of my research.

It also makes me wonder if there was some sort of height limit for these pilots. If you were too big, how could you cram yourself into such tight quarters?

Bill

PhantomKira
08-18-2010, 10:07 PM
Your welcome! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

There was a limit on pilot height. As far as I know, it was roughly six feet. Any more than that and you'd need a shoehorn to get into the cockpit.

The other end of the spectrum was the F4U Corsair. With the size of the thing, you had to be fairly tall just to reach the rudder pedals. There was one picture and description out there of one named "Pillow Power". The pilot was short enough that he needed to sit on pillows to reach the rudder pedals.

WTE_Galway
08-19-2010, 01:08 AM
Originally posted by BillSwagger:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">
Flying the 109 (http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3897/is_199912/ai_n8870616/)

thanks for the post.

I find articles like these somewhat limiting only because modern day WW2 fighters flying in exhibitions or air-shows aren't flown at the same power settings as they might in actual combat. I think we can still get a good glimpse of how the plane handled. Most of what he mentions does happen to correlate with much of my research.

Bill </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Do bare in mind that Ray Hannah probably had more hours in Spitfires and 109's than many actual WWII pilots. He was not just another warbird weekend warrior.

Aside from time spent flying airshows with his father Ray (ex-RAF Squadron Leader and Leader of the Red Arrows for 4 years back in the 50's)and flying F4's with the RAF himself including a tour of duty during the Falkland's conflict, a major part of what they did with OFMC was extreme action footage for movies. Mark and Ray flew the flight scenes in Memphis Belle, Saving Private Ryan, Empire of the Sun and a stack of other films.

With that sort of time in type I think they would have had a very good idea what the aircraft were capable of. Certainly more than many low hour actual WWII pilots.

Of course to be totally credible on IL2 Forums the account needs to come from someone who helped build the aircraft, was a test pilot, transferred to combat ops and became an ace in the same aircraft, did a degree in aeronautical engineering and then was cryo-frozen before being thawed out in 2010 still a young man and then flying the same machine online in IL2 against the current "elite aces" at HL http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Mark Hanna with his RAF operational combat experience and training followed by many years in WWII war-birds is about as close as you are going to get to that.

Bremspropeller
08-19-2010, 05:45 AM
Experience doesn't buy you another life.

The list of experienced pilots that finally pranged and died is pretty long.

PhantomKira
08-19-2010, 10:59 AM
"Learn from other's mistakes. You'll never live long enough to make them all yourself."

Xiolablu3
08-19-2010, 05:18 PM
Originally posted by WTE_Galway:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by BillSwagger:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">
Flying the 109 (http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3897/is_199912/ai_n8870616/)

thanks for the post.

I find articles like these somewhat limiting only because modern day WW2 fighters flying in exhibitions or air-shows aren't flown at the same power settings as they might in actual combat. I think we can still get a good glimpse of how the plane handled. Most of what he mentions does happen to correlate with much of my research.

Bill </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Do bare in mind that Ray Hannah probably had more hours in Spitfires and 109's than many actual WWII pilots. He was not just another warbird weekend warrior.

Aside from time spent flying airshows with his father Ray (ex-RAF Squadron Leader and Leader of the Red Arrows for 4 years back in the 50's)and flying F4's with the RAF himself including a tour of duty during the Falkland's conflict, a major part of what they did with OFMC was extreme action footage for movies. Mark and Ray flew the flight scenes in Memphis Belle, Saving Private Ryan, Empire of the Sun and a stack of other films.

With that sort of time in type I think they would have had a very good idea what the aircraft were capable of. Certainly more than many low hour actual WWII pilots.

Of course to be totally credible on IL2 Forums the account needs to come from someone who helped build the aircraft, was a test pilot, transferred to combat ops and became an ace in the same aircraft, did a degree in aeronautical engineering and then was cryo-frozen before being thawed out in 2010 still a young man and then flying the same machine online in IL2 against the current "elite aces" at HL http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Mark Hanna with his RAF operational combat experience and training followed by many years in WWII war-birds is about as close as you are going to get to that. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Absolutely agreed 100%