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View Full Version : What did the Luftwaffe fly before the Bf 109?



Skarphol
10-18-2004, 11:12 AM
I just came to think of it: I know a lot of british and american fighterplanes from the interwar aera, but what did the Luftwaffe fly as their main fighter before they had the Bf 109? Was the Luftwaffe so young that there was no real figtherplane before that? The only plane I can think of is one of the early Heinkels, He-51. Was that comparable to for instance Cr.42 and Gladiator? Or I-153 for that matter?

Skarphol

Skarphol
10-18-2004, 11:12 AM
I just came to think of it: I know a lot of british and american fighterplanes from the interwar aera, but what did the Luftwaffe fly as their main fighter before they had the Bf 109? Was the Luftwaffe so young that there was no real figtherplane before that? The only plane I can think of is one of the early Heinkels, He-51. Was that comparable to for instance Cr.42 and Gladiator? Or I-153 for that matter?

Skarphol

k5054
10-18-2004, 11:33 AM
The LW really has no transitional fighter before the 109, it had He-51 and Ar-68, both open cockpit, fixed gear biplanes. What I call a transitional fighter is one that doesn't have all three of: cantilever monoplane, retractable gear, canopy, but has one or two. When the 109 won the design contest for the next LW fighter it had all of those features, the other contestants did not. The Fw design had a parasol wing , the Heinkel 112 had an open cockpit originally.
The 109 had a couple of years in Spain before the invasion of Poland. It was probably the second a/c to be a post-transition fighter, I-16 being the first (until they ditched the canopy), if I don't count a couple of US a/c which didn't last till WW2.
CR-42 was not a transitional fighter, Gladiator was. MS406, although a cr@p plane, was post-transition. Other important transitionals: Fokker DXXI, Nakajima Ki-97, A5M Claude, I-153, Avia 534, Mc 200, G.50, PZL P24. Aren't these just the planes any pilot wants to fly virtually?

To return to the original question, which I've way over-answered, the short answer is, only the He51 and the similar Arado 68.

The190Flyer
10-18-2004, 11:35 AM
Thats really an irrelevant question because Germany didn't have an Air Force before the 109 the 109 and the Ju-88 and the Panzer's marked the rearmmament of Germany. Germany wasn't supposed to have and Air Force but they broke the restraints of the Versailles Treaty that Germany signed in WWI. It started off with the 109 B version's which were the better fighters in the Spanish Civil War in 1936. I mentioned B because that was the more popular version that was used in the Mid-Thirties. The 109 was the beginning of the Luftwaffe. There were a few others but the 109 made more of an impact.

S!

F16_Fatboy
10-18-2004, 12:59 PM
The Heinkel He 112 was there to in limited nunbers.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heinkel_He_112

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