1. #1
    Was dreaming about someone saying that Pee 51's and Pee 47's fired confetty instead of bullets.

    What happened to older 109's that were replaced by newer models?

    Say.. ie. (cuz I have no idea) 1500 109 E7 were produced, then the F series replaced it... say.. some 400 109 E7 survived.. what did they do to them if airframes couldn't be modified to conver them to newer 109F's ?

    Same for other aircraft types from diferente nationalities.

    BTW... how do you put a pic in your name (avatar?) and signature when posting?

    Höf...
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  2. #2
    berg417448's Avatar Senior Member
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    They continued to use them. The new models would not replace the old models in large number right away. Eventually some might be used as advanced trainers for pilots new to the type. Attrition was high in all air forces of the time too.

    A good example of continued use is the Allison engined Mustangs. By the end of WWII the RAF still had two squadrons flying them.
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  3. #3
    Zeus-cat's Avatar Senior Member
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    As long as the aircraft, tank, ship, whatever, was still fit for service it would have probably remained on the front lines. If sufficient numbers of a new model were available, then the older models would have been shifted to secondary and then tertiary fronts. If the vehicle was completely obsolete, then it would have been used for guard duty or sent to training units.

    I have seen photos of US armor units where numerous models of M4 Shermans and M3/M5 Stuarts were lined up. Keep in mind, in combat, you use what you have and you usually don't have what you need. (damn, that's clever!!!). The Germans would have been especially short of materials and would have used whatever they could get their hands on.
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  4. #4
    espacially the 109E-7s were used from the Schlachtgeschwader (ground assault units)till 1943 the Fw190 began to replace them. the loss rate was very high.

    in general obsolete planes that could still flew where given to flying schools.
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  5. #5
    Usually only minor changes would have been upfitted (say F-2 to F-4 etc.) Sometimes older, but still servicable AC would go to units in secondary areas or duties (hand me downs)or training units, but for the most part the AC would have been pretty much worn out by the time they were replaced and just scrapped (then melted down and made into the next generation of replacements)
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  6. #6
    I have to learn how to type faster
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  7. #7
    The Germans and British were both big fans of using old aircraft to make 'new' ones. Its often hard to tell what model a 109 is because its received modifications to bring it up to a later version's standards but it retains features of the older model (such as a tail design, armament or canopy). The British were extremely good at taking parts of different unservicible aircraft and combining them with parts from other unservicible aircraft or new parts to make 'new' fighters.
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  8. #8
    A quick search of the Luftwaffe order of battle for March, 1942 shows that 109Es made up about 190 out of 752 servicable single engined fighters on strenght.

    If my memory hasn't completely failed there were still some LuftWaffe units based in Norway who were flying 109Es into 1944.


    I don't know exact details about German practice, but the British put a lot of war weary Spitfire Mk II and Mk V airframes into storage in 1942-1944.

    Some of the airframes were then taken out of storage and sent over to Russia via Lend-Lease. The German did something similar with their 109s, sending older models to Allies such as Romania, Hungary and Italy.

    Other Spitfires were refurbished and repainted, had various mods added (usually new aerials and mirrors but some had their exhaust stacks swapped), had new engines put in, had their supercharger impeller diameters reduced and had their wing span reduced. They were then reissued to squadrons as L.F. Mk. Vb/c. I'm not sure if the LuftWaffe did anything similar with its 109E/F models.
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  9. #9
    VW-IceFire's Avatar Senior Member
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    Originally posted by berg417448:
    They continued to use them. The new models would not replace the old models in large number right away. Eventually some might be used as advanced trainers for pilots new to the type. Attrition was high in all air forces of the time too.

    A good example of continued use is the Allison engined Mustangs. By the end of WWII the RAF still had two squadrons flying them.
    Such a good point...I'm reading the day to day history of the 2nd TAF and there are still kill/loss reports even in December 1944 for Mustang Mark I's. I haven't seen too many Spitfire Mark V's past August but the Mustangs seem to be out there in full force.

    I remember reading about a German ace taking up a Bf109E or F with his newbie wingman in a Bf109G-6 or something along those lines in 1944 as the newbie needed the better performing plane more than he did.
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  10. #10
    Dunno about Luftwaffe practices, but heavy bomber units in the USAAF tended to use old airframes in two ways:

    1) "Hangar Queens" - Basically scapped for parts. On B-17s, many parts were interchangable between models. Many late-war photos show green wing panels or control surfaces on an otherwise bare metal airplane. These were parts taken from "war weary" planes.
    A similar, but extreme example of using an old airplane for maintenance support was in the 447th BG.

    ***********
    The 710th Squadron Engineering Officer recalls: "One day, on a visit to Honington, I saw a B-17E on the ramp. It looked almost new. I had an idea on how to use it, but Honington said they had no forms on it, and were going to junk it. I got the plane by signing for 9,600 pounds of assorted metal."

    After giving it a thorough check, Hillery called Lt. Col. Clarence Elder, C.O. of the 710th, who arrived to fly the plane back to Rattlesden. Once back at base, Hillery and his crews modified the firewalls and motor mounts to carry G model engines. In this way, they were able to slow-time rebuilt engines without adding hours to combat-ready B-17Gs."
    (source www.447bg.com)


    2) "Hacks" - Used for liason, VIP transports, cargo, etc. Often stripped of all armament and turrets and painted in bright colors.
    Here's an example: B-17E Little Rock-ette of the 381st BG served all the way through 1945 as a group VIP transport.
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