Bf 109T wing fold

Bf 109T wing fold

Post by Mark Schyner » Thu, 13 Jun 2002 02:52:06



The latest issue of the IPMS Journal features, among other things, an
article of a 1/48 'Me-109T-1', with folded wings of standard E-version
length. Certainly the model is wrong for wing length, but the conversion
looks neat enough, and the builder is a junior, so it seems unreasonable
to slag him for any inaccuracies.

However, this issue of folding on the T does not seem to die. In "Sea
Eagles", author F.L. Marshall states unequivocally that the wing did not
fold (p.16), as the Graf Zeppelin's elevators were big enough to strike
the plane below without folding, and a check on the elevator dimensions
of the GZ confirms this. OTOH, William Green and J. Richard Smith
variously assert that the outer panels were manually foldable, though
these references date from the 60's and 70's.

I'm inclined to believe that the wings did not fold, especially since I
have never seen photographic evidence of same. Has anyone ever seen such
a photograph, or any other evidence (apart from bald assertions) that
the wings did fold?

Mark Schynert

 
 
 

Bf 109T wing fold

Post by Paul O'Reill » Thu, 13 Jun 2002 08:51:38


Mark;

    From what I understand there were no versions of the Bf 109 T which had
folding wings.  That said, I expect that there were plans to fold the wings
in time as that would permit the ship to carry more aircraft.  I'm not sure
if the wings would have folded upwards like the USN's Corsair or aft like
the Wildcat/ Hellcat.  I heard that the wings would have been manually
folded with the break just outboard of the wing cannons.  The flaps were to
be detached before folding, which I expect would be similar to the Barracuda
fold process.  This procedure meant the flaps did not have to be split into
two sections for the folding process.

    I hope this helps.
--
Paul O'Reilly


Quote:
> The latest issue of the IPMS Journal features, among other things, an
> article of a 1/48 'Me-109T-1', with folded wings of standard E-version
> length. Certainly the model is wrong for wing length, but the conversion
> looks neat enough, and the builder is a junior, so it seems unreasonable
> to slag him for any inaccuracies.

> However, this issue of folding on the T does not seem to die. In "Sea
> Eagles", author F.L. Marshall states unequivocally that the wing did not
> fold (p.16), as the Graf Zeppelin's elevators were big enough to strike
> the plane below without folding, and a check on the elevator dimensions
> of the GZ confirms this. OTOH, William Green and J. Richard Smith
> variously assert that the outer panels were manually foldable, though
> these references date from the 60's and 70's.

> I'm inclined to believe that the wings did not fold, especially since I
> have never seen photographic evidence of same. Has anyone ever seen such
> a photograph, or any other evidence (apart from bald assertions) that
> the wings did fold?

> Mark Schynert


 
 
 

Bf 109T wing fold

Post by Al Sumral » Thu, 13 Jun 2002 16:35:04


William Green did not say the 109T, at least the production model,  had
folding wings. In my opinion, Green, who did fantastic work gets too much
blame (for the quantity and quality of his work his errors are few and far
between0 and far too little credit.  Here is what he does say about the 109T
in Warplanes of the Third Reich (p-549-550) I had added my comments between
[ ]:

       "Messerschmidts proposals for a shipboard fighter....adaptation of
the Bf 109E-1[Db 601A].   A break point [in the proposal] was incorporated
in the wing spar immediately outboard of the gun bays to permit manual
folding of the outer panels, reducing overall width to 13' 4 " (this is far
smaller than what would have been required for an a/c elevator even for two
a/c), although this was complicated by the need to detach the flaps prior to
folding.  .....  the entire project was transferred to Fieseler for detail
design and for the conversion of 10 E-1 airframes already on the production
line as preproduction  BF-109 T-0. Simultaneously, Fieseler obtained a
contract for 60 Bf 109T-1's.
        .....after trials at the Eprobugsstelle at Travemunde during the
winter of 1939-40 it had been intended that the Bf-109T-O's should be passed
on to II/JG186...However work on the Graf Zepplein had been largely
suspended in October 1939....II/JG 186 had meanwhile operated as the third
gruppe of JG77 with Bf-109 E-1's [not the T-O's] in France and the Low
Countries and in June 1940 was transferred to Trondheim in
Norway....redesignated III/JG 77.
        Assembly of the 60 Bf109T-1 shipboard fighter had been halted
simultaneously with the decision to stop further work on the Graf Zeppelin
[Oct 1939?]... however, rekindled interest...Fiesler Werke was instructed to
complete the 60 Bf-109T-1's but to remove what carrier equipment that had
already been fitted, and deliver the aircraft as land based fighter-bombers
suitable for operations on short strips.....
         ...the fighter was redesignated Bf109T-2 and began to leave the
assembly line in the early spring of 1941...comparable in performance to the
E/4 [the T-2's were powered by Db 601n's].
         ...Stripped of catapult points and arrester hook [no mention is
made of the wing folding ]...fitted with a ventral rack...."

      To me this says that at the 10 preproduction T-O's might have had the
folding wing, although the method of wing folding would appear to be for
storage on  the GZ not to fit the elevators.  I believe the Graf Zepplin's
design was more of a commerce raider (even us theory prior to WWII was that
carriers were to be cheifly commerce raiders) and would have to maximize the
number of a/c it carried.  However, these T-O's presumably, being E-1's were
not even delivered to the Luftwaffe and may never have been built as they
apparently were a simultaneous contract with the T-1's and would have been
cancelled at the same time.  If anything Green can only be interpreted as
saying that since the catapult points and arrester hook were removed and
that Fiesler was ordered to remove all carrier equipment that had been
fitted, it is not unresonable to assume that the wing fold mechanism had not
even been fitted on the T-2's but even if it had, it was removed by Fiesler.
      The T-1 was never produced according to Green and I am doubtful as to
the T-0 [?].   All this leaves is the T-2 with the extended wing....and no
folding mechanism.  I think there are no photos because the folding wing was
a design proposal that never got produced. Green does not even illustrate
the T-O. He illustrates the T-1 to show the differences in the T-1 and the
T-2.  In his illustration he shows the break point on the T-1 wing, that is,
in my opinion, the proposed break point in the T-1 wing.
      In my opinion there should be no break point shown in models of the
T-2, the only model to see service.
      Any flak as to an historian insisting that the 109T was produced with
folding wings should be placed at someone else's doorstep, not Green's (at
least not in Warplanes of the Third Riech).
       However, the Ju-87C-O with manually folding outer wing panels (wing
fold break not illustrated) was according to Green actually produced in a
small batch...just a few...that participated in the Polish campaign. If a
photo of the 88 millimeter recoiless gun experiment survives, perhaps the
wing fold mechanism might be seen as a preproduction C-O was used in that
experiment. However, torpedo launching equipment was not placed on the C-O,
that was intended for the C-1 which, like the 109T-1, was cancelled.
       JU87 in Action, patge 36, has one page on the Ju-87C, it says that 10
C-O's were produced in the summer of 39 and a few Ju-87C-1's were produced
(in early 1940?) addition to the C-0's. A drawing and a possibly retouched
photo shows how the wings were folded and the wing break. According to
Green, the C-1's mechanism was mechanical. If a few C-1's were produced I
guess they would have been able to launch a torpedo. What is cool about the
Ju-87's of  III/Stukageswader 1 is the use of the anchor and helmet unit
shield that was intended for use on the GZ.
        Now a C-1 (or a C-O) might make a nice model of what was...a folding
wing 109T is only what might have been.....according to Green.

Al Sumrall



Quote:
> The latest issue of the IPMS Journal features, among other things, an
> article of a 1/48 'Me-109T-1', with folded wings of standard E-version
> length. Certainly the model is wrong for wing length, but the conversion
> looks neat enough, and the builder is a junior, so it seems unreasonable
> to slag him for any inaccuracies.

> However, this issue of folding on the T does not seem to die. In "Sea
> Eagles", author F.L. Marshall states unequivocally that the wing did not
> fold (p.16), as the Graf Zeppelin's elevators were big enough to strike
> the plane below without folding, and a check on the elevator dimensions
> of the GZ confirms this. OTOH, William Green and J. Richard Smith
> variously assert that the outer panels were manually foldable, though
> these references date from the 60's and 70's.

> I'm inclined to believe that the wings did not fold, especially since I
> have never seen photographic evidence of same. Has anyone ever seen such
> a photograph, or any other evidence (apart from bald assertions) that
> the wings did fold?

> Mark Schynert

 
 
 

Bf 109T wing fold

Post by Mario » Thu, 13 Jun 2002 18:03:57


Guys, I have one picture of Junkers Ju 87 Stuka with wings folded
 ''Willdcat way stile''). I was wondering, does any of you know ( or have)
where I can find some detailed pics, or drawings of this, and general layout
too,code letters and so on - stuff that enable me to make a model??
Thanks in advance,
--
Best regards,
Mario Glozinic

Gold 5: Stay on target! Stay on target!

 
 
 

Bf 109T wing fold

Post by Mark Schyner » Fri, 14 Jun 2002 06:33:42




Quote:
> William Green did not say the 109T, at least the production model,  had
> folding wings. In my opinion, Green, who did fantastic work gets too much
> blame (for the quantity and quality of his work his errors are few and far
> between0 and far too little credit.

William Green has made many errors, as is inevitable when one publishes
such a vast amount regarding minute details of relatively recent
history. Inevitably with the passage of time new resources come to the
fore, calling into question old assumptions and possibly spurious data.
I have yet to throw away a single reference written by him, which in my
own library are too numerous to count.

Quote:
>Here is what he does say about the 109T
> in Warplanes of the Third Reich (p-549-550) I had added my comments between
> [ ]:

>        "Messerschmidts proposals for a shipboard fighter....adaptation of
> the Bf 109E-1[Db 601A].   A break point [in the proposal] was incorporated
> in the wing spar immediately outboard of the gun bays to permit manual
> folding of the outer panels, reducing overall width to 13' 4 " (this is far
> smaller than what would have been required for an a/c elevator even for two
> a/c), although this was complicated by the need to detach the flaps prior to
> folding.  .....  the entire project was transferred to Fieseler for detail
> design and for the conversion of 10 E-1 airframes already on the production
> line as preproduction  BF-109 T-0. Simultaneously, Fieseler obtained a
> contract for 60 Bf 109T-1's.

Marshall asserts that there were no T-0s at all.

Quote:
>         .....after trials at the Eprobugsstelle at Travemunde during the
> winter of 1939-40 it had been intended that the Bf-109T-O's should be passed
> on to II/JG186...However work on the Graf Zepplein had been largely
> suspended in October 1939....II/JG 186 had meanwhile operated as the third
> gruppe of JG77 with Bf-109 E-1's [not the T-O's] in France and the Low
> Countries and in June 1940 was transferred to Trondheim in
> Norway....redesignated III/JG 77.
>         Assembly of the 60 Bf109T-1 shipboard fighter had been halted
> simultaneously with the decision to stop further work on the Graf Zeppelin
> [Oct 1939?]... however, rekindled interest...Fiesler Werke was instructed to
> complete the 60 Bf-109T-1's but to remove what carrier equipment that had
> already been fitted, and deliver the aircraft as land based fighter-bombers
> suitable for operations on short strips.....

Marshall writes that some aircraft were completed as T-1s (no wing
folding) and most or all converted to T-2 standard. However, there was
an intent to convert back to T-1 standard if/when the a/c were to be
deployed aboard the GZ. Also, at least one T-2 was converted to T-1
standard for tests. Further, it appears at least one T-1 survived the
war in damaged condition, being examined by Eric Brown. It retained the
arrestor hook, if not other navalised equipment. Or so says Marshall.

Quote:
>          ...the fighter was redesignated Bf109T-2 and began to leave the
> assembly line in the early spring of 1941...comparable in performance to the
> E/4 [the T-2's were powered by Db 601n's].
>          ...Stripped of catapult points and arrester hook [no mention is
> made of the wing folding ]...fitted with a ventral rack...."

>       To me this says that at the 10 preproduction T-O's might have had the
> folding wing, although the method of wing folding would appear to be for
> storage on  the GZ not to fit the elevators.  I believe the Graf Zepplin's
> design was more of a commerce raider (even us theory prior to WWII was that
> carriers were to be cheifly commerce raiders) and would have to maximize the
> number of a/c it carried.  However, these T-O's presumably, being E-1's were
> not even delivered to the Luftwaffe and may never have been built as they
> apparently were a simultaneous contract with the T-1's and would have been
> cancelled at the same time.  If anything Green can only be interpreted as
> saying that since the catapult points and arrester hook were removed and
> that Fiesler was ordered to remove all carrier equipment that had been
> fitted, it is not unresonable to assume that the wing fold mechanism had not
> even been fitted on the T-2's but even if it had, it was removed by Fiesler.

I agree that the T-2 did not have wing-folding. At this point, the
controversy seems to center on the T-1.

- Show quoted text -

Quote:
>       The T-1 was never produced according to Green and I am doubtful as to
> the T-0 [?].   All this leaves is the T-2 with the extended wing....and no
> folding mechanism.  I think there are no photos because the folding wing was
> a design proposal that never got produced. Green does not even illustrate
> the T-O. He illustrates the T-1 to show the differences in the T-1 and the
> T-2.  In his illustration he shows the break point on the T-1 wing, that is,
> in my opinion, the proposed break point in the T-1 wing.
>       In my opinion there should be no break point shown in models of the
> T-2, the only model to see service.
>       Any flak as to an historian insisting that the 109T was produced with
> folding wings should be placed at someone else's doorstep, not Green's (at
> least not in Warplanes of the Third Riech).
>        However, the Ju-87C-O with manually folding outer wing panels (wing
> fold break not illustrated) was according to Green actually produced in a
> small batch...just a few...that participated in the Polish campaign. If a
> photo of the 88 millimeter recoiless gun experiment survives, perhaps the
> wing fold mechanism might be seen as a preproduction C-O was used in that
> experiment. However, torpedo launching equipment was not placed on the C-O,
> that was intended for the C-1 which, like the 109T-1, was cancelled.
>        JU87 in Action, patge 36, has one page on the Ju-87C, it says that 10
> C-O's were produced in the summer of 39 and a few Ju-87C-1's were produced
> (in early 1940?) addition to the C-0's. A drawing and a possibly retouched
> photo shows how the wings were folded and the wing break. According to
> Green, the C-1's mechanism was mechanical. If a few C-1's were produced I
> guess they would have been able to launch a torpedo. What is cool about the
> Ju-87's of  III/Stukageswader 1 is the use of the anchor and helmet unit
> shield that was intended for use on the GZ.
>         Now a C-1 (or a C-O) might make a nice model of what was...a folding
> wing 109T is only what might have been.....according to Green.

> Al Sumrall



In "Warplanes of the Third Reich", comparing the line drawings for the
Bf 109E-3 and T-1, the panel lines depicted in the latter's top wing
surface do not look much different than the E-3 wing, so I don't find
the notion that this indicates a wing fold compelling. In any event,
without knowing the provenance of the T-1 drawing, it is difficult to
rely on  it.

Inasmuch as there appear to have been at least some T-1 airframes, the
absence of pictures with the wing folded continues to sustain my
suspicion that no variant of the T ever had folding wings. It is of
course difficult to prove a negative.

Mark Schynert

 
 
 

Bf 109T wing fold

Post by David Flemi » Sat, 15 Jun 2002 21:18:30


I think Marshall's book should be taken as definitive until someone comes
out with more info.

One point, IIRC, is that whilst the outer wing didn't fold in the way that
Allied aircraft did for quick storage, the 109T could have it's wings
removed and stowed alongside the fuselage for underdeck storage - possibly
the source of the 'folded' rumours ?

Dave

FROM ADDRESS HAS SPAM TRAP - CLICK REPLY TO EMAIL

 
 
 

Bf 109T wing fold

Post by Mike » Sun, 16 Jun 2002 05:53:24


Quote:

> the 109T could have it's wings
> removed and stowed alongside the fuselage for underdeck storage - possibly
> the source of the 'folded' rumours ?

 Then you could say that about an awful lot of other aircraft as well,
I've seen lots of pictures of various aircraft that have been shipped
with their wings removed and stowed alongside. Unless the 109T was made
specifically to be able to do this much easier.

--
Mike Dougherty
Toronto, Ontario
Canada