Military Review

Messerschmitt Bf 109G - one of the best aircraft of the second world


Modification "F" was the peak of the development of the aircraft Bf 109 and one of the best fighters of the Second World War. Nevertheless, the improvement of the design was continued in the direction of increasing the height and speed of flight. As a result, Bf 109G appeared, which was often called “Gustav” (“Gustav”).

In the middle of the 1941 year, when the Bf 109F was the main German fighter on the Eastern Front, the development of the Bf 109G modification began, which was destined to become the most popular in the whole family. The new version was designed in a hurry, so its structural differences from F (Friedrich) were minimal. In 1941, the designers relied on a further increase in flight speed, even to the detriment of maneuverability and controllability. On the other hand, the height of the air battles were constantly growing, which forced the developers to pay attention to improving the height characteristics of the fighter. Therefore, the new model was designed for a more powerful motor DB605.

The Daimler-Benz DB 605А engine for the Bf 109G fighter was created based on the DB 60IE engine, which increased the compression ratio in the cylinders and increased the speed to increase power. As a result, takeoff power increased to 1475 l. with. Close in size to its predecessor, the new engine turned out to be significantly heavier, so we had to strengthen the engine mount and, in general, the design of the aircraft fuselage, as well as the chassis. The engine cooling system underwent alteration — the oil radiator was large in size on the G, and four small air intakes were made on the fuselage just behind the propeller.

It was possible to ensure the tightness of the cabin, without changing its design, only through the use of rubber gaskets. Glazing of the cockpit canopy panels made of composite, with a small gap between the panels to prevent fogging. The windshield of the lantern was made in sandwich style, with air dried with calcium chloride.

Three pre-production Bf 109G-0 units were assembled in Regensburg in October 1941, but the 605A DB engines were not yet there, therefore, the 0IE DB engines were installed on G-60, although the cooling system was designed for the 605 DB engine, except for four air intakes on the fuselage, which has not yet been. The first serial Bf 109G-1 with DB 605 motors were received by the customer in late spring 1942. At the same time, the Bf 109G-2 model was built, which differed from the “G-1” only in the absence of equipment for the pressurization of the cabin and the GM-1 system for a short-term increase in engine power. Externally, the "G-2" often did not differ at all from the "G-1", for example, on the fuselage there were four small air intakes with which the cockpit system was usually associated. The Bf 109G-2 fighters with unsealed cabs were built more massively than the G-1 and were used on all fronts, but above all on the Eastern front, where they first appeared in July 1942.

Messerschmitt Bf 109G - one of the best aircraft of the second world

Chronologically, the next version of Gustav was G-4, the serial production of which began in October 1942. Like the G-2, the Bf 109G-4 was a multipurpose fighter with a non-pressurized cabin, such machines were built en masse and entered service with a large number of Luftwaffe units. The differences between the G-4 and its predecessors were minimal, the main difference being the replacement of the FuG Vila radio station with the FuG-16Z and the associated antenna configuration change. At an early stage of production, the G-4 aircraft were equipped with wheels of the main supports of increased size, for which the projections had to be made on the upper surfaces of the wing surfaces. For these projections, the aircraft received the nickname "Beule" ("Cone"), although "G-6" was so called for the shape of the nest under the gun. There were not protrusions on the wing of all the “G-4”, but they appeared over time on the part of the Bf 109G-2 aircraft, as they were re-equipped with new surfaces from the “G-4”.
A significant amount of Bf109G-4 was used in reconnaissance units, in particular, Bf 109G-4 / U3 with an injection system into the water-methanol cylinders MW-50. Specialized
The reconnaissance version was the Bf 109G-4 / R3 with underwing holders for the suspension of two 300-liter fuel tanks and one Rb 50 / 30 or Rb 75 / 30 aerial camera in the rear fuselage. MG 17 machine guns were not mounted on scouts, and the ports for machine gun barrels were sewn with metal. At least one “G-4” installed three gondolas with one MG 151 / 20 gun in each.

Shortly after G-4, the Bf 109G-3 appeared, starting to arrive in March 1943 and, like G-1, was a high-altitude fighter with a sealed cockpit, but with improvements embedded in the G-4 design. Built only 50 aircraft Bf 109G-3.

“G-6” —Bf 109 main version

By the middle of 1942, there was a need to expand the combat capabilities of the Bf 109G — something more was needed than a “clean fighter”. “G-6”, the most popular in the family, became such a multi-purpose variant - more than 12 000 were built of such machines. The main feature of the new model was the design of the airframe, allowing the use of a wide range of different conversion kits or “kits for field refinement”. Airplanes could also be equipped with various engine options for the 605 DB engine.

On the Bf 109G-6, the MG 151 / 20 guns were retained, but the MG 17 machine guns replaced the 13-mm with the Rheinmetall-Borsig MG 131 machine guns, the ammunition for the machine guns had to be reduced from 500 to 300 cartridges for the barrel. The problem of insufficient reliability of the MG 151 / 20 guns was not resolved, therefore, replacements; machine guns of rifle caliber for large-caliber allowed to keep the mass of the onboard volley at an acceptable level even in case of failure of gun armament. Bulb-shaped projections on the fuselage in the area of ​​the breech machine guns became an external sign of the appearance on the plane of large-caliber machine guns.

Simultaneously with the G-6, the Bf 109G-5 — a variant of the G-6 with an airtight cabin — was built by the small series. G-5 entered service in September 1943, the aircraft of this model were used mainly on the Western Front and in the air defense units of the Reich.

Conversion Kits

As originally assumed, Bf 109G-6 (G-5) served as the basis for numerous sub-variants; on many machines, systems of short-term increase in the power of the GM-1 motors (sub-variant U2) or MW-5 ((U3) were installed. The first production machines received MG 151 / 20 cannon with 150 rounds of ammunition (as on earlier Bf 109) installed in the collapse of the cylinders, but from the middle of 1943, the 30-mm Rheinmetall-Borsig XK 108 cannon with 60 ammunition with shells and 9N was used to install 30-mm 108 cannon with 4 ammunition; often enough to destroy a fighter against . Nick installation kit gun MK 4 in the field received the designation Umbausatz-5 (U30) U151 set allows you to supplement the aircraft with fuselage 20-mm guns in two underwing nacelles with guns MG 6 / 30 (one gun in a gondola), U108. - two nacelles with 30-mm cannons MK 5 (in this case, the armament was reduced to three 6-mm guns.) UXNUMX and UXNUMX sets remained experimental, they were not used on the fronts.

The Rustzustande sets for G-6 included the conversion intelligence equipment R2 and R3 — the aerial cameras of these sub-options were mounted as on G-4. The standard set of steel were R1 (central under-fuse-and-bomb-holder ETC 500), R3 (central under-fuselage fuel tank) and R6 (underwing guns MG 151 / 20).

The operating experience of the Bf 109G has shown that the GM-1 and MW-50 systems are not as effective as the equipment of the motor with a supercharger; The first supercharger engine was the DB 605AS, which was equipped with a supercharger designed for the larger DB 603 engine. As a result, at the height of 8000 m, the engine power was able to be raised to 1200 l. with. True, the installation of a motor with a supercharger made the designers reconsider the shape of the bonnet.

The first G-6 / AS aircraft appeared in the spring of the 1944 of the year. Up to the level of "G-6 / AS" upgraded part of the previously released fighter, but the bulk was built anew. Most of the "G-6 / AS" arrived in the air defense units that defended the territory of Germany, and some - in units of night fighters. A small amount of "G-5" also received engines DB 605AS.


Several "G-6" armed with a WGr-21 system (Werfergranate caliber 210 mm), which was a mortar that fired a charge of 40 kg mass and intended to defeat bombers in tight combat order (Pulk-Zerstorer - destroyer group). The system was used with some success in the air defense units of the Reich and in Northern Italy.

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