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ouidjat 3rd May 2013 01:55

eBay: Legion Condor Bf 109 V-4?
Good morning Gentlemen,

This very rare picture:

I would say it's V-4; but?

Regards, Franck.

Pilot 3rd May 2013 07:53

Re: eBay: Legion Condor Bf 109 V-4?
Very early sample ;)

ouidjat 3rd May 2013 09:45

Re: eBay: Legion Condor Bf 109 V-4?
Hi Pilot,

Yes very early but it deserves some comments:

Top hat emblem visible under (slightly behind) canopy.
Very large black roundel; large enough to see the top of it behind the wing.
Propeller spinner with a small diameter which doesn't cover the cowling behind it.
Painted blade tips ..
So, all in all it's 6-1. :D

Regards, Franck.

kglass 3rd May 2013 17:43

Re: eBay: Legion Condor Bf 109 V-4?
Hello Franck,

Presently there are 16 known Bf-109V and A airframes that were delivered to Spain. All were originally marked similarly soon after arrival, as far as is currently known from photos. I do not believe one can identify with any certainty the matricule of the plane shown in the new photo from eBay that you posted the URL for above. At least not using the limited data available in that and other Bf-109V/A photos I am aware of. Hopefully another image of this plane from a more advantageous viewing angle will come forward one day.

One small detail in the new photo is the gray scale of the metal spinner cap fitted onto the front of the wooden prop. It appears in the new photo as a darker shade of gray than the bare wood color visible on the conical wooden base of the spinner. It may perhaps be only the play of reflected light off the curved surfaces, but note the metal spinner cap appears the same gray scale as the unpainted prop blade root in view. This is an unusual combination that does not appear in other photos available to me of the Bf-109V/As in Spain. Most photos showing this detail well also present a metal spinner cap in a distinctly lighter shade of gray than the wooden base of the spinner.

If one assumes those servicing these planes did not often repaint their metal spinner caps, one can (using photos now available) rule out the following nine matricules, all pictured with their metal spinner caps finished in a color having a lighter gray scale than the bare wood color of their prop hub base. o6-1, o6-2, o6-3, o6-7, o6-8, o6-9, o6-10, o6-12 and o6-14. But then Ltn. H. Trautloft had the spinner cap of o6-1 painted in a bright appearing color, or perhaps it was polished aluminum. From that we know Bf-109 spinners were getting personal adornments as early as the winter of 1936/'37. So my assumption above does not apply in every case. I have not seen sufficiently advantageous photos (from a favorable viewing angle) for any of the following Bf-109A matricules, in order to rule them out as possible contenders for the identity of the plane in this new photo. o6-4, o6-5, o6-6, o6-11, o6-13, o6-15 or o6-16. I have not seen any photos showing matricules o6-5 or o6-13 carrying the 2.J/88 unit insignia. Available photos of both show only their right sides in view, and that for o6-5 only after it was re-assigned to 1.J/88 and refitted with a metal prop.

The next point of interest to me concerns the matricule assigned to the Bf-109V-4. I assume it was given o6-1, based on what I have read in the literature on the subject. If one reviews past literature you find a lot of apparent confusion on which matricules were assigned to the currently known three Bf-109V airframes sent to Spain. Hopefully the experts on such have by now and ‘for certain’ determined the correct allocation of matricules to the prototype airframes. I understand them to be as follows: Bf-109V-1 was o6-1, Bf-109V-3 was o6-2 and Bf-109V-6 was o6-3. The early literature has frequent citing’s of four prototypes being sent to Spain and a jumble of differing matricule assignments to the various prototypes. It is now known there was at least one ‘off the ledger’ prototype held by the Augsburg or Regensburg assembly plants, the Bf-109V-10a. Is it possible the early confusion in the literature as to the number of prototypes delivered to Spain arose from similar shenanigans or perhaps a ‘bonus’ airframe was built up in Spain out of spare parts?

I posted a query at the pre WWII message board on Sept. 5, 2012 asking if any new photos of the Bf-109V-3, V-4 and V-6 prototypes were known, seen while still carrying their civil registrations. No replies have yet been posted. Does anyone know if more such photos have become available, since Radinger & Schick’s book: Messerschmitt Bf 109 A-E, The World’s most Produced Fighter From Bf 109 A to E that was published in 1999?

Ken Glass

RolandF 3rd May 2013 19:17

Re: eBay: Legion Condor Bf 109 V-4?
Itīs quite courageous to adress this Bf 109 as V4. The important features are not visible. At least it is one of the two earliest batches 6-1 to 6-3 (Dec 1936) and 6-4 to 6-16 (Feb 1937). Those planes wer prototypes and pre-series A-variants not ready for combat and otherwise to be tested. This testing happened under operational conditions but Messerschmitt and Junkers(engines) personnel contantly changed the equipment and appearance of those planes.
Overheating problems were overcome by cutting-out of ventilation slots into the engine hood,a feature which lasted to the final B-series, the C- and D-series until the E-series.
This A-series does NOT have those slots, so it is photographed in early-1937 imo. The spinner of the Schwarz prop does not fit good on ALL Bf 109s of this sereis (the so-called "Bf 109B-1s") because the wooden prop was a stop-gap solution until the Hamilton license-built metal prop was available and fitted to the A-series Messerschmitts (the so-called "Bf109B-2s"). The A-series was to have an engine cannon but the tests werenīt satisfactory which lead to the wing mounted additional guns until the engine cannon was thoroughly tested. Even 6-15 tested in the USSR features this gap between spinner and engine cover.
The markings are "early-style" before the "B-2" standard was applied in April 1937 together with a complete re-painting of the remaining A-series planes.
So this is one of 6-1 to 6-16, photographed between February and April 1937.



Pilot 3rd May 2013 19:43

Re: eBay: Legion Condor Bf 109 V-4?

Originally Posted by ouidjat (Post 165997)

So, all in all it's 6-1. :D

Regards, Franck.

Where you get number 6-1 ?

ouidjat 8th May 2013 09:58

Re: eBay: Legion Condor Bf 109 V-4?
Hi Guys,

I didn't forget you ... I'm coming back soon! :D

Regards, Franck.

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