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Old 26th April 2019, 06:48
bearoutwest bearoutwest is offline
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Bf109E-1 or E-3 redesignation

I have a question regarding Bf109 designations for field or maintenance unit modifications.

As far as I can determine, the only difference between the Bf109E-1 and E-3 models was the wing armament - 7.9mm MG17 for E-1 and 20mm FF cannon for the E-3. So would there have been a designation change, if an original E-1 was modified (i.e. re-winged) with an E-3 cannon-armed wing.

Any knowledge or educated-guess as to what sort of designation change?
- E-1 re-designated E-3?
- E-1 remains E-1 but with E-1/xyz (perhaps an R- armament number)

Regards,
...geoff
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Old 26th April 2019, 16:46
rof120 rof120 is offline
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Re: Bf109E-1 or E-3 redesignation

I don't think the LW bothered to change the type designation after the wings were changed to cannon wings but I can't be positive, I don't really know (what about the relevant Squadron/Signal description? My copy is not around right now.) I think the E-3 had a slightly more powerful engine (?) and possibly some more small modifications.

About the wings there is a famous exception: when Adolf Galland's E-4 was replaced by a F-2 or so he disliked the new armament mix with only two light machine-guns (7,92 mm) above the engine and a 15 mm, later 20 mm cannon (MG 151) firing through the propeller hub. He discussed this point in detail in his book "Die Ersten und die Letzten/Les premiers et les derniers /The First and the Last". According to him the light MGs had become useless "fireworks" because enemy AC were becoming tougher and tougher (with added armour plating etc., not to mention - later - B-17s and B-24s). So Galland, who was leading JG 26 (he was their Geschwaderkommodore so he was in a position to take such decisons), had the standard F-wings replaced by E-3 or E-4 wings on his two personal 109s for as long a time as possible (as long as such wings were available). There are some photographs, in particular shot during Göring's visit to Galland's JG 26 in November 1941.

Last edited by rof120; 26th April 2019 at 18:21. Reason: November 1941 not 194
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Old 27th April 2019, 16:33
newcomer newcomer is offline
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Re: Bf109E-1 or E-3 redesignation

Hi to all,

according to the literature, the main difference in the E-1 and E-3 subvariants were in the engine: on the production line E-1 equipped by DB 601A-1 1.100HP (1.050 HP nominaly) and E-3 by DB 601Aa or Ba 1.175 HP (1.100 HP nominaly).
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Old 29th April 2019, 00:11
Denniss Denniss is offline
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Re: Bf109E-1 or E-3 redesignation

Quote:
Originally Posted by newcomer View Post
Hi to all,

according to the literature, the main difference in the E-1 and E-3 subvariants were in the engine: on the production line E-1 equipped by DB 601A-1 1.100HP (1.050 HP nominaly) and E-3 by DB 601Aa or Ba 1.175 HP (1.100 HP nominaly).
Main difference was armament, not engine.
The Aa engine was installed in several versions without designation change, it may have been preferred in fighter-bomber conversion due to extra power down low.
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Old 29th April 2019, 07:44
bearoutwest bearoutwest is offline
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Re: Bf109E-1 or E-3 redesignation

Thank you Gents, for the useful tidbits of information. However, the area I'm trying to explore is the possible re-designation system (if there was one), rather than the actual differences between Bf109E-1 and E-3 models.

Going back to Rof120's previous post on Galland's factory modified Bf109Fs with additional armament:
- the 13mm cowl-gun modified 'F' was simply noted as a Bf109F-2/U
- the 20mm wing gun modification was noted as a Bf109F-2/F-4/U (confusing because it was originally a F-2, though recorded in some places as an F-4).

Rof - are you sure it was a retrofitted E-3 or E-4 wing? The E wing is deeped in section and has shorter, deeper radiators, and squared-off wing tips. The F wing is generally "slimmer" and has rounded wing tips. I've attached a link to a copy of the relevant page from the Squadron-Signal publication on the Bf109F and later models (SSP-1057), found via a webpage. Galland's Bf109F-2/F-4/U has slim radiators and rounded wing tips. So I suspect factory modifications to a standard F-2 wing.


https://ww2aircraft.net/forum/attach...31-jpg.421601/



Just chewing and thinking,
...geoff


(Apologies - if necessary - for cross-forum polination-posting.)
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Old 10th October 2019, 13:11
rof120 rof120 is offline
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Galland's wings 1941 - Bf109E-1 or E-3 redesignation

Sorry I didn't see your last post. I fear I don't know enough (not a good enough expert). It is very likely that you are right (rounded wingtips etc.). So the wings were modified standard F wings. But was it possible at all to make such significant changes to existing wings (even if done in the factory)? Mounting a 20 mm cannon in a wing which carried no gun before was not a small affair I think (making big holes for the cannon barrel in the wing spars etc.?). Not to mention the big ammo drum.
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