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  #11  
Old 15th July 2005, 15:16
Andreas Brekken's Avatar
Andreas Brekken Andreas Brekken is offline
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Re: Some questions about damaged airframe and reparation centers...

Hi, guys.

I can comment a bit based on documents from the repair facilities at Auxerre, France and Kjeller, Norway.

First to get things straight:

Stammkennzeichen - RLM issued four letter identification code. This was as far as we know a one to one relationship with a specific airframe. (A couple of photos exist of Bf 109's showing the same Stammkennzeichen on several airframes, but this is the only exception known to me at least, and could be a manipulated photo or made especially for propaganda purposes)

RLM Werkenummer - RLM issued aircraft works number. A one to one relationship existed between this Werkenummer and a given aircraft of a specific type.

Thus - one could have two identical RLM Werkenummer for two aircraft, but they would be of different RLM type. (e.g. 8-109 (Bf 109) and 8-190 (FW 190)).

Company or production facility werkenummer - these were non-RLM werkenummer used during production of aircraft in a given factory or by a given company.

Thus - an airframe could have at least two werkenummer, the factory or production company one and the RLM one. A typical example of this is the Bf 109 Erla production, where there are in fact a 'translation table' between the RLM and Erla werkenummern in existance in a private collection.

It could also be (we have not yet discovered documents to prove this beyond doubt) that the practice with issuing RLM Werkenummern and Stammkennzeichen differed a bit for different kind of contracts, for example would an aircraft produced for export not get a Stammkennzeichen (as this was an identificator for the Luftwaffe, but it would get a Werkenummer!).

When an aircraft were accepted by the Luftwaffe, there would be at least two documents produced for it:

1. The Übergabeschein, which was a paper that among other stuff conatined the aircraft type, Stammkennzeichen and Werkenummer. I have seen several of these for Ju 88 and FW 190. This would in fact be a kind of receipt issued by, stamped and signed by the BAL people.

2. The Lebenslaufakte, which was a document which would follow the aircraft as long as it was in service. On this one would find (and apply if You were in fact doing this servicing) information like engine changes and upgrades of all sorts, servicing etc. Much like Your modern cars service booklet.

I would of course love to get my hands on some of these Lebenslaufakten, but sadly we only have traces of them in other correspondance and documents until now. These records would be kept at unit level, for exampel the TO or Adjutant of a Jagdgruppe would in most cases be handling them as far as we have been able to find out.

In this discussion an additional term is important - the so-calleed 'Halter' A repair facility would not be keeping these for 'themselves', but rather holding them for the so-called 'Halter' unit (the unit which 'owned' the aircraft) until the work was finished on the aircraft.

The traces we have found are of course the rather well known document from the Focke-Wulf repair facility at Auxerre, and several letters from and to units asking for these to be transferred (usually when some unit had received one or more aircraft from a depot or another unit, and the Lebenslaufakten was not sent with the aircraft...

So - finally to the point regarding repairs: In the documentation I have gone through, the standard for an aircraft that were refurbished or repaired was that it received an additional plate stating the change, but there were usually no change in RLM Werkenummer for the aircraft. I have mainly looked at this with regards to single engined fighter aircraft.

Examples are FW 190A-2's that were given new engines and thus were really a FW 190A-3 - these kept their RLM Werkenummer, but were reported as being A-3's.

There are numerous other examples, and my best 'guess' regarding this issue is that the airframe retained it's RLM WNr and Stammkennzeichen as far as reasonable... Of course, if You cannibalized only small parts of an aircraft, this would not be the old aircraft, and a new 'aircraft' was born, with a new WNr and Stkz!

A very good example are the Bf 109G-12, aircraft that were for a large part Bf 109G-6's from birth, and retained their WNr and Stkz after being rebuilt as two-seaters.

Regards,
Andreas
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  #12  
Old 15th July 2005, 22:18
Dénes Bernád Dénes Bernád is offline
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Re: Duplicated Werk Nummer blocks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Beale
Another example would be the 160 000 series, used for the Bf 109 G-6 and Fw 190 G-3.
Yes, but those aircraft were of different type, not manufactured by the same company, that's why the overlap. It wouldn't happen within the same airplane type or factory. There was even more overlapping in the 4-digit style earlier Werknummern, assigned by different airplane types and manufacturers.
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Last edited by Dénes Bernád; 15th July 2005 at 22:24.
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