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Bf 109 F-4 Gunpods


LukeFF
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I'm hearing that the gunpods on the Bf 109 F-4 will be of the 15 mm variety. Is that right, and did they really exist? From what I've read, the gunpods fitted to Bf 109s were pretty much always of the MG151/20 variety.

Edited by LukeFF
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But MG 151/15 were fitted to the Bf 109F-4. For pics check for instance Prien/Rodeike in Messerschmitt Bf 109 FGK. I failed to google them up in a minute. Bf 109F-4/R1.

Edited by JtD
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Gunther Rall, Black Cross / Red Star Volume 3:

 

The Il-2 posed great problems to us because of its strong armor protection. Against the Il-2s, we were equipped with 20 mm cannon gondolas mounted under the wings, but when the fighter-to-fighter battles became tougher, I had these arms removed.
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Well IIRC apart from the barrel the two versions of the MG 151 are pretty much identical in external dimentions, so both version should fit rather well in the same gondola.

 

The important question ofc is whether or not they existed in numbers, and that's really the only criterium to determine whether they should be included in BoS.

 

BTW: Against the armoured IL2, wouldn't the MG 151/15 actually be a better weapon with its superior AP characteristics?

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I have never, ever heard of the R1 modification for the F-4 being a 15 mm model. 

 

As for the effectiveness of the MG151/15 vs. MG151/20:

 

Soviet evaluations based on tests of German aircraft cannon against Il-2s showed that the potential probability of a Gondola cannon equipped Bf 109 G-2 shooting down an Il-2 in one attack from the rear, in theory, was a staggering 75%. 

 

Black Cross / Red Star, Vol. 3, page 13

 

Also from the same page:

 

 

A Bf 109 F-4/R1 of I./JG 52, featuring a pair of extra 20 mm MG 151/20 cannon in detachable streamlined gondolas under the wings. The so-called gondola arms were introduced in mid-1942 as a reply to the increasing number of heavily armored Il-2s in the skies over the Eastern Front.
The gondola cannon, a 20 mm MG 151/20 in a detachable mounting, one under each wing, to supplement the Bf 109's nose mounted two 7.92 mm MG 17s and single MG 151/20, arrived to be installed on the Bf 109 F-4s (and later G-2s) on the Eastern Front in mid-1942.

But MG 151/15 were fitted to the Bf 109F-4. For pics check for instance Prien/Rodeike in Messerschmitt Bf 109 FGK. I failed to google them up in a minute. Bf 109F-4/R1.

 

Well, that's the thing - what's the source saying R1 was a 15 mm cannon? The Germans didn't just randomly mix up gun calibers when creating R and U modifications. It was either one or the other. As my quote above shows, Rall says these were 20 mm cannon, not 15 mm.

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Problem is that Rall was already flying the G-2 at that time. There the MG 151/20 is indeed the right wepon for the gondola arms. On the F-4 the R1 Rüstsatz indeed was supposed to contain two MG 151/15.

 

EDIT: But apparently both weapons were possible. Not surprising given the similarities and the ability to turn one type into the other with relatively few part exchanges.

Edited by csThor
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I think they wil have 20 mm gunpods for G2 and 15mm for F4 like in old IL2, but if F4 used 20mm also should have it its same airframe dont know why 20mm would be limited only to G2 and new models of 109s

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I'm fairly certain now that I do not own a handbook for the Bf 109F-4/R1. Which means that at the moment I cannot give a denite answer as to what was the "official" configuration. However, considering the ease of swapping between 15 and 20 mm calibre, the fact that testing was carried out with both 15 and 20 mm and pictures that show both barrels, I suppose it is safe to say that both the MG 151 and the MG 151/20 were installed.

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I think they wil have 20 mm gunpods for G2 and 15mm for F4 like in old IL2, but if F4 used 20mm also should have it its same airframe dont know why 20mm would be limited only to G2 and new models of 109s

F-4 never had gunpods in the unmodded games.

 

Btw, the 109F-2 was upgunned to 20mm, either before or during Operation Barbarossa if my memory is not failing me.

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...

 

9781903223277_p0_v1_s260x420.jpg

 

Messerschmitt Bf 109
Recognition Manual,
A Guide to Variants, Weapons and Equipment

Marco Fernandez-Sommerau

Extract from this book

 

 

 

Rüstzätze

 

It was with the Bf 109 F that Messerschmitt introduced 'R' equipment kits that could be fitted to any aircraft in response to a specific operational requirement.

Examples so fitted with these Zurüst-Baugruppen received an 'R' designation denoting Rüstzustand, (equipment condition) with a numerical suffix.

For example a Bf 109 F-4 with a jettison able fuel tank became a Bf 109 F-4/R3.

A single aircraft could also bear two 'R' designators at the same time - for example R3/R7.

 

The 'R' kits available for the F series were:

R1 Fighter-bomber adaptation: one ETC 500/IXb bomb rack

R2 Fighter-bomber adaptation : ETC 50/VIIId bomb rack.

R3 Extended-range fighter adaptation: one 300 litre drop-tank.

R4 Fighter-bomber adaptation: Rostträger 4x24SD /2/XII rack for anti-personnel bombs.

R7 Heavy fighter with two under wing 15 mm MG 151 cannon.

 

It is interesting to note that most late Friedrich ( and later all Gustav) models were factory-fitted with all necessary tubing, wiring and connections to enable them to easily be

adapted from R3 (extended range) to R1, R2 or R4 fighter-bbomber configurations and vice-versa.

However, there was no pre-installation for wing mounted gondolas in the F series, as the R7 conversion remained quasi-experimental.

Such pre-installation was to arrive only with the G series.

 

 

 

 

Some 'R' kit numerical suffix designations changed during the Gustav's career.

 

Bf 109 G-2/R6 : Heavy fighter with two under wing MG 151 or MG 151/20 cannon.

Bf 109 G-6/R7 : Fighter equipped with Peilrufanlage navigation aid.

 

 

 

...

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According to Marco Fernández-Sommerau in "Messerschmitt Bf 109 Recognition Manual" published by Classic in 2004 (see post above, by Rodolphe), "the MG 151/15 and 151/20 were the same cannon, with the change of barrel and ammunition differentiating from one version from the other".

(15 mm cannon lenght: 1,25 m)

(20 mm cannon lenght: 1,10 m)

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F-4 never had gunpods in the unmodded games.

 

 

earlyer versions didnt have them (IL2FB v 1.22), only default for F4 but in later patches more options were added in unmoded game and 15mm gunpods

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there was no 109F-4/ R-1 with, as a gondola. :acute:
109F-4 / R-7 was a agondola with 15 / 20 mm gunpods

everything other is an imagination... :P

 

 

 

 

 

F-4 with 15mm gunpods...

 

http://www.messerschmitt-bf109.de/display.php?lang=de&auth=e&name=version_display&fotonummer=7285

 

 

with 20mm gunpods...

 

http://www.messerschmitt-bf109.de/display.php?lang=de&auth=e&name=version_display&fotonummer=5347

 

The 'R' kits available for the F series were:

R1 Fighter-bomber adaptation: one ETC 500/IXb bomb rack

R2 Fighter-bomber adaptation : ETC 50/VIIId bomb rack.

R3 Extended-range fighter adaptation: one 300 litre drop-tank.

R4 Fighter-bomber adaptation: Rostträger 4x24SD /2/XII rack for anti-personnel bombs.

R7 Heavy fighter with two under wing 15 mm MG 151 cannon ...AND 20mm!

 

Yes, exactly properly... ;)

Edited by VDM
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Hmm, OK, I stand corrected. :) Still I think it would be better to just model the 20 mm model. The 15 mm wasn't exactly a great weapon against the Il-2. 


 

LOL! And Bergstrom IDs that same 109 as having 20 mm gunpods. I'm not sure what to believe any more. :)

Edited by LukeFF
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It took less than 20 minutes to replace the barrel of the MG151 engine cannon with the barrel of the MG151/20.

 

With the 20mm variant not having drawbacks i'm aware of (like reliability issues or anything) and with the gondola weapons being quite experimental in the first place, i would say it's save to assume that both variants have been used, based on avaliability of cannons and ammunition. So i would prefer it, if they would add both variants for the F-4, which imho would be the best solution.

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LOL! And Bergstrom IDs that same 109 as having 20 mm gunpods. I'm not sure what to believe any more. :)

Sorry, but these all BergstromsGreensVogtsbla-bla-bla&Co., (for me personally) are not other, than bookmakers... :crazy:

 

;)

 

It took less than 20 minutes to replace the barrel of the MG151 engine cannon with the barrel of the MG151/20.

 

With the 20mm variant not having drawbacks i'm aware of (like reliability issues or anything) and with the gondola weapons being quite experimental in the first place, i would say it's save to assume that both variants have been used, based on avaliability of cannons and ammunition. So i would prefer it, if they would add both variants for the F-4, which imho would be the best solution.

 

 

Quite right. Thus it would be better and more interesting... :good:

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Hmm, OK, I stand corrected. :) Still I think it would be better to just model the 20 mm model. The 15 mm wasn't exactly a great weapon against the Il-2.

I think they should do both, and I'm not sure about the 15mm. While the 20mm undoubtly was more powerful and with a greater variety of projectiles, the 15mm with tungsten ammunition had far greater penetration against armour than any of the 20mm shells.

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It took less than 20 minutes to replace the barrel of the MG151 engine cannon with the barrel of the MG151/20.

 

How did they get the 20mm ammo to fit into the 15mm breach?

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earlyer versions didnt have them (IL2FB v 1.22), only default for F4 but in later patches more options were added in unmoded game and 15mm gunpods

4.09 didn't have them either which is when the modding started or really took off.

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But as late as winter (november) 1942 when the F-4 had used the MG151/20 engine mounted gun for over a year would it make sense to have a 3rd type of gun and ammunition? Especially since the gondola weapons was available in the 151/20 version.
I can believe it was used early on when they change over from the  F-2 and 151/15 but as late as over a year later, when almost all JG's had replaced even the F-4 with the G-2 seems a bit odd, doesnt it?

 

Gunsmith, in those scans the only place it says MG 151/15 is in the header of the table, all other notes etc says 151/20 ?

Edited by TJT
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The Luftwaffe wasn't really afraid to use a large variety of weapons on a single plane, were they? So I doubt logistics would be something to keep them from using the 15mm version. It would probably boli down to what was more successful in bringing down the Il-2's - the extra explosive carried in the 20mm projectile or the extra armour piercing qualities of the 15mm projectile. Both had their benefits. I hope we can try that out in game as well and will use whatever suits us best.

 

FWIW, when the first Bf 109 F-4/R1's were produced, the MG 151/20 motor cannon was already pretty much the standard fit. They still were trialed with both gunpod versions, and used with both versions.

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But as late as winter (november) 1942 when the F-4 had used the MG151/20 engine mounted gun for over a year would it make sense to have a 3rd type of gun and ammunition? Especially since the gondola weapons was available in the 151/20 version.

I can believe it was used early on when they change over from the  F-2 and 151/15 but as late as over a year later, when almost all JG's had replaced even the F-4 with the G-2 seems a bit odd, doesnt it?

 

Gunsmith, in those scans the only place it says MG 151/15 is in the header of the table, all other notes etc says 151/20 ?

 

The 15 mm MG 151/15 was replaced early in 1943.

To change the MG 151/15 into a MG 151/20 you only have to replace the 15mm barrel with that of a 20mm one.

 

manual MG 151/15 and MG 151/20:

http://stevespages.com/pdf/german_mg151.pdf

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Indeed, as long as both a /15 and a /20 pod is availabe I'll be happy. And as long as the mission makers have full control over what the players can and can not use, especially online, all these little details are welcome.

 

Thanks for the link Gunsmith.  :salute:

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  • 1 month later...
VA_SOLIDKREATE

I think the 15mm will bet better because we will get more ammo and better range unlike the heavier 20mm round. I wonder if we will be able to customize our ammo belts like in IL-2:CloD and also customize the grain weight we use.

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Actually the 15x96 cartridge was slightly bigger (except the calibre of course) than the 20x82. So in fact there could be more 20 mm rounds than 15 mm in the same room. But that's plain theory. I think both gondolas had storage for 135 rounds.

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I was using "cartridge" for the whole round, projectile + casing. Both were ~146mm long and ~25mm in diameter. The 20mm cartridge had the bigger projectile, the 15mm cartridge the bigger casing. As far as belting goes, there was nothing to chose between the two, except for the 20mm rounds being about 30g heavier per round, depending on type of ammo used.

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I'm sorry you're right. I checked the Tony Williams photo gallery but I compared 15x96 with 20x80RB instead of 20x82. My fault :)

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Very happy that they implemented both gun pod options (for founders at least) and I'm definitely interest in figuring out which, if any, will be more useful than the other and in what situations. Depends a lot on the damage model I guess. And how weapon reliability will be handled.

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Sucks to be all the people who won't get the chance to play with the tradeoffs themselves. We're certainly not benefiting from this exclusivity.

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VA_SOLIDKREATE

Actually the 15x96 cartridge was slightly bigger (except the calibre of course) than the 20x82. So in fact there could be more 20 mm rounds than 15 mm in the same room. But that's plain theory. I think both gondolas had storage for 135 rounds.

 

Oops sorry I thought since it smaller caliber we'd get more bullets. So they pack more punch them having more powder (bigger casing).

Edited by Erg./JG54_SPEKTRE
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As I wrote in another post I made a mistake. I compare 15x96 with 20x80RB (MG-FF round) round instead of 20x82.

 

Anyway the 15x96 round used bigger amount of propeller. It means higher muzzle velocity and probably better penetration characteristics on short distance (at least in range of 100 - 200 m). So it could be better than 20x82 round, particularly for strafing purpose. But it's matter of question.

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"Sucks to be all the people who won't get the chance to play with the tradeoffs themselves. We're certainly not benefiting from this exclusivity"

 

.Non founders can try the benefits of 20 vs 15mm to there hearts content using the G model 109,

 

If this proves to be some sort of problem in the, lets be honest, tiny amount of historical situation loadout issues with an F4 needing to have  20mm gondolas rather than 15mm gondolas, to use against bombers/IL-2's to make it more "competitive" then I am sure it will be addressed  :)

 

It just seems that some people seize on the smallest issue to create negative attitude towards anything  :mellow: not aimed at the quote above  :)

 

Lots of informative info in this thread thanks for the input

 

Cheers Dakpilot

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  • 1 month later...

there was no 109F-4/ R-1 with, as a gondola. :acute:

109F-4 / R-7 was a agondola with 15 / 20 mm gunpods

everything other is an imagination... :P

 

 

 

 

F-4 with 15mm gunpods...

 

http://www.messerschmitt-bf109.de/display.php?lang=de&auth=e&name=version_display&fotonummer=7285

 

 

with 20mm gunpods...

 

http://www.messerschmitt-bf109.de/display.php?lang=de&auth=e&name=version_display&fotonummer=5347

 

Yes, exactly properly... ;)

 

In the Handbook for the Bf 109 G-1 you find the aiming sheet for the F-1/R-1 (Gondola MG) and G-1 to G-4 with R-6 (Gondola MG).

The gondola and engine mounted MG can be either MG 151 or MG 151/20 for F and G-series (also written in the manual).

 

Source:

"Bf 109 G-1 Flugzeughandbuch, Teil 8A Schusswaffenanlage"

[D.(Luft) T.2109 G-1 Teil 8A, Heft 1; printed July 1943]

 

The fuel/bomb racks doesn't have a Rüstsatz number.

For the bomb racks only the /B were added as at the E-series.

Thoose Rüstsatz numbers were introduced with the G-series.

Edited by Kodoss
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