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Posted by: Korn October 04, 2013 02:01 pm

I'm trying to find out more about the F-4 variants used on the eastern front, more specifically about the gunpod modification (on the internet, sometimes i found this to be called R1, othertimes R7).

I've looked through a number of books (* list at the end of the post) and couldn't find any mention/picture of this Friedrich with gunpods.

Apparently there is a mention (and a pic) of such an aircraft in Black Cross / Red Star vol. 3 (a JG52 machine), also another book in wich the gunpod variant is mentioned is Messerschmitt Bf 109 - Recognition Manual, A Guide to Variants, Weapons and Equipment by Marco Fernandez-Sommerau. This last one refers to the F-4R7 as being a "quasi-experimental" variant with the 151/15 gunpods.

Even more specifically :B, i'm trying to determine if any F-4 with 151/15 and/or 151/20 ever saw action on the eastern front, which one (the 15mm or 20mm) and in what numbers (if any).

Given the sparcity of pictures or even talk about this, I really doubt that any significant numbers of Friedrichs with gunpods ever saw action but i have no solid data.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Also do you think I have a better chance of getting a knowledgeable answer on

Bf109F-G in Luftwaffe and Foreign Service (Osprey - Aircam 40)
Messerschmitt Bf109B,C,D,E,F,G in Luftwaffe and Finnish Service (Osprey - Aircam 43)
BF109 Aces of North Africa and the Mediterranean (Osprey - Aircraft of the Aces 2)
Bf109-F-G-K - Aces of the Western Front (Osprey - Aircraft of the Aces 29)
Bf109 Aces of the Russian Front (Osprey - Aircraft of the Aces 37)
Bf109 In Action (Squadron-Signal - In Action 44)

LE: i hesitated whether to place the thread on this forum or the "Eastern Front (1941-1944)" one. Since it not related to the Romanian army I decided to start it here, if i was wrong i apologise.

Posted by: Radub October 04, 2013 05:06 pm
Tye Rustsatz for the MG 151 pods used on the Bf 109 F was the R1. In the book "Messerschmitt Bf 109 F, G & K" by Prien & Rodeike there are photos of such planes of JG 52 on pages 40 and 41.
As for the caliber, the 20 mm version was introduced in the lifetime of the F-4. It could easily have been either. The conversion from 15 to 20 mm was as simple as replacing the barrel and the breech, which were all separate parts. Looking at the photos in Prien and Rodeike, they look like 20 mm barrels.
I think it is a good idea to also ask on the 12 o'clock high forum.

Posted by: Dénes October 04, 2013 06:23 pm
In the book by Prien & Rodeike, Messerschmitt Bf 109F, G and K (Schiffer, 1993), pages 40 and 41, there are four nice photos depicting F-4 with underwing gunpods, identified as R1. The MG type is said to be MG 151/15.

Gen. Dénes

P.S. Oops, Radu was apparently faster than I...

Posted by: Korn October 04, 2013 07:31 pm
10x a lot guys, your input is greatly appreciated.

Any idea how often was this modification employed in action? Talking about the F still obviously.

I think in the second book i mentioned in my previous post (Messerschmitt Bf 109 - Recognition Manual, A Guide to Variants, Weapons and Equipment by Marco Fernandez-Sommerau, a book i don't have) it said that the F-4 (or any other Friedrich of course) was never wired for the gunpods from the factory.

Posted by: Radub October 04, 2013 09:00 pm
The R1 conversion could be fitted to any Bf 109 with the type of wing introduced with the F and used (with some refinements) up to the end of production. It involved removing a wing panel and replacing it with another reinforced panel that held the ammunition inside the wing and the cannon, mount and cover on the outside of the wing. The cannons were fired electrically and the control boxes were part of the conversion set and were mounted on the above-mentioned panel. The wiring came as standard with the conversion package and had to be added to the wing anyway, the cables passed through existing holes in the ribs, and were usually secured to the front face of the spar (behind the zipped canvas covers in the wheel wells). There was a control box with arming switches, ammo counters and circuit breakers in the cockpit. An extra thumb trigger button was added to the left of the standard KG 13 control stick. All of this conversion work could be performed in the field.
So, technically, any Bf 109 from the F-onwards could have been fitted with it.

Posted by: Korn October 05, 2013 08:29 am
I knew it would pay off to talk with the experts biggrin.gif. Thank you, very interesting details.

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