Information

Messerschmitt Bf 109 shot down over Sussex - close up view


Messerschmitt Bf 109: Pt. 1, John R. Beaman, Jr. This work provides a good technical history of the 109, tracing the development of the fighter from the early prototypes up to the 109E, the model used during the Battle of Britain. [see more]


World War II Database


ww2dbase The Messerschmitt Bf 109 fighters were designed by Willy Messerschmitt in the early 1930s. After the original manufacturer Bayerische Flugzeugwerk was renamed to Messerschmitt AG, later productions of these fighters carried the designation Me 109, though this designation was used in only few official Luftwaffe documents. The British also referred to them as Bf 109 "By 1945, we were drowning in Bf 109 nameplates", said British aviation expert Bill Gunston, referring to the nameplates of numerous Bf 109 fighters shot down over Britain, "[t]here's no excuse for not referring to the aircraft by its right name". The Americans, however, aircraft of this model were known as Me 109 since the start "It will always be the Me 109 to me", said retired United States Air Force Colonel James L. McWhorter, who fought against them as a pilot of the US Army Air Force 365th Fighter Group during WW2 from the Normandy Campaign until the end of the European War.

ww2dbase Bf 109 fighters almost did not get a chance to serve. When the prototype first took flight on 28 May 1935, Luftwaffe General Erhard Milch was among the decision makers, and Milch had never forgiven Messerschmitt for the 1931 crash of a Messerschmitt-built aircraft that killed a dear friend of Milch's. Messerschmitt and his Bf 109 design was saved by WW1 pilot Ernst Udet, appointed to high position (Director of Technical Department) in the Luftwaffe as one of Hermann Göring's cronies although Udet knew little about technical specifications of aircraft designs, the veteran pilot knew a great fighter when he saw one. His initial doubts about this monoplane (he had a great love for open-cockpit biplanes, while the Bf 109 fighters not only had enclosed cockpits but they were rather claustrophobic as well) vanished as soon as he was able to take a flight in the prototype aircraft.

ww2dbase The Bf 109 design had weight-savings in mind. All structural points including landing gears were mounted to a single firewall to the front of the cockpit. Their powerful DB 601A engines gave them good speed, but more importantly, they were fuel-injected, thus they could continue running even during steep dives which would starve a traditional carburetor engine of gasoline. This characteristic would lead to the tactic of going into sudden dives when being chased by British fighters should the British pursuers continue the chase by performing a similar dive, as the steep dive produced negative gravitational force, British fighters' engines might cut out momentarily, thus the Bf 109 fighters would gain a brief advantage to get out of the chase.

ww2dbase They suffered a great deal of woes initially. The first Bf 109 fighters sent to Spain crashed on takeoff, while the second crashed on landing. Later, the first production Bf 109B variant crashed at Augsburg, Germany as the aircraft spun out of control, killing the pilot. Some of these issues were addressed one by one as variant models were introduced over the years, but one issue remained present, and at times worsened over time: The undercarriage, attached to the fuselage rather than the wings as mentioned previously, were extremely narrow. This made takeoff and landings tricky, and as more powerful engines were equipped, the greater engine torque made it even easier for the aircraft to lean toward the right side. Asymmetrical rudders were installed to alleviate, but never completely resolve, this problem. Finally, many pilots complained of the reclining seat that decreased visibility to the rear, but the reclining actually helped in terms of preventing black out when pilots experienced high gravitational force during combat.

ww2dbase Bf 109 fighters first saw combat during the Spanish Civil War and were quickly recognized as some of the most advanced fighters in the world. As the European War began, they had already become the standard fighters of the Luftwaffe and quickly became the famed rivals of the British Spitfire fighters. Hans-Ekkehard Bob, a German pilot during WW2, compared the weaponry of the two fighter designs:

In a fraction of a second, I could bring down a Spitfire. If I could hit it twice, I could destroy it. The English had to score a great many hits with their machine guns to bring a plane down, but they didn't need to shoot as accurately.

ww2dbase Compliments came from the United States as well. In the summer of 1938, United States Marine Corps pilot Major Al Williams, a friend of Udet's, test flew a Bf 109D fighter and claimed that it was superior to any fighter design that the United States had to offer at that time. Famed aviator Charles Lindbergh, who had a chance to fly the German fighter in Oct 1938, was very impressed.

ww2dbase Bf 109 fighters fought over nearly every battlefield involving German forces. They were instrumental in the establishment of German air superiority in Yugoslavia, Greece, and the early phases of the invasion of the Soviet Union. In 1942, they began to be replaced by the newer Fw 190 fighters, though they remained in production through the end of the war. The longevity of the design and the capability of the fighters led them to become the largest production fighter design in history at over 33,000 units built.

ww2dbase Outside of Germany, nations such as Finland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, and Slovakia operated Bf 109 fighters as well. The Finnish Bf 109 fighters, in particular, performed extremely well against Soviet fighters, Finnish Bf 109 fighters had a high kill ratio of 25 to 1.

ww2dbase After the war, Bf 109 fighters of a modified design were manufactured in Czechoslovakia under the model name of Avia S-99 and Avia S-199. Some of these fighters were sold abroad some made their way to the newly formed Israeli air force and saw action against Egyptian Spitfire fighters. Some were also manufactured in Spain. While Hungarian Bf 109 fighters were scuttled on 6 May 1945, Finnish Bf 109 fighters remained in service until Mar 1954. Romanian Bf 109 fighters remained in service until 1955.

ww2dbase Sources:
Kate Moore, The Battle of Britain.
Robert Dorr and Thomas Jones, Hell Hawks
Stephen Bungay, The Most Dangerous Enemy
Wikipedia

Last Major Revision: Jun 2010

28 May 1935 The first flight of Willy Messerschmitt's Bf 109 fighter took place. Powered by a 695 horsepower Rolls Royce Kestrel engine, the Bf 109 fighter was the first all-metal stressed-skin monocoque single seat fighter monoplane with an enclosed cockpit and retractable undercarriage to enter service. The Bf 109 fighter proved so successful that over 30,000 would ultimately be built before the end of the war.

B

MachineryOne Junkers Jumo 210D inverted-V12 liquid cooled engine rated at 635hp
Armament3x7.92mm Rheinmetall-Borsig MG 17 machine guns
Span9.87 m
Length8.51 m
Height2.59 m
Weight, Empty1,580 kg
Weight, Maximum2,200 kg
Speed, Maximum470 km/h
Service Ceiling8,100 m
Range, Normal700 km

D

MachineryOne Daimler-Benz DB601N rated at 1,000hp or one DB601E rated at 1,300hp
Armament4x7.92mm Rheinmetall-Borsig MG 17 machine guns
Span9.87 m
Length8.64 m
Height2.59 m
Speed, Maximum520 km/h
Service Ceiling8,100 m
Range, Normal700 km

F

MachineryOne Daimler-Benz DB601E rated at 1,300hp
Armament2x7.92mm Rheinmetall-Borsig MG 17 machine guns, 1x20mm MG FF cannon
Span9.92 m
Length8.85 m
Height2.59 m
Weight, Empty1,964 kg
Weight, Maximum2,746 kg
Speed, Maximum628 km/h
Service Ceiling11,600 m
Range, Maximum700 km

G

MachineryOne Daimler-Benz DB605A-a rated at 1,475hp or DB605D rated at 1,800hp
Armament2x7.92mm Rheinmetall-Borsig MG 17 machine guns, 1x14mm MG151 machine guns
Span9.92 m
Length9.04 m
Height2.59 m
Weight, Empty2,667 kg
Weight, Maximum3,400 kg
Speed, Maximum690 km/h
Service Ceiling11,600 m
Range, Normal700 km

K

MachineryOne Daimler-Benz DB605A rated at 2,000hp with MW50 boost
Armament2x7.92mm Rheinmetall-Borsig MG 17 machine guns, 1x30mm MK 108 cannon
Span9.92 m
Length8.94 m
Height2.59 m
Weight, Empty2,722 kg
Weight, Maximum3,375 kg
Speed, Maximum729 km/h
Service Ceiling12,500 m
Range, Normal700 km

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. BILL says:
29 Mar 2009 01:43:11 PM

In 1999 Bf 109 G-6 W.Nr.163306 was recovered from Lake Trzebun. Fifty Five years earlier, Feldwebel Ernest Pleiness took off, his aircraft stalled and crashed killing him. Divers recovered his body and he was buried in a Cemetery in Jaworze. Restoration work took many years. The aircraft is now at the Krakow Aviation Museum, Poland

2. 109K4/C3 says:
30 Oct 2009 09:31:12 AM

Several of the stated weapon outfits are wrong.
D Series got either the stated or 2 7.92mm MG17 and 2 20mm MG FF. Same for the E Series which is missing entirely. F Series didn't have MG FF but 15 mm MG151 or 20mm MG151/20 depending on the sub-series, F1 to F2 for the former and F$ onwards for the latter. G Series started with same armament as F Series but the MG17 were swapped for 2 13mm MG131 starting with the G4 variant. Some later Bf 109 G also got the 30mm MK108 instead of the MG151/20, like it was standard on the K Series. K Series got the MG131 too. Serial Production ended with Bf 109 K4. Weapon outfits of the 109s got messy with the introduction of so called "Umbautsätze" and "Rüstsätze", the former was a factory modification (example Bf 109 G6/U3), the latter a field modification kit (example Bf 109 G6/R6). To complicate matters even more, several of these could be combined, a Bf 109 G6/U3/R6 would be fitted with a MK108 motorcannon and two MG151/20 in underwing gondolas. I didn't look at the other data in depth but i guess there are errors there too.

3. Bill says:
2 May 2010 11:04:25 AM

The Luftwaffe trained pilots at a peace-time
pace, even during the first years of the war
hoping for a short conflict. As the war dragged on, and pilot and aircrew losses
mounted, there was a crash program to replace
both aircraft and pilots.
The policy of "Fly Till You Die" no rotation
home for experienced pilots to train and pass
on combat lessons learned. Such a policy
slowed the flow of trained pilots, crewmen
and ground crew.
Later during the was, the shortage was so bad, that ex-bomber pilots were re-trained to fly fighters.The lack of fuel,spare-parts,
training aircraft and hours needed to train
new pilots, were gone. The Luftwaffe lost its
Air-superiority over the Fatherland.
Veteran pilots continued to fly until they
were killed,wounded or crippled. The shortage
was so bad, that training schools were striped of what aircraft it had, and even taking the instructor pilots to fill the losses suffered by operational squadrons.
Trainee pilots were rushed into combat with
fewer and fewer flight training hours.
Most replacement pilots, were lost within their first couple of missions.
The failure of the Luftwaffe to support the
Wehrmacht caused many German soldiers to quip:

"If the airplane in the sky is Silver, its
American, If the plane is Blue, its British,
If its invisible its ours."

"The situation is hopeless,but not critical"

Feburary 1944 the Luftwaffe lost: 33% of its
aircraft, and 18% of its pilots.

March: 56% of it aircraft, and 25% of its
pilots.

April: 43% of its aircraft, and 20% of its
pilots.

May: 50% of its aircraft, and 25% of its
pilots.

The Luftwaffe was losing over 1,000 aircraft
a month and another 500 on the Eastern Front.
One pilot said:
" Every time I close the canopy of my plane,
its like closing the lid on my own coffin."
The few Luftwaffe fighter pilots left, were the only air-protection the German people
had.

Production of fuel was down to 6,000 tons per-day not enough needed for daily flight operations.
By April 1945 fuel was down to 76 tons, on
April 30, 1945 the Luftwaffe flew its last
known 96 combat missions.

4. Bill says:
29 Nov 2010 12:53:41 PM

Messerschmitt worked as an engineer designing
gliders in the 1920s.
In the 1930s designed single-engine aircraft.
Messerschmitt builtup his Bayerische-
Flugzeugwerke with the prefix Bf. In 1931
the company filed bankruptacy, when Lufthansa
refused to buy anymore aircraft after the
crash of a single-engine transport, and wanted its money back.

In 1933 after an agreement with creditors, the company started operations again.
His most famous design was the Messerschmitt
Bf 109 fighter, over 33,000 were built during WWII.
After WWII Messerschmitt served tow-years in
prison for using slave-labor. After his release he rebuilt his company. Like other
aircraft companies in Germany, he couldn't
build aircraft, and produced consumer goods.

Messerschmitt worked in Spain and later went to Egypt to design and built that countries
first supersonic jet aircraft the HA-300

In post-war Germany,Messerschmitt became the massive company Messerschmitt-Bolkow-Blohm
founded in 1969. Messerschmitt died in 1978

After WWII the little Messerschmitt fighter
continued to serve post-war air forces in
Europe. Spain used the fighter until 1967,
Czechoslovakia built variants of the fighter
and used them into the late 1950s.
Finland retired the last of its Bf 109s in 1954.

Messerschmitt AG
AG means Aktiengesellschaft, Joint Stock Co.

5. Bill says:
3 Dec 2010 02:59:33 PM

In 1942 The Spanish Government arranged with Germany to built the Messerschmitt Bf 109G-2
under license.
Germany hard pressed to deliver fighters to
the Luftwaffe, sent 25 airframes minus tail
sections, and half the engineering drawings
were delivered. No propellers, engines, weapons and instruments were delivered.

Hispano used the 1300 hp Hispano-Suiza inline
engine and the aircraft flew in 1944.
The other 24 airframes were flown during 1947
1949.
An improved variant appeared in 1951, as the
HA-1112, 200 were planned, but only 65 were
built. The last variant HA-112-MiL was powered by the Rolls-Royce Merlin Engine
and was armed with 2x20mm cannons and could
carry a pack of 80mm rockets. The fighters
were retired in 1965.
Some HA-1112s are still flying and are part
of private collections.
The HA-1112s had a starring roll in the 1969 film, The Battle of Britain. From the 1940s
to the 1970s, Spain used the Junkers Ju 52
and Heinkel He 111.

6. Anonymous says:
29 Jul 2011 09:54:22 PM

I was surprised to find a flyable 109 in Tillamook, OR, at the air museum there. Evergreen Aviation in McMinnville, OR, also is listed as having one, though the one at Tillamook is not a registered survivor, not that I could find - I wonder if the two museums share it.

Anyway, I was happy to be able to get a close-up look at this beautiful aircraft and had to marvel at how small it was (especially compared to the P-47 parked nearby, haha) and how absolutely cramped the cockpit was when I looked inside. You can read about its size all you want but it really takes a good look for yourself to get a good idea. I found how easy it is to imagine why German pilots later felt closing the canopy was comparable to closing the lid on their coffin, when flying to meet Allied aircraft often meant death late in the war. My hat goes off to the men flying into combat in one of those.

7. Ovidio says:
13 Jan 2013 01:07:34 PM

Hello, I would like to inform you that also the Repubblica Sociale Italiana, the new State born after the surrender of Italy, used the BF 109, mainly the Gustav version.

Over and above this, thank you very much for this very interesting website!

8. Bill says:
3 Feb 2014 08:25:10 PM

MESSERSCHMITT BF 109G-12 TRAINER:

The Bf-109G-12 was a two-seat version of the single-seat Bf-109 fighter. With the Luftwaffe's
need to re-train transport, bomber and dive-bomber pilots, as well as new replacement pilots right out of flying schools a trainer was needed. Older Bf-109G-2, G3, and G-4 airframes were used
in the conversion. 500 were planned, but only 100 were built.
To make room for the instructors seat, who sat behind the pilot trainee in the front cockpit fuel was reduced from 400 to 240 liters, aircraft flew with a 300 liter belly tank.

Armament was removed, some aircraft were armed with 2 x 7.92mm machine guns or 2 x 13mm machine guns in the upper cowling. The G-12 was really a
makeshift trainer that was speeded into service
students from basic flight schools, has less than 100 hours and were now rushed into flying fighters.

A few Bf-109G-12s were used by the Pro-German
(ANR) Aeronautica Nazionale Reppubblicana to covert pilots from Macchi C.205 and Fiat G.55 fighters, when the Italians started to use the
Bf-109-Gs in 1944 one unit was the 3 Squadriglia
2 Gruppo Caccia based at Aviano, Italy in 1944
Veteran pilots had experience flying the Bf 109G
models.

9. Bill says:
4 Feb 2014 01:26:12 PM

Did you know that Italian pilots had experience
with the Messerschmitt Bf-109E model from 1939 to 1941. After the Spanish Civil War, four Bf-109Es were tested by the Italians at the Guidonia Test Center. Italian pilots were impressed with the
Bf-109s performance, and requested the Regia Aeronautica Staff for one hundred Bf-109 fighters to establish an Italian Air Group but this was rejected by the High Command.

As the war continued for Italy, and the need for fighters the Regia Aeronautica (Royal Italian Air Force) received from Luftwaffe stocks about ninety
Bf-109Gs in 1943.
The fighters were assigned to the 70th Squadriglia
23rd Gruppo, 3rd Stormo based in Rome and the
154th Squadriglia, 3rd Gruppo based in Sicily in
August 1943. Other Squadriglia's were equipped with the Bf-109 the first examples flown by Italian pilots were Bf-109Fs followed later by the G-2, G-4 and G-6 models.

10. Derrick says:
24 Nov 2014 02:25:52 PM

Many reference books quote the top speed of the BF109 G2 as 402mph at 28,000 feet. This puzzles me as other sources quote the G6 as under 400mph at a lower altitude of about 22,000 feet. How is it that the G2 (which did not have methanol boost) is faster overall and can achieve this at a higher altitude than the more powerful G6? Could the following explain this:
The G2 performance was measured with the high altitude nitrous oxide boost system installed?
The G6 performance was measured with the addition of two underwing 20mm guns?

All visitor submitted comments are opinions of those making the submissions and do not reflect views of WW2DB.


Contents

The term 'downs' is from Old English dūn, meaning 'hill'. The word acquired the sense of 'elevated rolling grassland' around the fourteenth century. [7] These hills are prefixed 'south' to distinguish them from another chalk escarpment, the North Downs, which runs roughly parallel to them about 30 miles (48 km) away on the northern edge of the Weald.

The South Downs are formed from a thick band of chalk which was deposited during the Cretaceous Period around sixty million years ago within a shallow sea which extended across much of northwest Europe. The rock is composed of the microscopic skeletons of plankton which lived in the sea, hence its colour. The chalk has many fossils, and bands of flint occur throughout the formation. [8] The Chalk is divided into the Lower, Middle and Upper Chalk, a thin band of cream-coloured nodular chalk known as the Melbourn Rock marking the boundary between the Lower and Middle units.

The strata of southeast England, including the Chalk, were gently folded during a phase of the Alpine Orogeny to produce the Weald-Artois Anticline, a dome-like structure with a long east-west axis. Erosion has removed the central part of the dome, leaving the north-facing escarpment of the South Downs along its southern margin with the south-facing chalk escarpment of the North Downs as its counterpart on the northern side, as shown on the diagram. Between these two escarpments the anticline has been subject to differential erosion so that geologically distinct areas of hills and vales lie in roughly concentric circles towards the centre these comprise the Greensand Ridge, most prominent on the north side of the Weald, where it includes Leith Hill, the highest hill in south-east England, the low-lying clay vales of the Low Weald, formed of less resistant Weald Clay, and finally the more highly resistant sandstones of the High Weald at the centre of the anticline, whose elevated forest ridge includes most notably Ashdown Forest. [9]

The chalk, being porous, allows water to soak through as a result there are many winterbournes along the northern edge.

The South Downs are a long chalk escarpment that stretches for over 110 kilometres (68 mi), rising from the valley of the River Itchen near Winchester, Hampshire, in the west to Beachy Head near Eastbourne, East Sussex, in the east. [10] Behind the steep north-facing scarp slope, the gently inclined dip slope of undulating chalk downland extends for a distance of up to 7 miles (11 km) southwards. Viewed from high points further north in the High Weald and on the North Downs, the scarp of the South Downs presents itself as a steep wall that bounds the horizon, with its grassland heights punctuated with clumps of trees (such as Chanctonbury Ring).

In the west, the chalk ridge of the South Downs merges with the North Downs to form the Hampshire Downs. In the east, the escarpment terminates at the English Channel coast between Seaford and Eastbourne, where it produces the spectacular white cliffs of Seaford Head, the cross-section of dry valleys known as the Seven Sisters and Beachy Head, the highest chalk sea cliff in Britain at 162 metres (531 ft) above sea level.

The South Downs may be said to have three main component parts: the East Hampshire Downs, the Western Downs and the Eastern Downs, together with the river valleys that cut across them and the land immediately below them, the scarpfoot. [11] The Western and Eastern Downs are often collectively referred to as the Sussex Downs. The Western Downs, lying west of the River Arun, are much more wooded, particularly on the scarp face, than the Eastern Downs. The bare Eastern Downs – the only part of the chalk escarpment to which, until the late 19th century, the term "South Downs" was usually applied – have come to epitomise, in literature and art, the South Downs as a whole and which have been the subject matter of such celebrated writers and artists as Rudyard Kipling (the "blunt, bow-headed, whale-backed downs") and Eric Ravilious. [12]

Four river valleys cut through the South Downs, namely those of the rivers Arun, Adur, Ouse and Cuckmere, providing a contrasting landscape. Chalk aquifers and to a lesser extent winterbourne streams supply much of the water required by the surrounding settlements. Dew ponds, artificial ponds for watering livestock, are a characteristic feature on the downland.

The highest point on the South Downs is Butser Hill, whose summit is 270 metres (890 ft) above sea level. The plateau-like top of this vast, irregularly shaped hill, which lies just south of Petersfield, Hampshire, was in regular use through prehistory. It has been designated as a national nature reserve.

Within the boundary of the South Downs National Park, which includes parts of the western Weald to the north of the South Downs, the highest point is Blackdown, West Sussex, which rises to 280 metres (919 ft) above sea level. However, Blackdown geologically is not part of the South Downs but instead forms part of the Greensand Ridge on the Weald's western margins.

A list of those points on the South Downs above 700 feet (210 m), going from west to east, is given below.

Name of hill Nearest settlement Height Notes
Butser Hill Petersfield 270 m (886 ft) Highest point in the South Downs proper.
West Harting Down South Harting 229 m (751 ft)
Beacon Hill South Harting 242 m (793 ft)
Linch Down Bepton 248 m (814 ft)
Littleton Down East Lavington 255 m (836 ft) The summit, Crown Teglease, is the highest point on the Sussex Downs.
Glatting Beacon Sutton 245 m (803 ft)
Chanctonbury Hill Washington 238 m (782 ft) Site of Chanctonbury Ring hill fort
Truleigh Hill Upper Beeding 216 m (708 ft)
Ditchling Beacon Ditchling 248 m (814 ft)
Firle Beacon Firle 217 m (713 ft)

Archaeological evidence has revealed that the Downs have been inhabited and utilised for thousands of years. Neolithic flint mines such as Cissbury, burial mounds such as the Devil's Jumps and Devil's Humps, and hill forts like Chanctonbury Ring are strong features in the landscape. [13] [14]

It has been estimated that the tree cover of the Downs was cleared over 3000 years ago, and the present closely grazed turf is the result of continual grazing by sheep.

Proposals to create a national park for the South Downs date back to the 1940s. However, it was not until 1999 that the idea received firm government support. After a public enquiry that took place between 2003 and 2009, the government announced its decision to make the South Downs a national park on 31 March 2009. The South Downs National Park finally came into operation on 1 April 2011. Within its boundary are included not only the South Downs proper but also part of the western Weald, a geologically and ecologically quite different district.

The South Downs National Park has replaced two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)s: East Hampshire AONB and Sussex Downs AONB. During the enquiry process a number of boundary questions were considered, so that the National Park contains areas not in the former AONBs, and vice versa.

The South Downs contain a number of national nature reserves (NNRs). [15]

The NNRs on the Sussex Downs comprise Kingley Vale, near Chichester, said by Natural England to contain one of the finest yew forests in Europe, including a grove of ancient trees which are among the oldest living things in Britain (the reserve is also one of the most important archaeological sites in southern England, with 14 scheduled monuments) Castle Hill, between Brighton and Lewes, an important example of ancient, traditionally managed grassland Lewes Downs (Mount Caburn), a traditionally managed chalk downland (and also an important archaeological site) and Lullington Heath, on the northern fringe of Friston Forest north-west of Eastbourne, one of the largest areas of chalk heath in Britain.

The NNRs on the East Hampshire Downs comprise Butser Hill, near Petersfield, a large area of chalk grassland on the highest point in the South Downs (a large area is also designated as a scheduled monument reflecting its historical significance, particularly in the Bronze and Iron Ages) Old Winchester Hill, a lowland grassland on the west and south facing scarp slopes of the Meon valley and Beacon Hill, a high quality chalk grassland 5 km west of Old Winchester Hill.

In 1923 the Society of Sussex Downsmen (now the South Downs Society) was formed with the aim of protecting the area's unique landscape. [16]

The South Downs are a popular area for ramblers with a network of over 2,000 miles (3,200 km) of well-managed, well-signed and easily accessible trails. The principal bridleway, and longest of them, is the South Downs Way. [17] The Monarch's Way, having originated at Worcester, crosses the South Downs and ends at Shoreham-by-Sea. [18]

Sports undertaken on the Downs include paragliding, mountain-biking, horse riding and walking. [19] The popular Beachy Head Marathon (formerly Seven Sisters Marathon), a hilly cross-country marathon, takes place each autumn on the eastern Downs, starting and finishing in Eastbourne. The South Downs Trail Marathon starts in the village of Slindon (near Arundel) and ends at the Queen Elizabeth Country Park (to the south of Petersfield.)

Longer events that take in the South Downs Way include a 100-mile running 'ultramarathon' and mountain biking 75 mile night time race from Beachy Head to Queen Elizabeth Country Park.

Three of the landmarks on the Downs are the Long Man of Wilmington and the Litlington White Horse being chalk carved hill figures, and Clayton Windmills. There is also a war memorial, The Chattri, dedicated to Indian soldiers who died in the Brighton area, having been brought there for treatment after being injured fighting on the Western Front in the First World War.

Rudyard Kipling who lived at Rottingdean described the South Downs as "Our blunt, bow-headed whale-backed Downs". [20] Writing in 1920 in his poem The South Country, poet Hilaire Belloc describes the South Downs as "the great hills of the South Country". [21] In On The South Coast, poet Algernon Charles Swinburne describes the South Downs as "the green smooth-swelling unending downs". [22]

The naturalist-writer William Henry Hudson wrote that "during the whole fifty-three mile length from Beachy Head to Harting the ground never rises above a height of 850 feet, but we feel on top of the world". [23]

Poet Francis William Bourdillon also wrote a poem "On the South Downs". [24] The South Downs have been home to several writers including Jane Austen who lived at Chawton on the edge of the Downs in Hampshire. The Bloomsbury Group often visited Monk's House in Rodmell, the home of Virginia Woolf in the Ouse valley. Alfred, Lord Tennyson had a second home at Aldworth, on Blackdown geologically part of the Weald, Blackdown lies north of the South Downs but is included in the South Downs National Park.

In the introduction to Arthur Conan Doyle's short story collection "His Last Bow", Dr. Watson states that Sherlock Holmes has retired to a small farm upon the Downs near Eastbourne. In "His Last Bow" itself, Holmes states that he "lives and keeps bees upon the South Downs". Furthermore, the short story "The Lion's Mane" is about a case which Holmes solves whilst living there.

The author Graham Greene's, first published novel, 'The Man Within' (1929) is set largely on and around the South Downs. The book's principal character, 'Andrews', travels by foot across the Downs to reach Lewes and attend the Assizes. Greene provides a detailed description of both the landscape and its 'feel'.


German Luftwaffe Aces

By Stephen Sherman, Aug. 2002. Updated July 7, 2011.

S everal of them shot down more than 200 Allied airplanes. One of them, Erich Hartmann, destroyed 352 Russian planes. They flew, and racked up staggeringly high scores over North Africa, France, the Soviet Union, Great Britain, Poland, and, in the end, Germany itself. Two hundred aerial victories. By comparison, the top U.S. aces of World War Two achieved twenty or more one of them, Major Richard Bong, shot down 40 Japanese planes. The leading aces of WWI, Manfred von Richthofen and Rene Fonck, 80 and 75. The high-scoring Russian and Japanese ace, about 60. The great U.S. aces of the Korean War knocked down fifteen MiGs.

While the 200+ kill Luftwaffe experten flew on the Eastern Front, many of their Western Front comrades scored over 100 kills.

How did they do this, when no other aces in history, from any nation, at any time, on any front, came close? As a group, were they ten times better fighter pilots than their American opponents, as the scores of 200 vs. 20 might imply? I don't think so. "Why did the German pilots of WW2 scored so high" is an interesting question. One reader asked, "Were they using different rules?" And that suggested a possible analogy, because, in fact, the Luftwaffe pilots were using the same rules as others, if anything, somewhat stricter rules. Historically, fighter pilots have scored a "kill" when their air force gives them official credit for the aerial destruction of any enemy aircraft. In most countries and services, the pilots own combat report, i.e. his own, unsupported word, his good faith, sufficed. Of course, novice pilots had to prove themselves, and first-timers who returned to base with claims of vast numbers of enemy fighters who fell beneath their guns were viewed skeptically. Luftwaffe pilots were required to have independent confirmation from another pilot. But basically they were "playing by the same rules."

The difference lay, not in the rules, nor in some nonsensical Aryan racial superiority, but rather in the conditions of combat. By analogy, consider home run hitters in baseball. For many years Babe Ruth's record of 714 home runs remained the top score. Eventually Henry Aaron passed that number. Other sluggers, from different teams and from different eras have hit 500, 600, or more home runs. Despite these differences, the achievements of the home run hitters remain essentially comparable. The conditions of their achievements remained essentially the same.

But suppose that some ballplayers played only 30 games a season rather than 162. Indeed when Roger Maris (playing in a 162-game season) broke Babe Ruth's single season home run record (set in a 154-game season), that difference merited baseball's most famous asterisk.

What if some hitters faced minor league pitchers while others faced major leaguers? What if ballparks varied greatly in size, some with 250-foot centerfields and others with 600-foot distances down the middle? What if some players played year-round? What if some hitters were assigned with getting singles and drawing walks?

What about differences in equipment? About 1920, baseball replaced the so-called "dead ball" with a livelier ball, and the game changed forever. No one would try to compare a Mickey Mantle to a "Home Run" Baker. Similarly, it would be difficult to compare the achievements of pilots who flew 200 hp biplanes to those who flew 1,200 hp WW2 monoplanes to those who flew jets in Korea.

The frequency of contests? On the Russian Front, most aerial combat occurred in the vicinity of the battle lines it was all about tactical air support, not long range strategic bombing. The short distances permitted multiple missions per day, no 14-hour bomber escort missions, the Luftwaffe pilots frequently did two or three sorties in a day.

The length of the career? The Germans had a "fly till you die" policy. No rotation home for training duty. No limit on missions or combat hours. While such a short-sighted policy hampered the Luftwaffe's ability to turn out large numbers of well-trained pilots later in the war, it permitted those who excelled to rack up more and more missions and more and more aerial victories. One Luftwaffe experte, Erich Rudorffer, flew over 1,000 missions and was shot down himself sixteen times. American pilots generally finished a tour of duty and rotated home for training, command, or flight test assignments. Some immediately "re-upped" for more combat, but they were the exceptions.

The quality of the opposition? With no disrespect to brave Russian fliers nor to greatly skilled Russian aces like Pokryshkin (60 victories), the war on the Eastern Front (both on the ground and in the air) was one of quality vs. quantity. The Soviet Union had immense reserves of manpower, raw materials, and industrial goods (both from their own factories and from U.S. Lend-Lease equipment). And Stalin was not afraid to use his massive resources profligately. Many, many poorly trained Russian fliers went up in poorly made aircraft.

Varying assignments? By policy, many American fighter groups were assigned bomber escort duty. Their responsibility was to protect the bombers, not to zoom off, hunting down enemy planes to shoot down. The 332nd Fighter Group, the famed Tuskegee Airmen, is a case in point the group's highest scoring pilot was credited with "only" 4 kills, but they rarely lost a bomber to enemy fighters.

Another matter, which perhaps doesn't have a direct analogy in baseball, is a "target-rich environment." In World War One, especially in the first two years of the war, airplanes did not exist in large numbers. There just weren't that many of them in the air. In World War Two, airplanes were mass-produced, with hundreds of thousands of combat aircraft delivered to the combatant nations. With the jet era, beginning in Korea, airplanes became much larger, much more complex, and much more expensive. An F-14 Tomcat or a MiG-29 cannot be compared to a WWII fighter plane. No nation will ever again field such a large number of airplanes. And, no fighter pilot will ever shoot such large numbers the targets just don't exist. One can sense this in reading about the air war in Korea a pervasive theme is "looking for the MiGs." Would the MiGs be flying on a given day? "Double aces," i.e. pilots with ten or more kills, were a rarity in Korea. In Vietnam, the U.S. had one or two aces. In the Gulf War, none a few pilots downed two Iraqi aircraft.

It's reasonable to predict that we will never see another ace. The targets just don't exist in large enough numbers.

All the factors that created opportunities for aces to pile up huge scores came together for German Luftwaffe pilots on the Russian Front. Erich Hartmann scored 352 Gerhard Barkhorn 301 Günther Rall 275 Otto Kittel 267 and Walter Nowotny 258. The long-serving Erich Rudorffer downed 222 enemy aircraft on all fronts: 136 in the East, 48 in the West, 26 in North Africa, and then 12 more in Me.262 jets over Germany.

The top Luftwaffe aces of WW2, with over 170 aerial victories:

Top German Aces Kills Comments Medal Unit East West Plane
Erich Hartmann 352 First kill Nov. 1942 KCOSD JG 52 352 - Bf 109
Gerhard Barkhorn 301 120 sorties w/o a kill KCOS JG 52, 6, JV 44 301 - Bf 109
Günther Rall 275 two long injury layoffs KCOS JG 52, 11, 300 272 3 Bf 109
Otto Kittel 267 583 sorties, KIA Feb '45 KCOS JG 54 267 - Fw 190
Walter Nowotny 258 Austrian, KIA Nov '44 KCOSD JG 54, Kdo. Nov. 255 3 Fw 190
Wilhelm Batz 237 - KCOS JG 52 232 5 Bf 109
Erich Rudorffer 222 1000+ sorties, downed
16 times, 12 Me 262 kills
KCOS JG 2, 54, 7 136 86 Fw 190
Heinz Bär 220 16 in Me 262, downed 18 times KCOS various 96 124 various
Hermann Graf 211 830+ sorties KCOSD various 201 10 Fw 190
Heinrich Ehler 209 - KCO JG, 5, 7 209 - Bf 109
Theodore Weissenburger 208 500+ sorties,
8 kills with Me 262
KCO JG 77, 5, 7 175 33 Bf 109
Hans Philipp 206 shot down by Robert S. Johnson KCOS JG 76, 54, 1 177 29 Fw 190
Walter Schuck 206 - KCO JG 5, 7 198 8 Bf 109
Anton Hafner 204 - KCO JG 51 184 20 -
Helmut Lipfert 203 - KCO JG 52, 53 199 4 Bf 109
Walter Krupinksi 197 - KCO JG 52 177 20 Bf 109
Anton Hackl 192 - KCOS JG 77 130 62 Bf 109
Joachim Brendel 189 - KCO JG 51 189 - Fw 190
Max Stotz 189 - KCO JG 54 173 16 Fw 190
Joachim Kirschner 188 - KCO JG 3 167 21 Bf 109
Kurt Brändle 180 - KCO JG 53, 3 160 20 Bf 109
Gunther Josten 178 - KCO JG 51 178 - -
Johannes "Macky" Steinhoff 176 - KCOS JG 52 148 28 Bf 109
Günther Schack 174 - KCO JG 51 174 - -
Heinz Schmidt 173 - KCO JG 52 173 - Bf 109
Emil "Bully" Lang 173 18 in one day KCO JG 54 148 25 Fw 190
Hans-Joachim Marseille 158 - KCOSD JG 27 - 158 Bf 109
Adolph Galland 104 - KCOSD JG.26, JG.27, JV.44 - 104 Bf 109, Me 262
Knights Cross (KC) with Oak Leaves (O), Swords (S), and Diamonds (D). More about WW2 German medals here.

A fine book on this topic is Bf 109 Aces of the Russian Front (Osprey Aircraft of the Aces series #37) by John Weal.

It covers Hartmann and his fellow Bf-109 pilots who flew on the Eastern Front ten of whom shot down more than 200 aircraft.

Like all the Osprey Aircraft of the Aces series, includes detailed profile illustrations of the planes, as flown by individual pilots at certain times. Also lots of contemporary B&W photographs.


17 August 1943

Boeing B-17F Flying Fortresses of the 1st Bombardment Wing (Heavy) over Schweinfurt, Germany, 17 August 1943. (U.S. Air Force)

17 August 1943: Mission No. 84. One year after the Eighth Air Force first attacked occupied Europe with its B-17 Flying Fortress four-engine heavy bombers, a mass attack of 376 B-17s attacked the Messerschmitt Bf-109 factory at Regensburg, Germany, and the ball bearing factories at Schweinfurt.

Over Germany for over two hours without fighter escort, 60 bombers were shot down and as many as 95, though they made it to bases in Allied territory, were so badly damaged that they never flew again. 55 air crews (552 men) were listed as missing in action.

Of the 146 B-17s of the 4th Bombardment Wing which attacked Regensburg, 126 dropped their bombs, totaling 298.75 tons (271.02 Metric tons), destroying the factory and seriously slowing the production of the Messerschmitt Bf 109 fighter. After the attack, the 4th Bomb Wing headed for bases in North Africa. 122 B-17s landed there, half of them damaged.

The 1st Bombardment Wing (Heavy) sent 230 B-17s to Schweinfurt. Weather delays caused the planned diversion of two separate attacks to be unsuccessful. Cloud buildup over the Continent forced the bombers to fly at 17,000 feet (5,182 meters), nearly 10,000 feet (3,048 meters) lower than planned, increasing their vulnerability. Just 183 bombers made it to the target and dropped 424.3 tons (383.9 Metric tons) on the five factories in the target area. Then they headed back to their bases in England, under fighter attack most of the way. The 1st Bombardment Wing lost 36 bombers.

Though the raid did cut production of ball bearings as much as 34%, the losses were quickly made up from stockpiles. The two attacking forces succeeded in shooting down 25–27 German fighters.

A B-17 Flying Fortress, its right wing shot off and the left outboard engine on fire, goes down over Europe. (U.S. Air Force)


Fliegerhorst Venlo – Yankee 55 – The Netherlands

1883, in the woods near the Dutch city of Venlo used to be a military training facility called Groote Heide, Big moor in English. One landing strip was added in 1913. After the invasion of the Netherlands during Fall Gelb in May 1940 the Germans immediately expanded the Military facility with the help from a Dutch work force. From start they used local construction workers, later in the war they used hundreds of inmates from the SS concentration Kamp Vught and lots forced labourers from the occupied regions.
Fliegerhorst Venlo had three runways, 2000 night lights, radio equipment and a total road length of 48 kilometres. There were over 100 buildings, hangars, maintenance buildings, barracks, a command bunker, control tower and defensive positions.

Hangar remnants, now a parking lot – Fliegerhorst Venlo

Remnants of a FLAK position – Fliegerhorst Venlo

Remnants of a FLAK position – Fliegerhorst Venlo

Remnants of a FLAK position – Fliegerhorst Venlo

The Luftwaffe expended the Fliegerhorst over the Dutch – German border near the German town of Herongen. Messerschmitt, Junker and Heinkel aircrafts were stationed here, with day and night fighter versions they attacked allied bomber raids on Germany, around he clock. It is said that over 400 bombers were shot down by Germans fighter planes stationed at Fliegerhorst Venlo – Herongen.

The only standing Hangar, of the 42 build – Fliegerhorst Venlo

Hangar Fliegerhorst Venlo

A close up of the Hangar Fliegerhorst Venlo

Hangar Fliegerhorst Venlo

Reinforced Concrete Hangar Fliegerhorst Venlo

Of the 42 arced hangers this is the only one left, it was built as a test with reinforced concrete.

Wunderwaffe on Fliegerhorst Venlo

Nachtjagdgeschwader 1 or I./NJG 1 was stationed on this Luftwaffe base, but not only night fighters were stationed here. For a period II/JG. 1 Jagdgeschwader 1 was stationed on Fliegerhorst Venlo.
Next to the Messerschmitt Bf 109 & Bf 110 & Me 410 there was the Heinkel He 219, named Uhu or Owl, the Me 163 rocket fighters and the Heinkel He 111 bombers with a V1 load were stationed here. The orders of the daytime war planes and Nachtjagers were to defend the German industrial Ruhr area and to attack England with the Fieseler Fi 103, the V1 flying bombs. The Heinkel 111 flew towards the North Sea were it released the V1 which took on flight in mid-air towards England.

One of the 49 heated hangars – Fliegerhorst Venlo

Pascal at the heated Hangar – he really has a nose for it

Yankee 55

Throughout 1943 the Fliegerhorst was attacked by English Mosquito fighter / bombers. From February 1944 the Allied started to bomb the Luftwaffe airfield seriously. Bigger formation of bombers like the Boeing B26 Marauder or the Boeing B17 Flying Fortress tried to damage and take out the airfield.
In March of 1945 Venlo city and the Fliegerhorst Venlo were freed by the Allied forces. Reconstruction of the airfield started immediately and on the 9th of March 1945. Fliegerhorst Venlo Herongen, was redefined to Yankee 55 and was operational until the end of the war.

Air Traffic Control Tower- Fliegerhorst Venlo

Command Bunker and Air Traffic Control Tower- Fliegerhorst Venlo

Command Bunker- Fliegerhorst Venlo

Close up Air Traffic Control Tower- Fliegerhorst Venlo

Visit

The former airfield and buildings are free to visit, there are information signs near the objects and a map near a park site. Stroll or bike through the woods if you like. The command tower with its bunker is in use and probably not open for visitors.

We parked our car at multiple locations but how you visit the site is up to you.


Usage in battles

The MK 108 is a double-edged sword: Nicknamed by the allies for its characteristic sound, the Jackhammer lives true to its name. Slow but powerful. Its main purpose: Demolition of heavy objects, such as the B-17G Flying Fortress. However, its common purpose in War Thunder remains to hunt fighter planes. The cannon's rate of fire is surprisingly high for its caliber - 660 rpm - meaning that, while deflection shots can be made, absolute trigger discipline must be maintained - the 65 rounds given to you will last you less than 6 seconds of continuous fire. Furthermore, the minengeschoß-shells are slow- very slow. One must either become very good at leading the shells or close the distance. Kills are generally done from 300 meters away, if not closer. On the plus side, the damage is equivalent to most 37 mm cannons upon hitting. Tip: In order to better learn and understand the cannon's trajectory, do not fire in conjunction with the machine guns.

The two additional machine guns are best fired alone. The MG 131 features HE shells (named IAI in-game) as the Tracer belt. Yet they are only highly effective in Simulator battles, where they will deal good damage to control surface areas, causing inexperienced pilots to lose control. In Arcade and Realistic battles, however, the instructor will dampen any such effects. Here, the damage-based Stealth and Fighter belts fare better.

The plane should equip one of two load-outs: with either the single 30 mm cannon or 2 x 20 mm cannons. The single 30 mm is very capable of taking out 2-3 bombers and the low muzzle velocity matters less due to the large targets. The 3 x 20 mm cannons are very capable of taking out fighters due to the high shell density and sheer damage output. A single 20 mm does not deal enough damage and the 30 mm with gun pods is rather ineffective due to the differing muzzle velocities of the 30 mm and 20 mm cannons.

One technique you can use is the prop pitch technique. Most of the later 109s have this but it is really effective in the 109 K-4. The prop pitch technique is using Manual Engine Control (found in sim controls) to set your prop pitch to 100% but throttle to 0%. This will make your prop, a giant air brake and is very helpful in forcing overshoots of the enemy aircraft. It can also be very helpful in diving where you might get dangerously close to your rip speed.

Effective Strategies

When using the K-4, make sure to always have an altitude advantage. If any enemy is approaching at a higher altitude and/or energy state, the best bet is to run away in a dive. This will usually work, as the enemy will probably lose interest, or be shredded apart in the dive process. Once the plane reaches 450 mph (700 km/h), hit the brakes and start slowing down so as to not rip the Bf 109 K-4 apart. To retain energy, level off while diving every now and then.

When the Bf 109 K-4 is at an altitude advantage, smart pilots will run away from the K-4. This can be easily countered with a quick boom-and-zoom. The 30 mm cannon will take care of anything it hits, even bombers. The 30 mm cannon is practically useless in head-ons, however, so don't ever head on. Use the Bf 109 K-4's superior turn rate and energy retention to get the enemy into the crosshairs. Fire away at close distances!

Targets to look for. The K-4 excels in tackling targets that:

  • Enemies that are chasing others that have a low energy state. (Use a surprise attack.)
  • Enemies that have just finished a dogfight and have low energy states.
  • Bombers (Be wary of their gunners.)
  • P-51s: They will always try to boom-and-zoom the Bf 109 K-4. Be on constant lookout for enemies coming from behind. If one is chasing and can catch up, pretend to not notice them. When they start shooting, duck and do a loop towards the ground to gain energy. The P-51 will have a lot of speed when it tries to attack, and fortunately, will have its controls locked up. The P-51 will also bleed way too much speed trying to catch up. Head into a 20 degree climb with WEP and then jump them from above.
  • Spitfires: They are very tough to deal with, and will always out-turn the Bf 109 K-4, with engagements ending with the Spitfire firing from behind. Spitfires should be attacked alongside two teammates at once. Make sure that the Spitfire gets overwhelmed, then attack the spitfire from behind. Retain enough energy so the Bf 109 K-4 can climb back up to safety if the Spitfire ends up manouevring to the Bf 109 K-4's rear. When a Spitfire is on the Bf 109 K-4's 6, dive. The Spitfire has a lot of drag with its oddly shaped wings and will not be able to keep up.
  • American bombers: While other nation's bombers have varying threat levels, all American bombers are bursting with .50 cal machine guns in almost every angles. This is especially the case for the B-17 Flying Fortress and the B-29 Superfortress As such, the best way to attack a bomber with large number of defensive armaments is by:
    • Step 1 - Fly above the bomber at distances where they cannot shoot at the Bf 109 K-4.
    • Step 2 - Make sure the Bf 109 K-4 is approaching at a faster speed than the bomber.
    • Step 3 - Fly directly above the bomber and descend on it
    • Step 4 - Approach the bomber as fast as possible, and shoot at it when close enough
    • Step 5 - Turn away, and level out maintaining an attitude of 0 degrees to keep speed, regardless if the target is destroyed. Re-climb and re-start as needed.

    Simulator mode tips

    In Simulator, the Bf 109 K is a capable fighter that can perform many tasks. It offers great flight performance with its smooth handling, fast speed, and impressive climb rate. Its nose-mounted armaments does not require any convergence setting, making it very easy to aim. The nose gently slopes down from the windscreen, offering great over-the-nose vision. There are also a few bomb options to choose from which are beneficial for ground-pounding or base-bombing, although these are not its primary objectives. The K model have an improved canopy side with less frames, and the non-transparent armour headset is replaced by a clear bulletproof glass, allowing some rear views. The metal framing around the glass is also thinner than that of the G models, giving you a better field of view on the tail. Finally, an aspect that is often ignored is that, starting from the G-6 model, the rectangular reflector glass of the gunsight is replaced by a bigger trapezium glass. It is vertically longer, allowing the pilot to move its head up more and still see the reticle, thus getting even better views over the engine.

    Bring at least 30 minutes of fuel for prolonged patroling and fighting. The convergence does not really matter, it might be anywhere between 250-600 m. Taking off in a late Bf 109 is harder than other aircraft, so one should familiarise themselves with the earlier 109s. When taking off, the Bf 109 will shift severely to the left side due to the huge torque, so consider setting keybinds for left and right brakes, as they are more effective at directional control than the rudder while on the ground. As the plane just lifts off the ground it will automatically roll to the left again due to the torque, so you must immediately roll a little right to keep it level, or the left wingtip will strike the ground.

    • Dogfighting in SB involves everyday RB tactics and manuevers such as Immelmann, Split-S, scissor, barrel roll, etc. Note: the Bf 109 K handles very sluggishly in the roll axis at low speed, so take this into account if dogfighting at low speed/altitude. You can even pull the elevator fully for maximum agility, but only if you pull gently and gradually will the Bf 109 K maneuver as you wish. If the stick is pulled harshly and suddenly, the plane will start swaying around and enter a flat spin. The aircraft can quite easily recover from a flat spin by fully deflecting elevators downward and rudder to the opposite side of which the plane is spinning, and wait until it starts a dive and gather some speed to pull up.
    • If you want to engage bombers, consider bring gunpods to maximise your damage output. Against late-war heavy bombers like the B-17 Flying Fortress, relying solely on the one central cannon might also work, but that requires more professional evading and longer aiming which is considerably more dangerous, as the bombers you see will be better armed. Choosing between the 30 mm and 20 mm gunpods is up to you. The extra two Mk 108 will significantly boost your one-second burst mass and damage which can be very destructive for experienced pilots doing deflection shots, however the pathetic 35 rounds per gun will not last long in, for example, a "destroy enemy bombers" mission where there are

    Landing may need practice for some. It is easy at first: decelerate and descent towards the runway, deploy combat, takeoff, landing flaps and gears in such order, fly at

    210 km/h before touchdown. Now note that you must align the plane with the airstrip correctly prior to touchdown and do not yaw/break one side too much when breaking, as the undercarriages are so close together that they cannot support such lateral force, causing the plane to wobble on its tyres dangerously or even tilt towards one side, striking a wingtip into the ground.

    Manual Engine Control

    MEC elements
    Mixer Pitch Radiator Supercharger Turbocharger
    Oil Water Type
    Not controllable Controllable
    Auto control available
    Controllable
    Auto control available
    Controllable
    Auto control available
    Separate Not controllable
    1 gear
    Not controllable

    Pros and cons

    • Very powerful engine when using WEP, providing excellent acceleration and climb rate
    • Manual engine control can extend the climb rate and top speed in realistic and simulator battles
    • Good performance at medium altitude
    • Good firepower for destroying larger attackers and bombers
    • Can carry additional armament
    • Performance on par with Griffon Spitfires (even better when fully upgraded)
    • 30 mm cannon will usually destroy anything that it hits
    • Can research nose-mounted 20 mm MG 151 cannon, which makes deflection shooting much more reliable
    • Exceptional high-speed manoeuvrability
    • All weaponry mounted in the nose, allowing easy aiming without having to worry about convergence
    • Low cannon ammunition count for the 30 mm MK 108 cannon and the 13 mm MG 131 machine guns
    • Low velocity 30 mm shell with a high drop, resulting in a VERY large lead angle on targets in turn leading to poor dogfight performance due to having to pull extreme turns to get guns on target
    • Flimsy airframe, prone to react heavily to damage
    • When aircraft is stock, very heavy and slow to fly without WEP
    • Stock 13 mm machine gun belts consist solely out of tracers which alerts enemy, makes aiming 30 mm difficult
    • Fighters with lower top speeds but better low altitude performances (such as Russia's La-7 fighters) will find it quite easy to run down the K-4 when at a low energy state
    • Very slow deploying flaps
    • For Sim, the numerous canopy frames and razorback greatly limit the all-round view, and huge engine torque causes severe turning when taking off

    • Other names: God’s eye view shot, birds eye view shot, aerial view, raised shot, elevated shot, overhead shot.
    • Fun Fact: The first aerial shots were taken from balloons in the early 1800s. The use of drones with video equipment has reinvented the aerial shot.

    An aerial shot obviously requires specific camera equipment. What you use has varied throughout the years — from balloons to helicopters to drones — but the end result is the same. Here's a video breakdown of the various types of camera rigs, how they work, and how they add to the "feel" and look of a shot.

    Ultimate Guide to Camera Gear • Subscribe on YouTube

    In a nutshell, an aerial shot often involves the camera being positioned on an elevated platform, aircraft, or floating object.

    This is what a birds eye shot (God's eye shot) looks like

    In fact, it’s easy to pick out an aerial shot when you see one. You'll find aerial shots in movies often, especially crime films.

    Aerial shot example in crime films.

    There are several different kinds of aerial shots. You can have a bird’s eye shot, god’s eye shot, and overhead shots. We’ll go over all of them below.

    Aerial shots help directors and cinematographers define the world that the characters inhabit which is a powerful storytelling technique.

    For instance, aerial shots are so effective that you'll also see them on movie posters. Who doesn't like aerial shots in movies? But to pull them off properly, you'll need to plan them. That’s where the shot list is crucial.


    Walter Nowotny

    By Stephen Sherman, Sept. 2002. Updated July 7, 2011.

    O ne of the highest scoring German aces (an Austrian, actually) almost ended his flying career very early.

    Flying a Bf 109 in July 19, 1941, he had shot down three Polikarpov I-153 biplanes (his first three kills), when he went down too. He ditched his Messerschmitt in the Gulf of Riga and clambered into his one-man survival raft. With no food or drink, he paddled southwards, towards land that he estimated to be about 40 miles away. A couple German fighters flew overhead, but didn't notice his Mauser pistol shots. Sunburn set in, waves splashed into his dinghy, and he became exhausted from his paddling.

    On his second night adrift, two Soviet destroyers passed close by, but didn't notice him either.

    He was somewhat heartened by the evidently-German artillery fire directed at the Russian warships. But by the second day, he became nearly suicidal, and even began writing a "farewell message." He fell asleep, and when he awoke on the third day, the currents had brought him close to shore. He paddled towards it, landed, and collapsed on the sandy beach. He awoke in a bed two Latvian auxiliaries (collaborators?) had rescued him.

    For many months, JG 54 remained at Krasnogvardeisk, as the northern front settled into a stalemate around besieged Leningrad.

    Messerschmitt Bf 109

    Focke Wulf 190

    In January and February of 1943, JG 54 transitioned to the Fw 190, a rugged aircraft that Nowotny and many othe experten would fly with great success. In August, Nowotny added 49 victories to his score and was promoted to Gruppenkommandeur of 1./JG 54. Heady stuff for a 22-year-old. But he hadn't yet been awarded the " Oak Leaves ," and showed distinct signs of "throat-ache" despite the fact that he had passed the 120-victory threshhold - no "Oak Leaves."

    But he continued to excel in the air. On September 1, 1943 he downed ten Russian aircraft. On a morning bomber escort mission, he destroyed four attacking Soviet fighters. He noticed another group, and promptly got two of those. As the dogfight carried him 180 km over Russian lines, he closed in on a seventh victim, only to have his cannon jam. he closed in ever closer and finished it off with his machine guns. He made good his return by flying on the deck, right through the flak thrown up from a large town. That afternoon, on another sortie, he got three more during an in-and-out duel in the clouds.

    A few days later, he received his long-awaited Oak Leaves. " The Swords " followed three weeks later, awarded to him at a ceremony at Hitler's headquarters.

    By September 14, his score stood at 203, just behind the Luftwaffe leader (Hans Phillipp?). At midday, on a clear, perfect day, Soviet bombers and their fighter escorts approached. Nowotny led his 4-plane Schwarm on a Freie Jagd (literally "free hunt," or in Allied aviation jargon, a "fighter sweep"). Soon, everyone in the ops room heard over the loudspeaker his radio call that he had achieved his 204th. He was then the top Luftwaffe experte. He kept flying and fighting and shooting down Soviet planes. Before the end of September, he had reached a total of 235. On afternoon, while patrolling south of Velikiye Luki, he shot down 3 of a group of 14 Airacobras. The next day, in the same area, a flight of 6 Airacobras fled as soon as they sighted the Fw 190's perhaps they were survivors from the previous day's mission. Only two escaped.

    Then he had a day ruined by jammed guns and an out-of-service aircraft. The following day, his aerial rampage continued: two P-40s, a P-39, and an LaGG-3. Nowotny was doing his part to reduce the American Lend-Lease equipment sent to Russia.

    The Diamonds

    On October 15, 1943, he destroyed a Curtiss P-40 - his 250th victory. He was the first pilot ever to achieve such a score. Back at his base, a wild celebration ensued. Nowotny took off to Vilna to celebrate in style. His wingman "Quax" Schnörrer stayed at the base and, with other pilots, got riotously drunk. Then General von Greim telephoned, to say that the Führer wanted to speak to Nowotny, to congratulate him personally. Understanding the situation, General Greim passed on the information that Nowotny was at the Ria Bar in Vilna, confident that Hitler's telephone operators wouldn't be able to get through to the partying Nowotny. But they did. Nowotny, stewed to the gills, surrounded by young lovelies in a noisy bar, managed to get through the conversation with the Führer. He had been awarded the "Diamonds," the Reich's highest military honor. The next day, von Greim, Schnörrer, and Nowotny flew to Hitler's HQ in East Prussia, for Nowotny to receive his " Diamonds ."

    But October, 1943 marked the end of Nowotny's famous schwarm (flight of four planes). Toni Döbele (96 victories) was killed. Lt. Karl "Quax" Schnörrer (35) was badly injured in a crash and hospitalized for a long time. Nowotny himself was made into a superhero by Goebbels propaganda machine and was withdrawn from the front.

    Training Assignments

    His career was temporarily halted because he was assigned command of the Schulegeschwader 101 (SJG 101). This was a training unit for new pilots, and was based in Palau. Even though it was an unpopular assignment for the veteran pilots, Nowotny once again brilliantly succeded, earning a reputation as a first class instructor.

    Me 262 Jet

    On September 26, 1944, he was appointed CO of Kommando Nowotny, the world's first jet fighter unit, based at Achmer and Hesepe

    Kommando Nowotny became operational on the 3rd of October and claimed their first kill, a B-24, on October 7th. Nowotny began the practice of using prop-driven conventional fighters as cover against the roaming Allied fighters during the takeoffs and landings of the Me 262. The Me 262 was especially vulnerable as the turbojet's relatively low thrust resulted in slow acceleration. It took some time for the jet to get up to speed. But once there, no Allied aircraft could touch it.

    November 8, 1944

    Adolph Galland, Luftwaffe General of Fighters, visited Achmer for an inspection. Nowotny was going to give Galland his pilots' flight reports. A flight of B-17 bombers was reported, so the unit took off, about six jets in the first wave, then another. The Fw-190Ds were waiting on the runway cover their return of the jets. Galland was in the operations shack, monitoring the pilots' radio transmissions. Several bombers were called out as shot down, and Nowotny radioed that he was approaching. The flight leader on the ground, Hans Dortenmann, requested permission to take off to assist, but Nowotny said no, to wait. The defensive anti-aircraft battery opened fire on a few P-51 Mustangs that approached the field, but they were chased away.

    One Me-262 had been shot down, and Nowotny reported an engine failure before making a garbled transmission referring to "burning". Galland watched Nowi's approach, heard the sound of a jet engine, and saw his Me 262 A-1a (W.Nr. 110 400) "White 8" dive vertically out of the clouds and crash at Epe, 2.5 kilometres east of Hesepe. The explosions rocked the air, and only a column of black smoke rose from behind the trees. The wreckage was Nowotny's plane. After sifting through it, the only salvageable things found were his left hand and pieces of his Diamonds decoration.

    The unit was disbanded shortly after Nowotny's death. It had claimed 22 aircraft with a loss of 26 Me 262s, eight of which were due to accidents and mechanical failures.


    Academic year dates 2021-22

    Arrivals Weekend Sat 18 Sep to Sun 19 Sep 2021
    Autumn term begins Mon 20 Sep 2021
    Welcome Week Mon 20 Sep to Fri 24 Sep 2021
    Semester One
    Semester One begins Mon 27 Sep 2021
    Teaching begins Mon 27 Sep 2021
    Teaching ends Fri 10 Dec 2021
    Autumn term ends Fri 10 Dec 2021
    Winter vacation Sat 11 Dec 2021 to Sun 2 Jan 2022
    Spring term begins Mon 3 Jan 2022
    Semester one assessment period begins Mon 3 Jan 2022
    Semester one assessment period ends Sat 15 Jan 2022
    Semester One ends Sat 15 Jan 2022
    Intersemester week Mon 17 Jan to Fri 21 Jan 2022
    Winter graduation January 2022 &ndash TBC
    Semester Two
    Semester Two begins Mon 24 Jan 2022
    Teaching begins Mon 24 Jan 2022
    Spring term ends Fri 1 April 2022
    Spring vacation Sat 2 April to Sun 24 April 2022
    Summer term begins Mon 25 April 2022
    Teaching resumes Mon 25 April 2022
    Teaching ends Fri 29 April 2022
    Revision week Mon 2 May to Fri 6 May 2022
    Semester two assessment period begins Mon 9 May 2022
    Semester two assessment period ends Sat 28 May 2022
    Summer term ends Sat 28 May 2022
    Semester Two ends Sat 28 May 2022
    Summer vacation Sun 29 May to Sun 18 Sept 2022 &ndash TBC
    Summer graduation TBC
    Resit assessment period (all modules) Aug 2022* &ndash TBC

    *Take Away Papers (TAPs) may be set in the early part of the following week.

    University of Sussex
    Sussex House, Falmer
    Brighton, BN1 9RH
    United Kingdom