Sunday, March 23, 2014
Messerschmitt BF 109 G-2
The G-1, produced from February 1942, was the first production version of the G-series and the first production Bf 109 with a pressurized cockpit. It could be identified by the small, horn-shaped air intake for the cockpit compressor just above the supercharger intake, on the left upper cowling. In addition, the angled armour plate for the pilot's head was replaced by a vertical piece which sealed-off the rear of the side-hinged cockpit canopy. Small, triangular armour-glass panels were fitted into the upper corners of this armour, although there were aircraft in which the plate was solid steel. Silica gel capsules were placed in each pane of the windscreen and opening canopy to absorb any moisture which may have been trapped in the double glazing. The last 80 G-1s built were lightweight G-1/R2. In these GM-1 nitrous oxide 'boost' was used, and the pilot's back armour was removed, as were all fittings for the long-range drop tank. A few G-1 flown by I./JG 1 are known to have carried the underwing 20 mm MG 151/20 cannon gondolas.
The G-2, which started production in May 1942, lacked the cabin pressurization and GM-1 installation. Performance-wise it was identical to the G-1. The canopy reverted to one layer of glazing and incorporated the angled head armour used on the F-4, although several G-2 had the vertical type as fitted to the G-1. Several Rüstsätze could be fitted, although installing these did not change the designation of the aircraft. Instead the "/R" suffix referred to the G-2's Rüstzustand or equipment condition of the airframe, which was assigned at the factory rather than in the field. There were two Rüstzustand[ planned for G-2s:
The Slovak Air Force (Slovenské vzdušné zbrane, or SVZ), between 1939 and 1945, was the air force of the short-lived World War II Slovak Republic. Its mission was to provide air support at fronts, and to protect Bratislava and metropolitan areas against enemy air strikes. These units supported Axis Powers offensives in Ukraine and Russian Central front under the lead of Luftwaffe in the Stalingrad and Caucasus operations.
One of their first air battles was during the Hungarian reoccupation of the Carpatho-Ruthenia area on March 1939 (see Slovak-Hungarian War), in which they suffered some losses against Magyar Királyi Honvéd Légierö (Hungarian Air Force). They also participated in the Polish Campaign on September 1939. For the rest of the war, Slovak A.F. confronted USAAF and RAF during their raids against the country. The engagement in the Eastern Front resulted in great losses of aircraft and personnel.
The symbol of the Slovak air force was a white-blue with red circle cross on tail and wings amongst yellow paint in engine cover and vertical line in fuselage.
The aircraft for training was supplied by Germany and Italy. To defend Slovak air space, the air force used Messerschmitt 109 (E and G types), Avia B-534, and some other interceptor types. It was also helped by Luftwaffe units active in the area.
When Romanians and Russians entered Slovakia, with some captured aircraft and defectors they organized local Insurgent Air Force to continue their fight against Axis forces in country, others served voluntarily in Luftwaffe units; later these air units were integrated to National Air Force after the end of the war.