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In Stock SKU: 2481

Rare R Series, Messerschmitt Bf109 300lt, Fuel Drop Tank Cap

One of the biggest challenges facing the Luftwaffe during the lead up to and during the Battle of Britain, was that German’s primary escort fighter for its bombers, the BF 109  had an extremely limited operational range.

Having barely minutes over the target area before it had to head for home, the Luftwaffe bomber fleet found themselves left to the mercy of the RAF’s Spitfires and Hurricanes.

The Bf 109 simply didn't have the range and it was not until late October 1940 that the modified Bf 109 E-7 entered service with the capacity to carry one or two 300 lt Fuel Drop Tanks.

It’s been argued that had the Luftwaffe had access to drop tanks during the Battle of Britain, the number of downed German aircraft would have been considerable less and enabling the Bf 109 to provide greater support to the Luftwaffe bombers could well have changed the outcome of the Battle.

The Luftwaffe had actually introduced the use of Drop Tanks much earlier on the JU87R (a long range version of the Stuka Dive Bomber) which were used to good effect during the German invasion of Norway but the capacity to carry the 300lt light aluminium alloy or thin zinc steel Drop Tanks for their Messerschmitt Bf 109 and later Focke Wulf Fw190s took a while to come into operation.

Both the Bf 109 and Fw 190s were used across such a wide range of localities and conditions and an even great variety of mission criteria that successive versions came off the production line with universal ‘R Series’ fittings that allowed for quick change overs of drop tanks, bomb ordinance and underwing cannons depending on the mission criteria.

Made from an Electron magnesium, this mass produced 300lt Drop Tank Fuel Cap bears the Luftwaffe R Series number of : R-05619-39 on the top of one locking arm, with the designation number: 33554 -gyp N.10 prominent on the other.

A large O. Ring seal would normally sit under the cap’s lip and it would be secured to the Fuel Filler Spout by two 8 mm studs which were screwed down over the Cap’s Arm cutouts.

The Drop Tank would then be pressurised to 6 PSI which would allow the fuel to travel up into the aircraft behind the right side of the pilot seat, and run along the lower starboard cockpit edge, through the fire wall to the engine. 

Hermann Goring was not a big fan of drop tanks, seeing them as a waste of valuable war materials and various attempts to introduce a return ‘Reward’ payment across the German mainland were trialled through out the war, but in reality - they were essential for many of the Luftwaffe missions - especially on the Eastern Front.

Larger 600lt drop tanks using the same Fuel Cap were used on the Messerschmitt Bf 110 and other medium German bombers, including the twin-engined Bf 110.

The USAAF and later, the RAF took a different approach in conserving valuable war materials by producing their Drop Tanks out of wood pulp.

The paper mache Drop tanks would barely last a few missions before they collapsed but it was a considerably cheaper and more sustainable exercise in terms of conserving precious resources.

Still bearing some of its origional Luftwaffe 'Sky Grey' camo and mounted on its 100 yr old Mango Wood stand with a highly detailed hand crafted and airbrushed model of the iconic German fighter the Messerschmitt Bf109 and informative Fact Sheet, this would make an extraordinary and highly valued, original memento of Luftwaffe air power for any aviation enthusiast.

This Bf109 collectable comes complete with detailed 1/72 or larger 1/48 Scale Model, Mango Wood Stand & Plaque plus Printed Fact Sheet featuring photo of collectable on aircraft.

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Your R Series, Bf 109 300lt, Fuel Drop Tank Cap, Original Recovery Curios Warbird Collectable includes:

  • Original Warbird instrument
  • Highly detailed hand-built and airbrushed 1/72 plastic scale model of the aircraft,*
  • Hand-crafted and beautifully finished 100yr, Far North Queensland Mango Wood display stand
  • Detailed, 2-sided, printed and laminated Instrument Fact Sheet detailing aircraft and instrument
  • Removable Magnetic Display Arm

*An upgrade to the larger and more detailed 1/48 scale model is also available in the hand-built and airbrushed plastic version for an additional $35 (Click on the 1/48 scale option)

Both the 1/72 & 1/48 scale hand-built and airbrushed plastic models are available with 'canopy open or closed' options, landing gear 'up or down' with a choice of two Squadron markings and camouflage.

Upon order placement you will receive an email asking for your preferred configuration.

Your complete Recovery Curios Original Instrument Collectable is securely packed and delivery normally takes between 4 - 6 weeks approx.

Did you fly, crew or maintain a Bf 109 or have a friend, colleague or family member who did? Check out our PERSONALISED ORIGINAL INSTRUMENT COLLECTABLE OPTION here.