Whilst the Messerschmitt Bf109 was arguably one of the most widely operated and iconic aircraft of WWII, its small streamlined frame and stubby wings provided little room for a sizeable fuel tank, rendering it relatively ineffective as a long-range patrol and bomber protection aircraft.
In fact, during the first two years of the war in Europe, the Luftwaffe's bomber command suffered horrendous losses with their primary bomber support fighter, the Bf 109 having less than nine minutes of fuel available for fighter protection over the British mainland targets.
This led to the twin-engined Messerschmitt Bf 110 being forced left to provide the bulk of bomber protection but this also made the high speed fighter/bomber equably vulnerable to British fighters due to it having to reduce speeds to maintain cover for the lumbering Luftwaffe bombers.
The solution to the Bf109’s lack of range was a simple one and in the end, two 300lt aluminium drop tanks were fitted below either wing or a single drop tank carried directly below the pilot.
Fully loaded the Bf109 was extremely heavy with speed and climbing significantly compromised but using a tactics later adopted by the USAAF P51 Mustangs, the 109’s flew forward and high above the main bomber fleet and once their external tanks were jettisoned, used their superior dive speed to fall on the British fighters attacking the bombers below.
With the later introduction of the high performance Focke-Wulf Fw190, they too were fitted with the ability to carry the same 300lt drop tanks which like the Bf109, greatly extended their operational range.
Manufactured by the German DBU Works, the central Cap cast markings read 'KRASTSTOFF' or 'FUEL' with the wording 'Beluftungsventil' or Ventilation Valve' in raised text around the cap at the base.
Made from an Electron magnesium, the DBU works produced two types of Fuel Caps, vented and unvented.
Primary aircraft fuel tanks on both the Bf109 and the Focke-Wulf Fw190 required a ventilated fuel cap, so five small holes were drilled into the middle of the casting and a small spring loaded padded washer pressed into the recessed housing beneath.
Even though labeled as 'ventilated', fuel caps without the hole and valve modification had no ventilation and were installed at the top of the 300lt aluminium drop tanks carried by both the Bf109 and the Focke-Wulf Fw190.
This was changed in later versions of the Bf 109 however, when an in-line ventilation outlet valve was installed enabling the 'sealed' DBU cap to be used on both primary and drop tanks.
This example here is one of the rarer early, original Bf 109 fully ventilated fuel caps complete with its ring clip which secured it to the aircraft by a small chain link. It is also the same ‘vented’ fuel cap used on the Focke Wulf Fw 190.
The ’S’ shaped arms slide under two large wing nuts on their 8mm studs which were then screwed down tight to secure the cap
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 Bf 109 Main Tank, Ventilated Filler 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.