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. This rendered the Bf109 relatively ineffective as a long range patrol and bomber protection aircraft.
In fact, during the lead up to and during the Battle of Britain, the Luftwaffe's bomber command suffered horrendous losses due to the Bf109 having less than nine minutes of fuel available for fighter protection over the British mainland targets.
This led to the twin-engined Messerschmitt Bf110 being forced to provide the bulk of bomber protection but this also made the high speed fighter/bomber equably vulnerable to British fighters after being forced 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.
Made from an Electron magnesium and manufactured by the German Deutsche Benzin-Uhrin (DBU Works), DBU produced a number of Drop Tank and Primary Tank Fuel Cap variations.
Most Drop Tanks, from the standard 300lt through to the larger 600lt and 900lt (carried by the Bf110 and larger bombers), were pressurised to approx. 6psi to assist the aircraft's small internal fuel pump to lift the fuel from the under-wing drop tanks to the engine.
In the Bf109, the drop tank fuel line ran up behind the pilot's seat and along the starboard cockpit wall just below the canopy and then through the firewall to the aircraft's engine.
As a result, Drop Tank Fuel Caps were sealed with no ventilation holes or valves whereas, the aircraft's primary fuel tank caps needed to be ventilated to avoid fuel lock.
In an effort to standardise machining and conserve materials, DBU initially used the same casting mould for both ventilated and non ventilated caps by moulding in 5 hole locations on the top of the cap.
These caps featured the DBU logo and 'KRAST STOFF' or 'FUEL' with the wording 'Beluftungsventil' or Ventilation Valve' in raised text around the base of the cap.
Even though this left the wording 'Beluftungsventil' or Ventilation Valve' in raised text around the base on all caps, the manufacturer supplied each cap with a 'press-in ' rubberised/spring valve; leaving it to Messerschmitt or Focke Wulf to drill out the holes themselves and insert the valve if they were to be used for the aircraft's ventilated primary tank.
Along with the above, DBU also manufactured generic fuel caps for the Luftwaffe's 300, 600 and 900lt drop tanks. Some of these still carried the DBU logo and wording 'KRASTSTOFF' or 'FUEL' (such as the example opposite) whilst others simply carried the DBU series numbers across each locking arm (See left). These were called the 'R Series' Drop Tank Fuel Caps.
All variations were secured by two 8mm studs which were screwed down over the cap's arm cutouts.
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, DBU Drop Tank 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.