One of the biggest challenges for the Luftwaffe during the lead up to and during the Battle of Britain was that Germany’s primary escort fighter, the BF 109 had small fuel tanks resulting in an extremely limited operational range. The Bf 109 had barely minutes over the target area before it had to head for home, leaving the bomber fleet at the mercy of the RAF’s Spitfires and Hurricanes.
Unfortunately for the Luftwaffe, 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.
As a result, the Luftwaffe’s medium twin-engined, fast attack bomber, the Bf 110 found itself providing much of the bomber fleet’s protection forcing it to reduce speed to match the slower, heavy bombers.
One of the strengths of the Bf110 had always been its manoeuvrability and high speeds, an asset that was stripped away by its slower, bomber escort role.
It’s been argued that had the Luftwaffe’s Bf 109s had access to drop tanks during the Battle of Britain, the number of downed German aircraft would have been considerable less, Some even argue that enabling the 109s 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) and the twin-engined Bf110 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.
Whilst the Ju87 could carry two 300lt tanks (one under each wing), the more powerful Messerschmitt Bf110 had the capacity to also carry the 600lt and even heavier 900lt fuel drop tanks.
Made from an Electron magnesium, this mass produced 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 trialed through out the war, but in reality - they were essential for many of the Luftwaffe missions - especially on the Eastern Front.
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 war resources
This Messerschmitt BF 110 Collectable comes complete with detailed Scale Model, Mango Wood Stand & Plaque plus Printed Fact Sheet featuring photo of instrument in aircraft cockpit.
Return to Messerschmitt Bf 110 MAIN PAGE
Your R Series Messerschmitt Bf110, 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
*The 1/72 scale hand-built and airbrushed plastic model is available with 'wheels & flaps up or down' and 'canopy open or closed' in a choice of two camouflage markings, or choose the amazingly extra detailed larger 1/48 scale at just an extra $45 (click on Product Option at top of page)
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 Bf110 or have a friend, colleague or family member who did? Check out our PERSONALISED ORIGINAL INSTRUMENT COLLECTABLE OPTION here.