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Tom Cleaver
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Tamiya Bf-109V-14

June 21, 2018 · in Aviation · · 11 · 2.1K

The Bf-109 V13 and V14 prototypes were the first Bf-109 airframes to utilize Daimler-Benz DB 600-series engines, which finally gave the airframe the power it had needed since it first flew. The DB 600 was effectively the prototype for the mass-production DB 601.

These DB-powered prototypes made their first public appearance at the Zürich‑Dübendorf aviation meet of 1937. The Luftwaffe, eager to impress the aeronautical world, sent the V‑13 D‑IPKY and the Bf 109 V‑14 D‑ISLU to participate in the competitions. Both of these used high-powered DB 600 engines that actually provided more horsepower than the production engines, at 1,560 h.p.

The Bf-109 V14 attracted public notice because it was flown by famed World War I ace Ernst Udet, who was at the time chief of the Technischen Amt of the Reichluftfartministerium. The V14 was painted in a “wine red” color that Udet had popularized with all the aircraft he flew from his well known Siemens-Shuckert D.III and Fokker D.VII during the war through his famous “Flamingo” in the 1920s.

During the competitions leading up to the main races, the German team easily defeated the competition. The big race, the Alpenrunflug Kategorie A: Einsitzer was held July 27, 1937. The V14 experienced a cracked oil line, and Udet experienced a catastrophic crash, in which the fuselage broke in half just behind the cockpit. The fact that he suffered only minor‑injuries was a major plus to the reputation of the Bf 109. The Swiss Air Force, which had seen the competition as an unofficial way to check out the potential fighters for their re-equipment, were impressed that Udet escaped with no injuries and concluded it was due to the solid design of the airframe. The result was that the Swiss ordered 80 Bf-109E-3 aircraft the following year.

The Werner Wings Bf-109 V13/V14 conversion set provides a new nose cowling with the different intake and exhausts associated with these prototypes, and a spinner to do either the V13 as it appeared at the Zurich event or when it was used for the first record-breaking flight. The set includes a vacuformed Falcon canopy with the different windscreen for the record-breaking V13. Decals are included for both versions of the V13 and for the V14. It is of particular importance that the white decals for the V14 have been done with sufficient opacity to go over the red surface without problem. The set also includes the different gear doors associated with these prototypes.

The Werner Wings set was originally produced as a 250-set limited-production run that was first released at the 2009 IPMS-USA National Convention.

Reader reactions:
4  Awesome

10 additional images. Click to enlarge.

11 responses

  1. Now that...I really like! Very, very cool

  2. An unusual bird, and a nice add to your extensive 109 collection.

  3. What a beautiful version of what became one of the all-time great aircraft! Thanks for the history lesson, Tom! Always a treat seeing your builds and reading their history.

  4. Nice build Tom, as always! Is the Werner's Wings conversion available again?

  5. Fantastic BF-109! Love the unique red scheme; have not seen this one. Looks like a flawless build.

  6. Interestingly enough, I have now heard from A Very Famous Modeler who comes by here to check things out, who tells me that in fact, the "Hex-spurtz" got this one wrong, according to some very serious German researchers. The "red" airplane that Udet showed up in at Zurich was most likely a civilian Bf-108 he was known to use for personal transportation, and that the actual V14 was most likely in Blue 04, the official RLM color for racing and record-breaking aircraft (like the 109R or the He-100), and that this was a mistake by a well-known hex-spurt, declaring what colors are what in a black and white photo (where a dark red and a mainline blue would likely look very similar on the grey scale). Oh well... this one stays red.

    • I have heard such a dispute earlier but wasn't convincing enough for me - asI recall some eyewitnesses said that plane was red inspite that the "official" blue. If I ever convert one of my Tamiya 190e to this I will stay with the red scheme - muchmore interesting and appeal than the blue one.

  7. A nice and unusual build!

  8. Do I detect a "trend" here, TC...? 🙂 🙂

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