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Article about: Many LW aircraft types had this spiral art on the spinner. I have seen images of a Spitfire and some modern aircraft with it too. I think Eric is correct, it indicates movement of the prop a

  1. #11

    Default Re: Bf-109

    Many LW aircraft types had this spiral art on the spinner. I have seen images of a Spitfire and some modern aircraft with it too.

    I think Eric is correct, it indicates movement of the prop as do the yellow prop tips on RAF aircraft
    "In all my years as a soldier, I have never seen men fight so hard." - SS Obergruppenfuhrer Wilhelm Bittrich - Arnhem

  2. #12

    Default Re: Bf-109

    Quote by Danmark View Post
    At warm-up or taxiing speeds the spiral is clearly visible - less so obviously at full throttle so I would concur that this was to minimise a messy incident.
    The same reason is valid for the yellow painted prop tips on allied fighters and bombers.

    A well known Aussie golfer, Jack Newton found out the hard way about spinning props back in 1983 ( lost one arm, one eye and severe injuries but he survived )


    ....and more recently, the horrific Lauren Scruggs incident

  3. #13

    Default Re: Bf-109

    Gday Fella's
    After a heap of page shuffeling this is what I have found.
    There are four main trains of thought re "spiralschnauze" designs on ww2 German aircraft,
    1.Personal or Staffel preference
    2.Ground crew safety
    3. Bird strike
    3.Optical deception for Allied air gunners.
    I have always thought it was a fighter pilot/Staffel thingo but I am tending to lean towards the later of the four.
    The design was used post 1942 and on mostly on fighter types.I have images of 109G's and up (with the larger spinner) and FW190's using this as well as a Macchi MC202 of JG100 (fighter school airframe).
    The logic of option four was that the spinner put off bomber air gunners aim.It made them concentrate on the spinner as a aiming point so overshooting the fast moving target (deflection angle) when attacking at an angle to the bomber.
    The time frame re the introduction of this design in the Luft. Staffels matchs the USAAF,s daylight bombing efforts of 1943 onwards.
    I understand the logic behind ground crew safety but if this design was introduced as a safety feature would not all Luft. airframes have carried it as opposed to mainly German fighters? I think the safety factor was a incidental bonus.
    Prop tip colouring and the full circle it creates at revs has always been the standard in both Military and Civil aviation.Also to much variation on spinner paint designs (one colour,twin colours,parallel lines,square blocks) etc to be a standardised safety feature IMO.
    An interesting question in the end.
    Last edited by Thanatos; 10-29-2012 at 01:35 AM. Reason: added text

  4. #14

    Default Re: Bf-109

    It's not a safety feature or it'd be on all aircraft, yes? Only a very few Staffeln used it so it's simply decoration. The Germans especially had a LOT of decoration on their warplanes.
    Ohhhhh- pillage then burn...

  5. #15

    Default Re: Bf-109


    The spiral was often applied at the factory but I have a number of images of it being hand applied at unit level. It could be found on almost all Luftwaffe types, but mainly on fighter types from 1943 onwards. All Jagdgeschwader used the spiral, without exception, in a variety of styles and colours, but a thin white band on black was the norm. Examples units using coloured spirals or backgrounds include, JG 1 sometimes are said to have used red on white, some units of JG 3 certainly used thin black line on yellow. It replaced a complex system of colours, in a variety of positions, that could be used to identify the unit of the aircraft.

    I have seen many explanations as to why it was applied and cannot find an answer in the 'Bible' of Luftwaffe camouflage books Volume 1 & 2 of Ken Merricks Luftwaffe Camouflage and Markings 1933-45. Sadly our knowledge of Luftywaffe spinner markings is incredibly poor, annoying because often the only identifier of an aircraft's image, usually photographed port side front, is the spinner.

    Best regards


  6. #16

    Default Re: Bf-109

    Here is a surviving example of an original Bf-109 spinner with a hand-painted spiral, on top of an original pre-1943 unit marking (see second image below), as exhibited on the Australian War Memorial's Bf-109G-6 hybrid Werk Nummer 163 824:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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