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Me109E Wartungklappe Hatch LW Fly Tag Info Needed

Article about: Hello, I purchased these 2 items recently. One is supposedly a Wartungklappe Hatch from a ME-109E fighter plane. The seller indicated it was the maintenance hatch right next to the cannon po

  1. #11

    Default Re: Me109E Wartungklappe Hatch LW Fly Tag Info Needed

    An interesting post thanks for sharing your items.
    I don't know much about the hatch, but I also have one of those tags that I personally dug out of a German trench in Normandy a few years ago. If it was a Stalingrad evacuation tag then I was very lucky to find it in Normandy, but I suppose it could have been carried by a Stalingrad evacuee who was later to fight in Normandy who knows.
    However I've heard two possible theories on the uses the first is that they were attached to small poles and stuck in the ground to mark the route of field comunication cables? colour coded for different types of cables?.
    The other and much more likely is that they were attached to Luftwaffe supplies, perhaps even air dropped supplies the different colours relating to the different contents of the supply boxes ie ammo, food, medical etc. This seems more feasible because I know they have been found in other places as well ie the Italian front.
    But even if this was the use, it doesn't mean they weren't perhaps reused to evacuate troops from Stalingrad due to lack of supplies.
    But in all the years where I've watched interviews or read personal stories from survivors non have ever mentioned these metal tags.
    Thanks again, it'll be interesting if anyone else can confirm the use.
    LUCKYSTRIKE
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture tag.jpg  

  2. #12

    Default Re: Me109E Wartungklappe Hatch LW Fly Tag Info Needed

    All your theories sound like they could be true also. Interesting where you found yours, and also they have found hem in the Italian front, I did not know that. New info already!!

    I think a Luftwaffe veteran might know, do you know any?

    I hope this thread starts the snowball effect, and we will gain the real answer to these tags. Maybe a separate thread or section should be made? What do you and others think? (if others happen to read this)

    Regards, Steve

  3. #13

    Default Re: Me109E Wartungklappe Hatch LW Fly Tag Info Needed

    The "Stalingrad" tag has been discussed at great length on another forum. Some, at first, thought the tags were faked, and few, if any, believed that they were flight passes (that was a Russian seller's story). The tags came in the "diamond" shape you show and in a circular shape. There were at least three colors: red, yellow, white. It is now known, in fact, that the tags are real and they were used to mark air-transport cargo. The shape and color corresponded to a cargo weight/size class. This allowed cargo weight to be properly distributed on an airplane (e.g., Ju 52) for correct balance and hopefully reduced the possibility of overloading. Many of these tags have been found at Stalingrad airfield sites, thus the name, and since, at other locations including Germany, Italy and France. I have several - I think there're neat. However, my favorite "tags" are ID and data plates from Luftwaffe airplanes; see my other post.

    SFP

  4. #14

    Default Re: Me109E Wartungklappe Hatch LW Fly Tag Info Needed

    Quote by stephen f. polyak View Post
    The "Stalingrad" tag has been discussed at great length on another forum. Some, at first, thought the tags were faked, and few, if any, believed that they were flight passes (that was a Russian seller's story). The tags came in the "diamond" shape you show and in a circular shape. There were at least three colors: red, yellow, white. It is now known, in fact, that the tags are real and they were used to mark air-transport cargo. The shape and color corresponded to a cargo weight/size class. This allowed cargo weight to be properly distributed on an airplane (e.g., Ju 52) for correct balance and hopefully reduced the possibility of overloading. Many of these tags have been found at Stalingrad airfield sites, thus the name, and since, at other locations including Germany, Italy and France. I have several - I think there're neat. However, my favorite "tags" are ID and data plates from Luftwaffe airplanes; see my other post.

    SFP
    Hi Stephen, thanks for the interesting info & theory you have found out & shared about these tags. Yes, I have seen the round ones, and I have heard there are 5 colors, not 3, but again, this could be a "seller's story" How about a link for me to the "other" forum with these tags discussed at great length? You can PM if you do not want to post it. I for one would like to read more about these tags.

    Regards, Steve


    ANYBODY????? THE Wartungklappe Hatch ?????????? Is this hatch located as I have stated above?, and seller has indicated in the pic???????

  5. #15
    ?

    Default Re: Me109E Wartungklappe Hatch LW Fly Tag Info Needed

    This is an old thread I know, but I only just came across it and found what looks like some help with the Wartungsklappe question- this photo of the wing of a Bf109E sure seems to show one next to the 2cm MGFF, although the opener is a round bolt, not the press clip but then I wouldn't be surprised if there was simply a change at some point or for one model- it may not be so significant an issue. If it is steel, that's something I've not seen before- aircraft parts are nearly always aluminum; that being said, I did wonder if perhaps it was armoured given that it was right ahead of the cannon's ammunition drum? It's a logical place to reinforce the wing to lessen the danger from defensive fire...
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Bf109E.jpg  
    Ohhhhh- pillage then burn...

  6. #16

    Default Re: Me109E Wartungklappe Hatch LW Fly Tag Info Needed

    Quote by Matt L View Post
    This is an old thread I know, but I only just came across it and found what looks like some help with the Wartungsklappe question- this photo of the wing of a Bf109E sure seems to show one next to the 2cm MGFF, although the opener is a round bolt, not the press clip but then I wouldn't be surprised if there was simply a change at some point or for one model- it may not be so significant an issue. If it is steel, that's something I've not seen before- aircraft parts are nearly always aluminum; that being said, I did wonder if perhaps it was armoured given that it was right ahead of the cannon's ammunition drum? It's a logical place to reinforce the wing to lessen the danger from defensive fire...

    Hi Matt, late replies are good too, Thanks for posting this pic.

    The hatch I have is absolutely Steel, I just checked it again with a magnet.....the only Aluminum, is part of the opening /locking catch mechanism. It seems maybe then the leading edge of the wings was steel, of whichever 109 plane my Wartungklappe hatch came from. This would be for strength and some armored protection obviously. The opening/ closing catch design could have changed with different models as you have said.

    So this part made from steel is odd?
    Maybe the whole wing edge is steel on these planes?
    Have you personally seen many 109 leading wing edges, and had a magnet handy by any chance?
    Maybe it's not from 109?

    Regards, Steve

  7. #17
    ?

    Default Re: Me109E Wartungklappe Hatch LW Fly Tag Info Needed

    Quote by Kilroy Was Here View Post
    Hi Matt, late replies are good too, Thanks for posting this pic.

    The hatch I have is absolutely Steel, I just checked it again with a magnet.....the only Aluminum, is part of the opening /locking catch mechanism. It seems maybe then the leading edge of the wings was steel, of whichever 109 plane my Wartungklappe hatch came from. This would be for strength and some armored protection obviously. The opening/ closing catch design could have changed with different models as you have said.

    So this part made from steel is odd?
    Maybe the whole wing edge is steel on these planes?
    Have you personally seen many 109 leading wing edges, and had a magnet handy by any chance?
    Maybe it's not from 109?

    Regards, Steve
    The leading edge of the 109 was part of a very rigid D-shaped torsion box built on an aluminum I-bean spar which was located close to the leading edge. I suspect the leading edge was aluminum.

    Just a theory but I suspect steel would have been a better engineering choice for this small part that does not have much for structural support or backing.

    The pressure and stress at the leading edge of a plane travelling ~370 mph is quite high. Aluminum of similar thickness to this plate might require a lot more support structure or secure mounting to prevent the pressure possibly caving it in. It appears using more resilient materials might have been used to avoid over-engineer a simple utility panel? Aside from a very small weight delta (probabbly less than one round of ammo) the only downside would have been long term potential for corrosion where dissimilar metals meet - but I suspect this was not a consideration during wartime.

  8. #18

    Default Re: Me109E Wartungklappe Hatch LW Fly Tag Info Needed

    Quote by lima View Post
    The leading edge of the 109 was part of a very rigid D-shaped torsion box built on an aluminum I-bean spar which was located close to the leading edge. I suspect the leading edge was aluminum.

    Just a theory but I suspect steel would have been a better engineering choice for this small part that does not have much for structural support or backing.

    The pressure and stress at the leading edge of a plane travelling ~370 mph is quite high. Aluminum of similar thickness to this plate might require a lot more support structure or secure mounting to prevent the pressure possibly caving it in. It appears using more resilient materials might have been used to avoid over-engineer a simple utility panel? Aside from a very small weight delta (probabbly less than one round of ammo) the only downside would have been long term potential for corrosion where dissimilar metals meet - but I suspect this was not a consideration during wartime.

    Hi, thanks for the details, and the theory. All you say makes sense to me. It's an interesting war relic. I got it because I am interested in WW2 weapons, and this small hatch seems to have some small connection to a German MG. I do like aircraft also though, but do not know too much about the many models of 109's.

    Thanks again
    Regards

  9. #19
    ?

    Default Re: Me109E Wartungklappe Hatch LW Fly Tag Info Needed

    Not that I've seen everything, but I've certainly never seen an access hatch on the leading edge of a wing- so I honestly don't think it's from any other bird than the 109E since it's already an oddity in and of itself. I suppose it could be the plate is steel to strengthen it, however if aluminum is strong enough for the rest of the wing, a small panel would surely be fine too- especially since it's curved, no? I wonder if the rectangular panel about the muzzle of the cannon were steel too...
    Ohhhhh- pillage then burn...

  10. #20

    Wink Re: Me109E Wartungklappe Hatch LW Fly Tag Info Needed

    Quote by Matt L View Post
    Not that I've seen everything, but I've certainly never seen an access hatch on the leading edge of a wing- so I honestly don't think it's from any other bird than the 109E since it's already an oddity in and of itself. I suppose it could be the plate is steel to strengthen it, however if aluminum is strong enough for the rest of the wing, a small panel would surely be fine too- especially since it's curved, no? I wonder if the rectangular panel about the muzzle of the cannon were steel too...

    Matt, Yes, you're right, a curved piece of sheet metal is stronger, than non-curved. I used to go to all the air shows in So. Calif. many years ago, but also have not been to an airshow in as many years. But when I do go to another one, I'll be sure to bring a magnet! just in case there is a 109E there. That would be interesting to know if the cannon panels were also steel. Maybe the whole leading edge is sheet steel as part of the armor protection? I imagine it's pretty important to keep this wing edge intact for stable flight?

    Regards, Steve
    Last edited by Kilroy Was Here; 09-01-2010 at 03:38 AM.

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