Messerschmitt Bf 108 Taifun
The Messerschmitt Bf 108 Taifun (German for “typhoon”) was a German single-engine sports, touring and communications aircraft developed by Bayerische Flugzeugwerke (Bavarian Aircraft Works). The experience gained by Messerschmitt in developing this aircraft led to the most important German fighter of World War II, the Messerschmitt Bf 109. By the outbreak of World War II, the Bf 108 was in widespread service with the Luftwaffe as a communications and ferry aircraft. Both pre- and post-war, the Bf 108 was a popular and widely-used civil light aircraft.
The new released book from MMP Books is about one of the most classic aircraft of the WWII era, the father of the Bf-109 and an aircraft that keep in use after the end of war. With a high quality of research, images and technical drawings, this book give us a deep study about the Messerschmitt Bf-108 Taifun becoming one indispensable research material both for modelers and aviation enthusiasts. The book is part of the Yellow Series of the MMP Books, famous by the high detailed research about the aircraft theme of every book. All book is full of images, many of this never seen before, are wartime color images, museum aircraft and private walkarounds. The images and utilization of the original technical drawings don’t give space for doubts about the details of the aircraft. Nice Scale plans are present both in 1/72, 1/48 scales with very accurate designs. Something special is the excellent development history of the plane on the initial pages, this give us the opportunity to understand the development of the Taifun and your Influence on the BF-109 Project.
Images are another great point; we have B&W and collored wartime photos available inside the book. The technical drawings, many of these come from the original manuals of the aircraft, detailed all parts of the plane, permitting modelers increase the realism of your builds. Excellent collection of profiles, different paint schemes applied and special markings are represented, showing the way that it is applied.
This book is a full technical history of this important aircraft used in all fronts of the war fight by germans and that become the father of one of the most important aircrafts on history. I have the pleasure to say that this book keep the tradition of the MMP Books and give us a excellent research base for modelers interested to build an Taifun. Eduard have an excellent kit of the Taifun on 1/48 scale and MMP books give you the bible to build it in a very accurate model. This book is highly recommended.
Special thanks to MMP Books for the sample review.
Vini Pompeo – Historian and Modeller
Reviewed by: Paul Mahoney, IPMS# 8943
The latest issue in MMP’s ever-expanding “Yellow” series covers the Messerschmitt Bf-108 “Taifun.” This is certainly one of the most comprehensive treatments of the Bf-108 I have ever come across. The Bf-108 is often relegated to a small mention in Bf-109 books when describing the development history of that aircraft. Now we have a volume dedicated specifically to the “Taifun.”
In a manner similar to other titles in this series, this book covers the design development of the Bf-108, followed by a brief history of its production and service. This is followed by several pages of technical data. and finally, many pages of detail photos. Scale plan views of all variants are included in both 1/72nd (within the text) and 1/48th (separate, loose insert) scales.
The first 70 (out of 160) pages of this book are a mixture of text and photos describing the development and Luftwaffe usage of the Bf-108. The first few chapters cover its design and development. Next up are 15 pages dedicated to Luftwaffe service. Scattered throughout each of these chapters are many photos and some beautifully-done color profiles. In many cases, photos of the profile subject are on the adjoining pages. This is followed by several more chapters covering all technical aspects of the aircraft, covering not only the Bf-108 A, B and D variants, but also the Nord 1000 series (effectively, re-engined “Taifuns”) series of French aircraft built after the Liberation of France. T
he next 38 pages are filled with text, photos, and more very nice profiles all describing the Bf-108 in foreign service. This aircraft was supplied to Germany’s allies; it also served in the RAF and was even operated by the US (at the Berlin embassy prior to the War). Many captured examples were also pressed into service, primarily by the British. A lot of interesting schemes for the modeler are included in this section, most (again) backed up by photos. Following this is a small chapter on survivors – that is, Bf-108s (and Nord 1000s) that are still around today.
The last 46 pages of the book, delineated by light green colored pages, are filled with detail photos covering every aspect of the “Taifun.” There is a mixture of contemporary and modern photos (from Warbirds) in here, as well as some drawings from technical manuals. This is just what the detail-oriented modeler would want – clear, close-up photos of landing gear, engine, cockpit, etc.
MMP’s Bf-108 book is another worthwhile addition to your library, provided you are interested in the subject matter. There are tons of clear photos that will provide excellent detailing information, and the color profiles will certainly provide some modeling inspiration.
Model Airplane International 04/2013 2015-01-23
By Chris Banyai-Riepl
One of the most popular Messerschmitt designs, the Bf 108 Taifun has not had much coverage in print, which is a shame given how attractive the plane is. This latest title from Mushroom Model Publications aims to rectify that lack of coverage, and they definitely filled the gap. This book is easily the most thorough coverage in print on the Bf 108, with a great combination of written text, comprehensive photographs, color illustrations, and scale drawings.
A part of the Mushroom Yellow Series, this book covers the Bf 108 in several distinct sections. The book begins with the development and variant breakdown. This section includes both the Messerschmitt-built examples and the post-war Nord types. Following this is the section on operators, including the many foreign nations that operated the plane in either civil or military guises. The rest of the book provides a detailed photo walkaround of the Bf 108, covering all aspects of the plane in both period and current photographs. Finally, the scale drawings are presented in 1/72 in the pages of the book, and in 1/48 on a sheet of pullout drawings.
If there is one problem with this book it's that there is too much good stuff here. Flipping through the pages it does not take long to find half a dozen schemes that would look good on a model. The color profiles are superb, and are backed up by photos that put the plane in context. The detail photos are clear and offer a wealth of information. The text does an excellent job of outlining the differences between the versions. If you're at all interested in the Bf 108, this is a book definitely worth having.
This is not because the Messerschmitt Bf108 was not a fighter that it should be ignored by publishers. Of course the 108 was mainly designed for civil market, and from the beginning one could be impressed by the elegance of this aircraft rather rare at that time, and very modern, while some air forces in the World was still flying on biplane fighters !
Of course, the war will take the Bf108 far away under unexpected skies and will wear war colors under various national markings. That what it is perfectly described in this book of 160 pages. This is a comprehensive monograph whatever we are talking about the text, photos and color profiles which will inspire more than a modeler. Note that a scale plans sheet are especially inserted for them.
Derivatives, including the Me208 and the French variants are not forgotten. A good book, without any pretentiousness however, regarding the topic, but it deserves to be there.
Scale Aviation Modeller International 2013-05 2015-01-23
Model Aircraft 2013/05 2015-01-23
AIR Modeller 47 2015-01-23
Amazon.fr customer review (1st) 2015-01-23
5.0 étoiles sur 5 ouvrage qui remplie un manque
27 mars 2013 Par Jg Den Hollander
Ce livre est le premier depuis longtemps qui traite du Messerschmitt 108 et de son dérivé Français les Nord 1000 à 1002;.
De plus il est très bien documenté et abordable financièrement.
J'attends la suite avec peut être un jour l'Arado 396 et ses dérivés Français , la série de Sipa 10 ,12, 121
Amazon.com customer review (1) 2015-01-23
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding monograph of a neglected type June 1, 2013
By Jim Davis TOP 1000 REVIEWER
This is the 32nd book (No. 6132) in MMP Books long running Yellow Series. The book is a square bound, 160 page card cover in European B5 (6-1/2" x 9") format with color throughout. There is an unbound foldout so make sure this is included if buying second hand. The book is quite comprehensive. The text covers the design and development history of the aircraft, its civil and military service in prewar and wartime Germany, and its continued production and development in postwar France. There is a detailed technical description. There is a section detailing the aircraft's history in other nations worldwide. The text is supported by tables, photographs (color and black and white), line drawings, drawings from contemporary technical literature, many color profiles (and some plans), and detailed, up close color photos of preserved (and flying) examples. I learned a great deal about this aircraft. Complaints are minor and few. Photo captions mention a "Hirth HM 5U" engine which I think is a typo for the "Hirth HM 8U" engine. Also, it might have been mentioned that the HM 8U became the HM 508 when the Nazis came to power and standardized aeronautical nomenclature. Beyond this, I wish there had been more details about the relationship between the 108 and 109. Were they developed in sequence or parallel?
This book is highly recommended. I can't think of any previous book in English devoted to this aircraft so its appearance is very welcome.
Amazon.com customer review (2nd) 2015-01-23
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellant book on aircraft type. July 9, 2013
By Harry Drennen
Book thoroughly covers the subject from a model builders point of view, Lots of detailed photos. If you want ti build the Eduard kit this is the book to have.
Nigel Moore 2015-01-23
Book Review (with corrections and expansions) of Jan Forsgren: Messerschmitt Bf 108 Taifun (Mushroom Yellow Series No. 6132)
This is the full version of an over-long review I posted on amazon uk.
[Amazon Header is: A rather nice little book on a very nice little aircraft (about which almost nothing is ever written)]
This title covers not only the Bf 108 but also the derivatives of the Nord 1000-series, as well as the Me 208 and the Nord 1100-series. This review is deals solely with the Bf 108/Me 208 content making up the majority of the book.
This is a useful and rather nice little book on a very nice little aircraft about which almost nothing is ever written. The Bf 108 was both a classic, near-perfect, functional design, and when it appeared, the first German embodiment of the revolutionary leap forward to lightweight, all-metal, stressed skin construction. Everything that went into the Bf 108 was re-used in the design of the Bf 109 fighter: Messerschmitt simply took out three seats, added armament and a radio, and substituted an engine of three times the power (and later four to seven times). Had the opposing air forces included a visionary, purchasing a Bf 108 in 1937 would have given a pretty good idea of what the opposition was going to look like.
The Bf 108 was exhibited, demonstrated, raced, and sold to air forces, airlines, clubs, companies and individuals all over the world, including a significant number to companies and individuals within Germany. Most of these orders were for just a single aircraft. So it is a tangled tale of many threads, a lot which have been captured reasonably faithfully here. However, a few important points have been missed, misunderstood or are inadequately addressed.
One of the more complex and strange episodes in the story of the Bf 108 relates to the seven Bf 108 B-0 Null-Serie machines (W.Nr. 823 to 829). Normally the Null-Serie are a small hand-built preproduction batch used to develop production tooling whilst the design is optimised for manufacture in quantity. The account of the Bf 108 B-0s given on p.18 here makes it sound as if an almost ‘normal’ approach was being followed.
However, the order for the seven Bf 108 B-0 Null-Serie was in fact something else again. The RLM ordered two examples to be fitted with the Siemens-Halske SH 14 A engine (a mere 160 PS and only ever used in two-seaters) and the other five B-0 with the Hirth HM 8U (with a respectable 250 PS); not a single one was to be fitted with the superb Argus As 10 C-3 that was used in all Bf 108 standard production examples. Then there was also the curious retention of wing-folding in the B-0. (Wing-folding had stemmed from one of the requirements in the 1934 Challenge rules: it made no sense in a production aircraft.) Meantime Messerschmitt were already preparing series production of the Bf 108 B-1 powered by the unbeatable Argus 10 engine and without folding wings. When RLM Lieferplan 5 came into effect on 01-Apr-37, only two of the seven B-0s had been delivered, both with the weakly SH 14 A [one of which was D-IELE illustrated here at p.26(top)], whilst 29 Argus-engined Bf 108 B-1 had already been delivered to the German government along with a further 17 B-1 commercial sales. In the final upshot, apart from the two SH 14A B-0s, three B-0s were delivered with the Hirth HM 8U engine (D-IAJO, D-IANO & D-IIPY) with the final two B-0s apparently being fitted with the Argus As 10 C. [These were D-IGNY & D-IZTA, the latter generously shown here in photos at pp.32(btm), 73, 115(btm) & 117(btm). D-IONO also claimed on p.18 to be a B-0 fitted with an Argus As 10 engine delivered in 1936, was in fact a B-1.] All in all the B-0s made a strange little tale. Was the SH 14A model possibly explored as a two-seater advanced trainer for the Luftwaffe? Or was this whole blind alley just another of those occasions when the ‘gentlemen of the RLM’ applied special, obstructive rules to Messerschmitt? Strikingly, in almost every one of the Bf 108 side profiles and colour paintings throughout this title the shape of the prop boss and forward cap has been made to look more like that of an aircraft fitted with the spinner that accompanied the variable-pitch MeP-7 propeller rather than the fixed pitch prop actually mostly used (and shown in the related photos here). The problem comes from excluding the prop blades from most drawings, thus introducing a completely artificial spinner line that has no foundation reality. However, even where the prop blades are included, as on pp.24/5, the drawing has not caught the point that the profile of one blade sweeps straight through into the other: there is no spinner-line across the bottoms of the blades. The photos at pp.59, 81 & 153(btm) capture this precisely and in close-up. (Even better is the ultra-clear photo at p.27(btm) in Peter Schmoll’s Mtt-Werke.) The fixed pitch propeller also has a small but prominent fastener protruding from the very front of the cap fixed forward of the boss. For an example in extenso, compare the photos and paintings across pp. 90/3. The drawings on the 1/48th insert capture the correct shape better but are still not perfect: the boss cover protrudes further and is almost conical – see the photo of D-IBFW at p.21, where it is also clear the upper cowling forms a slight lip above the profile of the propeller rear. (To improve engine cooling in early models of the Bf 109 the front of the cowling was also made slightly wider than the diameter of the propeller boss.)
On p.52 the figures for monthly Bf 108 deliveries from the SNCA Nord plant at Les Mureaux are accurate, but only as far as they go. Only monthly aircraft deliveries for the first quarter of 1944 are given: these have been published on the web at the Luftwaffe in Norway SIG site. The rest of the story has to be found in the archives (e.g. on Microfilm T-177, reel no. 42. in the US NARA). To complete the picture the following additions should be made at the foot of p.52: April 8, May 5, June 2, July 4 & August 1. The cumulative total of 159 French-built Bf 108 D-1 given here for the end of Jan-44 is one too many; the correct figure was 158. Adding in the succeeding months there were 191 French-built Bf 108s in total. This figure is confirmed in the table at p.139 of Bettina Glass 2004 dissertation (Der lange Schatten der Rüstung: die Entwicklung der Luftfahrtindustrie im Raum Toulouse von der Mitte der 1930er Jahre bis 1970) published online by the Ruhr-Universität Bochum. By that point German orders for the Bf 108 from Les Mureaux had increased to 795. Not bad for an aircraft where, in the Luftwaffe planning of mid-1940, deliveries were to end in Oct-40.
The idea that the Bf 108 B-1 was the civil version and the Bf 108 B-2 the military version (as stated on p.53) is a myth that was given life in the Bf 108 article of Luftfahrt International #17 (Sep/Oct 1976 issue). It is crystal clear from the Luftwaffe manuals that the sub-types bought by the Luftwaffe were the Bf 108 B-1 and D-1.
Messerschmitt brochures supporting civil sales simply describe the aircraft as the Messerschmitt 108 ‘Taifun’, but this was no more than the B-1 sub-type with a plusher cockpit. There is some evidence though that internally Messerschmitt applied the B-2 designation to aircraft fitted with the variable pitch MeP-7 prop. However, when this prop was standardized on the tropical version of the B-series it still remained a B-1 trop as far as the Luftwaffe was concerned.
There are still a few parts of the Bf 108 story where we do not yet have cut-and-dried answers. However, despite a degree of uncertainty it is still clear that some of the major statements made in this title cannot be correct. There are two main areas of contention. Although we have no definitive documentation it is clear that total Bf 108 production was significantly more than the 699+ aircraft given on p.52. Thanks to Peter Schmoll’s ‘Messerschmitt-Werke’ and to Bettina Glass we already have a reasonably accurate picture of Bf 108 series production from Regensburg and Les Mureaux. The difficulties relate to the earlier Augsburg period. Nevertheless there are sufficient confirmed identities of individual aircraft to reconstruct with fair accuracy a significantly higher total for Bf 108 production. At least 891 Bf 108s were built and delivered in total, comprising: 6 x Bf 108 As (all from BFW AG, Augsburg), 7 x Bf 108 B-0 (Augsburg), 633 x Bf 108 B-1 (171 from Augsburg & 462 from BFW - later Mtt - GmbH, Regensburg) & 245 x Bf 108 D-1 (54 from Regensburg & 191 from Les Mureaux). The series-production blocks by Werk-Nummern (both inclusive) look to be:
Augsburg series production batches
38 x Bf 108 B-1 (W.Nr. 830 to 867, delivered 1935/7) v 7 x Bf 108 B-1 (W.Nr. 871 to 877, delivered 1937)
Together these two blocks made up the initial order quantity of 45 (see the 27-Nov-35 document ‘Planned
Deliveries from 1 October 1935 to 31 March 1937’ quoted in Radinger & Schick: Me 109 A/E p.16). The initial order quantity given here as 32 on p.21 and in the footnote at p.52 (as taken from van Ishoven: Mtt p.92) was not the final quantity of the initial order.
6 x Bf 108 B-1 (W.Nr. 987 to 992, delivered 1937)
65 x Bf 108 B-1 (W.Nr. 1074 to 1138, delivered 1937)
55 x Bf 108 B-1 (W.Nr. 1540 to 1594, delivered 1937/38) Regensburg series production batches
109 x Bf 108 B-1 (W.Nr. 1595 to 1703, delivered 1938) – production was transferred to Regensburg mid-block: the complete W.Nr. block 1540 to 1703 totalled 164 x Bf 108 B-1)
32 x Bf 108 B-1 (W.Nr. 1895 to 1926, delivered 1938)
179 x Bf 108 B-1 (W.Nr. 1980 to 2158, delivered 1938/9)
102 x Bf 108 B-1 (W.Nr. 2199 to 2300, delivered 1939/41)
40 x Bf 108 B-1 (W.Nr. 3001 to 3040, delivered 1941/2)
54 x Bf 108 D-1 (W.Nr. 3041 to 3094, delivered 1942)
Les Mureaux series production batches v191 x Bf 108 D-1 (all in the 5xxx sequence, split something like: W.Nr. 5001 to 5020, W.Nr. 5031 to 5160, W.Nr. 5211 to 5240 & W.Nr. 5251 to 5261 delivered 1942/4)
Still to be worked out is which aircraft were produced as factory-built trop versions of the Bf 108 B-1 and D-1.
Secondly, the Bf 108 Flugzeug-Handbuch section devoted to itemising the differences between the Bf 108 B-1 and D-1 does not support the ideas that the Bf 108 D was fitted as standard with either the As 10 R engine or an Argus propeller (as stated on pp.53 & 56). According to the Fz-Handbuch the Bf 108 D-1 there was no change in engine model but the Messerschmitt MeP-7 variable pitch propeller was standardised. (“Soweit greifbar, ist an Stelle der festen Luftschraube eine Verstell-Luftschraube Me P 7 eingebaut.”) The MeP-7 propeller is easily distinguished from the earlier fixed-pitch propellers by its longer and smoother spinner. (Compare the photos at pp.27 & 147; also the photos on the web of Sonderkommando Blaich’s Bf 109 D-1 trop, KG+EM. There are precious few photographs here though of Luftwaffe Bf 108s fitted with either a MeP-7 or an Argus propeller.)
Yet some Luftwaffe Bf 108s were undeniably fitted with the Argus variable-pitch propeller with its characteristic much-extended, vaned hub, as illustrated in the drawing and photo on p.53 as well as seen in the photo at pp. 51(top). Probably the substitution of an Argus propeller on some aircraft followed the issue of a Luftwaffe technical change note (Änderungs-Anweisung) to be applied by units or workshops in particular circumstances. However, this change definitely did not alter the sub-type designation. (More research is needed. Perhaps the Spanish Air Force have a complete set of Bf 108 ÄA?)
Some simply daft mistakes have also crept into this book:
pp.5 & 21 On 24 July, 1936 the BFW company did not change its name to Messerschmitt GmbH. There were two completely independent Messerschmitt legal entities. The privately-owned Bayerische Flugzeugwerke A.G. designed and built aircraft, and was renamed as Messerchmitt A.G. in Sep-38. It was the majority government-owned Bayerische Flugzeugwerke Regensburg GmbH that was formed on 24-Jul-36. This company only built aircraft under licence in an arrangement that paralleled the ‘shadow factory’ scheme of the UK’s rearmament. In turn the Regensburg company was renamed Messerschmitt GmbH on 13-Nov-1940. Both Messerschmitt AG & Messerschmitt GmbH continued as separate legal entities to the end of the Reich.
p.8 There were only ever six (not seven) Bf 108 A-series (Versuchs) aircraft produced: these were assigned W.Nr. 695 to 700 (both inclusive). The Bf 108 A-series, as all other Bf 108s, was designed as a four-seater: for competitions the two rear seats were not mounted. D-IBRE was a series-production Bf 108 B-1, not a Bf 108 A as mentioned here.
P.21 Elly Beinhorn’s Aug-35 flight was made in Bf 108 A, D-IJES, not a Bf 108 B as stated here in the preceding sentence. No Bf 108 Bs were delivered until late 1936.
p.23 The top drawing is of a Bf 108 B-0 (not a B-1). The drawing of the Bf 108 B-1 immediately below is a ‘Normalausführung’ fitted with the Argus As 10 C engine. The bottom drawing is a Bf 108 D-1 (not a B): no B-series Bf 108 was ever fitted with this type of fin & rudder.
p.26 The aircraft in the top photo is clearly Bf 108 B-0 D-IELE (not Bf 108 A D-IZAN). This was not “experimentally fitted with a … SH 14A radial” but was specifically ordered with this low-powered engine by a perverse RLM. D-IELE was the aircraft flown daily between Berlin and Stockholm during the 1936 Olympics, as described here on p.21.
p.27 D-IOIO was W.Nr. 2122: it was built at Regensburg and would have been delivered around the last third of 1939 (not in 1935 as stated here). In Apr-40 this aircraft was used to test a MeP-7 propeller with experimental automated variable pitch control. (Radinger & Schick: Me 109 A/E p.130)
p.42 The sub-type in the caption to the right-hand aircraft (KG+EM) should be Bf 108 D-1 trop
p.46 The Stammkz in the caption to the left-hand aircraft should be BD+JG.
p.47 NF+MS was Bf 108 B-1, W.Nr. 2249, not 2236 (table Schmoll: Mtt-Werke p.207)
p.52 It was in Jan-38 that the first Bf 108 was completed at Regensburg (Schmoll: Mtt-Werke p.14): the date of Jul-38 given here is entirely too late. In the Augsburg column of the table, the figure of 7 for 1936 actually belongs in the 1935 row [see van Ishoven: Messerschmitt p.93]. Rather than “some 500”, total Bf 108 production from Regensburg has been documented exactly as 516 (see P. Schmoll: Mtt-Werke pp.201 & 205).
p.54 The wings of the Bf 108 B-1 were not foldable. The wing-folding facility was only included in the Bf 108 A Versuchsmaschinen and the B-0 Null-Serie. On all other Bf 108s the wings were fixed but detachable in the normal fashion.
p.56 The Bf 108 D-series was fitted with the exact same engine type as the B-series, and not with the Argus As 10 R as stated here. The As 10 R as a series production engine is a myth.
p.56 Strike the words “fitted in the fuselage” from the first line of the ‘Fuel system’ section. The sentence is then accurate.
p.60 For now we know only four facts about the aircraft of the Me 208 program. Five Me 208 Versuchsmaschinen were ordered from Mtt/SNCAN by the RLM. Only the Me 208 V1 was ever completed and this was first flown in Jul-43: no Me 208 V2 ever left the assembly hanger (so the statement that there were two prototypes on each of pp.5 & 60 is wrong). Not long after, on 03-Sep-43, Les Mureaux was heavily bombed by the 8th Air Force, and, amongst other consequences the whole Me 208 program was abandoned: it was hardly going to move the war in Germany’s favour during 1944. Prior to the appearance of the Me 208 V1, a Bf 108 D-1 built under licence by SNCAN had been fitted at Les Mureaux with a nose wheel for preliminary trials (using the tailwheel of a Potez 63): this was first flown in Oct-42. (See Ebert+Kaiser+Peters: Willy Mtt pp.108/9.) GK+RZ probably was the Me 208 V1 – the Stammkz. is from a sequence used for Les Mureaux Bf 108s in 1943, but KR+BZ was not the Me 208 V2; more plausible is that this was the SNCAN Bf 108 D-1 modified for the preliminary nosewheel trials (and possibly W.Nr. 5020). The Me 208 was to be fitted with the Argus As 10 P also of 240 h.p., not with a suddenly-more-powerful As 10 C as stated here.
p. 143 The wings could only be folded in the six Bf 108 A-series and the seven Bf 108 B-0 Null-Serie machines. Although the caption implies this was the general case, wing-folding was not included in any Bf 108 series production aircraft. With wings demounted the aircraft appeared as shown in the photo at p.118(top); there is clearly no boss present here around which the outer wing can be rotated.
p.146 Here we have a 24-carat howler: the two drawings at the foot have been taken from a Bf 109 Technical Manual: the lower profile of the horn balance is completely different in the Bf 108. A drawing of a genuine Bf 108 B-series tailplane appears on p.55 and in the photos at p.159(top & mid). For the D-series the protruding horn balance was eliminated and replaced by a counterweight on a prong at the top of the rudder (photos at pp.52, 95 & 96(btm).
Insert with 1/48th scale drawings: the side view labelled Bf 108 C1 is actually a Bf 108 B-0 fitted with the SH 14 A radial engine. It is another hoary Bf 108 myth erroneously propagated by the 1976 article in Luftfahrt International #17, that the SH 14-engined Bf 108s were the Mustermaschinen for a proposed C-series. They weren’t. As the Messerschmitt sales brochure for the Bf 108 makes abundantly clear the airframe was a four-seater designed to take any modern aero engine outputting between 180 and 250 PS, and not weighing more than 200 kg. The single C-series Bf 108 was W.Nr. 1078 fitted with the HM 508 C engine. (To this same point corrections are also needed in the text at pp.5 and 22.)
A few other sundry observations and additions:
p.5 At least into 1940, the RLM & Luftwaffe classified the Bf 108 as a Reiseflugzeug (touring aircraft = light personnel transport), and the Fi 156 as a Verbindungsflugzeug (liaison aircraft). Only later in the war was the Verbindungs classification expanded and applied to both designs. In the RAF the Bf 108 would have been classified as a light communications aircraft. (Although the RAF had to trundle around in fixed-undercarriage wooden Percival Proctors, cruising at 225 km/h compared to the 250 km/h of the Bf 108.)
p.14 The photos on this page and at the top of p.15 document the elimination of the upper tailplane bracing struts during the continuing development of the Bf 108 A airframes. (Not just as part of the redesign for the B-series, as claimed in some other accounts.) Note that fixing points are still apparent on both surfaces: clearly the original parts were not replaced with new ones. pp.20/1 The logo visible on the prop blades seen across these two pages (and elsewhere in this work) is that of the Schwarz company (photo Schmoll: Mtt-Werke p.27(btm)). The Luftwaffe required that prop blades be painted, so no logos on their blades. (Despite the setting, the Bf 108 in the photo at the top of p.39 is probably a civil or a recently impressed ex-civil machine. That captured in the photo at the foot of p.59 will also be an impressed civil machine.)
p.22 The landing speed of “in the region of 70 km/h” given in the Flight article slightly overpraises the Bf 108: according to the aircraft manual it was actually 85 km/h. The track width of the Bf 108 was 1,492 mm., so it was even narrower than the Bf 109 (1,975 mm until the E-series, becoming 2,062 mm. with the Bf 109 F). Landing the Bf 108 has never been described as challenging. It was not the narrowness of the Bf 109’s undercarriage alone then that caused the difficulties.
p.27 A Marg. Thiel Werkfoto in colour of D-IOIO appeared in an early-war Messerschmitt calendar. This shows the same scheme but in a deep blue (slightly darker than Spanish Blue) and creamy white, with the upper framing of the canopy left in clear metal.
p.28 The shade of blue used here is far too dark. The colour was apparently called Kobaltblau but in contemporary photographs it actually presents somewhere between the Powder Blue and Cerulean Blue shades in the Winsor and Newton range of acrylics. (For example, see the photo on the outside back cover of Luftfahrt International #17.)
p.29 D-IMTT was B-1, W.Nr. 1545 and D-IGNY was B-0, W.Nr. 825.
p.43 painting of KG+EM Apparently Efta Einak is the pidgin Arabic equivalent of “Holzauge, sei wachsam” (see http//forums.gunboards.com/ … Weekend-Quiz-4U-(Sonderkommando-Blaich- etc).
pp.45/5 Bf 108 B-1, Stammkz. TI+EY in the paintings across these two pages was W.Nr. 2299, and would have been delivered to the Lw c.Jun-41. So the I. Gruppe Stab of JG 27 would have been the first holder. pp.99/100 Schmoll: Mtt-Werke at p.27(top) has a photo of Bf 108 YR-MDR being taken over by the Rumanian Air Force in Regensburg during 1939. It is possible this is the third, missing ‘civil’ pre-war Romanian Bf 108 registration.
p.53 A Bf 108 D-series was already under consideration by mid-1938: the title of the Bf 108 Fz-Handbuch issued in July that year indicated that it was for both the B- and the D-series. Although the contents only covered the B-series, the implicit message was that differences between the two series would only be minor. The only definitive way of externally distinguishing the two series is by the differences in the fin and rudder, and the related counter-balance arrangements.
p.100 It was three Bf 108s that were transferred from the Legion Condor to the Spanish Air Force at the end of the Civil War [Serrano: Unidades y el Material pp.145/7]. These were 44*7/*8/*9, strongly suggesting that nine Bf 108s in all were sent to serve in Spain.
p.107 Messerschmitt company records show 17 (not 13) Bf 108 Bs delivered to Yugoslavia in 1939 as fuselages only (table at Schmoll: Mtt-Werke p.28). Presumably construction was completed in Yugoslavia.
pp.110/1 for clarity, the surviving Bf 108 shown carrying the post-war registration D-IOIO is not the same aircraft that was registered with this code pre-war. The original Bf 108 B-1, D-IOIO was W.Nr. 2122; in Sep-41 this aircraft was assigned Stammkz. DI+CB. “The machine remained in use by Messerschmitt as a courier aircraft until January 1942." (Radinger & Schick: Me 109 A/E p.130). W.Nr. 2064, carrying the post-war registration D-IOIO, was originally delivered from Regensburg in May-39 as the Swiss HB-EKO (Trenkle photo in Schmoll: Mtt-Werke p.25).
p.118 photo D-IRNU, W.Nr. 990 was used by Messerschmitt for trials of the Bf 108 with the Me.P.7 propeller. The first flight with this propeller was on 08-Jul-37 [see text Radinger+Schick: Bf 109 A-E (Schiffer) p.128]
It would be nice to see a corrected and expanded reissue of this title in the Mushroom Orange (history) series.
From 1935 to 1939 the aviation press (‘Flugsport’, ‘Flight’, ‘Aeroplane’, ‘Luftwissen’ etc.) was stuffed with articles featuring or mentioning the Bf 108 so there is plenty of material available to fill out the story of this superb aircraft. Indeed, to do it full justice the Bf 108 really deserves a far larger work that includes coverage of:
all the aviation exhibitions where a Bf 108 was displayed,
all air races and competitions of the late-30s in which Bf 108s participated,
all epic journeys flown in Bf 108s,
a detailed tabling of all genuinely civilian-owned Bf 108s. At least 39 civil Bf 108 B-1 deliveries were made within Germany, of which 36 can still be identified by registration, and a minimum of a further 33 civil sales were made abroad. (This count includes all sales to Manchukuo Air Transport but excludes those aircraft sold on to a foreign civil owner by a German civil owner).
something of the story attaching to the approximately 15 Bf 108 Bs used by the various non-civilian organizations of the Reich (the DVL, the NSFKK and the Deutsche Arbeitsfront),
an expanded account of the Bf 108 in Luftwaffe service.
Regardless of its limitations and imperfections though this book is still an essential (and very affordable) title for anyone with an affection for or interest in the Bf 108.
Amazon.co.uk bestseller list 2015-01-23
Airfix Model World 02/2015 2015-01-23
Today I will take a quick look at the latest from the MMP 'Yellow Series' of books, covering the Messerschmitt Bf108 Taifun. These books are similar in parts to the Valiant Wings series I have reviewed, as well as having elements of the well known Squadron 'Walk Around' books. This one is 160pages long, and looks at what for most people is either a forgotten or relatively anonymous design, and yet one which historically is rather important.
The Bf108 Taifun (German for Typhoon) was developed by a Willy Messerschmitt-led design team in the early 1930s, and first flew in 1934. Envisaged as a civil touring and communications aircraft, it went on to serve extensively for the German Luftwaffe as a liaison, ferry and general 'hack' craft, and it was still flying for both the French and Swiss armed forces into the late 1950s. The design itself was notable for being aerodynamically clean, single (low) wing, of all metal construction, with a retractable undercarriage: all fairly standard you might think, but for the early 1930s all of these features combined was quite rare. Perhaps more importantly, the 108 was in many respects the pre-cursor for Messerchmitt's most famous and most successful design, the Bf109.
The book is not divided into chapters as such, but a Contents page does provide a breakdown of the areas covered. This begins with the historical background, and the air races that were so prominent at the time, before moving on to some of the politics and in-fighting between the highest ranking aviation officials in Nazi Germany, and its impact on Messerschmitt. We then get a basic overview of the aircraft, its Luftwaffe service and slightly more detailed look at its constituent parts; all are supported by numerous photographs (mainly in black and white), as well as some plan views and colour profiles. There is also a set of pull-out plans with the book, but no scale is given.
The abortive Me208 is mentioned briefly, as well as a look at the Nord 1000 Series - these were aircraft produced in French factories (initially) during the war, but post Liberation. The second half of the book is divided relatively evenly between foreign operators of the 108 (and Nord), and then walkarounds of a number of surviving Me108s.
A nice little handbook covering a rather overlooked type. It will be a useful introductory guide for those seeking to dip their toe into all things Me108. The format may require a little re-jigging for a more mainstream aircraft where a deeper level of developmental or technical detail is required, but for the 108 it is just about right I think.
With thanks to MMP Books for the review sample. To purchase directly, click THIS link.
Amazon.co.uk bestseller list 2015-01-23
Reviewed by Brad Fallen
F i r s t R e a d
Following hard on the heels of MMP’s excellent Yellow Series book on the Fieseler Fi 156 Storch is this similar guide to the Messerschmitt Bf 108 Taifun. Like the Storch, the Bf 108 was an important communications aircraft that served with the Luftwaffe on all fronts in World War 2. The Bf 108 was a beautiful, highly streamlined design with clear family links to Messerschmitt’s later Bf 109. These points, along with the wide variety of Taifun livery and the availability of several excellent kits on the subject, make the Bf 108 an attractive modeling subject. And if you are contemplating a Taifun project, then you will likely find this book very useful.
Author Jan Forsgren has structured his guide as follows:
Taifun genesis and development, including a description of events at the 1934 Challenge de Tourisme International in Poland where the Bf 108 design was vindicated in competition, and extensive period photographs of the initial Bf 108 A variant. Detailed coverage of the main Bf 108 B variant, including technical information and production and service details, again accompanied by numerous period photos.
Descriptions of three further variants: the abortive Me 208 and Me 108 F designs (the latter a 1970s attempt to restore the type to limited production), and the more successful Nord 1000 series, which was the result of continued output from the Bf 108 production line in France until mid-1946.
Extensive coverage of Bf 108s operated by or in countries other than Germany – I counted 19 – accompanied by a very useful combination of photographs and colour profiles, followed by a brief photo essay of Bf 108 survivors.
The book concludes with nearly 50 pages of walkaround detail photographs, covering most parts of the airframe. The photos are a mixture of period and current photographs, enabling you to compare similar details on different machines.
A separate fold out sheet, four times larger than the book itself, of Bf 108 plans. One side has upper and lower view plans in 1/48 scale, while the other side has 1/48 Bf 108 A, Bf 108 B, Bf 108 C-1, and Bf 108 D port profiles, as well as a front view of a Bf 108 B.
The overall quality of the publication is very good. The author’s writing is easy to read, and the illustrations are well chosen and clearly reproduced.
The only thing I can be critical of is a pagination error – after the first 50 pages or so, the page numbers listed against the chapter headings don’t match the page numbers that the chapters are really on.
This minor gripe aside, I can highly recommend MMP’s ‘Messerschmitt Bf 108 Taifun’ to anyone with an interest in this important design, from either a modeling or general interest perspective. I know that when I do drag my 1/48 Eduard Bf 108 kit from the stash, this guide will be on my bench as a one-stop reference for when I am detailing and painting my model.
My only problem, I think, will be choosing which of the book’s many interesting and colourful schemes I will depict on my model!
Revi 94 2015-01-23
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