Last post, I left off with the last combat action of Messerschmitt Bf 109 410077 and its Spring 1944 descent into the frigid waters of Estonia's Lake Swiblo. Almost 50 years later in 1990, it was raised to the surface and recovered by a group of Russian aircraft enthusiasts who worked at a small Moscow company called "Retrotechnika", who upon recovery, transported it to Moscow. Copies of newspaper articles documenting the recovery (in German) are with the aircraft and one is shown below.
Around 1990-1992, the Bf 109 was moved to Tuchino AFB in Moscow and stored. Soon after, it came to Georgia, USA and was offered for sale on the warbird market by Ben Kolotin of a firm called "Kolair". The plane was then purchased, along with an earlier Bf 109 G-2, parts of another G-6 and several wings, by noted collector the late Ed Zaleski of British Columbia, Canada, who passed away in 2009. According to Mr. Zaleski's son Mark, the aircraft and components were stored in Washington State, USA.
Next, the aircraft and parts inventory was sold by Mr. Zaleski to Mr. David Prewett of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, who purchased the aircraft in 1999 for restoration, moving it from Canada to Australia. Over the next few years, Mr. Prewett acquired two spare engines, comprising one DB 605 cylinder block, crankshaft and connecting rods, as well as an assembled, detailed and very complete (possibly overhauled) DB 605 engine. The overhauled unit is remarkably complete and highly detailed, including a turbo-supercharger and fuel-injection plumbing.
Propeller hub assembly and five prop blades, with two mounted for the photo. Note the assembled DB 605 V-12 within its cradle on the left, the spare DB 605 cylinder block, and the aircraft's original, battle-damaged DB 605/601 engine to the right.
|A view of the overhauled and impressivley detailed Daimler-Benz DB 605 inverted V-12 engine. |
|Original, battle-damaged DB 605/601 V-12 engine (DB 605 engine block, DB 601 cylinder heads). Note damage to cylinder block, exposing cylinder sleeves. Parts of valvetrain visible as well.|
|Spare DB 605 crankshaft, appearing fresh from the machine-shop.|
|Carefully boxed spare DB 605 connecting rod assemblies.|
|The airframe of the Bf 109 is incredibly preserved. Restoration was begun under Mr. Prewett's ownership of the project, most evident here at the windscreen framing and firewall. |
|The wings retain their original Luftwaffe cross markings. Original windscreen framing and upper cowling seen as well. The black sqauarish item underneath is the aircraft's original fuselage-mounted fuel cell.|
|Main fuselage section, wing and wingtip.|
|View of the impressively restored cockpit, with instrumentation, controls and restored/refabricated forward cockpit canopy section.|
|Closeup of the instrument panel.|
|Upper engine cowling, with ducts for the twin machine-gun barrels and "blister" fairings for the machine-gun breeches.|
During his tenure, Mr. Prewett also accumulated an amazing amount of documents, including blueprints, workshop manuals, parts catalogues, technical drawings, and more. These documents cover all systems of the aircraft, including the Daimler-Benz DB 605 engine. Some have been translated to English.
Airframe as recovered
2 RH type F wings
Pair engine mounts
Pair undercarriage legs and mounting brackets.
Bomb /belly tank mounting frame
DB 601 engine badly damaged
Parts subsequently acquired over the years
DB 605 cylinder liners
Centre and rear cockpit canopy
Main wheels and tail wheel with tyres
Port side brake assembly
Tail wheel strut
Supercharger and oil pump
Complete instrument panel
Undercarriage hydraulic cylinder
10 x cowl latches
Fuel and oil caps
Relay assembly for magneto
External power socket
2 x hydraulic pumps,
Firewall hydraulic units
2 x oxygen bottles
Electric starter motor
Fuel injection pump
12 Fuel injector nozzles
24 spark plugs
2 coolant tanks
New "old stock" bolts studs and circlips
Umformer- inverter for artificial horizon
Engine workshop manuals
Parts book, "K" version, Tragwerk rechts
Parts book, "K" version, Tragwerk links
Parts book "K" version Rumph, fuselage
Parts book "K" version Triebwerk, engine systems, attachments and cowlings
Parts book G1-G6 version, fuselage, landing gear,fuel systems, cooling systems, hydraulic systems, control systems.
Parts book G1-G6 version, engine attachments and systems, armaments, radios.
Parts books F/G-G2 similar to above.
Ersatzerliste Fur DB 605A/B, Engine parts book
Einspritz gerate fur DB flugmotoren
DB 605A/B flugmotoren handbuch (English)
DB603 flugmotren handbuch
Reparatur anleitung DB605A/B, engine repair manual.
Einbau-mappe fur den DB605A/B flugmotor, engine repair manual
DB601E-G, 603 A-F 605A-C, flugmotoren Schlosser, engine repair manual.
G2 G6 Flight manual, translated from Finnish into English.
German Aircraft standards 1920-1939.
BF109G1-K4 engines and fitting (English)
BF109G2-G6 flight manuals (translated from Finnish to English)
BF109G2 Electrical . Finnish State Aircraft Factory.
F1-F4 Teil 8A Schubwaffenlage (armament) MG17/FF & 151
G5 Teil 8A Schubwaffenlage MG151 -2x 131
G6U4 Teil 8A Schubwaffenlage MK108-2x131
G6U4 Teil 0 Allgemiene angaben
G3 Teil 9D Bordenfunkanlage (radio) FuG16-17-25
G3 Teil 0 Allgemeine angaben
G3 Teil 0 Beheift 1
G5 Teil 0 Allgemaine angaben
G5 Teil 7C, GMI anlage, nitrous oxide.
K4 Teil 9B Electriches bordnetz
Wiring schematic derived from Finnish G2