A Deadly Foe in the Battle of Britain and Throughout the War
with the same flaw at the Spitfire: Landing Gear Collapse
A crashed Messerschmitt Bf 109B, circa 1940. Scanned from the original German 18x13cm glass negative.
(Photo courtesy of Shorpy.com. Posted on Shorpy by D. Chadwick)
This photo illustrates the weakness of the undercarriage of the ME-109 which I wrote a post about a few weeks ago. The RAF Spitfire had the same problem. Since the fuselages of both aircraft were so narrow their landing gear had to fold outboard instead of inboard. Part of the problem was the wing already had lots of stuff built into like machine guns, fuel tanks, control surfaces et al so there wasn’t a lot of room. Designers were well aware of the lack of robustness of the landing gear in both types of aircraft but there wasn’t much they could do. Landing gear had to be restricted in size and weight and the end result was often what you see above.
Posted by writer Charles McCain, author of the World War Two naval epic: An Honorable German.
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