Corgi AA27103 German Messerschmitt Bf 109G-6 "Gustav" Fighter - "Yellow 6," Ofw. Alfred Surau, 9./Jagdgeschwader 3 "Udet," Germany, September 1943 (1:72 Scale)
"Guns before butter. Guns will make us powerful; butter will only make us fat."
- Reichsmarschall Hermann Goering, Head of the German Luftwaffe
Numerically the most abundant fighter produced by either side during WWII, the Messerschmitt Bf 109 formed the backbone of the Jagdwaffe on both the eastern and western fronts, as well as in the Mediterranean and North Africa. Of the eight distinct sub-types within the huge Bf 109 family, the most populous was the G-model, of which over 30,000 were built between 1941-45. Despite its production run, only a handful of genuine German Bf 109s have survived into the 1990s, and with the serious damaging of the RAFs G-2 at Duxford in October 1997, only the German-based MBB G-6 and Hans Ditte's G-10 (both composites) are currently airworthy.
The Bf 109 G-series was developed from the largely identical F-series airframe, although there were detail differences. Modifications included a reinforced wing structure, an internal bullet-proof windscreen, the use of heavier, welded framing for the cockpit transparencies, and additional light-alloy armor for the fuel tank. It was originally intended that the wheel wells would incorporate small doors to cover the outer portion of the wheels when retracted. To incorporate these the outer wheel bays were squared off. Two small inlet scoops for additional cooling of the spark plugs were added on both sides of the forward engine cowlings. A less obvious difference was the omission of the boundary layer bypass outlets, which had been a feature of the F-series, on the upper radiator flaps.
Like most German aircraft produced in World War II, the Bf 109 G-series was designed to adapt to different operational tasks with greater versatility; larger modifications to fulfill a specific mission task, such as long-range reconnaissance or long-range fighter-bomber, were with "Ruststand" and given a "/R" suffix, smaller modifications on the production line or during overhaul, such as equipment changes, were made with kits of pre-packaged parts known as Umrust-Bausatze, usually contracted to Umbau and given a "/U" suffix. Field kits known as Rustsatze were also available but those did not change the aircraft designation. Special high-altitude interceptors with GM-1 nitrous oxide injection high-altitude boost and pressurized cockpits were also produced.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale replica of a German Messerschmitt Bf 109G-6 "Gustav" fighter that was piloted by Alfred Surau, who was attached to 9./JG3 "Udet," then deployed to Germany during September 1943.
Release Date: April 2014
Historical Account: "Eye Candy" - Sporting elaborate eye markings on the cannon bulges, this Messerschmitt Bf109G-6 of 9. Staffel was flown by one of the Luftwaffe's shortest lived, but most effective aces. Alfred Surau scored his first kill on February 28th, 1943, while flying on the Russian front. When III./JG3 was transferred to the Western Front his kill tally had reached 41 in just six months. The skilled veterans of the Eastern Campaign made III./JG3 one of the most effective in the Luftwaffe at downing the USAAF heavy bombers that now threatened German cities and industry on a daily basis.
While the Bf109G-6 was not the most effective machine for tackling the big heavy bombers it was still capable of some successes. Surau's winning streak was not to last. On October 14th, 1943, return fire from a B17, his 46th and final kill, fatally injured him. He bailed out but died of his injuries later that day.