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Luftwaffe Fighter Plane radio configuration infographic
Old 03-13-2018, 01:05 PM   #1
Funksammler is offline
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Normandy
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Default Luftwaffe Fighter Plane radio configuration infographic

Ever wondered when the FuG16 was introduced into the Luftwaffe fighter planes? The information available is sketchy at best, so I started collating fighter aircraft production data and cross referencing it to a number of FuG16 related milestones.

The infographic is limited to the Bf109 and the Fw190, the main day fighter types used by the Luftwaffe. Not all but certainly the major production variants are shown. I have not shown the pressurised BF109 variants separately, it is assumed that for example the Bf109-G1 and G2 have an identical radio installation.

The infographic shows the type of radio build in at production, there is evidence that aircraft originally fitted with the FuG VII were sometimes retrofitted with FuG16 radios for trials and test. It seems that JG1 was the main area for experimentation. It is clear that these early tests were done with units operating over the Reich and it's western approaches. Units operating over enemy territory were usually not early adopters to prevent the latest equipment from falling into enemy hands.

I have tried to confirm the data by cross referencing period photographs of aircraft and instrument panels. Some sub-versions are difficult to tell apart and the tell-tale antenna configurations can not always be recognised. This photographic study has led me to the conclusion that the FuG16 (the standard two way radio without provisions for "Zielflug" originally intended only for bombers) was used for a short period before the Fug16Z was introduced with it's tell-tale DF-loop.

When the FuG16ze and FuG16zy were introduced, it does not mean that every aircraft produced was fitted with these radios. The ze and zy versions were only used in a percentage of aircraft, only form mid 1944 did the FuG16zy become the standard radio fitted to all new fighter aircraft.

There is virtually no information to be found on the FuG16zs (the "s" stands for "Schlagd" or ground support aircraft). Most surviving examples of the FuG16zs were produced in the final months of the war so their use was probably not widespread on the Bf109 and Fw190. The FuG16zs probably could be used on the standard FuG16z/zy radio mountings with minimal modifications.

I hope this information lifts some of the fog about the radios used on various fighter versions. Corrections and additional information are always welcome!



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