Avia S-199 Closeup
by Norman Graf
During the Second World War, Messerschmitt Bf 109 aircraft were produced in factories in occupied Czechoslovakia. After the end of the war, production continued under the designation Avia S-99. When the stocks of Daimler-Benz 605 engines were exhausted, the remaining airframes were modified to use the Junkers 211 engines, which were still in good supply.
The combination of the airframe and the much heavier and more powerful powerplant was not ideal, resulting in a nose-heavy aircraft with poor handling characteristics. The Czech nickname for this airplane was "Mezek", the word for mule, due to its stubbornness. This became the Avia S-199, which was used by the Czechoslovak Air Force until 1955, numbers of which were also sold to the nascent Israeli Air Force.
The Avia S-199 at the Kbely Aviation Museum outside Prague, Czech Republic, call sign UF-25 (works number S-199.178), is housed in a dimly-lit hanger crowded in with many other exhibits. Clear overview photographs are difficult to obtain. The following photographs concentrate, therefore, on close-ups of the aircraft's unique features, mainly the bulges in the nose of the aircraft necessitated by the introduction of the Jumo 211 and the new cockpit canopy. The aircraft is painted in overall RLM 02 with national markings on the tail and upper and lower wing surfaces. There is rather extensive stenciling and all air inlets seem to be highlighted in blue.
The distinctive nose of the S-199 sports the large bulge covering the cowl-mounted 13mm machine gun breech and spent link ejection chute inherited from the Bf109-G6 and the horizontal bulge covering the engine bearer arm of the larger Jumo 211 engine.
Port view of the nose.
Starboard view of the nose.
The starboard-side air intake.
The black circle in front of the starboard windscreen is the flare port, through which the pilot could fire colored communication flares. Note the subtleness of the overwing bulges which accommodated the larger tires of later models of the Bf109.
Note mass balance on aileron and the bulged canopy in this starboard view.
Here are various views of the new cockpit canopy. Note the larger, bulged, all Plexiglas sliding rear section and the head armor with support struts.
The black shape behind the canopy is the retractable cover of the handhold used by the pilot when boarding the aircraft. The black half-moon shape with the arrow pointing at it is the toe-hold. The blue square is a cockpit cooling vent which could be opened and closed by the pilot.
The head armor and support are shown well in this photo. Note the guide rail for the sliding cockpit canopy.
The blue and white striped circle is the cover for the oxygen filling point.
Note again the bulge in the wing to accommodate the larger tires of late model Bf109's.
Port and starboard views of the rear fuselage showing marking and stencil locations.
Two views of the S-199 undercarriage show the wide stance characteristic of late-model Bf109's. The mounting point for the centerline drop tank is also shown to advantage here. Notice the asymmetric bulge in the lower engine cowling and the prominent bulge in the center protecting a filter for the Jumo 211 engine.
The four pylons are the supports and anti-sway braces for the central fuel drop tank.
Two views of the outboard 20mm cannon in its underwing gondola. Note also the FuG16ZY antenna.
Text and Images Copyright © 2000 by Norman