DB 601 A-1
The Bf-110 was designed as a multi-purpose heavy fighter with long range capabilities that could also serve in the role of bomber escort. The Bf-110 saw success in the Polish and French campaigns, but the Battle of Britain would be the turning point for the Bf-110 as a heavy daytime fighter.
With its long range capabilities, its ability to carry 1000 kilograms of ordinance, and its fearsome forward-firing guns; the Bf-110 was one of the most versatile aircraft of the war. It wasn’t until the Battle of Britain that the Bf-110’s fatal flaw was discovered: its lack of agility.
Against a formation of bombers, the Bf-110 was deadly: its four 7.92mm machine guns and its two 20mm cannons could shred a bomber with just a quick squeeze of the trigger. It is also ideal for low altitude bombing raids against strategic targets such as ships and ground positions.
Piloting a Bf-110 in the Battle of Britain was a dangerous job: do you have what it takes?
Two flyable Bf-110 variants are in the game, the C-4 model and the C-7 model. Both models are virtually identical. The major difference is that the C-7 has provisions to carry up to 1000 kilograms of bombs under its fuselage with the use of a bomb rack. This bomb rack even when empty will create drag and cause the C-7 to fly just a bit slower than the C-4.
The Bf-110 has two Daimler-Benz DB601 engines that power a variable pitch prop controlled by an electric motor. Prop pitch is controlled by two levers on the left side of the instrument panel. With both engines in working condition the levers are operated simultaneously to maintain even RPMs. Engines should both be operated identically until such time as one becomes damaged, then it will be necessary to control the engines separately.
Pushing the levers up will increase the RPMs of the engines, and pushing the levers down will decrease the RPMs. It is the responsibility of the pilot to maintain the engine RPMs within their operational limits throughout the flight; failure to maintain the limits will eventually result in engine damage for high RPMs, and reduced performance with consequent low RPMs.
Landing flaps are hydraulic in the Bf-110 so it is necessary to have the engines running in order to operate the flaps. Flap control is activated with a two-button-three-position switch on the left side of the instrument panel below the gear indicator lights. There are two green/red push button switches in this area of the cockpit, the upper two-button switch controls the landing gear and the lower switch controls the flaps. With the green button marked “Aus” pushed in and the engines running, the flaps will continue to deploy until they reach the fully deployed position. If the button is pulled out, the flaps will stop in their current position. If the red button marked “Ein” is pushed, the flaps will retract until they reach their fully retracted position. With both buttons in the “pulled out” or “neutral” position the flaps will not move. When the flaps reach either the fully retracted or fully deployed position the switch should be set back to neutral to avoid strain on the hydraulic motors. (This isn’t modelled in the game but it’s a good habit to get into. I recommend using separate commands for “Undercarriage Up” and “Undercarriage Down” as well as “Flaps Up” and “Flaps Down” - not the default “toggle” commands.)
Note: *Operation of “Gear and Flaps Switches” is illustrated in a section below.
The Bf-110 is equipped with a course autopilot that will control your rudder and hold you on a specified course. The course autopilot will not control your altitude: it is up to the pilot to trim the elevator for level flight if this is what is desired.
The Directional Gyro should be calibrated to the same bearing as the Repeater Compass on the ground and then fine-tuned once lined up on the runway. Ground turning will cause the gyro to fall out of sync. It will also be necessary to occasionally sync up the gyro during flight. It’s also normal for the Course Pre-set to differ slightly (3-7 degrees) from the actual bearing.
In the above image the Repeater Compass is pointing to 266 Degrees and the Directional Gyro has been set to the same bearing. The Course Pre-set is set to 060 Degrees, the direction of intended travel. Before engaging the Course Autopilot, point the aircraft as close as possible to the Course Pre-set before engaging the Course Autopilot; this will avoid a violent roll as the plane turns to the Pre-set bearing. The inset image shows the location of the Course Autopilot ON – OFF switch located behind the gun sight.
The pictures below show the operational positions of the gear and flap switches.
Click on an image to enlarge
The Bf-110 uses a rather complex fuel system. This plane has four fuel tanks: two main tanks and two reserve tanks. The main tanks are located between the fuselage and the engines on either wing with the main tank in the front and the reserve tank behind the main tank. Fuel is fed to the engine from the main tanks only - when the main tanks drop below 100 litres, red lights will illuminate on the instrument panel. Once the main tank warning lights come on you can then transfer fuel from the reserve tanks into the main tanks. This transfer of fuel is rather complex, so the images below should help clarify the process.
In the above image you’ll see the components of the Fuel System Contents Gauges and the Indicators. To save space, one contents gauge is used for all four tanks and switching between tanks is as simple as turning the Contents Gauge Tank Selector Switch to the tank you wish to view the contents of.
0 is the off position and will always read “0” or Empty.
1 – VL is Front Left, 2 – VR is Front Right, 3 – HL is Rear Left, and 4 – HR is Rear Right.
Warning lamps will come on for the rear tanks when they are almost empty. Warning lamps for the front tanks will come on when there is approximately 90l left in each tank. This warning lamp comes on to inform the pilot that it is time, and there is now sufficient space, to transfer the contents of the rear tanks to the front tanks. If you have no fuel in your reserve tanks, it’s time to go home.
Transfer fuel by changing the position of the arms on the Fuel Tank Selector. The following images will explain what each position does. There are five positions on the Fuel Tank Selector, four of which are labelled.
The upper arm has two positions:
1. Top Left is “vorn links” or “front left tank;”
2. Top Right is “vorn rechts” or “front right tank;”
The lower arm has three positions:
1. Bottom Left is “Ein” or “On”, meaning that the transfer pumps are on;
2. Bottom Right is “Aus” or “Off”, meaning that the transfer pumps are off;
3. And the middle position is neutral, same as “Aus” or “Off;”
The above image is how you will find the Fuel Tank Selector when you enter the plane. The lower arm is pointing to “Aus” which means the transfer pumps are “Off”, and the upper arm is pointing to the Front Left Tank. With the transfer pumps off it doesn’t matter where the upper arm is, no fuel will be transferred.
All four of the above positions will do the exact same thing; nothing at all. Until the lower arm is moved into the “Ein” position there will be no transfer of fuel.
Fuel transfer should only be initiated once the main tank warning indicators are illuminated, this is the plane telling you that there is now enough space in the main tanks to accept the entire contents of the reserve tanks. Once the lights are on, set the Contents Gauge Tank Selector to show the level of the first tank you wish to fill, in this example we will fill the Front Left Tank first so we’ll set the Contents Gauge Tank Selector to “position 1”. Switch the upper arm of the Fuel Tank Selector to “vorn links” (Front Left), and the lower arm to “Ein” (On) like the left image below.
Fuel will now transfer slowly from both reserve tanks into the Front Left Tank - keep an eye on your Fuel Contents Gauge and switch the upper arm over to “vorn rechts” once the pumps have transferred 100 Litres. Add 100 litres to your Front Right Tank then switch the upper arm back to “vorn links” and go back and forth until the reserve tanks are empty. It’ll be up to you to keep the tanks filled evenly. As your front tanks fill you’ll eventually see the warning indicators come on for both of the reserve tanks. You can now switch the Contents Gauge Tank Selector to the rear tanks (Position 3 or 4) and watch as the remainder of fuel is drained from the reserve tanks. Once the reserve tanks are showing 0 litres, return the Fuel Tank Selector arms back to the original position, as shown below.
You have now pumped all of your fuel into the main tanks. Don’t worry if tanks 1 and 2 are showing slightly different amounts. Once all four fuel warning lamps are illuminated you will have approximately 90 litres left in each front tank. Depending on how far from home you are you’ll have to judge whether it’s time to head back to base now, or if it can wait just a bit longer; it doesn’t take that long to burn 90 Litres of fuel though.
In this section I’ll explain how to deal with a damaged fuel tank. The Bf-110 will allow you to feed the engines in a few different ways.
The normal way to feed the engines is to allow both left and right engines to feed simultaneously from both of the front tanks. By this I mean that the left engine is getting fuel from the left and right front tank at the same time, and the same goes for the right engine.
You can also set the engines to feed only off of the tank on the same side of the plane as the engine itself; left engine from left tank and right engine from right tank. You can also cross-feed the tanks by having the left engine draw from the right front tank, and the right engine draw from the left front tank.
Alright, are we confused yet? Hopefully this image will clear things up.
If you sustain damage to your left front tank, you can isolate the tank when it’s almost empty by setting the Left Engine Fuel Cock to “P1” and the Right Engine Fuel Cock to “P2”. This will force the engines to ignore the damaged fuel tank. Obviously, since you’re drawing fuel for two engines off of one tank the fuel level will drop twice as fast. If you have full reserve tanks you can pump fuel from both reserves into the right front tank using the method above, but remember that since you’re filling only one tank from two reserve tanks it’s not going to be able to hold all of the fuel from the reserves. Fill the right tank until the gauge reads full and then stop the transfer. Once the warning indicator for your Right Front Tank comes on again you should be able to transfer the remainder of your reserve fuel into the tank. If you sustain damage to your right front tank you just do the opposite. Better still; don’t get shot in the fuel tanks. I told you the fuel system was complex!
If you are a long way from home and you sustain damage to a main fuel tank, you should switch both engines to draw only from the damaged tank until it is almost empty. Switch the fuel tank selector switch to the damaged tank and burn as much fuel as you can from the tank before it all leaks out. Once the tank is at 10L remaining switch both engines to draw from the good tank; it's important that you switch over before the engines sputter out.
This concludes our look at the Bf-110, hopefully I’ve helped you understand the amazing changes that Team Fusion has made to this aircraft - especially the fuel system.
The rest is up to you, good luck pilot!
Keller - 2013